Saw Blade vs Chainsaw Firewood Processors

We recently talked about the many options we have for firewood processors in our blog, Firewood Processing to Simplify your Workload. You may have noticed that we stock Posch brand firewood processors and that some of our processors use saw blades instead of chainsaws, the other popular choice in the market. Chainsaws and saw blades have their own advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right option for you depends on your needs, outputs, and budget.

Chainsaw Firewood Processors

While the chain on the chainsaw is sharp, you may have noticed that the sharp bits are often spread about the chain instead of the entire chain being one large, sharp piece. This is because chainsaws work by having these teeth move incredibly fast via a motor, which allows those teeth to quickly move the object being cut. In a firewood processor, a powerful chainsaw cuts through logs at specific intervals to make your set firelog size.

Pros and Cons of Chainsaw Processors

Using a chainsaw-driven firewood processor has some advantages. Some of these include:

  • A lower investment cost–the machines tend to run slightly cheaper.
  • A larger cutting diameter than metal saw blades.
  • Tends to require less power to use.
  • Easy to sharpen the chains.

However, chainsaw processors also have several disadvantages, including:

  • Lubrication oil is required to keep them running efficiently and needs to be added regularly.
  • Maintenance is daily and more common, which means more downtime.
  • Chainsaws are less efficient than saw blades–about 25-35% less.
  • Sawdust can be oily due to the lubrication oil required for chainsaw use.
  • There is less variation in blade types for speciality operations.

Circular Saw Firewood Processors

With a circular saw firewood processor, the saw blade is large and always sharp. The sharp saw blade teeth are spun at high speeds where they effortlessly cut through even the toughest kinds of wood.

Some people find the look of the blades intimidating and believe that they look dangerous, but our firewood processors like the Posch Spaltfix S-410 Vario have safety measures in place so that it’s impossible to get in contact with the blade while it is running.

Pros and Cons of Saw Blade Processors

Saw blades are a tried-and-true method for firewood processors, but they do have some drawbacks. Some of these include:

  • A higher upfront investment. Operating costs are lower but the units themselves cost more upfront.
  • The blades themselves are sharper when not in use, so need to be handled with care
  • Firewood processors using circular saws tend to be slightly bigger, taking more space.

Circular saw firewood processors aren’t perfect, but they have many strengths, including:

  • Easier, faster cutting of logs.
  • Long intervals between maintenance and sharpening.
  • No lubrication oil is required, so sawdust is dry–and there is less of it.
  • Maximises productivity with higher efficiency rate.

Which is best: Circular or chainsaw?

While there’s no surefire answer to this question, most often, we say that circular saw firewood processors are better overall. This is due to the minimal amount of maintenance required, increased speed, and reduced mess like sawdust.

Once you get past the initial cost, the faster, more efficient operation with minimal maintenance will more than pay for itself. That 25-35% extra processing speed can really come in handy for large loads. Blades can be changed out in 5 minutes if one gets dull, and sharpening goes for about $150+GST. But a good saw blade like one from our Posch saw blade collection can easily process 700m3 before needing to be changed out, and sometimes as much as 1000m3.

If you want to find out which firewood processor will work for you, get in touch with the experts here at Peak Equipment. Our family-owned NZ business will look after you and see that you get the right equipment for your needs at an affordable price with unmatched service.