8 Best Chainsaws of 2022
Few power tools provide the raw power and efficiency of a chainsaw. When used correctly, it can complete landscaping projects quickly and easily.
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Buying a Chainsaw
A reliable chainsaw is an essential landscaping tool that can save you a lot of time and energy.
Its spinning chain and sharp teeth easily cut through wood in seconds, completing a task that would take much longer with a manual saw. Whether you’re pruning unruly branches, cutting up a felled tree or tackling construction demolition, a chainsaw can be your best friend.
Regardless of the saw you choose, be sure to thoroughly review the instruction and safety manual and watch safety videos. We highly recommend asking a professional or experienced chainsaw user to walk you through the basics. Any chainsaw has the potential to maim or kill, so they deserve the utmost respect.
All chainsaws aren’t created equal, so take the time to review these considerations before making your purchase.
- Power source: Chainsaws can be powered by gas, battery or corded electricity. Gas-powered saws, with their powerful combustion engines, are heavier and noisier than other types of chainsaws and require messy fuel mixes. Battery-powered chainsaws provide the same portability and mobility as gas saws and are much quieter, but offer a much shorter run time. Corded chainsaws eliminate the run time issue. But because you’re limited by the length of your power cord, they aren’t ideal for large properties.
- Bar length: This determines how large of a log it can effectively cut. Eight- to 12-inch bars are ideal for smaller tasks, like pruning and cutting small diameter branches; 13- to 16-inch bars are good for general use and maximum versatility; and 18- to 24-inch bars for large-scale tree sawing and felling. If you’re not sure, go with a bar that’s around 16 inches. That should be sufficient for most residential projects.
- Weight: Even just a couple of extra pounds can add up when you’re tackling big sawing projects, so make sure you choose a saw you can wield effectively and safely. If you have strength, joint or back issues, think about what weight you can handle.
- Safety: All chainsaws, regardless of bar length or fuel type, are extremely dangerous tools that can easily injure or kill if not used properly. Gas-powered saws, with their powerful engines, are less safe than other types. Look for safety features like chain brakes that stop the chain in the event of kickback, and throttle locks that prevent accidental throttle advancement. And never use any chainsaw without the proper training.
Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw for Large Projects
The 18-inch bar of the Ryobi HP Cordless Battery Chainsaw is well-suited for large-scale tasks like cutting felled trees. It’s convenient because you don’t have to deal with fumes, liquid fuel mixes or a cord.
The 40-volt lithium battery has a long runtime and is compatible with other tools in Ryobi’s 40V family. A scrench (combination wrench and screwdriver) is stashed conveniently in the handle of the saw, making adjustments quick and easy.
Best Gas-Powered Chainsaw
We’ve been using Husqvarna products for years, and the high-quality construction and rugged durability of the Husqvarna 450R 450 Rancher Chainsaw is a great example of why.
The 20-inch bar handles lots of pruning and sawing tasks. Thanks to the 3.2 horsepower engine, power shouldn’t be an issue. An auto-oiler and straightforward chain tensioner make maintenance and adjustments hassle-free, so you can focus on making effective and safe cuts.
Best Pole Chainsaw
The multi-functional Sun Joe SWJ805E Telescoping Pole Chainsaw can be used as a pole-mounted or handheld mini-chain saw. Its telescoping pole can reach up to 15 feet overhead, and the eight-inch bar is large enough to take down limbs up to 7-1/2-inches thick.
Once on the ground, simply remove the pole. With the handheld saw, you can cut up the branches into a manageable size.
Best Low-Budget Corded Electric Chainsaw
The Wen 12-Amp Electric Chainsaw ($53) features a 16-inch bar and costs significantly less than any other option on our list. At just 10 pounds, it’s light enough for extended use and easy to maneuver.
Although the corded power supply limits its portability, the push-button start and unlimited run time could be worth it to the right user. A two-year warranty has you covered if any issues arise.
Best Extra Compact Chainsaw
The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet Chainsaw may not have the power or bar length of the larger options on our list, but its compact size makes it perfect for light-duty pruning.
At just five pounds, it’s comfortable in tight and awkward areas and easy to perform cuts at any angle. This chainsaw comes with a 12-volt battery and charger, which are compatible with any other tools in the M12 system. The bar sheath is a nice feature.
Best Splurge Chainsaw
Sure, it’s expensive. But if you’re looking for a high-quality, battery-powered saw that’s easy to use, look no further than the 12-inch Husqvarna 535i XP Chainsaw ($450). Its control panel is straightforward — just two buttons. — You can customize the power mode to your specific project, whether that’s maximum power or maximum runtime.
An auto-shutoff powers down the machine after three minutes of idling, conserving battery life and reducing the chance of an accident.
Best Corded Chainsaw
The 16-inch bar on the Oregon CS1400 Chainsaw tackles small and large cutting tasks. Thanks to the corded power supply, you won’t need to worry about recharging any batteries.
A molded rubber cover on the handle and a trigger grip make it easy to maintain control as you cut, and a hand guard protects you from flying chips and other debris. At less than $100, this saw is a great value as well.
Best Low Budget Gas Chainsaw
Though the Craftsman 41AY4216791 Chainsaw ($179) costs less than our other gas-powered models, it delivers the power and maneuverability of a higher-end option. The wraparound handle features a textured rubber grip for maximum control, and the auto-oiling mechanism cuts down on chainsaw maintenance time.
The 16-inch bar can handle all kinds of cutting jobs. A chain brake reduces the chances of kickback injuries, and bucking spikes provide the extra leverage you need for large cuts.