The chainsaw—the weapon of choice for some horror movie antagonists. Despite this horrible association for which the tool was never intended for, the chainsaw is an incredibly useful tool. Compared to other power saws such as the bandsaw or the jigsaw, the chainsaw is preferred for heavy use outdoors, and is most often used on trees. The main reason? It has the capacity to cut through materials that are thicker than what other tools are capable of, owing partly to its speed and then some to its make.

Watching fright fests in motion pictures may have made you more familiar of a chainsaw’s appearance, but even without its help, it’s easy to imagine how it looks like based on the name alone. As implied, the saw is attached to the chain that rotates. This in turn is powered by an electric motor which sources its energy from either a battery or a power cord, or it can be an engine that depends on gasoline.

Many other saws, like a table saw for instance, can cut through wood with no problem and with even lesser risk involved. But the same could not be said for a chainsaw. It is among the most powerful in its family and the most efficient in getting the job done, sawing through trees in a matter of minutes. But with that advantage also comes danger because of the possibility of kickback, either through the guide bar’s tip hitting an immovable object, or because of improper maintenance of the tool.

This is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the tool, and not superficially—really determine whether it’s what you need, canvass the types of chainsaws available out there for you, learn about how it works and the inherent dangers that comes with using it, and how to properly lubricate and maintain the tool. We have collated everything you might need in one page, and then more. You might be interested in the best chainsaw in general, or maybe the best professional chainsaw.

When used properly, chainsaws can keep life from being endangered, especially in the presence of old trees or ones that need trimming. Chainsaws aren’t all serious work either—in some instances, it can also be used for art, and not just woodworking. Occasionally, it is also the art material picked for creating ice sculptures. But before you get to doing that, you carry the burden of being a responsible owner, hence the information laid out here for you.

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