Autumn is prime time for chainsaws. With colder weather starting to bite, the pressure's on to finish all your garden work and have a stockpile of wood to heat your home all winter long.
You shouldn't rush into buying a chainsaw, though. They can be a pricey purchase, plus there's potential for a serious accident to happen if you haven't done your homework.
See below for the main things you should know before you pick your perfect chainsaw.
First things first - you need to know which type of chainsaw you should be looking for. Each has benefits and drawbacks, so it's worth picking the right type for the typical tasks you want it to do.
Cordless chainsaws have powerful batteries that can almost cost as much as the appliance itself. The good news is that you may be able to use one battery for all your cordless tools (provided you've stuck to the same brand).
Check the small print when you buy to make sure you know what's included in the price. If the chainsaw-and-battery combo is cheaper than buying each separately, it might be worth going for it. You can always use the extra battery as a back-up for when your main one is on charge.
Most chainsaws have safety features, such as chain catchers and secondary power switches, but that's not all you'll need to use your chainsaw safely.
Some manufacturers will have everything you need in one place, but you might get a better deal if you shop around. Just make sure you have all the gear before you start sawing.
It won't be high on your list of things to do before Christmas, but going to a chainsaw safety course is the best way to learn how to minimise the risk of accidents and keep your chainsaw in excellent working order.
This handy feature will save you a bit of time and a lot of bother when you're using your chainsaw. The chain needs to stay lubricated to stop it catching or overheating, but this is easily achieved when you buy a chainsaw with an integrated oil chamber that supplies the oil automatically.
Petrol chainsaws have powerful, vibrating engines that can cause tension in your arms and shoulders if you're working through a huge pile of logs.
If you need the strength and speed of a petrol chainsaw, look for vibration dampeners or anti-vibration mounts. Otherwise, you can choose a corded electric chainsaw for a lighter and easier-to-use option.
Cutting with a blunt chain isn't just ineffective, it's also more likely to cause a serious accident.
With the right tools you can sharpen your chainsaw yourself, but if you're uncomfortable with the idea you can take it to a dealership.
Chainsaw chains can slacken over time and even come off during use, so make sure you've checked it before you start sawing.
Some models make it easy to change the tension, with a wheel on the body for making adjustments. Otherwise you'll need to use a screwdriver or multi-tool to change it manually.
We survey members to find out which brands are your best bet for a reliable chainsaw, and find out which are most likely to break down.
The best brand's corded chainsaws have a huge 93% reliability score, but not all electric chainsaws fare this well over time.
The difference is even starker if you pick a petrol chainsaw. The worst brand we surveyed had problems with four out of 10 of its chainsaws after 10 years, so you could be left with mounting piles of logs and a chainsaw you can't use.
Spending more on a chainsaw can get you more power, a longer chain and a well-known brand name, but it doesn't always guarantee a quality model.
In the past, we've found Best Buy chainsaws for less than £200, as well as pricier models costing more than £300 that underwhelmed our experts.