When it comes to raw power and usefulness, not many tools compare to a chainsaw. These handy tools simplify cutting jobs of all sizes. There are several different types of chainsaws available from a variety of manufacturers. From small, electric chainsaws for every day, around the house kind of jobs, to bigger, gas-powered models designed to cut down trees, these powerful tools can handle a wide range of cutting jobs.
Types of Chainsaws You Can Buy
Gasoline powered chainsaws. The most popular types of chainsaws are gasoline powered models. Gasoline powered chainsaws offer cutting power and reliability in any kind of weather condition. Gas powered chainsaws typically run on a two cycle gasoline engine, which requires owners to use a mixture of two cycle oil and gasoline for fuel. These types of engines are known to be very loud, so ear protection is essential when using gas powered chainsaws. For big cutting jobs and use in a variety of weather conditions, gas powered chainsaws are the tool of choice.
Electric chainsaws. Some people simply need a cutting tool for smaller cutting jobs around the house. Electric chainsaws are perfect for these types of jobs. Electric chainsaws come in cordless models or models that need to stay plugged in during use. An electric chainsaw is typically much quieter to use, and a bit easier to handle than gas powered models. Electric engines cause less noise and air pollution than gasoline engines, so many people prefer electric chainsaws as an ecologically friendly way to handle tough cutting jobs.
Factors to Consider When Buying Chainsaws
Before you buy a chainsaw think about how often you plan to use it. If you think that you will have mostly small, infrequent cutting jobs, an electric chainsaw may suit you best. If you plan on doing a lot of big cutting jobs on a regular basis, a gas powered chainsaw is probably a better choice. Here are some features that you should look for:
- “Deadman”, or instant shut off triggers
- Anti-vibration handles
- A sharp chain
- Built in circuit breaker (for electric chainsaws)
- Primer bulb and decompression valve (for electric chainsaws)
Chainsaws can be bought from authorized distributors and specialty retail stores. You may also find them in Home Improvement shops like Home Depot or Lowes. However, I personally prefer to buy my chain saws from Amazon.com because I’ve found that their prices are often cheaper than retail stores.
I was initially skeptical about Amazon because it wasn’t a specialty retailer but like many others, I’ve found their power tools section to be surprisingly abundant: they have a really large range of chain saws and cutting tools. Many of the great chain saws out there on the market can be found on Amazon.com and the funny thing is you can’t even find them in the usual retail stores!
Buying from Amazon is really convenient: I get to save on gas and time, the special discounts are also terrific. I’ve never had a problem at all with delivery or the chain saws themselves. They even offer free shipping for most chain saws and have a great returns policy.
So if you’re looking to buy the best chainsaw, Amazon.com is a great place to start. I recommend them without any reservation.
List of 5 Best Chainsaws
1. Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start
I work with trees for a living and on the weekends at home, and I use the Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start. This is a great chain saw with a 3.2 horsepower X-Torq engine that delivers lower fuel consumption and reduced exhaust emission levels.
One of the best features about the Husqvarna 450 is the LobVib system that’s specially designed to reduce levels of vibration to the operator. You’d have to do a lot of work with chain saws to fully appreciate the beauty of a chain saw with reduced vibration. I get far less fatigued after using this chain saw than I have with other chain saws I’ve used in the past.
This is a medium-duty chain saw, and it’s light at about 17 pounds. It’s a sturdy machine that’s well-balanced and I find it easy to handle.
I always use gloves and wear protective eyewear. Safety is a huge issue when using a chain saw. And this saw is safer for the environment, with the reduced emissions levels.
It’s easy to see where you’re at with the fuel since it has a visible fuel level. That’s a nice feature because it makes it easier to focus on my work when I can see where I’m at fuel-wise..
This saw has the Smart Start and fuel pump that ensures an easy startup every time.
Tension adjustment is easy with an adjustment feature on the outside.
- LobVib system reduces vibration. This chain saw is equipped with a LobVib system that cuts down on the vibration. What this means for me is that I’m far less fatigued after the usual extensive session with my chain saw and can have a little better quality time at home after the chores are done.
- Equipped with Smart Start. This chain saw is always easy to start, which means I can use my energy for doing the work as opposed to starting up the power tool.
- Tension adjust is easy. On the outside of the saw there’s easy access for adjusting the chain tension.
- Visible fuel level. This isn’t a typical feature, having a visible fuel level. This makes it a lot easier as I’m working to see how much longer I can go before needing to make a fuel stop.
- When I’m wearing my rubber boots, it’s a little tougher to start. Start-up is very easy usually, but when I’m out wearing my rubber boots and have to restart, it’s tough, since placing your foot on the chain saw is part of the startup process.
- Frequent tension adjustment. Now, I’ve already noted that it’s easy to adjust the tension on this chain saw, but it seems that the need of tension adjustments is more frequent than I’m accustomed to.
The Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start is an excellent power tool and an excellent choice if you have a lot of cutting to do and you want a chain saw that’s easy to start and cuts through the wood as easily as a flame melts wax.
2. Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
I do a great deal of wood cutting on my property and in my job as a forest technician. I use the Husqvarna 455 Rancher 20-Inch 55-1/2cc 2-Stroke Gas-Powered Chain Saw for both purposes. It has X-Torq engine technology that helps to reduce the amount of fuel consumed by up to 20 percent and it also reduces emissions up to 60 percent.
The engine technology also allows for easy start-up. After extended use, a couple of minutes to cool down is all it takes and the saw fires right back up again.
This saw has a 20-inch blade, which is excellent and makes it fairly to easy to cut very large trees. I can down a large tree and get it cut for firewood in an incredibly short amount of time, thanks to this work horse of a saw.
I take good care of the saw, and maintenance is a big part, I think, of whether or not you’ll be satisfied that you get your money’s worth. Almost every time I use the saw, it’s heavy use. I flip the bar every few uses. I keep an eye on the air filter and replace it as needed.
I have a tool for sharpening the chain saw blades. You can tell when sharpening is needed by looking at the size of the chips. If a lot of sawdust is being created, that means you’re working with dull blades. With the upkeep on sharpening, the Husqvarna 455 does a fantastic job of cutting even the hardest woods and the largest trees.
- Simple to start. I would think that a larger saw would be tougher to crank than smaller models, but the opposite is true. I really like the easy-start aspect of the Husqvarna 455.
- It’s powerful. This saw cuts through even large trees very easily. Doesn’t matter whether I’m cutting hard maple wood or a less dense wood, it cuts like a hot knife through butter.
- It’s durable. I take good care of the saw. A lot of maintenance is required if you treat a saw right. I’ve gotten a great deal of use out of the saw. It’s paid for itself many times over and I don’t see any signs it’s slowing down.
- It has a 20-inch blade. This chain saw has a nice 20-inch blade. Coupled with the power, it’s not a complicated process to cut through even the largest trees I’ve felled or cut for firewood.
- Sensitive to the right oil/gas mixture. I’ve had a little more trouble with the saw in relation to gas and oil mixture than I’m accustomed to. Over time, I’ve overcome that problem by getting it right, using a practiced hand.
- It’s heavy. Of course, you can cut anything you need to cut with the Husqvarna 455 Rancher, but it is heavy at about 24 pounds. I do a lot of extended work, so it’s quite a workout.
Overall, I’m completely satisfied with the Husqvarna 455 Rancher 20-Inch 55-1/2cc 2-Stroke Gas-Powered Chain Saw. I work with it at home and on the job, and it simply does an excellent job. It’s a terrific value.
3. Poulan P3416 16-Inch 34cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Chain Saw
I use the Poulan P3416 16-Inch 34cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Chain Saw on my acreage. It’s the same tool I use as a wildland fire fighter. This 16-inch chain saw is dependable and holds plenty of fuel to keep going for a good long time.
The price is excellent for what you’re getting. This is a sturdy chain saw with excellent fuel capacity.
This Poulan has an anti-vibration handle. So it keeps the vibration pretty low. I’ve used it for very long stretches without being bothered by the vibration. I’ve had experiences with plenty of other chain saws and I know vibration can be a problematic issue but it’s not with this chain saw.
The Poulan is lightweight at 11.8 pounds. It does start to feel heavier after prolonged use, however.
The exhaust is directed toward the front of the saw, which means the noise is also heading away from you when you’re using it. It’s still noisy enough that I always use a good set of ear plugs.
As I’m working, the saw does a good job of directing the saw dust away from me. But dust does accumulate on the saw. I always do a thorough job of cleaning my saw after use, and that may be one reason it’s lasting me so long.
The saw is easy to start. It has a primer bulb. Yanking the cord is still required, but starting it isn’t the chore some chain saws can be.
This Poulan does a great job cutting, which is the most important thing. It’s ideal for light jobs but does very well cutting through small trees.
One nice feature is that it has an automatic oiling system, keeping the elements greased and moving well during use.
- Anti-vibration handle. The vibration is kept at a pretty low level and is not a problem at all, especially compared to a lot of chain saws I’ve used.
- Great price. You get a lot for your money with this chain saw. I’ve had mine for a long time, and it still does a great job.
- Easy to start. It has a primer bulb, and I find it simple to start.
- Excellent fuel capacity. This Poulan holds plenty of fuel to keep you working for long stretches.
- It’s noisy. If you don’t have ear plugs, the noise is a real drawback. Now, the exhaust is away from you, which means that it’s not as noisy as it could be. I always keep a supply of good ear plugs handy, near where I store the saw, in fact.
- Not for heavyweight cutting. This saw is intended for lightweight types of jobs; and if you come across the need for more heavy-duty cutting, you have to use a different saw.
All in all, you can’t go wrong if you get a Poulan P3416 16-Inch 34cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Chain Saw. It’s a good value on a sturdy saw. It’s lightweight and easy to handle and limited vibration. It’s also easy to start and has excellent fuel capacity.
4. Makita UC120DWD Commercial Grade 4-1/2-Inch 12-Volt Cordless Electric Chain Saw
I’m a forest tech with several wooded acres of my own. The Makita UC120DWD Commercial Grade 4-1/2-Inch 12-Volt Cordless Electric Chain Saw is ideal for trimming branches and cutting back brush, especially around fencing. It’s a welcome change to the usual workout on larger jobs with larger, heavier saws. The Makita is well made. It’s lightweight, at less than 5 pounds, and its portability makes working with it extremely convenient. The power source is a 12-volt Ni-MH rechargeable battery. It includes an electric brake and safe lock-off switch. And it comes with a one-year warranty.
I ordered my Makita online. Here’s what came in the box: The 4 ½ -inch electric chain saw, a 12-volt battery, a battery charger, blade, a supply of oil, a hex wrench, a guide bar and cover, file, and a plastic tool case.
You might not think a 12-volt cordless saw could get much done, but a full charge usually amounts to about an hour of solid work. It has plenty of power to cut through even hard wood, as long as its small in diameter. I keep a spare battery charged and ready to go.
This chain saw is nice and quiet. I don’t have to use ear plugs when I’m working with it. As much as I work with the larger, noisier power tools, it’s nice to hear sounds of nature while I’m working, for a change.
The convenience of this saw makes it worth the money. No having to deal with gasoline and oil or dragging long extension cords around. Just grab it and go.
- Convenient. The typical chains saw requires at least the need to drag a cord around and sometimes having to deal with gasoline and oil and always usually means wearing ear plugs. With this handy Makita, you just grab it, with a fully charged battery in place and a charged spare in your pocket, and you’re good to go.
- Lightweight. For the type of work you can accomplish with this saw, it’s perfect. And since it weighs less than 5 pounds, yes, it’s extremely lightweight and makes for work that’s almost leisurely.
- It’s quiet. This isn’t a huge noise maker like a usual chain saw, not by a long shot. It’s nice and quiet; no need for ear plugs when you’re using this handy tool.
- It comes with everything you need. As I noted above, it comes with: The 4 ½ -inch electric chain saw, a 12-volt battery, a battery charger, blade, a supply of oil, a hex wrench, a guide bar and cover, file, and a plastic tool case.
- It’s not self-oiling. All you need to do is apply oil about twice per charge. Of course, a self-oiling design would be even more convenient.
- It’s expensive. Because of the fact that you can only do lightweight work with the saw, I had to think twice before spending the money for this handy saw, but now I know it’s worth every penny.
If your needs match the functions the Makita UC120DWD Commercial Grade 4-1/2-Inch 12-Volt Cordless Electric Chain Saw is made for, you need to get this tool. Makita is a great brand, and this lightweight saw is worth the price you pay for it.
5. McCulloch MCC1635A 16-Inch 35cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Chain Saw
I spend a lot of busy hours with my McCulloch MCC1635A 16-Inch 35cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Chain Saw in my work as a forest technician and a firefighter on wildfires. This saw is a real work horse. It has an automatic oiler that you can simply fill up when you add fuel and forget about the oil. This is an important issue because the chain has to stay nicely lubed for a smooth-cut performance and the design of the saw makes it hassle-free.
You want to take care of this chain saw because it’ll last if you do. This one has a chrome-plated cylinder added for longevity. One thing I do to take proper care of my chain saw is to be sure I don’t use old gasoline. If it’s going to be sitting on a shelf for a while or if there’s even a remote chance that will happen, empty the gas tank and save yourself the hassle of dealing with a messed up engine.
This powerful chain saw can cut through any piece of wood without backing off. Its only limitation is the length of the blade, though the blade can be switched out, I believe.
This chain saw comes equipped with an anti-vibration system for work comfort. Because of the reduced vibration, I’m far less fatigued than I would be otherwise. The anti-vibe feature makes a real difference. It also has an ergonomic design that helps with my stamina, as well.
The saw comes to you fully assembled; so it’s ready to work when it gets to you.
Start-up is easy with the McCulloch MCC1635A 16-Inch chain saw. It has a primer bulb.
This chain saw is relatively quiet, especially when compared with larger chain saws. The design of this one definitely produces a reduced sound level.
- Primer bulb for fast, easy recoil starts. This saw is easy to start, using the primer bulb.
- Tough as nails. This is the medium duty chain saw that could. If the saw had a longer blade, it would be able to fell large trees with no challenge.
- It has an automatic oiler. The oiling of this chain saw is made very simple. Whenever I add more oil and fuel, I fill up the chain oil reservoir.
- It’s relatively quiet. I still always use ear plugs because a chain saw by nature of the work you’re doing makes a lot of noise, but this saw is noticeably quieter than similar-sized chain saws I’ve used.
- Plastic cover on the choke too flimsy. The plastic piece on the choke is flimsy enough, I’m concerned it’s going to break. So I take extra care when using it.
- It’s difficult to discern the fuel level when pouring. The fuel and oil tanks are part of the black handle, which makes it difficult to see how much needs to be poured in. Not only that, but you pour in the oil and fuel in openings that are right next to one another, which I don’t like.
The McCulloch MCC1635A 16-Inch 35cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Chain Saw is a great saw, especially for the price. It’s obviously built for comfort, power, and longevity. If you’re looking for a good 16-inch chain saw, look no further. Get this one and you’ll be glad you did.
How to Use a Chainsaw
When you’re planning on using any kind of power tool, it’s a good idea to have a plan of action. Chainsaws are tools that are especially dangerous if not handled with care. Every year there are serious injuries and even deaths caused by chainsaws. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid using one, it just means that you need that all important plan of action so that you can operate your chainsaw in the safest manner possible.
Here are some simple steps to use your chainsaw the right way.
- Inspect Your Saw Before Starting it. Take a look at your saw for a moment to make sure there is no obvious damage to the chain or the housing unit. A damaged saw can cause injuries, so taking a few seconds to scope your chainsaw out is a smart step to take.
- Put on your safety gear. Goggles, head protection, ear plugs and gloves are essential pieces of safety gear that you should have on every time you use your chainsaw.
- Make sure the saw if fueled up. Don’t wait until you start your job to check the gas levels. Get the saw filled up on gas before you head to the job site.
- Check your work area. Be sure that the area is clear of people and animals. Look out for tripping hazards and generally keep your eyes open when you begin working with your saw.
- Engage the chain brake, brace the chainsaw and start it up. Always be smooth and quick as you pull on the start cord. If the saw won’t start there may be a mechanical problem, don’t injure yourself by trying too hard. You shouldn’t have to work up a sweat to start your chainsaw.
- Once you start cutting, stay aware of our surroundings and focus on the task at hand.
- Keep a firm, two handed grip on your saw at all times.
- Start cutting, but stay safe.
Using a chainsaw makes big cutting jobs a breeze, but you have to keep your thoughts always focused on safe use of the saw. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye, so staying focused on safety is essential. Make sure that you never cut alone. You should always have a co-worker or friend nearby, in case you get injured. Stay safe, keep your saw well maintained and enjoy knocking out those big cutting projects.
Chainsaw Safety Tips
Chainsaws are very popular tools for taking care of tough, outdoor cutting jobs. Like any other power tool, you have to use your chainsaw the right way, and that means being safe. It’s very tempting to just take your chainsaw out of its case, fire it up and start cutting away, but this is no tool to be careless with. Taking the right precautions before, during and after use of your chainsaw can help to prevent some very serious injuries.
Know Your Chainsaw Well
Here’s a tip that a lot of people won’t like to hear, but it needs to be said. Take time to read the documentation that you got with your chainsaw. You should know about all of the safety features on your chainsaw and recommended precautions from the manufacturer.
No one knows the saw you bought better than the manufacturer. Since they designed and constructed the saw, they are the experts when it comes to safely operating it. Don’t cut a thing until you read the product documentation; it’s that simple.
Remember to Use Protective Gear
You have to keep your body and face protected when using a chainsaw. These kinds of saws are designed for serious cutting and they can throw off a lot of debris when you use them. It’s recommended to wear a hardhat, goggles and ear protection to keep your head, face and hearing protected.
You should also wear long sleeves, avoid wearing shorts and have on protective work boots This may sound like too much to wear when your out in the warm weather, but this level of personal protection will keep you safe from accidents while using your chainsaw.
Operating Your Chainsaw
Be sure that you are standing on solid, stable ground when operating a chainsaw. Losing your balance can result in the blade of your chainsaw ending up where you don’t want it to be. Be sure to clear the general work area where you will be operating your chainsaw.
Anyone that doesn’t need to be around while you’re cutting, needs to leave. Be especially vigilant about family pets and children when cutting wood around the house. A child or pet can sneak up on you and cause a serious accident.
Above all, pay close attention to the chainsaw, the environment you are cutting in and use common sense. A chainsaw is a very dangerous tool when not handled properly. Be sure to show the proper respect due when working with your own chainsaw to avoid needless accidents from occurring.