Best Chainsaw for 2018 – Complete Buying Guide & Reviews

The first decision you should make when selecting a new chainsaw is choosing between an electric or gas powered machine. Both offer their own set of advantages and drawbacks. However, it depends on the project to find what’s best for you.

Best Chainsaw

Fortunately, you no longer need to be a lumberjack to easily wield a chainsaw. There are plenty of varieties to choose from. You can select something light and nimble or big and powerful.

To help with your decision, here’s our list of the best electric and gas chainsaws available.

1. WORX WG303.1 16-Inch 14.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw

This lightweight chainsaw is ideal for home DIYers and landscapers. Some chainsaw experts often worry that electric chainsaws won’t have the power they need to complete the job. We’ve noticed it’s not the case with this machine. The 14.5 amp motor gives off power comparable to a gas chainsaw. It can cut through small trees and branches easily.

The design features are the biggest selling point of the WORX amp electric chainsaw. The patented, built-in oil-reservoir design automatically lubricates the blade while in use. The auto-tension system keeps the chain from over tightening without manual adjustment. Additional safety measures are built into the low kickback bar and chain brake. The machine won’t operate unless both are engaged.

However, there are some issues buyers should be aware of. Replacing certain parts of the chainsaw may be difficult. Most replacement parts are no longer available. Also, if stored while full, the gravity-filled oil reservoir could leak. You may also run into some issues after several months of not using the machine.

But, with proper care and storage, this is a user friendly machine powerful enough to get most home jobs done.

What we liked

  • The 14.5 amp motor provides power like a gas chainsaw
  •  16 inch blade cuts through most small trees and branches
  •  The patented auto-tension system prevents the chainsaw from over-tightening 
  •  Chain brake and low kickback bar provide additional safety measures
  •  The machine does not require batteries
  •  The lightweight design and comfort grip make machine easy to operate
  •  A built-in oiler lubricates the chain and bar as you work
  •  Oil reservoir includes a window and level indicator
  •  The tool-free bar adjuster saves time when adjusting the machine

What we didn't like

  • Replacement parts, like brushes or micro-switches, are unavailable.
  • Requires some assembly after shipment.
  • May have issues functioning after several months of inactivity. 
  •  Gravity filled oil reservoir may lead to leakage

2. Oregon 570995 CS1500 Self-Sharpening Electric Chainsaw

The Oregon CS1500 is a powerful chainsaw for its kind. The 15 amp can push the motor into completing tasks that may cause other electric chainsaws to struggle. However, the most outstanding feature is the PowerSharp self-sharpening blade. With a simple trigger, you can sharpen the blade in three seconds. No need to remove or worry about dullness during a project.

In addition to PowerSharp, other features make this machine a low maintenance option for busy operators. The tool-free chain tensioning system and built-in oiler means less time up keeping the machine and more time focusing on your project.

However, it’s not without downsides. Auto-tensioning features are not included, which is basic element for most electric chainsaws. And despite the high horsepower motor, the chainsaw is limited on its ability to perform heavy duty projects.

Even with its limitations, it’s still an easy to use chainsaw powerful enough to take care of any yard project or maintenance. We recommend this machine for homeowners or DIY landscapers looking to clean up their space.

What we liked

  • PowerSharp feature self-sharpens machine while in use
  • Sharpening can be completed in less than three seconds
  • High powered motor can take on most projects with ease
  • Lightweight and balanced design makes chainsaw easy to operate
  • Features an over-molded handle for increased comfort
  • Low vibrations when operating, so it’s quieter and easier to hold
  • Features tool-less chain tensioner and built-in oiler which make this chainsaw low maintenance
  • Operates quietly so you can still hear what’s going on around you

What we didn't like

  • Does not offer an auto-tensioning feature.
  • As with most electric chainsaws, it cannot perform heavy-duty work

3. Remington RM1025SPS Ranger 10-Inch 8-Amp Electric Chainsaw/Pole Saw

Chainsaw 101 dictates that you should operate the machine with both feet planted firmly on the ground. So what do you do if the branch you need to cut is several feet above you? Turn to a quality pole saw to get the job done. The Remington 8 amp and 10 foot pole saw is a solid solution to trimming, cutting and pruning trees in your yard.

The versatile design is a big selling point. With tool-free flip and lock clamps, you can easily transition from pole saw to regular chainsaw in no time. Now, you only need one tool to trim tree branches, then cut them into smaller pieces for easy clean up.

However, the 8 amp motor is limited in its ability to take on tasks. That’s not necessarily a defect, just the design of a pole saw. So, if you need a chainsaw to take on something more than just trimming small branches, you may need to find something more heavy duty. Combined with the higher-than-average weight of this pole saw, we recommend only using it for small jobs in the yard.

What we liked

  • Versatile design comes with a detachable pole
  • Can reach branches 10 to 15-feet overhead
  • 8-amp electric motor and 10-inch bar and chain
  • Easy to secure pole length with flip and lock clamps
  • Non-slip grip makes machine easier and safer to hold
  • Chainsaw easily and quickly removes from pole without tools

What we didn't like

  • Bar and chain oil leak from unit when not in use
  • The weight of the pole saw is heavy and difficult to use for longer periods
  • Some units were defective upon delivery 

4. Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw

Greenworks has been a long trusted name in the tool industry, and it’s easy to see why. Their 16-inch 40V cordless chainsaw was created with the user in mind and has power that rivals gas chainsaws. It’s a relatively low maintenance tool, without a cord or use of gas. Instead, it’s battery operated, making it mobile and easy to use anywhere in your yard - even without an outlet nearby.

As a bonus, the battery is compatible with other Greenworks products, so you can seamlessly go from sawing to leaf blowing to other yard work in a record amount of time.

In addition to offering 30 percent more torque over other electric chainsaws, the Greenworks cordless chainsaws reduces vibrations up to 70 percent. This means you can operate longer without needing to rest and maneuver more easily on more difficult products.

One thing to note is the user manual suggests only charging the battery every two months as opposed to leaving on a charger for an extended amount of time, which could reduce the power of the battery.

What we liked

  • Cordless chainsaw makes mobility and performance easier for user
  • Brushless motor extends the life of the tool
  • Provides up to 30 percent more torque for enhanced cutting performance
  • Reduces vibration up to 70 percent for user comfort
  • Increased safety due to chain brake and low kickback chain
  • Low maintenance tool
  • Machine starts with electric button
  • Quick charge time for battery
  • Can perform up to 150 cuts on a single charge
  • Battery is compatible with whole line of Greenworks tools

What we didn't like

  • Can only charge battery every two months to prolong battery life
  • Extended charging could harm battery
  • Limited to smaller projects

5. Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim 8 Amp 14 - Inch Electric Chainsaw

When it comes to yardwork, using a large chainsaw for small projects can be frustrating. It’s cumbersome and heavy work to only trim a few limbs. That’s why many homeowners opt for smaller chainsaws built specifically for limb trimming and cutting saplings - like the Remington RM1425.

Perfect for small projects, this lightweight design and 8 amp motor powers through trimming projects quickly without the extra noise and awkwardness of larger chainsaws. As long as you limit your projects with the Remington to trimming small branches and trees, it should operate fine.

It also comes fully assembled, so you can get right to work without having to put together equipment. However, the cord is on the shorter end, so you will need a proper extension cord for most yard work.

It also provides a push-button oiler to dispense the right amount of oil, which is great for those experienced with chainsaws. For novices who may not be aware how much oil is needed to keep the blade lubricated, you may want to err on the side of caution to avoid any malfunctions. All in all, it’s a decent piece of equipment to keep on hand for smaller projects. 

What we liked

  • Lightweight design and 8 amp motor is ideal for trimming small branches
  • Push-button oiler distributes correct amount of oil to keep blade lubricated without over-greasing
  • Can adjust tension easily with external chain adjuster
  • Delivered fully built so you can get started on your projects more quickly
  • Wrap around hand guard protects you from debris during projects
  • Low-kickback bar provides a smoother cut for your trimming projects

What we didn't like

  • Limited to only small projects, like limb trimming or cutting saplings
  • Cord is short, so extension cord is necessary for most projects
  • Manual advises draining bar oil if storing for extended amount of time to avoid leaking
  • Chain is not oiled automatically

Best Gas Chainsaw 

Big projects call for big chainsaws. When most people think of chainsaws, the gas powered machines are usually what come to mind. They may be louder and heavier than electric chainsaws, but they can cut through a wider variety of projects and pieces of wood without any issues. Just add some gas and go!

1. Husqvarna 460 Rancher 20-Inch 60.3cc 2-Stoke X-Torq Gas Powered Chain Saw

Husqvarna has long been a respected name by experienced chainsaw users and hobbyists. Known for durability and reliability, they continue to keep up their excellent reputation with the 460 Rancher.

Designed to cut through large projects with ease, it’s more user friendly and easier to operate than other gas chainsaws of its size. With a side mounted chain, you can easily access the oil tank for simple upkeep and maintenance.

It also provides a quick-release air filter, so cleaning and replacement is a breeze. Despite its size, it actually meets environmental regulations with its fuel saving system - the X-Torque.

Although the anti-vibration system helps reduce fatigue while operating, the cushionless hand grips can get uncomfortable if you opt to work without hand gloves (something we don’t recommend).

It’s a friendly tool for experienced chainsaw users, but beginners may have some difficulty navigating the user manual at first. Fortunately, it’s easy to learn and you can quickly to work on your toughest projects with a machine that can take on the job! 

What we liked

  • Easier access to oil tank with side mounted chain
  • Cleaning and replacing air filter is made easier with their quick release design
  • CARB compliant machine
  • 3-piece crankshaft provides maximum durability for tough projects
  • Ergonomically designed for easier handling
  • Innovative fuel-saving system (X-Torque) reduces gas emissions. 
  • User friendly to operate
  • Anti-vibration system reduces fatigue while operating

What we didn't like

  • Hand grips lack adequate cushioning.
  • Produces a lot of noise when in use.
  • Inexperienced users may find maintenance difficult.
  • User manual is difficult to follow for beginners.

2. Husqvarna 240 2 HP Chainsaw, 952802154

As a smaller gas chainsaw, the Husqvarna 240 2 HP chainsaw is like the little brother of the Husqvarna line. While it still provides the high quality expected from this well-regarded brand, it’s designed to take on smaller projects like tree trimming, pruning and cutting.

Perfect for beginners, the less intimidating size and features make it easier to operate and maintain compared to larger models. Like other Husqvarna models, this machine comes with the X-Torq engine designed to reduce emissions while still delivering a powerful performance.

However, it’s advised to read the user manual before operating the machine, as it will guide you to the correct type of fuel to use to in order to function properly. You may also find that it takes a few attempts to start the engine. The amount may vary for each use. However, it still is a powerful tool to quickly take care of common yard work for homeowners.

What we liked

  • Well-made for beginners
  • Includes side mounted chain-tensioner combined with choke control
  • Smaller size is designed to quickly work through lighter cuts and projects
  • Offers ergonomic design for comfort while operating
  • X-Torq engine reduces gas emissions
  • Requires low volumes of fuel to operate
  • Anti-vibration system minimizes hand fatigue

What we didn't like

  • It’s advised to read the user manual before operating machine
  • May need a few attempts to start
  • Requires chain-tensioning tool to adjust

3. Poulan Pro 967061501 50cc 2 Stroke Gas Powered Chain Saw

The Poulan Pro touts the ability to power through any project put in front of it. With it’s OxyPower engine technology, the engine produces more power than usually expected with similar sized chainsaws. It also implements a pull starting system to make the engine easy to start with little effort.

However, to reduce the number of attempts to starting the engine, you have to follow the user manual to the tee. The chainsaw has been met with mixed reviews. Some owners love it, others wanted to replace it after the first use.

This could be due to reportedly inconsistent quality standards or user error. Like we mentioned, several factors need to be followed to ensure the engine works properly, from using the correct fuel to going easy on the pull-starting rope. Some users reported the rope breaking upon first use, but the user manual states that due to the easy pulling system, the rope should not be pulled to full extent to prevent breakage.

If you’re an experienced gas chainsaw user, then most of the standards for easy-operating and maintenance may already be familiar to you. If you’re a beginner, we recommend reviewing all the factors and user manual to ensure this is the right fit for you.

What we liked

  • OxyPower engine technology produces more power for every task
  • Puts out 70 percent fewer emissions and 20 percent less fuel consumption
  • Pull starting system reduces pull force by 30 percent
  • Easier to start with less strain on starter mechanism
  • Protected purge bulb reduces risk of damage
  • Combined choke/stop control reduces chances of flooding engines
  • Filtering system provides longer air filter life and reduced fuel consumption
  • Provides automatic oiler for chain

What we didn't like

  • Heavyweight makes chainsaw difficult to manage
  • Manufacturing quality standards seem inconsistent
  • Many cases needed a technician to adjust carburetor before machine would work
  • Must have several factors in place in order to easily start
  • Easy pull system means rope will break if pulled too hard

4.Remington RM5118R Rodeo 51cc 2-Cycle 18-Inch Gas Chainsaw

If you’re looking for a durable machine to complete small projects around the yard, the Remington RM5118R could be your solution. More compact than other gas chainsaws, this machine is ideal for light projects and storm clean up around the home.

It’s ergonomic design and anti-vibration handles on the front and back of the machine were designed with care. They obviously had the user in mind, creating a comfortable hold that allows you to use the chainsaw for extended periods of time without experiencing fatigue. That’s a quality you’ll want if you spend a long time on projects in the yard.

The machine arrives fully assembled, so you can start work right away, and the automatic oiler prevents you from having to stop mid-project to lubricate the machine. However, some consumers have reported issues with quality control and the engine overheating after a little use, so be sure to keep that in mind when making your purchase.

While the company boasts a long lasting engine life, it is what you make of it. Following the user manual recommendations for upkeep will prolong use of your chainsaw.

What we liked

  • Ideal for small projects around the yard
  • QuickStart technology eases pull start
  • Anti-vibration handles on front and back make operating machine more comfortable
  • Comes with pro-grade crankcase and sprocket
  • Heavy duty case, bar and chain oil are included
  • Large bucking spikes provide controlled cutting during projects
  • Arrives fully assembled
  • Adjustable automatic oiler keeps blade constantly lubricated
  • Electric ignition consistently starts chainsaw in all conditions

What we didn't like

  • Some users reported poor quality control and faulty units
  • Overheating engine is a commonly reported issue

5. Poulan Pro 967084601 Handheld Gas Chainsaw

If you’re looking for a gas chainsaw that can quickly take care of regular yard clean up projects, this Poulan Pro model is up to the task. Like other Poulan models, it comes with OxyPower technology to improve fuel efficiency without sacrificing power. Ideal for cutting firewood and cleaning up after mid-size storm damage, this is a good choice for any yard owner who needs something for regular maintenance.

However, despite its size and weight, pushing its ability beyond mid-sized projects is not recommended. Fortunately, if you spend significant time in the yard, the anti-vibration system makes operating the chainsaw comfortable while the automatic oiler prevents stopping mid-project to lubricate the bar and chain.

Following the user manual’s specific instructions can help prolong engine life and improve operations. As an bonus, the purge bulb and Effortless Pull Starting (EPS) combine for easy start up, lessening the amount effort exerted to turn on the engine. You can start your project quickly and power through in no time!

What we liked

  • OxyPower technology improves fuel efficiency
  • Power is ideal for cutting firewood, felling trees and medium storm clean-up
  • Automatic oiler reduces maintenance needs
  • Comes with SuperClean Air Filter System to prolong air filter life while reducing fuel consumption
  • Onboard Stench provides easy access to chain tensioning tool
  • Anti-Vibration system reduces user fatigue
  • Purge bulb and effortless pull starting (EPS) ensures simple start

What we didn't like

  • Limited to ordinary garden clean up projects
  • Must follow user manual closely to ensure prolonged life and function of machine
  • Starter rope can break if pulled too hard

Final Verdict 

When it comes to selecting a chainsaw, it ultimately boils down to the project you want to complete. Smaller, electric saws are ideal for smaller projects and beginners. However, if you’re an experienced user, we recommend a higher powered gas chainsaws for larger projects around the home. As long as you know what you want your chainsaw to do, you can make the best choice for your tool.

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