If you have been left wondering “what is the best chain saw?”, Then this ultimate chainsaw buying guide is here to help. This guide is going to help you choose the best chainsaw on the market for you.
Whether you are looking for the best chainsaw for home use or you are all about cost and you are looking for the best chainsaw for the money, there will be the perfect option on this list for you.
If you are feeling like you are a bit out of your depth when it comes to choosing your chainsaw, this ultimate guide is here to help you.
We are going to go through what makes a great chainsaw, the differences between the different types and how best to select the right option for the job you want to do.
Once you know what you are looking for, it’s much easier to make a decision on the best chainsaw to buy.
Whether you are new to the scene and you have no idea what you are looking for, or you are just looking for some extra information, this guide will have some great help and advice for you.
There are a lot of options out there on the market these days, and trying to choose the best-rated chainsaws can be a complicated process.
- Different types of chainsaw and their uses
- What to consider before buying a chainsaw
- What will you be using it for?
- How often will you be using it?
- How long will the jobs take you to complete?
- Do you need it to be lightweight?
- Do you need to be able to take it out and about with you?
- What size chainsaw do you need?
- How much are you looking to spend?
- How much experience you have.
- Safety features
- Difference between gas and electric chainsaws
- Chainsaw safety
- Do I need a chainsaw sharpener?
- Gas chainsaws
- Electric chainsaws
There are tonnes of different brands of chainsaws, features, and parts of a chainsaw you will need to consider. If you are getting to the point where you can’t see the wood for the trees (pun intended), then keep reading and you’ll have ideal tool for your yard work.
Different types of chainsaw and their uses
There are a few different options you have when it comes to different types of chainsaws. There are gas powered, corded electric and battery powered chainsaws. Gas is the most popular, and they are the ones you will see professionals using.
They are more powerful, so will be used for the more heavy-duty jobs. Corded electric is smaller machines, and you have to plug the power cord into using them.
They are less powerful but might be a good option for small jobs at home. Battery powered chainsaws are cordless and use rechargeable batteries. This means you have the freedom to move about as you wish.
The less powerful the chainsaw, the less heavy-duty work you can do with it. So, don’t be expecting a cordless chainsaw to be felling a huge tree anytime soon.
These smaller and less powerful types of chainsaw are great for your small jobs, like tidying up and pruning trees, or cutting down small trees.
Your larger and more powerful gas fueled options will be more suited to cutting big branches and trees. A heavy duty chainsaw is also more effective and much quicker at doing so than your smaller lightweight chainsaw.
What to consider before buying a chainsaw
There are a few things you need to think about before buying a chainsaw. Not everyone is going to want the same thing out of a chainsaw, and not everyone is going to need the same functions. Make sure you consider the following:
What will you be using it for?
For example, will you be using it for heavy-duty work, or small chores in the garden? If you are just going to use it to cut smaller branches, you won’t need the same tool as if you were going to be cutting down a big tree.
How often will you be using it?
Will you be using it on a daily basis, a weekly basis or on the odd occasion?
How long will the jobs take you to complete?
Will you be doing jobs that will take a matter of minutes, or will you need your chainsaw to be running for much longer?
Do you need it to be lightweight?
If you only have small jobs to do, you might want a saw which is easy to maneuver and light.
Do you need to be able to take it out and about with you?
If you are going to be using out outside of your home area, you might not want to be limited by cords and rechargeable battery packs.
What size chainsaw do you need?
There is a range of sizes, from as small as 12 inches, up to as big as 20 inches. The size of the saw you need will depend on the jobs you will be doing.
How much are you looking to spend?
If you are only going to be using your saw on the odd occasion, you don’t need to be spending big. But, if you are going to be using your machine all the time, it will be worth investing in a good bit of kit.
How much experience you have.
If you have never used a chainsaw before, you need to consider whether you are going to find the more professional options daunting or difficult to use.
Make sure you take a look at the safety features on the chainsaw you are considering purchasing. This will help you decide whether there are additional precautions you need to take or considerations you should be making while using it.
Difference between gas and electric chainsaws
Gas powered chainsaws
Gas powered is the most popular and will most likely be the ones you have seen being used. They are used by professionals and occasional users alike. They are powered using gasoline (or petrol), and the two-stroke engine combines the fuel and oil to run the machine.
These are the most powerful types of saw, and they have a very high power to weight ratio. They cut much faster and more efficiently than any electric options.
If you have big jobs to do, gas-powered is what you will need. They can make light work of cutting down trees and removing large branches.
They are heavier than electric options, and they are also much noisier. They also produce much more vibration than the electric versions do. They require refueling on a regular basis, and you need to make sure you get them serviced on a regular basis.
They are also a lot more expensive, but the cost may be outweighed by the amount of use you get out of them and the versatility afforded.
Corded electric chainsaws
Electric chainsaws are often much smaller than the gas-powered versions. You have to plug them in to run them. They don’t have engines or require any fuel to run, you just need a plug socket.
Because of the power cord, you are limited on maneuverability as you must be plugged into a power source to make use of them.
There is also a risk of the power cord getting tangled up and severed when you are trying to do your chores. If you are planning on using your chainsaw away from home, the only way you will be able to do this is with a generator, which may not be practical. They are probably the best chainsaws to buy for smaller jobs at home.
They have much less power than a gas-powered one, but they are more powerful than a battery powered option. You should be able to use them to cut down small trees, whereas a battery powered option may only be able to handle branches.
They are much less noisy than gas-powered models and are more easily used by those who are inexperienced. If you have never used a chainsaw before and you have some small jobs that need to be done, a corded electric saw will be a great option for you.
Battery-powered options are not limited to a cord; they instead use rechargeable batteries for power. This means that you can move around with them easily and there is no need for refueling.
However, the battery life doesn’t last forever, and you will need to make sure you charge up the battery.
The life of the battery will limit the amount of work you can do before you need to recharge it. If you need to be using it frequently and for long periods of time, a battery-powered chainsaw won’t be the best option for you.
They aren’t hugely powerful, so they are best for the completion of small and light tasks, like cutting small trees and branches.
Despite the fact that they have less cutting power and they are limited by battery life, battery-powered chainsaws are expensive. Some of them are the most expensive models available on the market at the moment.
Safety first when it comes to chainsaws; always. If it can cut through wood, it can cut through you with relative ease, so make sure you are putting everything in place to keep yourself safe while using one of these machines.
Make sure you are aware of the kickback zone on a chainsaw – this is located on the top half of the tip. If you use this section of the saw to cut, it can kickback towards you and give you a severe fright and even do some serious damage.
Always wear your safety gear to help keep you protected while using your chainsaw. Ear defenders will help protect your ears from the noise, and protective glasses or a visor will help protect your eyes from any debris.
Wear a long-sleeved top and trousers to help protect your skin from any scrapes and scratches and make sure you are wearing safety shoes.
Practise using your machine first. Before you go straight in with felling the biggest tree in your garden, practice using your chainsaw on smaller jobs first. Cut up some branches which you need to make smaller first, and make sure you are comfortable with using your machine before you get started with bigger and more time-consuming jobs.
Maintenance is crucial and making sure you maintain your chainsaw well will help to keep you safe. Make sure you keep your machine clean and store it in the right conditions. Make sure you are topping up fuel and oil regularly to keep it running smoothly if you have a gas-powered chainsaw.
Make sure you regularly give the cord and plug a once over if you have a corded chainsaw. Servicing your chainsaw is essential. During the service, any issues will be noticed and can be rectified.
This is hugely important for keeping you safe. It’s also a good idea to keep your chain sharp. Letting your chain go blunt can result in accidents becoming more likely.
Do I need a chainsaw sharpener?
Chainsaw sharpeners can be used to sharpen your chainsaw yourself, and therefore remove the need to get it sharpened in a shop.
This can save a lot of money, time and hassle. If you end up getting your chainsaw chain sharpened often, this could be the way to go for you. You need to decide what you want from your sharpener before you can decide on the best chainsaw sharpener for you.
There are manual options, where you file the chain sharp by hand, and there are options which do a lot of the work for you. The manual ones are relatively cheap and are a good option if you want to have a go at sharpening the chain manually yourself.
However, they can be a bit difficult to get the hang of so they will require some practice. Getting the angle and the pressure right when you are sharpening your chain is imperative when it comes to doing a good job.
Selecting one of the less manual options will get the job done quicker, and to a better standard, but these sharpeners can be expensive.
The sharpening will be done in a matter of minutes, and you will never need to part with cash to have your chain sharpened again. You will need some practice to get the hang of using these machines, but your chain will soon be as sharp as a pro.
Types of chainsaw chains
There are a few different chainsaw chain types out there that you might come across. The three main chainsaw chains types are:
• Full chisel
The types of chainsaw chains you may be using will depend on the chainsaw you are using and what you are using it for. A full chisel chain has square-cornered teeth which quickly cut through wood fibers.
Because of the square shape, there is a higher chance of kickbacks. They are more sensitive to dirt and are what you would recognize as a classic chainsaw chain.
A semi-chisel chain has more rounded teeth. They are slower at cutting through softwood than a full chisel chain, but they stay sharper for longer in comparison.
Semi-chisel chains are often selected for cutting wood which is harder or dirtier as they are less sensitive to dirt. They are also less prone to kickbacks.
Chipper chains are kinda similar to semi-chisel. The main difference is the working corner radius; the working corner is the part of the chain which makes contact with the wood first and cuts it. When you look at chipper chains in comparison with semi-chisel chains, the radius of this section is larger.
Low profile chains are also popular, and they are fitted to many models. They have round edges, and they need less power to be operated, they are also less sensitive to dirt. There are more safety elements to the chains which is why they are often used be the less experienced.
So, remember, gas chainsaws are your best option for any heavy duty work you need to be doing. They are also the best option if you will be moving about aren’t just going to be using it in your back garden.
If you are going to be working for long periods of time, they are easily refueled, and they get the job done quickly. Let’s take a look at the top 5 chainsaws in the gas category.
Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw
This is the best Husqvarna chainsaw. It is an 18-inch chainsaw and the best 18 chainsaw for the money. There’s hardly a Husqvarna 450 chainsaw review that isn’t positive.
It has a 3.2 HP X-Torq engine, which is built to reduce exhaust emissions and increase fuel efficiency too.
The engine is durable and has been built with longevity in mind. It has LowVib vibration dampening which helps to absorb vibrations. This stops your hands and arms from getting tired so quickly, allowing you to work for longer without strain.
The Smart Start feature means you can get it started with minimal effort. It uses a combined choke/stop control, reducing the risk of flooding the engine and allowing for easy starting. Out of all the gas chainsaw reviews, this machine certainly gets some of the best.
You can increase the tension on the chain without any tools, so it is easy to adjust while you are on the go.
The cylinder cover is snap-lock, saving you time when you are cleaning the unit. The fuel indicator is transparent, so you can easily check your fuel level and see when you need to refuel.
This gas chain saw also features an inertia activated chain break. This safety feature helps to reduce the chances of you being injured as a result of the chainsaw kicking back while you are using it.
Husqvarna is in the running for the best brand of chainsaw, and you can’t go wrong with one of these top-rated chainsaws. Oh, and, it’s a “made in USA” chainsaw, so what’s not to love.
TIMBERPRO 62cc 20″ Petrol Chainsaw with 2 chains
The Timberpro is up there when it comes to chainsaw ratings. It sports a powerful engine at 62cc, which is a two-stroke air-cooled engine. It has an Alloy Starting Mechanism, assisting you with starting your machine with minimal trouble.
It comes with two 20 inch chains, so you can replace a broken or damaged chain at any time, or switch it over for a sharpened one.
It also comes with a handy storage or carry bag, so you can quickly take you a chainsaw and all your accessories with you. There is a toolkit which fits neatly in your storage bag, for any adjustments you may need to make along the way.
It also comes with a fuel mixing bottle so you won’t run into trouble while you are out. It is substantially heavier than the Husqvarna though so you might experience some tired arms and hands after a long stint!
You get a lot when you purchase this chainsaw, but this is reflected in the price. The cost of this chainsaw is substantially more than the Husqvarna, and the best Timberpro chainsaw review in the world might not be enough to get you to part with your hard-earned cash.
It is one of the best home chainsaw options out there and would give even the best commercial chainsaw a good run for its money. It’s a powerful unit which works hard and gets the job done with no trouble.
Husqvarna 240 2 HP Chainsaw
This Husqvarna is smaller than the other Husqvarna on this list, and it is cheaper too. It has a 2 HP, 38cc two-stroke engine. It has a 16-inch chain, whereas its brother sports an 18-inch chain.
It also uses a combined choke/stop control, reducing the risk of flooding the engine and allowing for easy starting. It is slightly lighter than the other Husqvarna due to its somewhat smaller size. It will still make light work of your cutting tasks.
It doesn’t get the same high level of reviews as the others; having received some bad reviews about ease of starting. Some reviewers have reported great difficulty starting this machine sometimes, whereas others have had no trouble starting these chain saws at all.
Some would still say this was the best 16-inch gas chainsaw, but I would implore you to have a read of these reviews first before buying.
Many reviewers compare it with a similar Stihl option, and this doesn’t seem to put up much of a fight against the best Stihl chainsaw. If you are looking for the best gas chainsaw on the market, this might not be it, but it is still a good option if you are looking for a smaller saw which will do the job.
Poulan Pro PR4218 Handheld Gas Chainsaw, 18″
Slightly more powerful, the Poulan has a 42cc two-stroke engine with an 18-inch chain. It comes with a handy carry case, so you can store all your items and quickly move your saw about with you.
It also comes with an extra chain, so you can easily replace your chain with a newly sharpened one, or replace a damaged chain. It also comes with two-stroke oil to get you started and running your chainsaw.
It has a patented technology which makes for more efficient fuel consumption and reduces harmful emissions. It has an automatic oiler, which keeps both the bar and chain lubricated.
This helps to minimize wear and maintenance. It has EPS (Effortless Pull Starting) helping you start your machine quickly and within a few pulls of the cord.
It also sports an advanced anti-vibration system, helping to reduce the amount of fatigue you feel while you are using it.
You can also access the chain tension tool easily, through the snap-lock cover, negating the need to carry around a load of tools with you. It’s pretty lightweight, although not the lightest on this list.
Unfortunately, the Poulan chainsaw reviews aren’t the best. Many people say it isn’t great for prolonged and enduring use like some of the others.
It is perhaps best for light to medium use, and the reasonable price reflects this. A few reviewers have had trouble with the pull cord breaking after a couple of uses, so take this into consideration when you are making your final selection.
Remington RM4214 Rebel 42cc 14-inch Gas Chainsaw
This Remington chainsaw is one of the best when it comes to selecting a small gas chainsaw. This little saw is small and compact, but perhaps not as lightweight as you might expect for the size.
Despite its small size it still packs a punch with a 42cc two-stroke engine – more powerful than some of the bigger options on here.
This easy start chainsaw has QuickStart technology, making it easier for you to pull start your chainsaw. It is also equipped with a 5-point anti-vibration system, ensuring your comfort while you are operating it.
The more vibrations there are, the more tired your arms and hands get, so anything to reduce the amount of vibration is a win for you.
It has an automatic oiler which keeps your chain lubricated and in good condition. This is a good chainsaw for homeowners; it’s small and compact, making it easy to store.
It gets excellent reviews online but is probably a bit of a lightweight chainsaw if you have big jobs to do. Perfect for small jobs in the garden and the like.
Which electric chainsaw is right for you? If you are looking for a chainsaw you can use for small household and garden jobs, then an electric one is a good shout. If you aren’t looking for the best pro chainsaw and you just want a good little chainsaw for a few odd jobs, these electric chainsaws reviews will help you decide which is the best for you.
GreenWorks 20312 G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
This chainsaw is cordless, meaning you are free to move about as you please without a cord holding you back.
The premium power of DigiPro brushless motor technology boasts up to 100 cuts on a single charge. Allowing you to keep on cutting with your battery powered saw.
The brushless motor delivers up to 30% more torque for the best cutting performance. It also offers 70% less vibration so you as the user can be more comfortable for longer.
The chain is a low kickback chain, so it is safer for you to use. It is also incredibly light, so if you are one if the best battery chainsaws and the best lightweight chainsaw, this will be a perfect option.
The GreenWorks 20312 negates the need to be mixing gas and oil together to get your gas-powered saw going. You can get going straight away with the best electric chain saw which will exceed your expectations of a cordless electric chainsaw no doubt.
WORX 18-Inch 15.0 Amp Electric Chainsaw with Auto-Tension
The Worx isn’t a battery-powered chainsaw, but an electric corded option. This electric chainsaw is cheap and cheerful, so if you are looking for the best value chainsaw, then here it is.
It has an auto-tension design on the chain system, stopping the chain from over-tightening and keeping the chain the right tension for hundreds of uses.
It has a low kickback bar and a chain break which has been built in to keep you safe while you are using it.
The oil lubrication is automatic, and there is no assembly required – you can use it straight out of the box, how good are electric chainsaws?
If you are looking for the best cheap chainsaw, this surely has to be in the running. It may not be the most powerful chainsaw, but it could not be better for small jobs like cutting firewood and trimming trees.
The best homeowner chainsaw needs to be safe, easy to use and easy to get started with and this offers just that. The Worx hardly gets a bad word said about it online, and this electric chainsaw has changed the mind of many a gas-powered veteran.
Makita HCU02C1 36V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Chain Saw Kit
The Makita is another great option in the running for the best battery powered chainsaw. The Makita electric chainsaw is up to 40% quieter than your gas-powered, so if noise is a consideration, then this will be a good one for you.
If you live in an area where sound will be a problem, an electric chainsaw is a great workaround. They are much quieter than your traditional gas-powered options so they won’t be upsetting any neighbors!
You can quickly adjust the chain tension without having to get your tool kit out, and there is none of the hassle involved in maintaining a gas-powered saw. You don’t need to drain any fuel, change the engine oil, or clean the air filter.
This saw is substantially more expensive than the Worx, and for top price, you are going to be expecting top chainsaws.
This option is more costly than most of the gas-powered ones out there so you will be expecting some serious bang for your buck. It’s very light, and it is also very compact.
If you find larger saws hard to handle, this much smaller saw will be easier for you to use. This electric chain saw review is excellent online and is worth looking at if you are struggling with using the larger, heavier and more time consuming gas-powered chainsaws.
BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 40V MAX Lithium-Ion Chainsaw, 12.”
The Black+Decker might just be the best cordless chainsaw. It receives exceptional praise online, and the reviews are up there against the best corded electric chainsaw. No corded chainsaw can stand up to the freedom afforded by a cordless option.
It’s reasonably priced in comparison to the much more expensive Makita. Again, its small, compact and lightweight, meaning it are easier to maneuver than other heavier and more cumbersome ones.
It has an automatic oiling system, so you do not have to worry too much about the maintenance side of things. You can easily adjust the tension of the chain without any tools.
The battery allows you to make over 60 cuts on a single charge. This is good, but it is much less than the GreenWorks which is top of our list.
OREGON CORDLESS 40 Volt MAX CS250-E6 Saw Kit
The Oregon electric chainsaw is an instant start, electric cordless chainsaw. The batter pack is built for endurance and boasts a long run time and high power.
The chain is 14 inches, slightly more significant in comparison to the more prevalent 12-inch electric options.
It also boasts a built-in chain sharpening feature, which sharpens the blades on your chain while you are using the saw.
It can cut up to 250 branches on a single battery charge, meaning you get a lot of work done on one charge. It is lightweight
Whether you are opting for the best professional chainsaw, the best chainsaw under 200 or one of the saws from the top chainsaw brands, there is one on this list for you.
This chainsaw comparison should have helped you work your way through what you were looking for from your machine, to making a decision, or having a few top options in mind. Whatever you were looking for, there is an option on this list to suit you.