Top Overall Pick
There’s something about the sound of a chain saw that brings out the hunter-gatherer in all of us. With its rugged, robust nature, it has long held a reputation for being the ultimate power tool.
From felling forest giants to pruning wayward garden branches, humanity's need to tame the great outdoors became far more accessible with the invention of the chain saw.
If you’ve decided it’s time to invest in some raw cutting power of your own – but you’re not sure where to start – we’re here to help. We did the research for you and will provide you with the details about the best chainsaws on the market.
- Our Favorite Chainsaws on the Market
- 10 Best Chainsaws - Reviews
- 1. Makita UC4051A Chainsaw - Best Overall Pick
- 2. WORX WG303.1 Powered Chainsaw - Best for the Money
- 3. Greenworks 20312 Chainsaw - Premium Choice
- 4. EGO Power+ CS1400 Chainsaw
- 5. Husqvarna 120 Mark II Chainsaw
- 6. Remington RM4216 Chainsaw
- 7. Sun Joe SWJ699E Chainsaw
- 8. BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 Chainsaw
- 9. Greenworks 20262 Chainsaw
- 10. Greenworks 20362 Chainsaw
- Final Verdict: Our Overall Winner
- Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Chainsaw for the Job
Our Favorite Chainsaws on the Market
10 Best Chainsaws - Reviews
1. Makita UC4051A Chainsaw - Best Overall Pick
The Makita UC4051A is a premium chain saw for some heavy-duty cutting. If portability isn’t your top priority, this is the best chainsaw available.
It combines comfort, convenience, and power in a clean-running electric unit. Zero emissions keep your air clean while you work, and a soft-start mechanism avoids jolting starts.
If comfort is high on your list of priorities, ergonomic rubber-grip handles and a large trigger switch will help to avoid strain on your hands and arms.
An electric chain-brake increases productivity, and a built-in current limiter helps protect your saw’s motor from burnout. To further safeguard your machine from wear and tear, an automatic chain oiler keeps it lubricated for optimum performance over long periods of use.
A chain oil adjustment screw is on the bottom of this unit. You can turn this off during storage to avoid oil dripping.
Maintenance is kept simple with a no-tools-required blade-and-chain adjustment system. Safety features include an auto-stop if the chain gets snagged or stuck. The unit is easily maneuverable, lighter than battery-operated units, and simple to use.
2. WORX WG303.1 Powered Chainsaw - Best for the Money
If you’re on the lookout for a light-duty, reliable chain saw at a very reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with the WORX WG303.1. This machine is lightweight and evenly balanced, making it a comfortable choice for domestic yard clean-ups.
Don’t let this machine’s light weight fool you, though. Its 14.5-amp motor is powerful enough to tackle even stubborn branches and will cut your yard clean-up time in half. The 16” chain saw can easily tackle trees up to 14 inches.
The Worx WG303.1 is user-friendly, even for less-experienced users. There's no problematic starter cord with this model. Simply pull the trigger and away you go!
An all-metal base increases stability, and a sprocket on the bar nose makes chain lubrication quick and easy.
Bar and chain adjustment also are incredibly simple on this saw, thanks to its patented auto-tension chain system. A built-in chainsaw brake increases user safety and brings the chain saw to an immediate stop in the event of kickback.
3. Greenworks 20312 Chainsaw - Premium Choice
The Greenworks 20312 is our best chainsaw pick for premium quality.
If you need portability and power, the Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chain saw packs a punch and is one of the top chain saw models on the market. This battery powered chainsaw stands up to years of use and cuts through 8” to 10” trees with little effort.
Its long-life lithium-ion battery eliminates the need for gas and the need to remain close to a power source. The unit is light and easy to control, too, making it great for less-confident users.
If you’re used to using a gas chainsaws, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the power that comes from this Greenworks saw. What's more, the brushless motor delivers a longer run-time and up to 30 percent more torque, thus reducing stress on the engine and promoting a longer lifespan.
The unit is compatible with other Greenworks G-MAZ 40V lithium-ion batteries, which are widely available. The transparent oil tank is a handy feature that lets you keep an eye on oil levels, and the brushless motor reduces vibrations by as much as 70 percent. , these features result in comfort and continuous cutting power all day long.
The chain on this Greenworks model is easy to adjust without tools. And for your safety, the electronic chain brake prevents accidental kickback.
4. EGO Power+ CS1400 Chainsaw
Next on the list of our best chainsaws reviews is a EGO Power+ CS1400 machine.
If you’re looking for all the portability and intensity of a gas powered chainsaw without the hassle and fumes, consider the CS1400. It starts easily, runs quietly, and there’s no fuel or emissions.
The 14-Inch bar delivers superb power and cuts through tree branches up to 12” with ease. A 6,300 RPM brushless motor increases the lifespan of the unit and extends battery run time, marking fewer interruptions to your work.
The unit is a bit heavier than other chainsaws of comparable size. It is, however, well-balanced and feels stable during use. A low kickback chain design and kickback break increase user safety, and you can easily adjust the chain tension via a tensioning knob on the side.
The bar is reversible to balance out wear-and-tear and extend the lifespan of this chain saw, and its water-resistant construction makes it a hardy companion in any weather.
5. Husqvarna 120 Mark II Chainsaw
The Husqvarna 120 Mark II 16” is an excellent mid-range gas chainsaw for domestic use. Designed for small-diameter trees, it’s more adept at wayward branches and limbs around your property than it is with significant cuts.
This unit is compact, lightweight, and maneuverable, making it perfect for yard maintenance and ideal for tree pruning and firewood cutting. Safety features include a built-in safety brake and low kickback safety features to reduce the risk of accidents.
An automated oil delivery system ensures the chain receives a constant supply of oil for optimum lubrication and enhanced performance. A simple tensioning system makes adjustments quick-and-easy while you work. The X-Torque Engine, exclusive to Husqvarna, helps reduce fuel consumption and gas emissions.
If you are interested for a comparison, here is Husqvarna vs Stihl and see which is our winner!
6. Remington RM4216 Chainsaw
The Remington RM4216 is another great gas engine chainsaw for domestic and lightweight jobs.
It cuts well, feels balanced, and has a lot going for it for an excellent price. It’s easy to start, and an adjustable chain oiler and side-chain adjustment make it comfortable and simple to use. It arrives with the chain on the bar, so you just add gas, adjust the chain, and start cutting.
This Remington chainsaw comes in a heavy-duty black carrying case that, as plain as it looks, protects your equipment well during transportation and storage. A reliable 42cc two-cycle, gas-powered engine packs a punch. A low-kickback 16” bar and chain work well on larger branches.
For increased user comfort, this chainsaw is engineered with a five-point anti-vibration system to reduce strain over long periods of use. An ergonomically designed cushion-wrapped handle further enhances comfort and control.
Quickstart technology translates to less downtime spent trying to rev up the motor. Tool-free access to the filter and an automatic oiler make it a relatively low-maintenance piece of kit. Two-cycle oil comes included with your purchase to ensure your motor receives TLC to last as long as possible.
7. Sun Joe SWJ699E Chainsaw
Cheap and cheerful, the Sun Joe SWJ699E is one of the best chainsaws on the market for the price. It will cut through 10” to 13.5” trees with little hassle. It’s lightweight and easy to use but definitely is designed more for occasional domestic use than it is for heavy lumberjacking.
This Sun Joe machine feels lightweight in hand, and the electric power is cleaner than gas. It is self lubricating for bar and chain for continuous cutting
As the price might suggest, it delivers the minimum on features. It does come equipped with a safety switch to prevent the motor from starting accidentally, though.
As with all Snow Joe products, the SWJ599E is backed by a two-year warranty.
8. BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 Chainsaw
Next on our list of chainsaw reviews is a Black+Decker machine, a name synonymous with quality power tools.
Weighing in at only 7.2 pounds, the Black+Decker 20V MAX Cordless Chain saw is a lot lighter than a gas-powered model of similar size. Cordless and sturdy, this unit delivers strength equivalent to gas-powered models, but with all the benefits of a fully portable unit.
The Black+Decker is powered by a 20V lithium-ion battery (included) for excellent run-time. You can expect to get 30 to 40 minutes on a single charge with the included 2-amp battery.
This timeframe should allow you to cut through 10” to 11" trees easily and still have a decent amount of power left to tidy up any wayward branches. You can upgrade to larger batteries for a longer run time if you choose.
As it is battery powered, this unit is significantly quieter than gas engine chainsaws. It’s also cleaner and far more convenient than filling gas or tripping over clumsy extension cords.
It feels safe when operating, even for less-confident users, and it doesn’t feel as fast as gas chainsaws. The chain tension can be easily adjusted using a tool-free chain mechanism for improved performance.
The Black+Decker 20V MAX Cordless Chainsaw doesn’t come with an automated oiler like other models, but you just give the bulb a push now and again to lubricate the chain.
9. Greenworks 20262 Chainsaw
The Greenworks 20262 12” 40V Cordless delivers all the power of a corded saw in a portable unit. It is weighty enough to make it stable without feeling heavy in your hands, and its powerful 40V motor can tackle anything from 2" to 12" and is perfect for occasional yard work.
This chainsaw does cut a bit slower than a gas powered chainsaw with similar specs. The AX 40V lithium-ion battery provides fade-free power and no memory loss after charging. As a result, you can pick up where you left off before recharging.
Expect to get an hour or so of cutting from one battery charge.
The durable 12” steel chain and bar has a tool-free chain-tensioning mechanism for continuous optimum performance and easy adjustments. The chain pitch is 3/8”, delivering excellent cutting capabilities with minimal kickback.
A transparent oil tank means you can regularly check oil levels while you work. The automatic oiler delivers oil to the chain when needed, though, so you needn’t worry much, anyway. An ergonomic wraparound handle makes the unit comfortable to hold, making it easy for you to cut at a wide range of angles.
10. Greenworks 20362 Chainsaw
Another one from Greenworks, the 10” 24V Cordless Chainsaw is a super lightweight piece chainsaw for a very reasonable price. Light enough to carry up the tree and reach those out-of-the-way branches, this will have your yard in top shape in no time.
Equipped with a self-oiling chain mechanism and a tool-less bar adjustment, this is a highly user-friendly machine. It's quiet, emission-free, and cordless.
While the strength may be less than that of a gas-powered saw, it’s ideal for cleaning up your yard and garden. Equipped with a 10” bar and chain, it’s suitable for cutting small trees about 8” to 10” in diameter. Tool-free chain adjustments mean fewer interruptions and more cutting time.
An automatic oiler keeps your chain lubricated at all times, and a transparent oil tank lets you keep an eye on oil levels while you’re using this chainsaw.
Final Verdict: Our Overall Winner
For our best overall pick, we believe that the Makita UC4051A 16" Electric ChainSaw is a wise investment. It combines smooth cutting power with a lightweight unit that’s easy to start. We also enjoyed the user-friendly features, including the soft-start mechanism, automatic chain oiler, and comfortable large trigger switch.
As this model is a corded one, it doesn’t offer the full versatility of a cordless or gas-powered machine. But its lightweight feel and ergonomic design make up for it. Finally, it comes at a reasonable price, and for what you pay, you get a seriously decent machine.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Chainsaw for the Job
Getting your hands on the best chainsaws for your needs is as much about safety as it is about work efficiency. Size, weight, and power source all have a bearing on your productivity and safety.
Before you start looking, it’s essential to know the basics of these tools to make sure you get the best chainsaw for your specific needs!
What Are You Going to be Cutting?
First things first: The type of chainsaw you need will depend on what you’re going to be cutting. If you just need to do a bit of a yard or garden tidy-up, you don't need tremendous power. If you need to tackle a few hardwoods, though, you’ll need something powerful and robust to get the job done.
For light-duty work, like trimming branches, an engine as small as 24cc can be adequate, with a bar blade length between 10" and 14".
Medium-duty work, such as cutting hardwood logs or felling trees up to 20”, require an engine size anywhere from 34cc to 46cc. Look for a blade size between 14” and 18” for effective cutting power.
For anything more heavy-duty, you’ll need at least a 46cc engine. These are powerful machines that require skill and safety awareness to control, so they generally are for professionals.
How Confident Are You with a Chainsaw?
You might be tempted to grab the most powerful chainsaw you can get. But don’t get ahead of yourself. If you’re a first-timer, we recommend keeping it light to start.
If you’re a relatively inexperienced user, shouldering the extra weight of a high-end motor can be counterproductive and can cause fatigue. It also poses a safety risk because you have less control over the machine.
Gas, Corded, or Cordless?
Initially, all chainsaws were gas-powered, giving them the ultimate combination of power and portability. Today, however, you can choose between gas, electric or cordless – and they all have benefits and drawbacks.
Gas chainsaws generally is the most powerful. Its two-stroke engine equips it for tackling bigger jobs. As a result, gas-powered saws have maintained their popularity through the years. The downside of gas chainsaws, however, is its extra weight and the emissions associated with burning fuel.
An electric or corded unit can offer power almost equivalent to a gas-powered saw in a lightweight machine. The power is measured in watts, volts, and amps. This version generally is quieter, cleaner, and easier to start than its gas-powered cousins.
The downside of a electric chainsaw is that you’re limited to a location near a power source. Extension cords can help, but you’re still limited in where you can take it.
Battery powered chainsaws offer the full portability of a gas chainsaw but tend to be less robust. They are more suited to lighter duties, such as branch pruning and garden maintenance. They tend to be heavier than electric motors because the lithium-ion batteries weigh several pounds, but they are clean to use, emission-free, and fully portable.
Other Features to Consider
Once you’ve decided whether you’re going with a gas, battery, or electric chainsaw, there are several other features to consider:
Chain Bar or Guide Bar
Quality is a must when it comes to this component.
The chain bar extends from the body of the unit, allowing the chain to rotate rapidly. The rigid support it provides applies pressure and resistance during cutting. The length of the chain bar dictates the size of trees through which you can cut.
The chain bar works under pressure, and it takes a tremendous amount of force. With this in mind, a chain bar must be constructed from robust, high-quality material if it is to last.
The bar length determines the size of your cutting area. The bigger the bar length, the larger your cutting area.
Gas-powered chainsaws tend to have longer bar lengths than electric or cordless models. You can expect to get anything up to 15” of bar length in a domestic chainsaw, which is more than enough to cut through small garden trees and branches.
Your chainsaw’s chain speed determines how quickly you can power through wood. Higher-speed models give you faster-cutting power.
As with bar length, the gas powered saw generally is at the top of the class in this department because it can deliver significantly higher chain speeds than other options. For lightweight and domestic use, chain speeds of electric and cordless models are perfectly adequate.
The weight of your chainsaw will have a bearing on how effectively you can use it.
If you’re an experienced cutter, you’ll be able to handle a heavier weight and get the full bang for your buck. If you have a slighter build or aren’t used to the power of a chainsaw, the extra weight might hamper your progress.
Gas-powered chainsaws tend to be the heaviest of the lot and require excellent handling skills. Battery-powered comes in second. With battery-powered chainsaws, the units themselves can be lightweight, but the lithium-ion batteries can add significantly to the load.
Electric chainsaws tend to be pretty lightweight. The downside of these, however, is that the power cord can hamper its maneuverability.
A handle design might seem like a minor thing to consider, but it can have a tremendous impact on your workflow.
Over an extended period of use, vibrations from a chainsaw can cause strain and discomfort on your hands. This strain not only slows your progress but can become a safety issue if you lose complete full control of the machine.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of cutting, choose a unit with anti-vibration technology and soft-grip, ergonomically designed handles. Some of the best chainsaws have heated grips to help protect you from developing vibration-related injuries or repetitive strains.
Chain Tensioning System
Regular chain adjustments during cutting are a must to maintain proper chain tension, as a slack chain is ineffective and unsafe. To minimize interruption to your workflow, choose a chain saw that offers easy, tool-free chain adjustment.
Kickback brake or anti-kickback functions: You’ll hear these terms a lot when you’re shopping for the best chainsaws or reading chain saw reviews.
Kickback happens when the chain saw comes into contact with another object during cutting. The blade can get thrown upward and backward, usually toward the user.
Strong kickback can be a significant safety issue, particularly for inexperienced users. As a result, the majority of modern chainsaws come with built-in safety features to combat this effect.
As of 1995, all chainsaws must have a chain-brake. This stops the chain instantly in the event of kickback. Although this doesn’t stop the blade from hitting the user, it can prevent it from rotating and causing more severe injury.
Smaller electric chainsaws offer less risk of kickback, and the chains stop automatically when you release the throttle.
Another common safety feature of newer chainsaws is the chainsaw stopper, which is a metal or plastic guard designed to derail a broken chain. If a chain breaks, it will hit the stopper instead of your hand.
Other Things You Might Need
It makes sense to gather everything you need before you get started with your chain saw. If you’re investing in a saw, consider the following accessories to make it easier and safer.
Safety Gear: Chainsaws are notorious for being at the dangerous end of the power-tool spectrum. Always protect yourself by togging up in the correct safety gear, including:
- Safety goggles or a visor
- Ear protectors
- Heavy-duty gloves and clothing
- Safety boots
A Sawhorse: If you’re chopping firewood regularly, a sawhorse is an excellent addition to your tool kit. It supports the weight of the wood and is height-adjustable to protect your back.
Spare Power Source: Avoid interruptions to your workflow by being prepared with an extra battery or a can of gas and a funnel handy. Always keep spare oil nearby for chain lubrication.
Once you invest the money in a new chain saw, protect your investment by providing the right care and maintenance, and your machine will last for many years! Follow these tips to avoid premature wear and tear:
- Lubricate the chain regularly.
- Maintain proper chain tension.
- Rotate the chain regularly.
- Use your chain saw only according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
- Remove oil during lengthy storage.
- A chain sharpener will increase the lifespan of your chain.
- Keep a replacement chain handy; a blunt chain will cause the motor to work harder and might result in a quicker burnout.