Chain Saw Information

About Chain Saws

A chainsaw (or chain saw) is a portable mechanical, motorized saw. It is most commonly used in logging activities such as felling, delimbing, and bucking; by tree surgeons to fell trees and remove branches and foliage; to fell snags and assist in cutting firebreaks in wildland fire suppression, and to harvest firewood. Chainsaws with specially designed blades have been developed as tools for use in chainsaw art.


Chainsaws usually require two sources of lubrication. Like most two-stroke engines, the engine is lubricated by its fuel, which contains about 2 ~ 5% (depending on model) oil dissolved in the fuel. Since this mixture is highly flammable, a completely separate oil reservoir is used for the external lubrication of the blade and chain. This latter oil is depleted quickly because it tends to be thrown off the chain by centrifugal force. Failing to keep this reservoir topped up, or using an oil of incorrect viscosity, is a common source of damage to saws and tends to lead to the chain coming off of the bar. With some types of wood, the operator will need to occasionally stop and unplug the holes where the oil is dispensed to the chain and guide bar.

The air intake filter tends to clog up with sawdust. This must be cleaned from time to time, but is not a problem during normal operation. Many saw operators clean it with petrol, although manufacturers recommend using compressed air to blow the dust off the filter mesh from the inside, or warm, soapy water, and then left to air dry. If these resources are not available, pure, clean gasoline should be used, otherwise the residual oil on the filter will make it clog up again faster.

Chains must be kept very sharp to perform well. This may be done with a round file or a jig (without removing the chain from the saw), or with a specialised electric sharpening jig with the chain removed from the saw. The jigs help ensure that each cutting face is kept at the correct angles, which are carefully balanced to maximise the saw's efficiency. Proper hand-sharpening may produce a better result, but electric sharpeners are faster, particularly when sharpening very dull chains (especially those which have been subjected to dirt, metal or rocks). Carbide chainsaw blades cannot be sharpened by conventional sharpeners and must be sharpened by a diamond sharpener.

Chainsaw Comparisons

Going on a hunt for unbiased chainsaw comparisons on the web can quickly turn into the proverbial search for the needle in a haystack while seperating myth from fact often proves extremely difficult.

Large portals compare the prices of the majority of available chainsaw models in several online shops and rank the shops from lowest price to highest. While this may be a useful service for the bargain hunter, you will find it difficult, if not impossible, to find anything more than the usual product descriptions on these types of sites. Most simply import this data from the shops or manufacturers and do not cast a vote regarding the quality or feature set of any given product. While the information on these sites may be unbiased (while the product selection may well not be), you won't find a chain saw information there that you couldn't find on the manufacturer's or an online shop's page too.

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