According to the buying guide at Lowes.com, some factors to consider when buying a chainsaw are where you intend to use it, the materials you intend to cut and your experience level. Gasoline-powered chainsaws are often best for remote outdoor locations, while electric chainsaws are usually best for indoor use.
When buying a chainsaw, consider your experience level and the size and type of material you intend to cut. For large-diameter wood, it is best to purchase a saw with a longer bar-length. At-home saws have bar-lengths from 6 to 20 inches, while professional saws have bars longer than 20 inches.
For tree cutting, the most important factor is power. To determine the power of a chainsaw, look at the engine displacement of a gas-powered model or the amperage of an electric model. For cordless electric models, look at the voltage. For work that requires long hours of cutting, the weight is another important factor. Saws with bigger motors or longer bars may be poor choices for projects of long duration.
When greater comfort is desired, consider features such as spring-assist starting, anti-vibration design and an automatic oiling mechanism. Other options for added convenience are a carrying case, tool-less chain adjustment and an air-cleaning feature. For less experienced buyers, it is advisable to look for added safety features such as a chain brake and a low-kickback bar.