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Buyers Guide to Chainsaws

Choosing the correct chainsaw for the job you need can be a testing task, but it’s an important decision. A petrol chainsaw is by far the most popular – and by good reason. Here at McCulloch, we offer power, and with a petrol product, comes exactly that. With no dangerous connections or wires, McCulloch chainsaws are easy to use and very durable. The biggest advantage is that it’s cordless, and as long as you have a full fuel tank, you can take full reign of the garden.

We can help you decide with these quick questions.


Petrol, Electric or Battery chainsaws?

Each type of chainsaw has their own advantages and disadvantages. Electric and battery chainsaws are considerably quieter than petrol ones – plus power is instantly delivered turning the chain as soon as you press the trigger, making jobs like limbing and cutting firewood faster.

The main disadvantage of buying acorded electric chainsaw is that you become tied to a power point, more often than not by an added extension cable, which can really limit their usage. On the positive side, they are less expensive and easier to maintain.

One disadvantage of using a battery chainsaw outdoors is that not all of them are waterproof, limiting when and where you can use them. Also unlike a petrol saw, if the battery runs out, you can’t just fill the tank back up and begin working again. You need another fully charged battery, unless you down tools for a few hours.

In contrast, a petrol chainsaw tends to be more powerful, and doesn’t leave any cords trailing behind it. A petrol chainsaw is preferable when felling trees and tackling tougher jobs.

What exactly are you cutting?

For general garden maintenance, trimming off branches or even a little bit of carpentry – an electric chainsaw will do a great job because they have enough power to glide through simple tasks. Any other task such as cutting your own firewood or taking down annoying trees – a petrol chainsaw is the best option with the extra power and the added freedom of no cable is the perfect choice.


Bar Length

For beginners, we would recommended a bar length of 18” or less, but you may only need a 12” bar however, it all depends on what your end goal is, and the task in hand. Generally a bar of around 20” and above is appropriate for experienced chainsaw users.

The chart below should help determine what bar length you need.

Chainsaw Task Guide Bar Length
Trimming No larger than 16”
Pruning 12” or smaller
Limbing 12” to 14”
Felling a small tree 12” to 14”
Felling a medium tree 16” to 18”
Light firewood cutting 14” to 16”
Medium firewood cutting 16” to 18”
Bucking 18” or larger

Power and chain speed

A chainsaw without sufficient power for the job in hand can easily tire you out, therefore creating the opportunity for an accident to happen, similarly a chainsaw with too much power can be equally tiring. For those tougher garden jobs around the garden a 40cc chainsaw would be perfect, and for those jobs requiring a little less effort, a 34cc chainsaw would get the job done with ease.

One of the biggest determining factors in a chainsaws performance is its chain speed. The faster the chain speed, the faster it cuts. Always ensure that the protective chainsaw clothing you are wearing offers protection for the same chain speed or higher.


Features to look out for when buying a chainsaw

When choosing a chainsaw, there is an extensive range of features to be aware of, and to look out for, ensuring you choose the perfect one for you.

Chain Brake System;by law all chainsaws are required to have a chain brake. This increases safety by automatically cut the power out, when the brake is hit. This automatically occurs when the user experiences kickback and the right hand moves forwards towards the chainsaw chain.
Anti-Vibration System;An effective anti-vibration system reduces the vibration through the chainsaw when in use. It allows you to work more efficiently, precisely and for longer periods of time and reduces operator tiredness.
Soft Grips;These make for comfortable use and provide control.
Tool-less chain tensioner;Perfect for novice chainsaw users. You can assemble and tension the chainsaw bar and chain quickly, without any specialist tools. Particularly useful if you are a landowner and don’t want to be carrying tools around from one location to other.
OxyPower;Unique to McCulloch - OxyPower engine technology reduces fuel consumption up to 20%, produces 70% less emissions while still producing more power to get the job done.


Remember-protective wear is a must when using a chainsaw, you need to be protected from falling branches and other debris that could be flying around. View our range of protective equipment here.

CS 35S
CS35, CS35S
Cylinder displacement 35 cm³
Bar length (inch) 14 in
Weight (excl. cutting equipment) 4.6 kg
CS 42S
Cylinder displacement 42 cm³
Bar length (inch) 14 in
Weight (excl. cutting equipment) 5.2 kg
CS 50S
Cylinder displacement 50.2 cm³
Bar length (inch) 18 in
Weight (excl. cutting equipment) 5.9 kg
CS 410/450
Cylinder displacement 40.9 cm³
Bar length (inch) 13 in
Weight (excl. cutting equipment) 4.7 kg