I just recently bought a Husqvarna 135 14". It's a lovely little beast - very light and manoeuvrable, yet powerful. I'd recommend it. It was about £170, so by no means the cheapest option, but the quality is great and I would rather buy once than several times. Best price I could find online was frjonesandson.co.uk.
There is also the Husqvarna 236/240, which can be had for a bit cheaper and is the model that the 135 replaces.
I did speak with the guy at my local garden machinery shop prior to buying and he recommended to buy Husqvarna or Stihl, and that I buy online as there was no way he could match the price. One thing he said is that he currently recommends the McCullough petrol chainsaw that Argo sells for £150 as it is made by Husqvarna and is a great saw for the money - this was despite him hating all things McCullough in general!
I also looked at the low end Stihl chainsaws, but preferred the spec and price of the Husky. I guess you really can't go wrong with either brand, but you should probably be careful with the sub £100 Chinese made saws on eBay or the B&Q type own brands....
Most definitely - at least if you have a can of petrol you know you are good to go! With a battery model you are at risk of charge levels, with corded electric you need a power point. With a petrol model, it's just a case of pull the starter and you are off and running.
I do have big garden, and all my garden power tools are petrol, so I may be biased. But after owning an electric lawnmower (and cutting the cord) and an electric leafblower (which was rubbish) some years ago I have always bought petrol driven stuff.
More expensive, but more convenient, and almost always significantly more powerful.
Petrol Chainsaw if you're planning on "off piste" type larger tree felling, and often. The downside is that they can take a bit more servicing/lookin after the engine, and not always ready to go, after a lengthy lay off which is more often the case for DIYers. The petrol engine can cause gyroscopic action upon the saw, which can be unsettling to a novice user. Much more power, which is helpful, but will get you into trouble a lot quicker too!Stick to Stihl and Husqvarna. Electric chainsaws are much cheaper than petrol driven, and have come on leaps and bounds lately, and are real "plug and play" beauties more suited to DIY. Ideal for large prunings and most garden tree fellings. I now have a B&D 40cm blade saw, which has done me well for 6 years now, 3 major fells and countless smaller jobs, including some oak beam "trimming". With all Chainsws, just make sure that you check the chain tension for every 10-20minutes work time, regularly check the chain brake mechanism, keep the chain lube topped off, and dress the teeth regularly. As with all saws, don't force it, they should pull themselves in. You should get chips from the cut, not dust. Wear as much PPE as you can, check the tree for damage, and non-wood related items like nails and wire, and be careful!!! If you're uncertain about anything, do not carry on. My first section of the tree surgery course i did was a slide show of horrors to both man and property, which always runs through my mind nearly 20 years later.
If you can, gain some training. Chainsaws of all kinds are dangerous, as well as the Trees themselves. Most trees are bigger than they look, and even a small limb can be deceptively heavy.
Got to agree with the other guys - petrol is the way to go, for both power and mobility. I work for my local council and regularly come into contact with the Arborist team, and very quickly learned a extremely healthy respect for the chainsaw. Wonderful tool if you treat it with the care and attention to safe working practice it requires. I got a Ryobi saw last year for a bargain price, and I've had no issues with it. It goes through the wood like a knife through warm butter, and has proved to be very reliable and easy to service / maintain
You're right to take frequency of usage into account. I guess it all depends on oven use, and how much wood you actually need. For you to use a saw once a year - doesn't make economical sense to invest in a chainsaw. I personally am always adding to the woodpile and the saw is now indispensable. The maintenance issue is now with keeping the chain at the correct tension and sufficiently sharp to cut through the logs.
I think Hire charges are now pretty high too Spinal, but of course check it out. A borrow from someone who has one might be the way, so long as they know what they're doing. Tell you what might be worth a go...is a message on Freecycle in your area.
Hire costs are outrageous - HSS charge £80 for a petrol and £60 for an electric, per day!
I think I may buy an electric one, due to reduced cost and due to my frequency of use. Was planning to beg for wood on freecycle to fill my shed - I have about 3-bulk bags of wood from last summer which is now nice and dry... but am thinking about next summer...
On this note, what are the laws around scavenging wood? While walking the dog today, I noticed that a large branch fell off the oak tree in the park... and would be quite a nice addition to the woodpile (once I figure out how to carry it - it's quite large/heavy). Am I ok to just pick it up (with a friend or two) and cart it home? M.
Regarding the chainsaw type, Electric is quieter, and as you say less maintenance (no 2 stroke engine to mess you about!) BUT you still have to keep the chain sharp, always make sure there is enough chain oil in the tank, and wear protective clothing.
I used to do work with a tree surgeon, and his advice to me was " If I teach you any more, I'll be teaching you my bad habits - please book yourself on a course" I did, and it taught me an enormous amount! As regards to saws - I am told that now the saw with the best quality is the Husqvana range, don't get one that's too heavy for you, and always treat them with the utmost of respect.
Just my 2p worth!
I've been baking all (well nearly!) our bread for longer than I can remember - I still enjoy it I enjoy cooking and eating the pizzas as much, if not more ...
Good advice here on protective clothing and keeping the chain sharp (chainsaw files are only a couple of quid each - get the right size and learn to use it) and properly tensioned.
These things are excellent tools - but incredibly dangerous if you don't know how to use them safely. Best advice is to take a course at your local adult education place. Failing that, at least watch a few YouTube vids on chainsaw safety.
In theory at least fallen wood belongs to the person who owns the tree that it came from, this is why you are legally able to trim overhanging trees and throw the trimmings back over your neighbour's wall (not the way to make friends though!). A lot of people would obviously consider you to be doing them a favour in removing it, but with the rise of fuel prices and increased popularity of woodburing stoves, people are much more savy these days about the value of wood. Tread carefully.