We all know the usual suspects when it comes to basic lawn and gardening tools: rake, hose, lawn mower, edger, clippers, maybe a trowel and a set of gloves, a shovel for heavier jobs, a chainsaw…
-A chainsaw? Yep.
For the avid do-it-yourselfer, a chainsaw of some type is a must for landscaping projects. If you’ve never had any reason to use one yourself, your default image may be one of those massive, roaring machines that slice through entire trees. Why would a homeowner need that?
The thing is, there’s actually a pretty broad variety of chainsaws on the market with a lot of reasonable uses. Many of them are much smaller, lighter, and more user-friendly than the gigantic machines you see builders wielding. The 16 inch chainsaw is a widely popular mid-range size, and the best 16 chainsaws have been outlined nicely by Pro Home and Garden Reviews.
Light use and moderate use chainsaws are specifically designed for smaller, simpler jobs that can be handled by the layman. Tasks that a well informed homeowner might safely tackle on their own, such as pruning shrubs or removing minor branches, are what these machines are meant for.
For those who feel comfortable handling power tools, the initial cost and subsequent upkeep of simply owning a chainsaw far outweigh the ongoing costs of paying a lawn care company to keep up with their landscaping.
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Here are a few things to consider if you’ve decided you’re in the market for a chainsaw.
Common Components of Light and Medium Use Chainsaws
- Power Source- Most smaller chainsaws will be either corded or batter-powered. If battery-powered, it will come with a charging dock that plugs into an outlet. Cordless mowers are far more agile, but some dislike the limitation of lengthy charging times. Mid-sized tools may be gas-powered instead, and often require the same type of fuel you would use in other small motors (like your lawn mower).
- Size- Light use chainsaws are typically under 14 inches long, with some being as short as 6 inches. Many have narrower bars as well, which offers greater precision with landscaping jobs. Medium use chainsaws range from 14 to 18 inches long, and are sturdier for jobs like cutting kindling or relatively narrow tree limbs.
- Safety Measures- Even if you aren’t using a heavy duty chainsaw, you are still handling an incredibly sharp and powerful tool. Chaps, gloves, and a helmet with a face screen are still recommended for optimal safety. You also want to make sure that only adults have access to this tool.
- Components to Consider- Some chainsaws come with a rubber grip for increased control. Some include a bumper spike that reduces the machine’s “kick,” which is a great safety feature. Some are extra light, making them easier to up for high-up pruning jobs.
- Related Accessories- A depth gauge, scrench, and sharpening kit are all good accessories to keep handy if you’ve chosen to purchase a chainsaw. Just like the razors used for personal grooming, sharpers chain blades is actually safer and more effective. They require less force, leaving you with greater control over the machine.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, consider this list of the best 16 inch chainsaws provided by Pro Home and Garden Reviews. All the specs you needs, broken down into details as well as pro and con lists. Be sure to educate yourself before making a purchase this significant!