Best Chainsaw: Reviews and buying guide for yard upkeep

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One of the first things new homeowners do when moving into a new property is get to work on the garden. Without the right tools, they quickly learn how daunting yard maintenance can be. Fortunately, a good chainsaw can help you actually look forward to working in the yard!

Chainsaws are quickly growing in popularity, thanks to the market’s increasing levels of choice and quality. If you want a brilliant tool to maintain your yard and provide firewood for cosy evenings inside, then this page is for you.

We’ve done hours of research, and compiled a list of our top ten recommendations for the best chainsaws on the market. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve tried to find options that can suit a wide range of requirements.

Chainsaws can be much quicker and easier to use than bulkier, more expensive equipment. Use our chainsaw reviews to find the best tool for the job.

Best Chainsaw Reviews

1. Remington RM4214 Gas Powered Chainsaw

 Remington RM4214 Rebel 42cc 2-Cycle 14-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw Automatic Chain Oiler-Anti Vibration System, 42cc-14

Overview

This is a gas-powered chainsaw with excellent levels of durability and strength.

The Remington RM4214 comes with convenient instant-start technology that makes it a joy to use. The powerful 42cc engine operates with much less vibration than other models, allowing for safer and more effective cuts. The 14-inch bar makes it easy to cut through most wood and branches without breaking a sweat.

This chainsaw comes with a number of premium features. The professional-grade components make it possible to tackle even the most rigid branches, and even small trees. The automatic oiling system keeps the chain lubricated without any hassle. The lower level of vibration is achieved on this machine with the five-point anti-vibration mechanism that makes this a remarkably comfortable chainsaw to use.

Adjustments on this saw can be made without tools, meaning you can get working again quickly. The 14.72 lbs weight and cushioned wrap handle on this model make it seriously portable.

Pros

  • Tool-free chain tensioning system
  • Comfortable to use
  • Durable and reliable

Cons

  • The oiler clogs often

2. Worx WG303.1 Electric Chainsaw

 Worx WG303.1, 14.5 Amp 16-inch Corded Electric Chainsaw with Auto-Tension, Chain Brake

Overview

This offering from Worx comes with a small price tag, yet still manages to pack a punch.

This heavy-duty machine comes with patented chain technology that prevents over-tightening and accidental cutting. This kind of innovation makes for a seriously durable chainsaw.

The rubberized ergonomic handle on the Worx WG303.1 provides excellent leverage for horizontal and vertical cutting. Working for extended periods with this machine won’t wear you out. Another bonus for convenience is the auto lubrication system that comes as standard. The handy oil indicator gives you plenty of heads up when it’s time to refill the tank.

Its 16-inch bar makes this electric chainsaw ideal for cutting larger branches and preparing firewood. The highly compact design and tiny weight of this 11 lbs saw makes it easy to take it wherever you need to go.

Pros

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Auto-lubrication
  • Highly safe

Cons

  • The knob loosens up when making tight cuts.

3. Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Chainsaw

Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

Overview

This is a high-powered, 12.8 lbs machine that’s seriously capable. It’s one of the best chainsaws on the market.

The 20-inch bar length on this machine makes it ideal for tackling larger projects. You can work safe in the knowledge that this machine will protect you while you cut. The 2-cycle engine and inertia-activated chain brake on this saw help to mitigate the damage caused by accidents.

Convenience is the name of the game here. The automatic chain lubrication system works flawlessly, and the included air filter is incredibly quick to release. The chain tensioning system of this saw allows for quick and easy adjustments on the fly. This all makes the Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Chainsaw remarkably easy to maintain.

This gas-powered saw is powerful enough to cut through trees, prune branches and prepare firewood. This saw runs on 2.5oz of mixed fuel and it’s possible to purchase chain oil separately.

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Comfortable to use

Cons

  • The chain tension mechanism can be unreliable

4. BLACK+DECKER 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw

BLACK+DECKER 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch (LCS1240)

Overview

Next up is a durable cordless option from Black + Decker. This is an excellent chainsaw for home DIY projects. It will also hold its own with smaller projects on the construction site if you need it to.

The 40V lithium-ion battery on this machine is reliable, and lasts a long time on a single charge. The 12-inch bar length makes this is a great chainsaw for home use. This is another saw that comes with an automatic oiling system as standard. The continuous supply of oil to the chain and bar allows for more efficient cutting.

Adjustments are easy to make on the Black + Decker 40V Max Cordless thanks to the tool-less chain tensioning system. The included full wrap handle is comfortable, and gives you a great range of orientations to choose from when cutting.

This machine is nice and lightweight at 10.4 lbs. It takes 4-5 hours to charge the battery completely.

Pros

  • Reliable for homeowners
  • Lightweight
  • Efficient battery

Cons

  • The chainsaw leaks oil

5. Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020

 Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020

Overview

This versatile chainsaw comes with an oxy-power engine, and can handle a slew of different challenges with ease. This durable machine is unlikely to disappoint.

The instant-startup feature on the Poulan Pro PR5020 reduces wear and tear on the starter mechanism, and brings down the pull force by up to 30%. This is a brilliant feature, as it makes for a seriously durable machine. Any maintenance that is required will be effortless, thanks to the integrated combi tool that comes inside the rear handle. The purge bulb included with this model is very well protected, and goes a long way in eliminating any damage that might occur.

The stop control feature on this 17 lbs chainsaw dramatically reduces the chance of the engine flooding. The 20-inch bar length on this machine makes it a great option for cutting taller trees.

This impressive feature set comes with peace of mind, thanks to the included 2-year warranty.

Pros

  • High bar-length
  • Ergonomic and user-friendly
  • Two-year warranty

Cons

  • A bit bulky
  • Handle brakes up quickly

6. Husqvarna 18 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

Overview

This robust, gas-powered chainsaw is an excellent all-rounder. The longer bar length on this machine makes it great for tackling bigger projects.

This is another model that comes with a 2-cycle engine and inertia-activated braking system as standard. This makes the Husqvarna 18 Inch 460 Rancher a tool that is safe to use. Chain and bar oil is purchased separately for this chainsaw, and the bar cover holds 2.5 oz of fuel.

The chain and bar on this saw are maintained with a continuous supply of oil for smooth and safe operation. The side-mounted chain tensioning system on this model is refreshingly simple, and makes on-the-fly adjustments a painless task.

For projects involving vast branches or hard-to-reach trees, the 18-inch bar length on this saw has you covered. The included air filter on this 12.8 lbs saw is very quick to release, making maintenance and cleaning a breeze.

This isn’t the cheapest option on our list but if you can afford it, we think it’s a worthwhile investment.

Pros

  • Easy and quick chain adjustments
  • Safe operation
  • Reliable and versatile

Cons

  • Expensive

7. DEWALT DCCS690B 40V Lithium Ion XR

 DEWALT DCCS690B 40V Lithium Ion XR Brushless 16' Chainsaw (Tool Only)

Overview

This chainsaw combines an exceptional level of performance with a surprisingly lightweight design. This is a fantastic option for professional environments and for work at home.

This 40V battery-powered saw weighs 9.1 lbs, making it easy to carry around with you. The chain-brake system included on this model significantly reduces the chance of dangerous kickback.

Safe and efficient cuts are made easier by the automatic lubrication system. The 16-inch bar is easy to adjust with the included bar-tightening knob, and the tooless design of the chain-tensioning mechanism is just a simple to use.

This chainsaw is well designed and durable; it should last you a long time if you maintain it well.

Pros

  • High-quality battery
  • Incredibly lightweight
  • Effective and safe use

Cons

  • Narrowly designed chain

8. Makita XCU02PT1 12″ Chain Saw Kit with 4 Batteries

 Makita XCU02PT1 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 12' Chain Saw Kit with 4 Batteries (5.0Ah)

Overview

Adding this saw to your toolkit will make you look forward to yard work! A combination of clever battery technologies and quality of life features make this chainsaw a joy to use.

The four batteries included with this machine are a welcome bonus. These batteries power an impressive motor that’s capable of delivering up to 1650 FPM for effortless, fast cutting.

The chain on this model can be adjusted without tools, which always makes things that bit more convenient when working. The bar length of 12 inches on the Makita XCU02PT1 makes it a great option for yard workers and professionals.

This machine uses two 18V batteries to operate, and runs at a comparatively quiet 89dB. If you want to keep disturbances to a minimum, this is a great option.

With 0 emissions, and less hassle with complications like oil changing, this 22.8 lbs chainsaw is a tempting purchase.

Pros

  • Efficient battery technology
  • Simple and practical design

Cons

  • No oil changing necessary

9. Greenworks 10-Inch 24V Cordless Chainsaw

 Greenworks 10-Inch 24V Cordless Chainsaw, 2.0 AH Battery Included 20362

Overview

The innovative feature set on the Greenworks 24V Cordless Chainsaw make it one of the best battery-powered saws we’ve ever come across.

This budget-friendly saw is a reliable option for beginners who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on their first garden tool. The 24V lithium battery is included with your purchase, and makes this a convenient saw for both indoor and outdoor tasks.

The tool-free design on this machine makes quick adjustments easy. The transparent oil tank integrated into the body means you’ll always know in advance when it’s time to top up. This is another chainsaw on our list with an automatic oiling system. This is such a great feature to have, as it seriously boosts durability.

The 10-inch bar length on this offering from Greenworks is perfect for cutting tree branches flawlessly. You’ll be able to make about 35 cuts on a single charge.

You can work confidently with this 7.85 lbs machine, thanks to the impressive 4-year warranty that comes as standard. It seems Greenworks is willing to put its money where its mouth is.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic design
  • Durable battery life

Cons

  • Chain speed is a little slow

10. Hitachi CS51EAP 20-Inch Rear Handle Chain Saw

 Hitachi CS51EAP 50.1CC 20-Inch Rear Handle Chain Saw with PureFire Engine

Overview

This is a great looking saw with a number of versatile features.

The 50.1 cc pure-fire engine on this chainsaw delivers a fantastic level of clean, efficient performance. Fuel consumption is considerably lower on this saw than on other models.

The primer bulb and decompression valve on the Hitachi CS51EAP allow for safe and easy start-up. The integrated automatic oiler comes with adjustment settings, allowing you to tweak oil flow to fit your requirements.

Easy and accessible cuts are a breeze with this saw, thanks to the included sprocket nose bar and bumper spikes. Weighing in at 17.64 lbs, this isn’t the lightest option on our list. However, we feel the included pole brake handle and anti-vibration system more than make up for the extra weight.

If you need a tool that can handle larger projects, the 20-inch bar length on this machine won’t disappoint.

The staggering 7-year warranty that comes with this tool makes it difficult to ignore.

Pros

  • Anti-vibration system
  • 7-year warranty
  • Easy start-up

Cons

  • The machine is slightly under powered

Related

Best Chainsaw: Buying Guide

Deciding which chainsaw is best for you is no easy task. The amount of choice available is daunting, and it can be difficult to know where to start. This page outlines some of the most important things to look out for when finding the best chainsaw for the job.

Read on, and learn how to find the perfect tool for you.

Power Source

Without a power source, you’re not going to be doing a lot of cutting! Choosing a saw with a power source appropriate for your requirements is crucial. There are three main options: gas-powered, battery-powered and corded saws.

Gas-powered saws are generally the more reliable option, as they can keep going for as long as you have enough fuel.

Battery-powered saws are a less powerful design, but they come with the benefit of improved portability. The most portable battery-powered saws use lithium-ion batteries.

Corded saws come with more power than saws that run on batteries, but come with the limitation of needing to keep your tool plugged in.

Think about the type of cuts you’re hoping to achieve with your chainsaw, and how important it is for you to be able to move around easily. Choose a power source that fits your needs.

Guide Bar

The guide bar is one of the most important things to pay attention to when buying a new chainsaw. The length of your guide bar determines the type of cuts you’ll be able to make. Bigger guide bars mean bigger cuts. Most bars range in size between 12 and 24 inches.

Think about what thickness you’re hoping to cut through. You should look for guide bars that are around 2 inches thicker than the material you’re going to be cutting.

We generally recommend saws with a bar length between 18 and 20 inches as suitable for most tasks.

Oilers: Manual and Automatic

Maintaining your saw for years to come means keeping the chain and bar well oiled at all times. This helps reduce wear and tear, and avoids nasty problems like overheating. Manual oiling systems give users complete control over how much oil is used on their machine. However, they can be a bit of a hassle and require you to constantly keep track of how recently your saw was oiled.

Automatic oiling systems mean you’ll have one less thing to worry about when working. They come with adjustable flow settings and keep your machine well oiled, hassle free.

If you like having complete control, and don’t think it will be difficult to keep track of your tool’s maintenance, then a manual system is probably a safe bet for you. Otherwise, opt for an automatic design.

Chain Brakes: Manual and Inertia-Activated

Chain brakes are an important safety feature that significantly reduce the risk of injury when working. They prevent the chain from spinning during kickback. Manual chain brakes are activated by either your arm or hand during kickback. They work well, but require you to react quickly.

Inertia-activated chain brakes engage automatically the moment too much upward force is applied to the bar.

Knowing the type of work you’re going to be doing, and being honest with yourself about how quick your reaction time is, will help you choose the right kind of chain brake system.

Length

The longer the length of your chainsaw, the bigger the cuts you will be able to make. The length of your saw determines how much work you will able to get done with it. Bar lengths increase in increments of 2 inches. The shortest saws are around 6 inches long, and the longest non-professional saws are almost 20 inches long.

More experienced workers can handle a saw length of up to 24 inches. It’s worth bearing in mind that this kind of saw should only be used by a skilled individual. For most people, a shorter saw is more than enough to tackle pruning branches and tidying the garden. A longer bar is more suitable for splitting firewood and cutting thick tree limbs.

Our rule of thumb is to look for a saw with a length of around 14 inches. These tend to be the most reliable and highly rated saws. If you know you’ll need a more heavy-duty tool, a chainsaw with a length of up to 20 inches might be more suitable.

If you work in a professional capacity and need something that can handle more formidable tasks, you’ll know that a powerful saw between 20 and 24 inches is best.

Think about the type of cuts you’re hoping to make with a new chainsaw, and use these requirements to make the best choice.

Tensioning System

The purpose of a tensioning system is to adjust the tightness of the chain. Most modern saws come with systems that can be adjusted without tools. Double check the kind of tensioning system that your chosen brand offers, and make sure you buy one that’s easy to adjust.

Brands

Not every brand makes the same level of high-quality chainsaw. In our opinion, DEWALT, Greenworks, Poulan Pro and Makita most consistently offer the best value for money. These brands offer some of the most reliable, versatile and cost-effective models on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) What is the best chainsaw to buy?

For our money, the WORX WG303.1 is hands down the best overall option available. Its elegant, convenient design makes this a fantastic option for most mid-range tasks. The 12-meters-per-second run speed and versatile design make this a tough tool to beat.

Q) What is the best Gas chainsaw to buy?

The best gas-powered saw we’ve come across is the Remington Gas Chainsaw. The vibration-reducing technology on this saw is brilliant, and the adjustable oiling system means this tool will last you a very long time. The manual chain brake worked very well in our research.

Q) What is the best value chainsaw?

For those on a budget, it’s not really worth looking anywhere other than the Black + Decker offering on this list. This portable, no-nonsense saw will make light work of your everyday yard tasks. The handy design and reliable lithium-ion battery on this machine makes it ones of the best on our list.

Q) Who makes the best chainsaw chain?

When it comes to the chain itself, few do it better than Husqvarna. Our favourite is the Husqvarna 18-inch pixel saw chain. It delivers a phenomenal level of performance and durability

Even more challenging projects are no match for this chain. What’s more, it’s a surprisingly cost-effective option and is suitable for both home and professional use.

Conclusion

Overwhelmed? Don’t worry, everyone is at first. The best advice we can give you is to figure out what your requirements are. The more you know about the type of work you want to do, the easier it will be to narrow down your search.

Once you’re clearer on what you need to do, use the features and chainsaws on this page to find the perfect saw. We strongly believe that the chainsaws on this page are the best available on the market. You can look elsewhere, but you’ll be wasting your time!

If you’re looking for a shortcut, our top pick is the Makita Cordless Chainsaw on this page. It’s the most highly rated chainsaw we found, thanks largely to its remarkable feature set and durability. With its stunning battery, substantial bar length, and high-speed operation, you can’t go wrong with this saw.

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