Although there are plenty of unnecessary tools marketed towards homeowners, the chainsaw isn’t one of them. In fact, these tools are probably some of the most important tools for any property owner to own especially if they cut their own wood for winter. And that’s because it can be expensive to hire someone else to trim your tree’s branches or cut up your wood. Once a saw has been purchased, however, it’s quite inexpensive to operate, and will provide years of wood management.
It’s important for the homeowner to properly choose the right chainsaw for their needs. Some people may only need a model to trim their tree’s branches, and other people may need a tool that has a little more power to it. Regardless of what kind of chainsaw you need, however, we’re pretty confident you’ll enjoy the following models and be able to select one that suits you.
Best Chainsaws – Top List
10Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-Inch
This 2-cycle gas-powered chainsaw has a number of features which makes it a smart choice for everyone from professional tree trimmers to homeowners. It has a powerful 60.3cc engine that produces less harmful exhaust emissions than some of the brands competing against it but still delivers the power the operator needs. This saw is also equipped with a centrifugal air cleaning system that engines the engine gets the air it needs but stops larger debris particles from reaching the air filter, which reduces the number of filter changes and extends engine life. It’s also an easy-to-start model that allows the operator to get to work a whole lot quicker.
9Greenworks 16-Inch 40-Volt Cordless
Battery operated chainsaws received somewhat of a bad rap when they first came out, but the technology has steadily improved over the last few years, as can be seen with this Greenworks model. This tool uses 40-volt Lithium-Ion batteries and a brushless motor that delivers great torque. And since this unit uses a special battery that can be used with over 25 different Greenworks tools, this product can be used as part of a comprehensive collection of tools. Other features which this unit provides to its operators includes a 16-inch Oregon bar and chain, a safety-chain brake, and an automatic oiling system.
8Tanaka 14-Inch 32.2cc Saw
This Tanaka chainsaw is designed for commercial use, and that’s quite evident when looking at some of its design features. It has a top handle that gives the operator the firm control they need over the tool and has a powerful 32.2cc 2-stroke commercial motor designed to give the power the operator needs. It has a half-throttle choke with a bulb primer that allows it to be quickly and easily started up, even when it’s started cold. Another feature found on this tool is an automatic oiler that keeps the chain to good condition. And finally, this saw has a sprocket nose bar with Oregon chain that cuts through wood like a hot knife through butter.
7Black & Decker 40-Volt Cordless 12-Inch
Although this Black & Decker chainsaw isn’t rated for commercial use, it does provide quite a bit of power to homeowners who need to get the trees on their property trimmed up quickly and efficiently. This high-quality cordless saw uses 40-volt MAX Lithium Ion battery that delivers a long runtime in between charges. This saw also features a 12-inch premium bar and chain, a full wrap-around handle that allows limbs to be cut from several different angles and it has an automatic oiling system. Whether this tool is used to prune trees or to cut up firewood into smaller more manageable pieces, it’s sure to meet the expectations of its user.
6Dewalt 20-Volt Cordless Kit
Manufactured with an extremely efficient brushless motor and a 12-inch Oregon bar and chain, this chainsaw is ready for even some of the toughest jobs. It has an impressive chain speed of 25.2 feet-per-second, which is more than enough force to drive the chain through either softwoods or hardwoods. It also has tool-free chain tensioning and bar tightening for on-the-go convenience and uses a 20-volt lithium-ion battery for power. Since this saw weighs under 9-pounds, it’s also very easy to use and won’t overly fatigue the user’s arms. All things considered, this quality tool is ready for whatever is thrown at it.
5EGO Power+ 14-Inch Cordless Saw
This water-resistant chainsaw is ready to tackle most jobs, regardless of whether those jobs are in the backyard or the backwoods. It features a powerful lithium-ion rechargeable battery that can provide up to 100 cuts per battery charge and allows this saw to be both powerful and portable. This unit is equipped with a chain kickback brake for improved control and safety, and it has a 14-inch Oregon bar and chain. Other features found on this tool include a chain tension adjustment, a low kickback chain design and a .043-inch gauge chain. It also comes with a standard charger to keep the battery nice and charged.
4Makita LXT 12-Inch Cordless Saw
This powerful chainsaw is designed to provide the operator with the power of a gas-powered saw but do it with cordless convenience. It uses two 18-volt lithium-ion batteries to deliver more power than other comparable cordless models but does it without abandoning the convenience of an 18-volt battery system. It also uses a 12-inch guide bar for improved capacity and has a tool-less chain adjustment for improved maintenance ease. Other features found on this chainsaw include a lower noise level of under 90-decibels, a 1,650 FPM cutting speed and an electric brake. This unit may be small, but it does provide great cutting power and convenience.
3Makita 16-Inch Electric Saw
Although there are some people who don’t like corded electric chainsaws, for those who don’t have an aversion to them, this is a great model to own. This 16-inch saw is corded, so there’s never any batteries to charge or gas to ever put into it. All the operator has to do is pair with an appropriately sized extension cord, and it’s ready to do a virtually limitless amount of work. This saw features a large trigger switch that’s easy to operate, and has rubberized grip handles that are comfortable to use. And if the saw ever becomes overloaded, the operator doesn’t have to worry because it has a built-in current limiter in it.
2Husqvarna 455 20-Inch Gas Saw
This gas chainsaw has many of the features that homeowners look for in a quality saw. It has a 55.5cc 2-cycle engine and a 20-inch bar that can absolutely rip through hardwoods efficiently and powerfully. It also has a smart injection system that allows it to be more easily started than conventional gas-powered saws. Another key feature found on this unit is an air injection system that gives its engine the necessary air to run but filters out dust and large debris. And finally, this saw has tool-less chain tensioning that allows it to be easily adjusted while out in the field.
1Black & Decker 4.5-Amp Alligator Lopper
Not everyone wants or needs to mess with a large full-size conventional chainsaw when an alligator lopper is more than capable of doing the job. This product from Black & Decker features a 4.5-Amp motor and a 6-inch bar length that gives the unit a 4-inch cut capacity. This is mainly due to the fact that this tool can be used to clamp down on a branch as it’s being operated. It’s clamp-operation not only efficiently handles tree limbs but also makes it safer to use. Although it’s not suitable for all jobs, it does have the features that many DIY enthusiasts and homeowners will truly appreciate.
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Whatever your intended purpose for a new chainsaw, there are many reasons why you should look for a quality option, safety being top of the list. Not only will a high-end chainsaw make light work of logs and debris around your property, but it will last a long time.
The problem with these heavy-duty garden tools is they are not all made equal. Because there are many sub-par chainsaws on the market it can be important to know what a quality product should offer. To clear a few things up, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
What To Look For In A Chainsaw
- Power – Along with safety, the power of a chainsaw is one of the first things you should consider. The more power it has, the more tasks it can undertake. Although you might not need the power that a professional does for everyday use when trying to get a job done efficiently, you still need something to help get you through tough bushes and branches.
- Safety Features – All chainsaws should adhere to certain safety measures but some go the extra mile. Look for a product that has an anti-kickback device to protect you from some serious injuries. The best way to stay safe with a chainsaw is to read up on how to stay safe and learn how to use a chainsaw properly. Always read the user manual before using it for the first time.
A chain brake is another way of protecting yourself. It works by shutting off the chainsaw as close to automatically as possible by stopping the chain from moving around the bar. Not all chainsaws have this safety feature so check before you buy.
- Easy Start-Up – This is more tailored towards gas-powered chainsaws as the starting process tends to be more frustrating. This isn’t always the case but look for a model that makes this easier so you’re not stood in the cold waiting for the thing to get going.
- Quality Handles – This isn’t just the grip but you will want an anti-vibration handle when you are using the chainsaw for an extended amount of time. The materials can vary but the better chainsaw handles are comfortable and won’t slip.
- Automatic Oiler – Because gas chainsaws, in particular, require regular lubricating, a chainsaw that has an automatic oiler can be very useful and requires less maintenance. This improves the efficiency of the chain and reduces the likelihood of kickback. An automatic oiler will ensure there is always a small amount of oil reaching the chain. Don’t rely on this unless you know the chainsaw you purchase offers this feature.
Gas Chainsaw Vs Electric Chainsaws
Both give you a good reason to purchase but only one can suit your needs.
A gas chainsaw tends to be more powerful but the drawback is they are also noisier and heavier than their electric counterparts. Another downside to a gas chainsaw is that the startup process can be a bit difficult at times. Not only this, but refilling can be messy.
This isn’t the case with electric chainsaws they are often lighter which makes them better for using for longer periods although the battery life can be an issue. Still, they are a popular option for at-home use as they tend to be lower maintenance and more than capable of getting garden work done.
You can buy electric chainsaws in both coded and cordless versions and depending on how often you use them, a cordless can be better if you have a bigger garden but corded is good for when you use it more frequently.
Can Chainsaws Overheat?
The short answer is yes, but there are certain factors that make this more likely. For a start, the summer months tend to make them hotter than usual, add this to the fact that when in use, their temperature is already increased.
Keep your gas-powered chainsaw well lubricated to make sure the parts can move smoothly and not overheat due to added friction. Make sure the air can get to where it needs to by cleaning your chainsaw when it is off as this can help it to stay cool.
Does A Chainsaw Come With Oil?
It is best to assume that a chainsaw does not come with oil so that even if it does, you have extra and don’t have to add it to your shopping list.
Does A Chainsaw Require Sharpening?
After a certain amount of use, a chainsaw will need sharpening and you can usually tell when the time is close. This is because it will start to produce larger chips of wood rather than fine powdery sawdust.
Another telling sign is when the chainsaw requires more elbow grease than usual to get it through the wood or bush.