Premium or professional quality is not a status attained through advertising or claims, but rather through performance, durability and years of experience. In the world of chain saws, premium status is not simply defined by speed, torque, weight and operator features alone, but by the harmonization of all of these factors. A premium chain saw is a symphony of parts — orchestrated by its manufacturer to perform masterpieces every time it is used. Premium chain saw manufacturers emphasize first-rate components, innovative engineering, quality of construction, safe operation and, perhaps more importantly, testing. Only this tried-and-true regimen can ensure the kind of performance and durability professional users demand.
According to Trey Brown, general manager of Dolmar GmbH — North American Division, more than 80 years ago, when the first gas-powered chain saw was created, the handheld power products industry was mechanized with simple production methods and expectations. The process: conceptualize an idea that meets a need, develop a method of construction and assembly, and adjust the settings for best operation.
“Today’s production methods are vastly different and much more complicated,” said Brown. “Chain saw manufacturing now incorporates computers that will render full-scale simulated models, laser cut machine parts, software that can simulate stress and wear, etc. The production process has evolved to the point where technology practically eliminates the guesswork ‑ and, as if that were not enough, there are computers that will run diagnostics and provide precise performance measurements to improve upon.”
According to Brown, improvements are endless innovative spirit has long been on the leading edge of technology — pushing the limits of chain saw development and manufacturing to meet and surpass user needs. One of the major benefits of a professional-grade chain saw is its serviceability. Individual components, machined fittings and durable materials are all indications that the saw is built to last.
“Durability is perhaps the most important factor a professional user considers when purchasing a chain saw,” said Brown. “They are looking for a chain saw with as little downtime as possible while maintaining a high standard of performance. So, the goal of building durability into every product is paramount. That is where the manufacturing process and testing comes into play.”
According to Brown, two significant advancements in quality manufacturing are cell-production and performance testing. Cell-production is, in a way, the opposite of the assembly line its one technician manufacturing a chain saw from beginning to end rather than a series of stations where line workers are responsible for only portion of the process. After the single technician completes the “custom manufactured” chain saw he gives it his personal mark signifying it meets established quality guidelines and is ready for testing. The testing checks for proper operation and captures regulatory information. Additionally, information captured at testing is studied for improvements to the production process, and the cycle repeats.
It is a well-known fact that in the chain saw industry safety is a major operational, as well as developmental, consideration. Therefore, premium manufacturers aim to make their products as safe as possible. The past decade has seen dramatic improvements in overall chain saw safety with features like quicker starts, vibration-reducing dampers, inertia and manual chain brakes, touch-to-stop ignition switches, etc. No matter where a chain saw is being used, whether it is on the job site, in a secluded area, or in a hard-to-reach location, workers need the comfort of knowing their product was built with their safety at the foremost of the designer’s mind.
According to Brown, professional users across the board agree that cutting corners in this industry doesn’t pay; likewise, cutting corners in the manufacturing of a chain saw is not the mark of a premium manufacturer.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to one simple premise professional users demand more bang for their buck,” said Brown. “They choose premium performance chain saws because nothing else comes close to matching the performance, durability, and quality manufacturing of well-built power equipment.”