The best chainsaw can only be decided when factoring in your current and future projects. A lot of people have a difficult time deciding upon the best chainsaw to buy, especially if they’ve never purchased a chainsaw before. I understand. It can be intimidating.
We review a wide range of chainsaws in this article, of all types — gas, corded electric, and battery-powered. There’s something for everyone here as I realize that the best chainsaw for you truly depends on two main things. First, what do you actually need it for? What do you intend to do use the chainsaw for? And second, what’s your budget? There is no such thing as the absolute best chainsaw for everybody. It really depends on what your needs are.
In this article I will provide you with my top picks for the best chainsaws for homeowners. I guarantee that one of these chainsaw will fit your needs — well, unless you’re a logger.
Find the Best Chainsaw for You!
The Husqvarna 120i (14-inch / 36.5V) is a great example of homeowner chainsaw as it was specifically designed to satisfy the needs of most homeowners. Husqvarna calls this a “casual” chainsaw because it’s geared toward people who require a light-duty chainsaw. Typically, Husqvarna creates chainsaws for professionals but they’ve recognized that most people need a chainsaw that’s light, comfortable. quiet, doesn’t pollute and has the convenience of battery power so you don’t have to worry about maintenance.
Read our full review of the impressive Husqvarna 120i
Before I get into the heart of this article I want to provide you with a visual overview of all the chainsaws we’ll be covering in the article. I know that many people don’t have the time to read every word and sift through this article.
Think of this as the ‘Coles Notes‘ that you might have used in school. I understand, sometimes readers just want the answer immediately, so this first section is for you.
Every single one of these chainsaws are excellent in their own way. I don’t see any point in reviewing horrible products on Chainsaw Journal. So, the proper way to determine which chainsaw is for you is by determining what type of cutting you expect to be doing in the short-term and long-term. Be honest with yourself and it will quickly become apparent which model is the best for you.
If you want all the details then read the rest of the article. We’ve sprinkled this comprehensive article with lots of goodies and recommendations for you so if you don’t like to read, simple browse. We’re confident there’s something here for everyone — yes, even you.
Visual Overview | Best Chainsaw
Best for (the good): Light-duty projects. Limbing, cutting small trees into logs (bucking), firewood, felling small trees, cutting wood up to 12-inches in diameter, cleaning up after a storm, pruning and general yard clean-up. Great features. Excellent value.
Not good for (cons): Heavy-duty cutting. You have to manage the extension cord.
Best for (the good): Heavy-duty projects. Limbing, cutting trees into logs (bucking), firewood, felling trees, cutting wood up to 24-inches in diameter, cleaning up after a storm, pruning and general clean-up. Professional build quality. The perfect chainsaw.
Not good for (cons): Excessive pruning. Might feel heavy after awhile, depending on your fitness level. Expensive, but worth it.
Remington Rodeo: Excellent value. Affordable but heavy.
Best for (the good): Heavy-duty projects. Limbing, cutting trees into logs (bucking), firewood, felling trees, cutting wood up to 24-Inches in diameter, cleaning up after a storm, pruning and general clean-up. Solid construction. Affordable.
Not good for (cons): Pruning (too heavy). You need to be strong to use this chainsaw.
Best for (the good): Light to medium-duty projects. Limbing, cutting trees into logs (bucking), firewood, felling small trees, cutting wood up to 14-inches in diameter, cleaning up after a storm, pruning and general yard clean-up. Excellent build quality. Professional-grade saw.
Not good for (cons): Heavy-duty cutting. You need to be near an outlet.
Best for (the good): Light to medium-duty projects. Limbing, cutting trees into logs (bucking), firewood, felling trees, cutting wood up to 16-inches in diameter, cleaning up after a storm, pruning and general yard clean-up. Equivalent power to a 45cc gas chainsaw. Battery charges in 30 minutes.
Not good for (cons): Heavy-duty cutting. Battery life is its biggest limitation. An extra 4Ah battery would make this chainsaw flawless. Expensive.
Best for (the good): Light to medium-duty projects. Limbing, cutting trees into logs (bucking), firewood, cutting wood up to 12-inches in diameter, cleaning up after a storm, pruning and general yard clean-up. Self-sharpening system is excellent.
Not good for (cons): Heavy-duty cutting. Felling trees. Battery life is its biggest limitation. An extra battery (4Ah) would make this chainsaw far more efficient. Slow battery charging.
Best for (the good): Light-duty projects. Limbing, cutting small trees into logs (bucking), firewood, cutting wood up to 12-inches in diameter, cleaning up after a storm, pruning and general yard clean-up. Great value. Good battery life.
Not good for (cons): Heavy-duty cutting. Felling trees.
Best for (the good): Light-duty projects. Cutting wood up to 6-inches in diameter, cleaning up after a storm, pruning and general yard clean-up. Very lightweight. Easy for anyone to use and carry.
Not good for (cons): Medium or heavy-duty cutting. Felling trees. Battery life is limited. Manual oiling system. (Upgrade to the LCS1240 40V as it has an automatic oiler).
Finding the right chainsaw can be tricky. If you want to spend your money wisely then you have to be realistic about your particular needs. How often will you cutting at one time? What size wood do you need to cut? Are you going to be felling trees?
I don’t recommend buying the cheapest chainsaw you can find. Buy a chainsaw that will match your needs for today and in the near future. Always follow the tried and true safety measures.
Chainsaws are dangerous and if you don’t know how to use one then get someone to teach you first. Take a class. Ask for help or guidance. Buy this excellent book on Chainsaws specifically written for homeowners.
Wear Safety Gear
Keep it Simple | Best Chainsaw
I’m going to keep it simple and straightforward in this article. At the end of the day you probably just a want a capable chainsaw that’s well-made, reliable, safe and not too expensive. I know cost is important to most people especially with the economy as it is today so I’m giving you two options for each category — “best cheap chainsaw” and “best overall.”
What Does ‘Best Chainsaw’ Mean?
What’s best for you is not necessarily what’s best for you. One of my top recommendations is this new GreenWorks 80V (read our review) battery-powered chainsaw. But, it’s expensive, so if you can’t afford it then this is obviously not the right chainsaw for you.
If you need power but have a limited budget then I would suggest either the Makita UC4051A (electric) (read our review) or the Remington RM5118R Rodeo (gas). My point being that the “best” chainsaw is relative. But I will provide you with an option no matter what your circumstances, experience or budget.
I know there’s no single “best” chainsaw that everyone will agree with. There are several factors that determine what’s the best chainsaw for you, so don’t spend all your time searching for perfection — it doesn’t exist.
Having said that, this article will give you some excellent options for you to choose from. All the chainsaws in this article are excellent in their particular category. The best chainsaw is a subjective topic that can only be determined by your needs. The variables that will influence your decision are: your budget, physical strength, and the scope of cutting that you need to get done. It should be relatively easy for you to make a decision once you know those three things and finish reading this article.
At Chainsaw Journal we’ve written many articles on different chainsaw models and I’ll provide additional links for you at the end of this article but my goal here is simplify the buying process so you don’t waste endless hours of your time on research. I know how addictive research on the internet can be, but speaking from experience, at some point you need to make a decision. My hope is that by the end of this article you’ll be confident in your decision to choose the best chainsaw that you won’t regret.
If you’re on a budget then have a read of my list of: The Best Chainsaw for the Money. Some of the chainsaws from this article are also on this list, but there are differences.
Before using a chainsaw make sure you understand the basic safety operating procedures first. An excellent book for you to consider, and one that I own, is: Homeowner’s Complete Guide to the Chainsaw. It will show you how to everything you want to do with chainsaws in a step-by-step instructional manner.
Here are my recommendations that belong on my personal list of the best chainsaw for homeowners. By the time you finish this article you’ll know which chainsaw to buy, that’s my promise to you.
WORX WG303.1 | Best Chainsaw : Electric
Best for: Light to medium-duty cutting. Softwood. Felling trees, cutting wood up to 14-inches. Cutting firewood. Big projects that require light to medium-duty cutting.
Not good for: Heavy-duty cutting.
- 15.5 Amp electric motor.
- 16″ bar and chain.
- Patented tool-free tensioning system prevents over-tightening.
- Built-in chain brake for added safety.
- Automatic oil lubrication and built-in oil reservoir with level indicator.
- Rubberized rear handle for added comfort and grip.
- 3/8″ pitch reduced kickback chain safely improves cutting performance.
View or download the MANUAL.
Overview | WORX WG303.1
The WORX WG303.1 strikes a perfect balance between price and features. I’m surprised at how many features are packed into this chainsaw and for under $100. This is one of the most popular and well rated chainsaws on the market, in any category. I would be foolish not to have this on my list of the best chainsaws for homeowners.
It comes with a tool-free automatic chain tensioning system that prevents you from tightening your chain too much which will ultimately extend the life of your chain. It has an automatic lubrication system, an effective chain brake and ergonomic rubberized handle for extra comfort when you work.
The 16″ chain is powered by a 14.5 Amp motor, giving you ample juice to tackle your light to medium-duty cutting projects around the house. WORX has truly made a powerful chainsaw that’s easy to use and runs smoothly. In fact, it doesn’t get much easier when it comes to using a chainsaw. Everything is automated for you and all you have to worry about is plugging it in and cutting wood.
Not only is this the best electric chainsaw that’s inexpensive but it’s also the best chainsaw for the money. For under $100 you can’t go wrong. The only drawback is that you’ll have to manage an extension cord but other than that it’s cheap, versatile, fast-cutting and well-made.
If you want a 50-foot extension cord then you’ll need a 12-gauge cord to get the maximum power from this saw. If you want a 100-foot extension cord, which is probably a better idea, then you need a 10-gauge cord.
Watch this video review:
The WORX WG303.1 is ideal for pruning, limbing, yard clean up and felling small trees up to 14-inches. Honestly, for the average homeowner, you simply can’t go wrong with this chainsaw, and if you don’t believe me then just read the reviews. This certainly deserves to be on the best chainsaw list as it’s been tested and validated by a numerous amount of consumers already. You can’t argue with the long list of happy customers.
This is the type of chainsaw that will surprise you again and again because you’ll wonder how can such a good chainsaw be so cheap. Well, the answer to that is that they sell so many of these WORX chainsaws and therefore the manufacturing costs are down to a minimum. In the end, the consumer wins.
Its bigger brother
WORX also makes a slightly more powerful version of this chainsaw called the WORX WG304.1. It has a 15-Amp motor and an 18″ bar and chain, but everything else is exactly the same. Same build quality and features.
If you want to read more about the WORX WG303.1 then read about it in our featured article on WORX Chainsaws, including the WG304.1 model.
Husqvarna 450 | Best Chainsaw (Overall)
50.2 cc / 18-Inches / Gas
Best for: Medium to heavy-duty cutting. Hard or softwood. Felling trees up to 24-inches. Cutting firewood. Large projects.
Not good for: Limbing and/or pruning for long periods of time due to weight.
- 50.2cc X-Torq engine delivers power with lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions
- Three-piece crankshaft is forged in two halves and connected with the crankpin for extreme durability and long life
- Quick-release air filter for easy cleaning and replacement
- Centrifugal air cleaning system improves engine life by removing large dust and debris particles before they reach the air filter
- Easy to start with combined start/stop switch, Smart Start and fuel pump
- Low vibe system reduces operator fatigue
- Transparent fuel indicator makes it easy to monitor fuel level
- Inertia-activated chain brake reduces chances of injury due to kickback
- Snap-lock cylinder cover saves time when cleaning and changing spark plugs
- Air purge system removes air from the carburetor and fuel system for easy starts
- Felling marks produce distinct marks for precision felling
Overview | Husqvarna 450
When it comes to felling trees and cutting firewood, nothing cuts faster and more efficiently than a gas chainsaw. The Husqvarna 450 is an exceptional homeowner chainsaw because it has the perfect balance between power and ergonomics. It’s relatively light at 11.3 lbs, which makes it easy on your back and allows you to work longer.
A mistake that many people make to focus all their attention on the features and nothing else. Unfortunately, you can’t tell how good a chainsaw is by the features alone. It doesn’t work that way. Think of a chainsaw as a machine, like a car. A good chainsaw depends on the how each individual component comes together to serve the entire machine. For example, If you buy a powerful chainsaw that’s unbalanced, uncomfortable to hold, and vibrates excessively then your chance of getting injured dramatically increases, making it a poorly engineered chainsaw.
If you’re new to chainsaws then I strongly suggest that you watch this video:
The Husqvarna 450 has an 18″ bar and chain and it’s powered by a 50.2cc engine and has more than enough power for the average homeowner. It’s easy to start, unlike some chainsaws, and also has anti-vibration dampeners on the handles, making it much easier on your body. Anti-vibration technology on large chainsaws is important as it protects your hands and arms, especially if you’re working for long periods of time.
Being subjected to vibration for an extended period of time can cause a medical condition known as: Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS). It’s a very real problem that you need to be aware of. On less powerful chainsaws you’ll get more manageable vibration, even without anti-vibration handles. You’ll notice that any professional chainsaw will have anti-vibration technology built-in.
Lots of Great Features
The 450 is easily one of the best chainsaws you can buy as it has a long track record of reliability and happy customers. It has some nice features, like the transparent fuel window so you know when to top up your gas. It has felling marks for more precise tree felling, and an inertia brake which protects you against kickback, and if you don’t know what “kickback” is then watch this short video: Chainsaw Kickback Demonstration.
The Husqvarna 450 is one of those rare chainsaws that does everything well and therefore difficult to criticize for anything. This is an outstanding chainsaw if you need to fell trees and cut firewood, or do some heavy-duty cutting to clean up after a storm. I wouldn’t recommend this saw if your yard projects are primarily focused on pruning and limbing – in that case, you’ll need something lighter.
A good alternative to the Husqvarna 450 is the Husqvarna 445. Read our review to see if it’s right for you. It’s less powerful and lighter but it’s more manageable for inexperienced chainsaw operators.
Lastly, Husqvarna allows you to extend the warranty to either 3 or 4 years by simply purchasing a certain amount of Husqvarna 2-stroke oil or pre-mixed 2-stroke fuel at the time of purchase. Read all the details here:
*Note: The oil has to be on the same purchase receipt as the chainsaw. I highly recommend extending the warranty because you’ll need the fluids eventually and for very little money you can have peace of mind for 3 or 4 years. It’s a great deal from Husqvarna.
Learn more about the Husqvarna 450 in our feature article on Gas Chainsaw for Homeowners.
This chainsaw is an excellent performer under a wide range of conditions, but it’s still reasonably priced. I consider this to be the best chainsaw because it provides you with professional build quality alongside all of the important safety features that will protect you as you work in your yard.
View or download the SPECS & FEATURES sheet.
Buy the Husqvarna 450 from Amazon.
Remington RM5118R Rodeo | Best Cheap Gas Chainsaw
Best for: Medium to heavy-duty cutting. Hard or softwood. Felling trees up to 24-inches. Cutting firewood. Large projects.
Not good for: Limbing and/or pruning for extended periods of time. It’s heavy, at 17.5 lbs.
- 51cc 2-cycle engine provides power for felling trees, cutting firewood and cutting yard debris.
- Quick start system is easy to start with minimal pulls, even when cold.
- Front and rear anti-vibration handles make the saw comfortable to operate and reduce hand and arm fatigue.
- Automatic oiler provides consistent lubrication to the bar and chain while the saw is running.
- 18 in. bar and chain equipped with low kickback chain and large gripping spikes to safely get the job done.
- Heavy-duty case is perfect for off-season storage or for transportation to and from the job site.
- 2-year limited warranty.
Documents for the Remington RM5118R Rodeo:
Overview | Remington Rodeo
The Remington RM5118R Rodeo is built with a lot of great features typically found on higher end chainsaws, most notably the anti-vibration handles. This is an excellent cheap chainsaw at just under $200. Some people may not consider $200 cheap but my goal is to provide you with a recommendation for a safe and reliable chainsaw and although you can buy cheaper chainsaws, they don’t have the features that provide the safety levels and quality that I expect for the average homeowner.
For example, the Blue Max chainsaw (model: 6595) is about $50 cheaper and still a great chainsaw but it doesn’t have anti-vibration handles nor does it have the long-term reliability of the Remington RM5118R Rodeo. As I stated earlier, since gas chainsaws are powerful and cause a lot of vibration I consider anti-vibration handles to be an essential an feature on gas chainsaws.
The best chainsaw powered by gas if you’re on a budget.
The RM5118R is powered by an impressive 51cc engine encased by a pro-grade crankcase, sprocket, and die-cast chassis that will serve you well as the years go by. It has an 18″ bar and chain and large bucking spikes for added safety. It comes with a fast starting proprietary system, an automatic oiler, as well as an inertia brake. Let’s just say that you get a lot of chainsaw for very little money.
Overall this chainsaw is a fantastic bargain at its price point, offering you a lot of power as well as quality and if you’re on a budget then this is the best chainsaw you can buy if you require the power to tackle large projects.
To learn more about the Remington Rodeo read our extensive feature on Cheap Gas Chainsaw.
Buy the Remington RM5118R Rodeo from Amazon.
18″ Bar & Chain / 80V Lithium-ion Battery / 13.7 lbs
Chainsaws come and go. Models are updated, upgraded and eventually become obsolete. Battery technology is changing fast to meet up with needs of consumers. Thankfully, GreenWorks is pushing the industry forward by introducing the GreenWorks 80V, which has the equivalent power of a 45cc gas chainsaw. Yes, that’s absolutely true. This chainsaw was designed to give you the ultimate convenience while still providing you with enough power to fell a 16″ (in diameter) tree.
Released in the winter of 2014 (press release), this chainsaw has been steadily gaining steam ever since it was released to the public. This is the most powerful battery chainsaw available on the market. I’m sure next year there will be something more powerful, but for right now, this is the ultimate battery powered chainsaw you can buy.
- 80V Li-Ion System.
- Capable of 150+ cuts with fully charged 2.0 Ah battery.
- DigiPro digital controlled brushless motor for 30% more torque and 70% less vibration.
- Equivalent power to a 45cc gas engine.
- Steel bucking spikes and durable metal wrap around handle.
- Electronic chain brake for added safety.
- On board chain tensioning tool.
- Automatic oiling system keeps chain lubricated.
- 18″ bar and chain.
- One battery system works for a full line of 80V GreenWorks tools.
- Very little maintenance, lightweight and easy electric start.
- No Gas, No Fumes, No winterization.
- Compatible battery and charger models GBA80200 (2Ah), GBA80400 (4Ah) and GCH8040* (Additional high capacity batteries coming soon).
View or download the MANUAL for the GreenWorks 80V chainsaw.
Overview | GreenWorks 80V
This is the first battery chainsaw that can be truly compared to a gas chainsaw. GreenWorks states that it’s as powerful as a 45cc gas chainsaw, which is pretty impressive for battery power.
When buying this chainsaw you can either buy it in a package, which includes a battery (2Ah) and the charger. But my recommendation (if you can afford it) is to buy the chainsaw, battery and charger separately, and buy the 4Ah battery instead of the 2Ah battery. The 4Ah battery will double your working time, but takes twice as long to charge.
Watch this video:
Again, you need to determine your budget and how much cutting you need to do. This is a heavy-duty battery chainsaw so I’m assuming that if you’re considering this product then you probably do a lot of cutting and trimming around the yard. This is an excellent storm clean-up chainsaw if you’re someone who lives in an area where storms are common.
- 2Ah battery: charges in 30 minutes (GBA80200)
- 150 Cuts or about 1/2 hour of continuous running time.
- 4Ah battery: charges in 60 minutes (GBA80400)
- Over an hour of working time.
If you had two batteries you could actually work non-stop, all day long, since the batteries charge quickly.
One of the complaints about this chainsaw is that the 2Ah battery life is short. In all fairness, this is a large battery and it’s expensive. Most of the cost is in the battery. But, if you have the money and you feel you need to cut wood for extended periods of time then I highly recommend spending the money now so you don’t regret it later.
Maximize you Purchase
On that note, you should know that GreenWorks has a full line of 80V tools so this battery will work with any power tool in the series. Even though you may not need any other tools right now, it’s good to know that in the future you can just buy the individual tool without having to spend money on another battery. It’s an investment.
Compatible GreenWorks 80V Power Tools:
- GST80320 | 16″ — 80V String Trimmer
- GLM801600 | 21″ — 80V Lawn Mower
- GCS80450 | 18″ — 80V Chainsaw
- GBL80300 | 500CFM Cordless Leaf Blower
- GHT80320 | 26″ — 80V Hedge Trimmer
If you want to know more about the GreenWorks 80V chainsaw I recommend reading our in-depth review.
Cheaper Alternative — GreenWorks 40V
If your budget is limited but you still want (or need) a good battery chainsaw I would suggest the GreenWorks 20312 40V.
The GreenWorks 20312 40V DigiPro is a great value for a battery powered chainsaw. It’s well-suited for cutting wood under 8″ in diameter — and can cut larger sizes when required. Although, I don’t recommend that you push a chainsaw beyond it’s abilities. Far too many homeowners buy an under-powered chainsaw for their needs. You should never force the chainsaw. Allow the saw to do the work. If you’re applying pressure while cutting it means you bought an under-powered chainsaw.
Not everybody needs a high-powered chainsaw. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that. The 80V GreenWorks chainsaw is an excellent chainsaw that can tackle those big projects around the house but that may be overkill for you. In that case (and probably for many homeowners) you’ll likely be happy with the GreenWorks 20312 40V. It’s a very popular model and the overall reliability is high.
It’s well worth the money and you can consider it bargain considering what you get with it. Yes, battery chainsaws will always be more expensive than corded electric models. It’s not cheap but you do get a lot for your money.
Oregon PowerNow CS250 | Best Chainsaw : Battery (Runner-up)
Best for: Light to medium-duty cutting. Softwood. Felling trees up to 10-inches. Cutting firewood. Small to medium projects.
Not good for: Felling large trees or if you have big projects planned, unless you buy extra batteries.
- Instant start cordless convenience with no pull cords, no warm-up and no gas-oil mixing.
- Includes endurance use battery pack (2.4 Ah) for long run-time and power.
- 14-inch bar length with 2,350 rpm no-load chain speed.
- Built-in chain sharpening system. Use the lever to sharpen the chainsaw within 2 to 3 seconds.
- Cuts up to 250 branches (2-3 inches in diameter) non-stop on a single battery charge.
Documents for the PowerNow CS250:
OREGON PowerNow CS250 | Overview
The OREGON PowerNow CS250 is a fantastic 40V battery powered chainsaw for homeowners. It’s stocked with some very unique features that you won’t find on other chainsaws. For example, it has an exceptional built-in sharpening system that allows you to sharpen the chain by pulling a lever a few times. Honestly, when your chain becomes dull you can have a sharp chain within a few seconds.
OREGON makes excellent accessories for chainsaws and although they don’t have an extensive chainsaw line, the saws they make are very well made. The CS250 has a 14″ bar and chain making it suitable to cut trees up to 10-inches. If you cut large pieces of wood you’ll put a major strain on the chainsaw and reduce your cutting time dramatically. It’s best to stick with smaller wood sizes to maximize your battery life.
Because it’s a battery chainsaw you don’t have to worry about cords or gas and it’s relatively quiet so you won’t disturb your neighbors when you work. The lithium-ion batteries don’t fade over time and the chainsaw also has a built-in dead man’s trigger, which simply means that the chainsaw chain stops immediately when you release the trigger, making it silent in-between cuts.
The advantage of the dead man’s trigger is that if you were to stumble or fall you wouldn’t have to worry about being injured by a running chain. You may injure yourself from falling but not from a moving chain. Trust me, that’s a great feature to have.
Watch this video of the OREGON CS250. You’ll get a better idea of the total package.
As you probably already know, battery life is critical when buying any battery powered product but especially when buying a chainsaw since you probably want to be working for long periods of time in your yard without having to worry about running out of power. The OREGON CS250 gives you the choice of 3 different batteries. They are as follows:
- 1.25 Ah Lithium-ion battery (cuts up to 125 branches, 2 to 3 inches)
- 2.0 Ah Lithium-ion battery (cuts up to 250 branches, 2 to 3 inches)
- 4.0 Ah Lithium-ion battery (cuts up to 400 branches, 2 to 3 inches)
Personally, I suggest you spend the extra money and buy the 4.0 Ah battery because you’ll need it. When you’re working you don’t want to have to worry about a dead battery in the middle of your cutting. Also, the length of battery life is determined by how hard you push it. So, if you’re felling small trees and cutting hardwood then the battery will drain quicker. The guidelines set by OREGON are based on ideal conditions but when you’re working there are a lot of variables that will affect battery life.
Either way, the OREGON CS250 is my runner-up for the best chainsaw powered by a battery. It’s well suited for limbing, pruning, felling small trees up to 10″ and cutting firewood. If you’re not willing to spend the extra money on the 4.0 Ah battery then you might be better off with a different chainsaw because the true value of this chainsaw is dependent on being able to use it for your projects. I don’t even know why OREGON offers the 1.25 Ah battery.
The self-sharpening system works very well, it’s easy to use and no other manufacturer offers this feature. This chainsaw has earned its reputation as a dependable and powerful battery chainsaw that should get you through many storms, winters and general pruning.
As far as high-quality battery-powered saws go, I’m comfortable saying that this is an excellent chainsaw with an affordable price tag. Nobody said a quality chainsaw would be cheap — but it’s worth it if you plan on using it extensively.
If you want to read more about the OREGON CS250 then read our feature review on it.
Buy the OREGON CS250 from Amazon.
- Chain pitch/gauge : 3/8-inch low-profile pitch, 0.05-inch gauge
- No-load chain speed : 2,300 rpm
- Oil lubrication system : Automatic
- Oil tank volume : 5.9 ounces
- Battery nominal capacity : 1.25 Ah / 47 Wh
- Battery run time : Up to 60 minutes
- Tool weight : 9.3 pounds
Black & Decker LCS1020 | Best Chainsaw : Battery
Best for: Very light-duty chainsaw. Pruning. Softwoods. Felling small trees, cutting wood up to 5-inches. Cutting firewood. Small projects.
Not good for: Felling large trees or for big projects. Hardwoods.
- 20V MAX* Lithium Battery for long run-time and long life.
- 10″ OREGON low-kickback bar and chain for smooth and quick cuts.
- Lightweight at 7.2 lbs.
- Translucent oil window so you know when to add oil.
- Oiling system for lubrication of bar and chain.
- Tool-less chain tensioning for fast and easy adjustments.
The Black & Decker LCS1020 is a lightweight 20V battery-powered chainsaw at only 7.2 lbs and perfect for those small projects around the yard. It has a 10″ OREGON low-kickback bar and chain with a tool-free blade tensioning system that allows you to work with less downtime.
The beauty of the Black & Decker LCS1020 is how compact and comfortable it is. It’s very well balanced and because it’s light you can work comfortably and efficiently for as long as the battery lasts. Unfortunately, it DOES NOT have an automatic oiling system, which is a major negative for this chainsaw. And although this is a good little battery chainsaw, you do miss out on important features when buying at such a low price point. If you don’t need a battery chainsaw and your budget is limited then I would recommend buying the WORX WG303.1 instead.
Or, Black and Decker also makes a 40V model (LCS1240) with an automatic oiler. You can read more details about it in the next section.
Extra Battery | Less Down-Time
I suggest buying a longer-lasting battery if you purchase this chainsaw for added peace of mind and longer working time. Again, it depends on your needs. For occasional usage and small projects then the included battery will be good enough. It’s not too expensive: LB2X4020-OPE (4.0 Ah)
Overall this is a great cheap chainsaw that’s best suited for pruning and other small wood cutting tasks around the yard. Don’t expect the battery to last long if you intend to fell small trees. Yes, you can do it but when it comes to batteries, the harder you push them the faster they’ll run out of juice. This is only a 20V battery which shows that Black & Decker only designed this for light-cutting.
Having said all of that, if you’re on a budget then this can be classified as the best chainsaw powered by a battery. Batteries are expensive, which is why it’s difficult to find a quality battery chainsaw. For very little money, this is a great chainsaw that will get the job done around your home.
Buy the Black & Decker LCS1020 from Amazon.
Need More Power? Consider the 40V version.
The Black & Decker LCS1240 is the bigger brother of the LCS1020 and yes, it’s more expensive but it’s also much better. The two main differences are that it has double the power with a 40V battery, and it has an automatic oiling system. These are significant upgrades and make it worth the extra cost.
This will easily handle small logs, while still being able to cut through larger logs — albeit slower.
An extra battery is useful if you have big projects.
View or download the MANUAL for the Black & Decker LCS1240.
- 40V MAX* Lithium-Ion battery is always ready and holds a charge up to 18 months.
- 12″ Oregon low-kickback bar and chain for smooth and fast cuts.
- 40V MAX* 2.0Ah Battery provides over 60 4×4 pine lumber cuts on average per single charge.
- Automatic oiling system for constant lubrication of bar and chain.
- Tool-less chain tensioning for fast and easy adjustments.
- Full wrap around handle for comfortable cutting in different orientations.
- Battery state of charge indicator.
- Part of the 40V MAX* outdoor system.
Makita UC4030A / UC4051A | Best Chainsaw : Electric (Overall)
NOTE: The Makita UC4030A (discontinued) has been updated and upgraded. The new model is the Makita UC4051A. Everything is generally the same but it’s been refined and improved. As with all good companies, Makita continually improves their power tools. And the fact that it’s been upgraded is a result of the success and popularity of this model.
Best for: Light to medium-duty cutting. Pruning and bucking. Softwood and occasional hardwood. Felling trees, cutting wood up to 14-inches. Cutting firewood. Big projects that require light to medium-duty cutting.
Not good for: Heavy-duty cutting.
- New adjustment lever for easier tool-less tension adjustment of saw chain.
- Longitudinal motor provides greater maneuverability.
- Improved oil pump keeps the delivery of chain oil constant, regardless of temperature and the oil viscosity.
- Ergonomic soft grip.
- Large separate-type metal spike bumper. Spike grips work-piece firmly to provide more control.
- Oil fill level window.
- Soft start.
- Electronic current limiter for overload protection. Protects against engine burnout.
- Electric chain brake.
- Double Insulation.
- Kickback brake.
If you want a 100 foot extension cord then you’ll need one with a 10-gauage rating. Consequently, if you get a 50-foot cord then make sure it has at least a 12-gauge rating. Learn more about choosing the proper cord: Buying the Right Extension Cord for you Power Tools.
Documents for the Makita UC4051A:
Overview | Makita UC4051A
First, what’s the difference between the Makita UC4030A and the UC4051A? Well, here’s the answer straight from the Makita site:
UC4051A series are the successors of UC4030A series longitudinal body style electric chain saws. The oil pump and tool-less saw chain adjuster have been improved and the exterior design has been changed as new born models.
The newly updated Makita UC4051A is a slick looking and powerful electric chainsaw with a 15 Amp motor and 16″ bar and chain. When I say electric, I mean “corded” which means that you’ll need to plug this into an extension cord. I know, extension cords are a bit of a pain in the ass but the advantage is that you never have to worry about running out of gas or battery power. That’s the big advantage of an electric chainsaw.
Differences Between the UC4030A and the UC4051A
This Makita saw has a comfortable rubberized handle, a tool-less chain adjuster and an electric chain brake for added safety. It’s very well constructed and feels good in your hands. When you pick up this chainsaw you can feel the quality in your hands. Makita made this chainsaw to take a beating and keep on working.
Very well suited for limbing, pruning and cutting firewood. To be honest, this Makita electric chainsaw can handle almost every task around the yard, including felling small to medium sized trees. The only thing it’s not good at is handling heavy-duty cutting tasks. Even though this is an efficient electric motor, there’s only so much power a standard home socket can output, and because of that there are definitive limitations. No electric chainsaw can beat the power of a gas model.
Let’s be honest, the average homeowner isn’t felling 24″ trees on a regular basis. If you want to spend your money wisely on a chainsaw that you expect to last for many years to come then this is a great choice. The biggest complaint is that it has an extension cord, so if that doesn’t bother you then I’m confident you’ll discover this to be one of the best chainsaws on the market today.
This easily deserves the title of best chainsaw for homeowners. You can run it all day long for pennies and if you take care of it, it will make owning a chainsaw a real treat. The only drawback to this chainsaw is that it’s on the heavy side for an electric saw at 11 lbs but other than that, I’m a big fan of this Electric Makita chainsaw.
Most electric chainsaws are lighter because they use far more plastic so the extra weight is a sign of Makita using quality metal components. This is an exceptional electric chainsaw.
If you want more information, read our in-depth review on the Makita UC4030A/UC4051A and the UC3530A/UC3551A.
Buy the Makita UC4030A/UC4051A electric chainsaw from Amazon.
- Chain brake: Brings the saw chain to a standstill within a fraction of a second when the hand guard is pushed forward. The saw chain then stops within 0.15 s, and the power supply to the motor is interrupted.
- Run-down brake: Brings the saw chain to an immediate stop when the ON/OFF switch is released. This prevents the saw chain from running on when switched off, and thus presenting a hazard.
- Front and rear hand guards: Protect the user against injury from pieces of wood which may be thrown backwards, or a broken saw chain.
- Trigger lockout: Prevents the chain saw from being switched on accidentally.
- Chain catcher: Protects the user against injury should the chain jump or break.
Two Great Chainsaw Alternatives
If you haven’t kept up with the market over the years you need to know about two excellent alternatives to chainsaws. Yes, it’s true. There are safer options for you if all you need to do is light cutting, pruning and trimming. Manufacturers recognize that not all homeowners feel comfortable using a chainsaw and so they’ve started developing other products for consumers like you.
The great thing about these alternative chainsaws is that they’re really inexpensive which is probably due to the fact that they’re quite popular since they appeal to a greater majority of homeowners and are manufactured at higher numbers than regular chainsaw which inadvertently drives down the prices. It’s a win-win for both sides.
We have full comprehensive reviews on both of these products and I encourage you to read them if you want to know all the details.
And, if you’ve never heard of these products before here’s what they look like.
WORX JawSaw | Best Chainsaw Alternative
The WORX JawSaw is the safest chainsaw-like tool for homeowners. You have the choice between buying an electric JawSaw or a battery powered WORX JawSaw. It’s very well made and easy to use, and it can also be used with an extension pole to cut branches up to 12 feet off the ground. It’s a great alternative to chainsaws if you want something safer and easier to handle.
Although not a traditional chainsaw it provides you with the same result and therefore a great alternative to consider. Read the full review on the WORX JawSaw for all the details.
- View or download the MANUAL for the WORX JawSaw WG307/WG308.
- View or download the MANUAL for the WORX JawSaw WG320/WG321.
- Fully-enclosed bar and chain provides exceptional user safety.
- Patented auto-tension system sets the proper tension for you.
- Steel teeth hold work in place while cutting for greater stability.
- Blade housing allows for safe & easy cutting directly on the ground.
- Automatic chain oiler with oil level indicator helps extend the life of your bar & chain.
Two models available:
- Black & Decker | NLP1800 Alligator Lopper — 18V Battery
- Black & Decker | LP1000 Alligator Lopper — 4.5 Amp Electric
- Innovative clamping jaws grab and cut in one easy motion.
- Scissor action makes cutting branches easy and effortless.
- Heavy-duty cutting bar & chain can handle thick branches and logs.
- 4″ cutting capacity cuts limbs too big for manual lopper.
The Black & Decker Alligator Lopper is another well designed chainsaw alternative. Essentially this is a hybrid power tool that combines the mechanism of a lopper with a chainsaw bar and chain. It’s ingenious.
It also comes in a corded electric version or a lithium-ion battery model. The choice is yours.
Read the full review on the Alligator Lopper to get all the details.
Our Definitive Best Chainsaw list
There you have it — many excellent chainsaws for any budget. I understand that everyone has different requirements when shopping for a chainsaw and the best chainsaw for you is not necessarily the best chainsaw for your neighbor or friend. There are many factors that go into making a buying decision and I realize that we all have our own personal preference. My preference is to buy battery-powered devices as I like the convenience of not having to wrestle with wires, but that’s what works for me.
If you ask ten people “What’s the best chainsaw?” you’ll probably get ten different answers. But the truth is, some chainsaws are better than others, and in every category there’s only a handful of chainsaws that are well engineered by reputable companies. Everyone has a preference but when you look at the facts of specific brands and models then the decision is much easier to make. I truly hope this article helps to simplify your buying decision. I hope that I’ve made it easier to choose the best chainsaw for you.
Also, budget is always an important factor. If you’re only going to use your chainsaw intermittently then it’s not necessary to buy the most expensive model, but I do encourage you to buy a chainsaw with good safety features if you can afford it, even it you only plan to use it once-in-a-while. It only takes one accident to ruin your life so spend the money if you have it.
I hope that this article helps you narrow down your options as my initial goal was to recommend a wide range of chainsaws in different categories and price points so that you can easily choose the best chainsaw to suit your needs.
Looking for a small chainsaw?
If you’re looking for a chainsaw with a bar and chain 14″ or smaller then you’ll be interested in reading our in-depth article on small chainsaws including a couple excellent chainsaw alternatives that you may not have considered.
If you liked this article, you’ll also like these:
- Inexpensive Gas Chainsaws
- Best Chainsaw for the Money
- Top Electric Chainsaws
- Top Gas Chainsaw
- Inexpensive Electric Chainsaws
- Chainsaw Buying Guide for Homeowners
- Best Battery Operated Chainsaws
- Concrete Chainsaw Guide
- Top Handle Chainsaws for Homeowners
- Husqvarna 445 Gas Chainsaw
- Husqvarna 455 Rancher
- Poulan Pro 5020AV
- WORX JawSaw
- WORX Chainsaw WG303.1
- Black & Decker Alligator Lopper
- Oregon PowerNow CS1500
- Makita UC4040 / UC3530A Review
- Wear safety glasses and hearing protection. Further protective equipment for head, hands, legs and feet is recommended.
- Do not use chain saw for cutting plastic, masonry or non-wood
- When cutting a limb that is under tension be alert for spring back.
- Carry the chain saw by the front handle with the chain saw switched off and away from your body. When transporting or storing the chain saw always fit the guide bar cover.
- Follow instruction for lubricating, chain tensioning and changing accessories.
Improperly tensioned or lubricated saw chain may either brake or increase the chance of kickback.
- Keep handles dry, clean and free from oil and grease.