Best Rated Chainsaws For Homeowners & Professionals
Consumers nowadays have a broad variety of chainsaws to choose from - gas-powered, battery operated, or electric - all of which have particular strengths and weaknesses. Gas powered chainsaws are the most powerful and are selected by professionals and people that are looking to cut down very large trees. Battery operated cordless chainsaws are perfect for light jobs and branch trimming in a quiet, ergonomic fashion. Electric corded chainsaws are inexpensive and are useful for consumers with smaller yards that are close to an electrical outlet.
We have reviewed 11 popular chainsaws that are among the best offered in today's marketplace. We examined their pros and cons, what warranties they are provided with, how reliable and easy-to-use the machines are, what safety features they have, and so much more.
Please read on to discover which chainsaw is the perfect one for your needs.
Best Chainsaws For The Money
- Side-mounted chain tensioner for easy access
- 20-Inch Bar. Power output: 3.62 hp
- Quick release air filter to facilitate cleaning and replacement of air filter
- Forged 3-piece crankshaft for maximum durability for the toughest applications
- Low Kick Back 16" Oregon Bar and Chain for construction and outdoor cutting applications
- Tool-Free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob for proper bar clamping force
- Auto-Oiling for continuous lubrication. Quarter-turn oil cap for quick oil re-fills
- Chain brake for kick back protection
- 40V MAX Lithium Ion Battery for longer runtime and overall life
- 12" premium bar and chain
- Automatic oiling system
- Tool-free chain tensioning for quick and easy chain adjustments. 40V MAX* 2.0Ah Battery provides...
Husqvarna 460 Rancher
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5
Poulan Pro 967061501
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
EGO Power+ CS1401
4 out of 5
3.5 out of 5
3.5 out of 5
Our star ratings are based upon features, reliability, safety, ease of use and price. Your needs may be different.
HOW WE RATED THE CHAINSAWS
We have read and carefully compared hundreds of reviews of chainsaws with the goal of providing you with information that will help with your purchasing decision. The 11 chainsaws reviewed above are among the best in their class - gas-operated, cordless (battery powered) chainsaws, and corded electric chainsaws.
We use a star system for our ratings, with 5 stars being the highest possible rating assigned. We are confident that our reviews of each type of chainsaw presented here today will assist you in making a better-informed purchasing decision.
When purchasing any chainsaw, it is very important to consider the reliability of the machine and what type of warranty it comes with. The Husqvarna 460 Rancher, the Poulan Pro, and the Remington RM4620 Outlaw come with a 2-year limited warranty on residential use products. The Dewalt FLEXVOLT chainsaw, the Black & Decker LCS1240, the Makita XCU03PT1, and the WORX WG303.1 come with a 3-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. The Greenworks 203112 comes with a 4-year limited warranty. The Oregon 570995 comes with a 2-year consumer and 1-year professional warranty. The EGO Power+ comes with a 5-year tool warranty and a 3-year battery warranty for kits only. The Ryobi P547 offers a 3-year limited warranty,
Chainsaws are available in 3 different power types - gas, battery, and electric. Engine size measures gas chainsaw power (either CC (Cubic Centimeters) or Cu. In. (Cubic Inches)). The higher the CC, the more powerful the engine. Typical homeowner chainsaws range between 24-50CC.
Electric chainsaw power is measured in amps or amperage (A). The higher the amps, the more powerful the chainsaw will be. Unfortunately, electrical outlets are only geared for a maximum of 14 amps, so all the corded electric models reviewed here today have amperages of 14.5 to 15.
Battery chainsaws are measured by volts or voltage (V) - the higher the voltage, the more powerful the chainsaw will be. Lithium-ion is the superior battery type available for chainsaws.
Gas-powered chainsaws are renowned for their fast cutting speed. Smaller bars will increase the cutting speed of your saw, and larger bars will slow down the cutting speed. The gas-powered chainsaws reviewed here today have an average cutting speed of 55-60 MPH (88 FPS).
Battery-powered chainsaws are judged by the number of cuts that can be made on one charge. Our battery-powered saws under review ranged from 70 cuts on a 3.0 amp hour battery to 150 cuts on one 4.0 amp hour lithium-ion battery.
Corded electric powered chainsaws are limited since they can only receive 15 amps of power maximum from an electrical outlet. A few of the corded chainsaws reviewed here today offer a variable speed trigger which allows cutting of a wider variety of thicknesses.
Chainsaws should have a suitable number of safety features. The chain must be properly matched to the saw and the guide bar, and it should be properly sharpened. Kickback reduction is important. The chainsaw you select requires correct chain sharpening. If your chainsaw chain is blunt, it will cut poorly, and this may lead to increased bar loading as well as operator fatigue.
The chainsaw you select should have a chain brake which is located between the chain and the actual top-handle and will engage the brake if the saw ever kicks back while you're using it. Chain catchers and safety throttles are other important features of good chainsaws.
Finally, operator instruction is essential for safety. All chainsaw users should provide themselves with protective gloves, non-slip work boots, hearing protection, and safety glasses.
EASE OF USE
Many electric and cordless chainsaws now include some extra features that provide ease-of-use. These beneficial features include an oil reservoir window, which allows you to check the chainsaw’s oil level at a glance, an automatic chain oiler which keeps the chain well lubricated during use, and tool-less chain adjustments, which eliminate needing a toolkit to be able to adjust the tension in the chain.
HOW TO PICK THE BEST CHAINSAW FOR YOU
Gas powered chainsaws are for commercial as well as residential use and are necessary if you plan on cutting substantial trees ranging in size from 12” to 24”, or hardwoods. Gas saws are larger, heavier, and require a certain amount of strength to use. They also require gas and oil to operate. They are loud and cannot be used in neighborhoods where there are strict noise ordinances. These chainsaws come in a range of different bar lengths, and they typically have better bar-oiling systems.
Electric chainsaws are a good choice for residential users who plan on only sawing occasionally, and want to cut limbs and smaller trees. Because the motor is quiet, you won't have to worry about local noise ordinances. The motor requires no gasoline mixture and needs no maintenance - simply turn it on and go. They are lightweight, simple to start, and ideal for general-purpose light tasks like pruning. Their biggest drawback is their extension cord, which must be plugged into a nearby outlet.
Cordless chainsaws eliminate the cord problem. They are powered instead by rechargeable batteries and are easier to maneuver. They are lightweight, low-maintenance, have unlimited mobility, and are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. No extension cords, gas, or oil are necessary. Mini cordless models are comparable in power to electric chainsaws, and a few can even reach the higher power typically provided by gas chainsaws. Their biggest drawback is that their battery must frequently be recharged. Many owners of cordless chainsaws have solved the battery problem by purchasing two or three batteries so that they won’t have any downtime mid-project.
WHAT WILL YOU BE CUTTING?
If your primary purpose for buying a chainsaw is for cutting firewood, do NOT buy a cheap chainsaw. Cutting firewood is a high-energy activity that requires a good deal of power; you’ll want to buy a chainsaw that features anti-vibration technology so you won't develop Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome. You will need to get a gas chainsaw that comes with at least a 20” bar and chain.
If you have a small yard and will only be needing a chainsaw for small and medium-size limb cutting, and have an electrical power outlet close at hand, a corded electric chainsaw might be perfect for you. They are lightweight, there is no oil or gas to carry around, they’re quiet and clean, and they are very reasonably priced.
If you don't want to be hampered by a cord and don't mind a little extra weight, a cordless electric chainsaw could be right for your small-to-medium jobs. They are more expensive than corded models, their batteries will need recharging, and they're heavier to carry, but cordless chainsaws are quiet, easy to start, low-maintenance, and have no harmful emissions.
HAVE YOU EVER USED A CHAINSAW BEFORE?
If you are a newcomer to chainsaws, it is recommended to start with a lighter weight corded or battery-powered smaller saw with a guide bar no longer than 14”-16”. This will be more than adequate for light yard work. Once you have experience operating a chainsaw you can then move on to larger and more powerful models, in particular, heavy-duty gas-powered chainsaws.
HOW OFTEN WILL YOU USE THE CHAINSAW
If you only plan on using a chainsaw occasionally and have a smaller property, then you will do better with a corded electric or a battery powered saw. On the other hand, if you plan to use a chainsaw frequently, and have a larger property with many large trees, then we recommend that you purchase a gas-powered chainsaw.
TYPE OF CHAINSAW (POWER SOURCE)
Three main types of chainsaw are reviewed here today - gas-powered, cordless electric, and battery powered chainsaws.
Gas powered chainsaws are usually 2-cycle or 2-stroke engines that will run on a mixture of engine oil and fuel. They are more powerful and faster at cutting wood, but they also produce more vibrations, require frequent refueling, and are noisier and heavier than battery-powered or electric chainsaws.
Cordless or battery-powered chainsaws utilize rechargeable batteries instead of fuel or direct electricity. Newer lithium-ion batteries are portable, lightweight, and are specifically designed for lighter trimming and cutting tasks.
Corded electric chainsaws are the perfect choice if you're a newcomer to chainsawing and only have lighter smaller jobs to do around the house. These saws plug into an electric outlet with a power cord, they are quieter, don't emit any fumes, and they are more eco-friendly.
GUIDE BAR LENGTH
What chainsaw bar length is right for you? You should choose a blade or saw bar that is capable of cutting the average typical limb or tree trunk that you work with. If you're a beginner, and you want a chainsaw for yard work like pruning, trimming, and limb lengthening, then an electric chainsaw with a guide bar size between 8”-12” should be right for you. This size saw can also be used for smaller trees and larger limb removal, but it should not be used for cutting firewood, larger trees, or performing storm damage clean-up.
A gas-powered light-duty chainsaw with a standard bar size between 10” to 14” and an engine displacement between 30 to 45 CC's should be adequate for most users. If you are a more experienced user, you should purchase a medium to heavy-duty chainsaw, probably gas-powered, with a standard bar size between 14” to 18” and an engine displacement of 40 to 50 CC's.
Larger chainsaws with a standard bar size between 20” and 24” should only be used by experienced residential and commercial users. This size saw can be used for felling larger trees, cutting firewood, or any other larger tasks.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEAP AND EXPENSIVE MODELS
Chainsaws very greatly in weight size, shape, models, features, capabilities, types, and prices, and you'll want to make certain that you're purchasing the chainsaw that is best for your particular needs. In general, the more power that the chainsaw provides will probably result in a higher price tag, but it will be worth the added money if your job requires an excessive amount of power and brute strength.
When purchasing a gas-powered chainsaw, thousands of online reviews have demonstrated that the most expensive gas-powered chainsaw will in all probability be number one on the bestseller list, and so on down the line. The most expensive gas chainsaws will have longer bar length, chain, and a bigger power unit. Prices are doubled If you purchase a chainsaw with a 20” bar and a 55CC engine instead of a chainsaw with a 14” bar and a 42CC engine.
Other factors that contribute to a higher cost for gas chainsaws are lighter weight, a smaller but more powerful engine, a better quality chain, and more safety features. It will have tool-free tensioning, an easy start system, a narrower body width, a carbide toothed chain instead of a standard steel chain, an upgraded fuel gauge, air purge, anti-vibration system, easy access air filter, etc.
ELECTRIC POWERED CORDED AND BATTERY POWERED CORDLESS CHAINSAWS
Electric powered corded chainsaws are the cheapest chainsaws available in the marketplace today. They are easy to carry around and are good lightweight alternatives for seniors or those people without body strength or much experience using chainsaws. Corded chainsaws do have drawbacks, however. The biggest drawback is that the user must constantly have to deal with an extension cord. The second biggest drawback is that home electrical sockets are constructed to accommodate only 15 amps of power.
Battery powered cordless chainsaws are in the mid-range of price between gas powered and corded saws. The more expensive cordless chainsaws have high-quality lithium-ion batteries, longer recharge times, and a number of backup batteries. More expensive chainsaws will have auto tensioning systems, tool-free chain replacement, safety chain brakes in case of kickback, ergonomic fully wrapped front handles, over-molded rubber rear handles, metal gears instead of plastic gears, easy start systems, adjustment levers, large trigger switches, more powerful motors, and are double insulated for the protection of the operator.
BEST SELLING & TOP RATED BRANDS
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY?
The 11 gas-powered, corded, and cordless electric chainsaws reviewed here today range in price from a low of $77 to a high of $452. At the lowest end of our price scale is the WORX WG303.1 14.5 Amp Corded Chainsaw, which received a rating of 4 stars out of 5 for its reliable performance in many situations. However, some online reviewers experienced a great deal of difficulty with these saws, both with their performance and their cheaply manufactured plastic parts.
The highest priced chainsaw reviewed here today, the Husqvarna 20”, 60.3CC 460 Rancher, is also our editor’s choice for best performing chainsaw overall. This gas powered, ergonomic, robust chainsaw, Is the favorite of a vast majority of online users. They cited its speed, its perfect balance, and its ability to cut through trees like butter. Several reviewers were of the opinion that this chainsaw was the best they have ever used in more than 30 years of wood cutting.
After an extensive review of many gas powered, corded electric, and battery powered chainsaws, we are happy to announce that our editor has a clear favorite - the Husqvarna 460 Rancher 60.3CC 20” 2-Stoke X-Torq Gas-Powered Chainsaw. This chainsaw is more expensive (than average), but in the long run is worth every penny of its additional cost. It is rugged, heavy duty, extremely well-balanced, and is simple to start. If you cut a large amount of wood each year, then this is the most reliable saw to have. It's a workhorse of a machine, has many safety features, puts out very low vibrations, and is comfortable to use for longer periods of time.