Look for these features when buying a chain saw:
Throttle Interlock: Must be pressed for the chain to engage or for the trigger to rev the throttle.
Vibration Reducers: Isolate the handle—and your hands—from engine and chain vibration.
Power Head: A two-stroke gas engine with a displacement between 33 and 45 cubic centimeters offers adequate power and light weight.
Inertia-Based Chain Brake: Stops the chain if the bar kicks back or your writes hits the guard.
Guide Bar: A 12- to 16-inch bar is a good match for 33- to 45-cc power heads.
Chain Tensioning: A loose chain can jump the bar; an overly tight chain will wear out. Saws with wrenchless adjustment mechanisms make it easy to keep chain tension just right.
Chain Catcher: Captures broken or derailed chain before it flies off and hurts someone.

Though manufacturers have added safety features, chain saws still account for 32,000 accidents a year in the U.S. It's essential to don the right gear, use the correct techniques and operate a chain saw only when alert and focused.

Then you're ready to rip on jobs like angle-cutting a fence post and battling bamboo.

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