Chainsaws are extremely versatile tools, especially when you need to complete cutting and trimming jobs around your home and yard.
So, if you’re actually planning to buy a chainsaw, you will probably be choosing from the 3 main types of chainsaws – gas, electric corded and cordless battery-powered chainsaws.
The chainsaws powered by gas are among the most powerful and smoothest machines and the best part is that you also don’t have to worry about the cord.
However, these are quite noisy, they need more maintenance and the starting can be a hassle.
Corded electric chainsaws are comparatively lighter and are also low maintenance; however, these offer much lesser power and you also have a cord to deal with.
And finally, cordless battery-powered chainsaws work on batteries that can be recharged and you can work with them anywhere at all.
However, the limitation of these models is that they may be suitable only for light-duty jobs and the battery life may not be very long lasting.
When buying a chainsaw, there are several factors you must consider apart from just the power it offers.
You must consider the ease of use, length of the blade, the amount of maintenance needed, etc. before deciding on the best model.
Here is a lowdown that will give you in-depth information of what you should look for in a chainsaw before buying one.
Best Chainsaw Buying Guide
When deciding on the best chainsaw to buy, here are some of the factors you should consider:
1. Chainsaw Size
Size is a very important aspect to consider when selecting a chainsaw.
Usually, the larger the chainsaw, the more powerful it is, which makes it better suited for larger cutting jobs.
The power of the chainsaw is usually measured in terms of the engine power or horsepower and piston displacement (cc). When deciding on the right chainsaw for you, you must also consider the following:
2. User Experience
If you have not used a chainsaw before, then it is better to select a small-sized chainsaw that is easier to maneuver and handle.
Choosing a heavy chainsaw will tire you out easily.
The bulky size will make the chainsaw difficult to handle, will slow down your productivity and also your safety will be at risk.
3. Type of Use
You should consider buying a larger chainsaw with more power if most of your work involves cutting into hardwood, felling trees, etc.
A smaller-sized chainsaw will be damaged and also cause a lot of fatigue when cutting. And, if your jobs pertain to heavy-duty cutting or logging, then a gas-powered chainsaw is the best options as they are fast and powerful.
However, for light-duty jobs like clearing branches, cutting firewood, etc., cordless and electric models are quite suitable.
4. Bar Length
The length of the bar of the chainsaw depends on your level of expertise and also the size of the tree you plan to cut.
If you have experience in using a chainsaw, then you should use at least 2 different bars of varied sizes which will allow you to vary the guide bar according to the size of the tree that you will be cutting.
A shorter bar is much lighter and is easier to handle and maneuver while you’re removing the tree limbs, while a larger bar is ideal for felling trees that are larger.
Heavy-duty chainsaws are much larger in size and the bar lengths are usually 16-18 inches.
However, a bigger chainsaw is not always better and the longer the bar, the more cumbersome it becomes to handle, while also increasing the possibility of kickbacks.
For home use, a chainsaw with a 16-inch bar works quite well.
5. Chainsaw Usage
The choice of a chainsaw depends on where you will be using it.
If you plan to use the chainsaw indoors, then it is better to avoid a gas-powered model as this emits exhaust, which can be hazardous.
And, if you need to use a chainsaw in the woods, where you don’t have access to electrical outlets, then it is better to buy a gas-powered or battery-operated cordless model.
6. Power Source
If you require a chainsaw for emergency use but don’t have a generator that can power it, then a gas-powered chainsaw is ideal.
If you put in the fuel and oil, gas chainsaws will keep running. Battery-operated chainsaws are ideal when you don’t have a power outlet or in case of a power outage.
However, you will require an electrical outlet to recharge the batteries.
The best chainsaws have the following features:
- Chain Brake: This stops the chain in case the front handguard is pushed to the front or the chainsaw kicks back causing the guard to bump your hand. Most electric and gas-powered chainsaw models feature a chain brake.
- Anti-Kickback Chain: This chain helps to prevent kickbacks of the chainsaw.
- Trigger Lock: This stops the cutting chain automatically when you don’t press the trigger, thus preventing any accidental starts.
- Anti-Vibration Grip: Most of the chainsaws are equipped with rubber bushes or metal springs between the handle and the bar, which shield the hand from vibrations and getting fatigued due to prolonged usage.
- Tool-Less or Side-Mounted Chain Tension System: This allows you to tighten the chain of the chainsaw very easily while working without the use of any tools.
- Easy Start System: In gas-powered chainsaws, the start system adjusts the spring mechanism and allows you to pull more easily to start. Other features such as the decompression valve that decreases the compression in the cylinder and the primer bulb that removes the bubbles of air from the gas line make the starting of the chainsaw easier.
- Automatic Oiling System: Keeping the chain and bar of the chainsaw well lubricated helps to prevent overheating and premature wear and tear. An automatic-oiling system oils the bar and keeps the chain oiled continuously so that you do not have to keep stopping your work to oil them.
- Warranty: Always look for a chainsaw that has a decent warranty, for around 2-5 years, although some models only have a 1-year warranty.
Reviews of the Top 4 Chainsaws
Now, we will look at some of the best chainsaws in the market along with their features and some of their pros and cons.
1. WORX WG304.1
If you’re looking for a chainsaw that offers good performance and is also affordable in terms of the price, then the WORX WG304.1 is a great value-for-money buy.
The WORX WG304.1 is a corded electric chainsaw, which essentially means that you don’t have to worry about recharging the batteries or that you will run out of charge when you’re in the middle of a cutting job.
However, you will require an extension cord.
The WORX WG304.1 chainsaw is pre-assembled, which helps to save time. The chainsaw needs regular oiling, which is quite simple.
You need to simply pour the oil in the reservoir and the oil is applied whenever required. The chainsaw features an automatic chain tightening system and good safety features too that can help to prevent any accidents.
So, overall, the WORX WG304.1 is a good chainsaw and if you have access to an electric outlet at all times and don’t mind the occasional interruption of work to oil your chainsaw, the WORX WG304.1 chainsaw is a good buy.
- 15-Amp motor
- Bar Size: 18 inches
- The capacity of Oil Tank: 200 ml
- Auto chain tensioning system
- Low-kickback bar
- Inbuilt chain brake with 63 chain links
- Automatic lubrication
- Inbuilt oil reservoir
- Comes fully assembled
- Comes with 3-year manufacturer warranty
- Auto chain tensioning system ensures that the chain tension is just right for several uses and prevents over-tightening of the chain.
- The inbuilt chain brake and low kickback bar provide additional safety.
- The chainsaw is corded, which means that you will need an electrical outlet or an extension cord always.
Where Can I Buy It?
You can buy the WORX WG304.1 chainsaw on Amazon.
2. BLACK+DECKER LCS1240B
The LCS1240B from Black and Decker is a battery-powered chainsaw that cuts pretty well; however, its 12-inch blade limits its cutting applications and you can use it for pruning trees, cutting very small trees or cutting firewood.
The chainsaw uses 40V rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Since it is electric, the operation is very quiet and since the chainsaw is battery powered, it is quite portable and you can carry it easily and use it wherever you want.
The Black and Decker LCS1240B requires oiling, which can be a hassle for an electric chainsaw.
The chainsaw features a tool-free chain tensioning system, that allows you to adjust the chain easily.
The chainsaw is quite lightweight, which allows you to use it for long periods of time, without getting tired and it has a wraparound bale handle that offers great comfort and control.
Overall, the LCS1240B is a good, lightweight chainsaw for all light-duty jobs and will get your job done very quickly.
- Battery-powered chainsaw
- Bar Size: 12 inches
- Toolless chain tensioning system
- An improved automatic oiling system
- Wraparound bale handle
- Clear window to monitor oil level
- Battery-powered chainsaw allows you to carry it easily and use it wherever required.
- Quiet operation.
- Lightweight design allows easy maneuverability and ease of use.
- Wraparound handle offers greater comfort and control.
- Clear window allows you to monitor the oil level.
- 12-inch blade is suitable for light-duty and small cutting jobs.
- Batteries are quite expensive and are not included with the chainsaw.
- The chainsaw needs oiling.
Where Can I Buy It?
You can buy the Black and Decker LCS1240B chainsaw on Amazon.
3. Husqvarna 240 16-Inch Chainsaw
The Husqvarna 240 is a capable gas-powered chainsaw and it features a 16-inch blade that allows you to reach difficult areas.
The ergonomic design of the Husqvarna 240 chainsaw with the double grip handle ensures that it fits comfortably against your body which makes it easy to use and also minimizes any strain.
The motor is housed inside the compact body of the tool and the dual handles make it very easy to control the chainsaw and allows you to get more precise cuts.
The Easy Start technology lets you start up the chainsaw reliably and easily every time.
The chainsaw is equipped with a knob that allows you to adjust the tension of the chain so that you get cleaner cuts.
The chainsaw has an inbuilt safety chain to prevent any accidents.
The chainsaw is gasoline powered, however, it produces very low emissions that meet with the environmental guidelines.
The Husqvarna 240 is extremely lightweight, offers easy maneuverability and along with the ergonomic design, makes the chainsaw ideal for all light-duty cutting jobs around your home and backyard.
- Gas-powered chainsaw
- Bar Size: 16 inches
- Easy Start system
- Air injection system
- Choke/stop control
- Lowvib System
- Air purge System
- Easy to maneuver and control.
- Low vibration.
- Low fuel consumption and reduced emissions.
- Easy start.
- Lowvib System reduces vibrations and hence user fatigue.
- Not suitable for medium- and heavy-duty cutting jobs.
- Maybe difficult to start.
Where Can I Buy It?
You can buy the Husqvarna 240 chainsaw on Amazon.
4. Makita XCU03PT1
The Makita XCU03PT1 is a battery-powered cordless chainsaw, which runs on two 18V batteries. While the chainsaw is not a heavy-duty industrial grade machine, it is perfect all your household cutting jobs.
The Makita brushless motor provides excellent power, performance, and overall efficiency.
The Makita XCU03PT1 chainsaw is equipped with a variable speed trigger that allows you to control the speed and the tool-free chain adjustment allows for easy maintenance and repair of the chainsaw.
The chainsaw has an in-built lock-off lever that prevents accidental starting and ensures your safety while using the tool. Overall, the Makita XCU03PT1 chainsaw offers great features and excellent performance.
- Brushless motor
- Weight: 3 lbs
- Variable speed trigger
- High chain speed (940 fpm)
- Tool-free chain adjustment
- Inbuilt lock-off lever
- Inbuilt LED on/off switch
- Auto power-off function
- Easy to use and handle.
- Safe to use.
- Quiet operation.
- Low maintenance chainsaw.
- It’s a bit on the heavier side.
- Safety switch keeps switching off every few seconds.
Where Can I Buy It?
You can buy the Makita XCU03PT1 chainsaw on Amazon.
Best Chainsaw Reviews FAQs
Here are a few frequently asked questions. Make sure you get answers to all your questions before buying the best chainsaw:
How Do I Care for My Chainsaw?
If you want to extend the life of your chainsaw, proper storage is of utmost importance. If you are unlikely to be using your chainsaw for an extended period of time, it is time to drain the oil and gas mixture from your chainsaws fuel tank.
The reason this task is important is that the fuel mixture will eventually transform into a varnish and will clog up the chainsaw carburetor.
The result could lead to your chainsaw not starting or at the very least not operating in a sufficient manner.
It is a very good idea to always install a chain or bar guard to protect the chain when not in use. Many of your smaller chainsaws will have a case included for the protection of your chainsaw.
It is imperative to protect your chain and keep it sharp at all times. If you have ever operated a chainsaw for any length of time at all, it is very easy to recognize when the chain becomes dull.
When your chainsaw is cutting properly you will be getting good clean chips versus powder residue. Another indication that you are operating with a dull chainsaw is you will not be getting good straight saw cuts.
Not cutting straight-dull chain. Always keep your chain free from any contact with dirt or debris of any kind.
Who makes the best chainsaw?
There are many models of chainsaws available to select from in the marketplace. What might make your particular selection the right choice for you could be determined by the chainsaws intended use.
As with all tools and equipment products, some products are better than others.
Some retail stores have various manufacturers construct their chainsaws for them and then they will label the chainsaws with their own name.
Sears would be a prime example of such a store and they would use their Craftsman label. If you are interested in your more inexpensive chainsaws then you might try shopping at stores such as Wal-mart or other larger chain stores.
Wherever you decide to purchase your chainsaw, always keep in mind the question regarding warranty work for your chainsaw.
As far as the best brand of a chainsaw to purchase, it really comes down to your own personal view and researching what the experts have to say about the different chainsaws.
Relatively speaking, Homelite, McCullogh, and Poulan chainsaws have been generally inexpensive chainsaws over the years.
Myself, I have personally used a Homelite chain saw for many hours. The main use for my Homelite chainsaw was falling smaller diameter lodgepole pine and the Homelite chainsaw performed in an excellent fashion always.
The personal recommendation from many chainsaw experts is either the Stihl or Husqvarna chainsaw. Both of these chainsaws are greatly respected throughout the industry and are known for their longevity of use.
Of course, the primary piece of the puzzle is proper care and maintenance. Both of these chainsaws are very well engineered equipment products for their weight to power-chain ratio.
Overall the Husqvarna chainsaw is the easier of the two chainsaws to work on and as a side note, the Stihl chainsaw requires metric tools. On who makes the best chainsaw, please do some of your own investigation and the best to you on your new purchase.
What Do I Need to Know Before Purchasing?
When you really think about it, the chainsaw is a very dangerous piece of equipment when not used properly. Many deaths and injuries occur every year due to chainsaw incidents.
The chainsaw is the most dangerous hand tool that can be purchased on the market. Most chainsaw accidents are no question, preventable. Proper training is an absolute requirement.
There are many chainsaw choices to select from but you need to purchase the chainsaw that is the proper size for the job that you intend to accomplish.
You have many options to consider when selecting the proper chainsaw for your needs. You need to consider the horsepower, the chainsaw bar length, weight, the chain speed, and other options.
Chainsaws can be purchased at many local hardware stores, large discount stores, and many chainsaw dealers are available.
I would recommend a chainsaw dealer if you are concerned about warranty work. If you are a bit chainsaw savvy, you can shop for great chainsaw purchases using auction websites like Amazon, eBay or other sites like craigslist.
Do I Need to Sharpen My Chainsaw?
It is very important that the chain on the chainsaw always remains very sharp to constantly perform well. You can sharpen your chainsaw with a round file or a jig without actually removing the chain from the chainsaw.
You can also remove the chain and use a specialized electric sharpening jig. The chainsaw sharpening jig will assure that the cutting faces of the chain will maintain the proper cutting angles.
Every cutting face is well balanced to maximize the chainsaws cutting efficiency.
The correct hand sharpening method probably will produce a better result, but the electric chainsaw sharpeners are faster, especially when you are sharpening super dull chains.
What Chainsaw Is Right for Me?
The first thing you must consider when choosing the right chainsaw for your needs is determining the engine size and how is the chainsaw powered.
Do you want a gas powered chainsaw or an electric powered chainsaw? A gas-powered chainsaw is going to be heavier and requires more maintenance than an electric chainsaw.
In addition, you have the presence of the gas and oil odor to deal with. However, if you are powerful enough to handle a chainsaw then chances are that you can handle this smell.
An electric version is great for smaller projects. It is lighter weight, but you also have to work with the power cord trailing behind you. This is the first decision that needs to be made when choosing the right chainsaw.
Next, you need to consider which size chainsaw is going to be right for your projects. This is measured in the size of the blade.
While there are very small increments in blade size, they make a large difference. Attempting to use a smaller chainsaw for a large project is going to prove difficult and can cause injury.
While you may feel that your large chainsaw can handle any task, attempting to use it on those smaller jobs can cause great difficulty and injury.
The best way to figure out which chainsaw is going to be right for you and your needs is to talk to an expert. These experts can be found in outdoor power equipment specialty stores.
They will have all of the information you need to make the proper decision. Do not simply rely on what you think looks the best, will make you look cool, or is the least or most expensive.
When you make decisions without proper information, you run the risk of harming yourself or others and that is not worth any time or money saved.
Choosing the right chainsaw for your needs really isn’t very difficult, especially when you have the help of an expert.
Final Words on the Best Chainsaw Reviews
Deciding on the best chainsaw to buy can be tough and you need to consider the various factors such as performance, power, safety, portability, etc. before making your final decision.
On the basis of our review, you can compare the various chainsaws along with their pros and cons and you’re sure to end up with a top-notch tool that’s sure to last you a lifetime.