Best Chainsaw (July 2019): Editor’s Top 5 Picks & Reviews
As a self-proclaimed DIYer, I hate cutting wood so much. This type of work produces the loudest noise that makes noise from paint rollers, belt sanders or air compressors sound like a child lullaby. Even more, for added frustration, the chainsaw is usually smelly and oily especially the gasoline one. However, I imagined cutting wood with an axe and started to appreciate the chainsaw.
In modern days, best chainsaws are made quiet, less oil and smelly. I’m referring to the modern electric and battery chainsaws. Even more, they have higher power-to-weight ratio compares to the old model. Depend on your own need, you might want to differentiate clearly between the gasoline and electric ones. Gas chainsaw is for felling tree, while electric chainsaw is for home and yard work.
Those are two main types of a chainsaw, however, there are still more things you need to consider when choosing the best chainsaw for your work. For example, power, safety, and maintenance etc. Obviously, selecting the right chainsaw is a hard task.
Due to a safety problem, you can’t go to the store and say: “Hey, give me something to cut so I can test your chainsaw.” Therefore, I try to create a list of the top best chainsaw based on my own user experience so you can make your decision.
Best Chainsaw 2019: Top 5 Picks & Reviews
cutting down trees
Why are these products included?
For Small Tasks
Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim – This is a power cord electric chainsaw designed exclusively for trimming small limbs. The chainsaw is lightweight, ergonomic, and very inexpensive. It also has hand guard to protect the chainsaw user from debris. I recommend this chainsaw for home use and women.
For Medium Tasks
WORX WG303.1 – One of the very few electric chainsaws in the medium price bracket that can generate the nearly as strong as gas chainsaw power. This electric chainsaw also uses power cord. Even with such price, the manufacturer still try to include features such as auto-tensioning, auto-lubrication and anti-vibration. It’s the best chainsaw for the money.
BLACK + DECKER LCS1240 – Good thing about this electric chainsaw is that it is cordless. In other words, it uses 40V battery to operate. It is so lightweight and ergonomic that you can cut in many angles. In addition, there is a low kickback bar to reduce the risk of getting injured for the chainsaw user. Lastly, it also has auto-tensioning and auto-oiling features.
Remington RM5118R Rodeo – The Rodeo model is a gas chainsaw model for medium-duty task. The chainsaw offers QuickStart technology to minimize the effort of starting the chainsaw. Also, it has vibration absorb handles to reduce the hands and arms fatigue for the chainsaw user. Moreover, the oiling system is automatic. I recommend using this for cutting firewood and other similar tasks.
For Large Tasks
Husqvarna 450 – It is the most expensive gas chainsaw on the list, however, the price is relatively inexpensive compares to its peers. With the powerful engine running at 3.2 horsepower and an 18-inches bar, the chainsaw are suitable for cutting down large trees. Besides, the chainsaw also has auto-lubrication, anti-vibration, and Smart Start technology. I nominate this gas chainsaw as the best chainsaw on my list.
The reason for me to use an electric chain saw is that it’s less smelly and does not require you to mix oil and gas. Plus the startup is usually less painful. The one that I want to introduce to you is WORX WG303.1 electric chain saw that uses a power cord.
Nearly equal power to gas chainsaw – Of course, there is always a difference in power between electric and gas chain saw. However, the vital point is that the power of WORX WG303.1 can narrow the gap between the power. The machine runs with 3.5hp and 14.5 amp which is equivalent to around 3.5 peak horsepower; this chainsaw can handle the toughest job with such power.
Auto-tensioning – Usually, with a conventional chainsaw, I need to use the screwdriver to adjust the screw to adjust the tension of the bar. However, I don’t need any tool to adjust the tension because there is an oversized adjustment knob located on the size of the chainsaw, making tension adjustment easier than other chainsaws.
What’s more amazing is that this type of auto-tension also helps boost the useful life of the chain and the bar. Because the over-tightening problem reduces to the minimal, therefore, lessening the chance to damage the chainsaw.
Safe and Comfortable – Kickback is the worst scenario that can happen to the chainsaw user. Kick back is basically what happen when the bar and the chain (one part of the chainsaw) movement suddenly stops, the momentum then transfers back to the end of the chainsaw, resulting in a bar cutting the chainsaw user (usually on the chest, shoulder, and even the face).
That’s a life-threatening injury one can face. Knowing such danger, WORX includes a built-in that stops the in seconds when encountering improper contact, preventing the kickback problem. In addition, for added comfort, there is a rubber over molded rear handle and ergonomic full-wrap front handle so you can operate the chainsaw easily and effectively.
Auto-lubrication – The system provides lubrication to both the bar and the chain. All you have to do is remember to fill the 6.75 ounces oil reservoir while cutting. Constant lubrication will reduce restriction, keep the saw from wearing faster and make cutting easier.
Durable – To maintain stability while cutting, the manufacturer cover the base of the 16-inches bar with all-metal dogs. In addition, the sprocket is easy to lubricate, thus, extending the useful life of the chainsaw.
Quieter & Less Vibration – My hands did not feel tingly after 15 minutes of using this chainsaw because there is less vibration. Also, the chainsaw is much quieter than the gas chainsaw; I have never had my neighbor complain about the noise since I use this electric chainsaw.
Reasonable price – The price is somewhere around 100 bucks. With only 100 bucks, you get a electric chainsaw with a motor that is as powerful as a gas chainsaw. In addition, the chainsaw also has auto-tensioning and auto-lubrication.
What a bargain, and you can only get this kind of bargain from WORX. Because of the mass production of WORX’s chainsaw creates economy of scale for the manufacturer, therefore, minimizing the cost of production to the optimum.
Extension cord needed – You might need to get an extension cord since the power cord might not be long enough. In my experience, I buy a 100-foot extension cord, and to get the full power for the chainsaw, I use the 10-gauge cord. I have never seen any sign showing lack of power on my chainsaw with this cord.
Thin oil – When I refilled my oil reservoir, I recognized one issue. That is, the included oil given by the manufacturer, much thinner than the normal oil I use. Realized the problem, I immediately refilled the oil reservoir with my regular chain and bar oil but the auto-lubrication system does not work. Out of option, I used my 30-weight motor oil and it finally worked again.
My point is that there was no instruction about the type of oil I should use for the chainsaw. If I filled the chainsaw with the wrong oil and it malfunctioned, I would not only waste my oil but also waste my time to get the chainsaw fixed.
Oil leak – After using the saw, there is some oil left in the oil reservoir, I put the chainsaw in a horizontal position in my garage. The day after, I saw that there is a big puddle of oil coming out from the chainsaw.
Contacted the customer service and they took too long for a satisfactory response. Therefore, I decided to put epoxy paste on the suspicious parts which are the bottom seam and the front edge of the seam. Luckily, the problem got solved.
The main reason I suggest this chainsaw on my list is because of the price. The price is quite affordable and in exchange, you get many useful features that only come in high-end chainsaw. However, nothing is perfect, you need an extension cord and deal with the oil leak problem, which could be annoying. Problems aside, this chainsaw is in general, a very good bargain. I would recommend it for people who work with a tight budget.
Sometimes, I imagine someone using a giant gas chainsaw just to trim some small limb, and I personally think that is quite ridiculous. Later, I find out that there are electric chainsaws for trimming needs too. Out of all the electric chainsaws for trimming needs, I find Remington RM1425 the best one.
For women – Since the chainsaw specializes in trimming limb, the dimensions of the chainsaw are rather small to fit the job. In addition, for trimming precision, the manufacturer makes the chainsaw lightweight, and designs an ergonomic grip to provide optimal control. I can easily trim the desired limb despite the narrow spaces between the branches thanks to the size of this chainsaw.
Even my wife who is very skinny can take part in trimming limb using this chainsaw. She has never complained anything about the chainsaw. The design makes it a best chainsaw for women.
Hand guard – There is a plastic shield surrounds your hand to prevent the scattered pieces from the wrecked wood to piercing through your hand. Those pieces might not cause serious injury but it’s could be annoying if it penetrates too deep, you then might feel the pain of taking it off your flesh.
For people with physical allergy, minor injuries due to scratch can be extremely annoying. Cause you can’t stand the urge to scratch yourself while using the chainsaw, and doing both thing at the same time could be dangerous.
For homeowner – The chainsaw is maintenance free, only things you need to do are keeping the blade sharp, adjusting tension and lubricating. For homeowner who has very little time to keep the chainsaw in good sharp using other types of maintenance, this is an ideal chainsaw.
- Tip: The sharpening job is easy for me since I use Dreme tool chainsaw grinder with the chainsaw attachment #1453, and the sharpening stone #453, these are the attachment and accessory recommended by the manufacturer. Stick with them and you will do the sharpening job a lot easier.
Quiet and Smoke-free – With the motor designed for home use, which is only 8 amp, the chainsaw can operate with minimal noise. In addition, since the chainsaw run by electric power, not only can you skip the mixing oil and gas job, but also can avoid breathing in the smoke generated by the regular gas chainsaw.
Most inexpensive tool – For landscaping job, investing anything more than 100 bucks is too costly. Fortunately, this chainsaw only costs around 50 bucks, which is quite affordable for homeowners.
Hassle tension adjustment – To minimize the cost, the manufacturer has cut off some of the feature that they consider not important. This chainsaw does not have auto-tensioning system like other electric chainsaw, meaning that you need a screwdriver to adjust the tension.
Oil leak – This is basically one of the major problems of the chainsaw, the oil leaks out when you put the chainsaw in a regular horizontal position. Normally, I would call the customer service and make a big fuss about it. However, it’s different this time since I was somehow satisfied with the price, so I decided to put epoxy paste on the seam to solve the problem.
Easily broken plastic housing – As I mentioned before, the manufacturer tries to minimize the producing cost at the optimal. They use plastic housing instead of metal housing, keep in mind that those plastic housing get bent and failed easily.
Loosening bar – The bar gets loosening easily, if you don’t adjust it constantly, it might come off the saw. I thought I could loosen it up by rotating the screw to adjust the tension, however, it seems that the screw did not work anymore. After several trials, the screw sinks itself into the plastic socket.
As I did not what to do at that time, I called the service center to get professional help. However, the warranty process took me like 1 week and I finally got a replacement. I bought another chainsaw to do the job instead because who could wait for 1 week long to get it fixed.
Remington Limb N Trim 8 Amp 14- Inch Electric Chainsaw via redneckcomputergeak
This electric chainsaw can only use for trimming limb, and the targeted consumer is homeowner or women that need something lightweight and easy to use for landscaping job. As mentioned before, you need to be more active (I mean call and complain frequently) to get the warranty service as soon as possible.
On top of that, keep your eyes on the plastic housing, the bar and the oil reservoir to detect the issue early. Overall, the chainsaw performs the job pretty well, and the price makes it disposable so the problems are not big deals.
This is a first gas chainsaw on this list, it cuts down any large tree with the powerful X-Torq 3.2 HP engine and 18-inch bar. Even though it is powerful, the manufacturer still manages to provide ergonomic and optimum control for the user. The chainsaw is suitable for landowner who cut occasionally.
Powerful engine – Not only the engine is so powerful that it is applicable for medium-duty jobs (like pruning and domestic cutting) but it also reduces the amount of the harmful emission for a better working environment.
Specifically, the amount of emission reduces to 60 percent compares to the emission of a regular chainsaw. In addition, to save resource, the engine also consumes less than 30 percent of the fuel compare to the regular resource consumed by normal gas chainsaw.
Long life engine – The engine is pretty well-protected. Particularly, I notice that it uses a three-piece crankshaft, hence improving the strength and durability of the engine since crankshaft can withstand high pressure.
On top of that, all the debris is removed from the air filter thanks to a centrifugal air cleaning system. The system extends the engine life to a significant period.
Easy startup – Chainsaw flooding issue is impossible to avoid. Because first of all, most of the two-cycle engine, when over-cranked, is easily flooded. Secondly, the chainsaw tends to be flooded after not using for a while. Lastly, it also depends on the temperature, especially the low temperature that creates cranking issue for the engine.
Although we cannot completely prevent flooding issue, a good chainsaw has an engine system that can reduce the risk of flooding to the minimal. Husqvarna's Smart Start technology uses a combination of choke/stop to reduce the risk of flooding.
In addition, the engine can start quickly with 40 percent less resistance in the starter cord. Even more, there are an optimized fuel pump to maintain the clear fuel lines which boost up the startup speed; and an air purge function to remove air from the carburetor and fuel system which also helps speed up the startup process.
Reduce hands fatigue – Usually, with regular gas chainsaw, I grip my hands tightly to resist the vibration created by the machine. After 15 minutes of fighting the vibration, my spirit remains but my hands do not. I have to stop working because of hand fatigue.
However, when I use Husqavarna 450, it’s a different experience. The chainsaw looks big, but the frame is actually pretty lightweight. More importantly, Husqvarna's LowVib provides anti-vibration dampeners absorbing all the vibration. Thanks to it, I don’t need to wrestle with my chainsaw anymore, and I can work more comfortably in longer hours.
Lastly, the manufacturer also offers rear handle with soft inlay, ergonomic trigger, and asymmetrical handle, allowing optimal control and also reducing hand fatigue.
Easy operation – I can change the spark plug easily with the snap lock cylinder requiring minimal effort and time. On top of that, tensioning and assembling the bar is a tool-less process. In addition, replacing air filter only requires pulling a quick-release.
In addition, there is a transparent window on the fuel tank to show the current fuel level. Lastly, for precision felling, the manufacturer also designs distinct marks on the chainsaw for measurement.
Kickback protection – As mentioned before, kickback causes serious injury. It is a requirement that every decent chainsaw should have an inertia activated chain brake to reduce the risk of kickback.
Bad customer service – One of my friend can’t get the chainsaw started, it was a brand new. He called the warranty service and they told him to take the chainsaw to the Authorized Repair Center. I thought my one week waiting was the worst, however, in this case two weeks are the minimum wait time.
What’s more ridiculous was that they asked him to deposit 21 bucks because they were afraid that he would not pay for the 0 dollar service bill, and abandon his brand new chainsaw at the service center. For your information, the shipping cost is the customer’s responsibility.
Awful instruction – Of course it is common sense for a chainsaw user to know that you need to set the brake before replacing the chain. However, it should not be an excuse for not putting such a critical step from the instruction. For the newcomers, it would be hard to recognize the problem, and they have to spend a lot of time wondering what’s wrong with the chainsaw.
One more thing to discuss is that the manufacturer uses a shared manual for different chainsaw models. It wouldn’t have been that bad if they had taken the difference between models into consideration. There are location differences between models such as the location of the chain adjustment etc. If you can’t make a manual about the specific product, then it’s a useless manual.
Chances of getting defective one – As there are many complaints about the brand new chainsaw can’t start. I can’t bear ignoring them and decide to warn you about the high chance of getting the defective chainsaw. So if you have any method to get the chainsaw tested directly at the store, don’t ever hesitate to do so.
Hassle carb adjustment – There is a special tool to adjust the chain that’s only available at the authorized service dealer, hence you can’t fix this thing yourself.
Husqvarna 450 18 Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2 Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start via Bestsellerfurniture
If you put aside the warranty service, instruction and defective product, you can tell that the performance of the chainsaw alone is superb. The price is quite reasonable compares to the competitors. This is the best gas chainsaw for the money. Based on the price and the performance only, I nominate this chainsaw as the best chainsaw on my list.
One day I wanted to cut some firewood but couldn’t do it near the house because my baby needed to sleep and I had to do the work outside of the house. Apparently, there is no electric chainsaw with power cord could do the job. So I decided to give electric battery chainsaw a try. Turned out, it was a really good experience.
Cordless maneuverability – One of the reasons why I want a battery chainsaw, because using the mobile power outlet for regular electric chainsaw outside might be awkward and inconvenient.
From the information provided by the manufacturer, the chainsaw uses 40V MAX Lithium Ion Battery can hold charge up to 18 months. For productivity measurement, it cuts over 60 4x4 pine lumber for each charge.
Some older model of battery chainsaw doesn’t have a battery indicator, and you might be having a hard time guessing when you should charge it. Fortunately, there is a battery indicator in this chainsaw shows the battery charge level so that you can use the chainsaw more effectively.
Tool free tensioning & Auto oiling – Two basic features of every mid-end electric chainsaw. They reduce the hassle of adjusting tension, and provide constant lubrication for smooth operation of the chainsaw. Moreover, the oil reservoir also has a window for visibility to indicate the level of oil you need to put in. This will help you avoid the oil leak problem by leaving no spare oil after finishing the job.
Lightweight and ergonomic - It weighs 7 pounds, which is only slightly heavier than Remington RM1425 (6.25 pounds). The weight reduces the hands fatigue, and the full wrap handle allows you to cut in various directions at ease.
Less kickback – The manufacturer include a 12-inches specialized Oregon bar and chain designed for less kickback. In addition, the Oregon bar and chain also produce less vibration and improve cutting speed.
Extended bar life – Because the speed of the electric chainsaw is slower than gas chainsaw, hence, generating less heat and preserve the bar life.
Expensive accessories – To complete the job, it would require many batteries. You had better prepare like more than two batteries, otherwise it would be impossible to get the job done.
A battery might cost you around 70 bucks to 90 bucks, so two to three batteries are equivalent to a new chainsaw. For your information, the fast charger is worth around 60 bucks, in case you need one.
High oil consumption – I only used it for nearly 15 minutes, and through the window on the reservoir, I can see the oil level reduced to half. Not only so, the reservoir too small to keep sufficient amount of oil so you don’t need to refill after every 30 minutes of working. In addition, you should be careful if you use the chainsaw sideway, because the oil will leak out by doing so.
Black & Decker LCS1240 40-volt Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch via Christian Galipeau
This electric battery chainsaw is a good deal if you have spare 40V batteries from other tools. If you only perform yard work, then the spare batteries might not be necessary. Overall, I praise this chainsaw on the cordless maneuverability and the extra safety. If you ever need a cordless lightweight chainsaw, this should be an appropriate option.
Remington RM5118R Rodeo Review
Remington clearly can produce various types of chainsaw. From a electric chainsaw for trimming limb to a gas chainsaw for cutting firewood like this one. We’ll see about the Remington quality.
Best chainsaw for cutting firewood – The chainsaw has a 18-inches bar and a 51cc two-cycle engine ready to cut through the toughest firewood or any big fallen limb. In addition, the rugged pro crankcase and sprocket also increase the strength to cut through those tough limbs.
Even though the bar is just 18-inches, I cut through the trees with 23 inches diameter and saw no problem. I usually cut in different orientation, and this chainsaw could handle everything from angle cut, back cut to even lunge cut. I worked 12 hours straight and saw no diminishing of power or speed, this chainsaw is a beast.
Quick-startup – Applying the exclusive Quick-Start technology, the manufacturer help us minimize the effort required to get the chainsaw started. Luckily, the instruction is also very clear. I followed it strictly and had no problem starting the machine.
Less vibration – There are front and back anti-vibration handles created to absorb the vibration and reduce hands fatigue. I have had less struggle wrestling against the vibration generated by the chainsaw.
Auto-lubrication – Like other chainsaw, it has auto-lubrication system providing constant oil for smooth operation of the chainsaw.
Awful warranty service – Imagine you have your chainsaw broken and broken, and you ask your savior from the tech support for help. Then, the savior replies: “We have never done this before”. You might not believe it but it’s the real experience from a user of this chainsaw. That’s the Remington warranty service in a nutshell. I’m lucky that mine has not been broken yet.
Seem like it’s hard to get a proper warranty service these days. There are three out of five chainsaws on this with bad warranty service experience. So you’d better be careful and keep your chainsaw whole. Warranty service aside, the overall performance of this product is pretty good. In addition, the price is also quite affordable for a gas chainsaw with 18-inches bar. I would totally recommend this chainsaw for cutting firewood.
By and large, I have introduced to you five chainsaws including gas chainsaw, electric chainsaw and electric battery chainsaw. Depend on your purpose, you might want to vary your choice. Most importantly, please set safety as your number one priority when selecting chainsaw. No matter what type of chainsaws you are using, injury from kickback is the worst scenario you’ll ever want to face.
Although I leave the decision to you, I still need to choose the best chainsaw for this article. As mentioned before, I propose Husqvarna 450 as the best chainsaw on this list. Lastly, I hope that the information I provide can help you make your decision.
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