Your Guide to Buying a Chainsaw on eBay

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Your Guide to Buying a Chainsaw on eBay

The chainsaw is a hand held saw that features a chain that is powered by a motor and spins around an elongated bar that extends outward from the body of the chainsaw. The origin of the chainsaw can be traced back to early medical bone saw pioneers who invented a specialised saw made from a serrated link chain to help cut through diseased bones while operating. The concept was adapted into larger and heavier versions that were operated by two men and were able to cut through trees and other materials with ease. Technology reduced the size of chainsaw to the point where it could be wielded by a single person, and this revolutionised the logging industry.

Today, people who want to purchase a chainsaw have many different types to choose from, and technology has made advancements that make them safer and easy to use by anyone from a gardener to a professional lumberjack. Before purchasing a chainsaw, it is important to take a more indepth look at the various features one should consider first. These features include the various elements of a chainsaw, the types of chainsaws available, and the different safety mechanisms implemented to keep the user safe.

Elements of a Chainsaw

There are four basic elements of a chainsaw that work together to create one of the most powerful cutting implements available. Regardless of whether the chainsaw is small or large or powered with gas or by electricity, it will always contain these same components.


The main component of the chainsaw is a motor that is either gas powered or electric. The motor is the element that drives all the other elements of the chainsaw and its horsepower rating is one of two elements that are used to distinguish its capabilities and the type of work it is rated to accomplish.

Guide Bar

The guide bar is the part of the chainsaw upon which the cutting chain glides as it makes it rotational pattern. The guide bar is made of steel that is wear resistant and has a slot in its edge that guide the chain as it spins around the bar. The length of the bar is the second determining factor of its capabilities. Longer bars are made for heavier cutting chores such as heavy duty forestry work, whereas shorter bars are used for anything from ice sculpting to normal household brush and tree cutting tasks.


The cutting chain is the key component of the chainsaw. It is constructed with riveted metal sections that attach together much like that of a bicycle chain. Each link has a pointed section on its bottom side that runs in the groove of the bar and keeps the chain in position. On the topside of every other link, there is a cutting tooth made from chromium plated steel shaped like a small curved talon. When the chain is spun at high speed by the motor, these sharp teeth cut easily cut through wood or even concrete.

Drive Mechanism

The drive mechanism of the chainsaw is the element that allows the power of the motor to be transferred to the chain. This mechanism usually is made up of a centrifugal clutch along with a sprocket that is driven by a crankshaft from the motor. When the clutch is engaged, the sprocket spins and each spoke of the sprocket moves into each chain link and pushes it along. When the chainsaw is allowed to idle, the clutch disengages and the sprocket stops spinning.

Types of Chainsaws

While most images of the chainsaw are of a smoke spewing, gas powered brute that rips through felled trees, there are other types of saws that can be used for very specialised applications. While the majority of chainsaws are used for cutting wood, there are various models and types that are specifically designed for cutting anything from roses to masonry.


Gas powered chainsaws are the most powerful of all the various types of saws. They operate a two-stroke engine that requires oil to be mixed in with the gas in order to lubricate the internal components of the motor. Gas chainsaws can be used in any type of weather conditions and are ideal for use in remote locations since fuel can be carried into the field. Gas powered chainsaws are used exclusively by professional loggers and those operating in remote locations. The drawbacks of the gas chainsaw are that it is very loud, it produces a good deal of smoke, and it requires constant maintenance.


The electric chainsaw utilises an electric motor that is plugged into an outlet as its source of power. Electric motor saws are ideal for use at home for smaller chores around the house where the loud noise of a gas powered saw can upset the neighbours. Electric saws operate very quietly and require very little maintenance. They are very easy to start and can even be used indoors. They cannot be used in inclement weather because of their power cord, but they are good for light duty yard work or for other applications such as ice sculpting. The drawbacks to the electric saw are that it is not as powerful as a gas saw and a power cord must be dragged along while working, which limits the range it can be used in.


The cordless chainsaw is nearly identical to the electric chainsaw except it features a self contained battery that can be charged up and allows the saw to be used for an hour or two. Once the saw discharges, it must once again be recharged fully prior to being used again. Cordless saws are portable and quieter than gas or electric saws but they must be constantly charged and are not useful in remote locations where no power outlets are available.


The masonry chainsaw or concrete chainsaw is designed to cut concrete, brick, masonry, asphalt, tile, and other similar materials. This saw can be powered by gas or electric motors or even pneumatic pressure.

Safety Mechanisms

As technology advances, the chainsaw benefits from upgrades and advancements that allow it to be more efficient and safe. The following safety mechanisms have become common features on all modern chainsaws and their use has saved many people from injury and even death.

Chain Brake

The chain brake prevents the movement of the drive mechanism by clamping around the clutch assembly. The brake is engaged by a handle at the front of the chainsaw that is pushed forward. It secures the chain from movement while starting the saw or changing positions. It also acts as an anti-kickback mechanism that will stop the saw if the chain breaks and kicks backward toward the user.


Vibration is a harmful side effect of working with a chainsaw. Over prolonged use, vibration can destroy a chainsaw and severely damage nerves and tendons in a human’s hands and wrists. To minimise these vibrations, the chainsaw is basically divided into two separate sections that are joined together by mounts that features springs and rubber bushings that mitigate the effects of the vibration on both the saw and the users arms.

Centrifugal Clutch

The centrifugal clutch engages the chain when the throttle is opened. As soon as the throttle is released, the centrifugal clutch disengages and the chain immediately stops. This means that if the user loses control of the saw and his hand comes off the throttle, the chainsaw will immediately stop.

Safety Throttle

The safety throttle is a combination of a trigger on the underside of the handle and a lock-out lever on the top of the handle. Unless the lock-out lever is depressed, the trigger cannot be pulled and the throttle engaged. This prevents the throttle from being engaged if the trigger is inadvertently activated by a branch or other obstacle.

Chain Catcher

The chain catcher is a small curved piece of metal on the underside of the chainsaw through which the cutting chain runs. If the chain should break, it will wrap around this catcher rather than come fully back toward the operator.

How to Buy a Chainsaw on eBay

There are many great chainsaw deals available online if you shop in the right place. The powerful search tools available on eBay are perhaps the best way to find the exact chainsaw you are looking for while saving the most amount of money. You can start your search by going to the eBay homepage and entering a keyword such as "chainsaw" in the search box. A list of auctions will then be displayed that contain that keyword in the title. You can search through the various auctions, or you can enter a more specific keyword in order to narrow your search. You can also select various categories that will help to narrow the search to more specific items that you wish to view.

Once you have found a suitable chainsaw, make sure and verify the feedback rating of the seller. Each seller will receive a feedback rating depending on how the transaction was conducted. By purchasing only from seller’s with a positive feedback rating, you can be assured that your auction will be handled honestly and professionally.


Chainsaws are one of the most effective cutting tools available for cutting through various materials. They are used professionally by lumberjacks as well as ice artists and landscapers to cut down trees, carve beautiful ice sculptures, and trim overgrown bushes and trees in the yard. Chainsaws can be found in gas powered versions and electrical ones that have be cordless or plugged into a nearby outlet for continuous usage. Although it is dangerous to work with such a powerful cutting implement, various advances in chainsaw safety mechanisms have made them much safer for people to operate.

When shopping for a new chainsaw, buyers should make sure to research the best brands and types of chainsaws for their needs. They should visit shops and hold different models to see which ones feel best in their hands. Once they are ready to purchase a new saw, they should make sure to utilise various online resources and auction sites such as eBay to find the many great deals available on chainsaws.

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