Top 7 Best Chainsaws of 2020 – Reviews & Buying Guide
The best chainsaws are some of the most common and handiest of power tools. And if you have lots of trees around you compound or tend to cut a lot of firewood it is a must have.
The chainsaw is quite a versatile power tool, and both professional and homeowners will rely on it for various tasks from simple trimming and pruning to cutting large trees.
But, the popularity of this fantastic power tool also means that many companies now make them and they are also available in various types.
While the variety of options is a good thing, it can also make things a little confusing as you cannot always be sure what to buy.
In this piece, we try to make it easy to pick the best chainsaw for your needs by reviewing some of the top rated ones from leading brands like Husqvarna, Stihl, GreenWorks, and Dewalt. And we also provide a detailed guide to other important things you need to know about chainsaws.
1. Husqvarna 460 Rancher Chainsaw
3.62 HP, 60 cc
2. DeWalt DCCS620B Compact Cordless Chainsaw
3. Worx WG303.1 Electric Chainsaw
4. Black & Decker LCS1020 Chainsaw
5. GreenWorks 20222 Corded Chainsaw
6. Husqvarna 455 Rancher 2-Stroke Gas-Powered Chainsaw
7. Poulan Pro 967061501 2 Stroke Gas Powered Chainsaw
You can also read other product reviews such as battery chainsaw, top handle chainsaw, electric chainsaw, small chainsaw, cheap chainsaw, Greenwork cordless chainsaw, Husqvarna chainsaw, chainsaw sharpener, chainsaw chap, pruning saw, pole saw, Worx jawsaw.
7 Best Chainsaws - Reviews
With the many chainsaw types and brands out there, it is not always easy to choose one for home or professional use. However, we help to make things easier for you by comparing 7 of the best chainsaws out there using factors like power source, motor power, and bar length.
#1. Husqvarna 460 24-Inch Rancher Chainsaw
Editor's Rating: (4.4 / 5)
Husqvarna 460 is one of the most powerful chainsaws not only among our chainsaws reviews but also in the market. This fantastic saw runs on a 3.62 HP 60 cc two-cycle engine that provides enough power to handle the toughest jobs.
Whether you are cutting large trees in your backyard or doing some storm clean-up, this chainsaw has more than enough power to handle the task. And it will be ideal for both homeowners and professionals.
This chainsaw has a 24-inch bar which is the longest on our list and it combines with the powerful motor to make the Husqvarna 460 ideal for heavy-duty use.
Husqvarna also uses some modern technologies on this sawlike Smart Start that makes starting the saw quick and almost effortless, and LowVib that minimizes vibrations to ensure minimal hand fatigue when using the chainsaw for extended periods.
The ergonomically designed body is also a great feature as it makes this saw easy to handle. And the robust and sturdy overall construction makes it tough and highly durable.
However, this chainsaw is also relatively heavy (at a total weight of 21 lbs) and also the priciest item on our list.
#2. DeWalt DCCS620B 20V Max Compact Cordless Chainsaw
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
If you hate dealing with cords when using your chainsaw or annoying gas fumes, the DeWalt DCCS620B is the best 12-inch chainsaw for you.
This cordless chainsaw uses a highly efficient brushless motor that helps to maximize both the motor life and running time. And it can deliver a chain speed of up to 25.2 feet per second.
The DeWalt chainsaw offers a low kickback bar and chain which makes it ideal for outdoor cutting applications and also for use in construction sites. Also, it has a tool-free chain tensioning that combines with the bar tightening knob to ensure proper bar clamping force.
At a maximum weight of just 8.8 pounds, this chainsaw is lightweight and compact enough for easy handling even for beginners. And it is also a quick start/stop chainsaw as all you need to do is to pull a trigger to do either.
But, it is also worth noting that this chainsaw will not come with the battery and you have to buy it separately.
#3. Worx WG303.1 16-Inch 14.5-Amp Electric Chainsaw
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
Corded electric chainsaws like the Worx WG303 ensure that you never have to worry about running out of gas or charge. And it is still quite an efficient and reliable chainsaw for use around the home.
It is the most affordable chainsaw on our list and so it will be a great choice if you are shopping for something reliable on a tight budget.
With its 3.5 HP 14.5 Amps motor, this chainsaw can provide a cutting performance that is almost similar to gas powered chainsaws of the same size. This powerful motor makes it one of the best 16-inch chainsaws for anyone looking for a corded electric model.
And besides from the relatively powerful motor and affordable price tag, this chainsaw also includes some impressive features like auto-tension chain system that prevents over-tightening and will stay in place for dozens of uses.
The low kickback design is also great for safety and it combines with the built-in chain brake to make this one of the safest chainsaws to operate.
Also, this chainsaw has an automatic oil lubrication system and there is a built-in oil reservoir and window level indicator.
For more on Worx WG303.1, see our full product review, here.
#4. Black & Decker LCS1020 10-Inch 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Chainsaw
Editor's Rating: (4.3 / 5)
Black &Decker makes some of the best cordless chainsaws in the market, and their model LCS1020 is one of their best models.
This chainsaw has a lightweight design and it is the lightest on our list which makes it easy and comfortable to handle for homeowners. At a total weight of just 7.2 pounds, it is one of the best lightweight chainsaws in the market.
The Black & Decker LCS1020 uses a 20V lithium-ion battery that will provide a longer run time and it also has a longer life than most other types.
It uses a 10-inch premium bar with a low kickback design to make the chainsaw more comfortable and safe to use. Also, this bar provides some smooth cuts and also makes the saw relatively fast.
With this cordless electric chainsaw, you also get tool-free blade tension that provides for quick adjustments and also for ease of use. And the chainsaw also uses a wrap aroundbale handle that provides better control and comfort.
#5. GreenWorks 20222 Greenworks 14-Inch 9-Amp Corded Chainsaw
Editor's Rating: (4 / 5)
The corded GreenWorks 20222 is one of the best 14-inch chainsaws for homeowners and professionals that prefer the convenience of electric chainsaws.
It is the second most affordable model in our chainsaw reviews and one of its main highlights is the super fasts start. This saw will start in seconds and there is also nothing much to do besides from pulling the trigger.
The chainsaw runs on 9 Amps electric motor that provides reliable power and ease of use. And it also has tool-less chain tensioning that allows for quick adjustments so that you can continue cutting with minimal downtime.
The automatic oiler lubrication is also a great addition to the chainsaw as it provides adequate lubrication for the best and hassle-free cutting performance.
For even more convenience, this GreenWorks chainsaw uses a comfortable wrap around handle that also provides better control of the tool.
#6. Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas-Powered Chainsaw
Editor's Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Here is another powerful Husqvarna gas powered chainsaw and it is one of the best 20-inch chainsaws. It also uses their unique X-TORQ engine technology and low vibration design for efficient and reliable performance.
With this gas-powered chainsaw model, you will also get a centrifugal air cleaning system that captures the larger dust and debris particles before they get to the filter. And this means that filters require less frequent cleaning or replacement.
The massive power and impressive cutting ability of this chainsaw come from the fact that it runs on a 55-1/2 cc 2-stroke gas motor and a 20-inch bar length.
This fantastic gas powered chainsaw also provides for an easy start while also minimizing the risk of engine flooding. But, like most gas-powered chainsaws it is also relatively expensive.
For more on Husqvarna 455, see our full product review, here.
#7. Poulan Pro 967061501 50 cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Chainsaw
Editor's Rating: (3.9 / 5)
Poulan Pro 967061501 is a relatively inexpensive gas powered chainsaw if you compare it to what you get from other brands like Husqvarna but it is still quite powerful and high performing.
It is the best chainsaw for the money as you will hardly find a better gas powered chainsaw without spending more than what you pay for it.
The gas-powered chainsaw runs on a 50 cc 2-stroke engine that makes use of OxyPower engine technology to provide that extra power to handle any cutting application, less emission, and low fuel consumption.
Starting the chainsaw is also easy thanks to the effortless pull starting system that reduces the pull force byup to 30%.
The handle is ergonomically designed and with an advanced anti-vibration system and easily accessible controls. There is also convenient on-board multi-tool storage on the handle that is always easily accessible.
And the chain tensioning is side mounted for convenient and fast chain adjustments.
Best Chainsaw Brands
Like with most power tools, there are some companies that stand out when it comes to the manufacture of chainsaws.
Most of these brands have been making chainsaws for a long time and understand what users are looking for when shopping for a chainsaw. And although there are many brands out there that make high-quality chainsaw the eight below seem to have an edge over the rest.
If you are a professional that has been using chainsaws for a while, the chances are that you have a Husqvarna chainsaw or have used one at some point in the past.
This Swedish brand is famous for making professional-grade chainsaws. But, they also have some good lighter models for home users.
Husqvarna makes some reliable and powerful gas-powered chainsaws that come in a variety of bar lengths (starting from 14 inches to upwards of 20 inches). And they are the best for gas-powered chainsaws.
The brand also makes use of some modern technologies to improve user experience such as X-TORQ engines that aim to minimize the chainsaw’s strain on the environment.Other popular Husqvarna technologies include LowVib anti-vibration system and Smart Start.
There are also some downsides with the Husqvarna brand with key among them being the price as their gas-powered chainsaws tend to be pricier than what you get from many other brands.
Also, their chainsaws tend to be heavier and so they can be hard to handle for the inexperienced users.
Husqvarna has various gas powered chainsaw models but their 450, 455 and 460 models seem to be the most popular and they are also available in various bar lengths and variations.
For professionals and homeowners that prefer to use corded and cordless chainsaws, there are some brands like GreenWorks that you can trust to have a top-notch quality saw for you.
GreenWorks is famous for their high-performing corded electric and battery powered chainsaws that they offer in bar lengths of between 14 and 18 inches.
They offer a wide range of corded and cordless chainsaws and their products are famous for being relatively more affordable when compare to other brands.
Some of the most impressive features that you get on their chainsaws include tool-less chain tensioning and Auto-Oiler that ensures adequate lubrication at all times.
They have quite a variety of chainsaws to choose from but for corded chainsaws, their model 20222 with a 14-inch bar is one of the popular ones.The G-20V, G-Max 40V, and G-24V, on the other hand, are some of the popular ones for those that prefer to use battery-powered chainsaws.
#3. Black & Decker
Black & Decker offers some highly efficient plug-in and battery powered chainsaw as a reliable alternative to gas-powered ones.
Their chainsaw models are also relatively affordable when compared to other brands that specialize in making cordless and electric chainsaws.
Black & Decker is famous for making various other woodworking and home improvement power tools, and so you can be confident that they know what users want in a chainsaw.
And most of their chainsaw models also have a user-friendly design that makes them great for do it yourself or casual tasks.
Among their most popular chainsaw models is the Black & Decker CCS818 18V cordless electric chainsaw that is great for lightweight applications. Their LCS1240 40V model is also a great option for those that prefer something with a more powerful and long-lasting battery.
However, since most of their chainsaws are light-powered (mostly between 20 and 40V) they will not have the necessary power to tackle commercial cutting applications.
Worx makes some of the cheapest chainsaws and they even have some electric models that will retail for under $50. Hence, when shopping for a chainsaw on a super tight budget, Worx is one of your best brand options.
Worx is a Chinese chainsaw brand that is quite popular with both homeowners and occasional chainsaw users. And their products are quite high-quality given their affordable price and the fact that they are from China.
Another factor that makes them very popular is that most are compact and lightweight which makes them easy to handle even for beginners and first-time users.
Although most Worx chainsaws use simple and basic technologies they still have some impressive features such as auto-tension and auto-oiling of the chain that help to improve their performance.
Some of their top models are Worx WG304 that runs on a 14.5-Amp motor and the WG304 that runs on a more powerful 15-Amp motor. And they also have the WG305 with a 14-inch bar and it is one of the most affordable electric chainsaws you can get anywhere.
#5. Poulan Pro
Poulan Pro makes some decent quality chainsaws that are within the mid-price range. And it is actually a class of products whose mother brand is the former American company Poulan (now owned by Husqvarna).
You can get both gas powered and electric chainsaw from this brand and while Poulan Pro chainsaws offer better quality than the Poulan branded ones they are still not powerful enough for heavy-duty tasks.
There are many great things about the Poulan Pro chainsaw brand but some of the most outstanding technologies are the Anti-Vibration, Easy Start and Tool-Less chain tensioning.
Poulan Pro gas powered chainsawswill offer a displacement of up to 50 cc and a bar length of up to 20 inches. And sothey are also quite easy to maneuver in tight places.
Some of their most popular chainsaw models include the 50 cc gas powered Poulan Pro PP5020AV with a 20-inch bar length and the electric Poulan Pro 967044101 40 V chainsaw with a 14-inch bar length.
DeWalt is one of the most famous power tool manufacturers and besides from chainsaws they make almost all other types of power saws.
When it comes to chainsaws, DeWalt seems to specialize in the production of corded electric and the cordless electric chainsaw. But they are more famous for their battery-powered chainsaws.
Most DeWalt chainsaws are compact and lightweight for easy handling and they use a brushless motor
And although they do not offer as much variety as other companies like Poulan or Stihl, they still have some top notch chainsaw models such as the DeWalt DCCS620P1 20V cordless chainsaw.
DeWalt chainsaws are within the medium price range but they are still pricier than most others with similar capabilities from other brands
When you think about Stihl as a chainsaw brand, the two things that are likely to come to mind are power and reliability as this is what many professionals know them for.
Stihl is a German company that has been in operation for close to a century now, and besides from chainsaws they are also famous for making high-quality blowers and trimmers.
Like Husqvarna, Stihl specializes in making gas-powered chainsaws and most of their models are ideal for both professional and homeowners. But they can also be a little tough to handle for inexperienced users.
One of the things that set Stihl chainsaws apart from others is that theyoften have some advanced safety features and they also have more optional features than many other brands.
Stihl has developed an electronic ignition system for most of their gas-powered chainsaws and so you will never have to waste time and struggle to start them which is a very convenient feature for beginners.
Also, their chainsaws tend to be compact enough for easy storage and most are more expensive than what you get from other brands.
But, their chainsaws are also quite economical when it comes to fuel consumption.
Echo is another brand that prides in making some high-quality chainsaws for both professional and beginner woodworkers. And although they have only been in business for just over three decades, they are one of the most reputable chainsaw manufacturers.
The Echo brand produces both gas powered and electric chainsaws. Their saws are designed to handle the toughest job and they are also relatively affordable if you compare them to other top brands.
Their affordable price tag without compromising the quality makes them a great choice for both professionals and homeowners shopping for a high-quality chainsaw on a tight budget.
Echo uses two-stroke motors on most of their chainsaws and the Pro-Fire ignition system that makes starting the saws easy and also provides a smooth performance.
There is also a great vibration reducing technology that helps to make Echo chainsaws comfortable to operate and to offer you maximum control over the saw.
The few notable shortcomings of the Echo brand is that it does not make chainsaws with as many features as other top brands like Husqvarna or Stihl and their saws do not have the most appealing look.
Black & Decker
Types of Chainsaw by Power Source
As you go out to buy your first chainsaw or replace your old model, the power source should always be the first factor to consider. And here you will need to pick between gas powered, corded electric and the cordless of battery powered chainsaws.
#1. Gas Powered Chainsaw
The gas-powered chainsaw is the most popular of the three common types of chainsaws and it is what you are likely to see with professional lumberjacks and woodworkers.
Gas powered chainsaws are powered by gasoline. They use a mixture ofgasoline (petrol in most instances) and oil where the gas is what powers the saw while the oil lubricates the internal parts to minimize wear.
Most of these saws use two-stroke engines which gives them an incredible power to weight ratio. Hence they are very powerful and will cut even the hardest wood and do it faster than any other chainsaw type.
The chain spins faster and more smoothly on gas-powered chainsaws which means they will require less pressure to cut. However, they are also more expensive, will produce more noise and vibrations and are also heavier than the other types.
#2. Corded Electric Chainsaw
The corded electric refers to a smaller version of chainsaw and as their name suggests, they have a cord that requires plugging in as they rely on electricity as their source of power.
These chainsaws will not require any fuel to run as they do not have an engine. And the absence of an engine also makes them more lightweight, less noisy and they will also not produce exhaust fumes.
Another advantage of using these chainsaws is that you do not have to keep refueling them or worrying about running out of gas. Hence, they provide more consistent and reliable source of power.
Starting corded electric chainsaws is also relatively easier than the gas powered ones as all you need to do is to plug it in and squeeze the trigger. And they are also considerably cheaper than the gas-powered chainsaws.
#3. Cordless Electric Chainsaw
Cordless or the battery-powered chainsaws are the types that use a rechargeable battery as the source of power instead of gas or direct electricity.
With these chainsaws, you will not need to do regular refueling or servicing as you would with the gas-powered types and you also do not need extensions cord or power outlets for plugging them in.
But, to keep these cordless chainsaws running you will need to charge the battery frequently. Even the best cordless electric chainsaws will have batteries that can only last for a few hours.
The cordless electric chainsaws are in most cases lightweight and compact which makes them great for use in tight spaces. And they are the best option for light duty tasks such as trimming, pruning and cutting small trees.
These chainsaws also have some shortcoming with the key one being that batteries do not last for long. And if you only have one battery you have to stop the task as you wait for it to recharge which translates to longer downtimes.
How to Buy the Best Chainsaws
Whether you are a professional woodworker or a beginner, the myriad of chainsaw options from various brands out there can make things a little confusing. However, if you keep the five points below in mind when shopping, you should be able to get the best chainsaw for your projects.
1. Power Source
The power source should always be one of the first factors to consider as you choose a chainsaw as it affects everything from performance to the convenience of use.
And what you pick from the three main types discussed above will depend on your budget, projects and also your preferences.
2. Chainsaw Brand
Brand matters a lot when buying any power tool and chainsaws are not an exception. And this is because there are some companies that have been in business long enough and understand what makes a good chainsaw and what many users prefer.
The brand will in most instances determine both the quality and durability of the chainsaw and so it should always be a key consideration as you choose your chainsaw.
The right idea is always to go for big brands with good reputation and customer service like Husqvarna, Stihl and Poulan Pro.
Also, note that different brands have a reputation for making specific types of chainsaws. For example, Husqvarna is famous for their high performing gas powered saws while DeWalt makes some of the best cordless electric chainsaws.
3. Chainsaw Bar
If you want to determine the size of a chainsaw and the work that it can handle before buying, you should always look at the bar length.
And it is also very simple because the longer the bar length the larger the diameter the saw can cut with a single pass.
Chainsaw bar lengths can be as small as 6 inches for the smaller electric chainsaws to upwards of 20 inches for the larger professional grade chainsaws.
Chainsaw price varies from one brand to the other and also from one type to the other. Overall you can expect to pay anywhere between $50 and $500 to get a chainsaw.
How much you are willing to spend or your budget and the projects that you intend to use the chainsaw for will in most cases determine how much you spend on the saw.
Also how often you use the chainsaw also matters as you do not want to spend a fortune on something that you will be using occasionally.
5. Technical Aspects
There are some technical and other aspects of a chainsaw that you also need to consider when shopping to make sure that you pick the right one.
These features or aspects can help to improve the efficiency of the chainsaw and also make it more comfortable and safe.
And they include things like a lightweight overall construction to make it easy to handle for extended periods, spring assisted start, automatic oiler, anti-vibration features, and tool-less chain adjustment
Some top-rated chainsaws will also have air-cleaning feature and chain brake which is vital for safety and to prevent damaging the chainsaw
A chainsaw is a powerful and versatile power tool that will be great for everything fromtrimming and pruning to removing tree limbs and cutting large trees.
However, all chains are not the same, andthey will differ in various aspects from the power source and other technical aspects to the size, price, and brand.
Choosing the right one requires you to understand what each of the three common types has to offer and some of the best chainsaw brands in the market. And this piece provides all this information.
With our reviews above of some of the best chainsaws and detailed guide, you should not have any difficulties picking the perfect chainsaw for your professional or home use.
Last Updated on February 13, 2020 by Tom Bradly