about $300; stihlusa.com
This beast didn't flinch when we buried the 18-inch bar into a 17-inch-diameter log. Its engine is larger and more powerful than most in the DIY class, and it roared to life with just three pulls. We only wish it was paired with user-friendly features—at least a primer bulb. The blade brake is well placed, and the looping top handle lets you cut stumps nearly flush to the ground.