Chainsaws are one of the most useful power-garden tools, making easy work of tasks that would otherwise take hours of back-breaking work. Chainsaws do however have the potential to be one of the most dangerous of power tools if not used correctly and safely or if the appropriate safety gear isn’t worn. We’ve put this guide together to help you select the right chainsaw and to give you tips on using your new chainsaw safely.
The two most popular power sources are traditional petrol and Lithium-ion battery.
Petrol Powered Chainsaws
With no cords to worry about they are extremely portable and flexible in their use. As they are 2-stroke machines they will require correctly mixed fuel.
The two main points of difference with petrol chainsaw models will be cc’s or engine capacity, this is a rough measure of engine power, the chain-bar length is the second main point of difference. Victa’s chainsaw engines vary from 40cc to 45cc with bar lengths of 16” and 18” respectively.
Petrol powered chainsaws, like other petrol powered equipment, require servicing at regular intervals in order to keep them running smoothly and safely and to ensure a long operating lifespan. Servicing is particularly important with chainsaws due to the heavy nature of the work they perform.
Battery Powered Chainsaws
Battery technology has come of age in the last few years and is now advanced enough to operate high-drain equipment like a chainsaw as effectively as a petrol power plant. The beauty of battery-powered chainsaws is that they are ready to go straight from the shed, no messing around with refuelling, no leads or cords, and they are lighter and quieter than petrol machines. A bonus too is that battery powered chainsaws don’t require servicing as often as a petrol machine. As they require recharging once the battery is depleted the best idea is to have two batteries so you can switch-out the flat one as soon as you need to.
Look for the following features when selecting a chainsaw. You’ll find these features are standard across the Victa chainsaw range.
Reduces operator fatigue and the risk of RSI type vibration injuries allowing you to work safely for longer. Vibration is naturally minimal with battery equipment.
This is a must on petrol machines but a given on battery tools.
Automatic Chain Oil Function
Releases the right amount of bar oil as the chainsaw is running to maintain safe and efficient operation.
An ‘inertial chain brake’ will be triggered by incidents of kick-back, the most dangerous operating occurrence with a chainsaw. This function works faster than your reflexes ever could and will stop the chain before you’re even aware that the saw has bucked.
Easy Chain Adjustment
This will allow you to maintain the correct chain tension and replace the chain or bar yourself without the need for expensive, specialised tools.
Bar or saw case
Protects your saw and chain in storage or when moving it around but also reduces the chances of catching yourself on the sharp chain.
Provides a physical protection barrier for your hands should the chain break or derail.
With chainsaws, as with any power tools, safety should be your number one consideration there are however more considerations when using a chainsaw. If you do not feel confident using a chainsaw then consider hiring a contractor to do the work for you. If any work with a saw involves working above shoulder height then either use a pole-saw extension pruner or hire a professional arborist.
When you buy your new chainsaw it’s the ideal time to update your safety kit. Ensure that any gear you use complies with Australian Standards. The minimum gear to wear when using a chainsaw of any type is as follows: