Is a Blue Max Chainsaw any good? Well, I’m going to attempt to answer that question for you. A lot of you have been wondering if you should put your money down on a Blue Max chainsaw. Blue Max is a chainsaw brand owned by North American Tool Industries (NATI).
Since it’s so difficult to find information on Blue Max chainsaws I decided to take it upon myself and put together all the information I could find so our readers can make an informed buying decision. It’s always overwhelming for consumers when they have to decide which chainsaw to buy. I wish manufacturers made it easier for consumers to decide what to buy.
The most important thing a manufacturer can do for consumers is to provide information on their products. The facts. The details. And on top of that provide potential customers with excellent large photos showing different views. And lastly, provide HD videos showing your product in action.
I don’t understand why every company doesn’t do this. They would sell more product. Creating this article was extremely frustrating because the information from Blue Max is sparse and confusing. I’ll continue to update this article as I discover new information.
My goal at Chainsaw Journal is to help consumers spend their money wisely on products that will stand the test of time. Information allows you to make better choices and I always set out to empower my readers with knowledge so they (you) can decide what makes sense for you.
I hope you find this article on Blue Max Chainsaws useful.
Blue Max Chainsaw | North American Tool Industries
Who makes Blue Max chainsaws? Well, the company is called North American Tool Industries but there’s no meaningful information about the company online. When visiting their website I’m greeted with generic marketing-speak that doesn’t do much to illuminate anything about the company itself.
Their site states:
“…over 10 major product categories direct from a reliable supplier with 50 years experience in the Tool & Equipment Business.”
NATI branded products enable Professionals and Do-It-Yourselfers alike to be more productive at Home, on the Job-site, and in the workplace.
Has North American Tool Industries really been around for 50 years? I don’t know…
I wish I could tell you more specific information about the company at this time but unfortunately I can’t. Although their contact number is: 800-348-5004 if you need to call them for some reason.
What I can tell you is that Blue Max chainsaws are made in China and follow the recent trend of cheap Chinese-made chainsaws being introduced in the marketplace. But just because Blue Max chainsaws are made in China doesn’t mean they aren’t good. Apple iPhones are made in China and they’re pretty darn good.
I will say that their are some excellent Chinese-made chainsaws on the market from companies such as WORX, and I’ve featured many of their tools on Chainsaw Journal, including:
Since we don’t know anything substantial about the company (NATI) we can try to answer the most important question: Is a Blue Max chainsaw worth your money?
The Blue Max 8902 is the most popular chainsaw package from Blue Max because it contains a wide array of accessories and options that make it attractive to consumers. For starters, you essentially get two chainsaws in one with 8902 model. Blue Max gives you a 14″ and a 20″ bar and chain with this 45cc gas chainsaw.
I need to clarify something from the beginning. The Blue Max 8902 is a packaged bundle that contains the following: The 45cc Blue Max chainsaw, carrying case, scrench, scabbard, 14″ bar & chain and a 20″ bar & chain.
And it’s cheap, costing under $150. But is it worth it?
As you might know, it’s not common to get two different sized bar and chains when buying a chainsaw so I have to give Blue Max credit for trying something new with their products. Also, you get a decent carrying case with this blue max chainsaw. Don’t buy this chainsaw for the case. It’s pretty good, not great. Consider the case a bonus.
Includes this solid carrying case.
This Blue Max chainsaw has a low range chain brake for additional protection as well as a convenient automatic chain oiling system to ensure your chain never goes dry. It’s made with a quick-start (CDI) ignition system. Some customers complain that this chainsaw is hard to start, so I included a video on how to start your Blue Max chainsaw within this article. Keep reading and you’ll find it.
If you follow the instructions at the end of this article on how to start your Blue Max chainsaw you won’t complain anymore. But there are certain steps you need to follow. A better instruction would alleviate this complaint from customers, as well as: Where’s my 14″ bar and chain located?
Don’t worry, I’ll answer these questions in this article.
For under $150 you get a lot of value with this Blue Max chainsaw. Thankfully, one of the most important features of a gas chainsaw is also included — anti-vibration handles — something you rarely get with cheap chainsaws. But, I still recommend using anti-vibration gloves with any chainsaw for extra protection.
Yes, a gas chainsaw under $150 is considered very cheap. I did a full article on cheap gas chainsaws if you want to explore all of your options.
On the Blue Max website it indicates where you can find service centers for Blue Max Chainsaws: Service Centers Directory: North American Tool Industries (Blue Max chainsaw).
Overall, this Blue Max chainsaw is a decent saw for the money. If you’re someone who is already comfortable with chainsaws and can handle some of its idiosyncrasies then you might like this chainsaw. It cuts well and has a good amount of power. It’s not a Husqvarna or STIHL and don’t expect it to compete in terms of quality or long-term durability but if you use it properly then it will serve you well.
There are a lot of happy customer who purchased this saw so it’s a worthy option that has satisfied a lot of homeowners. For occasional use around the home it will probably serve you well but one concern I have is the quality control. When buying a cheap chainsaw quality control will be an issue and it seems there are inconsistent experiences being expressed by customers, which I attribute to quality control at the manufacturing process.
Common complaints of the Blue Max 8902:
- Hard to start once hot.
- Poor instruction manual.
- It’s heavy.
- No primer button.
TIP: You have to disengage the chain brake handle when replacing the cover after installing bar and chain.
Also, it truly is a cheap chainsaw so if you push it and don’t allow the chainsaw to do the cutting then you’ll burn out the motor prematurely. You should never force this chainsaw, or any other chainsaw, but a Husqvarna or a STIHL is made with high quality components that can withstand more stress and abuse.
Unfortunately, too many homeowner don’t understand how to operate a chainsaw and they blame the saw when it breaks down. If you’ve never used a chainsaw before start with my Chainsaw Buying Guide and Safety Guidelines, or better still, read this excellent book: Homeowner’s Complete Guide to the Chainsaw. See more details in this article on chainsaw books.
Would I recommend this Blue Max Chainsaw? Well, If you’re in the market for a cheap chainsaw and are willing to spend under $200 then I think you can do better. If you’re just looking for the cheapest gas chainsaw that will get the job done then go ahead and purchase a Blue Max chainsaw — either the 8902 or the 6595 — which I’ll cover next in this article (Consumer Reports rated it a respectable 69 out of 100).
I’ll say it again, for the money, you can buy a better chainsaw. My recommendations are next.
My two recommendations for the best cheap gas chainsaw under $200 are below, and you can read all about them in my article entitled: Best Cheap Gas Chainsaws
My #1 recommendation for the best cheap (inexpensive & affordable) chainsaw under $200 is the Remington RM5118R Rodeo.
And my #2 pick for best cheap (affordable) chainsaw is the Poulan Pro PP5020AV, which I’ve fully reviewed.
Honestly, I would recommend either of these two chainsaw over any Blue Max chainsaw. For about the same money you get a superior chainsaw in every respect — and with a much longer track record from reputable companies. When I spend my money I want the best that I can buy for the budget I’ve allocated and so I’m recommending to you what I would do with my own money.
Now back to the Blue Max review…
If you need a chainsaw for frequent usage then I can’t recommend any Blue Max chainsaw. Stick to a chainsaw that’s been around for awhile and has stood the test of time. Buy a chainsaw from a reputable brand. If the Remington Rodeo or the Poulan Pro PP5020AV don’t interest you for some reason then pick a chainsaw in these articles:
- View or download the MANUAL for the Blue Max 8902 chainsaw.
- View or download the PARTS list for the Blue Max 8902 chainsaw.
Features (Blue Max 8902):
- Assembled dimension: W 14.17″ x D 39.37″ x H 14.96″
- 45cc pro grade Blue Max engine, single cylinder, 2 stroke, 2800 RPM no load speed.
- 30% more chain teeth reduces cutting time.
- Includeds 2 bar and chain lengths: 14″ and 20-inches.
- Easy access chain pro-tensioner for fast adjustments.
- Quick start CDI ignition system.
- Center balanced for optimal control and minimum fatigue.
- Anti-vibration handle: Extremely low vibration reduces fatigue.
- 40:1 fuel mixture
- Blow-molded case for easy transportation.
- Rapid-reaction kick-back brake (quick stop), hand guard, safety trigger and convenient on/off switch.
- EPA certified.
Replacement Chains | Blue Max 8902
Blue Max chainsaw chains are readily available online.
Specs (Blue Max 8902):
- Anti-vibration handle : Yes
- Engine Type : 2-Stoke
- Not CARB Compliant
- Fuel tank capacity (oz.) : 18.6
- Product Weight (lb.) : 23.13 lb
- Chain brake : Yes
- Recommended oil : 2-Cycle
- Weight: 19 lbs
Yard Dog same as Blue Max Chainsaw
As I mentioned earlier, North American Tool Industries owns the Yard Dog brand of chainsaws, which is the same 45cc chainsaw as the Blue Max model, with the only exception is that it’s green.
I decided to place the two chainsaws side-by-side so you can see for yourself. In all honesty, it’s not uncommon for chainsaws to be re-branded for different companies but it’s odd that the same company would do so. It dilutes the brand and creates confusion with consumers.
Watch a video of the Yard Dog cutting, which is essentially the Blue Max 8902 cutting. Confusing, I know.
Blue Max 8902 Videos | Watch and Learn
Watch this short videos to get a good overview of the Blue Max 8902. It’s always nice to see a product in videos before deciding to make a purchase.
Blue Max 8902 Chainsaw Unboxing:
Where is the 14″ bar & chain for the Blue Max 8902?
A lot of Blue Max customers never find the 14″ bar and chain for their 8902 chainsaw. Why? Well, because Blue Max placed it at the bottom of the hard case and it’s not easy to notice if you don’t read the little sticker on the case. Let’s face it, most people don’t read all the literature when they buy a new product, which is a shame.
Personally, when I buy a new product I read every word of the manual and other accompanying literature that comes with it because I want to know every feature that the product has. Nothing more annoying than buying a product only to discover, years later, that it had a feature that you could have used but never knew was already integrated into the product — all because you didn’t read the manual.
Has that ever happened to you? …don’t lie. It’s happened to me many times.
Watch this video below and find out where the 14″ bar and chain is located.
Blue Max 8902 | 14″ bar and chain location
The Blue Max 6595 has all the same features as the 8902 except it doesn’t come with the hard case so I won’t repeat the same information again.
Consumer Reports says this about the Blue Max 6595:
Very fast cutting through 10 x 10-inch oak beams and Somewhat easy to hold and operate comfortably, based on our judgments of making horizontal and vertical cuts and the degree to which the saw vibrated during cuts.
Moderately easy overall to use, which includes starting the saw, adjusting chain tightness, checking and adding fluids, and accessing supplies such as the spark plug and air filter.
NOTE: You’ll need a Consumer Reports subscription to read the review. Personally, I think it’s well worth the money because they provide a wealth of information to help you decide where to spend your money.
- 45cc Gas Powered Chain Saw.
- Cuts trees up to 36 inches in diameter.
- No-load at 2800 RPM.
- Weight: 18.89 lbs.
- Inertia-Activated Safety Chain Brake stops chain in case of kickback.
- Automatic Bar & Chain Oiler: Keeps chain lubricated.
- Runs on 40:1 gas/oil mix; 18.6oz gas tank & 8.8oz. oil tank
- CDI Ignition System: Capacitor discharge quickly fires the spark plugs for easy starts.
- 18″ Bar & Cutting Chain.
- 0.325″ pitch; 0.058″ gauge, 21 BP chain type.
Detailed view of the Blue Max 6595:
Blue Max 6595 Photos:
PARTS | Blue Max Chainsaw
One of the drawbacks of buying a Blue Max chainsaw is that it will be hard to find parts when it breaks down and need repairing.
Blue Max has a Service Centers Directory on their website which you can see where you can bring your chainsaw in for repairs.
In many ways this Blue Max chainsaw is a disposable saw in the sense that it’s going to be difficult to find parts when it breaks down and although it’s a good chainsaw when it’s running you might not want to put a lot of money into it when its reached the end of its lifespan.
WARRANTY | Blue Max Chainsaw
Blue Max Chainsaw Warranty Repair Procedure:
- Notify the retail store where the unit was purchased.
- Depending on the repair, the unit may be repaired at the retailers for minor repairs.
- For any other repairs needed the store may elect to have an authorized national service center repair
- Retain your receipt for proof of purchase date and warranty coverage.
Your limited warranty does not include oil, gas or flat tire replacement cost.
Your limited warranty covers manufactures defects for 1 year parts and labor and does not cover abuse
or damage to the product.
Contact Blue Max directly:
How to start a Blue Max chainsaw!
And finally, the last video. Some Blue Max customers struggle with starting their chainsaw as it doesn’t have a primer bulb like most modern chainsaws. If you already own a Blue Max chainsaw and are having troubles or you’re considering purchasing a Blue Max chainsaw but are apprehensive because of reading the many customer complaints about starting their chainsaw — watch and learn. It’s not difficult.
Open the choke fully for the first few pulls, then close the choke and pull a couple more times. Now it should start.
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