Today's chainsaws offer a variety of features such as an electronic ignition or heated handle for more efficient, comfortable chainsaw use.
Catalytic converters: These devices control emissions, helping saws comply with environmental regulations.
Sprocket-tip cutting bar: A sprocket-tip cutting bar maximizes cutting speed by reducing friction around the bar tip. It also prevents the chain from dragging around the bar nose to minimize bar wear and stretch.
Anti-vibration handle: A vibration isolator or dampening system reduces fatigue and helps extend the life of the saw.
Side-mounted tension adjustment: With this feature, you'll be able to make tension adjustments to the chain quickly and easily.
Handle locations: Handles located on the top of the chainsaw are ideal for professionals as they handle heavy-duty jobs easier. Rear handles are most common for homeowner use.
Ignition: Units with electronic ignitions or variable ignition timing start up easier and operate more efficiently.
Heated handle: If you frequently find yourself outside in the middle of winter cutting up firewood, a heated handle can make your saw a lot more comfortable.
Automatic oiler: An automatic oiler takes care of properly lubricating the chain so you don't have to. Some units stop oiling the bar when the unit is idling to prevent wasting oil.
Throttle interlock: This feature provides additional safety by requiring you to depress two triggers to activate the saw, minimizing the chances of accidents.
Rust resistant chains protect your chains from rust, reduces the frequency they need replacing.
Basic Chainsaw Maintenance
In order to keep your chainsaw running smoothly, take time to clean and perform basic maintenance before and after each use. Beyond basic care, the easiest way to keep your chainsaw in tip-top condition is to ensure you follow manufacturer's instructions regarding its power source. Always charge and store the battery on your cordless chainsaw exactly as recommended, and fuel your gas chainsaw with the type and amount of fuel recommended. (Typically mixed, two-stroke fuel.)
Safety: Before performing any cleaning or maintenance on your chainsaw, make sure it is completely disconnected from power or turned off. Remove the battery on cordless models, unplug electric models, and make sure gas models are drained and cool to the touch.
Check that the bar and chain are properly lubricated according to manufacturer's instructions.
Clean the chain break (if applicable), and wipe excess debris off the bar and engine.
Clear air intake slots.
If you notice the bar is starting to show signs of wear, check manufacturer's instructions for directions on rotating the bar.
For electric chainsaws, double-check that the cord is not damaged.
If your chainsaw becomes dull, it is much easier and less dangerous to simply replace the chain rather than try to sharpen it at home.
Check for any loose screws or nuts on the equipment. These are especially important to look for if your chainsaw feels like it has been vibrating more than usual.
On gas chainsaws, check the fuel filter and change if necessary.
Before storing gas chainsaws for extended periods of time, drain the gas and oil completely.