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The 5 Best Gas Chainsaws (2021 Review)

Gas chainsaws can help you trim large branches and cut down trees. In this review, the This Old House Reviews team researched the five best gas chainsaws to help you select a model that’s right for your next project. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Gas chainsaw Courtesy Amazon

A gas chainsaw is a must-have for serious DIYers who need a powerful and long-lasting tool to cut through wood with ease. Built with a range of special features like automatic oilers and anti-vibration systems, gas chainsaws are heavy-duty tools that can help with a variety of projects.

To help you select a gas chainsaw that matches your lawn maintenance needs, the This Old House Reviews team researched the best gas chainsaws on Amazon and created a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed purchasing decision. Here are our top five gas chainsaw recommendations.

Best Features: Remington Two-Cycle 18-Inch Chainsaw

This 18-inch gas chainsaw from Remington is a heavy-duty tool that prioritizes comfort with its five-point anti-vibration system and cushion-wrapped handle. The gas chainsaw also features QuickStart technology, which decreases the effort needed to pull its cord and start the engine. Additionally, the chainsaw arrives pre-assembled and comes with a convenient carrying case.

Key Features

  • 18-inch bar
  • 16.4 pounds
  • Automatic oiler
  • Anti-vibration system
  • 46 cubic centimeters (cc) engine
  • Two-year limited warranty

What Customers Are Saying

This gas chainsaw received an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 from over 500 customer reviews, which is in line with the average customer rating of 4.4 across all gas chainsaws in this review. Eighty-eight percent of customers rated this product 4 stars or more, with just 4% of customers rating it 1 star.

Satisfied customers commented on the chainsaw’s ease of use. Other positive reviews focused on the saw’s effectiveness at completing yard maintenance. Negative reviews centered on the chainsaw’s air filter, which many customers said clogged after continued use.

Best Accessories: Poulan Pro Two-Cycle 18-Inch Chainsaw

This 18-inch gas chainsaw is powered by a two-stroke engine that’s powerful enough to carve firewood, chop small branches, and cut down medium-sized trees. The chainsaw also comes with a plethora of accessories like a carrying case, extra chain, and two-stroke oil. Additionally, this product features a SuperClean Air Filter System that maximizes fuel consumption without restricting power.

Key Features

  • 18-inch bar
  • 13.3 pounds
  • Automatic oiler
  • SuperClean Air Filter System
  • 42cc engine

What Customers Are Saying

This gas chainsaw received an average customer rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 from over 500 customer reviews, which is equal to the average customer rating of 4.4 stars across all products in this review. Along with its high customer rating, 87% of customers gave this product 4 stars or more, with just 8% of customers rating it 2 stars or less.

Positive reviews complimented the chainsaw on its affordable price and ability to cut down trees and branches with ease. Many negative reviews complained about the product’s tendency to shut off when set in idle for an extended period, with one customer stating that the product turned off every time they released the trigger.

Best Design: Craftsman Full Crank Two-Cycle 18-Inch Chainsaw

With a three-point anti-vibration system and an ergonomically designed handle, this Craftsman gas chainsaw offers both power and comfort. The chainsaw comes with an adjustable automatic oiler that keeps its 42cc engine running smoothly. Additionally, the chainsaw features EasyStart technology, which decreases the effort required to start the engine.

Key Features

  • 18-inch bar
  • Adjustable automatic chain oiler
  • Anti-vibration system
  • 42cc engine

What Customers Are Saying

This Craftsman chainsaw received an average customer rating of 4.6 stars out of 5, which is slightly above the average customer rating of 4.4 stars across all reviewed gas chainsaws. Along with its higher-than-average customer rating, 92% of customers rated the product 4 stars or more, with just 3% of customers giving the product 1 star.

Positive reviews centered on the quality of the product, which many customers said was expected from the Craftsman brand. Other satisfied customers focused on the chainsaw’s easy-to-start engine. Negative customer reviews expressed concern over the product’s tendency to overheat during use.

Longest Bar: RUINOPAR 20-Inch Gas-Powered Chainsaw

This chainsaw features a comfortable handle and has a powerful gas engine that can tackle a variety of DIY projects. Its 20-inch bar can tear through trees and branches with ease and the product comes equipped with a quick-stop chain brake and an automatic oil supply system.

Key Features

  • 20-inch bar
  • Automatic oil supply system
  • Anti-vibration system
  • 62cc engine
  • Two-year limited warranty

What Customers Are Saying

This gas chainsaw received an average customer rating of 4.1 stars out of 5 from over 30 customer reviews, which is below the average customer rating of 4.4 stars across all reviewed chainsaws. Despite its lower-than-average rating, 75% of customers rated the product 4 stars or more.

Satisfied customer ratings centered around the chainsaw’s affordability and easy operation. Other positive reviews focused on the product’s chain, which some customers said was effective and easy to control. Negative reviews highlighted how difficult it was to start the chainsaw’s engine.

Best Lightweight: Husqvarna 450 E-Series 18-Inch Chainsaw

This lightweight Husqvarna gas chainsaw weighs just 11 pounds, helping DIY homeowners deliver controlled cuts to limbs, trees, and firewood. The chainsaw is built with a powerful 50.2cc engine that’s constructed to reduce fuel consumption. Along with its powerful engine and lightweight frame, the chainsaw comes with a carrying case for easy transportation.

Key Features

  • 18-inch bar
  • 11 pounds
  • 50.2cc engine

What Customers Are Saying

This Husqvarna chainsaw received an average customer rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 from just 17 reviews, which is above the average rating of 4.4 stars across all gas chainsaws in this review. At the time of this review, 86% of customers rated this product 4 stars or more, with no customers giving it less than 3 stars.

Many customer reviews applauded this chainsaw’s power, with one customer stating that the model was one of the best they’ve ever used. Additional positive reviews complimented the chainsaw’s carrying case. At the time of this review, the most critical customer feedback was a 4-star review that stated how difficult it was to readjust the product’s chain.

Buying Guide

Gas chainsaws are powerful tools that give homeowners a convenient way to lop branches, slice firewood, and cut down trees. Keep reading for important factors to consider before buying a gas chainsaw.

Engine

The engine size is measured in cubic centimeters (cc) and refers to an engine’s capacity. An engine with a greater capacity can consume more fuel and deliver more power. For example, a 50cc engine will consume more fuel and be more powerful than a 40cc model. Most gas-powered chainsaws come with 40cc engines, though some models like the Husqvarna 450 E-Series 18-Inch Chainsaw have more powerful 50.2cc engines.

Safety Features

Chainsaws can be some of the most dangerous tools to operate without proper training or experience. As a result, chainsaws incorporate a variety of safety features like chain brakes, chain catchers, and trigger locks to make operation as safe as possible.

The chain brake is usually located on the top handle of a chainsaw and is used to stop the chain from rotating around the stationary bar. The chain brake is engaged when the top handle is pushed forward or when the chainsaw experiences kickback from excessive force or binding.

A chain catcher is a feature that prevents a broken or loose chain from flying off the chainsaw bar and injuring the operator. A trigger, or throttle, lock is a preventative safety measure that keeps the tool from turning on unless the lock and trigger are both engaged.

Note: In addition to safety features located on the chainsaw, it’s important to wear safety gear like glasses, gloves, and ear protection while operating the machine. Additional protective gear like a hard hat or face mask may be necessary for heavy-duty jobs.

Bar Length

The long metal piece that secures the chain on a chainsaw is called the bar or blade. Chainsaws with bars between 10 and 14 inches are great for light yard work like cutting small limbs and trees. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty chainsaw that can cut small tree trunks and slice firewood, a chainsaw with a 14- to 18-inch blade may be a better option.

Note: Bar length is usually a by-product of a chainsaw’s engine size, with more powerful engines offering longer bars. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty chainsaw, confirm the engine size and bar length before making a purchase.

Oiling Method

Oil is a necessity for a chainsaw’s bar and chain because it reduces heat and prevents burnout. Most chainsaws have oil reservoirs that self-lubricate the chainsaw as it runs, removing the need for manual oiling. When looking for a chainsaw, check the amount of oil it can hold to determine how frequently the tool will need a refill.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should a chainsaw warm up?

Gas chainsaws should run for about 30 seconds before use to allow the oil to lubricate the engine. If you’re using an electric chainsaw, the warm-up period isn’t necessary.

Can I sharpen a chainsaw chain?

If you use your chainsaw frequently, a sharpener can keep your chainsaw’s chain sharp and efficient. Chainsaw sharpeners come in a variety of styles, including handheld, portable, and benchtop models.

How can I tell when my chainsaw chain is worn out?

Here are some indicators that alert you to when you need a chain replacement:

  • The chain bounces or rattles during use.
  • You have to force the chainsaw into the material it’s cutting.
  • The chainsaw produces crooked cuts.
  • The chain has damaged or missing teeth.

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