Whether you’re a home handyman or a professional tree surgeon like myself, having the best chainsaw is an essential tool to complete your work. You need a powerful chainsaw that provides high performance and ease of use. Not only that you need the best chainsaw that is comfortable to hold in your hands and provides safety features too.

With all the chainsaw choices available today, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to compare and decide between the various modelsfeatures, and prices to choose the best chainsaw. Good news for you, I’m here to make this decision as easy as possible for you!

Let’s take a look at the best chainsaws and compare their most important features.

Easily compare voltageweight, and size of the best chainsaws. With our sortable guide below, the time-consuming task of collecting all of this data has been done for you. Compare a few chainsaws, then just click on the name or image of the chainsaw to dig in a bit deeper, and read the customer reviews and get the latest deal.

Check Out These Chainsaws

Name/Image Learn MoreBrandRatingPower SourceBatteries IncludedVoltageBar LengthItem Weight
GreenWorks 20312 DigiPro G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, (1) 4AH Battery and a Charger Inc.

GreenWorks 20312 DigiPro G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, (1) 4AH Battery and a Charger Inc.

view pricefull review GreenWorks4.5 Star Average Rating BatteryY4016"6.9 pounds
Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start (CARB Compliant)

Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start (CARB Compliant)

view pricefull review Husqvarna4.5 Star Average Rating Gasolinen/an/a18"10.8 pounds
EGO Power+ 14-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Chain Saw – 2.0Ah Battery and Charger Kit

EGO Power+ 14-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Chain Saw – 2.0Ah Battery and Charger Kit

view pricefull review EGO Power+5 Star Average Rating BatteryY561419.9 Pounds
WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 HP 15.0 Amp

WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 HP 15.0 Amp

view pricefull review Worx4.5 Star Average Rating ElectricN12018"11.3 Pounds

Chainsaw Buying Guide: Because Not All Saws Are Made Equal

So you’re thinking about purchasing a new chainsaw to add to your gardening arsenal. A chainsaw is a chainsaw, is a chainsaw right? Unfortunately, it’s a little bit more complicated than that. When it gets down to making a decision, picking the best chainsaw for the job quickly becomes an intimidating task given the sheer amount of technical information which needs to be taken into account.

But does it need to be? In this article, we’ll break down all the “need-to-know” aspects of buying the best chainsaw for your needs; whether it will be for using in your backyard pruning errant branches to full-on tree felling and bucking. We’ll assess the pros and cons of the major types available as well as address some little known, but important, aspects which really need to be thought about before making your purchase.

By the end of this article, you will be sufficiently prepared to make an informed, wise decision on the best chainsaw for you. An important idea to keep in mind is that chainsaws are very dangerous pieces of machinery and need to be used with constant care, attention, and respect.

Some Questions to ask yourself before you Purchase the Best Chainsaw For You

Before we start, I want you to answer the five questions below and to keep your answers at the forefront of your mind as you read through the rest of this comprehensive guide to buying the best chainsaw for you.

  1. How experienced are you?
  2. What will the chainsaw be used for? Trimming, Pruning or felling trees etc.
  3. How often will the chainsaw be used?
  4. When will you use it? Will it be used in cold temperatures during winter?
  5. How thick is the branch or tree you’re hoping to cut?

Saw Type

Right off the bat let’s address question one and two; what am I going to be using my future chainsaw for? Secondly, how familiar are you with the use of chainsaw? Be honest with yourself at this stage and this will really help down the line, and will facilitate the right choice of a chainsaw for you. Be mindful of these questions as you read through the following section. One of the most defining choices you as a buyer are going to make regards what type of chainsaw you want to get. The shape or form of the saw radically affects the application to which it can be effectively used. All have varying advantages and disadvantage as well varying degrees of safety implications. In general, chainsaws come in three main forms which reflect very diverse functions which we will discuss individually, and all of them are specifically designed for a specific intended use.

Standard Chainsaws

The standard chainsaw consists of a guide bar which is connected directly to an engine which powers a chain blade around the guide bar which can vary in size from 12 to 60 inches. The chainsaw blade is driven by a centrifugal clutch which regulates, and powers the speed of the spinning bladed chain. There are two forms of the standard type, namely; rear handed and top handle chainsaws. Rear handed chainsaws are specifically designed for use at ground level. In the very large majority, and unless you’re a professional tree feller, the rear handed version is the correct type for you. Conversely, top-handled chainsaws are used primarily for work up a tree, from a harness or on a raised platform. These are generally only used by highly trained professionals. The standard chainsaw can be powered by powered by gas, battery, and electricity depending on preference. Although smaller standard chainsaws can be compact and light-weight, the heavier more powerful models can be heavy and cumbersome. Standard chainsaws have the greatest variation in guide bar length. The different size guide bars allows for a diverse range of applications, so look carefully at “Guide Bar: Length does Matter” section below for a more detailed investigation.

Pole Shaped Chainsaws

Pole saws are essentially small chainsaws which have an 8”-12” guide bar and chain blade, separated from their engines via an adjustable pole. The telescopic segment makes the use of this piece of equipment extremely convenient for the removal of small to medium sized branches which are out of reach, whilst simultaneously keeping the users feet firmly planted on the ground. This has the dual benefit of being much less taxing on the users back as well preventing injury which may arise from the user climbing the tree with a standard chainsaw and risking an accident. The reach of a given pole saw is brand specific, but you can expect the general pole saw to have a range of about six to 20 feet. The pole saw can be gas, electric or battery powered depending on preference. Although a nifty piece of equipment, it also has a number of disadvantages. Due to the pole saws short guide bar and generally small engine, the pole saw can only be used for the general pruning of small branches. Don’t disregard this chainsaw out of hand. The pole saw is a must have for any suburban homeowner, due to its impressive ease of use and safety.

The Jawsaw

The jawsaw is the ultimate saw of choice for the safety conscious user. Its revolutionary form has been designed so that the guide bar and chain are completely enclosed in a protective metal housing. The enclosed chain blade design has completely eliminated the risk which is posed by kickback during use, making this a good option for even the timidest user. Jawsaws are generally designed to be ultra-low maintenance, with most having auto-tension systems and automatic chain oiling abilities. Although relatively light weight (±12 lbs.), jawsaws are only able to cut branches up to about 4 inches due to their small guide bars, and as such are only appropriate for pruning. Certain brands also offer extension attachments which can convert the standard jawsaw into a pole-jawsaw with a reach of about 12 – 20 feet for added use. At the current moment, Jawsaw’s can be purchased which are electric and battery powered, removing the need for the maintenance required for gas powered units.

Chainsaw Handedness

An important aspect which is often overlooked is the fact that ALL chainsaws are built for right-handed use. As such, left-handed users may have a difficult time adjusting to the layout of the handles etc. If you don’t feel at ease or in control of the apparatus, you run the risk of injury and accident. Practice, practice, practice until you feel comfortable with the way the tool feels in your hands before you turn it on for use.

Power Sources

Chainsaws can be powered in one of three ways; battery, electric (via an attached cord) or by the traditional gas. Each type has their own benefits and disadvantages. An essential aspect of chainsaw choice which needs to be made should be whether or not you are going to need an electric or gas chainsaw. Although more powerful, gas chainsaws have started to become eclipsed by their smaller, quieter brothers of the new generation of electric chainsaws for a number of households which simply don’t require such a high powered alternative. For smaller, simpler tasks it’s often more economical to use an electric chainsaw, whilst for other tasks sometimes you need the raw power of gas. Think about your prospective needs as we run through the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Electric Powered Chainsaws (Corded)

Best Electric Chainsaws

Name/Image Learn MoreBrandRatingPower SourceBatteries IncludedVoltageBar LengthItem Weight
WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 HP 15.0 Amp

WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 HP 15.0 Amp

view pricefull review Worx4.5 Star Average Rating ElectricN12018"11.3 Pounds
Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim 8 Amp 14- Inch Electric Chainsaw

Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim 8 Amp 14- Inch Electric Chainsaw

view pricefull review Remington4 Star Average Rating ElectricN12012"6.25 Pounds
WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw, 3.5 HP 14.5 Amp

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw, 3.5 HP 14.5 Amp

view pricefull review WORX4.5 Star Average Rating Electricn/a12016"11 pounds

Electric powered chainsaws have become surprisingly efficient and ever more effective, and sport a whole range of benefits over their gas-powered counterparts. New electric models are lightweight, quiet, and economical requiring much less maintenance, and in most cases are infinitely easier to start. You can generally pick up an electric unit for cheaper than the gas powered versions. The benefits of electricity are that the saw is ready to use at a moment’s notice and obviously requires no refuelling. Storage of the units when not in use is easy, and there’s no worry of the fuel-oil mix going bad and causing complications (because there is none).  Their lack of exhaust fumes during use allows electric chainsaws to be used indoors safely. Although fantastic pieces of machinery, corded electric chainsaws do have the downside of limited mobility which can be frustrating when trying to prune a tree or branch at the very back of your yard. These saws are useful in a number of applications, however, in some cases, they are simply not strong enough for the job. The electric motors inherent in these saws can only handle light to medium tasks such as pruning to the removal of small-medium saplings and trees, so if heavier tasks are needed gas may be a good alternative for you. The use of electric saws is also limited by the guide bar in these models, which have a maximum length of 20 inches.

When purchasing a corded electric chainsaw remember that these units require heavy-duty, water-resistant extension cables. An important aspect to remember here, though, is that the longer the cord, the less voltage, the less power. So keep it as short as possible (less than a range of 100 ft. should be fine).

Gas Powered Chainsaws

Best Gas Chainsaws

Name/Image Learn MoreBrandRatingPower SourceBatteries IncludedVoltageBar LengthItem Weight
Poulan Pro PP5020AV 20-Inch 50cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Chain Saw With Carrying Case

Poulan Pro PP5020AV 20-Inch 50cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Chain Saw With Carrying Case

view pricefull review Poulan Pro4 Star Average Rating Gasolinen/an/a20"23.3 pounds
Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start (CARB Compliant)

Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start (CARB Compliant)

view pricefull review Husqvarna4.5 Star Average Rating Gasolinen/an/a18"10.8 pounds
Remington RM5118R Rodeo 51cc 2-Cycle 18-Inch Gas Chainsaw

Remington RM5118R Rodeo 51cc 2-Cycle 18-Inch Gas Chainsaw

view pricefull review Remington4 Star Average Rating Gasolinen/an/a18"25 pounds

For complete versatility and power, gas chainsaws are the only option. No job is too big or too small for these tried and tested power tools. Gas powered chainsaws are the workhorses of the tree felling industry and possess the most powerful engines as well as unsurpassed mobility. The design of gas chainsaws also engenders a superior guide bar oiling system for heavy duty applications whilst the gas engine drives the chain at superior speeds for easy cutting of trees and branches. One of the downsides of the gas powered saws is that their large engines make these chainsaws heavy, cumbersome and often difficult to start. On the other hand, the variable sized guide bar (from 12 to about 60 inches) allows for the greatest choice of a chainsaw for the job you want to achieve. The efficient felling ability of gas powered chainsaws is undermined by some of its less attractive attributes. The operation of these chainsaws is loud and incurs added fuel costs in the operation of the unit as well as the added chore of mixing gas and oil prior to use. Gas powered units are also more expensive in comparison to their electric counterparts. Another downside in the use of these powerful tools is a large amount of preventive maintenance required. The fumes which gas powered chainsaws emit make them dangerous for use indoor use. Gas powered chainsaws have a high chance of kickback during use. Many brands have included features to reduce this, but there is a large risk of it occurring nonetheless.

Battery Powered Chainsaws

Best Battery Chainsaws

Name/Image Learn MoreBrandRatingPower SourceBatteries IncludedVoltageBar LengthItem Weight
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 10-Inch

BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 10-Inch

view pricefull review Black & Decker4 Star Average Rating BatteryY2010"7.2 pounds
GreenWorks 20312 DigiPro G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, (1) 4AH Battery and a Charger Inc.

GreenWorks 20312 DigiPro G-MAX 40V Li-Ion 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, (1) 4AH Battery and a Charger Inc.

view pricefull review GreenWorks4.5 Star Average Rating BatteryY4016"6.9 pounds
EGO Power+ 14-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Chain Saw – 2.0Ah Battery and Charger Kit

EGO Power+ 14-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Chain Saw – 2.0Ah Battery and Charger Kit

view pricefull review EGO Power+5 Star Average Rating BatteryY561419.9 Pounds
BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 40-volt Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch

BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 40-volt Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch

view pricefull review Black & Decker4.5 Star Average Rating BatteryY4012"10.4 Pounds

Battery powered chainsaws have all the advantages mentioned above regarding standard electric chainsaws, however; battery-powered units have the added benefit of mobility. Unfortunately, the use of a battery puts a time limit (about 20-60 min depending on brand and battery size) on the job at hand, so unless you have a spare battery charging be prepared to occasionally take a break to recharge. If you decide on a battery operated unit, insist on a lithium-ion battery for best effect. A downside of battery powered units is that in general these chainsaws have the least powerful engines, so be mindful of what you want to achieve with your new chainsaw before settling on a battery powered unit. These units are also more expensive, as well as safer to operate, making this variety of chainsaw great for the typical homeowner keen on doing some light work around the yard.

Best Chainsaw Guide Bar: Length does Matter

As mentioned previously the ability of your chainsaw to deal effectively with a certain task is largely dependent on two factors; the length of the guide bar and engine size. The latter will be spoken about later in this article, so let’s start with the guide bar. The guide bar is measured from the mouth if the engine to the tip at the end of the chain blade. Thus, length represents the single, longest cut a particular chainsaw is able to make in one go. As such, the ideal size of the guide bar should be heavily related to the diameter of the tree or branch that you wish to cut. As a rule of thumb try and keep the guide bar of your future chainsaw at least 2 inches longer than the estimated diameter of the wood it will be cutting. In general, the length of the guide bar can range from 6 inches to upwards of 60 inches.  We’ll briefly run through some general guidelines as the length of the guide bar which is appropriate for certain tasks.

  • If you need to prune unwieldy bushes or small saplings, a guide length in the range of 6 to no larger than 12 inches is ideal.


  • For the general trimming of branches, a bar size of no larger than 16 inches can be ideally used for a broad range of uses.


  • For the removal of limbing or the felling of small trees, a guide bar with a length of 12 to 14 inches should be more than able to achieve the desired effect.


  • Cutting firewood can be a chore. For soft firewood, a guide bar of about 14 to 16 inches should be adequate, whilst for hard firewood and the felling of mediocre sized trees, a 16 to 18-inch guide bar should do nicely.


  • If you are bucking a large tree, a guide bar greater than 18 inches would probably be required. A final word. Remember the rule of thumb here; the guide bar on your prospective chainsaw should be at least 2 inches longer than the diameter of the piece of wood you want to slice and dice.

Table 1: Best Chainsaw Applications and Associated Required Specifications

Job RequiredGuide Bar (Inches)Gas (cc)Electric
- General Trimming<1630Small
- Pruning of errant branches <1230Small
- Limbing
- Felling a small tree
12 - 1430-40Medium
- Soft firewood cutting14 -1635-45Large
- Felling a medium tree
- hard firewood cutting
- Bucking>1850+n/a

Best Chainsaw Engine Size Guide: The Rumble in the Jungle

The other large determining factor in the choice of the best chainsaw is, of course, the size and power of the engine available. The engine size of gas chainsaws is measured in cc, or cubic inches whilst the power the best chainsaw outputs is classically measured in horsepower. Ultimately, the higher the power to mass ratio, the more power a standard chainsaw will be able to deliver. You can determine the strength of an electric chainsaw by enquiring about its particular amperage. Battery chainsaws are also less powerful than gas as well as full electric chainsaws. These saws power are measured by their particular voltage. Larger, more powerful engines may be much stronger, but the stronger the engine the heavier and more cumbersome it will be. Thus, it’s important to find the right balance of power to weight when thinking about purchasing your new chainsaw. Again, it’s also important to consider the end application of your chainsaw and matching the right engine to the right task. One could think of chainsaws being split into light, medium and heavy-duty categories.

  • Light duty engines (30 cc) are perfect for pruning trees as well as cutting down very small saplings. Some medium-sized trees can be felled with engines of this size, but it would be recommended to use a medium duty engine here. A small to medium electric engine would be comparable here. If pruning and light cutting is all you require, a battery operated unit may be the best for you but be aware these saws are generally limited to these applications.
  • Medium duty engines (30-45 cc) are considered the more highly versatile engine size for a whole range of applications from limbing to the felling of small-moderate trees. This engine category is also useful for the cutting of softer firewood. Medium sized engine strikes a good balance between weight, power and price. A medium to large electric engine would be comparable here.
  • Heavy duty engines (42-50cc), simply put, can handle basically any application needed. In most cases for the typical homeowner, a chainsaw of this size would probably be overkill, but if you’re interested in felling medium sized trees, or hard firewood then this would be a good choice for you. A large electric engine is a must you’re thinking of going this route using an electric chainsaw. Being the largest, most powerful engine category be prepared to open that wallet a little wider for one of these models. Anything engine size larger than 50cc can be classified as profession grade, and are generally only used by those involved in industrial tree felling such as lumberjacks etc.

Desirable Features to look for in the Best Chainsaw: Perks, perks, perks

Unfortunately, not all chainsaws are built the same. In this section, we’ll talk about some additional features which will make your felling activities safer, easier and more enjoyable. Just a quick comment. Some brands will have varying names for the following features. Be sure to read through the specifications of you prospective saw for the features which you’re looking for.

One of the better thought out features which makes the use of the best chainsaw a lot more bearable, as well as protects the chainsaw itself, is some form of anti-vibration control. This is a particularly great feature if you’re looking at a medium to heavy duty machine. During long cutting sessions, prolonged vibration can cause discomfort, numbness in the hands, and fatigue which all increase the risk of a potential accident. Habitual long-term use of a chainsaw, without some form of vibration dampening, can lead to Hand-arm vibration syndrome, so be sure to look for this feature in prospective models.

Other features which make use more pleasurable are mufflers to reduce noise, heated hand rails for cold weather use and tool-less access to essential engine parts such filters and spark plugs for easy maintenance. For easy starting, units with spring assisted starting or some form of electronic ignition are a must. These will save you time and frustration and get you cutting or felling quickly.

In the case of your saw’s chain snapping or uncontrolled movement, you want to be protected. These features are essential and most saws come with many of these features standard. Insist on buying a unit which has a chain catcher as well as a chain brake. The chain catcher is specifically designed to block a whipping chain after it snaps, or jumps off the guide bar effectively preventing further damage to the unit as well as protecting the user. Chain brakes are another effective feature which will cease the operation of the chainsaw in the event of sudden movement, as in the case of kickback, or when the front hand guard of the chainsaw comes into forceful contact with your hand.

Anti-kickback is a feature which, as the name implies, protects against the forceful and sudden movement of the saw away from the tree or log toward the user. This unexpected movement can cause serious injury and new users, in particular, should be extremely vigilant. Kickback is the primary cause of injury during chainsaw use. Most chainsaw brands nowadays come with some form of kickback protection, but it’s a wise idea to ensure that your future model has this.

Another great safety features are throttle interlocks. These ensure that the chainsaw is only running when intended, two switches need to be engaged simultaneously, normally a palm switch as well as trigger switch, to start the blade. The unit will generally cease operation if one of these isn’t in use.

There are also some great maintenance features around to protect your chainsaw itself. These will prolong the life of your chainsaw, and ensure that you get your money’s worth. Some of these include exhaust air-filtering, external chain adjustment and a built-in circuit breaker to prevent your unit from burning out from overuse. An automatic oiler is another great feature to ensure the chain remains lubricated during use and is also an effective control for reducing the incidence of chain snaps.

Best Chainsaw Maintenance and Safety: Because We Love our Fingers and Toes

It goes without saying that the best chainsaw is not a toy. In fact, the best chainsaw could still be the most dangerous piece of equipment which a person could own. Therefore, it’s only logical to be familiar with all the safety aspects of the best chainsaw use to protect yourself, as well as your loved ones. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the essential safety concerns, and provide some tips which you the user should adhere to for safe, and enjoyable felling and cutting. Remember that a lot of accidents can be avoided through the purchasing of a quality chainsaw which has well designed built-in safety features.

Firstly, and this bears repeating, kickback is the primary, most common type of injury which is reported by most chainsaw users.

Kickback is caused when the chain of the saw comes into contact which a very hard knot of wood, or some other substance, which causes the chainsaw to “kickback” out of the tree toward the user.

To the unprepared, this can be disastrous. Ensure that you are constantly ready for a potential kickback. The best chainsaw which has additional features to reduce the risk of kickback occurring is well worth the investment. This may seem obvious, but it is vital to only operate your future chainsaw when you are 100% sure that you are alert and awake. This alone will significantly reduce the risk of accidents and mishaps.

Personal protection can go a long way to ensuring your safety. Make sure that you’re wearing the correct safety clothing including sturdy, closed shoes and eye protection from flying wood chips. Avoid wearing loose, baggy clothing when operating a chain saw to prevent the clothes from getting pulled into the chainsaw during use. A comprehensive list of good protective apparel will be discussed a little later.

Another good tip is to avoid cutting down trees which are positioned higher than your chest unless you are an experienced tree feller. This will hopefully avoid the situation where the felled tree won’t suddenly fall on you. Ensure that the region below where you’re cutting is free of people or family to protect others.

If you have decided on an electric chainsaw, it’s important to always be aware of where the cord lies to prevent accidental electrocution or tripping. For gas powered units, avoid starting the best chainsaw near any sources of fuel to reduce the risk of accidental fires from spilled fuel.

Your best chainsaw weight may feel manageable when you begin your outdoor task, but after a period of use muscle fatigue will set it. Make sure that your fitness is up to par for the duration of your cutting activities is directly proportional to you fitness level. It important to constantly be aware of your body, and fatigue to avoid any accidents due to tiredness. Use of an imbalanced, or a too heavy, chainsaw will exacerbate this. The take home message here is, “Know your limits”.

And last but not least, make sure to keep you chainsaw in good working order. Change the oil, spark plugs and filters regularly. If you decide on using a gas powered chainsaw make sure that you are using the correct ratio of oil to fuel. Store your new acquisition as per its instruction manual and always treat it with respect and you will eliminate any potential hazards which may arise from improper care.

Protective Equipment Needed: The Gift of the Garb

The other side of the coin in terms of safety during felling/cutting is personal protection. Even the best chainsaw can be extremely dangerous to those around you and yourself. Thus, proper protective gear is absolutely essential to preventing any personal injury or mishap. Trust us. This is not something you want to neglect. To help you on your way, we have composed a list of some “must-have” gear. Some brands, are better than others so make sure that you’re buying quality goods and reading between the lines.

  • Safety helmet – some brands have combined the safety helmet with a face shield for full protection
  • Steel toes shoes/boots
  • Full-length clothing – which isn’t baggy or loose
  • Eye protection such – safety glasses or mesh glasses is great
  • Ear plugs/muffs
  • A pair of thick protective gloves

So that’s it! If you kept mindful of the five questions that we proposed in the beginning of this article, you should have a good idea now as to what the best chainsaw is for you. I hope that you found this guide helpful and informative.

Hope you can now find the best chainsaw.Happy felling!

Happy felling!

Buddy Thompson