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Chainsaws might not yet be as common a household item as a television or a sandwich toaster, but with the vast array of domestic petrol chainsaws coming to the market and the growing trend towards carrying out one’s own property maintenance, it can’t be long before every proud homeowner has one tucked away in the shed ready for any tricky cutting work which might arise around their property. Following the increase in demand from private users, chainsaw designs have become increasingly user-friendly over recent years, with ergonomic handles and lightweight materials utilised to ensure maximum ease of use.
A compact but manoeuvrable chainsaw is a very handy thing for any gardener to have, after all, especially if you have a larger garden full of trees or other woody vegetation. It will certainly save plenty of time compared to manual pruning when tree branches need trimming back, while the freedom to roam offered by a petrol machine means that you can work in any part of the garden without having to worry about access to a power source. Those merely looking to cut logs for firewood can also save significant time and effort with one of these machines, however, as even the lightest petrol saws still pack more than enough punch to handle routine cutting work with ease.
The main concern for most amateur chainsaw users will be ease of operation. These machines are, of course, a little heavier and more demanding than electric chainsaws, but recent technological innovations mean that less experienced users can still achieve great results with a little practice. In the past, for example, petrol chainsaws have been notoriously difficult to start, but most modern models feature quick-starting mechanisms so this is no longer the case. Effective anti-vibration systems, moreover, help to ensure user comfort, while automatic chain oilers are commonly included to reduce maintenance demands and ensure optimal cutting performance.
Other things which domestic users should look out for include ease of access to air filters, the chain tensioner and the spark plugs, which will facilitate routine maintenance, along with safety features like hand guards and chain brakes. Finally, as tempting as it might be to simply buy the biggest chainsaw you can afford you should always remember that smaller, lighter machines are usually easier to handle, so your life will be made much simpler if you pick a saw based upon its intended application rather than size and power alone. For more advice on buying and operating your saw, please see our free chainsaw safety guide.