The Makita DCS6421RFG is a streamlined gas chainsaw built from top quality components. This isn’t for your average homeowner. It’s a fine-tuned machine that will slice through wood with ease. We cover a lot of territory in this article, including how to choose the right chainsaw for your needs.
After coming to into a fairly large sum of money, a friend of mine told me that the first thing that he wanted to buy with his unexpected windfall, was a chainsaw. Knowing that he had absolutely no use for one and was not the type of guy to exert himself in any way, I asked him why he wanted to buy a chainsaw. He answered quite plainly: “because I’ve always wanted one”.
That explains quite clearly how a man’s mind works, we have a near obsession with power tools. Let’s face it guys, power tools give us a sense of, well… Power. When it comes to power, what can be better than a chainsaw? It’s the ultimate expression masculine prowess, it’s big, makes a roaring sound and it can down a fully grown tree in minutes.
Now, let’s look at the Makita DCS6421RFG 20″ chainsaw, designed for professionals or homeowners who value high-quality chainsaws.
Makita DCS6421RFG | 64cc Chainsaw
20″ — 64cc / Gas Chainsaw
- 20-inch, 64cc
- Easy-starting automatic half throttle lock.
- Chain compartment is easy to clean and clears chips away efficiently.
- Slide out baffle can be configured for efficient cold weather operation.
- Large metal spike bar for increased productivity.
- Two-point durable inertia/mechanical chain brake.
- Decompression valve reduces force required for starting.
- High power-to-weight ratio: weighs only 13.9 lbs. (with chain).
- Maximum engine speed of 13,500 RPM.
- Lateral chain tensioning for quick and convenient chain adjustment.
- Advanced vibration dampening system engineered to reduce vibration.
Overview | Makita DCS6421RFG
Anyone who’s owned a Makita power tool will know that it’s a brand to be trusted. Quality German engineering and manufacturing standards have earned them a solid reputation. This is why it’s a good idea to take a look at the Makita DCS6421RFG as a top contender as an excellent value for money, reliable chainsaw.
It has a 64CC 4.7HP engine driving a 20″ chain. That’s a lot of power with a good mid-range cutting length. One of the big things to consider when looking at a chainsaw is its power to weight ratio and the Makita DCS6421RFG fares incredibly well in this department, at only 13.9 lbs. Of course losing weight can come at the cost of durability, well they’ve got that base covered too by making the housing from magnesium – giving it good strength without being too heavy.
A slide out baffle that can be configured for cold weather operation makes it good for cold winter conditions and the decompression valve makes it easy to start. Another great feature is the lateral chain tensioning system that makes keeping the chain at the correct tension a breeze.
All round it’s a great machine from a great brand that’s really good to handle with advanced dampening that reduces vibration. Other features include easy to clean chain compartment and automatic half lock throttle for easy starting
I thought that it would be a good idea to see what the professionals in the forestry industry think of the Makita DCS6421RFG. After all these guys work all day with the best equipment around. While they said that one can get a better power to weight ratio for a much higher price, you won’t find any better value for money than this one. If that’s what’s the guys in the know have to say, I’d say it comes highly recommended as a top quality machine in its price range.
Tech Specs (Makita DCS6421RFG) :
- Engine Displacement (cu.in./cc) : 3.9 cu.in. (64 cc)
- Power Rating : 4.7 HP/3.5 kW
- Max. Engine Speed : 13,500 RPM
- Standard Guide Bar : 20″
- Chain Pitch : 3/8″
- Chain Gauge : .050″
- Fuel Mixture : 50:1
- Fuel Tank Capacity : 25.4 oz.
- Oil Tank Capacity : 14.2 oz.
- Net Weight (w/o bar & chain) : 13.9 lbs.
- User Type : Professional
- Chainsaw Feature : Flush cut handle
- Chainsaw Configuration : Bar/chain in box
- Power Type : 2-stroke gas
- Chain Selection : 3/8 x .050
- Shipping Weight : 21.8 lbs.
Makita EA6100P53G | 20″ Chainsaw
20″ — 61cc / Gas Chainsaw
- Easy Start spring-assisted starter with optimized engine management for quick starting with less force
- Powerful 4.6 HP Stratified Air Scavenging engine for lower emissions and improved fuel efficiency
- Magnesium housing for improved durability and less weight (only 13.2 lbs.)
- Heavy-duty cartridge air filter system for extended air filter life and improved durability
- 13,800 RPM with fast acceleration for more efficient cutting performance
- Compact design engineered with smooth rounded surfaces for easy cleaning and operator comfort
- Touch & Stop single lever control shuts off engine with just a touch
- Slide-out baffle can be configured for efficient cold weather operation
- Two point durable inertia/mechanical chain brake
- Chain compartment is easy to clean and clears chips away efficiently
- Lateral chain tensioning for easy adjustment
- Advanced vibration dampening system engineered to reduce vibration
- Floating rim sprocket for easy maintenance and improved chain life
For around a hundred dollars less you could get the Makita EA6100P53G. It’s quite similar to the Makita DCS6421RFG, though it’s a little less powerful at 4.6HP and is naturally a little lighter (13.2lbs). It also features a Magnesium body. What you won’t get is the easy start functions found on the Makita DCS6421RFG. However, it does have a low emission fuel efficient engine and also has the same easy cleaning chain compartment.
- Engine Displacement (cu.in./cc) : 3.7 cu.in. (61 cc)
- Power Rating : 4.6 HP/3.4 kW
- Standard Guide Bar : 20″
- Chain Pitch : 3/8″
- Chain Gauge : .050″
- Fuel Mixture : 50:1
- Fuel Tank Capacity : 27 oz.
- Oil Tank Capacity : 16 oz
- Net Weight (w/o bar & chain) : 13.2 lbs.
- Chain Saw Configuration : Bar/chain in box
- Chain Saw Feature : Heavy duty air filter
- Chain Selection : 3/8 x .050
- User Type : Professional
- Power Type : 2-stroke gas
Choosing the Right Chainsaw
On a more serious note, a chainsaw is an incredibly useful tool, not only for lumberjacks and firemen but many homeowners and farmers use them around their properties. Modern chainsaws are very powerful machines and are able to cut through age-old hardwood trees with relative ease. One can even get chainsaws that will cut through concrete, stone and brick. Before the chainsaw came along, it would take two men several hours to accomplish the same task that one man can now do in about 15 minutes.
In this article, we’re going to look at everything that you might want know about chainsaws. We’ll look at your options and to help you decide which will suit your needs. We’ll take a look into their history and how they work, what you should consider when looking at safety and maintenance. Basically, by the time you’ve finished reading this, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision, before going and spending your hard-earned cash on a chainsaw. We’ll end off, by taking a look at some of the best options available on the market in terms of getting a quality, reliable machine that will get the job done safely and easily.
What is a chainsaw and how does it work?
The name kind of says it all, a chainsaw is a saw that utilizes a rotating chain with a set of teeth attached to it, that moves along a guide bar. The guide bar is an elongated steel bar with a rounded end that guides the chain through the edge slot and varies in length – between 16 and 36 inches. The bottom edge of the chain runs through the gauge and this keeps the chain lubricated. The chain is driven by a sprocket that is connected by a drive shaft to a motor, which can be either electric or gas powered. We’ll look at the differences, advantages and disadvantages of gas, electric cord and electric battery motors a little later
Traditionally gas powered chainsaws are the most common. A gas powered, two-stroke engine of between 30 and 120 cc is used to drive the chain. The engine works through a centrifugal clutch to control the torque sent to the chain sprocket – when the engine is at idle or the chain becomes jammed, the clutch will disengage and the chain will stop moving. All chainsaws have an oil reservoir to keep the chain lubricated, this is a vitally important factor in keeping the chainsaw working properly.
The chain moves at high speed and cutting teeth that are attached in between the chain links, rip through the wood. It is important to keep the chain at the correct tension to prevent it from snapping off or coming loose from the sprocket and guide bar. To achieve this, chainsaws are fitted with a tensioning mechanism.
GreenWorks Pro 80V Battery Chainsaw
- Can make 150+ cuts with a fully charged 2.0 Ah battery.
- Brushless motor : 30% more torque / 70% less vibration.
Do you need a gas chainsaw or battery powered? Once you understand your needs it’s much easier to make an intelligent buying decision.
History of the Chainsaw
The first cutting tool resembling the modern chainsaw was invented by a German orthopedist Bernhard Heine, in 1830. The device that was designed to cut bone consisted of a chain with cutting teeth that ran along a guide blade. This was a medical instrument and it was never intended for the heavy duty work that we now associate with chainsaws.
The continuous chain driven saw was patented in January of 1905 by Samuel J. Bens and was known as the “endless chainsaw”. This led to the first portable chainsaw being invented in 1918 by James Shand, a Canadian Millwright. However, it took some time before the gas powered chainsaw came onto the market in 1927.
Since these early days, the basic principle behind the chainsaw remains the same. New developments in technology have made it possible to get more power from smaller engines and together with the use of metal alloys, modern chainsaws are a great deal lighter than the early versions. Technological advances have also reduced vibration making them easier to use and there have been several advances in safety.
Why Buy a Chainsaw?
If you’re not a professional that needs to use a chainsaw for everyday work, you may be wondering why you would want to buy a chainsaw. Apart from the boost to your manhood that comes from owning the ultimate power tool, there are some very sound reasons why owning a chainsaw can save you time and money.
As trees in the garden grow taller and wider they can pose a threat to buildings, overhead power lines, fences, gates and garden walls. Many of us need to keep the trees in our gardens under control both for our own safety and that of our neighbors, it is not permitted to have trees along the boundary of your property extending too far into adjoining properties. Calling in a tree felling company once or twice a year can become costly, so doing it yourself is a great alternative. If you’ve ever cut through a large log by hand, you’ll know that it’s tough work and takes up a lot of time, especially if doing it alone. A chainsaw makes quick work of this task.
After a storm one very often finds fallen trees and even poles and parts of wooden structures blocking the driveway or simply littering the garden. In order to remove them, you’ll usually have to cut them into a manageable size. At times like these, you’ll be very happy to have a chainsaw at hand.
As trees grow older, some branches may die and become a risk, as they may break off at any time. It’s important that you cut off the dead branches before they cause major harm.
If you have fruit trees, you’re probably spending a lot of time at the end of every winter pruning them to ensure a good crop in the following summer. I’m sure you’ll agree that a chainsaw will save you a lot of time and effort when keeping a fruit orchid in top condition.
Having a wood burning fireplace or pizza oven is a wonderful thing. However, keeping a good stock of usable firewood is a costly exercise. Cutting down your own trees for firewood will save you a fortune every year and when you snuggle with your wife or significant other beside the crackling flames, there’s a good chance that you’ll get some extra affection when she thinks of how you’ve toiled to provide this warmth.
Actually, there’s some real evidence to suggest that cutting your own wood increases your chance of getting some action. A study into scents that women find attractive has shown that the smell of freshly cut wood on a man is rated very highly. So yes, owning a chainsaw can improve your love-life.
Many carpenters are moving toward crafting furniture from natural whole logs and it’s also popular among sculptors. So there’s also a use for chainsaws among the more creative souls. What to consider before buying a chainsaw.
Before we go into the different types of chainsaws available to you, it’s important to look at safety. Modern chainsaws come with a number of safety features that help to prevent accidental injuries. These include chain break, which allows you to stop the chain instantly in the case of a kickback, a chain catcher which prevents the chain from hitting the operator when it comes off the chain rail and the rear handle guard that also protects the operator from a loose chain.
Despite the many safety features that are incorporated into the design of chainsaws, there are risks that come from handling a tool with that amount of power and cutting ability. If you’ve never used a chainsaw before, be sure to get some good training, so that you are able to operate it safely.
All chainsaws require maintenance, some more than others. So before making your decision, you should know what maintenance will be required. A gas powered chainsaw will require the most maintenance. The engine will require the usual service, typical of any two-stroke engine – changing the spark plug and occasionally cleaning the carburetor. Along with this, the air intake filter is easily clogged by woodchips that fly off whilst the saw is being used, so it needs to be checked and cleaned regularly.
The oil lubricating the chain can also accumulate wood chips and needs to kept under check. With an electric or battery chainsaw, you’ll have less to worry about, as the engine does not require any regular maintenance. You’ll have to ensure that the oil reservoir always has oil to keep the chain lubricated and that the oil does not accumulate dirt. Other than this there is not much to worry about. All chainsaws do, however, require chain sharpening periodically and this will depend very much on the amount and type of usage.
Deciding on the right chainsaw for you
The first thing you should decide on is the length of saw you require. There’s no point in getting a chainsaw with a 16″ guide bar when you’re going to be cutting large logs or trees. Likewise, a 36″ guide bar could be serious overkill for some people. Look at the size of the trees that you’ll be cutting and choose a guide bar length to suit your needs.
The overall size and weight of the chainsaw should also be considered. You want something that you can handle comfortably and safely. You should also take into account the working height. If you’re going to be working on a ladder cutting high branches, remember that a heavy chainsaw can be hazardous.
Once you’ve established these basics, you should decide on the type of motor you want. Let’s take a look at the three options – gas, electric or battery powered chainsaws. Each has their own set of pro’s and cons and the one that is best suited to you will depend very much on what you intend to use it for.
These are the first choice for professionals because they offer a lot more power and can be used anywhere, even far from the nearest electrical power outlet. One of the disadvantages of gas chainsaws is the amount of maintenance that they require, as discussed earlier. For many people living in the city and suburbs, the noise may be a problem. The gas engine on a chainsaw is usually around 100dB and upwards. This is extremely loud and could be a problem in built up areas. In some areas, noise level restrictions prevent the use of gas chainsaws.
Electric Cord Chainsaws
An electric chainsaw has a lower power to mass ratio than a gas-powered equivalent, so you won’t get the same power from an electric chainsaw. That being said, if you only need to cut smaller branches and trim hedges, an electric chainsaw is an easy and economical option, with very little maintenance required. You are, obviously restricted by the distance from the closest power outlet – there’s only so far that you can run a power cable. An electric cord can also be a nuisance when cutting higher branches as it can become entangled in the branches below. Above all, an electric chainsaw is much quieter than a gas chainsaw
Advancements in battery technology have made power tools much more versatile. So if you want the convenience and quiet running capabilities of an electric chainsaw without the hassle of a power cord, a battery chainsaw could be just what you’re looking for. They are, however, more expensive and you have the extra weight of the battery to contend with. Another drawback of a battery chainsaw is that you are limited to the battery’s charge cycle, typically you’ll get around 30 minutes cutting from a battery before it needs recharging.
While electric chainsaws have their place, gas chainsaws remain the most common and for that reason, we’re going to look at two of the best value gas chainsaws on the market.
Learn more by reading: Electric vs Gas Chainsaws
Should You Buy the Makita DCS6421RFG?
In conclusion, we can say that the Makita DCS6421RFG is an excellent value for money chainsaw that compares favorably with top professional machines and its little brother, the EA6100P53G makes a good alternative for those who want to spend a little less.