There are several standard sizes of this tool: 14″, 16″, 18″, and 20-inch chainsaw. Large size is not always better, as it affects the weight of the tool and the difficulty of working with it. Therefore, we will describe the rules for choosing two common chainsaw sizes: 14” и 20”. Compact or large tools are used for different purposes, so determine all the conditions for future work initially. Nowadays, the selection of chainsaws is huge, you can see this on websites like electrogardentools.com. You’ll be surprised at the number of models, brands, sizes, and types of these tools. If you didn’t use different types of chainsaws, you would have a hard time determining the right size for a particular purpose.
When to Prefer 14” Chainsaws
Chainsaws have a typical size between 16″ and 24″. The most compact models have a cutting length of 14″. First, you need to understand in what conditions you will work with the tool. Pruning home trees and shrubs is more convenient with a small chainsaw. It is usually a few pounds lighter and more compact than a larger saw. This means you can easily reach high branches with the tool, and you won’t need a helping hand to do the job.
14″ chainsaws are preferable for working with thin branches, shrubs, and young trees. You should know that the size of a saw does not equal the maximum diameter of a tree to cut. These small chainsaws will barely cut a tree of 10″ in diameter. That said, you must have a sharp chain for a particular type of wood.
For general purposes, it is better to choose a 16-18″ model. With such a tool, it is more convenient to work not only with young trees, bushes, and branches but also with full-grown trees up to 14-16″ in diameter.
If you work as a gardener or have your own garden with bushes and trees, then a small saw of 14″ will suit you. However, in this case, you will not be able to cut thick trees, only branches. This is convenient if you need to take care of your garden. But it is not suitable for cutting material for firewood.
Best Application for 20-inch Chainsaws
A 20″ chainsaw is not used for trimming small branches and bushes. Tools of this size weigh much more than compact 14″ saws. Larger chainsaws weigh more than 15 pounds, which makes them difficult to hold at a significant height. They are used to cut large trees with a trunk thickness of 14 to 18 inches. They are usually used by builders and those cutting firewood. 20″ chain saws can also be used to clear the land from trees and to take care of fallen branches and trees on the road.
City dwellers with a well-kept area and their own garden do not need such a large tool. It is usually purchased by people in rural areas who live or work near the woods. 20-inch chainsaws are more commonly used in commercial applications. For example, sawmills and salvage yards are equipped with them. They are also used by builders to work with wood when constructing wooden houses and structures.
General Tips for Choosing Cutting Tools
If you do not know what kind of work you will face after buying a chainsaw, it is better to choose an intermediate version (16″ or 18″). City and countryside residents often use them. They are not as heavy to carry, so even women can work with them.
When choosing 14″ and 20″ chainsaws, you need to pay attention to other factors:
- Engine volume and power;
- Additional features (vibration protection, easy starting, reduced noise level when working).
Some chainsaws allow you to switch one size guide bar to another. That is, you can simply replace a 14″ guide bar with a 16″ or 18″ if necessary. The main thing is to make sure that the size of the fastener fits your particular chainsaw model.
The power of the engine is usually proportional to the size. Accordingly, 14″ chainsaws are less powerful than 20″ tools. After all, compact saws are used for cutting small branches, bushes, and young trees. Why would such a tool need more power with more fuel consumption?
If you need to cut thin branches and young trees up to 6 inches thick, you can use another tool. For example, an electric pruner or electric wood hacksaw. There are also special brush cutters and other tools that work in the same way as a chainsaw, but with less weight.
For branches and trees from 6″ to 12″ thick, you’ll need a 14″ chainsaw. In this case, the work will be easy and fast. The tool will not be overloaded, and you will save on fuel consumption.
When splitting logs for firewood of any diameter, a 14″ saw will also work, but only if these are not very large oak or poplar logs. You’ll need a large chainsaw to cut trees of 14″ or thicker. Keep this in mind when choosing.
What if You Choose the Wrong Chainsaw Size?
Choosing the wrong size chainsaw will make working with the tool uncomfortable and challenging. Many people may think that it is better to buy a large saw to have a reserve of power and performance. But this is not the case. The weight difference between a 14″ and a 20″ chainsaw can be 8-9 pounds. Imagine a necessity to work with tall, thin branches and still need to hold extra 8-9 pounds. You’ll avoid that if you buy a chainsaw of a suitable size right away.
A chainsaw that’s too big is dangerous for someone who doesn’t know how to handle heavy professional tools. You shouldn’t trust a 20″ chainsaw to someone with a small body structure. Women, teenagers, and lightweight men can handle a smaller tool better. Sometimes, it can be very difficult to hold a 20″ chainsaw if something happens (for example, the chain touches a metal nail or hits a rock).
If you’ve decided on a size, don’t forget to consider other parameters: chain brakes, automatic oiler, low recoil, vibration protection, muffler, and more.