How to choose a chainsaw
There are three classes of chainsaws: consumer, farm/ranch, and pro.
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
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
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