Chainsaw Buying Guide

Please review this chainsaw buying guide, but also speak with your local dealer. The first question you should ask is, “What kind of work do I need the saw for?” Our extensive Husqvarna Chainsaw product line includes models ranging from full-time professional saws to all-round and leisure or hobby saws.

Husqvarna 455 Rancher - Chainsaw Buying Guide

Professional saws, XP and Powerful robust saws are designed for daily operation and are intended for users who demand the best. XP-saws are the most efficient and best performance saws in the range. Powerful robust saws gives the operator best durability for the most heavy duty work. All-round saws are designed for regular, easier use in a variety of situations. In most cases they share the same basic design as the professional saws. The leisure or hobby saws are designed for those who use the saw occasionally, and who prioritise ease of use rather than extreme performance.

Chainsaw Buying Guide: Things to keep in mind when buying a chainsaw:

  • Employing the correct techniques when you use the saw makes your work a great deal safer and easier.
  • Be sure to use approved protective equipment like safety trousers, safety boots, helmet with visor and hearing protection and gloves.
  • A light saw is easier to handle if you’re not too experienced.
  • Ergonomic engineering and design. Low vibration levels in the handles, a slim and well balanced saw body are welcome features, even if you only use the saw part-time. Good ergonomics can be just as important as low weight.
  • Efficient kickback protection is a requirement in most countries. Also pay attention to small details, for instance how easy it is to replace a chain catcher stud that has been broken off and easy access to controls.
  • Is the saw easy to maintain and service? Good access to the air filter and spark plug, and easy chain tensioning save time and effort.
  • Your saw will appreciate regular service by a qualified professional.

We hope you found this chainsaws buying guide useful. We are all about safety and matching the correct saw for your purposes. It makes no sense to over spend on a saw that is too large. But you also do not want to under spend and be disappointed in the production of your new saw.

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Chainsaw Buying Guide – Different types of chainsaws

Chainsaws can be broadly divided into the following groups:

1. PROFESSIONAL SAWS Chainsaws with maximum performance and optimum ergonomics. Designed for professional full-time or part-time use. Also available with heated handles.

2. ALL-ROUND SAWS Robust chainsaws. Built as professional saws, but with a slightly lower performance. Designed for part-time use, such as for woodcutting.

3. RECREATIONAL/CONSUMER SAWS Easy to use, small saws designed for home use by “recreational users” who do not use their chainsaw very often.

4. TREE CARE SAWS Developed to be used only by professionals in tree care work. Handling and work techniques for these saws are not addressed in this manual.

Chainsaw size

The size of the chainsaw is determined by piston displacement (cm³) and engine power (hp and kW). The size you should choose depends on the following two factors:

PROFICIENCY AND EXPERIENCE  –  Choose a smaller chainsaw with a less powerful engine if you are new to chainsaw work. A small saw is more maneuverable than a large one. If the chainsaw is too heavy, your hands and arms will tire, which in the long run represents a safety risk.

WOOD TYPES AND SIZE OF TREES   –  Choose a larger chainsaw with more power if you want to fell larger trees, especially hardwood. If the model is too small, this will subject the chainsaw to great strain and unnecessary wear.

Guide bar length
The appropriate length of the guide bar is determined by tree size and to some extent by the level of expertise the user has. If you are used to handling a chainsaw, you should have access to at least two different guide bar lengths, allowing you to vary the guide bar length with different tree sizes. A shorter guide bar weighs less and is easier to manoeuvre when doing limbing work. A longer guide bar is used for larger tree sizes.
Your dealer can give you additional advice and information about buying a chainsaw.

Chainsaw Buying Guide – Your personal protective equipment

Protective clothing should be signal colored, ensuring you are clearly visible in the open. Protective equipment must be tested in accordance with applicable international rules and standards within the EU and the US (CE/ISO/UL marking). These requirements may vary by country. You can obtain further information from your local servicing dealer. For your own sake, never leave out any part of the personal protective equipment!
1. HELMET WITH EARMUFFS, VISOR AND PROTECTIVE GLASSES The helmet is designed to protect you from falling branches and impacts. The visor should cover all of your face to protect against scratches and sawdust spray. Protective glasses provide additional protection for your eyes. Earmuffs also protect against harmful loud noises. The inserts for your ear muffs will eventually become worn. It is important that you replace them regularly. The plastic in the helmet ages and becomes brittle due mainly to UV radiation. For this reason, you should replace the helmet within five years after the date of manufacture, or a maximum of three years after removing it from its original packaging. The Husqvarna helmets have a calendar where you mark the first day of usage.

2. FORESTRY JACKET/SHIRT The forestry jacket should provide full upper body coverage, have signal colouring, and be ventilated.

3. PROTECTIVE TROUSERS/CHAPS Protective trousers must be fitted with saw protection that meets international standards. The saw protection consists of a lining with several layers of very long fibres that become entangled in the chain and stop it in a fraction of a second (Illustration A). It is important that you follow the manufacturer’s washing guidelines. If you cut into the protective layers, the trousers must be discarded.

4. PROTECTIVE BOOTS The boots should be fitted with protective toe caps, saw protection and deep treaded soles (anti-slip protection) in accordance with international standards.

5. WORK GLOVES You should always wear work gloves to protect against cuts, scratches, oils and fuels. Gloves with saw protection in the left hand also protect you from the saw chain.

6. FIRST AID You should always have a first aid kit easily accessible and close at hand. A first aid box should always be available in the felling zone.

7. COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT IN THE EVENT OF ACCIDENTS In case of accident, you must quickly summon help. Always carry a whistle and a mobile phone or radio at the felling site.


Chainsaw Buying Guide – Chain Saw Safety

Operating a chain saw is inherently hazardous. Potential injuries can be minimized by using proper personal protective equipment and safe operating procedures.

Before Starting a Chain Saw

  • Check controls, chain tension, and all bolts and handles to ensure that they are functioning properly and that they are adjusted according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Make sure that the chain is always sharp and the lubrication reservoir is full.
  • Start the saw on the ground or on another firm support. Drop starting is never allowed.
  • Start the saw at least 10 feet from the fueling area, with the chain’s brake engaged.

Fueling a Chain Saw

  • Use approved containers for transporting fuel to the saw.
  • Dispense fuel at least 10 feet away from any sources of ignition when performing construction activities. No smoking during fueling.
  • Use a funnel or a flexible hose when pouring fuel into the saw.
  • Never attempt to fuel a running or HOT saw.

Chain Saw Safety

  • Clear away dirt, debris, small tree limbs and rocks from the saw’s chain path. Look for nails, spikes or other metal in the tree before cutting.
  • Shut off the saw or engage its chain brake when carrying the saw on rough or uneven terrain.
  • Keep your hands on the saw’s handles, and maintain secure footing while operating the saw.
  • Proper personal protective equipment must be worn when operating the saw, which includes hand, foot, leg, eye, face, hearing and head protection.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Be careful that the trunk or tree limbs will not bind against the saw.
  • Watch for branches under tension, they may spring out when cut.
  • Gasoline-powered chain saws must be equipped with a protective device that minimizes chain saw kickback.
  • Be cautious of saw kick-back. To avoid kick-back, do not saw with the tip. If equipped, keep tip guard in place.

We hope you found this chainsaw buying guide useful. We are all about safety and matching the correct saw for your purposes.

Gamka is an Authorized Husqvarna Dealer. We are a Certified Repair and Warranty Center for Husqvarna. Call us at 732-248-1400 for the best prices on Husqvarna Power Chain Saws for Home Use.