Best Top Handle Chainsaws for a Secure Cutting Control

If you find a majority of your cutting work involving cutting trees on the ground, then having a heavy back-end chainsaw isn’t going to suffice. However, if you need to climb a tree or use a ladder to cut higher branches and limbs, you will need the best top handle chainsaws.

If you are in the market for one, then you’re in luck. Here, we will review five top handle chainsaws and also provide you with a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision.

Best Top Handle Chainsaws Comparison Chart

Makita XCU02PT 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion (5.0Ah) Cordless 12" Chain Saw Kit, Teal

Husqvarna T435 12-Inch 35.2 cc X-Torq Gas Powered Chain Saw

DEWALT DCCS620P1 20V MAX Lithium-Ion XR Brushless Compact 12 in. Cordless Chainsaw Kit (5AH)

Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 32.2cc 14-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine

Hitachi CS33EDTP 2-Stroke Gas Powered Top Handle Chain Saw with PureFire Engine, 14-Inch

Best Top Handle Chainsaws: The Top Contenders

Top handle chainsaws are exactly how its name suggests. It comes with a handle on the top that provides superior control along with better maneuverability. These are often available in gas-powered and battery-powered models.

Some of the biggest advantages of top handle chainsaws are that they are smaller, much lighter in weight, and the handle’s location makes them easier to control.

After carefully trying out several top handle chainsaws, we managed to narrow it down to the following five on the bases of ease of use, control, and overall durability. Let’s review each of these briefly below.

1. Makita XCU02PT Top Handle Chainsaw

We’ll kick off our list with the Makita XCU02PT Top Handle Chainsaw. This tool boasts a whopping 1,650 FPM chain speed, which makes it quicker to use and deliver more efficient cuts.

This chainsaw requires no tool for its chain adjustment, and the two 18V LXT lithium-ion batteries make the chainsaw last for a long time. All of these features contribute to a reliable and high-performing chainsaw, which works efficiently, quickly, and with great accuracy.

Even in terms of its use, the Makita chainsaw is far more comfortable than most of its counterparts. The product is immensely comfortable to use, thanks to the extremely soft rubber grip that comes attached to its handle. This will enable you to hold the chainsaw with one hand without causing any discomfort.


  • Checking oil is quite easy
  • Comes with a very soft rubber grip
  • Comfortable to use
  • Quite efficient
  • Great cutting speed
  • Has an easy chain-adjustment process


  • Not exactly budget-friendly

2. Husqvarna T435 Top Handle Chainsaw

The Husqvarna T435 is a powerful and a high-performing top handle chainsaw from an excellent brand. It features a 35.2cc two-stroke engine that uses very little fuel in comparison to its standard gas-powered counterparts.

Furthermore, this tool produces little exhaust emissions—a big plus for those who enjoy supporting earth-friendly technology. The engine is tough and durable with a heavy-duty magnesium crankcase.

The chainsaw’s centrifugal air injection cleaning system removes all the larger debris and dust particles with ease, which ultimately results in lesser filter cleaning and longer engine life.

The Husqvarna chainsaw has minimum vibration, which then reduces user fatigue. Ultimately, this makes it a safer chainsaw. All these safety features are added due to the inertia activated chain brake window and chain brake, which increase the visibility of the guide tip bar.


  • Has lesser fuel consumption and emissions
  • Lesser levels of vibrations
  • Has a transparent fuel indicator


  • Its chain adjustment is quite clunky

3. DEWALT DCCS620P1 Top Handle Chainsaw

The DEWALT DCCS620P1 is a high-performing top handle chainsaw that is quite convenient to use. It is designed with a low kickback 12-inch chain bar, which is an ideal chain bar for constructing applications and outdoor cutting.

This chainsaw comes with a 20V battery that runs quite efficiently with a brushless motor. This will deliver a longer run time and also makes it quite durable. You will be able to make roughly 70 cuts on 4x4s on a single charge.

Like every battery-operated chainsaw, this one is also easy to start. It also features a tool-free chain tensioning system, making it convenient for adjustments. Lastly, it weighs a little under nine pounds making it lightweight, compact, and easier to control.


  • Comes with a brushless motor
  • Equipped with a long-lasting battery
  • Has a lightweight and compact
  • Powers up quickly


  • Has difficulty cutting tougher materials

4. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 Top Handle Chainsaw

The Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 is a top handle chainsaw with a 14-inch blade along with a 32.2cc engine. It comes with a side access chain tensioning along with an automatic chain oiler that is gear driven. This gas-powered chainsaw is great for commercial applications and for hobby tasks.

This tool has a powerful engine that makes it a brilliant professional chainsaw. Obviously, this also provides a cleaner result. The brand fits its chainsaw with a sprocket nose bar and Oregon chain, which provides it with superior control than ultimately makes better cuts.

This top handle chainsaw starts quickly and comes with an anti-vibration system for enhanced user comfort. Best of all, it comes with a fantastic and rare seven-year warranty.


  • Chain automatically oils inself
  • Side access to chain tensioning
  • Easy to use and control
  • Uses less fuel
  • Easy to start up


  • Produces average results for heavy-duty tasks

5. Hitachi CS33EDTP Top Handle Chainsaw

The Hitachi CS33EDTP is a slightly heavier chainsaw, weighing at 12.5 pounds, but it is still quite impressive and powerful. This is thanks to the fact that it has an excellent power-to-weight ratio.

This gas-powered chainsaw comes with a 32.2cc two-stroke engine, which has lower emissions and comes with a gear-driven oiler that improves overall performance. It comes with an advanced anti-vibration system to reduce fatigue and promote user comfort.

This chainsaw comes with a side access chain tensioner that will provide quicker chain adjustments. This keeps the chainsaw’s cutting efficiency at the highest. Lastly, this tool comes with an impressive seven-year consumer warranty.


  • Has an excellent balance
  • Does not virbrate too much when used
  • Easy to start


  • Quite heavy in weight

Buyer’s Guide

As you are well aware, top-handle chainsaws are perfect for those looking for one-handed operation and its fantastic balance. Then again, it is always better to know all of its attributes that will help you make an informed decision.

Hence, below, we will list all the important factors you should consider before buying a top-handle chainsaw.


A heavier top handle chainsaw is great if you are looking to do a few cuts. However, when used for a longer period, for instance, to make smaller cuts on the top of the tree, they can cause fatigue.

What this means is that while these chainsaws are extremely convenient and are easy to maneuver, opting for a heavier one will most likely leave you with severe strains in the arms or even hand cramps.

When taking weight into consideration, determine how often you will be using the chainsaw and for how long. You should also be aware of your own physical capabilities.

Do note that even the type of chainsaws makes a difference with its weight. Typically, corded or cordless chainsaws weigh as little as eight to 10 pounds. However, gas-powered chainsaws weigh north of 10 pounds.


Size is quite a broad term, and you have quite a bit to consider in order to get the best top handle chainsaw. Here, even the weight comes into play, as a heavier chainsaw will typically mean that it is large in size.

While a compact-sized chainsaw is what you would be drawn towards as it is easier to use and maneuver, there is much more than that to consider. Compact chainsaws will have a smaller guide bar length, which makes it ideal only for simpler and light-duty tasks. In addition, it will most likely have a smaller and less powerful engine or motor.

So, when it comes to size, you will need to find the right balance between the performance and the power along with the handling and the ease of use.


A top handle chainsaw is as dangerous as a regular chainsaw, so its safety features are something you should pay close attention to. Lightweight chainsaws are definitely much easier to handle, which means that they are safer to use. Nevertheless, there are still some essential safety features you should look for.

Some good safety features are an anti-kickback chain and a chain brake. These will prevent chainsaw accidents, which is why any good top handle chainsaw should possess these features.

On top of these safety features in the chainsaw, you also need to be using safety gear such as hearing protection, safety glasses, protective gloves, and a pair of non-slip boots.

Ease of Use

One of the main reasons why top handle chainsaws are so popular is because they tend to be much more convenient. For this reason, its ease of use is an important aspect you should consider.

There are a number of factors that will help in determining a top handle chainsaw’s ease of use, but the first and the most important one is the ease of starting or powering it up. As a DIY user, you don’t want to be on top of a tree trying to struggle to start the chainsaw

Other than that, look for features like an automatic chain oiler, a tool-less chain adjustment, and oil reservoir window and battery indicator. All of these will help in making the chainsaw much easier and convenient to use.


There are several brands making top handle chainsaws on the market, and every one of them claim that their product is fantastic. However, only a handful of them will back these claims with a warranty.

While the duration of this warranty will differ from one brand to another, it is still essential that you opt for a brand that comes with one. Ideally, select a chainsaw that comes with a reasonable warranty length as that will indicate its quality.

There are very few brands that will give you a warranty for more than five years. Typically, most brands will offer a warranty period of up to two years. This duration is good enough whether you are a DIY user or a professional arborist.


These five best top handle chainsaws are possibly the best of the best on the market right now. We are certain that in choosing any of them with the help of our buyer’s guide, you will be highly satisfied.

Nonetheless, between all five of them, we have a clear winner, and that is the Makita XCU02PT Top Handle Chainsaw. While it may not exactly be the most budget-friendly option on this list, this chainsaw boasts features that make using it easier.

The Makita XCU02PT gives you full control over the tool, allows for easier maneuverability, and is quite long lasting too. We highly recommend that you try this one out right away.