Which chainsaw is best?

Whether landscaping, removing trees and bushes or cutting firewood, a chainsaw is handy. Still, there are numerous things to consider before choosing one. For example, you’ll want to decide between gas and electric, determine how much power you need and find a saw that’s comfortable to use. 

What to consider before buying a chainsaw

Types of chainsaws

  • Gas chainsaws: These are heavy and generally require the most maintenance. Additionally, gas saws produce more noise, vibration and emissions than other chainsaws. Still, they are more powerful than corded and battery-powered saws and offer plenty of mobility. 
  • Corded-electric chainsaws: These are quiet and lightweight. Corded saws are easy to maintain and usually the most affordable. Still, you have to use an extension cord, meaning they lack the mobility offered by gas and battery-powered saws. 
  • Battery-powered chainsaws: Battery-powered saws produce little vibration or noise. They’re mobile and lighter than gas-powered saws. They tend to be the least powerful and can be inconvenient for large jobs since the battery may die.

Chainsaw power

Gas chainsaws usually have a 30 to 60 cc engine. Those with 30 to 40 cc engines are more than enough for most people, as they’re ideal for yard maintenance and easier to handle than larger gas saws. Chainsaws with 40 to 60 cc engines are suitable for those with farms and those who use their chainsaw for commercial landscaping jobs.

Electric chainsaws usually have 20 to 60 volts of power. For small jobs, 20-volt chainsaws are ideal. Saws with 40 volts are suitable for most people who use them for general maintenance, whereas 60-volt saws are an excellent choice for contractors.

Chainsaw comfort

Many saws have cushioned comfort grips that make using them for long periods easier. The shape and the size of the saw’s handles can impact how comfortable it is to use as well. Generally, electric and battery-powered saws are more comfortable to use than gas-powered ones, although they aren’t ideal for every job. 

Chainsaw FAQ

What size chainsaw do I need to cut firewood?

A. A 14- to 16-inch chainsaw is ideal for cutting firewood. These saws can cut through small- and medium-sized trees easily.

Are brushless motors better than brush motors?

A. Brushless motors are generally better for cordless chainsaws, as they let the saw run longer on a single charge. 

How often do I need to sharpen my chainsaw?

A. It depends on the type of wood you’re cutting, although the chain generally needs to be sharpened after five to 10 hours of use. 

Best chainsaw

Top gas chainsaws

Husqvarna 120 II 16-Inch Gas Chainsaw

Husqvarna 120 II 16-Inch Gas Chainsaw

What you need to know: This is small and easy to maneuver but powerful enough to handle most jobs.

What you’ll love: It produces fewer emissions than most gas chainsaws. It’s designed to reduce vibration. Most people felt it was simple to start.

What you should consider: Some people had issues with the fuel tank vent.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Poulan Pro 20-Inch 50cc Two-Cycle Gas Chainsaw

Poulan Pro 20-Inch 50cc Two-Cycle Gas Chainsaw

What you need to know: It’s relatively affordable but ideal for most jobs.

What you’ll love: It consumes less fuel than most gas chainsaws. It’s easy to start, although you’ll want to read the user manual to understand how to do it. Additionally, it includes a hard case to keep it safe.

What you should consider: It’s easy to flood the engine.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Ryobi 14-Inch 37cc Two-Cycle Gas Chainsaw

Ryobi 14-Inch 37cc Two-Cycle Gas Chainsaw

What you need to know: It is capable and has a vibration-reduction feature that makes it easy to use for long periods.

What you’ll love: It’s ideal for clearing brush and cutting firewood. It’s affordable and easy to start. It is durable and has a three-year limited warranty. It automatically oils the bar and chain.

What you should consider: Numerous people have received faulty units.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot 

Top corded-electric chainsaws

Oregon CS1500 18-Inch 15-Amp Electric Chainsaw

Oregon CS1500 18-Inch 15-Amp Electric Chainsaw

What you need to know: This is durable and starts quickly.

What you’ll love: It sharpens its chain automatically. Adjusting the chain’s tension is simple, and it’s quiet but powerful. 

What you should consider: Some people had issues with the chain falling off the saw.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

WORX 8-Amp 14-Inch Electric Chainsaw

WORX 8-Amp 14-Inch Electric Chainsaw

What you need to know: It’s affordable and ideal for small jobs.

What you’ll love: It weighs less than 8 pounds and is simple to maneuver. The auto-tension chain system makes it easy to keep your chain as tight as you need it. Assembly is straightforward.

What you should consider: It is prone to leaking oil.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

WEN 12-Amp 16-Inch Electric Chainsaw

WEN 12-Amp 16-Inch Electric Chainsaw

What you need to know: It’s lightweight but durable.

What you’ll love: The auto-oiling system keeps it lubricated. It’s quiet and easy to use. You can add tension to the chain without tools. 

What you should consider: It isn’t ideal for extended use, as it may overheat. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Top battery-powered chainsaws

Black+Decker 20-Volt Max Cordless Chainsaw Kit

Black and Decker 20-Volt Max Cordless Chainsaw Kit

What you need to know: This is lightweight and features a comfortable handle.

What you’ll love: It runs for around 45 minutes on a full charge. It’s quiet and simple to assemble. It’s easy to tell when you need to add oil.

What you should consider: The chain has to be lubricated manually.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

DeWalt 20-Volt Max XR Chainsaw

DeWalt 20-Volt Max XR Chainsaw

What you need to know: It’s durable, lightweight and easy to start.

What you’ll love: Adjusting the chain is simple, and the battery lasts a while. It uses the same battery as many other DeWalt tools.

What you should consider: The battery isn’t included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Greenworks 40-Volt 16-Inch Chainsaw

Greenworks 40-Volt 16-Inch Chainsaw

What you need to know: The battery lasts a while, and it’s easy to tell when you need to add oil.

What you’ll love: The kickback chain makes it safer than many other models. It’s simple to start and comfortable to hold. It lubricates the chain automatically.

What you should consider: It’s expensive compared to other battery-powered saws.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.