Consumer Reports: Best chainsaws for post-storm cleanup - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Consumer Reports: Best chainsaws for post-storm cleanup

(WMC-TV) - Severe storm season is not far away. You may be familiar with some tools used to cleanup following a Mid-South storm. The chainsaw is a common tool.

Like many people, Scott Germaise finds his chain saw useful for post-storm cleanups.

"Instead of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on contractors, I was able to chop that stuff up myself," he said.

Consumer Reports tested 20 chain saws ranging in price from $70 to $400. Testers rate how fast each saw cuts. They use a meter to measure vibration, too much can make a chain saw harder to hold, especially for a long period of time.

The test also assesses kickback. That is when the tip of the saw hits the wood and lurches back. Some chain saws kick back more than others.

For cutting up branches just once or twice a year, electric chain saws are convenient.

Consumer Reports named one from Worx a Best Buy at $100.

"Of course you're connected to the power cord. And if the power's out, you're out of luck," said Peter Sawchuk, Consumer Reports.

For bigger jobs, gas-powered chain saws are a better choice, but they are trickier to use.

"You need to know the right mixture of gas and oil for your saw, and how to start it," said Sawchuck. "It can take several pulls of the starter cord to get it going."

Consumer Reports top-rated a gas saw from Stihl for $230.

For even less, there's the $150 Craftsman. It is not quite as fast, but it comes in a storage case with the supplies you need, including chain oil and a chain-tightening tool.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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