Turning Archive 2008


Justin Fields

I am contemplating buying a chainsaw, and I'm looking for some recommendations. I haven't used one before, though I'm pretty comfortable with other power tools.

My usage is probably going to be pretty light. I'm not anticipating taking down many large trees or using it commercially in any way. I'm thinking that the principal usage will be getting "found" wood from big chunks or small logs into more manageable sized pieces that I can take into the shop and bandsaw into turning blanks.

For example, a neighbor a few houses down had two huge silver maple trees taken down. I got permission to take whatever I wanted. I ended up only taking a little bit, because the pieces were so huge I couldn't manage the bigger ones. I can only drag or hand-saw so much. If I'd had a chainsaw at the time, I would have been able to grab more wood, or just hack off some of the better spalted pieces.

Anyway, I'm thinking of a gas-powered one, so that I'm not limited to the range of an extension cord. Also, if a friend with a big property lets me take some trees down (or I just end up helping someone), I'll have freedom of location. I was browsing at Home Depot to get some ballpark prices and stuff. The bottom end of the gas models was about $120. The top end was over $500. I don't want to spend more than I need to, but don't want to buy junk that won't do the (small) job or will fall apart on me.

Thoughts? Suggestions? (Other than carefully reading all the safety info, which I will do).



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