If you’ve ever needed to cut up a fallen branch or trim a tree in your yard, you know the value a good chainsaw brings to the table. There are things you just can’t do with your regular garden tools or a hand saw and that require that little bit of extra oomph that a chainsaw has be.
If you do not, the today’s article is designed to help you realize that chainsaws are not just for lumberjacks and can be useful in your yard or garden as well.
Why Buying a Chainsaw?
When you think of a chainsaw, what usually comes to mind are a bunch of lumberjacks working on huge trees in the forest all day, using tools that you can’t even lift unless your arms are the same size as the trunks you’re trying to cut.
That’s not necessarily true, but that’s the stereotype of course. Chainsaws aren’t only used for heavy duty work, nor are all of them such cumbersome machines. In fact, some are well suited for light garden work and some light trimming around the yard, even usable by weak or elderly people, almost soundless and not disturbing to the neighbors at all. Different types of chainsaws, intended for a variety of different tasks, are out there.
You might still think you don’t really need a chainsaw because it’s too heavy-duty of a tool for your yard or garden. Even if that seems to be the case, you might still want to have a chainsaw in your toolbox, just in case you might need it.
Chainsaws can be deceptively versatile tools, as they can be used not only for cutting down trees or cutting wood into smaller pieces, they can be used for trimming trees (without the need for climbing, if they’re mounted on a pole), taking care of your hedges, and a lot more. Not to mention that they come in handy when a sudden storm breaks out and knocks down some branches or entire trees.
Still, not all chainsaws are the same or fit for every type of tasks. Some might just be useless at one job while excelling at another, while some are good for almost everything and some for nothing at all.
You should be careful when buying, so we’ve decided to help you by gathering some of the top products on the market right now and providing you with some quality chainsaw reviews. With all of this info, as well as some user impressions, you should be able to pick the best machine for your needs. So, here are our top picks.
Meet the Best Chainsaws
The Good: Great in almost every regard and at a decent price. It has especially good safety features.
The Bad: Guzzles up a lot of oil, more than is necessary.
The Bottom Line: Powerful, compact chainsaw with good safety features that uses up more gas than you’d think, but comes at a great price.
The Good: Extremely maneuverable and fairly powerful for its size.
The Bad: Some of the additional features tend to malfunction, and the saw is not suited for heavier work.
The Bottom Line: Great smaller saw for quick, light duty jobs around the yard, but can be potentially unsafe and isn’t good for much else. Still good, but limited.
The Good: This is just a solidly built product with great vibration and noise reduction.
The Bad: The fact that the chain can just fly off makes it unsafe. Oil also leaks sometimes.
The Bottom Line: The vibration and noise are almost non-existent, but the big problems with the chain make it a difficult sell.
The Good: It’s extremely powerful for its size and has a great long cutting bar.
The Bad: Some of its extra features malfunction, and it’s especially hard to start up.
The Bottom Line: This is a great heavy duty product for an affordable price, as long as you manage to start it up. That keeps it from being great.
The Good: Incredibly lightweight but still with a decent amount of power.
The Bad: It is not fit for anything except lighter work and isn’t that durable.
The Bottom Line: It’s a great saw for some lighter work, but that’s all it’s good for, and it might not last for a long time.
This is just a quick, handy overview – for all the meaty details, keep on reading.
All of the Factors Considered
There are plenty of different chainsaw models on the market, offering a lot of different features. You might think the only important thing about a chainsaw is how well it cuts, but it’s not that simple – even that comes down to more than a few different factors, and it’s not easy to discern that with a simple look. So, we’ll help you by going over the most important aspects that you should consider when picking up a chainsaw for yourself.
There are three main power sources that chainsaws commonly use, and those are either a tank filled with gas, an electric battery or a power cord. There are some pros and cons to each one, and we’ll go over them briefly here.
Gas powered chainsaw variants offer more power on average than electric ones, while still being portable. However, they are heavy, produce fumes and are harder to maintain. In addition to all that, they also cost significantly more.
Electric chainsaws might not offer the power that gas types do, but they are cleaner, quieter and lighter. They also require far less maintenance and are much easier to use, while also being less expensive. Being limited by a cord is, however, the main downside of these machines.
Battery powered saws solve possibly the biggest issue electric saws have, and that is portability – they require no cord so that you can take them anywhere. They also retain all the other benefits that electrical products have. The problem here is the limited runtime – usually somewhere from half an hour to an hour and a half at most. Most batteries won’t last for longer than that.
In the end, you should consider what you need and pick the right machine for you.
The power a chainsaw engine packs will significantly impact its cutting performance. For gas powered chainsaws you need to look at the horsepower and cc’s of the engine, while for electric ones, the amperage is the thing you have to consider. Gas-powered engines are usually more powerful, but power by itself is not everything. You should also consider the power of the engine compared to the size and weight of it, as well as the size of the bar. A lower powered saw can still cut as good as a higher powered one if it has a smaller bar.
Along with how powerful the engine is, this is what will determine how useful your chainsaw is at cutting things.
The obvious benefit of a larger bar is that it allows you to cut logs or trunks of a larger diameter, but that is not always the case. If the engine is too weak, a large bar can be a downside, as the motor simply can’t move the larger chain fast enough. You should always compare the bar size with the engine strength when looking at chainsaws and make your pick based on that.
Bar length can range from around 10 and up to 42 inches. The ideal size for light duty use is usually somewhere between 14 and 18 inches.
Chainsaws are supposed to be, at least to some degree, expensive heavy-duty machines that are supposed to last for a long time. They should be able to endure a lot of wear-and-tear while still being able to function.
Some people might be tempted to skimp when buying a chainsaw and go for something cheaper that isn’t quality built. They usually end up with a useless piece of junk that falls apart after three uses and can’t be fixed up.
To this end, you should be looking to buy a chainsaw that is made of quality materials, mostly metal ones that are also rust resistant. It’s also best if it doesn’t have too many screws or bolts that can come loose due to the unavoidable vibrations from the motor.
Safety and Comfort
Chainsaws can be dangerous machines, and most people have heard of some terrible chainsaw mishap. They can also be uncomfortable to use over longer periods of time which can lead to those mishaps. So, both aspects are important and somewhat dependent on each other.
The weight of a chainsaw is greatly important for safety when using a chainsaw for a long time, and you should consider your strength and compare it to the weight. Vibration dampening also helps you stay comfortable and safe even with weighty, powerful chainsaws. Having a chain brake to stop the chain when it hits a knot or something similar can keep you from getting hurt. Spring-assisted starting can also reduce the effort needed to start a gas saw. There are even ‘exotic’ features like heated handles, to keep your hands warm while using a chainsaw in winter and so on.
Consider all of this when buying a saw.
Now that we listed all of these factors, here’s how the five chainsaws we picked rank in those areas.
In-depth Reviews of 5 Chainsaws
Strong Electric Motor
The powerful electric 14.5 amp motor (equal to 3.5 hp) of this unit ensures a chain speed of 12 meters per second. With that power, it can cut even though tougher wood with no issues at all.
Long, Durable Bar
The 16-inch long bar made of solid metal with all-metal dogs at the base of it ensures stability while cutting. The solid construction of the whole unit ensures that it will stay safe and last for a long time while staying light in weight.
Lightweight, Safe Design
This chainsaw weighs in at only 11 pounds and has a wide variety of safety features. The low kickback bar allows you to stay safe even when tackling gnarly wood, while the built in chain brake ensures that the chain doesn’t get stuck or flies off. Moreover, the auto-tension chain system prevents the chain from being over tightened, making it even safer for use.
Automatic Oil Lubrication
The auto chain lubrication means you won’t have to stop working to fiddle with this saw and it will still have constant lubrication. In addition to that, it has a built in oil level indicator for its 6.75-ounce reservoir, meaning you don’t even have to stop the chainsaw to check it.
Who Should Buy This Product
This chainsaw is ideal for people who want a strong, safe electric machine that will perform even medium duty tasks with satisfactory results. It even has a long cord, so most people won’t have to worry about it limiting them unless they have a positively massive property.
What to Watch Out For
While this is an electric machine, meaning that you don’t have to put a lot of money into buying gas all the time, it still guzzles a surprising amount of oil. The cost of this can add up over time. Moreover, it means you need to stop for refills more often. The oil indicator helps with this, but it does not remedy the problem.
This is just an all-around solid machine that is great for the price. While it is a corded electric saw, it has an immensely long cord that makes it feel almost like it’s cordless, and it offers strength comparable to some gas saws. It even has a ton of great safety features while being lightweight, making it perfect for most people. However, it has some flaws; it takes up a lot of oil and can leak at times. Still, that is a small price to pay for such an awesome product.
Powerful Battery-Powered Engine
This engine is strong and powered by a 40-volt battery that ensures a high runtime and over 60 cuts per charge. So much battery life ensures that you will be able to work for a long time without any need to stop.
Strong, Maneuverable Bar
The size of this 12-inch bar offers excellent maneuverability in yard work, allowing it to cut smaller branches with ease and get into tree tops with no problems. It’s made from metal just like most of the saw, ensuring that it won’t break easily.
This one comes with plenty of handy safety features, like the tool-free chain tensioning that ensures the chain is always properly tightened. The automatic oiling prolongs your work time, while the low kickback bar makes sure that you stay safe if the saw hits anything.
Durable and Light Build
This saw weighs in at only 10 pounds total, making it extremely light and easy to carry around with you or maneuver at larger heights or in treetops. It’s also made mostly from metal, making sure to withstand a long time of use.
Who Should Buy This Product
For people who need a smaller chainsaw for quick, light duty jobs around the yard, this is a perfect fit. Its small size and light build are what make it ideal for maneuvering around smaller spaces and cutting branches high up on the tree, ideal for trimming. There’s a lot of use you can get out of it.
What to Watch Out For
The most important thing here is that the additional features this product has tended to malfunction. The auto oiler sometimes doesn’t work at all, or works too well and outputs too much oil, wasting it and making the chain messy. The worst problem is that the safety feature supposed to reduce kickback barely functions, leading to safety concerns.
Whatever you might think about battery powered machines, you can’t deny that this is a good product with plenty of power for its small size and how comfortable it is to use and maneuver. However, it does have a small cutting size, but the bigger problem is the fact that its additional features tend to malfunction. Still, for people who need a lightweight chainsaw, this is a great deal.
DigiPro Brushless Motor Technology
Up to 100 cuts on a single charge of this incredibly powerful 40V battery that gives power to this strong electric engine. It provides up to 30% more torque while having up to 70% vibration than gas powered saws.
In combination with the strong engine, the sturdy 16-inch bar of this machine ensures good cutting speed and power, being able to go through even tougher trees like they’re butter. It’s made out of durable materials just like the rest of this saw, keeping it safe from breaking.
Less Noise and Vibration
This chainsaw features a design that reduces the noise and vibration it produces even when compared to other electrical products, let alone gas ones. This makes it far easier and safer to use for everybody. In addition to that, it also features a chain brake as well as metal bucking spikes.
Who Should Buy This Product
For people who need a saw that doesn’t cause a lot of fuss and is low in both noise and vibration, this is your pick. It works incredibly smoothly, and you will not pine for the days of using a gas powered saw. No neighbors will complain about the noise, and you will be able to use it anywhere.
What to Watch Out For
There are a couple of problems with this one, like the fact that it leaks oil from time to time. The biggest one by far is the fact that this saw has no automatic chain tightening, meaning that the chain easily comes loose and flies off the bar. It happens way too often to ignore, and there is no easy fix for it.
What you can’t deny is that this is a quality product, durable, simple to use and quite strong overall, at a decent price. However, the problems with it are undeniable and make it difficult to recommend, especially the fact that the chain can just fly off. Consider that when making your purchase.
Strong Gas Powered Motor
Inside this saw is an incredibly powerful gas motor, featuring an astounding 3.2 HP, 50.2 cc, and X-Torq technology, with reduced harmful emission due to a centrifugal air cleaning system, excellent fuel efficiency, lowering gas costs.
Massive Cutting Bar
The cutting bar of this chainsaw measures at a whopping 18 inches, making it able to perform some heavy-duty work with no issues whatsoever. It can cut even the largest of trunks and not even show a sign of wear-and-tear.
Comfortable and Safe
This saw has plenty of nifty features that ensure comfort as well as safety. The vibration dampening makes it rather comfortable for a gas saw, the smart-start feature that makes pulling the cord ten times a thing of the past, inertia activated brake ensuring the user’s safety and so on.
Made to Last
The engine of this machine is made to withstand years and years of continuous use without breaking down. It utilizes a three-piece crankshaft forged for superior durability, while the centrifugal air cleaning system ensures no debris get stuck inside it.
Who Should Buy This Product
If you want a strong chainsaw that can do heavy duty work and that you want to use regularly, this is the one you should get. It has some great power behind it, a large cutting bar and is powered by gas, making it portable. If you have a large property and regularly need to use a chainsaw, this is a godsend.
What to Watch Out For
The largest problem this saw has is that some of the safety and comfort features do not work that well. The chain fails to tighten properly at times, and it can lead to some safety issues. The touted smart start feature that is supposed to make it easy to start just turns out to be a dud and this saw is harder to start than most, and so on.
It’s a great heavy duty tool, that’s for sure, and it has some great cutting capacity that makes it great for people who own large properties and need to do a lot of work. It’s durable to boot! Still, the problems with this saw are numerous, the biggest of which is how hard it is to start, and that might waste a lot of your time. It’s still a great product, but you should keep that in mind when purchasing it.
Efficient 8-amp Motor
The small motor of this chainsaw packs a surprising punch while not being messy or producing any harmful fumes at all. It’s also almost vibration-free and relatively noiseless.
Great Low-kickback Bar
This bar, measuring up at 14 inches, has low kickback making it able to perform smooth cuts through almost any type of wood, while ensuring your safety.
Easy and Safe to Use
Features plenty of incredible features that make it super easy to use for anybody. The foremost of those is the push-button oiler, allowing you to oil up the chain with the press of a button, at any time. The external chain tension adjuster also makes tensioning effortless. It’s great to use.
Durable, Lightweight Design
This incredible saw is made from durable materials, mostly from metal, making it able to last for a long time. Despite that, it weighs in at only 6.2 pounds making it simple to use for anyone.
Who Should Buy This Product
This is a tiny powerhouse that can be used by almost anybody and it works great for smaller tasks around the yard. In that sense, weaker or older people can get it and will find plenty of use out of it in their garden. It can be even used to trim hedges with no issues.
What to Watch Out For
It’s not incredibly strong at all and can only be used for lighter work so don’t expect much more out of it. In addition to that, it doesn’t seem to be that sturdy at all, as the chain dulls rather easily and others parts of it are prone to failing as well. Just don’t expect to get too much use out of it.
This is a nifty little machine that can be used for plenty of different cleanup or trimming jobs around the yard or garden. However, that’s the only thing you can use it for – if you want something for heavier work, even just cutting branches larger than 3 inches in diameter, forget it. Get something larger if that’s what you need.
The Best Pick – WORX WG303.1
Because there are so many different chainsaws on the market, and the customers all have different needs, the “best” chainsaw doesn’t exist and picking it is impossible.
However, it’s possible to determine which of these five chainsaws is markedly better than the others and that is, without a doubt, the WORX WG303.1. It just excels in almost every area, having a great, lengthy cutting bar, a strong motor that can compete with the gas powered machines and a long cord that doesn’t pose that many problems.
In addition to that, it only has a few minor downsides instead of the glaring flaws that the other products have. It stands head and shoulders above them with ease.
And, there you have it ladies and gentlemen – that’s what we picked as the best chainsaw there is. That doesn’t mean it’s the best for you though, and you should look carefully at all the information we presented here and make a smart decision about buying one for yourself.
After all, the one who knows your needs best is you – we just hope this article was helpful in some way. If it is, please, do not hesitate to share it around so others who need similar help can see it. In the meantime, stay safe and have a good day!