Different Types of Pole Saws

A pole saw is, in essence, a chain saw mounted to a pole. These saws are designed to cut branches that sit higher than a regular saw can reach. They come in many different types, such as manual, electric, battery-powered, gas-powered, and even two-in-one detachable units.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the most common types of pole saws, what makes them unique, and how to identify them.

Manual Pole Saws

Manual pole saws, just like manual hand saws, rely on you to supply the necessary back-and-forth motion to cut down branches. The difficulty involved in using these saws depends on your strength, the saw’s weight and integrity as well as the material you’re cutting. Palm tree fronds, for example, are easy to cut and remove from trees, while hardwood branches can be much more difficult.

Manual pole saws are better suited to people who prefer to manicure or shape their trees, as they don’t do well with thick branches. Manual pole saws usually have a clipper attachment on the saw’s neck that makes snipping small branches quick and easy. However, anything larger than about an inch will require work from the main part of the saw.

Automatic Pole Saws

Automatic pole saws use an engine, a chain, and a fuel source to cut down branches and small trees. Essentially, a mechanical pole saw is a small chainsaw mounted on the end of a stick. The three fuel types you’ll most often see in automatic pole saws are:

  • Electric
  • Battery-powered
  • Gasoline

While you’ll occasionally see a diesel-powered chainsaw, it’s rare to find a pole saw that runs on diesel. Similarly, hydraulic pole saws exist as well, but they’re almost exclusively used by professionals.

Electric Pole Saws

Electric pole saws need to be plugged into an electrical socket to work correctly. Usually, this is done with an extension cord, as the cable that comes attached to the pole saw itself is shortened to reduce its weight. Electric pole saws are the lightest of the automatic pole saws, and they tend to cause the fewest headaches, too.

The only limitation of electric pole saws, of course, is the extension cord. If you have a tree to trim on the other side of your property, it might be impossible for you to run an extension cord all the way out there. However, they’re great for small yards with just a few trees to trim.

Battery-Powered Pole Saws

Battery-powered pole saws tend to be the weakest of the bunch, but they’re some of the most convenient. Battery-powered pole saws are less finicky than gas-powered models, and when they run out of power, all you need to do is charge or replace the battery – no gasoline needed.

Battery-powered pole saws tend to be lighter than gas-powered models, but they’re noticeably heavier than electric pole saws. Because they’re limited by a battery, they can’t exert the same power as an electric or gas pole saw, either. They’re best for small yards, small trees, and people who don’t like dealing with extension cords.

Gas Pole Saws

Gas pole saws are the most powerful pole saws you can acquire. Not only are they untethered – you can take them anywhere, thanks to not needing a charger or an extension cable – they’re refillable anywhere, too. They’re great for people with large properties and large trees to trim.

However, gas-powered pole saws can be some of the most unwieldy pole saws, and they can be incredibly heavy, too. They get the job done better than any other pole saw, but they’re also prone to mechanical failure, starting issues, and other problems.

2-In-1 Pole Saws

2-in-1 pole saws are the most versatile of all the pole saws. The chain saw portions of these pole saws detach from the poles themselves when you need them to. This way, you can use the pole saw as either a handheld chainsaw or a longer pole saw.

Many consumers find 2-in-1 pole saws to provide the most convenience because of this detaching factor. You can cut branches off trees in one minute. Then, when you’re done, you can detach the chain saw and cut the felled branches down to manageable sizes.

Deciding Which Pole Saw is Right for You

Aside from the different types of pole saws, you should consider a few other things before purchasing one. One of the most important things is the size of the bar on your pole saw. The bar determines what sizes of branches you can successfully cut, as generally, the maximum size you can cut will be about an inch or two less than the length of the bar.

That being said, pole saws don’t come with enormous bar sizes since a larger bar means a heavier, less stable unit. This, in turn, increases the hazards associated with using the saw. The most common bar sizes you’ll find for pole saws are ten inches and eight inches.

However, if you’re looking at manual pole saws, you may be able to find a broader range of sizes. This is because manual pole saws aren’t reliant on heavy engines and dangerous moving parts.

The extendable length of your pole saw is the final thing you should consider. While most pole saws, in combination with your own height, can reach a distance of about 15 feet, the telescoping portions of pole saws can be vastly different lengths.

For example, the shortest automatic pole saws top out at about six feet in length, while the longest manual pole saws can have up to fifteen feet of telescoping length (and that’s not even counting your own height).

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is a pole saw out there for virtually every need and situation. Which kind is right for you depends on your strength, the height of your tree, and the types of branches you need to cut. As long as you do your research, you’ll be able to find the saw that works best for you.

How to Maintain Your Pole Saw

maintain your pole saw

Just like every kind of saw, pole saws can get dull over time, and they require regular maintenance. The more you use the pole saw, and the tougher the wood being cut, the faster the blade will dull and the more often it will need maintenance. Let’s talk about what exactly a pole saw is and how you can keep it in prime condition for as long as possible.

Pole Saws

What you need to know is that there are varieties of pole saws out there. The most basic pole saws are manual in nature; they feature a long pole with a sharp blade at the front, which you use to manually move back and forth to saw wood.

This is not what we are here to discuss today. We are here to talk about maintaining your power pole saw — a pole with a power saw at the front.

To be specific, most powered pole saws come in the form of a long pole with a chainsaw located at the front. These can be electric, battery- or gas-powered. Today we want to talk about how to maintain this specific type of pole sole, the chainsaw variety.

Pole Saw Maintenance Tips

Let’s go over the most important pole saw maintenance tips to ensure maximum performance and efficiency, while also ensuring your safety.

Before Using the Pole Saw

There are a few things that you want to do before you turn your pole saw on for use. These pre-flight checks, so to speak, are very important, especially for your safety.

  • Always ensure that all nuts, bolts, and screws are very tight. You don’t want anything coming loose during use. Loose components can be safety hazards
  • Always check the chain on your pole saw before use. If it appears to have any broken links or other forms of damage, you will first need to make repairs to the chain or replace the whole chain
  • Ensure that both the trigger and the trigger lock move normally and function. You don’t want to start the saw only to find out that the trigger gets stuck in the on position
  • If you are using a gas-powered pole saw, make sure that the air filter is clean. If need be, replace the air filter with a new one. The air filter is an important component of any gas powered pole saw, and it needs to be kept in immaculate condition
  • Always make sure that there are no fuel leaks from the gas tank and the engine, as well as ensuring that there are no oil leaks

After Using the Pole Saw

There are some maintenance tips that you should adhere to after each use.

  • Use a damp rag to clean the exterior of the pole saw from top to bottom. Remove any dirt and particles you can find. Make sure to clean the protective cover that surrounds the blade
  • Return the pole saw to its proper storage location. Below, we have a small section on how to properly store your pole saw

Weekly Maintenance

When it comes to pole saws, here are some maintenance tips that you should adhere to after every few jobs, so about once per week.

  • Always check to see if the pole saw has enough oil. Check the oil level and refill the oil as needed
  • Make sure that all cables and connections are solid. This means that the wires should be in top condition. Here, you will also want to check the starter cord for wear
  • You may also want to look for damage on the elements which dampen vibrations. If these become damaged, your pole saw will vibrate a lot more
  • Remove the spark plug and clean it. Then, adjust the gap according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pole saw

Monthly Maintenance

Finally, here are some monthly checks and procedures to follow to help keep your pole saw in the best shape.

  • Make sure that the fuel filter does not have any clogs. If the fuel filter has clogs, it will need to be replaced
  • If you use the pole saw on a daily basis, such as for a landscaping or arborist job, you will want to replace the spark plugs on a monthly basis
  • You should aim to sharpen your pole saw at least once per month, just to keep the blade in peak condition so it can make quick work out of any branches in its path

Storing Your Pole Saw: Tips

Just like maintenance, if you want the best results time after time, you will also need to store the pole saw properly. Improper storage can lead to degradation and damage that can end up costing you more money. Here are some pole saw storage tips for you to follow.

  • Always store your pole saw in a relatively cool and dry place. Extreme temperatures can affect the longevity and maintenance schedule of the saw, so keep it in a location that has a moderate temperature. Excessive moisture can also create issues, so keep it in a dry location
  • Make sure to store the pole saw securely. Don’t just leave it laying around on a table where it can be knocked down, and don’t let it hang somewhere it might easily fall. Pole saws can be sensitive to impacts, so be sure to take the proper storage precautions
  • Try to store the pole saw away from things that should be kept immaculately clean. The chain oil may seep off the chain a little bit, in which case anything under the chain will get messy. Put an old rag under the saw to keep your floor clean.

Conclusion

As you can see, pole saw maintenance is quite basic and easy. You want to follow all possible maintenance procedures, and if you ignore any of the above tips for too long, you’ll end up with an unusable pole saw sooner rather than later.

Must Have Tools For Proper Tree Care

Owning the proper tree care tools helps you in caring for your garden trees. You need to prune or trim your trees now and then to encourage vigorous growth.

If we talk about pruning tools, they are crucial for better tree growth and fruit production. Proper pruning encourages plant health, and it also helps to remove limbs and unnecessary branches. It also helps to enhance natural tree shape, which gives gorgeous appeal to the tree. Tree pruning in the right way and the right time is essential because your negligence can kill a beautiful and healthy tree.

Along with tree pruning, regular tree trimming is also imperative for proper safety. If your tree is diseased or dead, it can be risky. You need an appropriate tool of trimming to take care of your tree. The tree limbs can fall easily because of storms or heavy winds and damage your property or home. Trimming is also necessary for tree health and appearance.

Why Do You Need Tree Care Tools?

You should use some tools for proper tree care, and these tools are significant because they:

  • Can save a storm-damaged tree
  • Provide clearance
  • Help to reduce shade and wind resistance
  • Helps in better tree growth and appearance
  • Manages fruit production
  • Improves tree aesthetics
  • Provide better tree structure

Best Tools for Proper Tree Care

Knowing that it’s time to buy some tools for tree care, it leads to a few more questions? Like what kind of tools you need to buy? Where to buy those tools? Etc.

Here is the list of must-have tools for proper tree care. You will learn about the tools you should have for minor touch-up or adequate tree care.

Felco Tree Pruning Shears

Sale
Felco Pruning Shears (F 7) - High Performance Swiss Made One-Hand Garden Pruners
  • ULTRA DURABLE - The premium pruning clippers are constructed of forged aluminum handles and hardened steel blades. All pruner components can be replaced in this dependable model.
  • ERGONOMIC DESIGN - The garden scissors have a revolving handle for extra comfort, and they are suitable for every type of pruning with ergonomically designed cushioned-shock absorber softens the cutting impact. The pruner features a rotating handle for increased comfort.
  • PRECISE PRUNING - This bypass pruner offers a large cutting capacity and well-balanced weight for optimal gardening. This high-performance pruner features a wire cutter for small wires and a sap groove to minimize the blade sticking.
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE - Hardened steel blade and screw-mounted anvil blade ensure reliably clean, precise cuts. Narrow pointed anvil blade allows easy access to twiggy branches and assures a close cut to the trunk.
  • FOR LARGE HAND - The Swiss-made plant cutter is optimal for large-sized hands. The small branch trimmer has an 8.3-inch (210mm) length, 0.98-inch (25mm) cutter diameter, and has a 0.64 lb (290 gram) weight.

The felco tree shears are best for pruning as they are made of aluminum handles and steel blades. This dependent tool will replace all your tree pruner components. Felco pruner has the revolving handle that provides extra comfort to the gardener. These tools are best for every type of tree pruning because of its ergonomic hand fitting design.

Felco pruner has a cushion-shock absorber that softens all the cutting that aids in risk-free pruning without any injury. Its hard steel blade ensures reliable, clean, and accurate cutting. Moreover, its anvil blade provides easy access to the twiggy tree branches to make a close cut to the trunk.

This tree pruner may also help to touch-up the small branches. For live branches, you can try by-pass pruning shears either. It resembles a pair of scissors, and it is suitable for cutting at awkward angles.

Fiskars Power Gear Bypass Lopper

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Fiskars 25-Inch Ultra Blade Power Gear Bypass Lopper (9136)
  • Sharp, precision-ground blade edge
  • Fully hardened blade holds sharp edge longer
  • Corrosion resistant, non-stick blade coating reduces friction to make cutting easier
  • Durable and lightweight aluminum handles that fit comfortably in your hands
  • Bypass blade for clean cuts of green, living growth with cutting capacity: 1-1/2"

You will love this Fiskars Power gear Bypass Lopper from the first time you will use it. Its gear is amazing, and its patent-pending technology multiplies its leverage to offer 3x more power with every cut. It means you can go through thick branches that are hard to cut with the traditional old loppers.

The new Fiskars design includes better and more modified gears. Its innovative cam mechanism is best to optimize the cutting power where the branch is too thick, and you will need it in the middle of the cut. Every cut is a lot easier with this new lopper design.

Moreover, this tool will provide your comfort and control. Its longer handle provides versatile use with the oval shape grips for comfortable use. The soft grip to touchpoints will aid in preventing blisters.

Remington RM1425 Limb and Trim Chainsaw

Remington 41AY4218983 RM4218CS 42cc Full Crank 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chainsaw 18-Inch Bar, Automatic Oiler, and Low Kickback Chain, 42cc-18-Inch, Orange
  • HIGH OUTPUT ENGINE WITH 18-INCH BAR & CHAIN: 42cc full crank 2 cycle engine provides greater power and less vibration. Premium 18-Inch bar and low-kickback chain cuts through even the toughest wood quickly and easily.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT DURABLE POLY CHASSIS: Easy to Handle, lighter in weight, without sacrificing power. This polymer chassis is engineered for reliable performance and prolonged use, with minimal user fatigue.
  • QUICKSTART TECHNOLOGY: Designed for quicker, smoother and easier pull starts allowing you to get to work right away on yard work, lawn care, and other projects.
  • ADJUSTABLE AUTO CHAIN OILER with EASY VIEW: Keeps the proper amount of lubricant on the chain to ensure the saw cuts smoothly and safely by having vision of the oil level.
  • COMFORTABLE USAGE: 3-point anti-vibration system and an ergonomically-designed handle makes this chainsaw more balanced, maneuverable and comfortable to operate.

Chainsaws are also best as a tree trimming equipment. This tool is best to cut limbs and saplings. This is an electric chainsaw, you just need to plug-in and go, and that’s what you need to start it.

Remington Limb N Trim electric chainsaw provides you with user-friendly features. It has a 14-inch kickback bar and chain that comes with the push-button oiler. Its internal adjustment system is reliable for the chain tensioning for the smoother cut.

Unlike the gas chainsaws, it doesn’t require any gasoline to start. This machine can be your other hand, and it will adapt any job you want to do. The electric motor roars to life whenever you press the trigger. Moreover, this tool has a warranty of 2 years, and you can buy it on amazon.

Electric Wood Chipper

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Sun Joe CJ602E-GRY 15 Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder, One Size, Grey
  • Ideal for turning branches and twigs into nutrient-rich garden mulch
  • Powerful 15 amp motor effectively chips and shreds branches up to 1.5-Inches thick
  • Compact design with 6-inch wheels for easy portability
  • Safety hopper with locking knob prevents the motor from operating when opened
  • ETL approved; Full 2-year warranty

Do your job to reduce, reuse, and recycle with this fantastic electric wood chipper. It generates the speed up to 4300 per min to work out of the brush, branches, and leaves that are crowding your lawn or garden. It will effectively shred and chip the wooden sticks and limbs that are 1.5 inches thick. This is the perfect tool to use around your flower beds or trees.

This tool is best for light-duty jobs, and it will clear your yard waste up to 1/16 of its original size. Along with that, it is quite easy to assemble and maintain. It is ready to go whenever you want to use it. Just plug in the switch and start chipping immediately.

iGarden 3 Piece Lopper, Hedge and Pruner Shear

iGarden 3 Piece Combo Garden Tool Set with Lopper, Hedge Shears and Pruner Shears, Tree & Shrub Care Kit
  • 3 Piece Combo Garden Tool Set includes Lopper and Hedge Shear and Soft grip Bypass Pruner.
  • This 3 piece set is made with high carbon steel blades and comfort grip rubber handles.
  • For smooth, easy cuts on tree branches, comfortable use and lasting value.
  • A fully hardened, precision-ground steel blade stays sharp, and a rust-resistant, low-friction coating makes every cut even easier.

This tool is the combination of 3 best pieces of lopper, hedger shear, and by-pass pruner shear for the proper tree. You can buy this 3 in 1 tool for proper tree and shrub care. These tree care tool blades are made of high carbon steel. Its rubber handle determines the comfortable grip over the tools. You can use these tools to cut tree branches, and they provide lasting value if you use them properly. It’s hard, and precision-ground steel blades stay sharp and rust-free. Moreover, its low friction coating makes this tool the best choice for cutting tree branches.

How to Care for Your Tree Care Tools

Having the right tools is only good when you keep them in proper working order. Keeping them clean after every use is important so they last longer. Proper cleaning is also vital because tree diseases can also spread from tree to tree in no time.

Always carry a piece of cloth or a rag with you while taking care of the tree so you can clean/wipe the blades between different uses. Always make sure to wipe the blades with alcohol if you are pruning diseased branches before moving to the next tree. Also, sharpen the blades of your tools every now and then.

Pocket Chainsaw vs. Folding Saw

So, you need to cut some wood, but don’t know what to use. You are considering a folding saw or a pocket saw as your main means of attack. However, when it comes to pocket saw vs. folding saw, what are the differences? Is one of them better? Let’s find out.

Pocket Chainsaw vs. Folding Saw

Ease of Use

The first thing to consider between these two tools is which one is easier to use. First off, a folding saw only requires you to use a single hand with an easy back and forth motion. Moreover, the stroke, a simple back and forth motion, is also very easy.

Now, on the other hand, pocket chainsaws are also very easy to use. However, they do have a small downfall, which is that you need both hands and arms to operate them, which means that if you have an injury to one hand or arm, it’s going to make it harder. Also, with a pocket chainsaw, the stroke is a bit more difficult, as you have to move in opposite directions with both hands. In other words, you need a high level of hand-eye coordination to use them.

Durability

Pocket chainsaws are ideal for-long term use, at least if you get a high-quality option. Most modern pocket chainsaws have self-sharpening and self-cleaning blades, which means that they can be used for a long time without requiring maintenance. The same cannot be said for a folding saw, which does not have self-sharpening or cleaning blades, and therefore has a shorter lifespan in this sense, at least if you do not maintain it.

With all of that being said, short-term durability is a bit different. When it comes to folding saws, they tend to be quite durable in the sense that they have fairly thick blades with tough teeth. Breaking a tooth or the whole blade is almost impossible with a folding saw. However, on the other hand, a pocket chainsaw has a chain, and that chain can break along any of the links, and the teeth can chip off too. So in terms of short-term durability, a folding saw is probably the go-to option.

Weight and Size

When it comes to weight and size, a pocket chainsaw is probably going to be the winner in most cases. Folding saws and pocket chainsaws can come in various sizes, and the larger they are, the heavier they will be. Yet, if we take the average size of both, a pocket chainsaw will usually be a bit lighter in weight than a folding saw.

Therefore, because a pocket chainsaw is lighter, it takes less energy and effort to use and to transport than a folding saw. In terms of transportation and weight, it’s the folding chainsaw that is most likely going to be the better option for you. Pocket chainsaws can also be compacted into small packages, and they usually always come with a small pouch ideal for transportation.

Size of Log That Can Be Cut

In terms of the size of a log or piece of wood that can be cut, if you are looking to complete large jobs, one of these tools is much better than the other. A folding saw has a certain blade length, sometimes 1 foot long, sometimes 2 feet, but remember that when you have to stroke back and forth, a few inches are needed just for the motion itself. You cannot cut a log of 1 foot in diameter with a blade that is 1-foot long. Simply put, with a folding saw, you can really only perform smaller jobs. Even a 2-foot long blade can only handle so much wood.

On the other hand, a pocket chainsaw can come with a chain that is up to 4-feet long, and therefore you can perform much larger jobs with it. A pocket chainsaw, a large one, can be used to cut full size logs with ease, whereas a folding saw is really only ideal for smaller branches and tasks of that nature. If you need something to cut large logs, it’s a pocket chainsaw you need to go with.

Variety of Jobs That Can Be Performed

A pocket chainsaw can handle larger jobs than a folding saw, but how does it stack up in terms of variety? Simply put, a pocket chainsaw is really only good for a single thing, and that is sawing large logs, and maybe for cutting down some small to medium-size trees.

However, although a folding saw cannot handle as big of logs or trees, they can handle smaller ones, plus many other tasks. Really anything that a normal saw can do, a folding saw can do. The fact of the matter is that a folding saw can be used for a much wider variety of tasks than a pocket chainsaw.

Speed

The final point of comparison has to do with speed. A folding saw is a bit slower and more cumbersome than a pocket chainsaw. With a folding saw, you are only attacking one side of the wood with a back and forth stroke. A pocket chainsaw attacks the wood from both sides, and you can get some good speed and technique going too. If you want to saw logs with speed, a pocket chainsaw is the way to go.

Pocket Chainsaw vs. Folding Saw — Final Verdict

As can be seen, both pocket chainsaws and folding saws have their merits. A folding saw might be a bit more user-friendly, and it can handle a wider variety of tasks, not to mention increase short-term durability; however, over the long run, the pocket chainsaw has better durability, plus it’s much faster at cutting larger pieces.

Chainsaw vs. Circular Saw

So, you want to get into woodworking, and you want to do so from scratch, which means cutting down your own trees, preparing the lumber, cutting boards to size, and then building whatever it is that you want to build. Any good woodworker and lumberjack needs to have the right tools at hand.

There are plenty of different types of saws out there, but what type of saw do you need? Two common types of saws are chainsaws and circular saws, but what are they, what are they used for, and what are the differences between the two? Let’s get to it and do a chainsaw vs. circular saw side-by-side comparison.

Chainsaw vs. Circular Saw – What are They?

Before we get into a comparison of both of these tools, let’s quickly talk about what they actually are.

Chainsaw

A chainsaw is a type of saw that comes with a long arm, that features a chain that moves in a single direction on that arm; the chain has sharp teeth intended to quickly rip and cut wood. A chainsaw is quite simple to use — just turn it on, the get chain moving at top speed, and move it through wood.

The main use of a chainsaw is usually to cut down trees and to cut logs apart into smaller sections, although with the right attachments, you can also mill lumber using a chainsaw. In other words, a chainsaw is usually used for rougher and larger cuts. Chainsaws tend to be very loud, heavy, and powerful. Sure, there are smaller options out there, but if you want to cut down a large tree, you need a large chainsaw.

Circular Saw

A circular saw is a much smaller type of saw. Instead of having a long arm with a sharp chain that moves along the arm, a circular saw features a circular metal blade with teeth; instead of moving in an oval pattern along an arm, the circular saw’s blade simply spins in a circle.

Circular saws tend to be much smaller and lighter than chainsaws, and they are generally used for much smaller jobs. Where a chainsaw is used to cut large logs or pieces of wood, a circular saw is usually used for cutting small boards, like making simple crosscuts for carpentry. Essentially, they are two very different tools with different purposes.

Chainsaw vs Circular Saw – Main Differences, Uses, and More

Now that we have gone over what these tools are, let’s go a little more in depth in terms of their uses, features, and benefits which they bring to the table.

Power Source

One of the big differences is that these machines usually use different power sources. On the one hand, circular saws are usually going to be electric, and usually they are plugged into a power outlet. You might find circular saws that are battery operated, but most require an AC connection to provide them with enough power. You usually won’t find gas-powered circular saws because they are meant to be fairly small and used indoors, so a gas engine doesn’t really work for that.

On the other hand, chainsaws, the powerful and heavy duty ones, are going to use a gas-powered engine. Now, of course, you can find electric chainsaws, and they can be battery powered or corded, but these are not great as they usually have limited power and operational distance. When it comes down to it, a good chainsaw is gas powered, and a circular saw is corded.

Use

The biggest difference between a chainsaw and a circular saw is what they are used for. Chainsaws have very long arms with a long cutting area. So, for instance, you can get a chainsaw with a 2-foot arm, and therefore, you can cut down some really wide trees with them, and then use that same chainsaw to cut apart those logs into smaller sections. Now, you can get chainsaw milling attachments to use this tool to mill logs into smaller boards, but as far as uses go, that’s about it.

A circular saw on the other hand, has a small circular blade, so you definitely won’t be using it to cut down trees, to saw logs apart, or to mill logs either. Circular saws can only cut to a depth of a few inches, so this means that you can only work with much smaller materials. Generally speaking, circular saws are used for making cuts on boards, whether length- or widthwise. For instance, a circular saw would be used to cut a 2 x 4 or a plank of plywood into smaller pieces.

Other Differences

So besides the main uses of these saws and what the best power source is for them, there are a couple of other differences to keep in mind as well.

  • A chainsaw is used for making large and rough cuts whereas a circular saw is intended for much smaller and finer jobs
  • Chainsaws are usually always going to be much heavier, louder, bigger, and harder to operate than circular saws
  • A chainsaw is considered a lumber=working tool, whereas as circular saw is a woodworking or carpentry tool. One is used by a lumberjack, the other by a carpenter
  • A high-quality chainsaw is going to cost a lot more than a high-quality circular saw.

Conclusion

If you are planning on cutting down trees and milling them, a chainsaw is what you want to have. However, if you plant on cutting apart boards of any kind, it’s the circular saw that you want. Before you make a choice in terms of which machine you want to buy, just consider what you need your machine for.

What are the Biggest Pros of Pocket Chainsaws?

If you have ever wondered about using a pocket chainsaw, and whether they are good or not, wonder no longer because that’s what we’re going to discuss. Pocket chainsaws come with a lot of pros and benefits that you might have never thought about.

They’re Super Portable

The first biggest pro that you get with a pocket chainsaw is that they are super lightweight and portable. They aren’t called pocket chainsaws for nothing. You can easily put one away into its corresponding pouch, which you can then fit right in your backpack or pocket, although it would have to be a fairly large pocket.

Either way, a pocket chainsaw is more portable than a normal chainsaw, or any other option for that matter. Moreover, they’re lightweight, so they aren’t too bad to carry around with you, especially if you plan on traveling great distances. Simply put, pocket chainsaws are lightweight, compact, portable, and convenient.

Increase Muscle Strength and Cardiovascular Health

This is something you may never have thought about, but because pocket chainsaws are hand operated, it means that you will feel the burn after a little while. Now, they are designed to be very easy to use, and that means that they should require minimal effort for you to saw through something with a pocket chainsaw. However, they are still hand operated, and this means that you do have to use those muscles of yours.

Muscles in your forearms, your biceps and triceps, your shoulders, and your back will all be exercised by using a pocket chainsaw. Moreover, to get through a substantial sized log, you need to saw for a couple of minutes, and that constant motion counts as cardio exercise. Therefore, a big pro of pocket chainsaws is that they help keep you in shape by training your muscles and your cardiovascular system.

Self-Sharpening and Maintenance Free

Ok, so this pro is not one that can be applied across the board, but close enough. Most pocket chainsaws have self-cleaning and self-sharpening chains. This is indeed a big deal, because most normal chainsaws will require you to clean the blade fairly often. At the same time, most of them also require you to remove the blade on occasion for sharpening and maintenance.

However, with most pocket chainsaws, this is not the case, as most will sharpen and clean themselves just through use and nothing more. It’s very convenient if you have what amounts to a chainsaw that really does not require much maintenance at all. Sometimes minimal maintenance may be required with pocket chainsaws too, but nothing like with real chainsaws.

No Mechanical Parts

Something else to keep in mind is that pocket chainsaws are not mechanical or electrical. Whether you have a gas-powered or electric chainsaw, there are still a lot of engine parts, moving parts, and electrical components. These are all things which a normal chainsaw needs, but at the same time, mechanical and electrical components are prone to breaking down and failure. When you have so many moving parts on a single device, something is bound to break down, and yes, it happens way more often than most would like to admit.

The point is that on a pocket chainsaw, there are no electrical or mechanical components, and therefore there’s a lot less that can break or go wrong. It’s much more reliable and long lasting in this sense.

No Need for Fuel or Oil

Yet another pro that you can equate with pocket chainsaws is that they do not require any fuel or oil. Gas chainsaws constantly require new fuel and oil to function. It can be a real pain if you run out of gas and have to go out to get more, not to mention that if you run out of oil, you can wreck the motor.

On the other hand, there are also electric chainsaws, but these require you to constantly be connected to a power source. With a pocket chainsaw, the only power source you ever need are those big biceps of yours, so as long as you eat a good breakfast, you’ll be good to go. You save money because you don’t require fuel, and you don’t have to worry about running out either.

No Pollution Created

Whether you have a gas-powered or electric chainsaw, in one way or another, they all produce some form of pollution. Yes, gas chainsaws are obviously the worst, as they require gas and oil, and they produce some pretty heavy pollution in the form of carbon emissions. No, they are not good for the environment.

At the same time, electric chainsaws still draw power from the power grid, and even if that power is created through green means, there is always pollution associated with power generation. With a pocket chainsaw, because it uses no fuel at all, you don’t ever have to worry about any pollution being created by them. They are totally eco-friendly.

Easily Get Into Tight Spaces

The other benefit that comes with pocket chainsaws is that they are quite convenient to use in tight spaces. Full-size chainsaws are, well, full size, and it might be difficult to cut from certain angles or get into small areas. Of course, because a pocket chainsaw is so small and compact, this is not really a problem at all.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that pocket chainsaws might not be ideal for big jobs like a real gas chainsaw is, but as you can see, they still come with a lot of pros and benefits that you should be able to appreciate.

What is the Best Length for a Pocket Chainsaw?

If you’ve never heard of pocket chainsaws before, you really have no idea what you are missing out on. Sure, gas-powered chainsaws are fine, and if you have a massive job to get done, it’s probably your go-to option, but that’s where the fun ends. Pocket chainsaws are small hand-operated chainsaws, more or less a sharpened chain with a handle.

While they may sound hard to use, they really aren’t at all; it’s quite the opposite, in fact. These things are small and portable, they are lightweight, easy to use, require minimal maintenance, they don’t require any fuel source besides yourself, and they actually provide for some pretty decent exercise.

Now, with that being said, if you want to get the job done right and with minimal troubles, you need to choose your pocket chainsaw carefully. One of the main things you need to pay attention to when shopping is the length of the pocket chainsaw, but what is the best length for a pocket chainsaw? It’s not a very difficult question to answer, and it’s what we are going to talk about.

Best Length for a Pocket Chainsaw

So, you’re wondering what is the best length for a pocket chainsaw, but before we answer, let’s talk about the average length of your normal pocket chainsaw which has an average blade length of 24 inches; this tends to be the standard. The reason why 24 inches is the standard is because it seems to be the most convenient option for the majority of users.

On one hand, a 24-inch chain is long enough so you can wrap it around and saw apart some pretty decent-sized logs and pieces of wood, although not huge ones. And at the same time, 24 inches is not so long that it will give your problems in terms of how much room you require to operate. Remember, the longer the chain is, the more room you will require to operate your pocket chainsaw; this also means that you can cut much larger logs and pieces of wood.

Moreover, remember that a pocket chainsaw with a longer chain has a larger cutting surface, and therefore you can build up more speed, make longer strokes, and end up sawing a lot faster. To switch sides again though, the longer that chain is, the heavier and harder the whole thing will be to transport.

Longer and Shorter Options

Now, 24 inches is the standard chain length, but of course, it’s not the only length out there, and there are both longer and shorter options available, although not much shorter. About the shortest length you will find with a pocket chainsaw is 21 or even 20 inches, which makes for a lightweight and very portable option that is easy to operate in tight spaces; however, it’s not fast going with such a short chain, and you can’t deal with large objects either.

There are much longer pocket chainsaws out there that come anywhere up to 39 inches, sometimes even as long as four feet. Just remember that the longer it is, the faster you can cut wood, and the larger a piece you can handle, but of course, it also comes with more required space for you to operate in, and it does add to the weight.

Other Things to Consider When Purchasing a Pocket Chainsaw

Besides the length of the chain itself, there are some other considerations to keep in mind before you go out and buy a pocket chainsaw, so let’s quickly go over the most important ones.

Blade Material

You will want to look for a pocket chainsaw that features a hardened steel chain, and if you can find one that is carbide tipped, even better. You want to look for a blade that is very hard, durable, and long-lasting. The harder the material, the longer it will last before it gets dull, and the lower the chances of something breaking.

Self-Sharpening and Cleaning

Some chainsaw blades allow you to sharpen them with traditional chainsaw sharpening kits, and others do not. The fact of the matter is that many newer pocket chainsaws feature self-sharpening chains, and many also have self-cleaning chains. This means that through the use of the pocket chainsaw, the chain will actually clean and sharpen itself, something which helps make life a lot easier. This is a big thing to look for when purchasing a pocket chainsaw.

The Handles

The next aspect to pay attention to when purchasing a pocket chainsaw is what the handles are like. Most pocket chainsaws will come with loop handles, which are fine because they provide a great grip. As long as the handles are easy to hold, comfortable, and durable, you should be fine. Some models come with wooden handles or other materials, but not soft loops. These can be fine, and are usually more comfortable to hold, but they can be harder to grip onto.

Carrying Pouch

The other thing to look for is that your pocket chainsaw comes with a good pouch. Something you can clip or tie onto your pants is always good, and of course, you want that pouch to be fairly durable and long-lasting.

Conclusion

There you have everything you need to know about the length of your pocket chainsaw and how to choose the best size for your needs. Although this may be one of the most important purchasing factors, keep the other points we have discussed in mind as well. Put everything together, and you have got yourself a high-quality pocket chainsaw.

How to Mill a Log With a Chainsaw

So, you’ve heard that it is possible to mill a log with a chainsaw, but exactly how is this done and what kind of equipment are you going to need? That’s what we are here for. Let’s get to it and discuss how to mill a log with a chainsaw.

How to Mill a Log With a Chainsaw – Step-by-Step Tutorial

In all honesty, milling a log in your own garage, shop, or backyard with a chainsaw is really not all that hard. As long as you have a bit of patience, you know how to operate a chainsaw, and you have the right tools, it’s a pretty simple process, but it does need to be done right, and it needs to be done safely as well. Let’s go through a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to mill a log with a chainsaw.

Get the Right Chainsaw and Chain

The first step in milling a log with a chainsaw is to get the right chainsaw and the corresponding chain. Keep in mind that the more power the chainsaw has, the more efficiently and smoothly you will be able to mill your lumber; it all depends on the size of log you are looking to mill.

For instance, if you have a log that is 20 inches in diameter, you’ll want a chainsaw with at least a 24 inch chain. It needs to be long enough to get through the diameter of the log in a single go. Moreover, you also need something that has a lot of engine power, especially if the wood has a lot of knots in it.

Most people will say that a 50cc engine is fine, but we personally would go with something a bit more powerful. Next, you do also need to ensure that you have the right kind of chain attached. Generally speaking, a ripping chainsaw chain is best for log milling, as it allows you to easily make your way through thick and tough knots.

The Chainsaw Milling Attachment

Now that you have the right chainsaw and chain, you also need the chainsaw milling attachment. Some people choose to build their own setup, but if you are not an expert, and you want to save some time, a good chainsaw milling attachment is what you want to go for.

Of course, the size of the milling attachment you need will depend on the size of the chainsaw, and the size of the lumber being milled as well. Whatever chainsaw lumber milling attachment you choose, be sure that it is a fairly high-quality option that will last you for some time.

The Easy Rails and Making the First Cut

What you might not know is that you need to make a first cut; you cannot just begin milling a log using a chainsaw and the milling attachment on a round edge. You need to make a first cut so you have a flat reference point to work with, along the length of the log. Most people, to make sure that the cut is straight, will use easy rail attachments. These are rails that you can buy in most lumber shops and easily set up on your own, with this exact purpose in mind.

The rails are nailed to a side of the log along the length, the side which you plan on cutting off to get that straight edge. Build the rails to the right length, nail them on, attach your chainsaw to the rails, as instructed in the user manual, and use it to get that first cut done. Some people will choose to attach a winch to the end of the log to make pulling the chainsaw through much easier. As long as you get that first straight edge, you are good to go.

Set the Attachment Depth and Get to Work

Now that you have chosen your chainsaw, you have attached the appropriate milling tool, and you have used some easy rails to get that first cut, you will have a straight edge to work with. The rest of the process is quite easy. Take the chainsaw and the milling attachment, and use the instructions or user manual if needed, to set the cutting depth. Once you have set the cutting depth, place the milling attachment on the flat surface of the log, the surface you cut in the step before.

What’s important to remember is that you want to start your chainsaw and get it moving before you start cutting into the length of the wood. It should be going at more or less full speed before it makes contact with the log.

As in the step before, with the rails, some people use their own muscle power to pull the chainsaw along the length from one side to another, and others will attach a small winch to one side of the log, with the other hooked onto the milling attachment. This way, instead of having to force the chainsaw through the log with pure muscle power, you can use the winch to easily pull it through. It’s just something that helps make life a bit easier.

That’s really all there is to it. Once the cut is made from one side to another, remove the cut board, go back to the other side of the log, and do it all over again. Of course, you will get to the bottom of the log, and there will be another rounded edge. Once you run out of space to work with, you know you’re done.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is really not that much work that goes into milling your own log. Yes, you do need the right tools, which included the right chainsaw, chain, easy rails, a winch, and the milling attachment. However, if you have all of these, milling a log with a chainsaw is quite easy.

How Does a Pocket Chainsaw Compare to a Hatchet?

So, you’re going out into the woods, want to cut some wood for your needs when you are camping. Which is better for you, a hatchet or pocket chainsaw? How does a pocket chainsaw compare to a hatchet?

Pocket Chainsaw vs. Hatchet – A Side-by-Side Comparison

We wanted to do a side-by-side comparison with pocket chainsaws and hatches. We will be looking at some of the most important aspects that are going to make a difference to you.

Portability

So, one of the most important points to keep in mind has to do with overall portability. One of the reasons you are using a small hatchet or a compact pocket chainsaw is because they are both fairly portable. However, which one of these is more portable? Is either a hatched or pocket chainsaw more portable than the other? We would say so.

Hatchets tend to not be all that large or heavy, and yes, they do usually come with a pouch of sorts, although it will only cover the hatchet head. With a hatchet, there is really nothing that can be compacted or folded down more than it already is. A good hatchet is going to come with a certain weight. While they are not super heavy, good ones won’t be super lightweight.

On the other hand, pocket chainsaws are much lighter. Moreover, they have a chain that can be bundled up into a small package, and everything, including the loop handles. can be stored neatly in a small pouch that can be attached to a backpack or even to your pants. Therefore, when it comes down to it, a pocket chainsaw is much more portable and ideal for transportation than a hatchet. They are lighter and way more compact.

Size of Job That Can be Performed

Something else which you need to think about is what you will be using the hatchet or pocket chainsaw for. Now, hatchets usually only come in one standard size, with not all that much deviation from that size, so that is one thing to keep in mind. On the other hand, pocket chainsaws can be as short as 20 inches or as long as 48 inches, so there are several options available.

What you also need to think about is the size of job you want to complete with the item in question. On one hand, your average hatchet is only intended for smaller jobs, things like splitting small pieces of wood, de-branching larger branches and tree stems, and maybe even for cutting down a really small tree. However, other than that, a hatchet really cannot cut down full trees or saw apart full logs. You’d be working on it forever.

When it comes to the pocket chainsaw, the shorter options will only be ideal for sawing smaller logs and trees, but remember that there are also much longer options to go with. If you plan on sawing a part a large log or tree stem, a good 4-foot pocket chainsaw is what you will need. The point here is that you can complete some pretty large sawing jobs with a pocket chainsaw, jobs which hatchets just cannot handle.

Speed and Accuracy

The next point of consideration is the speed at which you can get through a log or piece of wood with either of these tools. A hatched will eventually get you through any piece of wood, but that slow and repetitive swinging can get very tiring, plus you usually end up taking out small chunks only. Plus, there is the issue that with a hatchet, you have to strike in the right place every single time. If you don’t hit your mark, you are simply wasting time and energy. No, hatchets are not the fastest option around.

That being said, if you are looking for speed and accuracy, it is most likely the pocket chainsaw that you will want to go with. For one, with a pocket chainsaw, once you have that initial cut made along the diameter, there is no aiming involved. The chain will simply guide itself, so there’s no missing the mark and wasting time. Moreover, unlike with a hatched, with a pocket chainsaw, every single movement you make, that back and forth motion, works to cut the wood. This is unlike with a hatchet, where only the downstroke actually cuts. Simply put, a pocket chainsaw is much faster and more accurate to use.

Size and Job Restrictions

Above we discussed how pocket chainsaws can generally handle much larger logs than hatchets, at least if you plan on sawing it apart in a decent amount of time. If you have a very large log, a pocket chainsaw is only so long, and will only be able to handle up to a certain size. While pocket chainsaws are better than hatchets for large jobs, there is a certain limit here.

Because a hatchet is not constrained by a chain, or in other words, a maximum length, you can technically work on massive pieces of wood with a hatchet. Sure, it will take forever to complete, but you are not hindered by the length of the chain.

There is also the fact that pocket chainsaws are meant for one thing only — sawing apart tree stems and logs. However, a good hatchet can do so much more. With a hatchet, you can cut firewood, kill fish, defend yourself in the event of an emergency, and even use it as a hammer.

Conclusion

There you have it — the 4 main differences between a hatchet and a pocket chainsaw. The bottom line is that if you need something to cut through good-size logs fast and with accuracy, plus ease, it’s a pocket chainsaw you want to go for. However, hatchets have more tasks they can be used for.

What Size Chainsaw for Milling?

Getting freshly cut lumber ready for use involves a number of processes, with one of the main being milling. If you cut down a tree, to get usable boards out of it, you first need to mill the logs down to size. Now, generally speaking, log milling is done in large-scale lumber mills, and they large machines to get the job done.

However, chances are that you probably don’t have a full scale lumber milling operation, with all the required machinery, set up in your backyard. Yet, if you didn’t already know, you can mill a log using your chainsaw, along with the appropriate attachment. Let’s talk about what kind and size of chainsaw you need to for milling, as well as some other important factors.

Why Use a Chainsaw for Milling Lumber?

You might be wondering why you would want to use a chainsaw to mill your own lumber. For one, chances are that you don’t have a lumber mill in your backyard. This would mean that after you have cut your tree (s) down, you would have to transport it to a lumber mill, which you might do on your own, or you might hire a lumber truck for the job.

Either way, you are looking at paying someone else to transport that lumber to the mill, to get it cut for you, and to then transport it back home. So, in essence, the reason you want to mill your own lumber has to do with cost effectiveness.

Transporting heavy lumber costs a lot of money, and the same goes for hiring a lumber mill to cut it down to size for you. However, with a good chainsaw of the right power and length, and the right milling attachment, you can do all of this in your own backyard totally free of cost, well, besides the initial purchase of the equipment, but still, you won’t have to hire anybody to transport and cut the lumber for you. It really is a great way to save money.

The Chainsaw You Will Need For Milling – Power and Size

The first thing that you need to look into is the chainsaw itself. You will want to invest in a fairly high-quality chainsaw, one that will last you for quite some time. It’s always a good idea to get a chainsaw that you are comfortable using. Something to keep in mind is that you do not automatically need the largest chainsaw available, just one that is ideal for dealing with the size of logs you plan on milling.

When it comes to the size of the chainsaw you need, a lot depends on the size of the logs being milled. If you are simply sawing down whole trees, it might be fine to go with a smaller chainsaw. If you have a small chainsaw, it might take more time and effort to cut down a tree than with a much larger saw, but generally speaking, you can still get the job done. However, in terms of milling that log into boards once the tree has been cut down, you need something large, smooth, and powerful enough to efficiently mill the lumber.

Engine Power – the CCs

What is important is engine power. When milling lumber, the engine power of the chainsaw will determine how much effort you need to put into milling, how long it will take, and how smooth the job can get completed. Usually, for most milling purposes, a 50cc chainsaw should do just fine, at least for everything but the largest of jobs.

That being said, the heavier and more powerful the chainsaw is, the faster you can get the job done, the smoother the cuts are going to be, and the easier to control the chainsaw will be as well. Therefore, for the best results, you want a chainsaw with a lot of engine power. If you are serious about milling your own lumber, and you have some large and knotted logs that need dealing with, you might want to invest in a 100cc chainsaw.

Chain Length

The other important factor to consider is how long the chainsaw is, specially the arm and the chain. For most purposes, an average 20-inch chain should do just fine. That said, do keep in mind that 20 inches is not all that long, and if you are dealing with very large logs, you will want to go for something longer than that. You may need a chainsaw with a chain length up to 30 inches, or more. Remember that how long the chain needs to be depends on the diameter of the logs being milled.

Simply put, as long as the saw is long enough to make its way through the diameter of the log, you should be good to go. So, keep in mind that there really is no general rule of thumb here. The size of chainsaw you need, in terms of chain length, depends on the size of lumber being milled.

Conclusion

As you can see, if you want to mill your own lumber, you really don’t need that much equipment. You will need to get a high-quality milling attachment for your chainsaw; you really cannot mill lumber without the appropriate chainsaw attachment. Of course, you will also need an appropriate chainsaw for the job. Usually, this means having a chainsaw of at least 20 inches in length and with 50ccs of engine power. Keep in mind that at the end of the day, the size of chainsaw you need to get to mill lumber completely depends on the size of the lumber itself.