Cheap chainsaws you can depend on
Are you looking for a chainsaw but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Is money tight but you have projects around the house you want to get done? Are you the type of person who doesn’t feel the need to buy the best product but you still want to spend you money wisely on a dependable chainsaw?
Well, the focus of this article is on providing you with a list of cheap chainsaws that won’t break the bank, but will get the job done efficiently, effectively, and most importantly, keep you safe while you work.
I did the research for you so you don’t have to. I’m confident that you’ll find something here to fit your budget. Not everyone can afford to buy a Husqvarna 450 or an Oregon PowerNow CS250 and even if you could, that doesn’t mean you should.
Chainsaw Cost = Under $200
All of these cheap chainsaws are less than $200. All of these chainsaws are powered by gas. Some of these chainsaws are actually good cheap chainsaws that you can use reliably and safely. A few of these are suspect; with not enough data to conclude their quality one way or another. I point all of this out throughout the article, so you don’t have to guess or waste your time combing through the internet as I did. I love to research and I spend a lot of time uncovering the facts so you can focus on the details of these cheap chainsaws and determine which one you think will suit you best.
If you want to buy a chainsaw under $100 then read my article entitled: Fantastic Cheap Chainsaws Under $100. On the other hand, I recently wrote an article that gives you a breakdown of the 6 best chainsaws for homeowners that covers all types of chainsaws, including gas, corded electric and battery powered saws.
Durability | Cheap Chainsaws
Gas chainsaws are ideal for heavy-duty cutting but cheaper chainsaws, as I’ve listed here, are not suited for heavy-duty work on a regular basis because they don’t have the durability of professional grade saws. But these cheap chainsaws are still good for felling small to medium-sized trees, cutting firewood (also known as bucking), as well as limbing and pruning.
Gas chainsaws are the most powerful type of chainsaw you can buy; ideal for intensive cutting for extended periods of time, especially when large trees are involved (especially hardwoods), and you want to cut efficiently and safely. Under these circumstances a gas chainsaw is really your only choice. Battery or corded electric chainsaws are useless for heavy-duty cutting.
These particular cheap chainsaws go against the typical usage for gas chainsaws and your expectations need to be tempered somewhat because although many of these can handle medium to heavy-duty cutting, not all of them can be pushed continuously day in and day out. The reason: Well, they simply aren’t constructed to endure high stress on a frequent basis. Having said that, a few of these gas chainsaws are as good as the big brands. Not quite, but comparable, especially for the cheap price tag.
I stress durability a lot throughout the article. Sorry, in advance for my repetition but it’s important that you’re reminded. Let the chainsaw do the work with all of these saws and they will serve you well. Push them too hard, too fast, and you greatly increase the likelihood of burning out the motor.
Also, gas chainsaws allow complete freedom of mobility; enabling you to cut anywhere on your property. without the hassle of an extension cord to manage or worrying about your battery running out juice in the middle of felling a tree. Now that wouldn’t be much fun would it? There’s nothing more annoying than having to recharge your battery in the middle of something important.
On the downside, gas chainsaws are loud and may upset your neighbors if you start working in your yard at 7am on a Saturday. I know they annoy me when I’m lying in bed and I’m awoken by the sound of a gas chainsaw in the middle of a dream. On top of that, gas chainsaws require more maintenance and are heavier than electric chainsaws, as well as the fact they emit fumes.
If you want to learn more about the differences between gas chainsaws and electric chainsaws, read my Chainsaw Buying Guide.
Before we get into the specifics of each cheap gas chainsaw I just want to clarify something. I know the title of this article is “Best Cheap Chainsaws,” but I think a better term to use instead of cheap is the word “inexpensive.” Cheap tends to mean that something is garbage or poorly constructed. In some cases, that’s absolutely true, but I’m here to steer you towards a chainsaw that’s inexpensive but still maintains a reasonable quality for the price.
You can’t expect any of these inexpensive chainsaws to compete with a professional grade Husqvarna, like the 460 Rancher or a STIHL, but these cheap saws in this article can still get the job done safely and at a much lower price.
18 Inches | 51cc | 17.5 lbs
The Remington RM5118R Rodeo is quite an impressive chainsaw for the money. Not only is it powerful but it also has quality components that you’d expect on a more expensive model, such as a die-cast chassis and a professional-grade sprocket and crankcase.
It’s the most powerful chainsaw on this list with a 51cc engine and an 18″ Oregon bar and chain. This is the true definition of a workhorse. It just works as you’d expect it to and powers through whatever you throw at it. Unlike many cheap chainsaws, this one is easy to start — hot or cold.
My only recommendation is to buy a better chain as the one that comes without isn’t the greatest. I suggest getting the Oregon H72 chain to greatly improve the cutting abilities of the Remington Rodeo.
The Remington Rodeo also comes with large bucking spikes for greater stability when cutting, an inertia chain brake and a scabbard to protect the bar and chain.
Watch this video and see why the Remington Rodeo is a great chainsaw:
There are a lot of great features on the Remington RM5118R Rodeo, like QuickStart mechanism that reduces drag on the pull cord, an automatic oiler that will keep your chain lubricated, a 2-step choke that will set your idle high automatically to speed up the warm-up process — but the most impressive feature on this gas chainsaw is the front and rear anti-vibration handles. For under $200, that’s unheard of.
If you’re not impressed yet then maybe this will win you over: You also get a heavy-duty case. Not a cheap case but a proper solid case that will protect your chainsaw and provide a safety barrier when you transport it.
Honestly, this review for the Remington RM5118R Rodeo was added several months after the original article was written and my feeling is that definitely deserves to be at the top of my recommended list for the best cheap chainsaw. My second pick is the Poulan Pro 5020AV — an excellent chainsaw as well. You can read that review next.
I feel that anti-vibration on a powerful gas chainsaw is an essential feature, but typically, you only get them when you buy a more expensive chainsaw. Anti-vibration truly allows you to work more comfortably for long periods of time, and they are much safer for your health. Consider how much time you plan to spend with your chainsaw before making decision to buy a gas chainsaw without anti-vibration.
I always recommend wearing anti-vibration gloves when using any chainsaw, specifically a gas chainsaw where the vibration is high.
Keep your chain properly adjusted
Make sure you read the MANUAL for the Remington Rodeo for more details specific to this chainsaw.
From the Manual:
The chain must be tensioned whenever the flats on the drive links hang out of the bar groove. Check for proper chain tension before starting the unit and periodically during operation.
NOTE: A new chain tends to stretch. Check the chain tension frequently and tighten as required.
Either way, this an excellent buy. It is heavy at 17.5 lbs so if you’re not particularly strong then this is not the saw for you. If you intend to do do a lot of pruning then this chainsaw is on the heavy side and I would recommend a smaller chainsaw for that. But for felling trees, cutting firewood and limbing this is an exceptional cheap (inexpensive) chainsaw that you won’t beat for the price — just under $200.
NOTE: Use a 40-to-1 two-cycle oil mix ratio on the Remington Rm5118R Rodeo. This can be made by mixing 3.2 ounces of two-cycle engine oil with 1 gallon of gasoline.
Learn more about the Remington Rodeo at Amazon.
- View or download the MANUAL for the Remington RM5118R Rodeo.
- View or download the PARTS LIST for the Remington RM5118R Rodeo.
- 51cc 2-Cycle Engine with an 18″ bar and chain.
- Large bucking spikes.
- Inertia chain brake for safety and kickback prevention.
- QuickStart System enables fast easy starting.
- 2-Step Auto Choke: Automatically sets a high idle for quick warm-up.
- Automatic Oiler consistently lubricates.
- Front & Back Anti-Vibration handle.
- Includes: Bottle of fuel mix and bar oil.
- Comes with a heavy-duty Case for safe transport of your saw.
- CARB Compliant: Approved for sale in California.
- Two year warranty.
20-inch | 50 cc | 15.4 lbs
Did you know that the Poulan Pro brand is owned by Husqvarna? Yes, it’s true! I wouldn’t lie to you.
Poulan was originally an independent American company based in Shreveport, Louisiana, founded as Poulan Saw Company in 1944 by chainsaw pioneer Claude Poulan. His first chainsaws were created using engines purchased from Homelite. In 1959 the company was bought by the Beaird Company, also of Shreveport, and was renamed to Beaird-Poulan. The company was acquired by Emerson Electric Co. in 1973, and eventually was purchased by Electrolux.
If you didn’t already know, Husqvarna is owned by Electrolux and Poulan is a subset of Husqvarna. Yes, I know it’s confusing, but to summarize: Husqvarna and the Poulan brand are owned by Electrolux. Just visit Husqvarna and at the bottom right of the page (“our products”) you can select the different brands that Husqvarna owns.
It might be surprising to some of you but it’s common for big companies to own seemingly competitive brands. Poulan chainsaws are low (Poulan) to mid-level (Poulan-Pro) quality chainsaws, whereas Husqvarna is geared towards professional users so they aren’t truly competing with one another.
Learn more about Poulan’s history by reading: Poulan History (PDF Document)
VIDEO : Features of the Poulan Pro PP5020AV. Also, applicable to other Poulan Pro chainsaws.
The Poulan Pro brand takes many of it’s components from Husqvarna, and if you’re new to the world of chainsaws you should know that Husqvarna is one of the largest manufacturers of outdoor power equipment for forestry, lawn and garden care. I find it helpful knowing the history of an organization to help bring context to my buying decisions, but that’s just me.
I should also mention there are two distinct Poulan brands: Poulan and Poulan Pro, with the latter being the premium brand. Think of Poulan Pro as a budget Husqvarna chainsaw. It’s may not be a household name but as you can see the Poulan brand has a rich history and closely linked to Husqvarna. For many good reasons, there are three Poulan Pro gas chainsaws on my list of best cheap chainsaws.
Best Cheap Chainsaw | PP5020AV
I read a lot of chainsaw reviews online and I read a lot of people complaining about things that can be easily solved if people just read the manual for their chainsaw. So, I’ll stress the point here. No matter what chainsaw you buy. Whatever brand, whether online or in the store. Before you ever start up your chainsaw promise me you’ll do one simple thing — READ THE MANUAL .
The Poulan Pro PP5020AV is a mid-sized chainsaw with plenty of power to get through those heavy-duty cutting jobs for homeowners. Weighing 15.4 lbs it has some heft to it so this is more suited to someone who knows how to handle a chainsaw. Comes with a 20″ bar so it’s able to tackle reasonably large trees with ease.
This cheap chainsaw has a fast cutting speed, and has been proven to efficiently tear through wood at a good pace. Very easy on your body with its anti-vibration handles, making it comfortable to hold for extended periods of time while preventing your hands from going numb. Solid construction, and an efficient engine that runs quite clean.
VIDEO : Maintaining your Poulan Pro PP5020AV. Also, applicable to other chainsaws.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a tool-less chain tensioner but it’s easy to access with the built-in scrench holder; always there when you need it. Air filter and spark plugs are easy to get to. And on top of that, it comes with an excellent carrying case. At under $200 you’re getting a lot of saw for not a lot of money.
This chainsaw would be ideal for felling and bucking (firewood) as it’s not as lightweight as you’d want if you were interested in doing a lot pruning, or you’re not physically strong. Can safely cut up to 18″ wood. You’ll be impressed. Yes, it’s true, cheap chainsaws can impress.
The automatic oiler works very well, almost too well, as it likes to keep the oil flowing and you can be certain the chain will always be well lubricated. Other than that, I think this is as good of a chainsaw that you’ll get for around $180. It’s my best buy of the bunch, so if you’re looking for power to do some serious cutting then this is the chainsaw for you and I can confidently label it the best cheap gas chainsaw you can buy.
Keep in mind what your needs are. Perhaps you don’t need a chainsaw this heavy and with this much power. That’s why I have more than one saw on my list. Everyone has different needs. But if you don’t want to spend any more time researching then you can confidently buy this Poulan Pro PP5020AV knowing it’s one of the best cheap chainsaws that money can buy.
How do you start the Poulan Pro PP5020AV?
Well, it’s all in the MANUAL but here’s how you start this chainsaw.
Consumer Reports give the Poulan Pro PP5020AV a score of 67/100. That’s pretty good as they put their product through rigorous tests.
Read our in-depth review of the Poulan Pro PP5020AV.
- View or download the MANUAL for the Poulan Pro PP5020AV.
- View or download the PARTS LIST for the Poulan Pro PP5020AV.
Comes with: Chainsaw, bar and chain, carrying case and scrench.
Learn more or buy from Amazon.
- Effortless Pull Starting : Spring assisted starter makes it easy to start.
- Superclean air filter system. Reduces fuel consumption while maintaining power.
- DuraLife: Chromium Plated Cylinder designed and built with strength and durability in mind.
- Anti-Vibration handles allows you to work comfortably, longer, while reducing fatigue.
- Quality carrying case included.
- Inertia Chain Brake. Also can be engaged manually by moving front hand guard forward.
- Automatic gear driven oiler provides constant lubrication while the saw is running.
- Built-in locking scrench holder.
VIDEO : Operating the Poulan Pro PP5020AV. Also, applicable to other chainsaws.
Husqvarna 240 | Affordable Gas Chainsaw
16-inch / 38cc / 10.3 lbs
The Husqvarna 240 is a unique chainsaw in the world of chainsaws because it’s essentially a high quality chainsaw for homeowners who need to perform light-duty cutting tasks like : pruning, brush cutting, and hobby work.
Husqvarna chainsaws are typically more expensive than consumer brands because the quality of the components used are very high and typically, the average homeowner tends to spend less money on chainsaws than a professional would — which is the reason why this article exists. Many people just want a cheap chainsaw— not cheap in terms of quality, but in terms of price.
Tn this case, Husqvarna has manged to engineer an excellent small chainsaw that homeowners can afford. It’s not as robust and durable as most Husqvarna chainsaws. They had to cut costs somewhere in order to be able to sell the chainsaw at under $200 but it’s still a good choice for you to consider.
View or download the MANUAL for the Husqvarna 240.
- Powerful, low emission 38.2cc, 2 HP X-Torq engine
- Centrifugal air cleaning system removes large pieces of dust and debris before they reach the air filter for reduced air filter cleanings and improved engine life
- Combined choke/stop control. Easy to start while reducing the risk of flooding.
- Standard side-mounted chain tensioner.
- Anti-vibration technology to protect your hands, fingers and arms.
- Inertia-activated chain brake reduces the chance of kickback and injuring yourself as a result.
- Lightweight and ergonomic.
- Chain pitch : .325″ / 3/8″
- Recommended bar length, min-max : 13″-16″ / 33-40 cm
- Chain speed at max power : 53.48 fts / 16.3 m/s
- Chain speed at 133% of maximum engine power speed : 71.19 fts / 21.7 m/s
- Weight (excl. cutting equipment) : 10.3 lbs / 4.7 kg
- Equivalent vibration level (ahv, eq) front / rear handle 2.1/2.7 m/s²
- Sound pressure level at operators ear : 100.7 dB(A)
- Sound power level, guaranteed (LWA) : 113 dB(A)
Poulan Pro PP4218A | Cheap Chainsaw
18-inch | 42 cc | 11.8 lbs
The Poulan Pro PP4218AV is a good mid-range saw if you’re a homeowner who needs a chainsaw for occasional use. This isn’t a professional grade saw but it’s another cheap chainsaw that will get the job done when you need it. Best suited for occasional tree felling, firewood, and limbing. It’s fairly lightweight at 11.8 lbs and has enough power to tackle some of your heavy-duty projects.
It has a manual chain adjuster so make sure you have the chain adjustment tool nearby as you work. A new chain will stretch when you first start using your chainsaw; typically during the first 15-20 minutes of usage you should be checking your chain tension frequently and making the appropriate adjustments. Many users seem to complain about the chain it comes with so I recommend purchasing the OREGON S62 as it will make your cutting much easier for larger trees.
Overall this is a solid chainsaw that can safely cut wood up to 16″ in diameter and it even has “reduced vibration” handles, which is unusual for a chainsaw this cheap, and it means you can safely use the Poulan Pro PP4218A for extended periods of time. Although, for almost the same price you can buy the Poulan Pro 5020AV and get a lot more saw for the money.
Cheap chainsaws don’t have all the bells and whistles that you get with a more expensive model, such as the Husqvarna 450, which is a medium-grade chainsaw but still, a big step up from the chainsaws on this list. You do get what you pay for.
It has an effective chain brake to ensure your safety in case of accidental kickback. Many customers complain that the gas cap is difficult to put back on so be aware of that when purchasing this saw. There’s no such thing as a perfect saw, especially at this price point so it’s more a question of what you’re prepared to live with. If you want the best chainsaw then you’ll have to spend more money. It’s that simple.
For occasional home use this saw will be more than adequate. The automatic oiler works very well and tends to leak oil when not in use so make sure you put a pan underneath when not in use. It’s a common issue with chainsaws.
Comes with: Chainsaw, cCarrying case, gloves, file, and extra chain.
To learn more read the manual: Poulan Pro PP4218AV (PDF)
- 42cc / 2-cycle gas engine
- Automatic chain oiling system.
- Inertia Chain Brake. Also can be engaged manually by moving front hand guard forward.
- Superclean air filter system. Reduces fuel consumption while maintaining power.
- Includes: Quality carrying case, gloves, file, and extra chain included.
- Reduced-vibration handles with soft grip.
18-inch | 45 cc | 13 lbs
The Blue Max 6595 is my “Best Value” pick of on my best cheap chainsaws list. Why is that? Well, based on all the research I’ve done, customers are generally quite impressed with this Chinese made chainsaw and the price is unbeatable at around $135. For that price you’re getting a powerful 45cc chainsaw with and 18″ bar and chain. More than enough power to take care of your cutting around the house, including: cutting firewood, felling small to medium sized trees, limbing and some pruning.
It’s no secret that Chinese made products are cheaper due to their labor costs so don’t assume that cheap chainsaws can’t be made in China. Most of the products people own and use today are made in China — including the iPhone.
This cheap chainsaw is easy to start and has a very fast cutting speed, making it highly efficient. This isn’t a saw that you should buy if you intend to do a lot of heavy duty cutting for extended periods of time. Based on my research, I have to question the long-term durability of this saw but for smaller projects you’ll put less strain on the chainsaw which will provide you with great long-term value. If you own this saw and you have additional comments you want to share please contact me as I’d love to hear your personal story with this particular cheap chainsaw.
What really sold me on the potential of this saw and the reason why I added it to my cheap chainsaws list was based on the Consumer Reports review of the Blue Max 6595 as they gave it a very respectable 69/100. That gives me a lot of confidence in recommending it. It’s a fantastic value, a bargain in fact. It’s rare for cheap chainsaws to come with anti-vibration handles, but this one does. Anti-vibration technology reduces fatigue, and increases your comfort dramatically.
It also has an automatic oiling system, and as you should expect, a chain brake as well. The chain has to be adjusted manually and includes a tool for doing so.
Blue Max is a Chinese brand and it’s hard to find detailed information on the brand and the company itself so my only caveat with this saw is that you may have problem getting parts for it when it breaks down. You can purchase the replacement chain online through Amazon: Blue Max 52208 18″ Chain
You may also be interested in this bundle: The Blue Max 8902 14″ (45cc) chainsaw comes with a nice molded case and a 20″ bar as well. It appears to be the same powerhead as the Blue Max 6595, but with a few accessories. Either way, Blue Max customers seem to be happy with their purchase and based on that alone, you should seriously consider purchasing one of these Blue Max cheap chainsaws for moderate cutting around your home.
Learn more by reading our feature article on Blue Max Chainsaws.
- 18-inch bar and chain
- 45 cc / 2800 rpm
- 30% more chain teeth for faster cutting speed.
- Automatic oiler keeps bar lubricated.
- Quick start CDI ignition system.
- Low range chain brake for increased safety.
- Anti-vibration handle reduces fatigue.
16-inch | 38 cc | 12 lbs
The Poulan Pro PP3816 is the the smaller sibling of Poulan Pro PP4218AV with a 16″ bar and slightly less powerful at 38cc. Also comes with a great automatic chain oiling system and an inertia chain brake. These saws are identical in most ways so I suggest you read the overview of the PP4218AV to find out some of the details.
Poulan Pro Are Reliable Cheap Chainsaws
I will say that this is a great weekender saw, which translates to: Don’t expect to use this full-time day and night and expect it to last for years. One of the biggest difference between cheap chainsaws and more expensive commercial grade chainsaws is not only the advanced features you get, but also the durability of the components. It’s the parts that you don’t see where the biggest difference becomes obvious. Cheap chainsaws use more plastic and less metal, which translates to less durability and more likely to breakdown if pushed too far.
Poulan Pro is a great brand for homeowners and provides a decent chainsaw with the PP3816; allowing you to take care of your cutting jobs while making it easier on your bank account. This model likes to use a lot of oil so make sure the oil reservoir is always full — apparently a common issue with all three of the Poulan Pro models on my list, so be conscious of this if you decide to buy one.
Often, you’ll read negative reviews from customers who don’t maintain their chainsaw according to the manufacturers specifications and then they launch a tirade online about how horrible the saw is. Don’t get me wrong, quality control is a bigger issue with cheaper saws so there’s an increased chance of buying a model that’s defective which has nothing to do with the operator. The key is making the distinction between operator error and a flaw in the manufacturers quality control standards and procedures. This is true for many industries, especially with complex power tools like chainsaws.
Another thing I feel the need to mention here is when you buy a chainsaw, or other power tool, be careful not to push it beyond its limits because if you do you’ll burn out the motor unless it has a built-in safety feature that will shut the motor off when pushed too hard. I don’t believe any of these models have that feature. My point is simple: for primarily light to medium duty cutting this certainly belongs on my list of best cheap chainsaws, more than capable of felling small trees, cut firewood, limbing and pruning.
You’ll probably get tired if you want to use this for extended hours of pruning so I’m not recommending it for that. Pruning work requires a much lighter saw.
This is a great overall cheap chainsaw at a very reasonable price; best suited for cutting trees under 12 inches; pushing it beyond that will likely put too much strain on the engine. Choose your chainsaw to match the type of work you need to do. If you have the need for heavy-duty cutting spend the money and buy a higher quality chainsaw. In the long-term, it will save you money.
- 38cc / 2-cycle gas engine
- Automatic chain oiling system.
- Inertia Chain Brake. Also can be engaged manually by moving front hand guard forward.
- Superclean air filter system. Reduces fuel consumption while maintaining power.
- Includes a quality carrying case.
Hitachi CS40EA18 | Cheap Chainsaw
18-inch | 39.6 cc | 2.4 hp | 9.7 lbs (Powerhead only)
The Hitachi CS40EA18 is another great chainsaw for those weekend projects that you need to get to work on. The manufacturer, Hitachi, is a company based in Tokyo, Japan and they’ve been around since 1910. They must be doing something right to last over 100 years. Their chainsaw division is a part of their Outdoor Power Equipment group. Hitachi is involved in a wide range of industries, including: Information and Telecommunication Systems, Automotive Systems, Power Systems and many others.
This is has their patented 40cc PureFire engine, with plenty of raw power for light to medium-duty cutting. Comes with a great range of features not often seen on cheaper chainsaws, including: an excellent vibration dampening system, S-Start which reduces the pull-force required to start is reduced by up to 50%, a primer bulb, inertia chain brake and an excellent warranty. You’re getting a lot of chainsaw for not a lot of money.
The PureFire engine really boils down to greater fuel efficiency and less emissions, which includes reducing the carbon monoxide that you breathe. Don’t overlook the patented technology that each manufacturer brings to the table, and ultimately, if they work as advertised, should make your life easier.
This saw is easy to start because of their S-Start technology and primer bulb, but one of the most overlooked features on chainsaws is the anti-vibration technology, which I think is critical in a good chainsaw, and only a few of these cheap chainsaws include anti-vibration. First, let me add that this Hitachi has a great vibration system and customers are quite happy with it. What this translates to in practical terms is it enables you to work longer and be comfortable while doing so. Never work for extended periods of time with any tool without a good anti-vibration system. It will take its toll on your body and it’s not worth the health risks so please, if you purchase a chainsaw without anti-vibration, keep your work periods short.
Not only do you get great features but it’s also lightweight and well-balanced, easy to pick-up, start and get to work. It’s the most expensive chainsaw on the list and Hitachi doesn’t have the same reputation as Poulan when it comes to chainsaws so that’s why I didn’t give it the top recommendation, but honestly, it’s one of the best cheap chainsaws you can buy but not necessarily in the “cheap” category, if that makes sense.
This relatively cheap Hitachi CS40EA18 should make homeowners happy. Make sure you follow proper maintenance procedures and if don’t push it beyond it’s abilities you’ll be a happy customer. Also, perfect if you like the color green. You don’t see many (if any) green chainsaws.
Comes with: Chainsaw, 18-inch Oregon bar and chain, bar and chain protective cover, and scrench.
- 40 cc / 2.4-horsepower commercial-grade engine.
- PureFire low emission 2-stroke engine technology.
- S-Start for fast starting: Pull-force reduction system and purge primer bulb.
- 18″ OREGON bar and chain.
- Vibration dampening system for increased comfort and less fatigue.
- Easy access chain tensioner allow for quick chain adjustment.
- Two bar mounting studs for efficient cutting.
- Inertia activated chain brake for safer operation.
- Comes with a seven year consumer, two-year commercial and one-year rental use warranty
- CARB Tier III compliant.
Earthquake CS4116B | Cheap Chainsaw
16-inch | 41 cc | 11.65 lbs
The Earthquake CS4116B is a Chinese brand but there seems to be a lack of actual customer reviews to assess this product accurately. Based on a review by Consumer Reports I decided to put it on my list as it fits all my criteria to be on my list of ‘best cheap chainsaws.’ It appears to be a decent and well-made chainsaw with many great features typically found on more expensive models.
The Earthquake site states that it has, “A one piece forged crank shaft.” And, “…delivers raw cutting power in a small package. The 41cc Viper engine and Oregon brand bar and chain give it enough strength to ease a backbreaking day of outdoor chores. The lightweight design allows it to zip smoothly through branches.” Don’t take marketing-speak too seriously but in the absence of information I thought it might be useful in some abstract way.
Consumer Reports gives it a rating of 55/100 which is obviously not excellent, but it’s okay, and although this is not one of the cheap chainsaws that I can highly recommend it’s one that you may want to consider as it has great attributes but not enough hard data to know for certain.
I would say that purchasing this cheap Earthquake chainsaw would be somewhat of a gamble because there’s just not enough reviews from customers to get an accurate opinion on the quality and dependability, and to top it off, if it does break down it will probably be difficult to find replacement parts.
It’s powered by a patented Viper Engine at 41cc and engineered with anti-vibration technology, an inertia chain brake and a 16″ bar and chain.
This is how Consumer Reports grades it:
- Highs: Fast cutting through 10- by 10-inch oak beams, comes with an extra chain, comes with a durable blade cover.
- Lows: Overall not especially easy to use.
- 41cc Viper Engine / 16-Inch Bar and chain.
- Anti-vibration system. Six anti-vibration contact points.
- Primer bulb.
- Easy to access air filter.
- 16″ OREGON bar and chain.
- Inertia chain brake for increased safety.
What did Consumer Reports have to say:
For the price of this 16″ saw, I had relatively low expectations, but I’m happy to report this saw far exceeded them…This saw is light for a 41cc motor, and starts incredibly easy. I cut through pines between 4 inches and a good foot in diameter easily and quickly…
McCulloch CS380 | Cheap Gas Chainsaw
16 or 18 Inches | 34cc or 38 cc | 11.46 lbs
McCulloch is an American brand known for their chainsaws, as they’ve been making them for over 60 years. They started in Wisconsin but in 2008, Husqvarna acquired the rights to the McCulloch brand for North America. McCulloch is currently a brand within the Husqvarna Group. So, similar to the Poulan Pro story, you can be sure that some of Husqvarna’s technology creeps into the McCulloch brand.
The McCulloch CS380 can be purchased as either a 16″/34cc or 18″/38cc model, giving you some flexibility depending on your needs. The difference in price between the two saws is negligible. I have to say that this one great looking chainsaw from an industrial design perspective. It has a muscular look to it — more so than any of the other cheap chainsaws, in my humble opinion. But a chainsaw is meant to cut wood so who cares about what it looks like. Is it any good?
This is a very cheap chainsaw at just over $130, which seems impossible for what you’re getting for so little money. It has a bunch of great features, including: tool-less tensioning system, inertia chain brake, visible fuel level window, an easy start system, and more. The difference between cheap chainsaws and medium grade chainsaws are not just in the price, but mainly in the details of the features and how well they’re designed and integrated together in one package. On top of that, the parts in cheap chainsaws are not as good or as durable as more expensive chainsaws.
I know I repeat myself but there are a lot of similarities between all of these cheap chainsaws, but I’ll say it one last time: This saw is suited for light to medium-duty cutting. Great for felling small trees, cutting firewood, limbing and other small jobs around the garden and yard. It doesn’t have an anti-vibration system so it’s only good to use for short periods of time. I can’t stress this enough but there’s a medical term called hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) which is directly correlated to tools that vibrate. I suggest you read up on it to help you make a better buying decision and one that doesn’t impact your health negatively.
The McCulloch CS380 is a nice saw for very little money. Easy to start up and enough power to tackle typical homeowner projects. It’s very stylish as you see in the pictures and my favorite looking of the group, but more than that; it’s ergonomically designed and feels good in your hands but a little on the heavy side. The patented OxyPower engine has reduced emissions and is designed for fuel efficiency, enabling it to run smoother and longer on a tank of gas.
- Choose either the 16-inch (34cc) or 18-inch (38cc) bar and chain.
- OxyPower Technology: Better fuel efficiency, more power but also 70% less emissions and 20% lower fuel consumption.
- Soft Start : Easy to start by reducing the resistance in the starter cord by up to 40%.
- Tool-less chain tensioning : Adjust the bar and chain without any tools.
- Inertia Chain Brake with combined choke/stop control.
- Easy to read fuel level window.
- Combi tool integrated in the rear handle.
18-inch | 40 cc | 20 lbs
The Poulan P4018WT Wild Thing is an iconic gas chainsaw that’s so popular that Poulan decided to make a kids toy chainsaw from this design. This is a good inexpensive chainsaw for the average homeowner who doesn’t cut trees on a regular basis. It doesn’t have any bells and whistles, it’s a simple saw powered by a 40cc engine.
It’s a little rough to start so expect to have it idle for a few minutes before getting to work. If you don’t already know, Poulan is a budget line of chainsaws and the Poulan Pro is the premium brand between the two. Husqvarna owns both brands. Obviously, if you want a professional saw then you want to buy a Husqvarna or a STIHL, but you’re here for a cheap chainsaw, not a pro saw.
The only real feature this model has is the automatic chain oiler. Unfortunately it only has a one year warranty. One fantastic thing about this chainsaw is that it comes with a high quality carrying case. I wish more companies included cases like this.
This is a good gas chainsaw for light-duty cutting around the house but don’t expect to cut down large trees. It’s basic. It works. Not the best cheap chainsaw you can buy but it looks cool.
Tip: Make sure you check your chain tension every time you use this chainsaw. The chain has a tendency to loosen up more than your average saw.
Download the manual for the Poulan Wild Thing (P4018WT).
- Perfect for light cutting duties around the house.
- Clean Air Filter System that increases the life of the air filter.
- Automatic oiler.
- Primer bulb for easy starting.
- CARB Compliant.
Ryobi RY10518 | Cheap Gas Chainsaw
18-inch | 46 cc | 16 lbs
RYOBI has an excellent reputation for making affordable pro-featured power tools and outdoor equipment. Although as far as chainsaws go they’re better known for their electric saws like their Ryobi RY40511 40V. The company makes budget minded tools for homeowners, woodworkers, outdoor enthusiasts, hobbyists, craftspeople, and value-conscious contractors.
The bottom line with the Ryobi RY10518 is it’s a competent gas chainsaw and it’s very cheap for the amount of power you get. At 46cc and an 18″ bar and chain it’s a great saw for light to medium-duty cutting around the yard — perfect for clearing brush, cutting firewood and felling small trees around your yard.
As with a lot of lower priced chainsaws, the key to get the maximum efficiency from this saw is to allow the chainsaw to do the work. Don’t force it or it will bog down and if you push it too hard you’ll shorten the life of the engine. That’s advice that you need to apply to any chainsaw. A professional chainsaw is made with higher quality parts and also have protective mechanism built into the saw so the engine will cut out before you burn it out.
This RYOBI chainsaw has a chain brake that gets engaged when you push the handle guard forward. Nothing special with this saw but it is very cheap and it will get the job done for weekend warriors. It also comes with a scrench to tighten the chain. It has an automatic oiling system.
Which of these Cheap Chainsaws should you buy?
There you have it. A list of seven cheap chainsaws for you to choose from. Which one is the right one for you? Well, if you want to increase your chance of buying a good saw that won’t fall apart on you I suggest you purchase one of my top four picks for the best cheap chainsaws money can buy.
My top recommendations:
If you own any of these cheap chainsaws noted in this article feel free to send me an email and let me know what your opinion is on your particular saw. The more data, the better so don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to hearing what you have to say.
Just remember that whichever cheap chainsaw you purchase, don’t use it for large trees and don’t push it beyond its limits because none of these chainsaws have the durability and power to handle heavy-duty cutting for extended lengths of time. Choose your chainsaw wisely and don’t expect it to do what it wasn’t designed to do because the last thing you want is a broken chainsaw from improper usage or from lack of maintenance.
Cheap chainsaws will never be as good as more expensive chainsaws because when it comes to power tools the quality of the tool is directly correlated with the quality of the parts and materials, as well as the engineering. The main reason why these are cheap chainsaws is mainly due to the lower quality materials used, so if you don’t push these chainsaws beyond their capabilities they are likely to last much longer than if you force them to do work they weren’t designed to do.
If you want some more options and perhaps want to spend a little more money instead of purchasing one of the cheap chainsaws from this list but you’re still unsure of what chainsaw to buy, I recommend these articles:
- GreenWorks 80V and 40V Battery Chainsaws | Review
- Makita UC4030A / UC3530A | Electric Chainsaws | Review
- Best Small Chainsaws | Under 14″
- Chainsaw Buying Guide
- Best Homeowner Chainsaws (All power types)
- Best Gas Chainsaws | For Homeowners
- Best Corded Chainsaw
- Best Battery Powered Chainsaw
- Black & Decker Alligator Lopper
- Top Handle Chainsaw Reviews
- Electric Chainsaws Under $100
- Concrete Chainsaw Guide
- Husqvarna K760 Concrete Chainsaws
- Husqvarna 455 Rancher Review
- WORX JawSaw Review
- Poulan Pro PP5020AV Gas Saw
- WORX Chainsaws
- Oregon PowerNow | CS1500
- Blue Max Chainsaw Review