What’s The Best Best Chainsaw of 2020 – Top Picks Reviewed

A chainsaw is one of the essential tools for any outdoorsman. They have multiple uses and are invaluable when it comes to cutting large amounts of wood. The excellent portability and ease of use are fantastic, especially for tree surgeons, or even harvesting firewood. This guide will help you find the best chainsaw for you. We’ve also provided five short, chainsaw reviews towards the end to make it easier for you.

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Overview of Chainsaws

Oregon CS1500 18 in. 15 Amp Self-Sharpening Corded Electric ChainsawA chainsaw is an essential item if you work with large wood often, such as working with trees or harvest a lot of firewood. They are much faster than using a standard saw, due to the chain of teeth that saw the wood. This tool works as it has a set of teeth attached to a chain. The chain runs along a bar. They are usually powered by petrol(gas). However, a very select few are electric.

Chainsaws have many uses. For instance, chainsaws with specialist bars/chains have been designed predominantly for chainsaw art. Chainsaws have also been developed to cut concrete and even used for cutting ice – which also ties in with art.

5 Best Chainsaws of 2020

 

Remington RM4618

Remington RM4618 Outlaw 46cc 2-Cycle 18-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw with Carrying Case Automatic Chain Oiler and 5-Point Anti Vibration System, 46 cc-18, OrangeThe Remington RM4618 is an excellent chainsaw, consisting of a sturdy design, along with unstoppable cutting power. It features a 46cc engine to ensure suitable cutting power for even the bulkiest of tasks. It also features a premium 18-Inch bar and low-kickback chain for easy cutting and an automatic oiler for smooth operation. 5-point anti-vibration system and a cushioned full wrap handle make this chainsaw more balanced, maneuverable, and comfortable to operate. Durable die-cast chassis makes it lightweight, heavy-duty, and efficient. This chainsaw is sublime, and I recommend it to anyone in the market for a lightweight, yet functional gas chainsaw.

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Husqvarna 460 Rancher

Husqvarna 460 Rancher (60cc) Chainsaw With 24" Bar and Chain Plus 3 WoodlandPRO Chain LoopsHusqvarna has always been one of the most well-known manufacturers of chainsaws and other power tools. However, with the 460 Rancher, they excelled themselves. The 460 features a huge amount of power while keeping efficiency at the center of the design. It’s a 6.0. 3cc 24 inch gas chainsaw with guide bar and chain. It has a two-cycle engine with inertia activated chain brake for safety while operating. It has an automatic chain oiler and a simple, side-mounted chain tensioning system. The patented x-torq technology within this chainsaw is wonderful, and all this is achieved while keeping emissions to an absolute minimum. In my opinion, it can easily cope with the heavier jobs such as trailing, felling.

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Sun Joe SWJ701E

Sun Joe SWJ701E 18-inch 14.0 Amp Electric Chain Saw with Kickback Safety BrakeThe Sun Joe SWJ701E is an electric chainsaw, mainly designed for limbs, firewood, and logs. It has been in the market for quite long, still is a favorite among people. It’s hugely powerful 14 Amp motor makes it one of the most powerful in its class, and also enables it to cope with even the most demanding of tasks. It also features an 18-inch self-lubricating Oregon bar and chain. But the main advantage of this chainsaw is its full-size lightweight construction. This enables the user to keep going without getting fatigued. Although it is made by a relatively lesser-known company, don’t less this fool you. The Sun Joe SWJ701E is a serious piece of kit, especially for the money it cost you.

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Oregon PowerNow CS1500

Oregon CS1500 18 in. 15 Amp Self-Sharpening Corded Electric ChainsawThe Oregon PowerNow CS1500 is another electric chainsaw that’s been there in the market for very long. This feature is called “PowerSharp,” and it’s an in-built sharpening system, to sharpen the chainsaw’s blade, all you need to do is pull on the sharpening lever a few times. In my opinion, this is one of the best innovations made to the chainsaw in a long time, no more breaking out the vice and guides to sharpen your chainsaw. Overall, this chainsaw is wonderful despite also been manufactured by a less-known brand. It fits in a tonne of premium features and has unmatched cutting capabilities.

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Worx WG303.1

WORX WG303.1 Powered Chain Saw, 16" Bar Length, RedThis is yet another popular, affordable electric chainsaw. The WG303.1 is a premium level chainsaw, that packs in a healthy amount of power, and perfect blade size. It features a 16-inch blade, which in my opinion, is perfect for “all-in-one” use, as 18 inches can sometimes be too large and too bulky to use. It boasts a patented auto-tension chain system prevents over-tightening

Overall, the Worx WG303.1 is an excellent chainsaw, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it, the sheer amount of safety features packed into this mid-sized chainsaw is wonderful.

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When to Use a Chainsaw

It is usually fairly obvious when to use a chainsaw, as they are predominantly used for felling trees. However, they also play a very valid role within many woodwork projects. You wouldn’t use a chainsaw for delicate cuts. However, they can be used to quickly cut large pieces of wood, such as logs into more workable sizes.

However, as mentioned above – chainsaws are no longer restricted to cutting only wood. You can use chainsaws for cutting ice and concrete as well. A skilled woodchopper will use their chainsaw to create art from logs.

Therefore, it is usually down to the user’s personal opinion of when to use a chainsaw, as traditional saws can also be used in place of many chainsaw tasks. Chainsaws just accelerate the otherwise tedious task.

How to Choose the Best Chainsaw

Now is the time to dispel the myth that more expensive is better, as this is not always the case. In many cases, the premium tools are only costly due to its brand value. Usually, you can get the same performance and features from a lower price banded Chainsaw.

What to Look for

Factor 1: Power and Weight

If you aren’t experienced with the use of chainsaws, it is almost always best to purchase a light chainsaw, as they are easier to maneuver, and are also safer for new saw users. However, make sure your new chainsaw will have enough power for what you in use it for. For heavy work, you will need a lot more power than you would for merely cutting small trees. for heavier work, you will also need the right cutting equipment.

Factor 2: Vibrations

If you use the chainsaw often, then the vibrations are of utmost importance. Large, consistent vibrations can cause injuries, mainly to the hands, as these are in contact with the tool. Even for a low amount of use, I would recommend a low-vibration tool just for comfort.

Factor 3: Power Type

Gas or battery? Gas chainsaws are the most common and are recommended if you spend long hours using it, as it saves the end-user having to carry around extra batteries. However, for small work, such as in the garden, an electrical chainsaw is a great choice. If you do choose to purchase an electrical chainsaw, I would recommend buying an extra battery – this means you can have one on a charge while you use the chainsaw. Electrical chainsaws are more comfortable to use. They also vibrate less than their gas counterparts.

Factor 4: Emissions

Many countries have extremely strict regulations regarding emissions. You must consider that when purchasing a new chainsaw, as many older chainsaws will not be legal for use. This is also important for your well being, as breathing in petrol fumes all day isn’t good for you.

Factor 5: Balance

Make sure that the saw has a good balance, meaning the weight is evenly spread throughout the tool, and it isn’t too much heavier towards one end. It should be almost effortless to shift your grip on the chainsaw, during use, without affecting the balance.

Factor 6: Safety Features

Always make sure your new chainsaw has plenty of safety features in place that is well tested before purchasing. Always use the correct safety equipment when operating the chainsaw as well.

Factor 7: Maintenance

Nobody wants to buy a chainsaw that needs constant replacing of parts. Make sure the air filter and fuel pump are easily accessible. This will save you precious time. Also, it should be effortless to tighten the chain. You will find yourself often doing.

Another extremely important item to consider when purchasing a new chainsaw is, what are your needs? Before you start researching potential purchases, think about what you need, as this will save you a lot of time.

Will you be using the chainsaw for extended periods? Answering simple questions like this will help you decide what chainsaw is best for you.

Factor 8: Engine/Motor

Typically, chainsaws are either powered by two-stroke petrol motors or an electric motor. This heavily depends on the intended use of the chainsaw, gas chainsaws be more powerful, which comes in handy when felling large trees. However, electric chainsaws are easier to use, quieter, and also release fewer vibrations, which helps reduce user fatigue. Carefully consider what you will be using the chainsaw for before you decide on petrol or electricity.

Factor 9: Size

Larger the size means heavier chainsaw, which will cause more fatigue. Lighter chainsaws are always preferred. However, electric chainsaws, which are big enough for large woodworking needs, are hard to come by. Therefore, if you plan to fell large trees, or use the chainsaw a lot, get a gas chainsaw. You’ll thank me later.

Another extremely important item to consider when purchasing a new chainsaw is, what are your needs? Before you start researching potential purchases, think about what you need, as this will save you a lot of time.

Will you be using the chainsaw for extended periods? Answering simple questions like this will help you decide what is the best chainsaw for you.

Electric Chainsaw

There are many advantages of using an electric chainsaw over a petrol counterpart, such as:

Ease of Use: Studies show that an 18-inch chainsaw will fit close to one hundred percent of all cutting chores around a standard property. Therefore it is wise to consider an electric model. This is because they are extremely easy to use, connect it to a power source, flick the switch and it’s ready to go.

Whereas gas chainsaws require priming, and the pull-cord to start the engine. This can be difficult when the chainsaw has been out of operation for an extended period. Gas chainsaws are also generally heavier compared to electric models. The light design of an electric chain saw makes it suitable for use by anyone. Weight is important to the overall safety of a chainsaw because gas chainsaws can be hard to maneuver due to the extra weight of a full combustion engine.

Kickback: The safety chains included within electric models reduce kickbacks. It occurs when the tip of the saw blade hits an object, which forces the tool to “kickback” at the user. This can cause extreme injuries. Because electric chain saws are much less potent than gas models, this reduces the severity of kickbacks when operating the tool.

Fuel: This a huge advantage, mainly because you don’t need any. The main issue with petrol-powered chainsaws is that when they run out of fuel, they have to cool down before you can refill the chainsaw. This eats into your precious time. Whereas, an electric model merely needs a power connection.

Noise: Electric chainsaws make significantly less noise than gas chainsaws, this is key when working in a residential area, as the electric chainsaw will not disturb neighbors, and passers-by, anywhere near as much as petrol powered model would.

Starting: Another great advantage of an electric-powered chainsaw, flick the switch to on, and you’re ready to go! Compared to the starting procedure of a petrol-powered unit, this is excellent. Starting a gas chainsaw involves pulling a cord multiple times to get the engine started, along with priming the engine. There is also a high chance of your engine flooding when too much petrol flows into the carburetor. Electric chainsaws cannot flood! Petrol chainsaws often require a specific mix of gasoline and oil to power the tool, this also takes time to prepare – and can affect the lifespan of your tool if done poorly.

Storage: When storing a gas chainsaw for more than two weeks, it is recommended to remove all petrol and oil, along with the spark plug before it can be safely stored. An electric chainsaw needs putting back in its case.

Electric Chainsaw Brands

There is a large variety of electric chainsaw brands. However, we’ll be reviewing the following brands:

  • Worx
  • Makita
  • Oregon
  • Remington
  • Sun Joe

These are just a few of the most common brands within the market for electric chainsaws.

Worx:

Worx manufactures the highest-rated and most popular electric chainsaw currently, the WG303.1. The reason Worx is so popular is because of the excellent value you get with their tools. The consumer receives an excellent, reliable piece of kit. It is also referred to as one of the easiest electric chainsaws to use.

Worx is a side-company of Positec, a China-based company, who predominantly manufacture power tools, garden equipment along with a good variety of accessories.

The Worx company was formed in 2004, and since then, its market share has steadily increased, putting them up against flagship brands, such as Black & Decker.

In regards to the WG303.1, it has an extremely large knob to secure the chain. This maintains the tension of the chain during use, a great safety feature. This tool also features a built-in safety chain brake, as I mentioned above, kickback is a huge issue within chainsaws – the WG303.1 automatically stops the chain immediately if kickback occurs, preventing injury to the user.

A large rubber molded rear handle, paired with an ergonomic front handle, ensures maximum comfort while operating the machine.

Overall, Worx is a great brand, although rather unknown compared to Black & Decker, they invest a large sum of money into research and development, ensuring their tools always feature the latest features.

Here are some other electric chainsaw from Worx

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Makita:

Makita is a large well-known, reputable brand. This is partly due to their extensive history, beginning in 1915. They manufacture industry-grade tools while focussing on power and efficiency.

They create a huge variety of tools, from flashlights to chainsaws, along with a whole lot more.

The Makita UC3551A is more a long term tool. It’s a quality tool, and it is extremely well built. In my opinion, it is one of the best electric chainsaws you can buy.

One of the critical features of the Makita chainsaw is the fact it utilizes metal gears, which sounds odd. Surely, all chainsaws use metal gears?! Unfortunately, the reality is that many cheaper chainsaws only use plastic gears, which are nowhere near as durable as metal counterparts.

With this tool, you get what you pay for, yes, it is expensive, and yes, the price tag won’t suit everyone. However, this tool is guaranteed to last for many years and will effortlessly attack all chores around the house. It feels like absolute bliss in your hands, and exceptionally well balanced and light for a chainsaw of this size. It’s almost effortless to adjust the chain and features a chain brake to minimize injuries regarding kickback. This is especially useful for beginners, as many beginners push the chainsaw too hard. Luckily – this chainsaw will stop before you damage it.

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Oregon:

Oregon is a relatively lesser-known brand.

The Oregon PowerNow CS1500 is rated at 15 Amps, which is a huge amount of power. It can cut through wood 16 inches in diameter, and more if you’re willing to be patient. The bar and chain measures at 18 inches, which is a huge length.

However, the main feature that stood out to me was the mere fact that this chainsaw has a self-sharpening blade. Yes, you did read that right. No more sharpening the chain ever again, and you need to do is pull the sharpening level for around 3 seconds, and your chainsaw will work as good as new. This helps reduce the time wasted when maintaining your chainsaw.

Rather than a typical switch system, which is featured on many electric saws – this particular saw features an instant start, trigger system. This is a great feature, which can also be deemed as a safety feature.

Here are some other electric chainsaw from Oregon

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Remington:

Remington excel when it comes to smaller electric chainsaws.

Such as the Remington RM1425 – this is recommended for wood 6 inches in diameter and small. While this heavily restricts what you can use the tool for, this isn’t a problem at the extremely low price. It is excellent for what it is designed for, with a moderately powerful 8-amp motor – which is generous when you consider that this tool was designed for cutting a maximum of 6 inches of wood.

It doesn’t have a great number of features; however, you wouldn’t expect this of a chainsaw within this price band. However, you do get a lot for your money. What you receive is a basic 14″ chainsaw, which is extremely reliable. If you’re on a tight budget, this is the tool for you.

It excels at pruning, using this chainsaw is almost effortless. Due to the compact size, this heavily reduces the overall weight, making this chainsaw suitable for everyone.

Here are some other electric chainsaw from Remington

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Sun Joe:

Sun Joe is one of the most innovative companies within the chainsaw industry. They invest a huge amount of money into research and development, and this shows within their products. They have a huge commitment to manufacturing cutting-edge technology backed products.

The Sun Joe SWJ701E is a ridiculously light chainsaw, which doesn’t skimp on anything. With a generous 14-Amp motor, this 18″ chainsaw will blast through anything you throw at it.

The ergonomics of this tool are perfect. In a nutshell, this tool is mobile, and you won’t get fatigued while using it for extended periods.

It features a rather sublime, self-lubricating bar and chain. This works excellently. However, you will still need to get an eye on the oil – otherwise, you may damage your tool.

Don’t let its toy-like design fool you. This tool packs some serious power.

Here are some other electric chainsaw from Sun Joe

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So, what is the best electric chainsaw in 2020?

The Sun Joe SWJ701E is the best, in my opinion. Its sheer innovative technology is amazing. It has the best power to weight ratio in its class and is also affordable.

It has enough power to cut through 17 inches of wood, all in a tight, compact chassis, and powered by electricity! Some gas chainsaws struggle to cut through 17 inches of wood. Sun Joe has seriously outdone themselves with the release of this tool. It has a vast collection of safety features, ensuring minimal injuries during the lifespan of the product.

Gas Chainsaw

Gas chainsaws are the most popular type of chain saw, due to the versatility they achieve. A full tank of petrol tends to last longer than a full charge of a battery for an electric chain saw. Also, petrol chain saws are hugely powerful compared to electric chain saws. This is why the industry prefers a petrol chain saws. There is no replacement for a good old combustion engine currently, for extensive woodwork, such as felling trees – there is no option but to use a petrol chainsaw. Electric chainsaws do not possess enough power to cut through large pieces of hardwood efficiently.

Gas Chainsaws – Popular Brands

Husqvarna

Husqvarna is one of the leading retailers regarding gas chainsaws. The Husqvarna 460 (One of their flagship models) – only requires a sheer tug or two on the cord to bring the machine to life. Husqvarna also thinks about the smaller details, such as the cord handle is large enough to use even with a gloved hand, something many other manufacturers forget about.

Husqvarna tools are mainly designed for extended use. Hence they focus on creating reliable, comfortable tools. All Husqvarna tools feature vibration dampening technology to reduce user fatigue; this is a nice touch.

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Poulan

Poulan is at the lower end of the spectrum in regards to price. However, don’t overlook them as a low-quality brand. They produce very high-quality tools at very affordable prices. For such a low cost, they offer huge cutting speeds and a tonne of power. They also feature a tool-free tensioning mechanism on many of their chainsaws. This is extremely easy to use. However, they don’t feature as many premium features as other brands, such as Husqvarna. The vibration dampening mechanism doesn’t work too well. However, this isn’t a problem unless you plan to use the tool for an extensive period.

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Solo

Solo is a New Zealand based company.

Their flagship chainsaw, the Solo 636 features only sheer power, with a 36.3cc engine. It features a compression release button, which is usually only found on much larger two-stroke chainsaws, however not in the Solo’s case. This helps ensure a fast start. This is one of the fastest saws on the market, and its weight to power ratio is sheer excellence. Solo’s range of chainsaws is perfect for limbing and trail maintenance. However, for such a premium company – they do overlook small details, such as the starter handle. The starter handle is a little small, which means you can’t start the tool with gloves on, and the petrol and oil caps are a ridiculous shape. However – don’t let this put you off. Solo is an excellent brand.

John Deere

John Deere is well known for their manufacture of premium farming tools and machinery. However, they make superb chain saws as well. It sports a “fun” yet industrial, durable design and features excellent balancing. John Deere didn’t overlook any details during the development of this saw, it features easy-turn caps for the petrol and oil, along with easy to adjust screws for the carburetor and idle-speed. It’s not the fastest chainsaw on the market. However, it is one of the most reliable and consistent, durable chainsaws in its price bracket. Another nice feature is a shielded on/off switch to protect the tool from dirt and grime.

 

Sharpening your Chainsaw

You must keep your chainsaw blade sharp, as a dull blade will not just cause accidents, but will cut extremely slowly and dangerously. There are two main ways of sharpening a chainsaw.

Buy a Chainsaw Sharpener

You can buy chainsaw sharpeners cheap from your local hardware shop, or online. However, if it is just a one-time sharpen you need, many hardware shops will be willing to sharpen your chainsaw for a small one-time cost.

Do it Yourself

Now, we all know that dull chainsaw blades will buckle when cutting wood, so it’s about time we get sharpening.

To start with, you’ll need a pair of gloves, and a filing kit for chainsaws.

Firstly, engage the chain saw brake and clamp the guide bar within the vice. Place the guide between two rivets on the chain, with the guide arrows pointing towards the nose.

For the best sharpening experience, the toy needs to follow the angle of the cutter. The guide should help you from cutting too deep.

A few steady strokes with the file should suffice until the cutter is shiny. After sharpening a few cutters, release the chain brake and rotate the chain forward and repeat until all cutters are sharpened.

You should sharpen your chainsaw blade each time you fill the chainsaw with fuel.

See the video below

Pole Chain Saw

Pole chain saws are mainly designed for pruning small branches. This is primarily due to the power restrictions of pole chain saws. They also feature smaller chains and a smaller engine to reduce weight. However, don’t let this put you off – pole chain saws are a great innovation for pruning trees, and more often than not, it saves the operator from having to use a ladder or climb a tree.

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Cordless Chain Saw

Many electric chainsaws aren’t cordless. However, a select few are battery-powered, which gets rid of the pesky cord, which can cause many problems and safety issues while cutting. However, all gas chain saws are cordless, due to the power source being within the chainsaw. Cordless chain saws are the best option to go for, in my opinion, as you aren’t restricted by always having to be connected to a power outlet. However, this isn’t to say that corded chain saws don’t have their place. Corded chain saws are excellent for home use, such as in the garden, due to the fact there’s no need to have to buy fuel or charge the battery.

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Small Chain Saws- Mini Chain Saws

There is currently a huge market for small chain saws. Small chain saws are perfect for pruning trees or even cutting down smaller trees that you may encounter within your garden.

Small chainsaws are also excellent for beginners, due to the smaller size, this means a large decrease in weight – which means small chain saws can be used for hours, with little to no fatigue.

However, there are limitations to what a small chain saw can be used for. While yes, you can technically use a small chainsaw for everything you would use a large chainsaw for, it will severely decrease the life of your tool, along with meaning you have to sharpen the blade often, as the blades aren’t designed for large pieces of hardwood. The only significant difference if you needed to use a small chainsaw will be the fact that it would take a lot longer and also multiple angles to cut larger pieces of wood. However, be warned it is advised to take short breaks in between cutting. This is to reduce the chance of the motor overheating within the chainsaw.

Chainsaw Case

Now that you should be kitted out with the latest, high tech chainsaw – it’s time to start talking accessories. A chainsaw case is an excellent place to start. This will protect your tool and protect you. Leaving an exposed chainsaw around is always a bad idea due to the sharp blades.

Luckily for you, there is a vast market out there for chainsaw cases. Many produced by the same brands as your chainsaw if you want to go for a matching pair. While there isn’t much difference between an unbranded case and a premium case – you will get a lot more features within the premium case, such as the Husqvarna PowerBox Carry Case. The PowerBox features a tough, sturdy, stylish design which will safely store a chainsaw, oil, lubricants, and other accessories.

Chainsaw Pants

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In my opinion, you definitely shouldn’t skimp on a pair of chainsaw pants. These are the last layer of defense between a high RPM blade, and your precious legs. Many popular brands include Yukon, Rockwood, and Stihl. A pair of chainsaw pants won’t cost much and are worth every cent. They are one of the most crucial safety accessories and will come into play at some point during your chainsaws life.

Conclusion

So, have you found the best chainsaw for you? Follow the pointers mentioned in this article, and you’ll find the right one. We also recommend reading chainsaw reviews featured on our site.