Owning a chainsaw lets you take care of troublesome trees and other problems around your home and lawn without calling professionals for help. The top models, which can use either electrical power or a combination of gasoline and oil, can chop through tree branches that came down during a storm and even whole trees that you want to remove.
While there are lots of factors to look at when choosing a chainsaw, we recommend that you start with a look at the Husqvarna 450 Chain Saw With Smart Start (Check Price on Amazon.com), which we ranked as the best chainsaw currently available on the market. The 18-inch chainsaw has a 3.2-horsepower motor and an air cleaning system that keeps the motor clean. Once you look at how to choose a chainsaw and what features to look for in a chainsaw, you’ll see why this one from Husqvarna beats the competition.
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Top Chainsaws Comparison Chart
12 Best Chainsaws Reviews (2020)
1. Husqvarna 450 ChainSaw With Smart Start
Very few gasoline or electric chainsaws can compete with the Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start, which uses a Smart Start system to ensure that it comes on easily without you pulling on the power cord multiple times. Its 18-inch blade can tackle both smaller and larger trees as well as other types of debris, and it comes with a 3.2-horsepower motor that produces less emissions while still giving you more than 50 cc of power. It also has a control that applies to both the stop and choke as well as an anti-vibration design that cuts back on the vibrations that you would otherwise feel.
Thanks to its unique chain brake system, this chainsaw will actually force the chain to stop when it realizes that it uses too much pressure or too much force. A locking cover comes with the chainsaw to stop others from using the chainsaw. Husqvarna gives you a two-year warranty and it will extend it by two more years when you also buy other products and register your chainsaw.
2. DEWALT DCCS690M1 40V 4AH Lithium Ion XR Brushless Chainsaw 1197
The top electric chainsaw that we found is this DEWALT DCCS690M1 40V 4AH Lithium Ion XR Brushless Chainsaw, which does not use any brushes in its motor that might reduce its life or keep the chainsaw from cutting through larger or heavier objects. It uses a 40V lithium ion battery for power, and you can keep that battery fully charged between uses to ensure that the chainsaw is also ready to go when you are. That battery may work in some of the other DEWALT power tools that you already own and with chargers you previously purchased. Its auto-oiling system uses just the right amount of oil to lubricate the motor and bar, which allows the chain to move more smoothly and cut more accurately. A variable speed trigger lets you apply more or less pressure to increase or decrease the speed of the motor, and you can use one hand to squeeze that trigger while keeping your other hand firmly on the anti-vibration handle. The Oregon bar, which has the chain wrapped around its edges, measures 16-inches long.
3. GreenWorks 20312 G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Cordless
Another solid choice for those who prefer electric chainsaws over gasoline chainsaws is this GreenWorks 20312 G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, which comes with a 40V battery and a battery charger. The battery can power the chainsaw and let that tool make up to 100 cuts before it needs a second charge, and the chainsaw has a simple design that helps you quickly pop out the battery for convenient charging. You can plug that charger into an outlet in your home, garage, workshop or even outdoor outlet to quickly charge the battery between uses, and the battery is compatible with other power tools from GreenWorks.
The brushless motor allows this chainsaw to produce more power and torque for using it with different jobs, and the motor can reduce the amount of vibrations produced by up to 70% when compared to other chainsaws. Safety features added by the manufacturer include a low kickback chain and a brake on the chain itself. Included with the chainsaw is a covering designed to fit over the bar and chain and a storage case for the chainsaw.
4. Husqvarna 440E 16-Inch 40.9cc 2-Stroke X-Torq Gas Powered
Another chainsaw from Husqvarna that we recommend is the 440E 16-Inch 40.9cc 2-Stroke X-Torq Gas Powered Chain Saw, which lets you adjust the tension of the chain without using any special tools for cutting through heavier types of wood or larger obstacles. As a gasoline chainsaw, it has a starting mechanism that lets you turn it on when you pull the cord on the side. Husqvarna also added an anti-vibration handle and gives you three different places to set your hands on the top and back to get the right amount of control as you cut.
The 16-inch bar is long enough to cut through almost any type of material that you encounter, and its crankshaft, which consists of three different moving parts, helps power the motor to cut through those materials faster. Though Husqvarna claims that it releases less emissions, the manufacturer does recommend that you regularly change the air filter, which uses a quick release system for faster changing of that filter. You’ll also like that the fuel pump works with the Smart Start system for more easily turning on the chainsaw.
5. Poulan Pro PR4218 18-Inch 42cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered
As the Poulan Pro line of chainsaws includes models with professional features at lower prices, we knew that the PR4218 18-Inch 42cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Chain Saw deserved a spot on our list because it lets you make hundreds of cuts and trim like a pro without wasting a lot of money. This model comes with a OxyPower engine that will last longer than other chainsaw engines can and a super clean system that extends the life of the air filter. The filter reduces the pollutants, debris, and emissions produced by the engine and comes out easily for replacing it with a new filter.
Its pull start system turns the engine on almost instantly with just a simple pull of the starting cord on the side, and the handle has a design that cuts down on vibrations to reduce the fatigue that you might otherwise feel. Poulan also gives you a locking compartment that holds your scrench and a carrying case for safely taking the chainsaw away from your home.
6. Husqvarna 952802154 240 2 HP
The 240 2 HP Chainsaw is the last one from Husqvarna to make our list, but even though it’s smaller and a little more affordable, it can still provide nearly as much power as its big brothers. Its 16-inch bar can cut through trees with a larger diameter and still make quick work of saplings and downed tree limbs, but its shorter design gives you more control as you cut. A chain tension device mounted on the side of the chainsaw makes adjusting the tension easier and lets you change that tension based on what you need to cut.
Suitable for many jobs around the house, the 240 has an ergonomic design that lets you use both hands on either the top, the back or on both sides of the chainsaw to guide the bar and give you more control. It comes with a two-horsepower 38 cc engine that can cut through larger trees without any struggles, and Husqvarna designed that motor to produce fewer emissions as it works. It also features a combo stop and choke control for easier use as well.
7. Poulan Pro 967061501 50cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered
Though similar in terms of price and some features to the last Poulan Pro model, this Poulan Pro 967061501 50cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Chain Saw might offer some benefits that you won’t get with that last model. It uses OxyPower engine technology that uses up to 20% less gasoline and oil while releasing up to 70% fewer emissions than other gas models. That technology also applies to the pull start mechanism, which cuts down on wear and tear to that mechanism and also helps this chainsaw start up to 30% faster and easier than other chainsaws.
A purge bulb purges the motor of excess oil and gasoline but then effortlessly pushes the perfect amount of that mixture into the motor to make this chainsaw start with the first pull that you make. The rear handle has a tool built right in for regular maintenance, and you can use either of the two ergonomic handles on the top for extra stability and added control.
8. BLACK + DECKER LCS1240 40V MAX Lithium Ion
Not everyone likes how heavy gas chainsaws are, which is why our list includes a few lighter chainsaws like this LCS1240 40V MAX Lithium Ion Chainsaw from BLACK + DECKER to our list. That lithium ion battery gives you freedom from power outlets and lets you use the chainsaw anywhere you want as long as you charge the battery ahead of time, and with a full charge, this chainsaw can run for several hours or longer. As an electric chainsaw, this model requires much less maintenance, as it comes with a low kickback chain that keeps the chainsaw from kicking back on you and possibly causing accidents when the bar comes into contact with a harder piece of wood.
As with other BLACK + DECKER power tools that do not require that use of any other tools for making adjustments, this chainsaw lets you adjust the tension of the bar with simple knobs instead of expensive tools. It has a cut capacity of up to 12 inches and features an oiling system that automatically oils the chain and bar for frequent use.
9. Blue Max 8901 2-in-1 14-Inch/20-Inch Combination Chainsaw in 4 Color Carton
The Blue Max 8901 2-in-1 14-Inch/20-Inch Combination Chainsaw in 4 Color Carton is an affordable chainsaw that you can use while cleaning up after a storm or when doing some landscaping work in your yard. It comes with a 45 cc motor that is significantly larger and more powerful than other chainsaw motors as well as up to 35% more teeth on the cutting chain than other models have, which lets you complete your cutting jobs even faster. The metal handle has an anti-vibration design that cuts down on the vibrations produced by its motor too.
A kickback break does a great job of stopping the motor and keeping any kickbacks from knocking you off your feet, and it comes with a quick start ignition system that helps the motor come on quickly. Approved by the EPA because of the low emissions that it produces, this Blue Max chainsaw also comes with an automatic oiling system that keeps both the bar and chain in good condition. Its center balanced design reduces fatigue and gives you more control too.
10. XtremepowerUS 22″ 2.4HP 45cc Gasoline Gas
One of the best gasoline chainsaws that will still work with a smaller budget is this XtremepowerUS 22″ 2.4HP 45cc Gasoline Gas Chainsaw. Its lighter and more compact shape gives you all the control that you need and lets you carry it all around your yard or from job site to job site with ease. The chainsaw comes with a kickback chain that prevents kickbacks and a clean air intake system that prevents dust and debris from getting inside and possibly damaging the engine.
A hand guard functions as both a guard and a brake because it keeps your hands from slipping onto the chain while the chainsaw is running and also forces the chain to stop when it touches anything it shouldn’t touch. XtremepowerUS received approval from the EPA for this chainsaw because it features an EcoBoost engine that requires less gasoline to run, but that engine also produces fewer of the toxic emissions that might damage the environment or make you feel ill.
11. WORX WG304.1 18-Inch 15.0 Amp Electric
When you need to cut down overgrown bushes, get rid of downed trees or just trim vegetation, you can’t go wrong with the WORX 18-Inch 15.0 Amp Electric Chainsaw, which comes with an 18-inch long bar that is a little longer than those found on other electric chainsaws to help you cut through trees and other objects with a larger diameter. That bar works with the 15 amp motor to deliver more power while still reducing emissions to help you feel comfortable and safe while working outside. WORX designed a tension system that comes at the right tension for most jobs and will stay at that same tension level for hundreds of hours of use.
The three-year warranty that WORX gives you is longer than other manufacturers offer and allows you to get help for any problems you experience or any issues that might arise from regular use of the chainsaw. This model also features an automatic oiling system that extends the life of the chainsaw and motor and a chain brake for added safety.
12. BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V MAX Lithium Ion
For some of the more basic jobs you have around the house, the BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V MAX Lithium Ion Chainsaw might be a good choice because it’s an affordable electric chainsaw that still delivers quite a bit of power. It comes with a 20V lithium ion battery, but before you worry that the battery won’t give the chainsaw the fast speed and durable cutting power that you need, keep in mind that this battery can hold a charge up to five times as long as other batteries. That lets you cut even more hazards and obstacles with this chainsaw.
The 10-inch Oregon bar has a shorter design that makes this chainsaw suitable for pruning, trimming and other simple jobs, and this bar comes with a chain already wrapped around it and a kickback design that reduces the feel of kickbacks. A bale handle lets you wrap your hands around the chainsaw for added security and safety, and a trigger on the back handle adjusts the pressure produced.
Our Chainsaw Winner
Though you might think that all chainsaws are pretty similar, especially when it comes to gasoline chainsaws, the Husqvarna 450 Chain Saw With Smart Start will certainly change your mind. A specially designed motor produces 3.2-horsepower and has dampening features that reduce vibrations. If you buy the right oil and gas combo at the same time and register your chainsaw, Husqvarna will even add two extra years to your warranty.
How to Choose the Ultimate Chainsaw
When buying a chainsaw, you need to choose between one powered by gasoline or an electric model. Gas motors are usually larger and more powerful but require that you buy a fuel source that combines gasoline with oil or that you make your own mixture. Electric chainsaws may not be as powerful but are often easier to use and weigh less.
Cord or No Cord?
With electric chainsaws, you need to decide between a corded or cordless model. Cordless models rely on a rechargeable battery that adds some weight to the chainsaw. While corded chainsaws weigh less, you can only use one while you’re close to an electrical outlet.
The weight of the chainsaw will tell you how easily you can carry and use that chainsaw as well as how long you can use it before your arms give out. You can find electric models that weigh as little as five pounds and up to around 17 pounds. Gas chainsaws can weigh as much as 20 pounds.
Cubic centimeters, also known as cc, is a measurement that refers to the overall strength or power of the motor/engine. If you want to cut down saplings and smaller trees around your yard, you only need a motor with around 30 to 35 cc of output. Professional chainsaws like those used by landscapers and contractors have a cc output of 50 to more than 100.
Kickback features reduce vibrations and let you use the chainsaw without your arms and hands shaking. Some chainsaws have a shield or guard at the end that keep the chain from coming into contact with the wood. Others have a longer chain that reduces the amount of links that touch what you want to cut.
The bar length of a chainsaw will tell you whether that chainsaw can work on trees with different diameters. Chainsaws now have a bar length of between eight and 42 inches. A bar length of up to 20 inches is suitable for more residential jobs. Those with a longer bar length are better for professional use.
Even if you buy online, you can still check out the handle on the chainsaw before making your purchase. The handle should have some type of anti-vibration design that lets you keep your hands firmly on that handle while still having full control over the chainsaw.
If you live in the Midwest or another region of the country that experiences a lot of snow and cold temperatures, you’ll want a chainsaw that features heated parts. A heated carburetor will ensure that the chainsaw comes on when the temperature is low, and a heated handle will keep your hands warm, with or without gloves.
Chainsaws range in price from under $100 to a few hundred dollars or more. As we know that shoppers have different budgets in mind and that not everyone can afford to spend the same amount on a chainsaw, our list includes models from major manufacturers that are available at different price points.