Buyers Guide: ATV / SxS Trail Maintenance Essential
Bar size ranges on the smaller consumer saws
run the gamut and can be ordered with 13"
to 18" although we feel a 16" bar works
very well and allows cutting even a larger size
tree out of the trail. Running a larger bar on
a small saw just doesn't usually work well enough
for us to recommend it.
in mind how big the logs you will be cutting
when purchasing a chainsaw this will determine
what size bar & power of the chainsaw
you will need
For trail clearing duties, power should be sufficient
enough to get the job done and most of today's
smaller cc saws can handle most usual trail encounters
with a fallen tree. A sharp chain (loop) and a
small saw can do a ton of work as long as the
operator has some idea of how to cut properly.
Of course it never fails that you will show up
with a 49cc saw and a 30 inch oak will be laying
across your intended route! With our Stihl at
45.5 cc's, we have tested it on cuts up to 20
inches with no real problems. While we would opt
for a larger saw for such large logs, our intent
was to see how well one could saw up a large tree
when needed and again, ours passed the test with
If you view many of the websites from the manufactures,
you will notice a term they use, "Occasional
Use". That's Harry Homeowner to you and me,
you know, the guys who use there saws for some
firewood or clean up around the yard. Our Stihl
carries that moniker but we have used ours day
in and out for over a year and its purring along
just like new.
Most of the difference you will find between a consumer
saw and a pro saw relate to items that keep a saw
alive through daily use and abuse. How rough you
intend to handle your saw may steer you towards
a model more apt to take what you can dish out.
Bouncing around the cargo area of a SxS or taking
the brunt of a roll over on a UTV can do damage,
the sturdier your saw the better.
mounts attach to the rear of the UTV or
onto the back of the cab
Thankfully, several companies make attachments
and mounts to give your saw a ride that keeps
it and you safe. Saw manufactures will sometimes
include a hard case for your saw that works well
in a SxS however valuable storage room can found
with a mount that fits your style of use. Pay
close attention to where mounts actually get mounted
to your chosen vehicle, some will be in your way
or only mount in certain areas that could interfere
with other accessories.
makes chainsaw racks that mount to the
rear of your ATV
Beyond the saw, make yourself a small tool kit
related to just the saw. A properly sized file,
a Bar wrench and a non spillable gas can complete
with properly mixed gas., and don't forget the
bar oil. While the tool kit itself is easily stashed
on most any SxS , toting everything on an ATV
can require some forethought. Just keep in mind
the bouncing around things take on the trail so
you don't loose 1/2 of your needed items.
Safety goes without saying, just use common sense
and make sure you are up to safely handling a
chain saw. Having a log roll on you or having
to tend to a severe injury in the middle of nowhere
is no fun.