Which saw to buy
We have divided them into three groups, to make it easier to choose a saw.
Homeowner saws for occasional use
Saws for those who use the saw occasionally, and who prioritise ease of use rather than extreme performance. These saws also feature solutions that are otherwise found on the professional saws.
Husqvarna saws in this group are :- electric and battery, petrol 135, 435 (especially for firewood cutters).
Farm/ranch/semi-pro for regular use
These are saws for regular use in a variety of situations. In most cases they share the same basic design as the professional saws. However the engine character is not optimised to quite the same extent, and the semi-pro saws can have slightly lower performance than the professional saws.
Husqvarna saws in this group are :- 435, 440, 445, 450 and the 455
Professional saws for professional use
These saws are designed for daily operation and are intended for users who demand the best. Optimised for particular jobs and climates. Choose from a wide range of saws: from small to really large, depending on the size of the trees it will be used for.
Husqvarna saws in this group are :- 545, 555, 550XP, 560XP, 365, 372XP, 576XP, 390XP, 395XP and the 3120XP. Also the specialist tree care saw T540XP (for use by qualified personnel only).
Things to keep in mind when buying a chainsaw
Using the correct techniques when you work makes your work a great deal safer and easier. Be sure to use approved protective clothing.
The first question you should ask is whether the saw will be used professionally or for private Use. This will determine which type and size of saw you should choose.
Weight and engine size.
Remember that a light saw is easier to manoeuvre if you're not too experienced. But don't choose too small an engine: more power gets the job done faster, even if you're "just" sawing wood!
Size and hardness of the wood.
Select a bar length based on the size of the trees. The stronger the engine, the longer the bar you can combine it with.
Ergonomic engineering and design.
Low vibration levels in the handle, a slim, well-balanced saw body and a high centre of gravity are welcome features, even if you only use the saw for part of the day. Good ergonomics can be just as important as low weight!
Efficient kickback protection is a requirement in most countries, but how easy is it to replace a chain catcher stud that has been broken off?
Is the saw easy to maintain and service?
Good access to the air filter and spark plug, and chain tensioning from the side save time and effort.
Your saw will have a longer life if regularly serviced by a qualified professional.
Precautions before using a chainsaw
If you decide to operate a chain saw, following are six important precautions to follow regardless of the conditions:
1. Select the right saw.
Use a mid-sized saw for cutting wood on the ground, such as one with a bar of 16 to 20 inches. For smaller limbs, a lightweight, high-speed saw is recommended. Look for design features like good balance, low vibration and high power-to-weight ratio.
2. Wear protective apparel.
By far the most overlooked aspect of chain saw operation is appropriate apparel. A properly outfitted operator wears protective chaps or trousers, eye and ear protection, protective footwear, work gloves, and a helmet.
3. Inspect the saw before use.
Ensure both the inertia and manual activation of the chain brake are in proper working condition. Inspect chain catch for damage and have it repaired as necessary. Also, test the throttle lockout feature, inspect the bar and chain and repair or replace as necessary. While wearing gloves, work the chain back and forth on the bar to test for proper tensioning and correct installation.
4. Start safe.
A chain saw is safest to start on the ground with the chain brake engaged. Be sure nothing is obstructing the guide bar/chain. To make sure the saw sits securely on the ground, place your right foot in the rear handle.
5. Carefully plan your cutting job.
Potential factors include tree lean, electric lines, wind, adjacent roads and bystanders, and dead limbs. "Struck-by" injuries from falling limbs are one of the most common accidents for a saw operator. Work at a safe distance but never work alone.
6. Protect yourself against "kick-back."
Never cut with the upper half of the tip of the bar. Kickback occurs when the tip of the bar comes in contact with an object or gets pinched during operation, causing the bar to "kick" up and back towards the operator and result in a loss of control and possibly injury.
Last but certainly not least, never operate a chain saw when fatigued or under the influence of alcohol or medication.