Like every other outdoor equipments, I was debating for the longest time whether I should get a gas chainsaw or an electric chainsaw.
Obviously, the gas chainsaw is more favorable since you are not limited to the length of the electric cords and they are usually more powerful than the electric ones.
After several hours of research on the web, I decided to go with an electric chainsaw. The obvious reasons were due to the fact that the gas chainsaws are more expensive and heavier than the electric chainsaws. The less obvious reason, however, was because I could not find any 4-cycle engine gas chainsaw.
All the gas chainsaws at HomeDept and Lowe's were 2-cycles. This means that there is only one container on the chainsaw that holds both the gas and engine oil. Therefore, you have the cumbersome of mixing the gas and engine oil according to the specified ratio. This was a big turn off for me since I don't want to deal with this hassle while working outdoors.
I ended up purchasing Poulan 16" 13.5-Amp Electric Chainsaw from Lowe's for under $70.
I had a chance to use it over the weekend and so far I am very happy with it.
There is couple of things that I found out about this chainsaw the hard way.
- You must purchase the engine oil for the chainsaw at the time of chainsaw purchase. If you don't, you will end up driving back to the store since the chainsaw does not come with engine oil and cannot be operated without one. I guess this applies to all chainsaw and just not this particular model.
- I didn't read the instruction manual that came with the chainsaw and I could not get it started. After reading the manual, it turns out that I have to pull the safety bar first. Not sure what this safety bar provides but here's a picture of before and after the pull. I kind of guessed that this was the reason why it would not start but it was pretty stiff and I didn't want to break anything by forcing it.
- This model has a tool-less chain tensioning device, which simply means that it comes with a dial knob that you can turn with your hand to adjust the tension. Again, without reading the manual, I could not figure out how to adjust the tension. I mean, how hard could it be? It's a knob that you can turn one way or the other...
It's good thing that I didn't throw out the manual It turns out that you have to turn (no pun intended) the green knob in counter clockwise first then use the gray circle dial to adjust the tension. Turning the gray circle dial clockwise will tighten the chain and the counter clockwise will loosen the chain. The gray circle dial will not turn unless the green knob is first turned counter clockwise though.
Anyways, lesson learned? Always read the instruction manual first on all power tools