Be Sure to Choose the Perfect Blade Length
You might think that deciding how long a blade you should look for when you purchase a chainsaw is a straightforward process. After all, bigger is always better right? That may be true for some things, but it’s not true for everything. There are a lot of factors you have to consider when buying a chainsaw and you need to really understand what you’re going to be using the chainsaw for before you can decide how long a blade you need. It’s always a good idea to take a step back and look at the whole picture before making any major purchase and the same applies when it comes to purchasing a chainsaw.
In most cases a chainsaw is a fairly expensive purchase and that’s why you need to take that step back. By recognizing that the most expensive chainsaw on the market doesn’t necessarily meet your needs, you can make a better, more informed purchase decision. In this information article we look at the different lengths of blade bars and in what circumstances they would be used. Hopefully, this will help you make a better decision when it comes to choosing the right chainsaw.
12 to 14 Inches
First off, it’s important to keep in mind that the length of the blade bar you use should have a lot to do with the piece of wood you’re cutting. In general you’ll want to make sure that you have a blade bar that is at least 2 inches longer than the piece of wood you’re cutting. You can cut a larger piece of wood, but it becomes awkward and it increases the potential for injury. For the average homeowner simply using their chainsaw for pruning bushes and small tree branch limbs, a 12 to 14-inch blade is probably more than sufficient.
14 to 18 Inches
If you have a yard with a few mature trees you may want to consider a slightly longer blade bar. A blade bar length of between 14 to 18 inches should serve you well in most cases. You can cut some fairly thick branches with that length of blade bar. It’s still not long enough to handle some of the toughest jobs, but it’s ideal for home use. Keep in mind though, the longer the blade bar length you choose, the more difficult and awkward the machine will be to maneuver. When you gain in one area you give up something in return.
18 to 22 Inches
If you live on a property with a few more trees than average and you have to deal with some larger branches, it might be time to look at a blade bar length of between 18 and 22 inches. This length of bar is borderline professional territory – it still may be the right solution for some homeowners though. If you own a small tree cutting business it could be ideal as well. This length of bar will easily cut through just about any branch you’ll find in a domestic setting. As we’ve already mentioned the longer that blade gets the heavier the machine is going to be, and that can make it much more difficult to operate. If you have certain physical limitations this may not be the best choice for you.
22 to 36 Inches
Once you get past a 22-inch blade bar you’re officially in heavy-duty territory. Chainsaws with blade bars that are between 2 and 3 feet are typically designed to be used in a professional setting. This is the type of chainsaw that a lumberjack would use every day on the job. If you’ve ever watched one of those TV programs in which professional lumberjacks are competing against each other to see who can cut through a huge log the quickest, chances are they were using a chainsaw with a blade length that fits firmly in this category.
Identify Your Own Needs
If you only take one thing away from this article then it should be the fact that bigger isn’t always better. How long of a blade bar you should look for when purchasing a chainsaw should depend on a number of different factors. Yes, you can cut anything in your backyard with a 36-inch blade bar, but is it necessary? Why waste your money on something that you simply don’t need.
You should also consider the wear and tear on your body that you’ll have to put up with when wielding a heavy-duty chainsaw with a long blade bar. If you have a reoccurring rotator cuff problem you should probably stick to the shortest blade bar for the job. A chainsaw with a longer blade bar will be more off-balance and will almost always be heavier. The bottom line is that you should choose a bar length that’s long enough for the jobs you have in mind, but not too much for you to bear physically.