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Consumer Reports Rates The Safest Chainsaws

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RALEIGH — The hurricane and summer storm season is here, and if you have ever been in a storm, you know the aftermath is full of the sounds of chainsaws.

About 28,000 people a year are injured using chainsaws. Consumer Reports recently tested 29 chainsaws and found they now have more safety features than ever.

Some chainsaws have a metal bar that keeps the chain from flying back if it breaks. And some have a special chain that helps keep the saw from kicking back. A narrow tip on a saw also helps reduce kickback. Most newer saws even have a brake that stops the chain instantly.

Consumer Reports tested to see how quickly the saws cut and how easy they are to handle.

Testers found a lot of chainsaws are good values, including several Craftsman saws from Sears. One really good choice was the Craftsman model number 35038 for $170, which they found was good at cutting and handling and has a narrow tip as well as other important safety features.

Some other safety features to look for include a muffler that is shielded so you cannot bump it accidentally and a hard case that will protect both you and the saw when it is off.

Consumer Reports also encourages users to wear eye and ear protection whenever using a chainsaw.Over time, the high-pitched grinding sound can cause hearing damage.

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