Chainsaw or chain saw shopping can be a daunting task. After all, they’re usually bought with the purpose of motorized power cutting of timber. They’re also associated more with lumberjacks and loggers (or perhaps due to pop culture, serial killers with ski or skin masks) than with the average homeowner.
With that said, there are many uses to be had of the average chainsaw even if you’re not a professional worker who cuts down trees for a living. There are also certain hardwoods that a mere axe or circular saw won’t be able to cut, so you need a more heavy-duty power tool. There’s a wealth of information online in regards to the chainsaw and your options in buying it.
In order to sift through all these options and variables, you have to dissect everything to their component parts. You’ll also need to ask yourself why exactly you need a chainsaw and why a table saw or a radial arm saw isn’t enough for your woodcutting or home improvement requirements.
This chainsaw buying guide should provide you with a clear picture on what you need so that you can hone your chainsaw shopping capabilities all the way through by the time you’re done reading this piece. When buying a chainsaw, you should be aware of the work area’s size and location. Not all chainsaw applications involve live timber and the outdoors. You also have your pick between an electric chainsaw you can plug into an electrical outlet and a gas chainsaw that you have to rev up like a car.
Best Chainsaw Reviews
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Chainsaw Reviews
- 2 Chainsaw Buying Guide
- 3 Conclusion
Husqvarna 450 Gas Powered Chain Saw with Smart Start (CARB Compliant)
This is a good choice in chainsaw as any. In fact, it’s one of the best out there, judging by its ratings and reviews. The Husqvarna 450 Gas Powered Chain Saw is a safe, certified, and efficient chainsaw that features a powerful 18-inch gas-powered motor that’s perfect for homeowners who want to prune their trees or cut them down in an efficient manner.
The 3.2 HP X-Torq Engine is an amazing piece of equipment that lives up to its name when it comes to torque (the raw power) of the saw and impressively mitigates exhaust emissions for the sake of improving fuel efficiency all around. That’s where this power tool’s CARB compliance comes in. You also have vibration reduction in the form of its Low-Vibe Vibration Dampener.
You won’t feel shaken and stirred after every use of the Husqvarna 450 Chainsaw for sure with its vibrations reduced to almost nothing. As for the Smart Start feature, this make and model of chainsaw is as easy to startup as an electric chainsaw but features the amazing power you can only get from a true gas-powered monster. This push-button functionality is even combined with a choke or stop control to keep the saw from biting off more than it could chew and
This push-button functionality is even combined with a choke or stop control to keep the saw from biting off more than it could chew and ruining its blades when it hits a snag. Its air-cleaning system is a centrifugal one, the chain brake is inertia-activated, and its cylinder cover snaps and locks to boot. It’s an impressive power tool all-in-all, thus the Husqvarna Saw with Smart Start (CARB Compliant) serves as a shining example among the rest of chainsaws in this list.
Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 Top Handle Chain Saw
As for the Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 Chain Saw it holds its own in this group of quality chainsaws by offering an unbelievable seven-year consumer warranty, a two-year commercial warranty, and a one-year rental warranty. It also has a sprocket nose bar with Oregon chain that offers easier cuts by making sure that every cut is within your control. Meanwhile, its
Meanwhile, its oiler is automatic and gear-driven, which means your chainsaw is regularly lubricated to avoid friction-induced wear and tear every time. As for the access chain tensioning, it provides convenience when it comes to adjusting your chain to the setting of your preference.
The Tanaka TCS33EDTP specifically features a half-throttle choke with purge primer bulb to make warming up and starting up your chainsaw easier to deal with. Finally, the Tanaka Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine features a top handle chainsaw setup and a 32.2 CC commercial-grade fire engine that provides an impactful and immaculate clean operation that doesn’t consume your fuel like an SUV or a truck would. It’s an amazing piece of machinery that has aspects of environmental friendliness and conservation to it. This is because the
It’s an amazing piece of machinery that has aspects of environmental friendliness and conservation to it. This is because the Tanaka TCS33EDTP Chainsaw was built with commercial or residential users in mind, providing the right amount of torque and horsepower that can efficiently prune your trees but not too much power to be considered overkill or even dangerous for the user. It is a few inches shorter than the Husqvarna 450, but if you are a homeowner who wants to use something other than an ax or a saw to cut knotty trees around the house, it’s perfect.
GreenWorks 20312 Cordless Chainsaw
If you wish to get a cordless chainsaw that’s electrically powered and rechargeable like your cell phone, then one of the best chainsaws around of that category is the GreenWorks 20312 Cordless Chainsaw. The DigiPro makes use of brushless motor technology that’s filled with premium-grade power for its class, such that it could do 100 cuts on a single charge.
This is wonderful in light of the stigma of cordless chainsaws being the weakest and most energy deficient chainsaw around compared to the gas-refillable gas-powered chainsaw or the corded chainsaw that you can directly plug into your electrical supply like an air conditioner or a generator. The GreenWorks Cordless Chainsaw most certainly shatters the perception of weakness.
As far as its operation and performance is concerned, 100 cuts after every single charge is truly impressive and worthwhile to get for your tree-pruning and trunk-chopping requirements. That’s how long-lasting its chargeable 4AH battery is. Meanwhile, this chainsaw is also compatible with the GreenWorks G-MAX 40V Li-Ion System, which means if you’re a regular GreenWorks patron, you can mix and match those two products and extend the versatility of your saw.
You can get to enjoy 70% less vibration to ensure your comfort during operation and 30% more torque so that you can cut through even the knottiest of trees and the thickest of hardwoods with instantaneous ease and effortless quickness. As for safety features, the GreenWorks Cordless Chainsaw also comes complete with a low kickback chain and chain brake. This intuitive chainsaw is a good starter chainsaw for all the saw novices out there.
Remington RM5118R Rodeo Gas Chainsaw
The Remington RM5118R Rodeo Gas Chainsaw is as rugged a power tool as they come and as you can get. It’s an ideal chainsaw for cleaning up trees after a storm, cutting firewood, and for pruning or limbing. It can accomplish all these things because of its 51 CC, 2-cycle engine that has a low kickback bar of about 18 inches and a chain that reliably starts the saw in all conditions. Pull starts with the Remington Gas Chainsaw are made easier thanks to the QuickStart technology of the device. Furthermore, it has
Pull starts with the Remington Gas Chainsaw are made easier thanks to the QuickStart technology of the device. Furthermore, it has anti-vibration features as well from the back to the front so that you won’t feel like a milkshake when everything is said and done. It doesn’t feel like you’re hauling a jet engine in your arms when you wield the Remington RM5118R Rodeo.
However, it can cut through trees and branches like they’re made of air all the same. It is built like a tank too with its pro-grade sprocket, crankcase, and durable die-cast chassis. As for its other features, it includes chain and bar oil as well as a heavy duty case. The main thing that people go crazy over the Remington Gas Chainsaw, however, is its toughness. It takes even the hardest hardwoods and felled trees that need cutting down to size like a challenge waiting to be conquered. It’s a conqueror-class chainsaw comparable to the
It’s a conqueror-class chainsaw comparable to the Husqvarna 450 Gas Powered Chain Saw in almost every way that matters. Whether you want to get firewood, do after-storm cleanup, successfully make an oak table out of an oak trunk, and so forth, you can always depend on the Remington RM5118R Gas Chainsaw.
Husqvarna 460 RancherGas Powered Chain Saw (CARB Compliant)
The Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Powered Chain Saw is another CARB Compliant saw from Husqvarna that was able to make it to the list because one excellent Husqvarna representative deserves another. In many ways, with a quick glance of their specs, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is a vast improvement to the Husqvarna 450. If you have money to spare and heavy-duty timber cutting to do that goes beyond mere pruning of branches and whatnot, then the Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Powered Chain Saw is here to please. It specifically features a 20-inch bar and side-mounted chain tensioner that’s easily accessible. It’s a swell deal all around.
If you have money to spare and heavy-duty timber cutting to do that goes beyond mere pruning of branches and whatnot, then the Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Powered Chain Saw is here to please. It specifically features a 20-inch bar and side-mounted chain tensioner that’s easily accessible. It’s a swell deal all around.
What’s more, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher also has an air filter that quickly releases so that you can effortlessly replace and clean it without unscrewing anything or messing with the internal mechanisms of the gas-powered chainsaw. The toughest applications are no match against the Husqvarna 460 Rancher—from dealing with a storm aftermath to cutting down tall timber for lumberjack purposes—because of its forged, three-piece crankshaft. It’s not only powerful, though. It’s also CARB-compliant, which means you can conserve tons of money on gas by using this energy-efficient chainsaw that doesn’t drink up gas like it’s a ten-wheeler. The package can also include three 32-ounce cans of Husqvarna premix fuel. You can extend your warranty from 2 years to 4 years as well by registering the product online.
It’s not only powerful, though. It’s also CARB-compliant, which means you can conserve tons of money on gas by using this energy-efficient chainsaw that doesn’t drink up gas like it’s a ten-wheeler. The package can also include three 32-ounce cans of Husqvarna premix fuel. You can extend your warranty from 2 years to 4 years as well by registering the product online.
Chainsaw Buying Guide
Types of Chainsaws
When it comes to mobility and power, few things can match the ability of the gasoline-powered chainsaw. As long as you have gas and you know how to properly wield and start your chainsaw, you’re good to go. Aside from the pop-culture huge chainsaws used for felling trees, these saws can range from professional-grade power tools to light-duty models that seem like larger versions of the circular saw.
Not all saws are made to take down trees and chainsaws aren’t limited to that single application, for your information. A gas-powered saw cranks with a pull-start and sports a two-cycle engine that runs on a mixture of gasoline and oil. You can order premixed fuel to run on your chainsaw or mix the oil yourself with the gas if you believe that’s a more affordable alternative. As for electric chainsaws, you can plug them in on any outlet in your home. They’re great for light cutting, pruning, and trimming.
Because they require less power, they’re best used for small jobs. The lack of a gas engine also means that they’re quieter compared to the average diesel chainsaw. They can also start at the push of a button and requires far less maintenance. The trade off to all these benefits is the reduced power, obviously. You can buy electric saws in corded and cordless varieties, with the latter ones requiring recharging for a set amount of time through rechargeable batteries and whatnot.
The cordless electric chainsaw is a lot like the gas-powered chainsaw in that both offer superior mobility. However, the gas one requires a gas supply and the electric one has a battery that adds weight to an otherwise mobile model of saw. The battery-powered saw also requires constant battery swapping or recharging, which limits operation time. Ostensibly, when buying different saw types, it’s all a balancing act between different pros and cons.
Take a look at this 2-minute clip to sum up the types of chainsaw available:
Considerations for Buying a Chainsaw
Finding the best chainsaw for you needs depends on what your needs are. Before shopping for a chainsaw, you should plan out what you’re going to use the saw for or if it’s much cheaper to simply hire someone with a chainsaw—a lumberjack, for example—to do the work for you. Maybe you can rent out a chainsaw instead, since these saws are big investments akin to, say, lawnmowers.
There are chainsaws for trimming work in case you don’t want to cut your hedges manually with shears. You also need to think about the type of wood you want sawed and your experience in handling a chainsaw. If you’ve dealt with chainsaws before, then choosing one should be an easier experience. However, because you’re reading this article, chances are this is the first time you’ll be using a chainsaw in your entire life. Like with operating any other power tool, you need experience and training.
This is so that you won’t end up hurting yourself and those around you. As for the specifics of choosing a chainsaw, you should take into account its size, the work it’s supposed to handle, and its bar length. Saws with longer bars are capable of cutting wood with bigger diameters at a single pass, while those with shorter bars require multiple passes for the same huge pieces of timber.
Homeowner-grade saws tend to have 20 inches on big, gas-powered models and 6 inches on smaller electric-powered saws. Pro-level chainsaws you’d normally see lumberjacks use tend to have bar lengths longer than a mere 20 inches, take note. Saw power and capability are measured in horsepower, amperage (for corded models), voltage (for cordless models), and engine displacement (for gas-powered models). The higher the ratings, the more powerful your saw is. Power is an important metric because it determines how large the timber, lumber, and trees you can work with.
A nice short and to-the-point (~4:45 mins) clip from This Old House, explaining step by step on how to use a chainsaw. They also explain the safety procedure that you must take.
Finding the Best Chainsaw for Your Needs
A chainsaw must have power. The more power it has, the bigger the trees and lumber it can cut down, particularly if you’re dealing with knotted trees or hardwood timber such as maple and oak (perhaps you want to make an oak table from the ground up, without ordering precut oak logs and boards). In such cases, you require a longer bar and more horsepower / amperage / voltage / engine displacement.
With that said, the longer the bar, the more weight you’ll have to wield. The bigger chainsaws with lengthy bars require the power of a power lifter (or maybe the proportional lifting strength of an ant). You should watch out for the vibration as well. You’ll need extra power, strength, and musculature to handle a chainsaw literally feels like you’re hugging a car engine with a whirring blade on the other end of it. There are safety concerns that need to be addressed with your chainsaw size. Check out the list of best seller chainsaw bar here. Also, spare some minute to watch this 8-minute clip from STIHL Training on chainsaw safety:
Long story short, if you’re no pro lumberjack with the build to match, then you have no business handling a professional-level chainsaw. Doing so might hurt you in the process. If all you’re going to use the chainsaw for is to trim hedges or cut logs faster than you would an ax, then a smaller electric saw (corded or cordless) might be more up your alley, since this is a power tool that most average non-bodybuilder homeowners could control safely. They could wield an electric saw as well without fearing that they’d lose their grip and lose a leg from it because of its excessive shaking and heaviness.
Smaller chainsaws are particularly recommended to chainsaw beginners who don’t have much experience with such a heavy duty power tool. You can train in using the electric saw then move your way up to lumberjack-grade gas-powered chainsaws when you’re ready for them.
As the reviews for chainsaws show, size and power are only parts of what you need to know about chainsaws before making your ultimate pick. Other chainsaw features that improve efficiency in cutting, safety, and comfort should also be in the forefront of your mind. Your homeowner-grade or lumberjack-grade chainsaw should have anti-vibration features, because constant shaking can cause fatigue and discomfort to the operator. It could even lead to your cuts going out of control or out of alignment because you yourself have issues in keeping your chainsaw steady.
Anti-vibration systems are beneficial in maximizing your cutting time. You can also reduce the pulling force required to start a gas-powered chainsaw with a spring-assisted starting system. You should be on the lookout for the automatic oiler that lubricates as you cut timber, because it helps reduce wear and tear on the moving parts of your power tool. These systems activate as you use your chainsaw.
The more lubed up your chainsaw, the more efficient and safe it is when it comes to cutting down all sorts of materials. Meanwhile, in order to keep your blade from getting torn apart whenever you encounter an abrupt impact or movement, you should have a chain brake installed on your saw. These brakes can be manually activated as well. You can also reduce the risk of the chainsaw being forced back and up with the assistance of low-kickback chains and bars.
Chain adjustment is preferred to be tool-less, meaning you don’t need special tools in order to adjust the chain. You can change the cutting chain tension easily, quickly, and safely. Check your chainsaw if it has an air-cleaning air filter. Maintain its integrity by regularly removing debris before ending up in the filter. Aside from all these considerations, all you really need to do now is make your choice between the top chainsaws reviewed by this buying guide.
Do check out other saw types too!
- Scroll Saw
- Miter Saw
- Band Saw
- Jig Saw
- Circular Saw
- Tile Saw
- Reciprocating Saw
- Table Saw
- Pole Saw
- Coping Saw
- Hack Saw
- Bow Saw