Best Chainsaw Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

Are you out looking for a new chainsaw? Reading the best chainsaw reviews would be helpful.

Even if you know your chainsaws well, you’ll be surprised at the number of advancements and variations these gadgets have gone through the years. There are brand new types of chainsaws including corded-electric, gas-powered, cordless, and lightweight chainsaws.

Apart from the types, you’ll also have to consider things such as the accessibility, the blade length, and the motor power you need. To give you hands-on information about the types and models of chainsaws you’ll need for your next project, we have reviewed five chainsaw models for you. We've also included a detailed buying guide.

Best Chainsaw Reviews

Comparison Chart

Husqvarna 460 Rancher (60cc) Cutting Kit, includes a 460 Rancher chainsaw PLUS 24" Bar/Chain PLUS 3 Extra WoodlandPRO Chain Loops

Makita XCU03PT1 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 14" Chain Saw Kit with, 4 Batteries (5.0Ah)

WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 15.0 Amp

BLACK+DECKER LCS1240B 12-Inch Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 40-volt, Baretool

Poulan Pro 967185102 PP4218A 42cc Assembled Chainsaw with Case, 18-Inch

Best Chainsaw Reviews

There are a plethora of products available online when it comes to high-quality chainsaws. But which ones are reliable enough to part with your money? We’ve rounded up the best chainsaws we could find and narrowed the list down to five models from the best brands that ticked all the boxes.

1. Poulan Pro 967185102 PP4218A Chainsaw

If you’re looking for a chainsaw to take up medium to light tasks such as clearing up your garden or setting up a fire, then the Poulan Pro is the model for you. It is basically a low-end unit and is a lesser acclaimed brand than its contemporaries, but does the job at a low price.

Features

The Poulan Pro 967185102 PP4218A Chainsaw's blade is 18 inches long with a nose sprocket and a radius tip. The nose sprocket controls the amount of friction and kickback, so you get a flawless cutting session. That means this steel bar is capable of cutting through 16-inch oaks easily.

Equipped with 62 drive links on the solid steel body, it gives the best cutting results. Also, it cuts at a speed of 22.6m/s, which is great for a model of its size.

In addition, the chains on a chainsaw tend to stretch within the first few hours of use. On this model, you can easily adjust the tension to the desired level using the screws at the sides of the bar.

Apart from that, handling the Poulan Pro 967185102 PP4218A Chainsaw is easy. It’s designed to help the users complete their task without any stress and fatigue.

It has a rubber covered front and rear handle which reduces vibration, as well as a handguard at the bottom for safe handling. It also has a throttle lock that is placed on the top handle to avoid accidental machine ignition.

In this model, the safety of the user also comes first. That’s why it has an inbuilt chain catcher and chain brake. These two can be used to put the chain to an immediate stop, and avoid the whipping chain from coming into contact with the user's hands. Additionally, the air filtration system makes the user breathe freely while taking up the cutting task.

Pros

  • Lightweight and powerful
  • Easy pull start
  • Extra chain and accessories provided
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • The bar requires constant oiling
  • Chain tends to stretch a lot

2. Black+Decker LCS1240B Chainsaw

Black+Decker is another trusted name for heavy-duty gadgets and appliances. The century-old USA-based brand is well-known for its high-end power tools like the Black+Decker LCS1240B Chainsaw.

Features

The Black+Decker LCS1240B Chainsaw is excellent if you want to tackle simple everyday cutting tasks. Since it’s a battery operated model, the motor won’t last you a long time, so rigorous tasks are not an option.

Nevertheless, despite the limitations, it has great cutting power for home-users. A battery powered tool is portable and lightweight, which means you can take it with you everywhere. Also, the battery takes only two hours to charge fully and will give the same amount of runtime.

Practically, that means you can make about 60 lumber cuts before the charge runs out. Another option is to buy an extra battery for backup power, especially if you’re planning to take it a long way from home.

The Black+Decker LCS1240B Chainsaw has some accessible features as well. Firstly, the gripping handle is covered with rubber to give a firm hold while at work.

Also, the handle is designed to reduce vibration to a zero, which means you won’t feel the vibration fatigue while the machine’s running. Secondly, it sports an automatic oiling technology, which means your blades will run smoothly without the hassle of regular maintenance.

Pros

  • Low kickback
  • Oregon bar and chain
  • Easy blade tension adjustments
  • 12-inch bar chain
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Oil leakage

3. WORX WG304.1 Chainsaw

This chainsaw model by WORX is a great option if you want to avoid extra expense by cleaning your garden yourself. May it be falling trees, trimming trees, chopping up firewood, or simply clearing out the overgrowth, this chainsaw can do it all. It has a powerful motor combined with amazing features to get your job done smoothly.

Features

To begin with, the blade on the WORX WG304.1 Chainsaw is powerful and gives flawless cuts every time. The model consists of an 18-inch bar with auto adjusting chain power, which means you don’t have to adjust the chain manually; the chainsaw will maintain the right tension by itself.

Also, the 63 chain links work together to give the minimum kickback possible so that you don't have to worry about your safety. In addition, it has a chain brake that you can pull easily in case of emergencies to immediately stop the chain motion.

Apart from that, the WORX WG304.1 Chainsaw has a 15-amp motor which gives a sawing speed of up to 12 meters per second. Also, it’s easy to start and sports a lock button to prevent accidental start-ups. Also, once you turn the machine off, you’ll see that it turns off immediately, so you won’t have to wait until it completely stops before letting it go.

What is better is that the lightweight body is constructed from durable plastic, which makes it easy to carry and move around. The primary handle is at the rear, and it has a soft rubber covering to give a comfortable grip and limit vibration fatigue on the user.

There's also a hand guard on the rear, so you don’t come across any debris while you’re at work. You can use the front handle to maneuver the chainsaw, and the knob on it acts as a chain brake.

Pros

  • Easy operation
  • Automatic oil changing system
  • Noise-free operation
  • Transparent window to check oil levels

Cons

  • No way to control how much oil gets used for the blade bar
  • The plastic body is feeble compared to metal construction.

4. Makita XCU03PT1 Chainsaw

This high-tech model by Makita boasts the ability to tackle any piece of wood. Overall, it can help you take up slightly more than the simple, everyday tasks, with an intermediate level performance. Its high power system is attributed to its direct drive system with a brushless, lithium-ion battery operated motor that works with effortless ease.

Features

The blade of the Makita XCU03PT1 Chainsaw is sharp and durable and can cut through 12 to 14 inches of logs in one go. It’s also equipped with buck spikes to help it get through the toughest parts of the trees easily. Apart from that, the spikes help reduce friction, which means less kickback and safe use for you.

You can adjust the speed on your blade as well, according to the type of wood you’re cutting. This is important because tougher tasks may require slower speeds.

The chain system of this model is also interesting. Although it is integrated with perfect tension for cutting, the chain tends to stretch with use.

The Makita XCU03PT1 Chainsaw also provides easy adjustments to the chain when it needs tightening or loosening up. Just open the spring equipped spindle with the help of the provided lever and move the chain counter-clockwise to your desired tension.

For the user’s safety, the handles are in ideal positions. There’s a back handle with rubber covering and an ergonomic design for a comfortable grip and less fatigue. Also, there's a mid-handle, so you can keep your hands safely back to back while operating it.

Also, it has an accessible LED light system, which turns green to notify you if the machine is safe to start. To save on battery, the machine will turn off by itself after it’s left idle for some time.

Pros

  • Lock mode to avoid accidental startup
  • Dual charging ports
  • Three-year warranty
  • Two extra batteries provided

Cons

  • Low voltage
  • The safety disarm system has less timeout.

5. Husqvarna 460 Chainsaw

This brand is known to deliver versatility, reliability, and excellent performance through all their products. Needless to say, we saved the best for the last.

Features

Firstly, the Husqvarna 460 Chainsaw's body is made out of durable materials. With that, it’s also compact, so its material quality will not obstruct its flawless operation. However, while its powerful motor speeds up the working time, carrying the model for a long time can cause strain to your arm.

This product, though, has some interesting features. It uses centrifugal force to filter the air, which keeps large parts and debris away from the user and the machine, resulting in less hassle while cleaning up.

Also, the Husqvarna 460 Chainsaw has a state-of-the-art fuel-efficient system named X-Torq. It not only puts gas to optimal usage but reduces its harmful emissions to the environment as well.

The unit also has amazing safety features, and most importantly, the design makes sure there’s low kickback during operation. Also, the in-built chain brake can be used during emergencies and reduces friction.

In addition, there’s a choke control system that stops the engine from flooding. The system also boasts a SmartStart technology, which means you can easily get it going in seconds, regardless of the weather and environment.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Two extra replacement chains provided
  • User manual provided
  • Tool-less oil tank servicing

Cons

  • Grip handles are not well cushioned
  • Beginners need to be cautious while using it
  • Noisy operation

Now that you’ve gone through the best chainsaw reviews, you’ll be heading out to buy our best pick right? Not exactly.

Every buyer has their own personalized needs according to the tasks and budget. The buying guide below is designed to help you out with the factors you should look for in your chainsaw.

Buying Guide

Buying a chainsaw can put you in a dilemma. How long should the blade be? How much motor power do you need? What safety features are important?

Honestly, the long list of products with different combinations of features makes the task more challenging. Hence, this guide will focus on the basic features you’ll need in a chainsaw or for your required tasks. It will also answer some common questions related to it.

1. Bar Length

The bar length is basically the length from the tip of the saw to the point where it enters the machine again. Also, it's the main cutting area of your saw.

Normally, a cutting bar will cut up to twice its length, which means, if you have a 16-inch bar length chainsaw, then you’ll probably be able to tackle a 32-inch deep trunk. That’s not the only thing that affects the cutting ability though. The motor should also be powerful enough to do the job, combined with its bar length.

That doesn't mean you should go cutting double the size of your bar length every time. That’s a risky thing to do. It’s better if you know what tasks you’ll be taking up because the best length for you is about two or three inches smaller than your target length.

Also, don’t get hasty and buy huge bar length chainsaws. The more the length, the heavier your machine will be, so if you only need the saw for your home usage, then 14 to 16 inches of length will do.

Additionally, be sure to check out the user manual for the model you intend to buy. Brands usually categorize their models according to their cutting abilities, so you’ll be able to pick the suitable size from there.

2. Engine Power

Where does your chainsaw get its fuel from? There are different types of chainsaws available, and their engine power determines their efficiency during work, maintenance costs, and durability.

  • Electric Chainsaws

An electric chainsaw is usually the best option. While buying one of these models, you’ll need to check the amperage or amp of the motor that runs the mechanism. The higher the amperage, the higher the power of your chainsaw.

It is recommended that you look for electric chainsaws with above 15 amps if you want to take up rigorous tasks regularly, as well as simple and intermediate-type home projects. For commercial use, definitely, you’ll require more amperage.

The main downside of an electric chainsaw is, of course, the cord attached to it. You’ll have to carry an extension cord device with you every time you carry out a cutting session. And naturally, you won’t be able to scavenge the wilderness for firewood with this chainsaw since you would require an electric outlet.

Nonetheless, electric chainsaws give more power throughout their working time. While gas-powered and battery-powered models tend to decrease in power as their fuel dies out, it’s not the case with electric models since they remain connected to the power source constantly.

That means it’s a great option if you want to use a saw to trim and prune your garden or groom your bushes. Also, these chainsaws require less maintenance, so it's sure to be cost-efficient and in smooth running condition throughout its lifetime.

  • Gas Powered Chainsaws

For gas-powered chainsaws, the power is measured in ccs or cubic centimeters. The more ccs will mean that your engine is more powerful. Do keep in mind though that high powered engines tend to be heavy.

Thus, if you’re buying a gas powered chainsaw for basic home use, then a 24cc engine powered saw will be good for you. You might want to go for more engine power for rigorous, regular use.

In addition, these are the most powerful among all other types of chainsaws. Despite that, their startup is a bit tricky. They require the user to pull the trigger to start the motor, which is quite difficult if compared to the switches on electric powered chainsaws.

On the good side, gas chainsaws are more portable, and you can carry them around without the hassle of managing cords or charging batteries. The usual runtime you’ll get on a full tank is usually half an hour. This means it’s great for users who want a chainsaw to carry out small tasks which require less time.

  • Battery Powered Chainsaws

You can check the power for battery operated chainsaws through their Volts. The higher the number of Volts, the more powerful the battery. Also, you’ll usually see two types of batteries: lithium-ion and nickel cadmium. Both of these work efficiently, but battery powered saws are the most feeble ones in terms of power, which means you can only use them for minor trimming and pruning.

That being said, if you wish to carry out big cutting tasks or even conduct small tasks regularly, battery-powered chainsaws won’t be enough for you. In fact, they only got enough power to be considered good chainsaws after the introduction of the lithium-ion battery power.

Even though its portability and low maintenance are good compared to the gas-powered models, you'll have the hassle of charging the battery regularly. One way is to keep another battery on backup while you work with one to help increase the total runtime. That’ll also work only when you have a charging port nearby, so it’s regularly an option for small, daily tasks.

3. Safety

Using a chainsaw is not a child’s play. There are hundreds of reported injuries every year due to improper usage of these tools, so be sure to check the safety attributes of your chainsaw model properly.

Basic safety features are chain brakes and trigger lock systems. They are designed to avoid any accidents throughout the cutting sessions.

You can activate a chain brake on a chainsaw in two ways. One happens automatically, where the chainsaw itself detects if the chain is moving too fast, bringing it to an abrupt stop. The second type is operated through a trigger on the front handle. The user can pull it to bring the machine to a stop when they sense a mishap or potential accident.

Apart from that, you should purchase your own safety gear along with your chainsaw. These include safety gloves, headgear, and hearing gear. That will make sure there’s a minimum injury in case of any mishap.

4. Special Features

Apart from the mandatory features that every chainsaw should have, there are a few optional features as well. The selection of these will fully depend on your needs.

First of these features is a tension adjuster. You’ll need this to make sure the chain on your blade is not too loose.

If it is, it will give a poor cutting performance or cause a major mishap. For this reason, some models have a side-mounted tension adjuster to tighten your chain if it loosens.

Secondly, some chainsaws have automatic oiling systems. The blade of a chainsaw needs regular oiling to run smoothly through logs and trees. If not, then it may cause disturbances in your cutting process.

Usually, you’ll have to oil your blade manually, but in some models, there's an inbuilt technology which does the oiling job for you. Though it does tend to leak oil sometimes, it does save you a lot of hassle for maintenance.

FAQs

Once you know the features you have to check out, here are some basic questions you should ask yourself before making a purchase.

1. What Will You Use Your Chainsaw For?

If you’re a casual DIYer and intend to use your chainsaw only several times a year to save expenses on grooming your yard, then an electric chainsaw is okay for you. On the contrary, if you tend to travel into the woods and collect wood for commercial purposes, then a gas-powered chainsaw is the one suited for your needs.

2. How Good Are You at Using a Chainsaw?

Your experience with using a chainsaw matters a lot. Like mentioned before, this tool is not a toy, and some high-end models may require some prior expertise for efficient usage.

If you’re a beginner, then a standard 18-inch or even a 12-inch bar length chainsaw would work for you. Purchase a unit that is as light as possible so that you can control it easily. Overall, a chainsaw of 20 inches and above will require a learned user. So only buy those if you’re up for the challenge.

3. What’s Your Working Environment?

If you’re going to use your chainsaw indoors or in a busy neighborhood where you’re likely to disturb people if you make an unusual noise, then go for a quiet machine. Out in the woods, a gas powered chainsaw will work great for you, but in your yard, a noise-free electric chainsaw is a right choice for you.

4. How Often Will You Use Your Chainsaw?

The thing you’ll have to keep in mind regarding the time you need your chainsaw for is the maintenance. If you have a task at hand which will only take a few days or weeks to complete, go for an electric chainsaw. That is because any other type will cost you a lot on maintenance.

Gas powered chainsaws require more maintenance, so if you’re planning to keep one with you for long-term then go for those because they will prove to be cost-effective in the long run.

5. What Will You Be Cutting?

Some trees are harder than others, so if you tend to come across trees with thick trunks, such as dogwood, birch, maple, and ash, you’ll need a powerful chainsaw that won’t decrease its running power in the middle of a cutting session. In this case, a gas powered chain saw is the best.

Battery powered and electric powered chainsaws tend to fluctuate in power according to their battery level and voltage. On the contrary, a gas powered one will run smoothly until it defeats the thick trunks that cross its way.

Verdict

That wraps up our best chainsaw reviews and buyer’s guide of 2019. You can pick your favorite model from our top picks or go through our buying guide and FAQs to make a fully informed decision; you have all the points you need. The main thing to remember when buying a chainsaw is to take your safety into account.

For us, the best chainsaw out of the five we listed is Poulan Pro 967185102 PP4218A since it offers excellent features and a great value for money. It comes with accessories and an extra chain that means you don't have to buy anything separately. In terms of brand recognition, Black+Decker is one of the most well-known century-old ones, so the Black+Decker LCS1240B Chainsaw also makes for a good option.

Overall, while all five makes the best option, it is up to you to find the one that best suits your needs, as each comes with its own set of unique features, pros, and cons.