Chainsaw Reviews – Best Chainsaws

Last Updated: 31st August 2016

We have compiled the very best chainsaw reviews around to offer you peace of mind when buying a new (or used) one.​

Whether trimming back your overhanging tree at home or logging in a dense wood, the chainsaw can be the most overlooked power tool at your disposal. Although an understated tool for many homeowners, this essential piece of equipment can save you hours or days in removing unwanted branches, shrubs, trees and stumps from gardens and forests. This is where you need trusted guidance from a reputable source.

Whatever the budget there is an ideal chain saw that will be able to accommodate your needs allowing the user to not only work on items outside, but also now having the versatility and power to be used indoors with no harmful fumes.  We believe that with only the best chainsaw that this can be accomplished.

Best Chainsaw Reviews

The Editors Top 10 Best Chainsaw

What Are The Main Types Available?

Buying a chainsaw has never been an easy task as there are so many options available, even more so now as now you have to consider which power source to choose. There are vast differences depending on how they are powered and each one has their own advantages and disadvantages.  

If you're in need of a one and you don't know where to being then this guide will serve as a signpost to help you choose based on your required workload. Below are the three types  available along with a review of the best in their class based on price, availability and consumer reviews.

Wireless Battery

Wireless Battery Chainsaws

The wireless battery varieties are as their name suggests, wireless and battery powered. There are distinct disadvantages of it being battery-powered but often home owners purchase them as the positive aspect heavily outweighs the negative.

Advantages of Wireless Battery Saws

  • Quieter than a gas variety
  • No pullstring startups
  • Few maintenance issues
  • Can be stored away for months at a time with no repercussions
  • Less polution

Perfect For...

...trimming small to medium sized limbs of wood with the convenience of a wireless saw. With some of the best examples there is no maintenance issues and has a good range compared to being restricted by cables. As they are generally lightweight and easy to handle and manoeuvre you could use indoors with no inconvenience and no exhaust fumes.

GreenWorks DigiPro Cordless

The DigiPro G-Max has stood the test of time in the electric market and proved itself time and time again in many user reviews.  With a large 16 inch bar and a huge 40 volt Li-Ion battery you'll have enough juice for up to 100 cuts on a single charge.  The brushless electric motor delivers up to 30% more torque and more cutting power and 70% less vibration than other comparable electric models.

With user comfort and safety at the forefront the GreenWorks 20312 DigiMax has a reduced kickback chain and chain brake as standard for ultra-safety.

Features of the GreenWorks 20312 DigiPro

Loaded with features, the GreenWorks DigiPro offers a huge amount of power with very little vibration and kickback for extra user safety and endurance.  There are a host of advanced features that come as standard which put this among the best in the electric class.

  • Brushless Motor. Up to 30% increased torque compared to similar powered electric cordless models. The inclusion of the brushless motor also massively reduces the vibration by up to 70% compared to standard motors.
  • Fully Compatible. The GreenWorks DigiPro is compatible with all of the other GreenWorks battery ranges allowing for greater flexibility for your G-Max 40V Li-Ion battery system.

Advantages of the GreenWorks 20312 DigiPro G-Max


Unlike other competitors in the same price range the GreenWorks 20312 battery-powered electric saw offers huge power even compared to it's gas-powered counterparts.  It's one of the options for being lightweight and adaptable to many situations.

The Most Powerful Li-Ion 16" Chainsaw.  It's hard to imagine any electric powered chainsaw living up to expectations compared to gas-powered counterparts, but this is exactly what the GreenWorks 20312 does, and it does it perfectly.​

Lightweight and electric.  Weighing in at only 6.9 pounds you'll be hard pushed finding something lighter and more powerful.

Save on gas!  You'll be saving hundreds of dollars over the course of it's lifetime as it's a simple case of recharging the batter - no need for awkward gas and oil mixes, just plug in the charged battery and carry on.

Although the GreenWorks 20312 DigiPro stands out from the crowd, it has it's down sides too.  Judging by what other users have said that they didn't like the side panel construction and had to initially manually adjust the chain tension although they admitted this was very easy to do.  That said the overwhelming amount of reviewers loved it's lightweight durability.

Overall

In conclusion the GreenWorks 20312 is the perfect chain saw to be using to cut down smaller tress and shrubs with ease.  With a quick two hour recharge time and little maintenance or gas/oil to mix you'll be cutting wood in no time.

Corded Electric

Corded Electric Chainsaw

Not unlike the cordless electric chainsaw, the mains powered variety also is powered by electricity through a standard power outlet. Often having slightly more power than their battery powered counterparts they still lack the raw cutting power of the gasoline chain saws more commonly seen in independent chainsaw reviews.

Advantages of the Corded Electric Saw

  • No pull handle startup, just a flick of a switch
  • No mixing of oil and gas to the proper ratios, just clean electric power
  • Little to zero maintenance issues
  • Better for the environment and yourself
  • Less chance of having kickbacks

Perfect For...

...if you don't need to cut down a vast amount of thick trees and only plan on cutting small to medium sized logs and shrubs.. If you're only planning to use an electric chainsaw on an irregular basis then this won't be a problem as it can be left for a long period of time between uses with no maintenance repercussions. As it is connected via a main power outlet you are limited in range to the length of the cable. As there are no harmful by-products such as exhaust fumes this is safe to use indoors as well as outside.

WORX WG303.1 16" Corded Electric

The WORX WG303.1 is a clear contender for being the most powerful and chainsaw in the  corded electric category to date, offering 3.5 horsepower and 14.5 Amps, you will find that this can match, and even surpass, lower end gas powered chainsaws.  This is found in a number of independent studies and reviews.

There are a stack of excellent features that puts the WG303.1 head and shoulders above the rest of the corded electric chainsaws.

Features of the WORX WG303.1

This is packed full of features giving it a lead compared to others in its class.

  • Power at your fingertips. The WG303.1 has a huge power range it's hard to believe that it's electric as this can out-power and out-perform some gas powered models. Featuring a 14.5 amp, 3.5hp motor.
  • Auto-chain lubrication. Lubricating the saw chain is an essential, but irksome, job which is why the WORX WG303.1 features an auto-chain lubrication system. The hassle-free lubrication system helps to keep it working perfectly for it's lifetime.

Advantages of the WG303.1


The WORX WG303.1 16-Inch comes with a host of power-saving features that doesn't mean you'll be lagging behind in performance.  WORX have really thought about features and this shows in the overall efficiency and performance. 

Auto-tension system.  An over-sized knob ensures that the chain and bar are secured top maintain the correct tension with no fear of over tightening or loosening during operation. 

Auto-chain lubrication.  Gone are the days when you need to take time out for constant maintenance.  With the auto-oil delivery system there is no need to maintain the saw chain with oil as it comes with it's own oil reservoir which auto lubricates in use.

Virtually no kickback.  Although you'd expect some kickback with any chainsaw, the WG303.1 has almost zero kickback and is safer for the user.  Along with the chain brake you'll be in safe hands.

The WORX WG303.1 is a fantastic electric corded chainsaw but it's not without its flaws.  Some customers had complained that they were not expecting some oil to leak out during storage but according to the manufacturer this is completely normal and shouldn't be any cause for alarm.  We recommend that you purchase extra oil regardless of what purchase as you will inevitably use it.

Overall

In conclusion the WORX WG303.1 offers a great compromise between convenience and functionality which shouldn't be overlooked.  With all the familiar safety features and enhanced performance comparable to a gas-powered alternative you won't have any problems.

Gasoline Powered

gas chainsaw reviews

The trusty gas powered chainsaws have been around for a very long time for good reason, they have the ultimate cutting power and are the ultra portable tool to have, you're only limited to how much gasoline you can carry.

Advantages of Gas Saws

  • Ultimate Power
  • Ultimate durability
  • Similar in weight and bar length to it's electric counterpart
  • Can be used practically anywhere outside regardless of the weather
  • Designed for a regular and long use

Perfect For...

...cutting down large or mature trees and logs. If you're looking for a chain-saw for regular heavy duty use then the gasoline one is your best bet. With regular maintenance and oiling this type of saw is worth its weight in gold and will be a trusty companion every time that you need it. It's perfect for when you need to cut logs and trees out of reach of a conventional power outlet where there are no noise limitations nearby.

Husqvarna 450 50.2cc Gas Powered

The mighty Husqvarna range have long been hailed as the most popular manufacturers, most reliable and most powerful chainsaws in the world, for good reason according to user feedback over the years.  The Husqvarna 450 model has a large 18 inch bar and has a powerful 50.2cc engine giving 3.2 HP and a maximum power speed of 9600 RPM.

You can learn more about their special offers and tips by visiting their official site and finding their forums and related pages.​

Features of the Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc

The Husqvarna 450 comprises a 2-stroke 50.2cc engine which delivers on fuel efficiency and massive power when needed most.  Along with these it has some great features giving it a great all-round performance.

  • Large fuel tank.  With a 0.95 pint fuel tank, you'll be doing less refueling and more sawing, giving you the ultimate efficient log cutting machine.
  • Lightweight versatility. Whether using the Husqvarna in a lumberyard or in your garden you'll feel like you have a quality, powerful machine with the safety features you'd expect from such a trusted and renowned brand of chainsaws.

Advantages of the Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 


The Husqvarna 450 gas powered shines where all others fail.  Giving you the utmost power when you need it the most and with a host of features that will not fail to impress.

A powerful 18" gas chainsaw.  Once you've used the Husqvarna 450 you'll find it hard to imagine how you coped before.  it gives maximum power and durability along with complete control.

Lightweight and gas combined.  Weighing only 10.8 pounds you'll be wondering how they fit so much power into this lightweight power-house.

Saving the planet.  When you purchase a Husqvarna 450 gas chainsaw, you're not buying into a dirty, gas guzzling machine.  You'll have one of the most economical chainsaws to date thanks to it's CARB compliant rating and 3.2 HP X-Torq engine which reduces harmful exhaust emissions and increases fuel efficiency.

It's hard to say anything bad about this saw when you are faced with the huge amounts of user reviews for this brand alone.  Out of all the reviews a few of them seemed to dislike the user manual and have advised to simply search on YouTube to find a suitable guide.

Overall

In conclusion the Husqvarna 450 50.2cc is a marvel which should be in any serious users arsenal.  Whether it be for using in a professional logging environment or simply as a weekend warrior in an overgrown backyard, it's safe to say that no job is too big or too small for the Husqvarna 450.

Know Your Way Around!

With such a complicated piece of machinery there will always be a case where you will need to muck in, get your hands dirty and get involved with taking a closer look.  This article will serve as a basic guide to what to look for.  For ultimate maintenance it's always best to read the user manual that came with it.  In most cases these parts are shown on all varieties (battery, corded electric and gas) apart from the exhaust as this is only applicable for the gas-powered models.

1. Saw Chain

What is a Saw Chain

The saw chain is the continuous set of sharpened teeth that rotate around the guide bar allowing the saw to give it it's cutting power. Without a good quality saw chain you'll find it hard to cut through even the easiest of woods. There are multiple types of saw chains dependent on what the application is and on how you want it to perform.

2. Guide Bar

What is a chainsaw guide bar

The guide bar can vary greatly in length from as little as 10" all the way up to 59" and over depending on its. The smaller the guide bar, then the smaller width that you'll be able to cut through in one go. For larger guide bars you'll find that you'll be able to saw through almost any width and is generally used in larger logging scenarios.

3. Bar Nose

There are two main types of bar nose; the solid nose bar and the sprocket nose bar. They both have their different uses and similarly both have advantages and disadvantages.

Solid Nose Bar - The biggest advantage of a solid nose bar is that there are no moving parts and can be used for many different types of cutting such as in mud, for stump removal and even in sand. The disadvantages of the solid nose bar is that they are generally more expensive and they also use more power to turn the chain due to increased friction.

Sprocket Nose Bar - The Sprocket Nose Bar is the more familiar of the two and has a lower cost and also uses less power that the solid nose bar. The downside of this type of nose bar is that it needs regular maintenance and needs to have the same pitch as the saw chain. This is designed more for general use and is much more common among those familiar with chainsaws. The Sprocket Nose Bar comes in a replaceable and non-replaceable variety.

4. Chain Brake/Front Hand Guard

chain brake and front hand guard

A chain brake has a multiple purpose in all modern chainsaws. They are applied to stop the movement of the chain within a split second. This can be activated if there is a lot of kickback and the operators hand hits the chain brake by the force of the kickback. As a kickback would often make the saw chain hit the shoulders, neck and head of the operator this is a huge benefit of having one installed. Nearly all new models nowadays employ a chain brake for this very reason. For your own safety it is best to avoid a saw which has no chain brake.The other reason for the chain brake is also for safety when the operator is sharpening the chain. This allows for safe sharpening of a chain on a bar as it allows for secure grips without the safety to be compromised.

5. Front Handle and 6. Rear Handle

The front and rear handle are located in such a way to allow maximum control of the saw whilst still being comfortable. The user should feel comfortable and be able to allow some degree of control in the event of a kickback.

7. Rear Hand Guard

The rear hand guard is situated to protect the operators hand from being hit by a snapped or derailed chain. It doubles as a boot placer to allow the user to be able to start the chainsaw safely.

8. Throttle Trigger/Safety Throttle

The throttle trigger is located under the rear handle. It can only be operated if the safety trigger is also pressed, this is an extra precaution which prevents the throttle being activated accidentally by a rogue branch or other obstruction. This also prevents the throttle from being engaged if the user is starting the engine with their foot in the rear handle. In all cases the chain brake should be applied regardless of any situation when you're starting it up.

9. Exhaust

The exhaust acts as a re-director of the noxious fumes, heat and sparks which are the by-product of the use of the gas chainsaw. In many cases it is not permitted to use one without the addition of a spark arrestor or spark screen. This spark guard/screen prevents an exhaust spark from igniting any nearby sawdust and also decreases noise.

Chainsaw Parts