How to choose a chain­saw

There are three classes of chain­saws: con­sumer, farm/ranch, and pro.

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - Tool Test -

Con­sumer saws

Con­sumer saws are in­tended for gar­den main­te­nance and mi­nor storm clean-up, not fire­wood pro­duc­tion. They’re too slow to pro­duce a lot of fire­wood ef­fi­ciently and you’ll wear them out if you try. They’re re­pairable, but gen­er­ally not re­build­able. COST: R1 500 to R5 000

EN­GINE SIZES: 30 cc to 50 cc

Farm/ranch saws

Larger, more pow­er­ful, and far more durable than home­owner saws, farm saws are well-suited for gar­den care and storm clean-up, and can eas­ily han­dle cut­ting sev­eral cords of wood a year. But most lack the abil­ity to be eco­nom­i­cally over­hauled when the time comes. At a ser­vic­ing dealer, chances are good the cost of the over­haul will be greater than the saw’s re­place­ment cost. COST: R6 500 to R9 000

EN­GINE SIZES: 50 cc to 64 cc

Pro­fes­sional saws

They’re smoother-run­ning than farm/ranch saws and have a higher power-to-weight ra­tio, thanks to en­gines built with a more ag­gres­sive com­bus­tion cham­ber and air in­take and a valve de­sign that per­mits higher rpm. A more pre­cise crank­shaft, tuned specif­i­cally to a sin­gle en­gine, also con­trib­utes a lot to greater power and in­creased dura­bil­ity. COST: R8 000 to R27 000

EN­GINE SIZES: 43 cc to 121 cc

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