What’s the Most Reliable Chainsaw?
Buying tools is something that I’ve been doing for decades. So, speaking from experience, I know that it’s not easy to determine what you’re getting before you’ve used the tool or machine for some time. When you buy a chainsaw, you’re parting with quite a sum of your hard earned cash and you want to know that you’re not throwing good money after bad rubbish. So how can you tell if you’re getting the most reliable chainsaw?
With every review that I write, I try to give you the reader, the benefit of my many years of experience. Even then, I wouldn’t say that I’m the world’s foremost authority on power equipment. All I can say is that I’ve been around the block a few times and I think I’m able to shed some valuable light on the topic. In this article, I’m going help you in your search for a good quality, reliable chainsaw.
You can go to any store or read the sales brochures that chainsaw manufacturers present to you. Everyone wants to tell you that their product is the best and that you’re going to get many years of reliable service if you buy their chainsaw. Or any other tool, for that matter.
When going to a store, you’re able to make an initial assessment of what you’re buying. You can take a close look at the chainsaw and form some kind of opinion of what you’re buying. Though you’ll never be sure of what’s actually going on inside the machine. All chainsaws, when they’re shiny and new, look great. It’s only after you’ve used the chainsaw for while that you’ll know if you’ve bought something that’s reliable.
When buying online, you don’t have the benefit of the firsthand touch and feel experience. Basically, you only have the opinions expressed in customer reviews and sites like this one to help you determine whether you’re buying a decent product. So your first, and most valuable, port of call is review sites and customer reviews. Though, the opinions of customers and writers differ.
Makita DCS6421RFG | Reliable & Powerful
Customer Reviews —
Who can you trust?
If you go to Amazon and many other retailers’ websites, you’ll usually get a list of customer reviews for their advertised products. For the most part, we can trust that these are genuine opinions of customers that have used the product.
As a writer of product reviews, I always take a look at the opinions of customers that have used the product. After reading thousands of customer reviews, all I can say is that you need to take some of these with a pinch of salt. A product may get rave reviews and have an average rating that’s close to 5 stars. This does give us an indication that it’s a decent product. On the other hand, a product that is actually really good and reliable may only get customer reviews form a few people and one bad review of 1 star, can give us a slanted picture when looking at the average star rating. I generally look at average ratings as being important when there are hundreds of customer reviews. If it’s ten or less, you’re not going to get an accurate picture.
Though I always take customer reviews very seriously. I mostly look for problems or defects that are reported by several customers. One customer may have had a bad experience. This can happen with even the best products. A manufacturer that provides high-quality reliable chainsaws can never guarantee that every product that leaves the production line is defect-free. Even the best quality control measures aren’t foolproof. Occasionally, a product will leave the factory with a defect. We can’t call a product unreliable based one person’s bad luck. Then again, that’s what a warranty is for, that one a thousand chance that an, otherwise fantastic product, has a factory defect.
If I see that a particular product has a defect that several customers have complained about, I take this seriously. In this case, I’ll make it a point of mentioning it my review of the product. It really comes from experience and hours of reading customer reviews, to determine which we should take as being real concerns.
Chainsaw Review Sites
Here one has to be discerning. There are hundreds of sites offering reviews of all kinds of products available from online retailers. They can’t all be good. Obviously, I’m going to say that Chainsaw Journal is one of the best review sites on the web. I write for this site and I take my job seriously. Though it’s up to you, whether you think that we’re giving you valuable information.
Along with customer reviews, I also take a look at what other sites are saying. So I know that there are some great review sites (we’re not the only one). There are also some terrible sites that don’t select their products based on any real quality criteria and don’t give you an objective review. Often they’ll only give you the specs and the manufacturer’s sales pitch. You won’t be getting any real information.
I’d like to think that we choose great products and offer a realistic review – giving you valuable information that goes beyond the usual sales pitch. I always try to remain objective and won’t hesitate to mention something that might not be so good. There are other sites that do the same and there are many who are simply trying to make a quick buck off the commission that they earn as an affiliate marketer.
So, when reading product reviews, use your discretion. Is the writer communicating with you and can you trust their opinion? This isn’t always easy, but when you find a site that you feel you can trust, stick with them.
WORX WG322 — 10″ Battery Chainsaw
Are electric chainsaws the most reliable?
I’ve probably answered this question when discussing the Husqvarna brand. However, because this is a frequently asked question, I want to elaborate on the topic.
I suppose that if you’re not into regular maintenance, one could call electric chainsaws the most reliable. Though, if maintained correctly, a gas chainsaw will not only be just as reliable, it’s going to last longer. A quality gas engine is going to keep running reliably for years. Because they are repairable, gas engines can be kept going for as long as spare parts are available. Established brands will usually supply replacement parts for a very long time, usually long after the engine is no longer being manufactured.
So a reliable gas-powered chainsaw is likely to last you a lifetime. The same can’t always be said for electric chainsaws. Brands that focus on quality and reliability certainly use electric motors that are made to last. If you buy an electric chainsaw from a reputable brand, it’s going to last some time – possibly several decades, depending on how much you use it. Though electric motors have a limited lifespan and once they reach the end of their time, they can’t be repaired. At least, it becomes totally uneconomical and unfeasible to repair a small electric motor once the armature windings no longer function.
Reviews | Most Reliable Chainsaws
We’ve covered some ground, discussing a few of the most reliable chainsaw brands and now it’s time to take a look at some the products that they have to offer. With the exception of the Husqvarna 460, all the chainsaws that we’ll be reviewing are electric. Of these, only the Makita UC4051A is a corded model, the other electric chainsaws are all battery-powered. Because a cord can be problematic when working in trees, battery power is much more convenient. Though for cutting firewood reasonably close to the house, a corded chainsaw can be your best choice. Battery tools will always cost more than a corded model with similar specs.
40V battery chainsaw. One of the most reliable chainsaws on the market.
- 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
For many homeowners, who don’t intend doing much heavy-duty work, the Black & Decker LCS1240 could be your first choice as the most affordable, reliable chainsaw. It’s a lightweight, compact chainsaw and is great for most of your home needs.
As much as I really like the Black & Decker LCS1240, I can’t say that it’s as robust as any of the others. It’s a tough little chainsaw, but the Makita and DeWalt electric chainsaws can be called super tough by comparison. I don’t think that the Black & Decker will break too easily under normal domestic working conditions, it just won’t handle the extreme abuse that some others could.
The 12” low-kickback Oregon bar and chain are fantastic. Oregon is the name you’ll see on the most of the top chainsaws. A length of 12” is somewhat limiting if you’ve got large trees to cut down, but this is not the chainsaw’s intended use. The Black & Decker LCS1240 is designed for cutting back branches in the yard and cutting firewood. If used for these purposes, it’s going be a reliable companion for many, many years.
A full wrap-around front handle gives you great control over the chainsaw and is reasonably comfortable. Though I would prefer more soft padding on both handles, a chainsaw tends to vibrate a lot. The chain guard/brake offers perfect protection and is well-positioned for emergency stopping. It has automatic oiling for chain lubrication and tool-free chain tensioning. All this makes the Black & Decker LCS1240 super easy and convenient to use. A weight of only 8.3 LBS, means that no one should have a problem using this chainsaw.
VIDEO | BLACK+DECKER LCS1240
The 40V 2AH MAX lithium-ion battery is good enough for most tasks. On the Black & Decker website, they say it provides over 60 cuts for 4X4 pine lumber. I think it might be a good idea to get at least one extra battery if you’re cutting a large volume of firewood. If you’re used to using battery-powered tools, you’ll know that having extra batteries is important if you intend to work for longer periods. The good news is that this battery is used in a wide range of Black & Decker garden tools. So it makes sense to use the other tools in this range and share the batteries.
For its intended purpose, this is a fantastic little chainsaw. Treat it right, and it will serve you well for a very long time. This is certainly one of the most reliable chainsaws in its class and is not at all expensive. My number one choice for the occasional home user, based on its price which makes it excellent value for money.
Engineered with internal metal components makes this one of the best and most reliable chainsaws you can buy. Period. Corded electric.
- “Tool-less” blade and chain adjustments for convenient operation and easy maintenance
- Rubberized grip handles are ergonomically designed for comfort
- Large trigger switch with soft start for smooth start-ups
- Built-in current limiter helps protect motor from burnout by reducing power to motor when saw is overloaded
- Large oil reservoir with view window allows operator to check bar oil level
- Automatic chain oiler for heavy continuous cutting
- Electric chain brake for maximum productivity
- Zero emissions and reduced maintenance
- Soft start for smooth start-ups
- Current limiter helps protect motor from damage caused by heat
This one of the largest electric chainsaws that you’ll find and is built to a standard that can only be described as exceptional. Although you’re slightly limited by the fact that this is a corded electric chainsaw, it does mean that you’re getting one of the most powerful electric chainsaws and there’s no time limit to how much work you can do. Battery machines are always limited by the battery charge.
The robust 16” bar and chain give you the ability to cut through thick logs with ease. A large metal spike bumper is not only tough but makes the Makita UC4051A a pleasure to use. The electric motor is absolutely reliable and is protected by a current limiter that eliminates burnout of the motor by reducing the current when it is overloaded. This increases longevity and ensures that the chainsaw will remain reliable for a long time. Makita has made starting the chainsaw really smooth and safe with their soft start technology.
The handles are designed for maximum comfort with thick rubber grips and a large trigger switch makes it really easy to operate. It has a great chain guard with an electric chain brake for excellent safety. Like many of the best chainsaws, the Makita UC4051A includes the convenience of automatic chain lubrication and tool-free chain tensioning, as well as blade changing. The really large 6.8 OZ oil reservoir means that you can work for long periods uninterrupted – you won’t be stopping to fill the chain oil tank all that often. A viewing window for the oil level makes things even more convenient.
I’ve always respected Makita tools for their reliability and durability and the Makita UC4051A affirms my opinion of this brand. I’m sure there are many who will agree that this is certainly one of the most reliable corded electric chainsaws on the market and makes for a worthy investment.
Tech Specs (Makita UC4051A):
- Chain Speed : 2,900 FPM
- Guide Bar Length : 16″
- Chain Pitch : 3/8″
- Chain Gauge : .050″
- Oil Tank Capacity : 6.8 oz.
- Overall Length : 19-7/8″
- Net Weight (w/o bar & chain) : 12.3 lbs.
DEWALT DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT
Excellent battery performance and excellent design makes this a smart buy. One the most reliable chainsaws money can buy.
- Low Kick Back 16″ Oregon Bar and Chain for construction and outdoor cutting applications
- Tool-Free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob for proper bar clamping force
- Auto-Oiling for continuous lubrication. Quarter-turn oil cap for quick oil re-fills
- Chain brake for kick back protection
- Up to 70 cuts per charge* *on a 6″ x 6″ pressure treated pine wood
Until recently, battery-powered chainsaws meant a compromise when it comes to power and size. I think that DeWalt has hit the nail on the head with the DCCS670X1 FlexVolt cordless chainsaw. It’s as close as you’ll get to a professional gas-powered chainsaw and still have all the benefits of the cordless electric operation. This is my personal favorite when it comes to a battery-powered chainsaw. This is not only because of DeWalt’s reputation as being one of the most reliable tool brands, but also for the size and power of this machine.
You won’t find many battery-powered chainsaws with a 16” bar and chain, the DeWalt DCCS670X1 is almost in a class of its own in this regard. In line with the DeWalt motto of providing high-quality machinery, this model uses a low-kickback Oregon bar and chain.
The brushless electric motor is super-efficient and designed to last a long time. Then there’s the 60V MAX FlexVolt battery, which is the ultimate in battery technology. Using a 60V power source for this chainsaw gives it an amp to watt ratio that makes it powerful enough to handle the 16” bar and give it an exceptional working time. DeWalt claims a working time equivalent to 70 cuts on 6X6 pressure treated pine. This is when using the 3AH FlexVolt battery, that’s supplied with the chainsaw. If you use the largest (9AH) battery in the FlexVolt range, you’ll get three times more charge time from the battery. In addition to this, the FlexVolt battery is backward compatible, meaning that it can be used in any of their 20V MAX tools, as well as any of the 60V and 120V FlexVolt tools. This gives you the greatest variety of tools that can be used with the same battery – no other tool manufacturer can boast this fact.
When it comes to the features that one would expect from any top of the line chainsaw, the DeWalt DCCS670X1 FlexVolt has them all. So automatic chain lubrication and tool-free chain tensioning are a given. It has a fantastic chain guard with a chain brake and soft grip handles that are as comfortable as one could possibly hope for. When you consider that this is a powerful 16” chainsaw that can compete with gas-powered machines, the weight of 12.2 LBS is exceptionally light.
Flexible and Powerful DeWalt Battery System | Learn more
I always have high expectations from DeWalt, we’ve come to expect the best from the brand. Though, I have to say that the DeWalt DCCS670X1 FlexVolt has exceeded my highest expectations. In a word – wow! Not only can this be considered one of the most reliable cordless chainsaws, it’s also one of the biggest and most powerful, with a battery that leaves all others seeming to be trivial in comparison. Again, all I can say is wow.
Read our full review of this powerful DeWalt FlexVolt chainsaw.
12″ Battery Chainsaw : 18V X2 (36V) — LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless
- “Tool-less” chain adjustment for convenient operation and maintenance
- Front hand guard actuates chain brake when engaged
- Cordless for reduced maintenance; no need to change engine oil or spark plug, clean air filter or drain fuel for storage
- Makita-built motor delivers 1,650 FPM chain speed for fast cutting
Two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries deliver power and performance without leaving the 18V LXT® platform (batteries not included)
- Low noise level at only 89 dB(A) and zero emissions for operator comfort
- 12″ guide bar for increased capacity
- Weighs only 10.1 lbs. with batteries (batteries not included) for reduced operator fatigue
- Features Extreme Protection Technology (XPT™) which is engineered to provide increased dust and water resistance in harsh job site conditions
- Rubberized soft grip top handle is engineered for the user to more easily apply even cutting pressure
- Instant start-up: simply load two 18V LXT® batteries and the saw is ready to use
- Electric brake for maximum productivity
- Adjustable automatic chain lubrication with large oil reservoir
- Large oil filling port with view window allows operator to easily add and check bar oil level
- L.E.D. battery indicators show charge level for each 18V LXT® battery
- Equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls™ to protect against overloading, over-discharging and over-heating
- Rapid Optimum Charger communicates with the battery’s built-in chip throughout the charging process to optimize battery life by actively controlling current, voltage and temperature (battery and charger not included)
- Rapid Optimum Charger has a built-in fan to cool the battery for faster, more efficient charging (battery and charger not included)
- Makita technology delivers category-leading charge time so the battery spends more time working and less time sitting on the charger (battery and charger not included)
- Compatible with Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries with a Star symbol
- *Batteries and charger not included
- 3-year limited warranty
After raving about the DeWalt DCCS670X1 FlexVolt, you might be wondering why anyone would consider the Makita XCU02Z as an alternative for a battery-powered chainsaw. Quite simply, not everyone is looking for the largest and most powerful cordless chainsaw, that’s what really impresses me about the DeWalt. Many people prefer a smaller, lighter and more manageable machine. If the DeWalt is too big for your needs, the Makita XCU02Z is the perfect chainsaw for you. When talking about the most reliable chainsaws, the little Makita can stand proudly alongside the mighty DeWalt any day.
With a 12” bar and a weight of around 10 LBS (including the batteries), the Makita XCU02Z is perfectly manageable, even if you’re not all that strong. Yet it’s large enough to cut through some pretty large logs. Using two Makita 18V LXT lithium-ion batteries, the 36V motor gives it a good deal of power, able to reach a chain speed of 1650 FPM.
The Makita XCU02Z is packed with technology that makes it one of the most reliable and robust cordless chainsaws around. Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) means that the chainsaw has some of the best protection from dust and moisture, so this chainsaw will remain reliable under the harshest working conditions. Then there’s Makita’s Star Protection computer controls, which is arguably the best technology used in a battery-powered tool. A computer monitors and manages the battery system to ensure that it cannot be damaged by over discharging, overloading or overheating. This means that the battery life is extended, giving it extra durability and reliability.
Improved Performance | Makita XCU03Z
Excellent soft grip rubberized handles make this an incredibly comfortable machine to use. Safety is taken care of, it has a great chain guard and chain brake. You also have the convenience of automatic chain oiling and tool-free chain tensioning. You’re getting the full package.
For the ultimate in convenience and ease of use, the Makita XCU02Z is an amazing machine. It is, without a doubt, one of the most reliable battery-powered chainsaws. Makita tools are known to deliver excellent service for years and can take a good deal of punishment.
Perfectly balance gas chainsaw that is both powerful and reliable. A classic chainsaw.
**Also available with a 24-inch bar and chain. (Husqvarna 460 Rancher with 24″ bar & chain)
- Proprietary X-Torq engine combines high performance with better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions
- LowVib anti-vibration system reduces vibration levels to the operator, reducing fatigue
- Air Injection centrifugal air cleaning system that removes larger debris particles before reaching the air filter reducing air filter cleanings and improves the engine life
- Adjustable oil pump allows you to control oil flow depending on application and weather conditions
- Cylinder decompression valve ensure an easy start
- Side-mounted chain tensioner allows for easier access to chain tensioning device
To call the Husqvarna the most reliable gas-powered chainsaw could be a little unfair to some of the other great brands out there. Though this chainsaw is very much in a class of its own. Although not cheap, it is very reasonably priced when you consider that this is a chainsaw that is rated very highly by professional lumberjacks. For this size chainsaw, it’s remarkably light and has one of the most reliable gas engines ever built. The Husqvarna 460 Rancher is fast becoming one of the all-time legends when it comes to versatile and reliable chainsaws.
The chainsaw is sold with a 20” bar, but can accommodate a bar and chain that ranges from a minimum of 13” up to a maximum of 24”. What makes the Husqvarna such an exceptional machine is the 60.3cc 2-stroke X-Torq engine. A lot has gone into making this a robust and very reliable piece of machinery. The forged three-piece crankshaft is one of many innovative design features that make this engine one of the most reliable and incredibly tough.
Husqvarna 450 A little less power (50.2cc) & less expensive
To eliminate the constant issue of sawdust entering the air filter, which is probably one of the biggest headaches when using a chainsaw, Husqvarna has developed an excellent air injection system. By using a centrifugal fugal airflow design, most of the debris in the air is removed before it reaches the air filter. Cleaner air means greater reliability and you won’t be cleaning the air filter as often as you would with most other gas-powered chainsaws. To make things even easier, it has a very convenient quick-release air filter.
Smart Start technology and a combined choke/stop system makes this one of the easiest engines to start. Another area where the X-Torq engine displays its superiority is in its exceptionally low vibration levels. Together with the superbly designed handles, this makes the 460 Ranchers one of the most comfortable gas chainsaws to use and it weighs only 12.79 LBS. For a large and very powerful chainsaw, the Husqvarna 460 is really easy to use.
So how much power are we talking about? The engine produces 3.62 HP which translates into 9000RPM with a chain speed of 65.62 FT/S at maximum power. With a reasonably large 0.9-pint gas tank, you’ll be wielding all that power for quite some time on a tank of gas, especially considering that this engine is one of the most fuel efficient and has some of the lowest emission levels.
If you want a battery chainsaw | Husqvarna 120i (read review)
Not only does this chainsaw have automatic chain oiling but it’s adjustable. This means that you can regulate the oil flow to the chain from 6 ml/min to 17 ml/min depending on your working conditions. The large 0.7-pint oil tank means that you won’t be stopping too often to fill up the oil. You don’t get tool-free chain tensioning though. Many of the heavy-duty professional chainsaws favor the old-fashioned bolt tensioning system for its greater reliability and durability. The side positioning of the chain tensioner does make it easy to use. An inertia activated chain brake makes this one of the safest chainsaws around. In addition to this, the chain guard is huge and is as tough as nails.
There aren’t many chainsaws that can match up to the Husqvarna 460 Rancher. Aside from being one of the most reliable chainsaws, it has an incredible array of features that make it one of the most convenient and easy to use gas-powered chainsaws. If you’re looking for a powerful gas chainsaw that can hold its ground alongside the best professional-grade machines, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is going to make a huge impression.
Most Reliable Chainsaw Brands
In the end, the opinions of others can only take you so far. You’re going to be making the decision and once you’ve bought the chainsaw, that’s what you’ve got – for better or for worse. Over the years, I’ve come to respect certain brands. Ask anyone who’s been using tools for a long time and they’ll tell you: some brands are more reliable than others. There are quite a few chainsaw brands that have a great reputation.
One may think that the most reliable chainsaw is going to be the most expensive. This isn’t entirely true. Sure, quality always comes at a price. If a chainsaw is really cheap, it’s probably junk. Buying an unknown brand is risky and experience has taught me to stick to the brands that I know and trust. Reputation is everything in any business. So, a brand that has a longstanding reputation for providing the most reliable equipment is going to work hard to maintain their good name. In my opinion, it’s always best to buy a chainsaw from a brand that has a history of providing reliable machines.
Though we need to be realistic, even when choosing the most reliable chainsaw brand, we are limited to what we can afford. So if we’re going to strike a balance between affordability and reliability, we need to consider our expectations. A homeowner who occasionally cuts back some trees in the garden and cuts firewood once or twice a year, want’s the most reliable chainsaw for this type of work. So he or she probably won’t be looking for the most reliable heavy-duty chainsaw. The average homeowner is looking at paying a reasonable price for a chainsaw that’s going to work for a few hours at a time and not on a regular basis. Though you still want the chainsaw to remain reliable for many years.
If you’re going to be using your chainsaw on a more regular basis, you’ll want a more heavy-duty machine. Obviously, this is going to cost more than a light-duty chainsaw. Some chainsaw brands are aimed solely at the professional market and these will be seriously heavy-duty machines. There are some brands that, while being reliable chainsaws, are only catering to the homeowner or people who aren’t going to use their chainsaw all day, every day. In other words, customers who are not going to work the machine very hard. There are others that fall in between – more like medium-duty work.
We’re going to be reviewing products from four of the most reliable chainsaw brands. The products that we’ll be reviewing are all in the light to medium-duty category. So we’re looking at the most reliable chainsaws for the home user, farmer, woodworker/sculptor, and landscapers. Heavy-duty chainsaws, used by professional lumberjacks, will fall in a different class.
Because I look at the brand of any tool first, I consider this the most important part of the whole process. So I’m going to start by introducing the brands that we’ll be reviewing and explain why I consider these to be the most reliable chainsaw brands. These are not the only chainsaw brands that I’d recommend as being the most reliable – there are a few others. We’ve chosen these four because they cover a good spectrum of what our readers are looking for. Affordability, quality, and reliability.
Black & Decker is a good example of a brand that provides great quality without being the most expensive. When you compare a Black & Decker chainsaw to the same size machine from any of the top brands, you’ll probably be paying considerably less. For the DIY user, I’d consider a Black & Decker chainsaw to be just about the best value for money among the most reliable chainsaws. That being said, the other brands that we’ll be looking at are probably closer to the heavy-duty chainsaws used by professionals. In general, I consider Black & Decker tools to be among the best for average DIY use. They’re not too expensive and provide a level of quality that comes close to that of the most expensive brands.
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 — 20V MAX
The name Black & Decker hails from its founders, S Duncan Black and Alonzo G Decker. The company has a heritage that’s as much a part of American history as any. Black & Decker started manufacturing tools in 1910 and in 1917, they were the first to patent the portable electric drill along with the all too familiar pistol grip and trigger switch. Today this is one of the most common tool designs and we have Black and Decker to thank for it.
This paved the way for the Brand to become one of the best-known household names – not only in the US, but all around the world. Black & Decker has a reputation for providing us with a remarkable standard of high-quality tools at a price that the average homeowner can afford. They have become known as some of the most reliable tools in their class, making them extremely good value for money.
In 2010, the company merged with Stanley Works. Both these brands have a similar philosophy of building quality tools that are priced to make them accessible to the DIY user. When we review the most reliable chainsaws, the Black & Decker LCS1240 can be seen as one of the most affordable options for a large electric chainsaw that is both of a high quality standard and known to be one of the most reliable.
In my opinion, Makita is one of the top 3 brands when it comes to power tools – along with DeWalt and Metabo. This places the Makita brand among some of the biggest players in the industry. Being the first manufacturer of hand tools to start using battery power, Makita battery tools were the first I owned and I still have great respect for their battery technology.
Makita, originally a Japanese company, was founded in 1915 so it also has a long and solid history. I say that this was originally a Japanese company because today, Makita is a truly international brand with independently owned companies in many countries. Their first international venture was exporting electric motors and generators to the Soviet Union in 1935. As the company grew, they looked at expanding into new markets.
Makita 5012B | 11.75-Inch 11.5 amp Electric Chain Saw
In 1970, Makita USA Inc. was established, followed by a long list of Makita companies throughout Europe, South America, Australia and Asia. What makes the Makita recipe so unique is that in each of the countries where they operate, they have a company that caters to the needs of that particular region. If you buy a Makita product in the US, it’s not a Japanese product – it’s American and the same can be said for the other countries in which they operate.
Makita USA is located in Buford, Georgia. Though their headquarters are in La Mirada, California. A remarkable part of the company’s commitment to providing solutions to the local market is the Makita University, with locations in both Bufford and Wilmer, Texas. Their engineers work closely with workers on job sites to develop tools that are the best for their intended application and this shows in the products that we buy.
VIDEO | The History of Makita
For two of the most reliable Makita chainsaws, consider these models – the Makita UC4051A and the Makita XCU02Z.
Among both professionals and DIY enthusiasts, the DeWalt brand needs little introduction, it’s practically an American institution. While Makita may have introduced battery-powered tools to the world, DeWalt has taken enormous strides toward developing the best battery technology to date, the FlexVolt system. In every category of power tool, DeWalt stands out as being amongst the most reliable and durable.
The DeWalt tools that we buy today have their roots firmly placed in the objectives of the company’s founder, Raymond DeWalt. He started out, not as a businessman or engineer, but a workman. It was his desire to build woodworking machinery that would increase the woodworker’s productivity and offer greater versatility that led to DeWalt’s first invention whilst working as a superintendent at Seabrook Farms in 1922, the radial arm saw. Soon afterward, in 1924, the DeWalt Products Company was formed in Leola, Pennsylvania. An American legend in the tool manufacturing industry was born.
DEWALT DCCS620P1 | Compact, lightweight & easy to handle
In 1960, DeWalt was bought out by Black & Decker, another renowned name in the American tool industry. Under the Black & Decker umbrella, DeWalt was continued as the high-end brand, aimed at the professional woodworking market, while Black & Decker remained the lower-priced option for the home user. Both Brands have coexisted, remaining true to their original intention of providing quality tools with an outstanding record for being the most reliable.
To this day, Raymond DeWalt’s intention of building tools to make the woodworker more productive rings true. While having a history of building the world’s best woodworking tools, DeWalt has an extensive range of tools and machinery built for virtually any application.
As one of the most reliable battery-powered chainsaws, consider the DeWalt DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT.
So far, we’ve looked at the most reliable chainsaw brands when it comes to electric machines. Because the advancements in both corded electric and battery technology, many home and other light-duty chainsaw buyers prefer electric machines. Electric chainsaws are quieter, require much less maintenance and are a little easier to operate. They’re lighter and start by simply pushing a button.
However, an electric chainsaw will never deliver the same kind of power as those using a gas engine. Heavy-duty chainsaws will always be gas powered. If you’re looking at cutting larger trees, especially hardwood, a gas-powered chainsaw is going to your best option. For this reason, we’re also including a gas model in our review.
Husqvarna 120i — 14″ 36.5V Battery Chainsaw
Historically, gas engines (especially two-stroke engines) haven’t earned the best reputation for reliability. Older gas engines have often been problematic when starting, particularly in cold weather. Many of the older gas engines were also prone to overheating. Though, engineers have worked on these issues. Chainsaw manufacturers who take pride in their reputation for reliability, have invested greatly in improving the performance, durability, and reliability of their engines.
Among the most reliable gas chainsaw brands, Husqvarna has to be one of the best. If you think that more than a century of experience is impressive, Husqvarna will blow you away. They’ve been around since 1689! That’s over three centuries of manufacturing experience.
Originally a weapons manufacturer, Husqvarna was one of the first companies to start building small internal combustion engines for hand-held machines. This experience has made them an industry leader in this field.
The engines that Husqvarna use today have been tested under the most rigorous conditions. They are guaranteed to start in cold conditions, well below freezing. They’ve also answered the global call for clean-burning, low-emission gas engines. Husqvarna engines are easily the most environmentally friendly in the world.
Because the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is one of the most reliable gas-powered chainsaws around, we’ll be including it in this review. Even though this is rated as a medium-duty chainsaw, it is well-respected, even amongst professional lumberjacks. I think this is because it’s lighter than many of the professional machines but delivers the power that is needed and is certainly one of the most reliable chainsaws.