If you live on the farm or if you simply have a large garden, the best chainsaws can be very handy. It can take a very long time to call up a professional and make an appointment just to cut a few branches or to do a bit of work around the house. Some of the best chainsaws come with an efficient design that doesn’t require you to have lumberjack skills so that you can rely on them without too much experience.
Modern chainsaws are also considerably better than those used just a few years ago. Users even rely on cordless chainsaws at the moment which makes their life easier. This article looks at all chainsaws that are popular today.
Makita DUC254Z 18v LXT Cordless Brushless 25cm Chainsaw
If you’re after a Makita chainsaw that is lightweight and which runs on batteries, this is the right choice. Based on the same 18V batteries Makita uses on all of its cordless tools, this chainsaw is made to be practical. However, you need to purchase the batteries separately if you don’t have another Makita product with cordless construction.
Made with a variable speed controller, the chainsaw is one that is very a breeze to use. Most users appreciate its lightweight construction as well. With a weight of just 3kg, it can be an excellent first chainsaw for your home.
Safety components aren’t bad on it either. Users simply use the kickback break that allows it to stop instantly. But you won’t have to press the brake too much since you will be able to simply live it from the wood or from the material you are sawing. With a length of just 49.3cm, the tool is very easy to use.
Based on Makita 18V Li-Ion batteries
One of the smallest in its class
Tool-less chain tension adjustment
Small for a large lumber
Einhell Cordless Chainsaw GE-LC 36/35
Made with kickback protection, this Einhell release comes with a brushless quiet motor. It can be an excellent option if you need to use it often and if you’re tired of old loud alternatives. Based on cordless technology, this chainsaw runs with an Oregon cutter rail.
Many users already feel Einhell is making considerable progress in the cordless tools section. This is certainly the situation with this chainsaw which also comes with Li-Ion batteries that can easily be swapped form any cordless tool made by Einheell.
Buts its practicality can also be seen further in its design. You can easily top up oil with the top valve on next to the ergonomic handle. This means it uses automatic lubrication and you don’t need to get your hands dirty during the process.
Made with an ergonomic design
Included chain catch bolt
Batteries sold separately
If you want a product that is made to last, this cordless Makita chainsaw is among the top nominees. It’s part of the brand’s XPT series which stands for Extreme Protection. Makita added top-sealing on this chainsaw which protects it from dust and water. But its waterproof construction is what makes it such an interesting buy for the busy user who doesn’t always have time to wait for the perfect weather to continue with cutting jobs around the house.
The chainsaw also operates on batteries. It uses the same 18V batteries the manufacturer recommends those who want to see enhanced durability. With an instant start-up and protection against accidental start-up, this compact Makita release seems to be made for the inexperienced user as well.
The only maintenance you have to do on it is to add oil. The oil valve makes even this task a lot easier. With automatic chain lubrication, the chainsaw is ready to be used continuously on long tasks where it stands out over others on the list.
Available in a kit with 2 batteries
Included electric chain brake
Dustproof and waterproof construction
No noise to indicate when to cut
This ergonomic chainsaw comes with tool-less tension adjustments. You can easily tension the chain without being an expert in the field. But it also comes with a weight of just 4.6kg which makes it easy to use. It represents a product that even comes with a large window for the user to see the oil level easily.
But the biggest difference in favour of this product is its corded performance. It can’t be seen as a product that isn’t reliable even with long tasks. Sure, most jobs around the house don’t require too much power so that a cordless chainsaw would be insufficient. But this Makita release impresses with its overall reliability.
Compatible with standard AC power
Available in multiple colours
Loud at 103db
Makita DUC302Z Cordless Li-Ion Chainsaw
This 800W chainsaw is made with a soft start. It represents one of the most successful designs from Makita as it even features dual battery capacity. This means it takes 2 x 18V batteries doubling the time it can run without recharging.
It even comes with a dustproofing and waterproofing. This 36V chainsaw also features the same standard of practicality Makita fans are used to as it allows you to adjust the tension of the chain without a specialized adjustment tool.
Included electric chain brake
Designed with a battery warning light
Perfect for large cutting jobs
Makita DUC252Z Cordless Chainsaw
This simpler chainsaw also runs on 2 batteries. It is a bit lighter at 4.1kg and it can be considered on long cutting tasks. But most importantly, you can successfully use to cut oak, maple, and other types of hardwood. This tool is also actionable by hand is it doesn’t need a tool to adjust its Oregon-made chain.
At a length of 32cm, it is also a small chainsaw that will make you think twice about ordering a large old-school alternative. It even comes with one of the best profiles for all-day use as the 2 batteries that fit it are some of the best on the market.
Quiet at 88db
Compatible with 4.0mm files
36V power for large tasks
Batteries not included
Makita UC3541A/2 240V Electric Chainsaw
Based on a 1800W motor, the electric chainsaw has a cutting capacity of just over 14 meters per second. This efficient tool is a respectable choice when you value corded designs. It even represents one of the most successful designs in its class with a metal spike bumper with added spike grips for full control in all conditions.
This chainsaw comes with a length of 45cm making it one of the largest on our list. It can be seen as one of the leading solutions for large trees and similar-size wood as it goes a bit above what the other smaller Makita alternatives can offer.
35cm blade length
Corded endless performance
Heavy at 4.7kg
Chainsaws buying guide – all you need to know
When you plan to purchase your first chainsaw, you need to know what adventure lies in front of you. Once you have your chainsaw, you can never imagine life without it around the house. From cutting tree branches to building a wooden fence, it seems the applications for this performer are endless. But what is the deal with all of these chainsaws seen in stores?
The classic corded chainsaw is one of the popular options for the home user. Before the battery revolution in power tools, these corded performers were the only option. You also had to purchase an extension cord to use them.
Over time, this is going to be the best solution for many users who need to cut for hours at a time. This is not the case for the average homeowner. But it can be the case if you work outdoors and if you love DIY projects. For example, you will need constant electricity when building a patio as this task can take a few days. Here are a few main characteristics of the corded electric chainsaw.
- High efficiency
One of the main reasons to consider it over others is the high efficiency in cutting trees and wood of different widths. This is why you might only want to use a corded performer when you want to see better results with clean cuts.
- No maintenance
While every saw comes with some level of maintenance, most require almost no user input at all. As long as the chain is fine and there’s oil inside the power saw, there’s not much else to do but to start working. This is even a bit simpler than alternatives on batteries which require planning so that the batteries would be fully charged.
- Reduced fuel emissions
Since it runs on electric current, this saw has almost no emissions to worry about. Those on gas can be seen as environmentally unfriendly. But on electric power, this is less of an issue. It can be one of the best solutions for companies with hundreds of employees who can start a positive change in the industry.
The cordless saw is one of the best performers in terms of energy independence. It can be used for up to an hour and you can cut anywhere in the backyard since you don’t need to be next to a wall plug. Some of these saws are still very powerful and you won’t feel like you need a stronger motor for jobs that only take up to an hour. Still, most cuts around the house take minutes as these are not tasks professional faces with all-day cuts.
- Not as powerful
One of the main differentiating aspects of cordless saws is they aren’t as powerful on thick wood. While for most tasks this isn’t visible, you might struggle to cut a wide tree down with this saw. Still, the task is generally doable, but you need to work a bit harder to get there.
- Very practical
A good reason to consider the cordless performer is practicality. Even if you’re a builder, you might still want to have on in your van since you can practically use it anywhere. Simply using rechargeable batteries means this saw can be one of the best solutions for remote jobs as well. Just imagine how hard it was years ago when all of the cuts in remote locations were made with manual saws.
- Lightweight construction
Even if you add 1 or 2 batteries, these cordless saws tend to be lighter. Since they represent a smaller design, the reduced weight allows the users to enjoy their results a bit longer without tired hands. If you’re the type of person to suffer from back pain, reduced weight can help you stay on track with your projects without putting the extra weight on your shoulders.
- No maintenance
No maintenance is required on your cordless saw. You can simply charge the batteries and add oil without fearing the tool will fail. For most users, this is the perfect solution as nobody has the time to sit, clean, and work on power tools as they did before.
- Compatibility with other power tool batteries
But for most of those who already embrace cordless power tools, there’s no need to even look further. The batteries of these tools are compatible between them which means a single set of batteries can power multiple tools. You don’t need to buy expensive batteries for all of these tools and this is the main reason you get more for less.
At the same time, the batteries you use can be charged at all times for all of the other tools you use around the house as there’s no DIY project that doesn’t require some type of variation in the instruments you need to assemble.
The old-school petrol chainsaw is still in production. You can see it with surgeon lumberjacks out in the forest where cuts are never-ending. You need to consider these if you need to tackle large trees frequently. You simply can’t overwork a small brushless motor for such large tasks.
- Very powerful
Petrol or a gas chainsaw is an electric instrument made to cut for hours each day. Its performance is unmatched as it has the DNA of a product made for the most demanding conditions, often in low temperatures and even out in the rain.
- Long-lasting motors
Gas motors tend to last a long time. They are also easy to service if you send them back to the seller. This isn’t always the case with electric alternatives which tend to have their parts completely replaced in case there’s something wrong with them.
- Fuel emissions
Burning gas causes emissions. Sure, a single saw is not going to make a huge difference. But when everybody is using them on top of the current emissions we have in large cities, these small steps can add up.
- Difficulties starting in time
A petrol saw is a top performer when it starts. If you forget about it for a year or even for a few months, you might not be able to start it again. You might be pulling its ignition time after time only to realize it’s not going to start. From fuel to spark plugs, there could be hundreds of reasons why this is the case.
The main idea is that if you choose a gas chainsaw, you need to use it. But this is rarely the case of the occasional home user who’s simply not going to cut with it every week. This is why we mainly recommend it to professionals.
How loud is your chainsaw? This question is hard to answer. As a beginner, you can’t even tell the difference in loudness. All of the saws are loud for you. But professionals know working all day under such audio stress can be too much.
A quiet saw operates at a range of around 80 to 88dv. A loud saw operates in a range between 100 and 110db. This is why it might even take a very long time until you start to notice hearing issues and at this moment, it can already be too late. You should use protective earphones as well as a saw that doesn’t make too much noise and which doesn’t vibrate as much as a result.
What to look for in the best chainsaw
When you’ve finally decided to pull the trigger and buy your first chainsaw, you need to know what to look for. At the moment, most of these saws made for home use are very simple and you only need to follow a few characteristics. Most of them even share components such as the third-party made Oregon chain. But there are a few other features you need to consider.
The first design characteristic to look at is at the chain tension adjustment. This is going to be the most important characteristic and since there are so many great solutions at the moment, innovation has driven tools out from this adjustment. You should always only get the tool-free solution so that you are ready to go within minutes.
As a beginner, you want to avoid running around after various tools just to get started with a simple cut. For professionals with bags of tools, this is another story. But you can easily set the right tension without any tools on the right saw.
Another crucial element that needs to be durable is the guide bar of the saw. The chainsaw bar is usually of a length of just 12 to 24 inches for the saw which is made for residential use. Some people even recommend using the products guide bars which are at least a bit wider than the piece of wood you’re trying to cut.
This means your guide bar needs to be larger than a brand or fence wood piece you try to cut. But you also want to think about this on a larger scale as well as there’s an upper limit when it comes to cutting down large trees.
If you only need to cut large pieces of wood, the best solution is to simply look for the wide guide bars you can find. But even then, you want to approach the cut slowly to avoid permanent damage to the guide bar which makes the chainsaw unusable given it holds the chain.
Other equally important characteristics that tend to get overlooked are the anti vibrations system as seen in reviews. Bar length, the chain tensioning system, Lithium Ion battery safety systems, chain materials, petrol power, anti vibration handlebars, tool free chain spares, two stroke motors, air filter spares, etc. All of these things play a role in your purchase so make sure to look over them as well. Battery chainsaws tend to come with the most safety features. A chain saw for small trees still needs to have these.
Heavy duty saws certainly need extra safety features compared to corldess saws and hedge trimmer alternatives and their basic anti vibration system. A battery chainsaw tends to be the first to break its guide bar as well. A chainsaw chain can lose power on some low quality batteries as they start to lose energy. Chainsaw reviews represent a top choice for powered saws home users can rely on.
Which type of power is best for your chainsaw? You can choose from all of the products above to find which of them has the power that works best for your home.
Do you have a long construction power cable you can use around your yard? This is when you can use a corded design. When you don’t have such a long and expensive extension cord, you can go cordless. If you need to cut saw frequently, a gasoline alternative is going to work wonders.
Which is cheaper to run?
This is where you might also ask yourself which saw is going to be the cheapest to run as power and oil are the main expense of these tools together with the chain. You can simply go for one that requires no further investments from the start, such as the corded design if you don’t want to purchase batteries and chargers.
If you decide to buy petrol saw, then you need to buy empty gas canisters to store the gas. You nee3d to go to a gas station and you need to get the right amount for your cutting needs. Then you need to find storage space for your gas which isn’t always easy as it needs to be away from heat sources.
If you love the versatility of the cordless design, you might need to invest more upfront. The batteries can cost a few hundred pounds but you might end up saving money in the long term. It can be cheaper to run a saw on Li-Ion batteries than on gas.
You can always look for ways to ensure you don’t have to invest more in maintenance. For example, you should only store the batteries inside the house where there are no freezing temperatures. You should also try to avoid not using the saw for long periods as this can make it stop running altogether.
It’s important to always add oil for lubrication on your chainsaw. This isn’t always easy to remember but you should always check the oil level before making cuts. This is the best time to add oil as the motor needs to be cold when you add lubricant.
Oil refill is a lot more difficult to assess when there’s no clear indicator or clear window of its level on the electric saw. This is why you need to find the product which makes your life easier and always store spare oil in the garage to use as needed.
This safety feature should be mandatory on all new saws. It prevents the saw’s chain from spinning when there’s kickback which makes it very safe for new users. You want to look for this and other safety features on the chainsaw you are planning to buy.
The size of the saw is also important. You should always get a small one of you only cut small branches and if you only do light maintenance work around the yard. But if you’re truly passionate about sawing, you need to get a larger one that runs either on gas or on batteries.
The best chainsaws of the moment are very easy to use. They are packed with safety features and some of them even run on low-maintenance brushless motors. The design advancements in this field have also seen these become a bit more ergonomic. This is why you shouldn’t settle with a poor choice especially since a chainsaw should be a once in a lifetime purchase since most tend to last for decades.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best brand of a chainsaw?
Some of the best brands of the moment impress in the world of chainsaws as almost all of them offer some type of unique technology. We’ve selected the best brands for you to learn about as a newbie in this world of power tools.
Makita is one of the most reliable brands that make all types of power tools. You can find their chainsaws both in corded and cordless designs. Some of the best products from the company run on reliable Li-Ion batteries which can be swapped from one product to another.
Bosch is a similar brand to Makita which also offers reliable battery-powered electric saws. You can use Bosch and all of its accessories for standard work around the garden. You will also get one of the most reliable warranty policies out there.
You can find Einhel is a trusted brand right behind the biggest players in the industry. It makes some of the most reliable products for home use even if it isn’t as trustworthy as Husqvarna in commercial use.
If you need to tackle serious trees, Husqvarna is the brand to consider together with Stihl. You can see Husqvarna on some of the most demanding construction projects where they work through the day. Access to spare parts is excellent at this brand but their online presence is weak.
Stihl also does reliable electric saws. However, it has marketed its products a bit more towards the home user and many of those into gardening only use products from this company.
The small company of Remington is one most important names out there for affordable saws. However, it lacks the ecosystem of Makita or Bosh and their components or customer service.
One of the trusted brands in the cordless saws market is Ryobi. The brand has one of the best online presences with plenty of forums for fans to read on any type of chainsaw and mostly on battery powered chainsaws
Black+Decker is another trusted brand but which lacks the right DNA to succeed among the top 3 at the moment. Still, you wouldn’t be making the wrong choice for your home if you get a Black+Decker saw.
What is the best cheap chainsaw?
The Makita DUC254Z 18v LXT Cordless Brushless 25cm Chainsaw is the most affordable product on our list given its performance. It works for almost any job you might put it on at home.
Are electric chainsaws worth it?
Electric chainsaws are certainly worth it. What’s the alternative? Using a manual saw is neither fast nor efficient. You would be losing your time with these classic saws in the conditions in which it only takes a few seconds to cut a tree branch with an electric saw.
What is the quietest chainsaw?
The 1800W corded chainsaws on our list are the quickest. Even the battery-powered alternatives are good but they might not be as fast when the batteries start to get at a low level of charging.
What's better gas or electric chainsaw?
Gas is an excellent choice for large trees or any type of large cuts. Electric chainsaws are a bit better when it comes to practicality as you’re not dependent on running to the gas station for fuel. But these tools use motors which are often not as durable as those on gas.