You might be surprised to learn that you can’t just use any type of chainsaw when it comes to firewood. There are actually many factors involved that you must take into consideration. The best chainsaw for cutting firewood isn’t necessarily the same chainsaw that you would use to trim branches or even on 2x4s.
Your needs will also vary depending on the type of firewood that you are cutting. Do you need a chainsaw to cut and buck a tree? Or are you just looking to save yourself the arduous labor of using an axe and want to use a chainsaw to split pre-made firewood logs?
How to Choose A Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood
When trying to decide on the very best chainsaw for firewood, there are certain things that you must keep in mind. Should you go for a corded, battery, or a gas-operated chainsaw? How about the length of the blade? Believe it or not, that’s an important consideration to make when it comes to firewood.
The other two big factors that you should keep in mind are the ease of use of the chainsaw and how much power it has. What we mean by ease of use is that you should purchase a chainsaw that is easy to clean and maintain, will start every time without issue, have a comfortable handle and just the right amount of weight for you.
The amount of power that the chainsaw has is probably the most important aspect of choosing the right one. As we briefly mentioned, you’re going to need a lot more power to saw through a tree trunk compared to what you would need to trim the branches off of a tree.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these considerations.
Cord operated vs. Electric vs. Gas powered
While a cord-operated chainsaw has plenty of use when it comes to working on weekend garage projects, it’s obviously not ideal when it comes to meeting the portability requirements that often come with chopping firewood. After all, where are you going to plug this type of chainsaw in when you are out cutting down trees?
However, if you have logs stacked up in one place on your property, and you just want to cut them in small pieces that fit in your fireplace, the corded-electric chainsaw is definitely the way to go. They are quiet, lightweight dan dependable. You don’t have to have a combustion engine running all the time. Just push the button and the chain spins. On top of that these saws aren’t as expensive as their gas powered brothers.
Another consideration could be an battery operated chainsaw versus a gas-operated model. While electric chainsaws tend to run a little bit smoother and more quietly, there’s no denying that in most cases, they just can’t match the power output of a gas chainsaw.
An electric chainsaw is more than adequate for clearing up your property or simple projects, but if you’re going to be out in the woods and looking to produce the most amount of firewood in the least amount of time, you’re definitely going to want to go with a gas-powered chainsaw.
What bar length is best for cutting firewood?
When it comes to cutting firewood, in all honesty your number-one priority should be the power of the chainsaw engine. However, it’s still very important to take into account the length of the bar.
A longer bar length adds more weight to the chainsaw and can therefore end up making it harder to handle when cutting firewood. Meanwhile, a smaller bar can actually make your cutting speed a lot quicker. And as mentioned above, when you are cutting firewood, speed is king. The quicker you can cut through the pieces of wood, the better.
There’s also the matter of safety to consider. If you stick a larger bar on a chainsaw that doesn’t have enough power to manage the task, you could be putting yourself at risk. It can throw off the balance of the chainsaw and increase the likelihood of kickback occurring.
To recap thus far, you’re going to be looking for a gas-powered chainsaw with a short bar length if you want to be efficient when it comes to cutting your firewood. The shorter length will make the task of cutting firewood a lot easier as well, which again, is very important for ease of use.
But how much power do you need in your engine to manage using the shorter bar effectively?
How much power do you need?
Unlike with the above points, there is no “one size fits all” answer when it comes to the perfect engine size and cutting firewood. The truth of the matter is that it generally comes down to the size of the wood you’ll be cutting and your own individual needs.
If you’re going to be cutting smaller pieces of wood that are destined for a fireplace or wood stove, the dimensions of the wood usually range in diameter anywhere from under 12 inches up to about 16 inches. Anything that is under 12 inches you are probably best going with an engine size between 35cc and 45cc. In between 12 and 16 inches you should look at 45cc to 55cc engine.
If your firewood cutting needs are more extensive however, and you’ll be cutting through some fairly hefty logs, you’re going to need quite a bit more power. Anything approaching the range of 20 inches in diameter or higher and you should be looking at a 70cc engine on up.
As you can probably tell by now, when it comes to choosing the absolute best chainsaw for cutting firewood, there’s really no clear-cut number-one best option. It all depends on the specific job you have in mind.
That being said, there are some general guidelines to follow. To summarize the important points from above:
- You should be looking for a gas-powered chainsaw
- If cutting in one place, go for a corded electric model
- You want to go with a shorter bar length to help cut through the wood quickly
- Your engine size will depend on the size of the wood you cut; generally, for multi-purpose usage, between 45cc and 55cc is best
As long as you keep these three main points in mind when shopping for a chainsaw to use for cutting firewood, you’ll end up with a machine that works just right for you and efficiently gets the job done.