While the thought of a chainsaw might strike terror in your heart, the process of going about purchasing one, doesn’t need to anymore. A lot of people tend to get overwhelmed by the wide range of options — in terms of size, capability, power as well as price. For a beginner, this can seem like a daunting prospect; this guide should help you clarify some of those niggling doubts.
Let’s start with the basics — what is the chainsaw used for? It’s a power tool that’s great for efficiently cutting trees and branches, which works with an engine, or a power head. Besides the manual chainsaw, the most basic type, all chainsaws are equipped with a flat metal bar with a grooved track guiding the chain, which is fitted out with cutting teeth; it keeps running in a loop around the bar at fast speeds, driven by a power source that is either gas, battery or electric. When the moving chain and wood make contact, the cutting teeth drag across the surface of the wood, effectively cutting it.
You have to be careful, though! In the wrong hands, a chainsaw is a dangerous tool. For those who do know how to use it with precautions, however, it translates into some serious labor saving; this includes gardeners, carpenters, homeowners, firefighters as well as ordinary homeowners like you.
Reviews of Best Chainsaws Options
Let’s take you through some of our top picks of chainsaws, spanning power sources, including their features, pros and cons.
|Image||Chainsaw Reviews||Powered by||Bar Length|
|Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless||40V battery-powered||16″||Check Price|
|WORX WG303.1 Electric||14.5 Amp Corded Electric||16″||Check Price|
|Husqvarna 440E||40.9cc, 2.4 HP gasoline engine||16″||Check Price|
|Craftsman 41BY429S799||42cc two-cycle engine||18″||Check Price|
|PowerKing Combination 57cc Gas||57cc two-cycle engine||18″ & 22″||Check Price|
|Husqvarna 240||38cc two-cycle engine||16″||Check Price|
|Poulan 967669301||42cc two-cycle engine||18″||Check Price|
Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw, 4.0 AH Battery Included 20312: The Best Battery-Powered Cordless Chainsaw
Being able to use rechargeable batteries as a power source removes the need for regular refueling and servicing, and this is a big factor in going for a battery-powered chainsaw. This chainsaw is equipped with premium power of DigiPro brushless motor technology, and can cut up to 100 cuts on a single charge.
It also comes with a 4 Ah Battery and charger compatible with GreenWorks G-MAX 40V Li-Ion System offering a range of tools to choose from. This chainsaw makes user safety its priority, thanks to its chain brake and low kickback chain. Here’s a look at the features, pros and cons of this battery-powered chainsaw.
Features of the Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw, 4.0 AH Battery Included 20312
- Batteries Included: Yes
- Batteries Required: Yes
- Item Dimensions: 9 x 31 x 8.5 inches
- Item Weight: 10.36 lbs
- Power Source: Battery-powered
- Size: 16″ bar length
- Voltage: 40v
WORX WG303.1 16-Inch 14.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw: Best Corded Electric Chainsaw
Features of the WORX WG303.1 16-Inch 14.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw
- Item Dimensions: 8.07 x 19.69 x 14.57 inches.
- Item Weight: 11 pounds.
- Power Source: Corded-electric.
- Size: 16″ bar length.
- Voltage: 120 volts.
- Motor: 14.5 Amp motor delivers consistent performance, durability and reliability.
- Patented auto-tension chain system means no over-tightening, also extends the life of the bar and chain.
- Additional safety features including the built-in chain brake and low kickback bar.
- Auto oil lubrication and built-in oil reservoir with level indicator.
- Rubber over-molded rear handle and ergonomic full-wrap front handle for increased control and comfort during use.
Husqvarna 440E 16″ 40.9cc 967650902 Fully Assembled Gas-Powered Chainsaw: The Most Versatile Chainsaw
General tree care, landscaping, timber harvesting, cutting firewood; this is just some of the tasks that this gasoline-powered chainsaw executes with power, high performance and an ergonomic design that makes it as comfortable an operator experience for homeowners as it does for professionals. Husqvarna chainsaws have long set the standard, as far as outdoor power tools are concerned.
This is exactly why we decided to go back to basics for our last gasoline-powered chainsaw recommendation; this one goes through wood like knife through butter. Here’s a look at the features, pros and cons of Husqvarna 440E 16″ 40.9cc 967650902 fully assembled gas-powered chainsaw.
Features of the Husqvarna 440E 16″ 40.9cc 967650902 Fully Assembled Gas-Powered Chainsaw
- Item dimensions: 11 x 9 x 37 inches
- Item weight: 9.8 pounds
- Power source: Gasoline-powered
- Engine: 40.9cc, 2.4 HP
- Easy to start
- Ergonomic rear handles
- Air injection
- Quick-release air filter
- Visible fuel level
- Combined choke / stop control
- Snap-lock cylinder cover
- Slim design X-Cut chain
Craftsman 41BY429S799 18″ 42cc Gas Chainsaw: The Best Chainsaw for Big Jobs
This chainsaw is all about the power and durability. Its 42cc two-cycle engine powers the saw with fuel efficiently, and is able to cut through a log at an inch per second. Not too shabby.
Of course, with great power comes, in this case, great noise, at a loud 90+ dBs. Besides this factor, this chainsaw is chock full of features that help get a job done well and quickly. A low-kickback chain made with specialty depth gauges and guard links, the handguards at the front of the saw, the chain catcher, the spark arrestor and the reaction time of the chain brake are all designed having prioritized the user’s safety. Well suited for felling trees and bucking logs, this is your answer to all the big jobs on your list.
Features of the Craftsman 41BY429S799 18″ 42cc Gas Chainsaw
- Size: 18”
- Engine: 42cc engine two-cycle
- Bar Length: 18”
- Power Source: Gasoline-powered
- Incredi-Pull™ starting system
- Anti-vibration Handle
- Automatic oiler
- Side screw tensioning system
- Aluminum frame chassis
- Includes a durable carrying case
- Uses 2-cycle pre-mix fuel
PowerKing 18″ & 22″ Combination 57cc Gas Chainsaw: The Chainsaw with the “Beast” Engine
The PowerKing gas chainsaw combo includes both 18″ & 22″ bars, and is powered by a mind-boggling 57cc two-cycle power king engine. This two-in-one chainsaw is purely about the power, the kind to have professionals paying serious attention. The ultra quiet muffler keeps things relatively less noisy at under 97.8 dBA, considering the output and speed it can deliver.
Weighing in at a mere 14.8 lbs, this lightweight and well-balanced gasoline-powered chainsaw has a lot going for it. Let’s take you through the other features, pros and cons of the PowerKing 18″ & 22″ combination 57cc gas chainsaw.
Features of the PowerKing 18″ & 22″ Combination 57cc Gas Chainsaw
- Size: 14.8 lbs
- Engine: 57cc two-cycle
- Fuel Capacity: 24.69 oz
- Chain Oil Capacity: 8.47 oz
- Sound Level: 97.8 dB
- Fuel Mix: 40:1
- 18” and 22” bar and chain included
- CDI easy start ignition
- Textured over-molded comfort handle
- Auto chain oiler
- Balanced with vibration isolation
- Quality certified
- Top access spark plug
- Fiber washable air filter
- Scrench, oil mix bottle, bar cover included
- Tool-less chain tensioning
Husqvarna 240 (16″) 38cc Gas Chainsaw: The Best Chainsaw for Homeowners
The Husqvarna chainsaw brand is pretty popular and trusted amongst professional chainsaw users, and this model comes armed with a clean, fuel-efficient X-Torq gas engine and high performance in fast cutting work. Its exhaust levels are low, due to the inbuilt air injection system, and there is relatively less vibration with this chainsaw model thanks to its petite engine, as well as the anti-vibration system.
All in all, this one’s just right for lighter cutting tasks like pruning and hobby work in the garden. Here’s a look at the features, pros and cons of the Husqvarna 240 (16″) 38cc gas chainsaw to figure out why.
Features of the Husqvarna 240 (16″) 38cc Gas Chainsaw
- Item Dimensions: 9.5 x 11 x 32 inches
- Size: 16″ Maximum Bar Length
- Item Weight: 10.3 pounds
- Engine: 38cc 2-Stroke Engine
- Maximum Power Speed: 9000 rpm
- Idling Speed: 3000 rpm
- Power Source: Gasoline-powered
- 16-inch bar, 3/8-inch pitch, 050-inch gauge 2 HP
- Side-mounted chain-tensioner
- Combined choke/stop control
- Air cleaning system
- LowVib® Design
Poulan 967669301 Handheld Gas Chainsaw, 18″: Best Value-for-Money Chainsaw
There is no other chainsaw that offers the kind of value and output at this price range, like the Poulan 967669301 handheld gas chainsaw. Perfect for the occasional user who needs to do some light to medium duty storm clean-up or light firewood cutting and limbing.
The engine of this chainsaw allows for longer periods between cleaning and servicing, and the anti-vibration system makes sure that the operator experience is comfortable and reduces fatigue. Let’s take a look at the various features on offer, and the pros and cons of this gasoline-powered chainsaw.
Features of the Poulan 967669301 Handheld Gas Chainsaw, 18″
- Item Dimensions: 11 x 10 x 24 inches
- Weight: 13.25 lbs
- Engine: 42cc, 2-stroke engine
- Shipping Weight: 18.8 pounds
- Power Source: Gasoline-powered
- Comes with 18″ Bar Automatic gear driven oiler
- Inertia activated chain brake 3/8″ chain pitch and 0.050″ chain gauge
- Includes bonus chain and scrench
- One-year limited warranty
STIHL MS 261 C-M: Your “Go-To” Gas-Powered Chainsaw
Its maddening versatility and maximum output are the reasons why we consider this a great “go-to” option for both the professional as well as the occasional user. Jampacked with impressive features, the MS 261 boasts of low exhaust emissions, great fuel efficiency and high performance, as well as the advanced STIHL M-Tronic™ engine management system.
This is an onboard microprocessor which monitors the conditions you are working in, digitally, and makes adjustments accordingly to factors such as temperature, fuel quality, elevation, dirty air filters and varying octane levels. Eliminating the need for manual adjustments saves on many efforts, and equipped with redesigned cylinders and an admirable power-to-weight ratio, this gasoline-powered chainsaw is all about fantastic performance.
Features of the STIHL MS 261 C-M
- Displacement: 50.2 cc (3.06 cu. in.)
- Engine power: 3.0 kW (4.0 bhp)
- Powerhead weight: 4.9 kg (10.8 Ibs.)
- Fuel Capacity: 500 cc (16.9 oz)
- Chain oil capacity: 270 cc (9.13 oz)
- Oilomatic® chain: 26 RM3
- Guide bar lengths (Recommended ranges): 40 to 50 cm (16″ to 20″)
- Power source: Gasoline-powered
- Anti-vibration system
- Pre-separation air filtration system
- Side-access chain tensioner
- Decompression valve
- Tool-less fuel and oil caps with retainers
- Reduced-emission engine technology
- Features STIHL M-Tronic, a new generation of Intelligent Engine Management
- Built in the USA
Jonsered CS 2250 S Gas Chainsaw: The Best Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood
Features of Jonsered CS 2250 S Gas Chainsaw
- Cutting equipment (recommended bar length, min-max): 13″-18″
- Weight (excl. cutting equipment): 11.2 lbs
- Cylinder displacement: 50.2 cc
- Power output: 3.22 hp
- Fuel tank volume: 15.22 fl oz
- Oil tank volume: 0.55 US pint
- Sound pressure level: 104 dB(A)
- Sound power level, guaranteed (LWA): 115 dB(A)
- Engine designed for clean power
- Air cleansing system
- Anti-vibration system
- Spin Start
- Snap-locked covers
- Tool-less chain tensioning
Your Options: Different Types of Chainsaws and What They Offer
There are broadly four different kinds of chainsaws, and they are classified with regard to how they’re powered, and their corresponding structure.
These refer to the heavier and noisier kind, those perfect for serious woodcutting, where the aim is to be as efficient and fast as possible. As popular amongst professional chainsaw users as occasional ones, gasoline or petrol-powered chainsaws cut more smoothly than electric ones and their chain speed, which is faster, requires less pressure.
With two-stroke or two-cycle engines using a mixture of gasoline and oil, used for combustion and lubrication of parts respectively, the gas-powered chainsaw is effectively more powerful and faster than other types.
Upkeep is very much required, though; these chainsaws require fueling and regular servicing of the engine. They also emit exhaust fumes and produce more noise and vibration. While lighter-duty gas-powered models cost less, a heftier model will work out to be much more expensive compared to other chainsaw models.
Corded Electric Chainsaws
A smaller type of chainsaw, the corded electric variety use electricity to run and, instead of engines, have a plug-in power-cord. The perfect complementary tool for a corded electric chainsaw would be a movable generator, which can be attached to the chainsaw with the help of a long extension cord, increasing the portability of the chainsaw many folds.
Without a portable generator, however, this kind of chainsaw needs to be connected to a power outlet, and they have much less power than their gas-powered counterparts. Small tasks requiring less power such as cutting of small trees, bushes, branches and limbs can be done with the corded electric chainsaw. Unlike gas-powered chainsaws, these don’t emit exhaust fumes or make too much noise.
This is the perfect option for someone who is just starting out and trying their hand at using a chainsaw. Using this power tool in the woods is advised against, as the cords it is connected to can cause a risk hazard. Corded electric chainsaws require special extension cords, between 14-gauge and 12-gauge to get the amperage right for optimum performance of light chores.
Battery-Powered (Or Cordless Electric) Chainsaws
Using rechargeable batteries as a power source instead of electricity or fuel, battery-powered chainsaws or cordless electric ones gets rid of the need for regular refueling and servicing. However, one needs to ensure the batteries are charged regularly, and one way to do this is to charge batteries well in advance before the chainsaw is to be used, and to have several batteries revolving within the battery charger for longer sessions. This can become a chore if you don’t have a second battery as backup, though, so it’s an investment worth looking into.
Less powerful than the corded electric chainsaw, the battery-operated kind is designed for relatively lighter tasks including pruning of bushes, trimming, and cutting of small trees or limbing work; essentially, work that is less time consuming and can be finished in a single session, such as landscaping or basic maintenance work.
Regardless of the fact that they are considerably less powerful than both corded and gas-powered chainsaws, battery-powered chainsaws tend to be amongst the most expensive in the industry. If your tasks include the likes of landscaping or basic maintenance of your backyard or small grounds, and you have the budget for it, this is a good pick for you.
No fuel, no electricity — these are the “old-school” chainsaws that use the power of the user’s own arms. The name of this variety is pretty self-explanatory; you use a chainsaw’s saw chain to manually cut the wood. Cutting firewood or trimming wood are general uses of the manual chainsaw, often bought because it is relatively affordable to many.
Naturally, there is no noise or exhaust to speak of — besides perhaps your own exhaustion and the manual labor and effort that is required in the process of using this type of chainsaw. A hand-powered chainsaw has less power, comparatively, as it is not a motorized process like the others. On the other hand, they are easy to move around as well as store (which is why they are also known as pocket chainsaws), faster and also much less expensive, even including few accessories you might need to purchase. The double-sided chain this type uses is perfect for smaller cutting work of limbs or small trees. If the manual labor isn’t too much of a chore for you, this portable and affordable manual chainsaw might just be the thing for you.
As always with big purchases, it’s more important to know exactly what your use of the product is going to be like, more than anything else. Once you identify your specific requirements, it’s easy to piece the rest together to have a job that’s done well, regardless of whether you are clearing up fallen trees after a storm, doing some light gardening work or fighting off the undead.
Are you ready to get to work?
After going through these reviews of our top picks for chainsaws, we hope you have a much clearer idea of your needs, and what your chainsaw can provide you. You’re practically in a power tool wonderland as far as your options are concerned; now all you have to do is pick wisely, and you can be all set to get to work.