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The 5 Best Chainsaws (2021 Review)

The type of chainsaw you pick can have a large impact on whether you end up with a clean cut or a splintered disaster. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best chainsaws on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Chainsaw Courtesy Amazon
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If you have several overgrown bushes and trees in your yard, you can use a chainsaw to cut their branches and limbs and stimulate their growth. Chainsaws vary greatly in terms of what they’re capable of, with small electric chainsaws working best on thin branches and larger gas chainsaws working best with thick logs. To help you decide which type of chainsaw is best for your yard, the This Old House Reviews Team put together this guide of the five best chainsaws on Amazon. Here are our top picks.

Best Kit: Makita XCU03PT1 Chainsaw Kit

This electric chainsaw kit from Makita comes with four lithium-ion batteries. It requires two batteries to run, so if the first two die, you can use the remaining two while the others recharge. The chainsaw also comes with a two-slot charger to charge two batteries at the same time.

Key Features

  • 14-inch blade
  • Electric power source
  • 36-volt power output
  • Four lithium-ion batteries included
  • Two-slot charger included
  • 22 pounds
  • Maximum speed of 940 feet per minute

What Customers Are Saying

This Makita chainsaw has an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 stars from over 1,000 Amazon customers. Ninety-three percent of Amazon reviewers gave this product 4 stars or more. In comparison, only 3% of Amazon reviewers gave this 2 stars or less.

Positive reviews pointed out that this chainsaw lasted a long time, especially considering that it’s battery-powered rather than gas-powered. Many reviews also said that it was versatile and could complete a variety of tasks. Negative reviews highlighted that this product’s automatic power-off function shuts down after a short period of time.

Best For Small Tasks: BLACK+DECKER LCS1020B Cordless Chainsaw

With its 20-volt battery and 10-inch blade, this BLACK+DECKER chainsaw works best for lighter tasks, such as trimming bush branches or cutting skinny tree limbs. It’s also lightweight at under eight pounds, allowing you to handle it for hours at a time without your arms getting tired.

Key Features

  • 10-inch blade
  • Electric power source
  • 20-volt power output
  • 7.6 pounds

What Customers Are Saying

This cordless chainsaw has over 5,000 global Amazon customer reviews with a 4.5-star average rating. Eighty-eight percent of customers gave this a 4- or 5-star rating, while 6% of customers gave this a 1- or 2-star rating.

Satisfied customers said that this chainsaw was easy to use and ideal for small jobs. Positive reviews also noted its long battery life that limited recharging breaks and its small size that made storage and handling easy. In contrast, negative reviews pointed out that it was too weak and small to cut through thick wood.

Most Lightweight Chainsaw: Greenworks 20262 Cordless Chainsaw

This Greenworks chainsaw weighs six pounds, making it light enough to easily carry around your yard as you conduct tree and bush maintenance. Additionally, the Greenworks cordless chainsaw has an automatic chain oiler that applies oil to the bar and chain for optimal use and a wraparound handle that allows for easy handling of the tool at different angles.

Key Features

  • 12-inch blade
  • Electric power source
  • 40-volt power output
  • One lithium-ion battery included
  • One charge included
  • Six pounds

What Customers Are Saying

This cordless chainsaw has an overall rating of 4.5 stars with close to 4,000 Amazon customer reviews. Eighty-seven percent of Amazon customers gave this model 4 stars or more, and 7% of Amazon customers gave it 2 stars or less.

Positive reviews praised this cordless chainsaw for its long-lasting battery and lightweight design. Other reviews noted this model’s automatic chain-oiler function that kept the tool lubricated and easy to operate. Unsatisfied customers said that they had to tighten the chain frequently because it didn’t stay on the tool well.

Best Handle: BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 Cordless Chainsaw

This electric chainsaw from BLACK+DECKER has a rubber wraparound handle with grooves on both sides to make gripping it easier. This cordless chainsaw also offers multiple safety features, including tool-free chain tensioning, a front handguard, and a lock-off button.

Key Features

  • 12-inch blade
  • Electric power source
  • 40-volt power output
  • 10.4 pounds

What Customers Are Saying

This cordless chainsaw option has a 4.5-star average rating from over 2,500 global reviews. Eighty-eight percent of Amazon reviewers gave this chainsaw a 4- or 5-star rating, while 7% of reviewers rated this model at 2 stars or less.

Satisfied customers pointed out that this cordless chainsaw worked for long periods of time. Many praised this model for being lightweight and maneuverable. On the other hand, negative reviews noted that this chainsaw leaked oil and only cut smaller branches.

Most Heavy-Duty Chainsaw: Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

This Husqvarna model is the best chainsaw for heavy-duty projects. It has a gas engine and a 20-inch blade, allowing it to cut through thick logs and branches with ease. It also has a side-mounted chain-tensioning system for quick tension adjustments while you work and a quick-release air filter for easy cleaning and replacement.

Key Features

  • 20-inch blade
  • Gas power source
  • 12.79 pounds
  • 20-inch blade with 3.62 horsepower
  • Maximum speed of 9,000 revolutions per minute

What Customers Are Saying

This chainsaw has an average rating of 4.5 stars from over 500 Amazon customer reviews. Out of these reviews, 88% gave this chainsaw 4 or 5 stars, while 10% gave it 1 or 2 stars.

Positive reviews praised this chainsaw for its durable build and ability to handle large, thick tree branches. Many also said that this chainsaw was still easy to handle despite its heavier weight. Negative reviews either said that this chainsaw was challenging to assemble or that it came defective.

Buyer’s Guide

Before purchasing a chainsaw, here are a few factors to consider.

Fuel Source

The two most common types of chainsaws are electric and gas. Electric chainsaws are powered by a cord or a battery. They’re lighter and more affordable than gas chainsaws, but they aren’t as powerful, working best for smaller projects, such as trimming tree limbs. A battery-powered model also has to be recharged periodically, and one with a cord is limited to how far that cord reaches. Gas chainsaws, on the other hand, are more powerful than electric chainsaws and are capable of cutting thick logs. However, they’re heavier, more expensive, more difficult to start, and more harmful to the environment.

Power

Electric chainsaws are usually measured in volts, while gas chainsaws are measured in cubic centimeters (cc). The higher the number for both, the more powerful the chainsaw. Common maximum voltages for electric chainsaws, which measure the initial jolt of power when you turn them on, are 20 and 40. For gas chainsaws, a common cc range is 31–110.

Bar Measurement

This measurement refers to the usable part of the bar, which is the part that sticks out of the chainsaw’s casing. The bar length is the chainsaw’s full length, which is a few inches longer than its measurement because the first few inches are within the casing. Common measurements are 12, 16, 18, and 20 inches. A longer bar allows you to cut through thicker wood, but it also makes the machine heavier and more cumbersome.

Chain Brake

A common safety feature on chainsaws is a chain brake. This feature stops the chain from moving if it encounters an abrupt impact. Because of the risk of injury from the chainsaw’s blade, you’ll want to ensure that your model has this feature.

Extra Features

There are a variety of features that will make using your chainsaw easier. For example, a chainsaw with an automatic oiling system oils the tool for you without you having to press a button, and a tool-less chain adjustment allows you to change the tension of the chain quickly and easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you change a chainsaw blade?

Yes. You can change your chainsaw blade if it gets dull or if you want a different length. However, dull blades can be sharpened, and most chainsaws use a specific blade length that works best with their engine. Before moving forward with the change, read your user manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.

How do chainsaws start?

You can usually start electric chainsaws with the push of a button. With gas chainsaws, you have to pull a power cord repeatedly until the motor starts.

What is the catalytic converter in a gas chainsaw?

The catalytic converter is the part of the engine that filters the gas, preventing pollutants from entering the air. Catalytic converters are also common in other machinery with gas or diesel engines.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.