Professional Chain Saw Buyer's Guide
How to Pick the Perfect Professional Chain Saw
Not every chainsaw is made for every task. Professional or commercial-grade chainsaws are built to work in the most difficult conditions.
You don't have to travel far to get the most out of a professional gas chainsaw, though. No matter where you use your saw, if you use it every day, you'll enjoy the durability and sheer power that professional saws provide.
Here are some of the qualities and features to look for on professional chainsaws that help them stand up to daily wear and tear.
You need a saw with a lot of power behind it to take on such tasks as felling trees. Professional-grade chainsaws are the ones you turn to for engines with higher horsepower as well as higher torque for consistently elevated output.
In order to contain and channel all of that power, the engines on professional saws are made with components designed to withstand long hours of use:
- Heavier bearings
- Heavy-duty crankshafts
- Crankcases made from durable materials like magnesium
When shopping for your professional saw, make note of more than the engine's horsepower. Keep an eye out for notes on the quality of the engine components as well.
Comfortable, Ergonomic Design
With so many sturdy engine components in place, you might think that professional saws would weigh much more than homeowner gas chainsaws.
However, when you're working on a landscaping, forestry, or logging project, chances are that you'll be working for hours at a time. You need a saw that you can hold comfortably as long as the job requires.
That's why professional saws are made with materials that, while strong, are also lighter. Look for a saw that advertises a high power-to-weight ratio and that features a balanced design with a long, narrow body layout and the engine situated inline.
For additional comfort and safety, check that the saw that interests you also includes a vibration dampening or vibration reduction system. A vibration dampening system is often composed of a series of shock-absorbing units inside the body and handle of the saw that prevent too much vibration from being transferred into the user's hand and wrist.
Convenient Maintenance Features
Due to heavy usage, professional chainsaws need to be maintained regularly. Manufacturers know this, so they make their pro-level saws with features that keep the saw in peak condition as long as possible and allow the saw to be tuned up even in the field.
One of the most important components to maintain on a professional gas saw is the air filter. To help you run your saw in top shape, look for features such as these before you buy:
- Large surface air filter: reduces the number of contaminants passing through
- Quick-release air filter cover: makes it easy to change the filter while outside of a garage or shop
- Air injection cleaning system: removes dust and debris from circulating air
Another feature to consider is a lateral or side-mount chain tensioning component. While the saw runs, the chain will start to sag away from the bar and show signs of slack. Tightening the chain every 15 minutes will keep the saw running safely, and lateral chain tensioning will let you adjust the tension without having to touch the chain.
Finally, oiling the bar and chain is a simple but necessary step that you can take to keep your saw cutting smoothly and sharply. Homeowner saws often feature an automatic bar oil mechanism, but professional saws instead use adjustable bar and chain oil pumps so that you can adjust the oil output depending on your working conditions.
Some professional saws have features that are brand specific. Husqvarna, for example, offers its AutoTune feature, which automatically senses changes in such conditions as altitude, humidity, and temperature and adjusts the carburetor to provide the best engine performance.
Whether the features that appeal to you are brand-specific features or qualities that are standard across all professional saws, you can take comfort knowing that a professional-grade gas chainsaw will help you get the job done no matter how demanding it is.