NOTE: I am not a chainsaw expert!
Chainsaws are a very personal tool. In other words, you’ll need to develop a very loving relationship with your chainsaw. If you can’t handle or mistreat your chainsaw, it can cause you serious pain and suffering! Make sure you spend time with it and get to know it. Learn what it likes and doesn’t. You think I am joking, but it could save you a limb or two (pun intended).
I started by asking my brother what he recommended as he was already quite familiar with chainsaws. I had started looking at the big box stores for chainsaws prior to my inquiry and I found a lot of unhappy customer reviews for the mass produced chainsaws you can purchase at any hardware store or other variety stores. The reviews were obviously mixed, but then I started realizing a lot of them were using chainsaws for small jobs. I would be using mine for felling trees and clearing some large brush. For the most part, my area to cover is much larger than the suburbanites leaving the reviews.
My brothers recommendations were (in my opinion) very good ones. He recommended the following brands.
Aside from the personal recommendation, I went online and did hours of research for the best chainsaw that I would need for the property. You’ll need to assess what it is exactly you’ll be doing with your saw and then it all goes back to creating lists! Creating a pros/cons list, wants/needs, whatever list, create one! It will help in your decision making!
Out of the two brands mentioned above, your budget should not be the limiting factor. If you have $500 to spend that doesn’t mean you need a $500 saw to do the job. I was looking at spending no more than $400. Once I finished my evaluation of what I needed, I discovered I could get away with spending only about $250 for a saw that would work for me.
For myself, I knew I needed a 16″ or 18″ bar for my chainsaw. I am going to be felling trees of a good size and I ultimately am opting for an 18″ bar. My choice of saw, Stihl’s 251 Wood Boss. There were a lot of great choices, but again I don’t plan on cutting down huge trees, just small to medium trees. I looked at the power ratios, bar lengths, and overall environmental features they offered. I compared the companies side by side and found that I could relate more to the Stihl brand of products, and as luck would have it, a dealer was close by. I did find that Husqvarna items could be find at big box stores as well in my area, which immediately made me think a little less of them.
It is also from my understanding that Stihl requires dealers to physically show you the tools and fire them up for you to ensure they’re in proper working order before you leave the store with one. This could be a safety concern they have, but I believe it’s more of a warranty related measure to ensure that the tools are working before they leave the authorized dealer. It requires a little more personal attention. I would have loved to have been able to order one directly online, and have it to play with without the extra requirement of finding a dealer. But, dealers are authorized to negotiate so that allows someone to potentially get a good deal!
FYI: I do NOT get any kind of endorsements or kick backs for recommending any of these products. This is my personal opinion only, so please make your own decisions for your needs!