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Best Top Handle Chainsaws 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

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using our new chain sawIn today’s world, top-handle chainsaws are becoming more and more popular. This is because a top-handle chainsaw has the distinction of being able to be operated using just one hand, due to the handle being placed at the top, instead of the rear. For this reason, more and more people are trying to find the best ones to buy, due to their ease of use and flexibility.

We’re going to show you the best top handle chainsaw that you can purchase in 2020, along with our reviews for several other chainsaws that are very good. We hope you enjoy our top handle chainsaw reviews, and we hope that, by the end of this article, you’ll have an understanding of the best top handle chainsaw you can buy, and the criteria to look out for.

Our Top Picks of 2020

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Makita XCU02PT
Makita XCU02PT
(Top Pick)

Check Price
12 lbs4.9/5
Husqvarna T435
Husqvarna T435

Check Price
8 lbs4.7/5
DEWALT DCCS620P1
DEWALT DCCS620P1
(Best for the Money)

Check Price
9 lbs4.5/5
Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14
Tanaka TCS33EDTP:14

Check Price
12 lbs4.2/5
Hitachi CS33EDTP
Hitachi CS33EDTP

Check Price
12 lbs4.0/5

5 Best Top Handle Chainsaws – Our Reviews:

1. Makita XCU02PT Top-Handle Chainsaw – Top Pick

Makita XCU02PT

Our top-pick for the best top handle chainsaw that you can purchase in 2020 is the Makita XCU02PT. The XCU02PT has a 1,650 FPM chain speed for quick and efficient cutting, along with chain adjustment that requires no tools, and two 18V LXT Lithium-ion batteries. These all contribute to a high-performance chainsaw that works quickly, efficiently, and with great accuracy.

To understand why this is the best one, we’re going to clarify the three things that we consider, overall, when we look at a chainsaw.

First, there is performance. The Makita XCU02PT excels in this area. And this is due to the 1,650 FPM chain speed, along with an oil port that allows you to simply look and see how much oil you have, which makes it very easy to check your oil, and, during our testing, we cut various tree branches with immense ease and efficiency. No problems at all.

Then, we look at the convenience of the chainsaw. Again, the Makita XCU02PT excels in this area as the oil port and chain adjustments require no tools whatsoever. When we adjusted them, it was incredibly simple and took just a few moments. No hassle, very convenient.

Finally, we look at just how comfortable the chainsaw is to use. Yet again, the Makita XCU02PT is an immensely comfortable product to use, this is due to a very soft, rubber grip that is attached to the handle, enabling you to easily hold it with just one hand and no discomfort.

For those reasons, the Makita XCU02PT is our top pick!

Pros

  • Easy to check your oil
  • Comfortable to use – due to rubber grip
  • No problems cutting with speed and efficiency
  • Simply chain adjustment process

Cons

  • More expensive than others – but you pay for the best


2. Husqvarna T435 Top Handle Chainsaw – The Runner-Up

Husqvarna T435

The Husqvarna T435 is our runner-up. This is an excellent top-handle chainsaw that worked very efficiently and easily. We cut up tree branches, just as with the Makita XCU02PT, and it handled wonderfully! In terms of general performance, due to the adjustable oil consumption and fuel management technologies, the Husqvarna T435 excels!

Convenience is where we had one small problem, though. Manipulating and adjusting the chain is rather difficult, and the version that we got had a stiff chain, so we had to adjust this before using it. Now, this wasn’t that big of a deal, but it is less convenient than the Makita XCU02PT.

Finally, the Husqvarna T435 is a comfortable chainsaw to use, due to LowVib technologies that are added to the handle and the grips, reducing the vibration of the chainsaw, enabling you to handle and operate it with much greater ease and precision. When we were cutting branches, we had an absolutely effortless time cutting those branches and operating the chainsaw.

All in all, the Husqvarna T435 is a great chainsaw, but the reason it isn’t our top choice is because of the clunky chain adjustment process. Yes, it’s a small thing, but it can be annoying if you have to do it more than once. But, again, this is a very good chainsaw, nonetheless.

Pros

  • Comfortable to use due to LowVib technology
  • Easy to adjust oil consumption
  • Cuts quickly and efficiently
  • You can hold and handle it with ease

Cons

  • Chain adjustment is clunky


3. DEWALT DCCS620P1 Top-Handled Chain Saw – Best For The Money

DCCS620P1

For the money, our top choice is the DEWALT DCCS620P1. This chainsaw operates on a 20V battery, has a chain speed of 25.2 feet/second, and has a very comfortable, very compact design that enables you to hold and handle it with ease, further compounded by the fact that the DCCS620P1 only weighs 8.8 lbs. And, of course, it is a very affordable chainsaw!

In terms of performance, we had one issue with this chainsaw, and this is the reason it’s not our top choice. Again, as with the other models, we cut up tree branches and found that the blade wasn’t very strong and it took a little longer to cut the branches up. This isn’t a huge deal, but if you plan on cutting bigger things up, then this may not be the right model for you. That said, we tried it on a regular piece of lumber, and it worked very well.

The DCCS620P1 is a very convenient chainsaw to use, because of solid ignition technology, allowing for you to pull a trigger, and it turns on immediately. This is also due to the well-made handle, and the size and portability of the chainsaw, enabling you to carry and hold it comfortably. Which, of course, leads to our final piece of criteria…

As we said above, the DCCS620P1 is a very comfortable chainsaw to use. Comfortable handle. Easy to hold. Small and compact. You can use the DCCS620P1 with great ease. And that is why, it is our pick as “Best For The Money.”

Pros

  • Very comfortable to use – small and compact, comfortable handle
  • Cuts smaller materials with ease
  • Starts up with the pull of a trigger

Cons

  • Has difficulty cutting bigger objects and materials


4. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 Chainsaw

Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14

The Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 is a 14-inch long chainsaw with a 32.2cc engine, side access chain tensioning, and an automatic oiler that is gear-driven. This is a good chainsaw, but we can’t say that we fully recommend it.

Performance is the biggest issue of all. We tested it on some pieces of lumber and a few branches, and while it did cut them, the blade was rather weak and it took a lot longer than it should’ve to make a dent in the lumber and branches that we were cutting. For smaller materials, it works well, but for anything larger, not so much.

When it comes to convenience, the TCS33EDTP/14 is quite good. Chain tensioning is on the side, and you can access it easily. This is very quick and very convenient, and very useful. The same goes for the half-throttle choke which allows for a very quick startup.

Finally, the TCS33EDTP/14 is comfortable. It was somewhat difficult to handle when it came to cutting some larger tree branches, but this is due to the quality of the blade, rather than the design of the machine itself. Otherwise, you can hold and move it easily, and it feels great.

Pros

  • Easy access to the chains
  • Quick startup
  • You can manipulate it easily

Cons

  • Doesn’t cut through bigger materials – such as branches – very well


5. Hitachi CS33EDTP Chainsaw with a Top-Handle

Hitachi CS33EDTP

At the bottom of our list is the Hitachi CS33EDTP. Hitachi is a manufacturer that has had a lot of success in recent years, but we can’t say that we found the CS33EDTP to meet our criteria for what makes a good chainsaw.

There are two good things about the CS33EDTP, though. First, it has a great anti-vibration system on the handle, allowing for you to be comfortable when you use it. This is very good. And the other good thing about it is that it’s fourteen-inches, and only 12.4 lbs., which makes it easy to use and hold.

Sadly, the performance is not very good. We tried cutting some firewood and it took about ten-minutes to cut one log in half. Then, when we tried it on some plywood – much smaller than the firewood – it stopped working and we couldn’t figure out why. This is neither a very functional chainsaw, nor a convenient one. Unfortunately, we cannot recommend the CS33EDTP.

Pros

  • Great anti-vibration system
  • Small and portable – comfortable to handle and carry

Cons

  • Doesn’t cut efficiently or quickly
  • Broke very easily
  • Made of shoddy components


Buying Guide

As we stated earlier, there are three key things we look at in any chainsaw, but especially top-handle ones.

Performance

Performance is very important when buying a chainsaw. You can discern performance from information about the motor and the FPM – Feet Per Minute. But, the best way to discern the performance is to simply read a customer review or watch an online video of the chainsaw being used, to see how efficiently it cuts through material.

Convenience

Convenience refers to how easy it is to check the oil and adjusting the chain, along with other small things. Again, go on the sales page and look for things like “adjustable chain tensioner” and “oil filling port with view window” to discern the convenience of the chainsaw.

Comfortable Use

Finally, with comfortable use, look for “anti-vibration” and “rubber grip.” These things mean that the handle is soft on your hands and that it isn’t vibrating as you use it, causing you to shake the chainsaw.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our reviews of the best top handle chainsaws! Our top choice for the best top handle chainsaw you can purchase in 2020 is the Makita XCU02PT, and the “Best For The Money” is the DEWALT DCCS620P1. Each one has its own benefits, and we recommend both of those very highly!

If you don’t want to buy any of the ones we’ve suggested, we highly recommend you look through our buying guide and the tips we suggested. They will allow you to pinpoint the best traits and qualities to look for in a top-handle chainsaw!

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