The Best Chainsaws of 2017 – Buying Guide & Reviews

a chainsaw in actionIf you are the serious woodworker type or a handyman, you need a chainsaw in your life. This beast is essential when chopping trees and hardwoods. No tool can replace a chainsaw, especially when it comes to performance and power.

Forget about the axe. Trust us. It can never make the cut. Yes, it has the edge and sharpness that you need. However, do you think that it can do efficient and precise cuts? Moreover, can it give you the speed that you need when doing urgent tasks? Cutting a tree with an axe can take countless hours of hard work, whereas, with a good chainsaw, you can chop trees in minutes without much effort.

Chainsaws have been on the market for 90 solid years, and are here to stay. Manufacturers have consistently been improving this tool. And quite frankly, it is hard to find a bad chainsaw. However, there are some big differences from brand to brand. This can be seen in our chainsaw reviews. You will find there is a big difference between the models made for professional use and the ones made for the handyman that needs to chop a tree every now and then.

Our Top 5 Chainsaw Picks

MODELOVERALL DIMENSIONOVERALL WEIGHTUSER RATINGPRICE
WORX WG303.1
WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chainsaw
14.6 x 19.7 x 8.1 inches15.2 pounds4.4/5$
Check Latest Price on Amazon
Husqvarna 450
Husqvarna 450 Chainsaw
18 x 9 x 11 inches11.33 pounds4.3/5$$$$$
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BLACK+DECKER LCS1020
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V MAX Lithium-Ion 10 in. Chainsaw
16.7 x 8.8 x 9.6 inches7.2 pounds4.3/5$$
Check Latest Price on Amazon
Husqvarna 240
Husqvarna 240 2 HP Chainsaw
11 x 32 x 9.5 inches10.3 pounds3.9/5$$$
Check Latest Price on Amazon
Poulan Pro PP5020AV
Poulan Pro PP5020AV Chainsaw
15.8 x 20 x 22.3 inches20.65 pounds3.8/5
$$$$
Check Latest Price on Amazon

This article will help you to choose the best chainsaw for your needs. Our list of reviews consists of high-quality models that excel in different tasks. Read on to know more about them!

#1 Husqvarna 450 – Our Top Pick

Husqvarna 450

Husqvarna is a famous manufacturer of chainsaws and other heavy duty tools. Husqvarna is a solid brand, and it’s no coincidence that this brand is the creator of one of the best chainsaws on the market today, the Husqvarna 450!

The Husqvarna 450 is a perfect fit for industrial use, homeowners, and handymen. It delivers a superb performance within all fields and it’s not even expensive. There was no doubt that this was going to be our top pick when we compiled this buying guide.

This 18-inch chainsaw is gas-powered. Moreover, it has also a compact design that makes it lightweight and portable, which is ideal for day-to-day usage. Aside from that, this chainsaw will never stress your body, even if you are using it a lot. This is a huge plus.

Furthermore, you will love the cutting power that this beast can deliver! It uses a 3.2 horsepower engine that can tackle medium-duty tasks such as domestic cutting and pruning. The Husqvarna 450’s engine is also equipped with the patented X-Torq technology. This system efficiently lowers the emission level of this machine by 60%. Aside from that, the same innovation reduces the fuel consumption of this chainsaw by 30%! Therefore, you can use this tool without bearing the guilt of harming the environment!

Its durable construction is so solid it that can endure the constant exposal to the rough environment around you! The chainsaw also utilizes a three-piece crankshaft which underwent compression and forging so that this tool can attain the pinnacle of durability!

Moreover, the Husqvarna 450 possesses a centrifugal air cleaning system that aids in preventing the debris from reaching the filter, which is a really useful feature.

Also, the use of this tool is not arduous either. Thanks to the integration of stop/choke control, you can start the engine easily without wasting energy and time! Aside from that, this feature prevents the hazards of flooding. The Smart Start technology of Husqvarna 450 also reduces the resistance of the starter cord by 40%!

The Husqvarna 450 will also equip you with versatility when dealing with a variety of tasks! For example, you can change its spark plugs immediately through its snap-lock cylinder cover. You will not also experience hassle in assembling and tensioning the bar, as it has a tool-less feature!

With all these awesome features, this saw comes out as our top pick, and thereby one of the best chainsaws on the market.

Specifications:

Power rating3.2 HP
Displacement of cylinder50.2 cc
Maximum power speed9,600 RPM
Capacity of the fuel tank15.2 fluid ounces (0.95 pints)
Type of oil pumpFixed flow
Max power of chain speed56.89 fps
Overall weight11.33 pounds
Overall dimension18 inches x 9 inches x 11 inches
Warranty2 years (limited)

#2 WORX WG303.1 – Best For The Money

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch ChainsawAs one of the best sellers on Amazon, doubting the quality of the WORX WG303.1 is the last thing that you should do. Despite that, you can guarantee that this product is a budget buy! Specifically, it is not too expensive as those other brands. However, you can still expect that this chainsaw can outlast its competitors!

First, the WORX WG303.1 possesses all the cutting power that you need. As a gas-powered chainsaw, it uses a 3.5 HP and 14.5 amp engine that is efficient enough to spin its blade at a scary speed!

Moreover, this machine utilizes a patented tool-free auto-tensioning and tool-free chain replacement system. These features efficiently remove all those hassles and nuisances you can encounter when using standard chainsaws. Therefore, there is no need for you to become an expert lumberjack to operate this beast!

Specifically, the auto-tensioning system of this machine comes with an oversized knob. This single button allows you to secure the chain and bar of this chainsaw during hard projects. Moreover, the same components also help in regulating the proper tension of this tool for a smooth operation.

The WORX WG303.1 has an intelligent system that extends the lifespan of its chain and bar. This is done through the effective prevention of over-tightening!

You can also expect the excellent stability of the WORX WG303.1. At its base is an all-metal 16-inch bar that keeps the balance and rigidity of this machine. Also, you can easily lubricate its sprocket on the bar nose. This ergonomic helps in the proper maintenance of this chainsaw.

As an electric chainsaw, the WORX WG303.1 can efficiently tackle the hardest cutting jobs. You are not also required to add oil and gas on the chainsaw before you can operate it. This is because of the easy start mechanism of this machine! Moreover, you will definitely love that this tool has an automatic oiler. This component gives an uninterrupted and continuous lubrication to the chain of the bar!

The WORX WG303.1 also features an oil level indicator and a 6.75-ounce reservoir.

Your safety is also guaranteed when using this tool as it comes with a safety chain brake that activates once it detects improper contact. With all these features, the WORX WG303.1 is indeed one of the best chainsaws for the money when it comes to home use and DIY applications!

Specifications:

Power rating3.5 HP
Voltage Rating120 volts
Size16 inches bar length
Source of powerCorded (Electric)
Overall weight15.2 pounds
Overall dimension14.6 inches x 19.7 inches x 8.1 inches
Warranty3 years (limited)

#3 Husqvarna 240

Husqvarna 240 2 HP ChainsawThe Husqvarna 240 may not be as powerful as its cousin, Husqvarna 450. However, opting for this chainsaw will never be a regrettable choice!

Specifically, the Husqvarna 240 is ideal for light errands. You can use it to prune woods or as a tool for your hobby. Despite this, the tool has almost the same features as other higher versions of Husqvarna chainsaws.

You should never underestimate the power of this tool. It uses a 2 HP engine that can generate a max speed of 9,000 RPM. When it is idle, this chainsaw can still generate 3,000 RPM of engine speed. That is still a very potent force! Moreover, it also has the X-Torq technology. As we mentioned a while ago, this system efficiently reduces the fuel consumption of this tool by 40 percent. It is also responsible for the reduction of emissions by 60 percent!

Moreover, it also possesses the centrifugal air cleaning system. This mechanism eradicates pieces of debris and dust before they can even enter the air filter! Therefore, you can expand the lifespan of its engine because air filter cleanings are reduced!

The Husqvarna 240 also comes with stop/ choke control system that reduces the risk of engine flooding. Furthermore, this chainsaw has an air purge that expels the air from fuel system and carburetor. This ergonomic also contributes it the quick startup of this machineIt also comes with a side-mounted chain tensioner that you can easily access!

The Husqvarna 240 possesses the LowVib System. This innovation decreases the fatigue you can feel when handling this tool by lessening its vibration level

Of course, your safety is guaranteed when you are using this tool! Thanks to its inertia-activate chain brake, the chances of suffering injuries from kickbacks are no more!

As we said, the Husqvarna 240 is on the least side of the spectrum if compared with 450 model. However, if you are not dealing with large and heavy duty tasks, this tool chainsaw will be useful to you!

Specifications:

Power rating3.2 HP
Displacement of cylinder38.2 cc
Maximum power speed9,000
Capacity of the fuel tank10.1 ounces
Type of oil pumpAutomatic
Max power of chain speed56.89 fps
Overall weight10.3 pounds
Overall dimension11 inches x 32 inches x 9.5 inches
Warranty3 years (limited)

#4 BLACK+DECKER LCS1020

BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V MAX Lithium-Ion 10 in. ChainsawThe BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 is another option that you should consider. This chainsaw has a cordless design that enables you to use it conveniently at any place at any time! It possesses the power that you need in cutting live logs and dry wood!

Unlike other chainsaws, the LCS1020 uses a lithium-ion battery for its operation. You should not also worry about the lifespan of the battery. It can actually last long in the field. In fact, the lithium battery has a charge that can hold up to a year! It also has a fade-free performance to ensure the utmost reliability of this chainsaw!

Specifically, the LCS1020 can make over 150 cuts on just a single charge! It can efficiently slice down branches that have a size of up to 1 1/2 diameter. Of course, you can do all these errands without any restrictions from extension cords. By the way, we should remind you that that the lithium battery is interchangeable too!

Because of its cordless design, operating this tool is quite easy. It comes with a switch, which means that you don’t have to deal anymore with any pull cords. Furthermore, there is no need for you to buy gas and oil because a battery powers this chainsaw. Also,  you will no longer need to replace its air filter because it doesn’t possess any carburetor.

You will also love the fact that this chainsaw has lower noise output compared to the conventional gas models.

One of the top features of this the LCS1020 is its Oregon Low Kickback chain and bar. Its chain and bar sport a wrap-around-bale handle which enables you to control this tool fully. Moreover, it also contributes to the comfort that you can feel when using this machine!

The LCS1020 has a tool- less tensioning system.

With all of these features, you might be wondering why this brand of chainsaw didn’t make it to the top spot. This is because its oiler is somehow problematic. Specifically, the system has a filter piece that blocks the flow of the oil. When you remove it, your oil will run out fast. This lessens the cost-efficiency of the LCS1020.

Moreover, there are some cases when the chain becomes stuck, regardless how much you tighten it.

However, the overall features of the BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 are already good enough to be on this list!

Specifications:

Power rating3.2 HP
Source of powerLithium-ion battery
Bar length10 inches
Overall weight7.2 pounds
Overall dimension16.7 inches x 8.8 inches x 9.6 inches
Warranty3 years (limited)

#5 Poulan Pro PP5020AV

Poulan Pro PP5020AV ChainsawThe Poulan Pro PP5020AV is a decent chainsaw brand that is worth mentioning. It is excellent in dealing medium-duty tasks such as cutting of firewood and management of your property.

It comes with a 2-HP engine that delivers enough power to operate its 20-inch bar. Therefore, you can expect that this chainsaw can tackle those tasks with efficiency. Despite that it is not as powerful as the 3.5-HP engine of the Husqvarna 450 model, this chainsaw is pretty decent already!

Moreover, the Poulan Pro PP5020AV uses the patented Super Clean Air Filter System. This technology extends the lifespan of the air filter by preventing the entry of large dust and debris. This system also decreases the fuel consumption of this tool, even while it is running at its full capacity.

On the other hand, the clutch cover of this chainsaw has a professional design. It is made from aluminum which ensures its durability.

We notice that the Poulan Pro PP5020AV also knows the art of automation. It can be seen through its automatic gear-driven oil pump. Aside from that, it also features a tool-less access to its spark plug and air filter for ease-of-use and convenience.

You won’t feel too much fatigue while handling this chainsaw. This is due to the presence of Anti-Vibration handles that efficiently reduces your stress even in extended usage. Moreover, you can guarantee that using this tool is safe, thanks to its double post chain brake.

However, there are some problems you can find on the Poulan Pro PP5020AV. First, you will notice that its green dot chain is susceptible from getting dull. The moment you re-sharpen it, it won’t return to its original sharpness.

Moreover, its power is quite an issue too. We mean the power is already enough. However, it lacks consistency.

Regardless of these drawbacks, the Poulan Pro PP5020AV is still worth buying because of its handy features!

Specifications:

Power rating2 HP
Source of powerGas
Bar length20 inches
Overall dimension15.8 inches x 20 inches x 22.3 inches

Chainsaw Buying Guide

We mentioned earlier that the quality of chainsaws today is remarkable already. It seems that finding a bad one is harder than finding a good one. However, the main issue here is not about which brand is the best. Instead, it is about helping buyers like you to get the right chainsaw that you need. Therefore, we made this buying guide to ensure that you can pick the appropriate chainsaw that can keep up with your demands!

Power Types
Before you can determine what kind of chainsaw you need, you will need to assess the extent and area of your work.

Gasoline-Powered Chainsaw

Specifically, a gasoline-powered chainsaw is a combination of portability and power. Usually, this tool ranges from light-duty to professional-grade models. Of course, you can expect that even the light-duty gas-powered chainsaw can fell wood efficiently. The ideal design of this tool is a pull-start and a two-cycle engine. Moreover, you can operate it by the use of gasoline and oil. Therefore, a gasoline-powered chainsaw is ideal for large-scale jobs.

Electric-Powered Chainsaw

On the other hand, electric chainsaws are best for home applications. They can do pruning and trimming efficiently, without even eating too much power. One of their significant advantages over gas-powered chainsaws is their quiet operation. Moreover, they are quick to start and does not involve cumbersome and regular maintenance.

There are two types of an electric chainsaw. They are the cordless saws and corded saws.

Cordless Chainsaw
When you are looking for mobility, then you should opt for a cordless saw. However, we should remind you that its battery adds to its overall weight. Moreover, the presence of battery means that this saw has limited operation time.

Corded Chainsaw
If you are looking for a lightweight model, then the corded saw is the right one for you. It doesn’t require you to do refueling or recharging. The only drawback is that it limits your mobility. Specifically, you can only work on an area that is permitted by the length of your cord. Therefore, it is only good if your working space is just in the vicinity of your property.

The Type Of The Chainsaw

Standard Chainsaw

This type of chainsaw has a design in where its rear and front handles are attached to an engine (or motor housing). Moreover, it has a cutting bar that expands from the housing. However, there are other variations of this design. This kind of chainsaw is great in dealing large trees and branches.

Pole Chainsaw

A pole saw is a small chainsaw. It has a saw that is mounted on its extension pole. This kind of design enables you to improve the output of your pruning. Moreover, it allows you to cut the limbs of small trees. Usually, a pole saw is available in different power models of chainsaws (e.g. gasoline, electric).

Also, there are some pole saws that you can convert into a standard chainsaw.

One Chainsaw

The design of this chainsaw is evident in the presence of several jaws that surrounds the cutting bar. This kind of enclosure provides optimal protection from chain interaction. Aside from that, the teeth of the enclosure increase the hold of the chainsaw to the object that you are cutting.

Specifically, some models of this type of chainsaw use a scissor-like cutting motion. This mechanism enables the chainsaw to clamp the object while you are cutting it. Because of this design, this electric chainsaw is excellent for light cutting and pruning.

Features
In choosing the best chainsaw, you should look for these following features. All of these components can increase your working output without discarding comfort and ease-of-use.

Anti-Vibration
You should look for a chainsaw that possesses an anti-vibration feature. If you have already handled old versions of chainsaws, you definitely know how shaky they are. This is the reason why an anti-vibration mechanism will be helpful to users, as it lessens their fatigue while using the chainsaw. Moreover, this feature is essential if you will be doing an extensive cutting.

Spring-Assist Start

A gasoline-powered chainsaw should have this feature. This component lessens the effort that you will exert when pulling the trigger of the chainsaw.

Automatic Oiler

This feature is really crucial. This component will automatically lubricate the chain while you are using it. You don’t even have to activate it once the machine starts working. Of course, we all know the importance of lubrication in the efficiency and safety of your cutting!

Chain Brake

A chain brake is a safety feature of a chainsaw. Not all brands of this tool have this component. Therefore, choose only those that have this. Technically, a chain brake is there to halt the movement of the chain on the moment that the saw experiences unwanted impacts and movement. Some models of chainsaws will require you to activate the chain brake.

Low-Kick Bars and Chains

These two decrease the potential hazard that can be caused by the sudden upswing of a chainsaw. We know a lot of professionals who got injured because of this accident. Therefore, you will need these parts to avoid the same predicament!

Tool-less Tensioning

This feature will enable you to adjust the tension of the cutting chain quickly. This feature is essential for quick-pace operations and extensive projects!

Air-Cleaning Filter

An air-cleaning filter expands the lifespan of your chainsaw by screening the entry of large dust and debris.

Carrying Case

This accessory is necessary to keep yourself safe while transporting this tool. Moreover, it also acts as the storage of the chainsaw, which can keep it from sustaining any potential damages.


Tips On Buying A Chainsaw

Before you go to the shop, you should always consider the extent of your work. Specifically, we are referring to the size and type of wood that you are going to cut. Of course, the efficiency of the chainsaw will also matter on your experience handling it.

The bar length is one of your basis when choosing the right chainsaw for you. A chainsaw that has a long bar are effective in slicing large woods in just one go. For the typical DIY people, they can choose a bar length that ranges from 6 inches or smaller for electric saws and 20 inches or greater for gas-type models. If you are a professional, it is needless to say that you should pick a chainsaw that has a bar length of 20 inches.

Here is a guide that specifically indicates the ideal bar length for respective chainsaw tasks:

  • Trimming – Less than 16 inches
  • Pruning    – 12 inches or less
  • Limbing    – 12 inches to 14 inches
  • Felling (Small trees) – 12 inches to 14 inches
  • Felling (Medium trees) – 16 inches to 18 inches
  • Cutting light firewood – 14 inches to 16 inches
  • Cutting medium firewood – 16 inches to 18 inches
  • Bucking    – 18 inches or longer

Moreover, you should choose a chainsaw that has high power and capacity. Of course, the higher the digits are, the better the chainsaw can perform. The power of chainsaw will matter if you will deal with large trees and branches. If you are planning to cut hardwoods like oak, then you should consider a chainsaw with high engine displacement.


Conclusion

Overall, chainsaws are essential tools for every homeowner, especially for those that are living near forests or woody areas. These tools will enable you to fell trees and branches and make firewood out of them. Moreover, you can use them to clean or clear areas, if you are planning to expand your area.

Therefore, you will need a chainsaw on your garage. That is a definite. Moreover, if you have already decided to buy one, consider our recommended products first. All of were scrutinized by our team of expert lumberjacks and professionals in the industry. We also tested them on an actual cutting process, which highlighted their performance and power. We can guarantee that they are the best on the market today. This might change, but for this time, they are the ones that you should trust.

We all know how confusing it is when it comes to choosing a chainsaw. With the plethora of available brands, getting the right one is truly baffling. However, we are hoping that this review gave you an idea of what chainsaw will work best for you. It is our great pleasure to assist buyers like you to have access to quality products!