Choosing a chainsaw can be overwhelming and confusing for any new chainsaw user. There are many different chainsaws available that are designed to suit different chainsaw users and to handle different sawing tasks. Getting the best chainsaw requires good planning and doing a lot of research. The best chainsaw for any particular user should be useful, powerful enough for the intended tasks, worth the money and it should also suit the needs and the size of the chainsaw user.
Below is a table list and short reviews on some of the best chainsaws available as well as other information about chainsaws intended to the new chainsaw user with knowledge about chainsaws, chainsaw use and also guide them on how to select the best chainsaw for their needs
|Husqvarna 450||Gas-powered||50.2 cc||18 inch||10.8 pounds|
|Remington RM5118R Rodeo||Gas-powered||51 cc||18 inch||25 pounds|
|Echo CS-400||Gas-powered||40.2 cc||18 inch||10.1 pounds|
|Tanaka TCS40EA18||Gas-powered||40 cc||18 inch||16 pounds|
|Poulan Pro PP5020AV||Gas-powered||50 cc||20 inch||10 pounds|
|GreenWorks 20312 DigiPro G-MAX||Battery-powered||40V Battery||16 inch||6.9 pounds|
|Black & Decker LCS1240||Battery-powered||40V Battery||12 inch||10.4 pounds|
|Makita XCU02Z 18V X2 LXT||Battery-powered||36V Battery||12 inch||8.8 pounds|
|WORX WG303.1||Corded-electric||14.5 Amp||16 inch||11 pounds|
|OREGON CORDLESS 40 Volt MAX CS250-A6||Battery-powered||40V Battery||14-inch||9.3 pounds|
Best Chainsaw Reviews
1. Husqvarna 450
The Husqvarna is another quality chainsaw from Husqvarna. This 18-Inch gas-powered chainsaw is has a 3.2 Horsepower which is powerful enough for medium duty sawing tasks and can even cut large branches and medium sized trees. It was designed for homeowners and occasional chainsaw users who only use chainsaws a few times during the year for medium duty all-round sawing tasks.
The Husqvarna 450 is built with a centrifugal cleaning system, an inertia-activated chain brake, and a snap-lock cylinder cover. While the snap-lock saves time when changing the spark plug and when cleaning the unit, the inertia-activated chain brake reduce the impact of injuries that may occur during a kickback accident.
The X-Torq engine increases fuel efficiency and reduces harmful exhausts. This engine is also designed to last for a long time and its combined stop/choke control makes it very easy to start and also reduces the risk of flooding. It is also fitted with a feature called the Smart Start. This feature ensures that the chainsaw starts quickly and without much effort
The LowVib dampeners are designed to absorb most of the vibrations produced by the chainsaw and hence prevent your arms from exposure to strong vibration which may cause fatigue and even hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS); a disease caused by exposure to too much vibration. These anti-vibration features make handling the chainsaw easier.
2. Black & Decker LCS 1240 40-volt Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch
This chainsaw model is one of the best small battery-powered electric chainsaw available. Weighing 10.4 pounds, it is lightweight and can be used handled by any chainsaw user even people who may not have a lot of physical strength to handle large chainsaws.
For its size and weight, this chainsaw has an impressive weight to power ratio and can tackle most light to medium sawing tasks around the yard. It has been highly rated by other chainsaw users as being portable, lightweight and powerful considering its size.
It has a 12-Inch low-kickback Oregon bar and saw chain designed to provide smooth and fast cuts.It also comes with a tool free chain tensioning mechanism that enables the chainsaw user to adjust the saw chain easily when required.
It is ideal for homeowners and occasional chainsaw users’ especially elderly people and those who need small and lightweight chainsaws for tasks like trimming, pruning and even felling small to medium trees and large branches around the yard.
The Black Decker LCS1240 however is not ideal for the chainsaw user who needs a chainsaw for any heavy duty cutting tasks or cutting through hardwood trees. Like all battery-powered chainsaws, it will need to be charged from time to time and because of this it cannot be used continuously for many hours at a time.
3. GreenWorks 20312 DigiPro G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
With its 40-Volt, 4Ah power output, the GreenWorks 20312 DigiPro Cordless chainsaw has enough power to handle light to medium sawing tasks. This makes it suitable for the occasional chainsaw user and homeowners who need a chainsaw for pruning, trimming and cutting up firewood.
It is fitted with a cushioned Over-Mold Grips and Handle that enhances the comfort of the chainsaw operator while also absorbing up to 70% of the vibration produced. This reduces fatigue and also reduces the effects of the vibration protecting the chainsaw user from Hand and Arm Vibration Syndrome.
It’s 16-Inch Oregon Steel Bar and Chain can cut through thick branches and small to medium sized trees. The chainsaw also comes with a hand guard which enhances the operator’s protection.
The GreenWorks DigiPro is also very light (because of the Lithium-Ion batteries) and ideal for elderly people and anyone else who may not have much physical strength to handle large and more powerful chainsaws. Because it does not have a code tied to it, it is very portable and can be used in any kind of environment.
However, the GreenWorks DigiPro motor is still not the ideal chainsaw when you are looking for a powerful chainsaw for heavy duty sawing. It also runs on batteries that must be recharged after an hour or two; so if you are looking to cut through a lot of wood, skip it and look for a powerful gas powered model or a corded electric( if you will be cutting near a power outlet)
4. Echo CS-400 18″ Gas Chainsaw
The Echo CS-400 chainsaw model is a powerful, durable and reliable chainsaw that is designed for professional chainsaw users and also suitable for the homeowner who requires a tough chainsaw for medium to heavy duty cutting tasks.
It also has very low vibration and because of this, it can be used for hours at a time without the operator feeling fatigued. The Echo CS-400 is also lightweight making it easy to maneuver and use in many kinds environments and positions. It has great performance and a very impressive weight to power ratio.
The main downside about the Echo CS-400 18” chainsaw is that it does not have as much power as a regular chainsaw despite its impressive weight to power ratio (considering the size and weight of the chainsaw). If you are looking for a chainsaw to handle more heavy cutting tasks, you might want to consider looking for a more powerful model.
Another disadvantage with this chainsaw model is that the chain loosens up fast and you may have to constantly re-adjust the chain tension to keep it properly tensioned. While this is an inconvenience, it does not significantly affect the quality and performance of the chainsaw.
All factors considered, the Echo CS-400 18” is a reliable chainsaw that is suitable for professional users and homeowners for light to medium cutting jobs. If well maintained, it can last a long time with no major hitches.
5. Remington RM5118R Rodeo 51cc 2-Cycle 18-Inch Gas Chainsaw
With a 51cc 2-stroke engine and an 18-Inch blade, this gas-powered chainsaw model from Remington is one powerful chainsaw and among the best chainsaws in the market. It can handle medium to heavy duty sawing tasks easily. It is suitable for all kinds of chainsaw users but especially home owners who use their chainsaws a lot and professionals.
The Remington RM5118R Rodeo is also fitted with excellent front and rear anti-vibration handles that make it comfortable for the chainsaw user to use as well as protecting them from the effects of excess vibration. Because of this impressive feature, you can use your chainsaw for hours without getting fatigued.
This chainsaw is also built with other features like the QuickStart Mechanism which makes the chainsaw very easy to start , a 2-step choke for quick and automatic idle to high warming process and an automatic oiler that will keep the saw chain and bar guide always lubricated.
This chainsaw is really a good deal as on top of the above features, it also comes with a heavy-duty protective carrying and storage case that will protect your chainsaw from damage when you are carrying it around and when it is lying in storage.
This is a great product that is suitable for most chainsaw users who require chainsaws for all round sawing needs as it has enough power to handle light, medium and even heavy-duty tasks. However, it is a bit heavy and not ideal for users who may not have much physical strength.
6. Makita XCU02Z 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Cordless Chain Saw
This battery-powered chainsaw is easy to use and very efficient. With 36 volts of power , a 12-Inch guide bar and ,a 1650 FMP chain speed, it can handle all light to medium sawing tasks like cutting firewood and trimming, pruning and even felling small trees and thick branches.
Being battery powered, the only maintenance you will need is recharging g the batteries when they run out of charge; otherwise you are good to go. Weighing only 8.8 pounds, this chainsaw is lightweight and can be used by any chainsaw users. It is also very quiet and does not produce harmful emissions.
It is ideal for occasional chainsaw users and homeowners who require a powerful machine to handle light to medium tasks on their yards and even elderly people or people who may not be able to handle the heavy and powerful gas-powered chainsaw models. They are perfect for indoor sawing even in residential areas because they are quiet and do not produce a lot of noise.
However, the lithium-Ion batteries and the charger are sold separately.
If you are looking for a more powerful chainsaw, you will be better equipped with a gas-powered model
How to pick the best chainsaw
There are so many online resources and reviews available that can help a beginner who is looking to purchase a chainsaw for the very first time. Of course, professional chainsaw users and even other users who have been using a chainsaw for a long time may not require any guidance when picking the right chainsaw. This is because they have prior experience with chainsaw use and already know exactly what they are looking for.
If you are a new chainsaw user however, below are some of the factors you need to consider so that you purchase the best chainsaw for you.
1. Use the following questions as a guide
What kind of sawing will you be doing?
Different chainsaws are designed for different sawing needs. Some chainsaws can only handle light tasks and are therefore not recommended for professional use or for cutting hard woods and large trees. If you are going to be using it for light-medium sawing tasks such as trimming and pruning of trees in your yard, you will probably need to buy an electric chainsaw that is easy to operate and has enough power to handle such tasks.
For medium to heavy duty sawing tasks, it would be advisable to buy an electric or better still a gas-powered chainsaw designed for heavy duty bucking and other sawing needs.
Where (what kind of environment) will you be using the chainsaw?
The kind of environment you will be doing your sawing is also very important when choosing a chainsaw. Electric chainsaws are ideal for indoor use and use in residential areas because they produce significantly less noise than gas-powered chainsaws. They are quiet and won’t disturb you or your neighbors.
If you are going to use the chainsaw in densely wooded areas, it is advisable to buy a gas powered chainsaw or a battery powered electric model that will be easy to operate in such an environment. A corded electric model will be highly inconvenient in such areas because the cord is likely to get tangled in the shrubbery or woods making it difficult for the user to operate.
How frequently will you be using the chainsaw?
Most occasional chainsaw users and homeowners use their chainsaws for only a few months each year and store the chainsaw during the remaining months of the year. If you are in this category, an electric model will be ideal for you since unlike gas-powered models, electric models require little to no maintenance and can be store for months on end without any damage. Gas-powered chainsaws on the other hand are high maintenance and especially so when they need to be stored for more than a few months.
If you choose to buy a battery-powered electric model, it is important to remember to charge the batteries from time to time even during the storage period even if you have not used it.
Do you have any prior experience with chainsaw use?
If you are a complete beginner and don’t have much experience with chainsaw use, you should pick a light chainsaw 12-Inch to 18-Inch that is packed with a lot of safety features to ensure that you are comfortable handling the chainsaw.
How much money are you willing to spend on a chainsaw?
At the end of the day, each potential buyer has a budget. You should buy a chainsaw that you can comfortably afford provided that it is suitable to your needs. Fortunately, there are many great chainsaw models from different brands designed for each user. You can not miss a chainsaw that you can afford.
How fit are you?
Physically is an important aspect when using a chainsaw. Elderly people and those who may not be physically fit should buy smaller and lighter electric chainsaws which they can comfortably afford. Operating large gas-powered chainsaws is not only exhausting, it is also very dangerous if you are not fit enough to handle the weight.
2. Check online reviews on the chainsaw types and models that may be suitable for you
When you have asked yourself the above questions, you can then be able to select the best chainsaw for you. Check online resources and customer reviews on the best chainsaw models under the chainsaw type you prefer. These resources will help you narrow down your choices making it easier for you to select the best out of them.
3. Compare the chainsaws and make your choice
Once you have narrowed down the chainsaw models you prefer taking account of all the above factors, you can check the chainsaws for safety features. A chainsaw fitted with many safety features is great because it will make sawing safer and also make the chainsaw easy for the user to handle.
Benefits of Using a Chainsaw
Makes a lot of work easier
Chainsaws are as versatile as they are useful. All over the United States and the world over, chainsaws are used for cutting firewood, logging, felling trees, clearing fallen trees and debris after a storm and even in rescue missions by firefighters. Without chainsaws, all this work would certainly be very exhausting and would require a lot of manpower to complete.
Covers a lot of work within short period
A chainsaw is capable of felling and cutting a large tree within minutes. It makes sawing, carving, trimming and pruning very fast. A person using a chainsaw takes significantly less time than if that person were to use a hand saw or an axe to complete the same task
It can save you money
Buying cords firewood each winter does cost homeowners a lot of money each year. Some people buy firewood that they could easily chop from their yards or with a permit if only they had chainsaws. In addition to this, with a chainsaw, you can trim and prune your trees and plants in around your yard rather than pay someone else to do it for you. These are just some of the ways a chainsaw can save you money.
Tips to remember when using a chainsaw
Always wear the Recommended Personal Safety Gear
When operating a chainsaw, always wear the recommended personal safety to make your sawing as safe as possible. These include a helmet with a face screen, chainsaw chaps, ear protection, anti-vibration gloves, heavy boots and other gear.
Ensure that you know How to Handle and Use the Chainsaw
Before you begin using a chainsaw, ensure that you know how to use it and are comfortable handling it. You can practice and practice with a chainsaw until you feel comfortable using it.
You should never use a chainsaw to cut any trees or limbs that are above your shoulders. It is very dangerous because if you lose control of the chainsaw, it is likely to fall on you resulting in serious and sometimes fatal injuries.
Ensure that the Chainsaw is in Good Condition
Always check that your chainsaw is in good condition before using it. Regular maintenance is also very important to ensure that your chainsaw remains safe to use and effective. It also helps prolong the life of your chainsaw.
When using a chainsaw, it is important to stay focused and avoid distractions. Even a little moment’s distraction can cause you to lose your footing and lose control of your chainsaw. This can result in serious chainsaw injuries.
Frequently Asked Question (F.A.Q)
Question: Are there electric chainsaws designed for heavy duty tasks?
Answer: If you want to buy a chainsaw to use for heavy duty cutting tasks, the best chainsaw for you would be a gas-powered model. Although there are electric chainsaws that can handle medium to heavy duty cutting tasks, most just do not have the power capacity to handle such work. Electric chainsaws are ideal for light to medium sawing jobs.
Question: How frequently should a saw chain be sharpened?
A dull saw chain is one is not only makes sawing more exhausting, it is also dangerous in that it increases the occurrence of kickback. A chainsaw ideally be sharpened at least after every 2 to 3 hours of heavy-duty sawing. However, you should sharpen your chain as soon as you notice that you are using a lot of wait to cut a tree or log. One of the most common signs of a dull chainsaw is when the chainsaw produces a lot of saw dust instead of smoothly cutting through wood.
However, to ensure that you keep your chainsaw sharp at all times, sharpen it or ‘touch it up ‘whenever you need to fill your oil tank. Remember that a sharp chainsaw makes sawing that much easier and safer.
Question: What is the meaning of ‘a kickback’?
A kickback occurs when the tip or the nose of guide bar comes into contact with a solid object and the rotating saw chain gets pinched or gets stuck. Kickback is the force that occurs from this reaction and this force usually throws the chainsaw back in the opposite direction which is often towards the chainsaw user.
The impact of the rotational force causes the operator to lose control of the chainsaw and this may result in severe injury, loss of limbs and even death the chainsaw user.
The injuries that may occur in the event of a kickback can be significantly reduced by always wearing protective chaps and other personal safety gear when operating a chainsaw.
Question: Why do manufacturers recommend specific chain oil for specific chainsaws?
Chain and bar lubrication is as important as the fuel used. It is important to use the recommended grade and type of chain saw oil and in the correct gas-oil ratio at all times. Regular oil is not recommended because it may damage the internal parts of the chainsaw engine.
If you cannot mix your gas and oil ratios on your own, you can buy pre-mixed fuel from chainsaw dealers and service outlets. Just ensure that the oil you use on your chainsaw is compatible with your engine.
Question: Why is chainsaw fuel usually mixed before use?
Your chainsaw’s saw chain also needs lubrication in order to run smoothly on the bar guide. The oil also keeps the chainsaw cool while it is running. While gasoline is essential to start and run the chainsaw, oil lubricates the chain and cools the engine. However, when you buy gasoline, it is usually not mixed with any oil and hence it must be mixed with the correct chainsaw oil to keep the machine running effectively. The right quality and fuel mix balance also extends the life of the chain and guide bar.
Question: Is it true that chaps may not be very effective in preventing injury in the event of a kickback accident involving an electric chainsaw?
Yes. Unlike gas-powered chainsaw saw chains, electric chainsaw saw chains have high torque /rotating force. Because of this, they will continue to cut even through the chaps in the event of a kickback. Gas-powered chainsaw chains are usually low torque which simply means that they are designed in such a way that the rotating force is slowed or stopped by the chaps.
A chainsaw is not a toy. It is a powerful, versatile machine that can be very dangerous if not used in the intended way or used by an inexperienced person. For this reason, a lot of planning and consideration should be put into purchasing this machine. The term ‘best chainsaw’ is relative in that one chainsaw can be best for a specific user and task and not suitable for the next chainsaw user.
The factors listed above will help a new chainsaw user to select the best chainsaw for them based on their sawing needs, budget, experience with chainsaw use and many other factors.
If you are not comfortable using a chainsaw, it is always advisable to contact a professional or to ask for assistance from a friend or a relative who has experience with chainsaw use. Always keep in mind that a chainsaw is a dangerous machine that can cause serious injury and even death if not handled in the right way.
Note: we also recently reviewed Pole Saws. You can see our top picks here.