A chainsaw does more than just slicing bars. That’s true whether you opt for a gas-powered, corded-electric, or cordless battery-powered machine. The best chainsaws will save you money and time by allowing you to handle all home clearing, logging, and foresting tasks yourself. They make the job enjoyable with highly satisfying results.
Since the market hoards different types of chainsaws, it is best to ask yourself what you expect from the new machine before buying. Depending on the model, chainsaws differ in versatility, efficiency, fuel consumption, durability, speed, quietness, and convenience. So how do you land an exceptional chainsaw that guarantees value for money?
Don’t fret. In this review, we have enlisted ten competent chainsaws that are likely to fall in your price range. All the products have good reviews and are from manufacturers with good track records in engineering chainsaws that prioritize users’ needs. Be sure to leave a comment at the end of the post.
Best Overall: BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Chainsaw
At the top of our list of reviews is the BLACK+DECKER, a battery-powered chainsaw that comes with a 10” Premium Oregon low kickback bar. Users across the globe rave its near-perfect ability to cut through any piece of wood smoothly, quickly, and confidently. This machine also scores high when it comes to maneuverability and ease of handling.
Black+Decker is only 7.59 pounds heavier. The fact that the machine is well-balanced makes it an ideal option when looking for a chainsaw that you can use for hours without experiencing arm strings or fatigue. It is highly effective for all light to medium-duty tasks such as cutting down tree branches, prunes, and medium-sized landscaping timber.
When it comes to maintenance, Black+Decker comes with an improved oil system that features a transparent window that you can use to determine the oil level. Smart yet simple, this mid-size chainsaw has wraps around the bale handle that provides comfort and increased control.
BLACK+DECKER uses any of three types of batteries that range in wattage from 1.5A to 4.0Ah. The batteries are replaceable and are purchased separately for reliability. This machine will prettily cut easily through a 10-11” tree and still leave a decent amount of power for further use.
Interchangeable batteries sold separately
Tool-free blade tension
10” Oregon Premium bar
Clear window on the oiling system
Brand: BLACK + DECKER
Product dimension: 16.69 x 9.63 x 8.81 inches
Product Weight: 7.59 Pounds
Sources of Power: Battery Powered
Easy to clean and adjust
Handles rubberized for comfort
Not suitable for heavy-duty tasks
Best Value: Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16-inch Cordless Chainsaw
If you are looking to invest in a battery-powered chainsaw whose torque and power equals most mid-sized gas chainsaws in the market, then you can’t go wrong with Greenworks G-Max. This simple and elegantly looking chainsaw is compatible with a 40V Li-ion battery that is engineered by Greenworks. It also features a brushless motor that decreases vibration by almost 70%, so you can be sure of easy control and stability. The motor uses smart technology for faster cooling and reduces the chances of sparking by almost 80%.
This product is also relatively light, weighing only 11.6 pounds. It is one of the ideal cordless chainsaws that you can use for hours without feeling your muscle twitch or experiencing fatigue. The fact that it comes with a low kickback chain lets you rest easy knowing well that Greenworks considered safety first when engineering this machine.
GMAX 40V Li-ion batteries in this chainsaw charge to their full capacity in only 60 mins (using 2AH) or 120 mins (using 4AH). With a single charge, the machine promises up to 150 cuts, after which you must recharge the batteries to continue cutting. However, that’s not as inconvenient since the batteries are replaceable and can be bought separately.
Automatic chain tensioning
Product dimension: 31 x 9 x 8.5 inches
Product Weight: 10.36 Pounds
Sources of Power: batteries
More powerful than most electric-powered chainsaws
Good battery life
Generous oil reserve
Harder to turn with safety gloves on
Best Pick: Craftsman 41AY4216791 S165 42cc Full Crank 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
One of the crucial features when looking for a gas chainsaw is generous padding, especially around the handle. The best machine is one that is engineered with a handle that feels soft against the palm yet durable enough for years of use. This product by Craftsman comes with a light-weight durable polymer chassis that is not only comfortable but also reliable and efficient for minimizing fatigue.
The Craftsman 41AY features a powerful 42 cc 2 Cycle engine that produces less vibration while still providing greater power output. Attached to it is a 16-inch premium Oregon bar that can run any wood measuring up to 35-inch in diameter. Since the bar is low-kickback, the machine works perfectly for jobs that demand exceptional maneuverability and control.
Gone are the days when you could pull the string multiple times to start a gas chainsaw. This product uses a smart technology that starts the engine in one to three smoother and easier pulls. It is ideal for all yard-work, wood slicing, lawn care, and a wide range of outdoor projects. With an adjustable auto-chain oiler and an easy-view, the machine is your perfect bet when looking for a product that will not take you time to change the oil.
42 cc full crank and 2-cycle engine
Adjustable automatic oiler
Low kickback 16-inch bar
Easy-to-pull start string
Product dimension: 28.5 x 9.75 x 11.25 inches
Product Weight: 21.6 pounds
Sources of Power: Gas-powered
Lightweight ergonomic design
Low vibration and kickbacks
Decent-sized 16-inch bar
Polymer frame for comfortable handling
The build materials not more sturdy as expected
Best Durable: Remington RM4618 Outlaw 46CC 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Chainsaw
Every seasoned woodcutter would want a durable chainsaw that can hack the hardest wood ever. The best machine can help you cut quickly in different situations without running risks of the teeth damaging or falling out. This product by Remington is one in a thousand options that are engineered with advanced, sturdy, flexible, and extra-long bar and chain for superior performance.
This rear-handle chainsaw features a 46cc full crank 2-cycle engine that is powerful enough to slice up to 40-inches deep. Measuring 32 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 12 inches tall, this machine weighs 16.4 pounds, which is a medium-range weight. It also comes with a die-cast chassis that is dimensionally durable and efficient.
Remington Outlaw is ergonomic-shaped and comes with isolated cushioned handles that improve stability, control, and general comfort when cutting down trees. It uses a 5-point anti-vibration technology that is far much efficient as compared to what chainsaws in its caliber offer.
Of its most exceptional quality is the automatic oiling system that the machine comes with. You can easily adjust the oiling system to make sure that there is a proper amount of lubricant for smooth cuts.
Heavy-duty carrying case
Adjustable automatic oiling system
18-inch low kickback bar
46 CC 2-cycle engine
Product dimension: 34 x 12 x 12 Inches
Product Weight: 16.4 Pounds
Sources of Power: Gas-Powered
Robust side-access tensioning system
Very durable compared to most variants
Cushioned handles for maximum safety
Ergonomic design for optimum comfort
Uses a lot of fuel especially for hardwoods
Best for emergency night job: EGO Power + CS 1800 18-Inch Cordless, Battery Powered Chainsaw
When enlisting chainsaws models to purchase, a few qualities such as LED illumination will hardly ring in your mind. Well, some foresting tasks extend to the middle of the night. So what will you do if your torch batteries drain completely? Don’t worry, the EGO Power CS 1800 comes with bright headlights that have you covered when storm clearing or doing any other emergency night job.
Featuring an aggressive 18-inch Oregon bar, this product works efficiently with low-kickbacks and is always stable for a wide range of tasks. Its chain is 1000 RPM rated, meaning it can take down large branches of up to 40-inch thick, stumps and tall trees.
Every aspect of this machine read creativity and innovation. It uses an auto-tensioning system that lets users tighten or loosen the chain by a twist of a dial. You don’t have to stop the machine to adjust the chain tension.
Most users also love the red visuals that appear immediately when you press the brake handlebars. These signals make it easy to adjust the chain speed and have absolute control of the machine.
If you are looking to invest in an uncomplicated, versatile, and easy-to-use corded chainsaw for light and medium cutting duties, then you can’t go wrong with this machine from WEN. Weighing only 10-pounds, the WEN 4017 is a reliable starter machine that you can use for hours without feeling fatigued.
Upon pressing the safety button and squeezing the trigger, this machine will power on and continue cutting uninterruptedly until you release the trigger. This way, you don’t have to worry about the machines stopping frequently in the course of tree cutting.
Winding the premium 16-inch bar is a chain that rotates at a speed of about 44 feet per second. In a single pass, the bar can cut through a 14-inch diameter, hence making the machine ideal for clearing larger tree limbs around the homestead.
WEN 4017 comes in a plastic construction that is appealing aesthetically, well-balanced, and less intimidating. You will also like its automatic oiling system that lubricates the chain for smooth and perfect cuts.
34 oz. (100ml) oil reservoir capacity
Premium 16” Oregon Bar
Bumper spikes for stability
Safety lock system to prevent accidental start-up
Product dimension: 31 x 10 x 6.5 inches
Product Weight: 10 pounds
Sources of Power: Corded Electric
The chain speed is ideal for hardwood cutting
Does not pollute the environment
Works only when connected to the grid
Best for Smooth Cuts: Worx WG301.1, 14.5 Amp, 16-inch Corded Electric Chainsaw
Although priced higher than many corded chainsaws, this is one of the most-cherished homeowner’s rides. A beautifully engineered electric propelled chainsaw, the WORX WG301.1 comes with an aggressive 14.5 AMP motor that is suitable for smooth cuts.
Its oil reservoir comes planted for auto-lubrication. When running, the machine spreads oil on the chain for smoother and faster cuts. You will also love its oil-level indicator, a quality that allows users to see through and prevent the tank from drying up.
So far, in our list, this is the third saw that has an automatic chain brake. When you press the brake, the system automatically stops quickly enough to prevent accidental cuts. The feature is particularly important where safety is a major cause for concern.
The front handle is ergonomic. Additionally, it is fully wrapped, so you can be guaranteed both vertical and horizontal grips when cutting. In the same case, the rear handle is also rubberized and comes with mold grips for superb control.
Worx WG301.1 is a product of modern technological advancements. It comes with a metal spike bumper that grips wood and prevents kickbacks.
Patented auto-tension chain system
Built-in chain brake
Automatic oil lubrication
Powerful 14.5 AMP motor
Product dimension: 14.57 x 19.69 x 8.07 inches
Product Weight: 11 pounds
Sources of Power: Corded-electric
Highly reliable for yard works
Engineered with auto-protect safety features
Auto lubrication for increased life span
Very comfortable and easy to use
Not ideal for heavy-duty projects
Best Quiet: BLACK + DECKER 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw
If you are looking for a tool that is a perfect mix of performance, ease of use, and utility, then here it is. This product from BLACK + DECKER is powerful and aggressive enough to handle the toughest jobs that revolve around homestead clearing. It is powered by a 40V Lithium-ion battery that not only provides longer run-time but also provides 60 4X4 lumber cuts in a single charge.
The BLACK + DECKER 40V Max features a motor that runs quietly and produces low vibrations. Combined with the low kickback 12-inch Oregon Premium bar, the machine provides peak level comfort that is necessary where safety is a cause for concern.
One feature that makes this product stand out is its streamlined design. Since it is electric-powered, the manufacturer has cut the space for the fuel reservoir to produce an ergonomic-shaped chainsaw that feels comfortable on the hand. On the other hand, this machine weighs only 10.4 pounds, making it a lot easier to carry, maneuver, and use.
The toll-free tensioning mechanism in this machine also makes it an ideal bet when looking for a saw whose chains are easy to replace or adjust. With this chainsaw, you can prune branches and cut fallen trees conveniently any time.
12-inch low-kickback Oregon blade
Chain pitch: 3/8”
Chain gauge 0.043”
40V MAX interchangeable battery
Tool-free tensioning system
Product dimension: 28.56 x 8.81x 9.63 inches
Product Weight: 10.4 pounds
Sources of Power: Battery-powered
Fade-free battery performance
Easy blade adjustment
Excellent performance for a cordless chainsaw
With no smoke
Takes time to charge
Best Easy to Maintain: DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw Kit
Are you looking for a well-balanced battery-powered chainsaw for your domestic clearing tasks? Well, the DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw comes handy with a 12-inch premium Oregon bar that is highly effective for both indoor and outdoor sawing.
Weighing only 8.8 pounds, this product by Dewalt is one of the few options that are easy to maneuver and handle without any tinge of energy drain. It also comes in an ergonomic body and generous padding for both the front and rear handles hence making it a lot safer, easier, and comfortable to use.
That is not all, this product also comes with an auto-oiling feature that will keep its system well maintained. You don’t need to disassemble the parts to replace or apply the oil manually into its system hence saving on both time and energy.
Well, if an automatic brake system is what you are looking for in a new chainsaw, then this product has your back. It features a tool-free chain tensioning and an additional bar tightening knob that provides proper clamping force. As far as safety is concerned, this product guarantees it at a peak without compromising efficiency and convenience.
12-inch Oregon Premium bar
Automatic tensioning system
Product dimensions: 25 x 9 x 9 inches
Product weight: 8.8 pounds
Power source: Battery-powered
Easy to maintain
Well-balanced and sturdy materiality
Versatile for various home-clearing tasks
Batteries come as a separate package
Best for heavy-duty Tasks: Remington 41AY4216983 RM4216CS 42cc Full Crank 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chainsaw
The last in our list of reviews is the Remington 41AY, a heavy-duty chainsaw that comes with a 42cc full crank 2 Cycle engine. Most gas machines require a bit of expertise to cut through a larger circumference of about 42 inches and above. However, this chainsaw is powerful enough and comes with the most stable built ever. All you need is to position it at your preferred cutting mark and you will see it slice into the wood without applying any effort.
Apart from the auto-oiler, the machine also comes with an easy chain view that will let you identify whether the chain is lubricated enough. For keen users, this machine lets you identify any damage that can be caused by hardwood and whether all the teeth are perfect.
You don’t need to pull the start string multiple times to start Remington 41AY. It comes with a Quickstart Technology that saves on both time and energy.
Some saws struggle to slice through hardwood. However, with the 3-point anti-vibration feature in this saw, you can be assured of a smooth and convenient cut. Buy it today and take your wood cutting a notch higher.
Adjustable auto-oiler with easy chain-view
42 cc, 2-cycle engine
Product dimensions: 28.5 x 9.75 x 11.25 inches
Product weight: 21.5 pounds
Power source: gas-powered
Versatile for heavy-duty tasks
Comfortable to use
May be too heavy for starters
Types of chainsaw
Chainsaws come in three main types, namely:
1. Gas-powered chainsaws
Gas-powered chainsaws are the most popular. These machines are also the most powerful. They run on a mixture of fuel and oil, so you can rest assured to use them even in marginal areas away from the grid.
Gas-powered chainsaws come with an easy-to-pull string system that you can use to start the machine. When new, one pull is enough to keep the engine gyrating. However, with frequent use, you may need to pull the string multiple times to start the system.
Averagely, gas-powered chainsaws consume a tank-full of fuel for a sawing session that lasts between one to one and a half hours. For a whole day task, you will need to mix the fuel and oil in a particular ratio and use it to refill the tank. You can also buy an already-mixed fuel from the market in case you intend to save time and energy needed for multiple refills.
2. Battery-powered chainsaws
Battery-powered chainsaws come with in-built or removable Lithium-ion batteries that run their engines. Averagely, a single charging session should give you three to four hours of uninterrupted sawing.
Some models come with only a single battery. Other variants come with two batteries that you can charge and alternate during the tree-cutting session. The second type can save you time since all you need is to replace the first battery once it is drained and continue with the process uninterruptedly.
On the downside, battery-powered chainsaws are nowhere powerful compared to gas-powered ones. These machines can only handle light-duty tasks such as cutting hedges of trees. You may also need to recharge the chainsaw frequently for a whole day task. Otherwise, they are quieter, eco-friendlier, and do not need repairs regularly as gas-powered chainsaws.
3. Corded electric chain saws
These chainsaws work directly on electricity. They come with a long cord that connects the system to a workstation through a plug. Meaning, you will need a socket nearby to keep the machine running whenever you want to clear any tree.
The fact that you need a cord to run the system means you cannot use the machine away from the grid. In regards, the corded chainsaw is only efficient for light-duty home-based tasks such as trimming plants, bushes, and prunes. Otherwise, unlike the gas-powered chainsaws, corded machines are easy-to-maintain and more eco-friendly as they do not produce smoke or unnecessary noise.
Best Chainsaw Buying Guide
With more than 100 different models of chainsaws available in the market, choosing the right one for the pending task can be quite overwhelming.
Obviously, price is the starting point, but to help you narrow down further, you will need to focus on other factors such as quality, reliability, safety, and a lot more.
Let’s take a look at each factor, explain why they are crucial, and provide you with answers to some of the popular questions that most people ask before buying a chainsaw.
1. The length of the guide bar
Have you ever asked yourself why some chainsaws “pinch” the bar when cutting? Well, chainsaws come in three main categories: small, medium, and large.
Small saws have bar lengths ranging between 6 to 14 inches. These machines are suitable for cutting small-sized trees. They are your ideal bet when looking forward to clearing small bushes around your homestead, taking down tree limbs, and bucking small logs.
Medium-sized saws feature bar lengths that range between 16 to 20 inches. These machines are ideal when clearing storm damages and bringing down medium-sized trees. Saws with bars ranging between 18 to 20 inches are handy for collecting firewood.
Finally, the large-sized saws have bar lengths ranging between 22 to 40 inches. They are your go-for models when looking for a chainsaw to handle professional heavy-duty clearing tasks such as logging.
Back to our question, a chainsaw will pinch the wood—and even get kickbacks—if the length of the guide bar is smaller than the recommended circumference of a tree that the machine should handle. Usually, a chainsaw should be able to cut a log that is twice the diameter of its bar. For example, your 20” guide bar should handle up to 40” log diameter. The longer the bar, the larger the circumference of trees you can cut in a single pass.
Also, as expected, the guide length dictates the power of the machine. Longer bars need high-powered engines to give them the required energy to go extra inches deep. An electric chainsaw cannot handle a blade that is 18-inch longer since its motor lacks enough power to drive such a bar. On the contrary, a bigger gas-powered saw can go up to 72 inches deeper because they have beefy engines that can drive their guide bar inside the log without any hitch.
Bottom-line, when shopping for a chainsaw, first consider the type of task you are going to handle. If you are a forester looking for a machine for logging, then large-sized models are your ideal bet. Otherwise, for home clearing tasks, any guide bar below 14 inches suits your demands anytime.
2. Cost of ownership
Savvy buyers seek value out of every coin they use to acquire any equipment such as a chainsaw. And since you need something that you are going to use for an important task, it is best to know the price tags of the available models.
Well, the prices of chainsaws vary depending on the model, brand, and size. Electric saws cost between $70-$200, while the gas-powered variants have tags ranging between $150-$300. However, when it comes to functionality, some cheaper models can do what you are looking for in the pricier models. That is why it is prudent to do your research well and ask for reviews beforehand.
3. Extra features
Different chainsaws come in a wide range of design, and with extra features. Saws with many features have the widest scope of functionality. These machines are easier to work with and sometimes cost fortunes.
One key feature to look out for is the side-mounted tension adjuster. In most saws, this is simply a screw that you can rotate to tighten or loosen the chain.
When slicing a tree, you will realize that you need to alternate the chain’s tightness depending on the nature of the tree you are cutting. A chain that is too tight can break and cause damages to the machine. Conversely, when the chain is too loose, you may not be able to achieve a flawless cut. If you are an amateur, look for a high-end saw with an automatic chain adjuster that can help you prevent unnecessary accidents and repairs.
The other feature that is not common to most chainsaws is the automatic oil system. Well, gas-powered chainsaws come with oil reservoirs that you will need to clean regularly to keep the machine fit for any project. For an amateur, cleaning the oil grits off the machine can be a daunting task. An automatic oil cleaner can help you save time and also reduce the risks of frequent repairs.
Some other features to look for include a spring-assisted starter for gas saws, a carrier case, sprocket tips in guide bars, and an automatic vibration dampening system.
Do you know that roughly 35,000 people are treated yearly for saw related injuries? When using a chainsaw, parts of the body such as the limbs are vulnerable to accidents that often lead to amputation. Since you do not want to be among the unfortunate, it is best to invest in equipment that guarantees safety beyond the sawing session.
Do not drink before or when cutting bars. Also, make sure to invest in safety gear such as helmets, rugged clothes, goggles, and ear protection cups.
5. Parts and maintenance
How would you feel to realize that there are no locally available spare parts for your recently purchased chainsaw? Disappointed, right? Just like any other clearing equipment, chainsaws are vulnerable to wear and tear. To keep the machine fit and long-lasting, you must maintain it regularly and replace parts that have worn out.
To start with, go for popular brands whose spare parts are at the fingertips. This way, you can take the machine to any dealer in case of any problem, and repair it in time. Do some research. Visit the website of the brand you are about to buy from and see whether they have dealers that sell spare parts near you.
FAQs for Best Chainsaw
Q: Can chainsaw blades be replaced? A: Yes. The chain and the blade can be replaced once they start malfunctioning or wear out. However, most chainsaw models come with specific blade measurements and designs. In case you opt for replacement, make sure to check with the right dealer the ideal spare part for your machine. Also, do not fit a larger chainsaw blade in a smaller motor as the engine may not be able to power the blade.
Q: Can the chainsaw chain be sharpened? A: Yes. In case the machine is becoming hard to position and produces a rattling sound with crooked cuts, then you need to sharpen the chain. But first, look for damaged or missing teeth. If the gaps are many, replace the chain.
Q: Does a chainsaw leak oil? A: A properly maintained chainsaw should not leak oil. Otherwise, with poor maintenance, some oil usually remains in the guide or chain. Disassemble the machine and remove any oil leftover to prevent leakages.
Q: Electric chainsaw Vs Gas Chainsaw? A: Gas chainsaws are engineered for heavy-duty tasks. These types of chainsaws run on a mixture of oil and fuel. Conversely, electric chainsaws come in smaller guide bar lengths hence making them ideal for light-duty tasks. Some electric chainsaws are corded, while some models use batteries. They are your ideal bet when looking for a chainsaw for home-based clearing tasks.
Q: Can a chain stretch? A: Yes. The chain, just like any other metal products, expands and contracts under friction. That is why it is advisable to keep the chain well-oiled and ensure the sprocket holder is not faulty. This way, you will prevent the chain from coming off the guide bar when it expands.
Q: Can the chain elongate? A: Yes. With months of use, the rivets that hold the chain as a single piece will loosen hence making the loop longer. This process is gradual.
Q: What is the best chainsaw? A: There is no one-fit-it-all chainsaw that suits all requirements. And since the tastes and preferences vary from one person to the other, your most preferred model cannot be someone else’s favorite. What matters is the purpose you intend to achieve with your chainsaw.
Q: Do chainsaws have overheating issues? A: Not all chainsaws experience overheating issues. Some models come with automatic cooler systems that help manage the heat that result from friction. In case you are using the traditional gas-powered models, make sure to rest the machine frequently to allow the chain and guide bar to cool. Also, make sure to oil the chain frequently to minimize friction.
Q: Is regular oiling necessary? A: Yes. Oiling helps minimize friction. When you oil regularly, the rivets in the chain will always remain compact hence extending the machine’s lifespan. Otherwise, some advanced chainsaws come with automatic oiling systems that spurt oil onto the chain as it moves.
Q: How to start and use a chainsaw A: Safety comes first. Wear the necessary safety gear. Check whether the machine has enough fuel in the tank. Then place the chainsaw on level ground. Place the right foot in the rear handle, the left hand should be on the top handlebar. Engage the chain brake by pushing the chain brake handle forward. Turn the machine on by moving the knob to either cold start or “full open” position. Press the fuel primer bulb multiple times until you see the bulb stiffen, then pull the starting cord a few times until the engine starts.
You have probably heard that chainsaws are good for you. But maybe you don’t really know how to use one. Up to this point, this article has guided you on the best chainsaws in the market, their features and, how to start one. That’s not all.
To efficiently run a chainsaw through a log, you need to know how to balance the machine and position its blade. This process may not be a no-brainer as you may think. We advise that you take some lessons on woodcutting before embarking on this journey.
It doesn’t hurt to research about the stability of the machine you are just about to buy. For starters, go for light but stable saws as they are the easiest to use. As your proficiency advances, so should you consider other heavier options.
Also, with months of use, your hands will get accustomed to a specific model. In case you want to change a model, make sure to train on how to use the new model before hitting the road.