Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Dec. 3, 2018

Finding the perfect chainsaw can be a pretty chain-ful process…. (Okay, saw-ry for the awful pun we just couldn’t resist!) There are so many brands and models around and they all boast a variety of useful, yet different features.  Depending on your industry and needs, you will be looking for different key features and specs and you need to decide on whether you want a gas powered model, or an electric one.

Whether you’re a home-owner looking to neaten up your garden and cut some logs for the Christmas fire, or a professional in industry looking for a great tool for the job, we’ve got you sorted! Here are some of the top rated chainsaws we’ve found.

The Best Chainsaw

This is a fabulous light-duty electric chainsaw and is a great choice for cutting down small trees and logs. It runs via a 14.5 amp motor and offers the strength and power of a gas chainsaw without the hassle because you don’t have to constantly add oil or gas.

An auto-tensioned system ensures that the chainsaw doesn’t over tighten and the rubber over-molded rear handle ensures greater comfort and ease.  The automatic oiler also adds to extra ease and constant lubrication to the chainsaw. This model combines quality and great value and is an awesome pick to use around the home. It also boasts thousands of fantastic reviews and comes with a 3-year warranty, thus affirming its great quality.

Key Features
  • 14.5 Amp motor output 
  • Patented auto-tension chain system
  • Low kickback bar and built-in chain brake
  • Chain Speed: 12m/s.
  • Rated Voltage: 120V~60Hz
  • Automatic oil lubrication and built-in oil reservoir 
  • Includes 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • 57 Chain Links
Specification
  • Brand Worx
  • Model WG303.1
  • Weight 11 pounds
PROS

Lightweight

Powerful

Easy to Use

No tip kickback

Quieter and less hassle than gas chainsaws

CONS

Might utilize a lot of bar oil

This lightweight, gas-powered chainsaw is a brilliant tool for cutting wood, chopping down trees, or clearing your yard. It’s the perfect addition for any homeowner with land to care for.  The Torq engine is also able to reduce harmful emissions and is thus a great purchase for those who want to support the environment and utilize a device that is more fuel efficient.

This particular model also has an extended warranty deal for those who buy the Husqvarna ready-mixed fuel and register their product online. A 4-year warranty is pretty exceptional for a tool of this calibre and highlights the belief that the makers have in their product. This is a fantastic addition to your tool collection and while it is on the more expensive side, it won’t disappoint and is sure to last!

Key Features
  • Powerful 18-inch gas-powered chainsaw 
  • 3.2 HP X-Torq engine
  • LowVib vibration dampening
  • Minimal effort via Smart Start feature and combined choke/stop control
  • Centrifugal air cleaning system
  • Inertia activated chain brake
  • Snap-lock cylinder cover
  • CARB Compliant
Specification
  • Brand Husqvarna
  • Weight 10.8 lbs
PROS

Lightweight

Powerful

Extended warranty

Fuel efficient / Less emissions

CONS

No way to adjust oil flow

This light weight cordless chainsaw is a manoeuvrable tool that gets the job done smoothly and with minimal noise. If you will be using your chainsaw in a residential area then this is a great pick and will ensure you don’t get complaints from the neighbours! And let’s face it; you will be having so much fun with this cordless chainsaw that you will want to use it all the time!  The GreenWorks cordless chainsaw is a battery powered device that utilizes Lithium-Lon technology and you won’t have to spend time mixing gas and oil.

This tool combines ease and durability and is an excellent choice. While it might not be the cheapest pick on our list, it certainly is a great chainsaw and boasts longer running time, greater power, and 70 % less vibration to add to your comfort.  

Related Post: Best Cordless Electric Chainsaws

Key Features
  • Brushless motor 
  • Compatible with GreenWorks G-MAX 40V Li-Ion System 
  • Battery Capacity-2Ah
  • Chain brake and low kickback chain for increased user safety
  • Electronic chain brake prevents from accidental kick-backs
Specification
  • Brand Greenworks
  • Weight 10.36 lbs
PROS

Quiet

No exhaust fumes

Long-lasting battery power

Very powerful

CONS

Potential bar oil leakage

The Remington lightweight electric saw is a fantastic option for those round the home jobs and for all small limb trimming tasks. It is extremely lightweight (at just over 6 pounds) and is therefore a great pick for all strengths and capabilities.  The chainsaw also comes fully assembled and is thus a no-fuss option that allows you to get straight to work.  The push-button oiler further enhances its easy-to-use abilities and disperses the correct amount of oil onto the bar. 

The wrap-around hand guard ensures that debris don’t fly onto your hands and thus, safety and comfort are at the fore. This is a great choice for those who need to at-home jobs and want an easy to manoeuvre device.  It’s also selling for an unbelievable price and encompasses both great-value, and ease.

Key Features
  • Lightweight designs
  • Powerful trimming
  • Push button oiler
  • Quick tensioner
  • Wrap around hand guard
Specification
  • Brand Remington
  • Model RM1425
  • Weight 6.25 pounds
PROS

Lightweight

No assembly required

Push-button oiler

CONS

Not cordless

Not for heavy-duty jobs

This is a great option if you want to cut branches or fallen limbs.  The Black and Decker chainsaw is battery operated and the 40 volt Lithium Ion battery enhances the overall run-time of the device and its overall lifespan. The automatic oiling system adds to extra ease, as does its cordless ability which enables you to easily manoeuvre the machine and get into those hard to reach places.  The full wrap-around handle is also great for comfort and will enable you to cut from different angles and orientations.

Key Features
  • 40V MAX Lithium Ion Battery 
  • 12" premium bar and chain
  • Automatic oiling system
  • Suitable for pruning branches and cutting fallen limbs
  • Tool-free chain tensioning 
  • 40V MAX* 2.0Ah Battery provides over 60 4×4 pine lumber cuts on average per single charge
  • Full wrap around handle 
Specification
  • Brand BLACK+DECKER
  • Model LCS1240
  • Weight 10.4 pounds
PROS

Long-lasting battery

Automatic oiling system

CONS

Not for industrial jobs

The echo 18 inch gas chainsaw is an excellent pick if you want to combine power and quality. It’s a great choice if you have trees to cut down and don’t mind working with a gas tool, as opposed to an electric one.  It has the power to cut through hard wood and is easy to start. The Echo chainsaw reviews boast both user-satisfaction and highlight its long-lasting durability. If you have big trees to cut down, or will be working with harder woods, then this is an outstanding and powerful device.  While it might be on the more expensive side of our list, it will stand the test of time and get those difficult jobs done!

Key Features
  • Genuine OEM Echo Part
  • 40.2 cc professional-grade
  • 2-stroke engine for outstanding performance
  • i-30 starting system for reduced effort starting
  • 18" Bar & Chain Included
  • Engine Oil Included, Fully Assembled
Specification
  • Brand ECHO
  • Model CS-400-18
  • Weight 10.1 pounds
PROS

Long bar

Engine oil included

2 Stroke Engine

CONS

Gas can be more effort than electric or battery operated

The Makita cordless chainsaw is a battery operated device that’s bound to be a hit with its high power and great reviews.  It boasts a zero emissions and is much quieter than a gas store. This you can use it on camping trips and around your neighbours without getting any grief. This tool is also a great safety pick as when you let go of the trigger the chain comes to an abrupt stop.  This swift stopping action can be the difference between minor injury and a serious one if you are ever caught in a precarious position and thus, safety looms large with this machine.

Key Features
  • Lower noise level at only 89 dB(A) and zero emissions 
  • 12" guide bar for increased capacity
  • "Tool-less" chain adjustments 
Specification
  • Brand Makita
  • Model XCU02Z
  • Weight 8.8 pounds
PROS

Powerful

Quiet

Zero emissions

CONS

Batteries and charger not included

This electric saw has been dubbed as a ‘beast’ by some users and encompasses full power that allows you to make the most of its 18 inch bar. The clutch mechanism makes it a really safe option and its ergonomic design creates a lightweight tool with balance and a low-vibration. Like some of our other picks, this device is pretty quiet and allows you to saw at all hours of the day! The in-built sharpening feature is a fantastic extra and will keep your bar sharp and ready for the cutting!

Key Features
  • Exclusive self-sharpening system PowerSharp
  • High power motor, 15 amp for fast cutting with a 18" (45 cm) reduced-kickback guide Bar and chain
  • Tool-less chain tensioning system
  • Ergonomic design to remain light-weight and balanced
  • Low vibration
  • Over-Mold comfortable handle
  • Integrated chain brake for safety
  • 2-year consumer and 1-year professional Warranty.
Specification
  • Brand Oregon
  • Model 603352
  • Weight 12.6 pounds
PROS

Reduced kickback

Quiet

Powerful

CONS

Corded

The Dewalt Brushless Chainsaw offers users immense power and an exceptional battery life and is a great tool to use all year long, especially for land-owners who need to clear their yards. The chain brake offers exceptional kickback protection and the device has an auto-oiling system. Reviewers have noted its outstanding battery life, the fact it can fully charge in half an hour, and have commended it for its amazing adjustment and safety features.  Although this isn’t a cheap machine, it’s certainly an investment and will offer you hours of power and great quality.

Key Features
  • Powerful brushless motor (40V Lithium 4AH battery)
  • Low kick-back 16" Oregon bar and chain
  • Auto-Oiling with Lubrilink and Lubriwell for continuous lubrication
  • Variable speed trigger
Specification
  • Brand DEWALT
  • Model DCCS690M1
  • Weight 18.74 pounds
PROS

Powerful

Auto-oiling

Long battery life

CONS

Goes through oil quickly

The Poulan Gas Powered Chainsaw is the perfect tool for all those at home jobs you’ve been meaning to do. With the holidays looming, it might be just the time to invest. This tool also utilizes anti-vibe handles that work to cushion the vibrations of the device for extra comfort. The air cleaning filter system also enhances performance and lifespan. This is a great pick for those who enjoy working with a gas tool.

Key Features
  • Engine Type: 34cc 2-cycle Gas
  • 2 Cycle gas powered chain saw – Gas Mixture: 40:1 Gas/Oil ratio
  • Anti-vibe handles cushion vibrations 
  • Super clean air filter system 
Specification
  • Brand Poulan
  • Model PP3416
  • Weight 12 pounds
PROS

Comes with Oil

Air filter system

Powerful

CONS

Chain can become dull after excess use. Order extras.

Best Chainsaw Buying Guide & FAQ

Why Buy a Chainsaw?

Chainsaw’s are portable, mechanical saws and are often utilized in a number of activities including pruning, tree felling, collecting firewood, limbing, and cutting firebreaks.  They help you work quickly and can be used in professional and personal capacities. Specialized chainsaws can even be used to cut through concrete and ice, and thus their uses and strengths are vast and diverse. Special chainsaws are sometimes also used for chainsaw carving.

Related Posts: Best Scroll Saws and Reciprocating Saws

Types of Chainsaws and Features to Consider When Buying One

Chainsaws consist of several different parts. They either have a gasoline engine, or an electric engine that is powered by a battery or an electrical power cord. They also include a drive mechanism consisting of a sprocket and clutch, a guiding bar, and a cutting chain. It’s also important to investigate their safety features to ensure you find a tool that is both convenient and safety conscious.  There are a number of features you need to consider when purchasing a chainsaw. Do you want it to be gas, or electric? Should it have an inbuilt oil dispenser? Does it need to be able to handle bars of varying lengths? And what safety features are a must?

Depending on your needs and your industry, you’ll be looking for chainsaws that embody different features and qualities. If you are doing more industrial jobs, you will need a chainsaw with a higher power. The higher the power, the longer the bar! If you are doing at-home jobs, then a cordless and smaller tool might be exactly what you need. We have compiled a list of our top ten picks to help the process. Our list includes a variety of prices and features and will thus meet multiple monetary and capability needs.

Chainsaw Safety Tips

Before you use your new chainsaw it is paramount that you do your research and learn how to use it safely.  Chainsaws are amazing tools, but they can also be dangerous. ALWAYS read the user manual, or consult online video tutorials if things seem unclear. A few key safety tips to always bear in mind include:

  • Stand correctly in the boxer stance position. Keep your knees slightly bent and put your left leg slightly forward at a 45 degree angle (if you are right handed), and in reverse if left handed (right leg in front.)
  • Always keep BOTH hands on the saw and always keep a firm eye on the bar as you are cutting.
  • Beware of the kickback zone
  • ALWAYS wear safety gear. Yes, you might not look as cool as a shirtless lumberjack in the forest, but safety is so important. Invest in boots, gloves, chainsaw chaps, and specialized protection for your eyes and ears.
  • Unless you are very experienced, ALWAYS use a chainsaw with reduced kickback.

Best Chainsaw FAQ:

Q: What type of oil should I use for bar lubrication?

The bar and chain of all gas and electric chainsaws need to be properly lubricated to ensure that the machine runs effectively. A well lubricated bar and chain will be less likely to rust and extend the life of your machine. Most manufacturers will sell their own oil which maximises the lubrication and best results for your particular device. However, you can also use alternative oils and these might be listed within your user manual. It is always best to consult your particular brand before purchasing oil. Manufactures work hard to ensure that they promote oil mixes that prolong the lives of their tools. Opting for cheaper oil might seem cost effective to start with, but could ultimately lead to costly damage in the future. A few options and things to bear in mind:

  • Vegetable oil is sometimes used as an alternative – This will minimize environmental damage and is a cost effective oil to use.
  • Never use used motor oil! This can damage your chainsaw and will not reduce friction in the same way that new oil does. It’s already been used as a lubricant and won’t be as effective.
If your machine starts producing smoke when you start to cut, it’s a sure sign you need more oil!

Q: Does a chainsaw come with oil?

A : Chainsaws don’t usually come with oil. However, you will most likely be able to order the oil that your manufacturer advises when you purchase your device. Remember oil is essential to ensure that your machine runs effectively and buying the correct oil will prolong the lifespan of your chainsaw and lead to more effective use of your tool.

Q: Why does my chainsaw leak oil?

A leaking chainsaw can occur for a number of reasons.  It might simply be that you have overfilled the oil reservoir and thus the excess oil is leaking.  If you check this and it’s not the case then your fill plug might not be sealed properly, or your outlets might be clogged. Clean your machine thoroughly and then check for leakages again. Your user manual is important when conducting these checks and will show you where everything is. A little trick that engineers use to determine whether their oil is working optimally is to place a piece of white card on the floor and rev the chainsaw over it (without touching it). If a fine mist of spray appears on your card then your device is working well! A little bit of oil spray is completely normal; however excess leakage needs to be addressed.

Q: Will chainsaws accept a longer bar?

The chainsaw bar, also known as the blade, is an important part of your machine. Different models will utilize different types of bars and different bars are able to do different things. Chainsaws need to have different levels of power to operate different length bars. For example, an electric chainsaw operating on 12-15 Amps can handle a blade length of 16-18 inches. However, a battery operated device operating on 18-24 volts can only work with a blade of about 10 inches. While many devices are created to be able to handle different sized bars, some cannot. The best thing is to check your user’s manual to determine what your particular device can handle.  This information will often be located under the section on ‘cutting devices.’

Q: How can I tell if my chain needs sharpening?

While there isn’t a magical formula to determine when your chainsaw needs sharpening, a generally agreed upon indicator is that you have to apply excess pressure while cutting. You should be guiding the machine, but it should be doing all of the hard work. If you feel you need to over exert yourself then it’s time for a sharpening session.  You can either purchase your own sharpening device, or find a local repair shop or technician. If you are using your chainsaw often it might be worth investing in your own sharpening tool.

Q: Why is chainsaw fuel usually mixed before use?

The correct ratio of gas and oil will largely determine the effectiveness of your machine and impact the general wear and tear of the device. Pre-mixed fuels take this into account and can benefit your chainsaw in the following ways:

  • Create a better overall performance and leads to greater reliability and better lubrication.
  • They protect against build up
  • Time effective and save you having to order separate fuels and mix them yourself
  • Will last longer because they are professionally sealed
Related Posts: Best Pole Saws and Tile Saws

Our Top Pick

After much deliberation we have chosen the Worx 16-Inch Electric Chainsaw as our best chainsaw pick! It sells for a steel and offers both quality and user-friendliness.

Our best pick combines quality and cost efficiency. This is a amazing light-duty electric chainsaw and is a great choice for homeowners and professionals alike. It runs via a 14.5 amp motor and offers the strength and power of a gas chainsaw without the hassle because you don’t have to constantly add oil or gas. An auto-tensioned system ensures that the chainsaw doesn’t over tighten and the rubber over-molded rear handle ensures greater comfort and ease.  The automatic oiler also adds to extra ease and constant lubrication to the chainsaw. This model combines excellence and great value and is an awesome pick to use around the home. It also boasts thousands of fantastic reviews and comes with a 3-year warranty, thus highlighting just how well-made it really is!

Key Features:

  • 5 Amp motor output delivers a cutting performance similar to gas chainsaws for homeowners, farmers, and ranchers.
  • Patented auto-tension chain system prevents over-tightening; stays at the right tension for hundreds of uses.
  • Low kickback bar and built-in chain brake for added safety. This model does not include a battery and is an electric tool.
  • Chain Speed : 12m/s. Rated Voltage : 120V~60Hz
  • Automatic oil lubrication and built-in oil reservoir with window level indicator and chain pitch is 3/8 inch, chain gauge is 0.05 inch, oil tank capacity is 200 ml
  • Includes 3-year manufacturer’s warranty

Sources:

  1. How Chain Saws Work – howstuffworks
  2. How to Buy a Chainsaw – wikiHow
  3. How to Operate a Chainsaw – wikiHow

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