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Cut Above the Rest – Top 5 Chain Saws for Firewood

Having a dependable, powerful chain saw makes collecting and preparing firewood far easier. Whether you need to cut fallen trees after a storm or harvest logs for your wood stove, a quality saw is essential gear. With so many models available, it can be tricky choosing the right saw optimized for firewood purposes.

In this guide, we’ll cover the top picks for chain saws to handle all your firewood cutting and processing needs. We reviewed gas, electric, and budget models to find saws with the ideal blend of power, features, and price. We’ll also provide key tips on getting the most from your chainsaw – from operation, safety to maintenance. Let’s get started.

Husqvarna 460 Rancher – The All-Purpose Firewood Saw

For a robust, high-performing gas chainsaw ready for any firewood task, check out the Husqvarna 460 Rancher. This model combines excellent power and torque with smooth, efficient operation perfect for everything from limbing logs to bucking large diameter timber.

The 460 Rancher houses a 60cc X-Torq engine delivering high gas efficiency and low emissions. Despite the reduced exhaust, this saw still pumps out serious power thanks to the wedge-shaped combustion chamber and forged three-piece crankshaft. It churns out 3.62 hp and 3.5 ft-lbs of torque. This enables easy cutting through dense hardwoods like oak or maple up to 24-inch diameter. The smartly engineered air injection system helps keep the engine cool while reducing wear and tear – ensuring a long service life.

Starting the 460 Rancher is a snap thanks to the Smart Start engine and decompression valve that reduces compression for easier pulls. The centrifugal air filtration system keeps the interior clean to further boost longevity. It only takes a few pulls to bring the 460 to roaring life and get to cutting.

Once running, you’ll appreciate design touches that reduce fatigue and make the 460 comfy and easy to wield. It only weighs 12.8 pounds – several pounds lighter than comparable 60cc models. The rubberized rear handle dampens vibration while the trigger actuated stop switch simplifies starting/stopping. The side-mounted chain tensioner enables quick, tool-less chain adjustments to maintain optimal cutting. This is a very well-balanced saw you can wield for long cutting sessions without excessive tiredness.

While the Rancher 460 is a professional-grade machine, it comes at a very reasonable price point for a chainsaw with this power and build quality. For homeowners or landowners needing a high-performance workhorse saw for firewood, it hits a sweet spot between capability and affordability. The 460 will make short work of even the biggest logs while running smooth and strong for years of dependable use.

Echo CS-590 – Professional-Grade Performance

Another fantastic gas chainsaw ready to take on any firewood challenge is the Echo CS-590. This saw really blurs the line between pro-sumer and professional models. It packs robust power and torque along with heavy-duty components ready for extreme durability under heavy workloads. If you need maximum ripping muscle for huge logs, the CS-590 is an outstanding choice.

Providing the power is a 59.8cc professional-grade engine that churns out serious chain speed and cutting force. It has a forged 3-piece crankshaft, dual-port exhaust for increased flow, and a pro-level ignition system. You’ll have zero issues powering through dense oak or chewing through big diameter fallen trees. For added convenience, it has automatic compression release for easier starts. Just a few pulls has the CS-590 roaring to life.

Several design aspects boost the CS-590’s durability and lifespan for buyers who need maximum ruggedness. It has a magnesium crankcase and chrome-plated cylinder bore that tolerates high heat and resists scuffing. The dual-ring piston design reduces friction while boosting heat transfer and oil control. You also get a Quad Power filtration system and pro-style air filter for increased dirt/debris resistance. Like a racing dirt bike, this saw is made for high-performance operation in harsh conditions.

Despite being a workhorse, the CS-590 still provides very good comfort and control. The G-Force Engine Isolation helps dampen vibration for better handling and less arm fatigue. The rubberized rear handle and starter offer a secure grip. At just 12.6 pounds, the CS-590 is admirably lightweight for a 60cc-class model yet still provides the ruggedness needed for commercial use.

For buyers who desire premium power and components with the convenience and ergonomics suitable for home use, the Echo CS-590 is an outstanding choice. It will devour any diameter log while running smooth and strong for years thanks to pro-level engineering. Expect to pay accordingly, but the performance is worth the higher price for buyers who want the pinnacle of chainsaw cutting capability for their firewood needs.

Poulan Pro 50cc – Robust Capability on a Budget

Operating on a tighter budget but still need a strong, reliable chainsaw for firewood duties? The Poulan Pro 50cc model delivers excellent performance while keeping cost reasonable. This saw packs a surprising amount of cutting power and torque into a very wallet-friendly package.

It’s powered by a 50cc two-stroke engine providing ample muscle for logs up to 36-inch diameter. Despite the modest displacement by pro saw standards, the engineStill starts fast and easy thanks to the spring assisted starter rope reducing pull force needed. Once running, it has no problem maintaining high chain speeds through knotty oak or elm. Homeowners get pro-level cutting capability but without the premium price tag.

Useful design features boost the ease-of-use and convenience that make the Poulan Pro a pleasure to run. The OxyPower engine provides reduced emissions and fuel consumption so you’ll inhale less exhaust in the woods. The Super Clean air filtration system improves engine life by keeping dirt out. Servo Chain oiling automatically oils the cutting bar/chain as needed for proper lubrication and reduced wear. Little touches like the fast-release tensioner and side-access chain cover further boost convenience during use and maintenance.

Despite the bargain price, the comfort and handling of the Poulan Pro still impress. At under 12 pounds, it has very good balance and lightweight feeling. The front hand guard and integrated kickback chain break add important safety protection. The anti-vibration system noticeably reduces fatigue during extended use. For the price, it’s ergonomics are fantastic.

For value-minded buyers wanting great performance at a budget-friendly price point, the Poulan Pro 50cc saw is a fine choice. It has the ruggedness and cutting power to handle challenging firewood work while costing hundreds less than professional models. If you want lots of performance but aren’t ready to pay top dollar, this is your saw.

Remington RM4216 – The Do-It All Mid-Range Saw

occupy an appealing middle ground between light-duty homeowner saws and heavy-duty pro models. This Remington RM4216 hits that sweet spot – delivering durability, reliability and power suited for regular firewood duties while keeping cost sane for buyers operating on a budget.

It packs a trusty 42cc, 2-cycle engine providing sufficient muscle for logs 14-inches and larger – which covers most firewood users’ needs. The QuickStart electronic ignition ensures fast, reliable starting regardless of weather conditions – a key plus over finicky pull-start saws. Once running, the engine cuts with authority thanks to optimizing components like the decompression button and spring-assisted starter.

You get features typical of higher-end models like tool-less chain adjustments via the external tensioning knob and automatic chain oiling. This reduces maintenance hassle and helps extend bar/chain service life. The integrated front hand guard improves safety while the full-wrap rear handle provides a sure, fatigue-reducing grip. Little touches like the rubberized grips make this saw very user-friendly.

Despite these professional touches, the RM4216 still comes in at just 10.8 pounds – impressively light for a 40cc-class saw. Between the smart ergonomics and smooth-running engine, you’ll have an easy time wielding this saw for long cutting sessions. For suburban homeowners needing mid-level power on a budget, the RM4216 is a great fit.

True, it lacks the brute force of premium 60cc+ gas models. But for occasional users who just need a reliable all-around saw for typical firewood needs, the Remington RM4216 gets the job done admirably at a price that’s easy to justify. This is a fine chainsaw ready for small-scale firewood processing that should provide years of wallet-friendly service.

BLACK+DECKER 40V – Husqvarna 460 Rancher – The All-Purpose Firewood Saw

For a robust, high-performing gas chainsaw ready for any firewood task, check out the Husqvarna 460 Rancher. This model combines excellent power and torque with smooth, efficient operation perfect for everything from limbing logs to bucking large diameter timber.

The 460 Rancher houses a 60cc X-Torq engine delivering high gas efficiency and low emissions. Despite the reduced exhaust, this saw still pumps out serious power thanks to the wedge-shaped combustion chamber and forged three-piece crankshaft. It churns out 3.62 hp and 3.5 ft-lbs of torque. This enables easy cutting through dense hardwoods like oak or maple up to 24-inch diameter. The smartly engineered air injection system helps keep the engine cool while reducing wear and tear – ensuring a long service life.

Starting the 460 Rancher is a snap thanks to the Smart Start engine and decompression valve that reduces compression for easier pulls. The centrifugal air filtration system keeps the interior clean to further boost longevity. It only takes a few pulls to bring the 460 to roaring life and get to cutting.

Once running, you’ll appreciate design touches that reduce fatigue and make the 460 comfy and easy to wield. It only weighs 12.8 pounds – several pounds lighter than comparable 60cc models. The rubberized rear handle dampens vibration while the trigger actuated stop switch simplifies starting/stopping. The side-mounted chain tensioner enables quick, tool-less chain adjustments to maintain optimal cutting. This is a very well-balanced saw you can wield for long cutting sessions without excessive tiredness.

While the Rancher 460 is a professional-grade machine, it comes at a very reasonable price point for a chainsaw with this power and build quality. For homeowners or landowners needing a high-performance workhorse saw for firewood, it hits a sweet spot between capability and affordability. The 460 will make short work of even the biggest logs while running smooth and strong for years of dependable use.

Key Questions and Answers on Chain Saws for Firewood

If you’re in the market for a new chain saw to aid firewood processing, you likely have some questions on choosing the right model. Here are answers to some key queries novice buyers often have:

What engine size/power do I really need for cutting firewood?

This depends on your planned usage and typical log dimensions. For very occasional use on smaller logs, a lower-powered 40-50cc engine will suffice to get the job done. However, for frequent cutting and especially larger diameter logs up to 36 inches, choosing a model with 50cc or larger engine (50-60cc range) is advisable. The extra muscle will make the saw more capable and able to power through dense hardwoods without straining. Match the engine power to the size logs you expect to cut most often.

How often should I sharpen the chain and what’s the best way to maintain it?

Regular chain maintenance is crucial to keep your saw cutting efficiently and safely. As general guidance, you should sharpen the cutters every 2-3 hours of use with a round file and file guide. This helps restore the teeth’s sharp cutting edges dulled by wear. Check chain tension frequently and adjust as needed to maintain proper tightness. Bar oil should be topped up regularly to lubricate the chain and bar. Replace the chain when cutters are extremely worn or damaged. Always follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions for your model. Proper chain care will maximize cutting performance.

What safety gear should I wear when using my chain saw?

Chainsaws are powerful, dangerous tools if misused. To protect yourself, always wear cut-resistant chaps or pants that cover your legs. Also wear sturdy boots with steel toes and non-slip soles for ankle support and grip. Gloves improve your hold on the saw and resist cuts. Eye protection like glasses or a face shield defend against flying debris. Earplugs or muffs safeguard your hearing from the loud noise. Keep a well-stocked first aid kit on hand for minor injuries. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential for safe chain saw operation.

How long can I expect a quality chain saw to last with proper maintenance?

With regular upkeep and care, a high-quality gas chain saw from a leading brand should provide at least 5-8 years of average use. Some pro-grade models may last a decade or longer even with heavy use if maintained according to the manual. Avoiding damage like dirt ingestion into the engine, ensuring proper chain lubrication, replacing worn components, and following the maintenance schedule will maximize the lifespan. With light to moderate usage, a decade of service life is achievable for a top-tier saw.

What are the pros and cons of gas vs. electric/battery powered chain saws?

Gas models offer more power, chain speed and fast cutting capability preferred by intensive users. However, they also require more maintenance like air filter changes and carburetor adjustments. Electrics are easier to maintain with no smelly fuel mixing required. But cordless electrics have limited runtime per charge while corded models restrict mobility. Gas models excel for heavy work while electrics are fine for lighter homeowner use. Choose the power source based on your expected usage intensity and needs.

In Conclusion

Having the right chain saw makes collecting, processing and preparing firewood far easier. The key is choosing a model well-suited to your specific needs and firewood log sizes. Prioritize safety by always wearing protective gear and learning proper kickback-resistant operating technique. Keep your saw’s engine finely tuned and chain sharp for best performance. With a quality chain saw matched to the task at hand, you’ll take the dread and difficulty out of firewood prep.

In this guide we covered several excellent chain saw options optimized for firewood purposes. Choices ranged from heavy-duty professional models to more affordable consumer-grade saws. Keep power levels, features, budget, and your usage expectations in mind. And take time to regularly maintain your saw. With the right saw and care, you’ll be ready to power through firewood work for years to come.

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