If you live in an urban area, you can get away with not owning a powerful tool like a chainsaw. You’ll see one now and then when a fierce wind knocks down a power line or a tree, but that’s that. Living in the countryside or the suburbs, however, is another matter altogether. Your house is surrounded by trees, so there are always branches that need to be trimmed, and there are some trees on your property that need to be felled and delimbed. The trusty chainsaw can also be used to buck some logs.

If you’re in the market for a compact chainsaw that you can use at home to fell smaller trees or cut logs, then check out our review below. We’ve listed down some of the best chainsaws you can find online, whether they’re corded, battery-powered, or gas-powered. We’ve got some helpful tips on using these chainsaws, as well as a handy buying guide to help you choose the right one for your application. Let’s get started.

1.
Husqvarna 20 Inch 450 Rancher II Gas Chainsaw
  • X-TORQ - Delivers lower fuel consumption and reduced exhaust emission levels in accordance with the world´s most stringent environmental regulations
  • AIR INJECTION - Centrifugal air cleaning system removes larger dust and debris particles before reaching the air filter. This results in reduced air filter cleanings and improved engine life
  • SMART START - The engine and starter have been designed so the machine starts quickly with minimum effort
  • EAST TO START - Combined start/stop switch, Smart Start and fuel pump make the saw very easy to start. Sound power level, guaranteed (LWA)- 115 dB(A). Sound power level, measured- 113 dB(A). Sound pressure level at operators ear- 104 dB(A)
  • SNAP-LOCK CYLINDER COVER - Saves time when changing spark plugs and cleaning; Maximum power speed: 9000 rpm
2.
Chain Saw, Gas, 12 in. Bar, 26.9CC
  • Price For: Each Fuel Type: Gas Anti Vibration Handle: Yes Item: Chain Saw Chain Oiler: Auto/Aadjustable Includes: Chain Saw, Bar, Chain, Wrench, 2 Stroke Oil, Operators Manual Bar Length: 12" Fuel Type: Gas Fuel Tank Capacity: 8.1 oz. Engine Displacement: 26.9cc Anti Vibration Handle: Yes Replacement Chain: MFR. NO. 91VG45CQ Item: Chain Saw
  • Country of Origin (subject to change): Japan
3.
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BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch, Tool Only (LCS1240B)
  • 40-volt, 12-in cordless electric chainsaw is ideal for cutting small trees and removing limbs up to 12-in thick
  • 40-volt MAX Li-ion battery holds a charge up to 18 months, so it's always ready to start work (battery and charger sold separately)
  • Low-kickback bar and chain protects you from kickback force and frequency and provides smooth and fast cuts
  • Lightweight 8.3-lb design offers easy maneuverability and less fatigue, and the full wrap-around handle provides additional comfort during extended periods of use
  • Tool-less chain tensioning provides fast and easy adjustments, so you don't have to worry about work interruptions
4.
Makita XCU03Z 36V (18V X2) LXT Brushless 14" Chain Saw, Tool Only
  • No gas, emissions, oil mixing or pull starts
  • Makita-built Outer Rotor BL Brushless Motor direct-drive system provides high power efficiency equivalent to a 32cc gas chain saw
  • Tool-less chain adjustment for convenient operation and maintenance
  • Variable speed trigger (0-3,940 FPM) for easy operation
  • Two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries deliver 36V power and performance without leaving the 18V LXT platform (batteries not included)
5.
Oregon 603348 CS1400 Corded Chainsaw, Black/Grey
  • Get to work right away with the instant start capability
  • Low noise, silent between cuts
  • The chain stays oiled using the built-in Lubri-Tec oiling system which reduces chain friction and increases the saw’s run time
  • Tighten chain directly on the saw without additional tools
  • Easy to assemble. Just put the tensioner on the guide bar and the bar and chain on the saw.
6.
7.
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CRAFTSMAN Chainsaw, 8-Amp, 14-Inch (CMECS614)
  • POWERFUL MOTOR: 8 Amp motor of electric chainsaw helps with tough cuts
  • COMPACT DESIGN: 14-inch compact design of the corded electric saw is made for cutting in small spaces
  • AUTO-OILING: Built-in oil window and no priming required
  • BOLT LOCK CHAIN TENSIONING: Securely clamps the bar and chain for ideal cutting performance
  • VERSATRACK COMPATIBLE: Use the integrated hook to hang this tool directly on the VERSATRACK Wall Organization System (sold separately)

Chainsaw Buying Guide

Chainsaw Size

Chainsaw guide bars are available in varying lengths, ranging from anywhere between 4″ and as much as 60″. But we’re going to set aside those mini chainsaws and those giant chainsaws that professional lumberjacks use to focus on chainsaws that are designed for residential or light commercial applications. 

The most compact residential chainsaws have guide bars that range anywhere between 10″ to 14″. These are perfect for small to midsize residential or commercial projects, such as pruning, trimming, limbing, or chopping firewood. But if you’re planning to fell and buck a relatively large tree, then larger chainsaws with guide bars measuring 20″ and beyond are perfect for these tasks. 

Moreover, be mindful of the saw’s weight when choosing one. A powerful yet heavy and bulky chainsaw can seriously hamper your movement or become dangerous, especially if you are climbing a ladder or a roof.

Power Source

Chainsaws used to be powered solely by gas. But in recent years, power tools manufacturers have transitioned to corded and battery-powered chainsaws. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each fuel type to see which one is perfect for you.

Gas-powered chainsaw engines are prized for their sheer power and ability to deliver smooth and fast cuts. They are ideal for most residential and commercial chores, such as trimming thick branches or felling trees. 

But, of course, there are downsides. Gas-powered chainsaws are heavier and pricier than other chainsaws. They are also noisier and they need to be maintained regularly to keep them in good shape. Keep in mind that gas-powered chainsaws should never be operated indoors as they can release fumes containing toxic carbon monoxide.

If you want a saw that is nearly as powerful as a gas-powered one, then check out corded chainsaws. To use a corded chainsaw, simply plug it into a wall outlet and squeeze the trigger. In general, corded chainsaws are lighter and safer to use than gas-powered ones.

When it comes to sheer power, however, a corded chainsaw is no match to a gas-powered one. They’re great for light trimming or pruning or even felling some smaller trees, but you’ll need a more powerful tool if you’re planning to fell a large tree. 

The cord itself can seriously limit the tool’s portability. You’ll need to stay close to the closest wall outlet or plug it into a suitable heavy-duty power cord so you can continue working even when you’re working a little farther than your backyard. But remember not to plug multiple power cords together as this can be a fire hazard.

Last but not least are battery-powered chainsaws. Most are powered by a single battery, but some can be powered by two batteries, such as this Makita XCU03Z 18V X2 Cordless 14″ Chain Saw. When it comes to performance, they are nearly as powerful and reliable as gas-powered ones. Some of the most powerful battery-powered chainsaws can fell a small tree or cut a thick branch with ease. The batteries can last anywhere from 30 to 40 minutes.

Looking for other power tool reviews? Then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re looking for the best benchtop router table or the right drill press or the perfect construction tool backpack, we can make shopping for the right tool easier for you thanks to the tons of product reviews we’ve prepared in this blog. Check them out here.

Conclusion:

Our choice for the best chainsaw is the Husqvarna 20 Inch 450 Rancher II Gas Chainsaw. Let’s take a look at the features that this chainsaw has so you’ll know whether this particular power tool is perfect for you.

First up is its engine. Similar to the chainsaws used in the professional logging industry, or by park rangers and maintenance workers, this chainsaw is powered by gas. It is more compact than those used by lumberjacks, but the engine’s sheer power and reliability are simply impressive. It cuts thick logs pretty quickly without bogging down the engine. Plus, fuel consumption and emission levels are reduced drastically thanks to Husqvarna’s X-TORQ technology.

Just like conventional chainsaws, it features a pull handle to start. But what sets it apart is its Smart Start feature that helps you start the tool faster. The handles are ergonomically designed, while the wide chain brake ensures that you’ll be protected in case kickback occurs. 

Adjusting the guide bar and chain is a breeze thanks to the chainsaw’s unique “scrench”. This clever little tool is a combination of a screwdriver and wrench that fits right in your pocket. 

The Husqvarna 20 Inch 450 Rancher II Gas Chainsaw is one of the priciest chainsaws in the market. But if you’re willing to pay a premium for reliable performance and durability, then this might be the best chainsaw for you.

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