18 vs. 16 Inch Chainsaws – Selecting Chainsaw Sizes

Many people still think of a chainsaw as a tool for the construction industry, or forestry and wood processing. They are used in these industries widely and effectively, but there’s more to the chainsaw than just a commercial tool. 

Indeed, the chainsaw has moved from the commercial arena into the domestic market, and now there are chainsaws you can use in the garden. Do you need one, what would you use it for, and how do you choose the right one for you?

These are all questions we will answer in this brief article, and we hope you leave with a better understanding of what you need to know before you buy one. Let’s start by talking about the different types of chainsaw you can buy.

What Type of Chainsaw?

Although the title is mentioned chainsaw sizes, we need to consider the different types of chainsaw available. The chainsaw you think of when the word is mentioned is likely to be a big, heavy and cumbersome machine powered by a gas engine. You’ve seen them being started by a pull of the cord, and they make a horrendous noise, are difficult to handle and can be pretty dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

That’s not what we’re talking about here; our chainsaws are designed for garden and light forestry work, and the majority of them will be powered by an electric motor. There are smaller gas-powered models, but for simplicities sake, we recommend you consider an electric one. 

Within the category for electric chainsaws, there are two types; corded and cordless. One connects directly to the mains for power; the other has a rechargeable battery that gives you a good length of time between charges. It’s up to you which you choose, but the advantage of the cordless model is it can go anywhere, while that of the corded model is that you can keep going as long as you’re in reach of the powerpoint.

So, what’s all this about different sizes? Let’s have a look.

Different Sizes

The two main sizes of domestic chainsaw are 16 inches and 18 inches. What does this refer to? It’s the reach of the saw itself. The chainsaw consists of a long metal arm onto which the chain is attached, and it runs around these thanks to being powered by the motor. This bar can be either 16 or 18 inches (or longer in commercial models) depending upon the size of the saw. We’re here to find out which is best for you, and before we go on we advise you check out this best 16 inch chainsaw for a good idea of what they’re all about, and the brands and models available.

Why would you choose a 16 inch rather than an 18 inch? Well, that 2 inches can actually make quite a lot of difference in terms of ease of handling. Not only does it add weight to the bar but the extra weight to the chain and other components, and may need a more powerful motor to get it up to speed. It’s a bigger machine all-round, and with that comes the added bulk you need to lug around your yard or garden.

The 16-inch model is designed for compactness, to be versatile and capable but not as large or heavy as the bigger model. It is ideal for gardens, and you will find it more than capable for pruning bushes and such or cutting the branches from trees. The sheer versatility of the chainsaw cannot be experienced until you have used one where you would usually use a hand saw, and you will certainly find it cuts down on the amount of work and effort you need to put into your gardening. 

So, now that you know what these machines are all about, how do you go about choosing the one that you believe is right for you? We advise you to give that review we mentioned some serious attention as it is full of excellent, useful information and the best models are highlighted, and that you check the manufacturer’s specifications. Here’s our brief summary of these chainsaws


The smaller size of chainsaw is all you need for an average garden. It will be excellent for chopping up logs, pruning trees and shrubs, or keeping your hedges tidy. One thing we do advise is that if you are tending plants or working in shared spaces, you advise others within the area that you intend using a chainsaw as many people like to keep out of their way.

Take your time to check out the many options in the reviews and decide on the one that is the right power and within your budget, and you’ll find you have a new tool that can help you save time.

A big thank you to all of the companies and organisations which help to support Phoenix FM all year round

Business Club Members: The Beeches | Blue Serif | Brandler Galleries | Foretell Digital | Hallmark Care Homes | Kinetic Podiatry | Newboulds Solicitors | RCH Brentwood Care Centre | Saint Francis Hospice | Utilize

Other sponsors: Abacus Shutters | Ashwells | Bennetts Funerals | Foxtel | Healthwatch Essex | Landons Solicitors | Liberty Hygiene | Pinney Talfourd | Ramsay Health Springfield Hospital | RP2 Media | Shepherd Neame

© Phoenix FM 1996-2020. Written using Notepad and PHP.