CHOOSING your chainsaw is one of the most important decisions a forester can make, but finding the best model to suit your needs is no easy task, with many considerations to be made. Coming in a range of powers sizes and bar lengths, different makes and models can be chosen for specific functions, jobs or working conditions. When it comes to working on the ground, it’s important to consider not only functionality and reliability, but health and safety, comfort and performance. Here we take a look at the latest models to be made available on the market from some of the major manufacturers.

Forestry Journal:

550XP Mark II, 572XP

LEADING experts in the design and manufacture of forestry equipment, Husqvarna boasts top-of-the-range models to suit a whole range of needs for forestry professionals.
The Husqvarna 550 XP Mark II has been redesigned from scratch, resulting in a new level of cutting capacity, manoeuvrability and endurance, making it optimised for harvest forestry and urban forestry applications, including felling, limbing, removals or the cross-cutting of small and mid-sized trees.
Its slimmed-down design, combined with a host of innovative features, makes for an efficient, reliable and comfortable operation.
Weighing in at 5.3/5.5 kg (excluding cutting equipment), it has a power output of 3 kW.
Cutting capacity is the true measure of the performance of the saw. It is the speed at which the entire system of the bar, chain and powerhead work together to cut wood at optimal rpm. Through a series of internal tests, Husqvarna has shown that the 550 XP Mark II provides best-in-class cutting capacity when compared to the closest competitor in the 50 cc segment.
For more demanding users, there is the 550 XP G Mark II petrol chainsaw. The chainsaws also come with X-Torq engines, LowVib anti-vibration technology, air injection and AutoTune and retail for around £710 including VAT. 
The 572 XP is Husqvarna’s most advanced chainsaw to date and comes with a number of improvements and features specifically designed with forestry professionals in mind.
At just 6.6 kg, with a powerful 4.3 kW engine, the 572 XP has a better power-to-weight ratio than any other Husqvarna saw with similar displacement, and 12% higher cutting capacity than previous equivalent models. 
Excellent cooling and heavy-duty filtration mean great endurance and performance, while smart design and easy operation keep productivity high even with long guide bars. Also featuring AutoTune, air injection and LowVib – as well as heated handles and carburettor on the 572 XP G petrol model – it is built to deliver all day long and retails at around £1,100 including VAT.

Forestry Journal:

DUC355 & DUC405

INNOVATIONS within the power tool market have significantly improved user safety – and a major contributor to this is the growth of battery-operated tools. 
Here, Mark Earles, business development manager OPE at Makita, explains how battery-operated chainsaws are improving safety for foresters and tree surgeons:

FOR some forestry operations, where a smaller 35–40 cc machine might traditionally have been used, cordless products should now be considered. 
As a tree surgeon or forester, cordless chainsaws can be incredibly appealing. They offer increased freedom, which is especially useful when working out in the woods. When it comes to cordless options, battery-powered chainsaws can provide the same – if not better – results compared to electric or petrol-powered alternatives, and offer improved safety for operators. 
For any project, contractors need to be mindful of the pollutants produced during operations, including any fumes issuing from the use of petrol-powered tools, as well as the noise these tools might create. 
Using battery-operated chainsaws negates the need to carry fuel and the mixing of oil with petrol on site, and cordless means zero petrol fumes – this is a benefit to both the wider environment and the tool operator, as the risk of breathing in exhaust fumes is eliminated. 
Battery-operated chainsaws are also comparatively quiet compared to petrol alternatives.
The vibration levels of battery-operated chainsaws can also be considerably lower compared to petrol tools. This is because there is no piston operating 90 degrees to the rotation of the crank shaft. Reduced vibration levels ensure those using the tool can remain safer on-site and are better protected against vibration-related illnesses such as ‘vibration white finger’.
Makita’s DUC355 and DUC405 battery-powered chainsaws operate using two 18 V lithium-ion batteries, providing 36 V power in total. As a number of Makita’s tools are powered using 18 V lithium-ion batteries, the batteries can be used interchangeably with other Makita tools. 
This provides flexibility for the user on-site and, as all batteries are the same, it is simple to ensure that the correct batteries are transported to site at the start of the day. 
Using battery-powered chainsaws therefore provides a number of benefits for foresters and tree surgeons. Not only do they provide increased freedom, they also offer improved user safety due to the omission of trip hazards from power leads, the avoidance of inhaling harmful exhaust fumes and the reduction of vibration levels. 
To find out more about Makita’s range of battery-operated chainsaws visit 

Forestry Journal:


The introduction of the new ECHO CS-4510ES sets a benchmark for rear-handle chainsaws. It packs a real punch with its 45 cc two-stroke stratified scavenging engine and the power-to-weight ratio makes it more powerful yet lighter than previous models. 
This is a chainsaw packed with new features, but still built to exacting ECHO standards. It offers a better output of 2.3 kW, yet weighs in with a dry weight of just 5.0 kg.
Lift the CS-4510ES and you immediately feel how light it is. Start cutting logs or use it for felling small trees and you realise it is no ordinary chainsaw. You know instinctively, the moment you start work, it’s been designed by engineers who understand what the operator needs in terms of performance, durability and ergonomics. 
The Stage II emission compliant engine is one of ECHO’s new engine platforms. The two-stroke has a piston operated scavenging system in which a layer of fuel-free air is created between the burnt charge in the combustion chamber and the fresh charge in the crankcase. The buffer reduces the fuel-laden losses during the cycle. 
This translates into a chainsaw that generates more torque to cut faster and more efficiently through harder wood. 
Add in features such as the new air filter design, which shields the engine from dust intake, the drop-out-prevention nuts, the translucent fuel tank, and the ES Easy Start system, and it’s easy to see why this very different-looking chainsaw is going to be much in demand with a wide range of users. 
The ECHO CS-4510ES is a machine that doesn’t just increase productivity and reduce downtime in maintenance; it also comes with a two-year professional warranty or five-year domestic warranty.
To find out more, contact your local authorised ECHO dealer. 
You can also visit or call 0800 597 7777.

Forestry Journal:

MS 500i

STIHL’s latest model is the new MS 500i, described as the world’s first chainsaw with electronically controlled fuel injection and a never-before-achieved power-to-weight ratio. 
Weighing only 6.2 kg (only 0.2 kg more than the Stihl MS 462 C-M), the chainsaw’s injection technology not only provides it with incredible torque, but also ensures rapid acceleration of the saw chain from 0 to 100 km/h in just 0.25 seconds. 
Thanks to its lightweight design, the MS 500i boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 1.24 kg per kW, an exceptionally low value, never achieved before by series-manufactured chainsaws. Although light in weight, its performance is class leading, with 5.0 kW/6.8 hp, meaning this chainsaw is suited to felling large stands and timber harvesting. 
Together with the many additional design optimisations, there is a substantial increase in operator comfort. Low vibration and the reduction of gyroscopic forces provide the 80 cm³-class high-performance professional saw with dynamic manoeuvrability, which is a particular advantage during limbing. This makes the professional big timber harvester easy to handle in all disciplines – from felling to cutting timber to length. 
The MS 500i provides optimum engine power right from startup, says Stihl. The 80 cc 2-Mix engine does not need a carburettor, since the fuel metering is done using a sensor, and automatically adapts to the different operating conditions, no matter what the altitude and ambient temperature. 
The MS 500i is available with a choice of 20” or 25” ES light bar, keeping the overall weight of the saw to a minimum and optimising its balance.

The details at a glance:
• First chainsaw with Stihl Injection 
A huge advancement in engine development. The MS 500i is the first ever series-manufactured chainsaw with an electronically controlled fuel-injection system. The high-torque machine provides optimum engine power right from startup. It provides powerful performance and the saw chain accelerates extremely rapidly – from 0 to 100 km/h in just 0.25 seconds.
• Best power-to-weight ratio of all classes
The Stihl MS 500i is a lightweight within the ranks of professional saws. Thanks to intelligent lightweight design, as well as an extremely high engine power, it excels with a low power-to-weight ratio at 1.24 kg/kW. This value is unique within all displacement categories. 
• Easy starting and sensor-controlled fuel mixing 
The MS 500i is very easy to start (no start button) in all operating conditions, and automatically adapts to different locations of use. The sensor-controlled fuel mixing ensures that the mixture is adjusted optimally for the oxygen content in the air right from the first ignition. 
• Improved ergonomics and practical details make work easier
The innovative flywheel with a low centre of gravity and lower weight reduces the gyroscopic forces that arise during operation. With the low overall weight, this is a particular advantage for limbing, making guiding the MS 500i along the trunk while snedding easy. This is also supported by new bumper spike geometry. The raised plunge bar on the fan housing - parallel to the axis of symmetry of the guide bar - makes directional control and tool guidance easier when plunge cutting. Captive nuts on the chain sprocket cover make changing the chain straightforward. Professional big timber harvesting – from felling through cutting to length to limbing – is a simple task with this saw.

For professional users, every gramme of weight in the hand counts. For this reason, Stihl applies lots of engineering know-how to reducing the system weight (i.e. the weight of the dry chainsaw including the cutting attachment).
In pursuit of this goal, redesigned cylinders, slimmer chain sprocket covers and consistent changes of material for other components, in the engine units in particular, as well as the development of lightweight guide bars, have enabled substantial weight savings, without compromising on ruggedness or service life. The result is lower system weight and easier handling.