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Chainsaws: The Ultimate Buying Guide

Updated on May 6, 2021 by Jessica Parker

Every time you want to do a job like cutting some firewood or even a tree, outdoor tools like chainsaws come quite handy. For those who are a little behind on the concept, a chainsaw is a portable saw that consists of a set of blades or teeth attached to a chain along the length of a guide bar. As the chain moves so does the blade, resulting in efficient cutting of wood, trees, etc. They help in jobs like pruning the trees, cutting trees and wood, and even trimming.

Now you can forget the good old saw that used to take hours to chop down wood. However, if you are someone who has very limited uses of a chainsaw, and doesn't want to spend on it, then you can hire them as well. Various chainsaw rental shops allow you to rent them for as low as $5 an hour.

What all Can Chainsaws Do?

Chainsaws are good for-

  • Cutting down big trees for firewood
  • Trimming or cutting down dead branches, especially to enhance growth 
  • Cutting down big logs of wood, mainly during the winters

These equipment are easy to use, ergonomic, convenient, and save a lot of time.  Now that we understand their basic functions, let us take a look at the types of chainsaws available in the market to meet our requirements. Make sure to select the right chainsaw size based on your needs.

Types of Chainsaws

There are many types of chainsaws that you can use, all suited to meet different job requirements.

Manual or Pocket Chainsaw

These chainsaws are just like the name, small, compact, and portable. However, they are quite suitable for small jobs, like cutting wood for a campfire. However, they are manual and takes a longer time in finishing the job. It consists of teeth with blades that you can wrap around any wood that you want to saw. Move it back and forth and you can cut the desired length.

However, the good in it is that it is free from any emissions and silent. They are also affordable but if you have a larger batch to cut, then it is best to not depend on them. The cost for them ranges between $18-$50 depending on the chin, size, and other extra features like accessories, etc.

Electric Chainsaws

These run on electricity and are divided into the battery and corded chainsaws. Electric chainsaws like Maxlander Electric chainsaw are suitable for basic yard work as they make minimal noise, and has an average cutting speed. They are not suitable for thick trees but can cut through thicker wood undergrowth easily. They are light, and compact making them highly useful. One of the best electric chainsaws is undoubtedly the Worx20V cordless chainsaw with auto-tension that comes with self-lubricating oil, minimal tension, a powerful motor and battery, and a 12.5 Ft/s chain that can cut through any reasonable size wood with ease.

Battery Operated Chainsaws

Such chainsaws are convenient and run of a lithium-ion battery. They are also known as cordless chainsaw as they come without a cord. This allows you to use on hard to reach areas without any inconvenience. Some of the best battery-powered chainsaws do not mix oil and water and can easily cut mid-size growth trees and average thick wood. They are silent and do not cause any emissions, making them environmentally safe. One of the best battery-operated chainsaws is Greenworks 12-inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw. It comes with an automatic oiler, minimal kickback, and a sturdy 12-inch chain.

On a downside, their battery life is not much and needs to be recharged after 30 minutes -1 hour of continuous cutting. They also cannot cut through larger threes and thick pruning. Their cost ranges between $112-$200 depending on the volts, power of the motor, design, safety features, etc.

Corded Chainsaws

Corded chainsaws are also suitable for small to mid-size jobs. Their major advantage is that they can run forever as they are plugged in but, on a downside, they are restricted for movement due to a cord. They are portable, lightweight, and easy to store. Best suited for jobs like pruning and trimming, these chainsaws mostly see its use in home establishments. One of the best-corded chainsaws is Oregon, 15 Amp, a self-sharpening corded electric chainsaw that showcases an 18-inch bar and produces less friction for efficient cutting.

Gas-Powered Chainsaws

These are the most powerful of the lot. They usually run on 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine and involve a motor that is quite powerful to cut through any size tree. They have a strong kickback which is compensated with a starter cord. Usually on the heavier end, they are noisy, emit fumes, and are costly as compared to the electric ones but, gets the job done well. Popular with commercial establishments such as chainsaws are cordless and are portable.

One of the best in this category is Husqvarna 20-inch 450 Rancher II Gas chainsaw. It has lower fuel consumption, fewer emissions, a smart start engine, and a snap-lock cylinder cover. Priced at $399 although expensive, their 20-inch powerful blade and their built is worth every penny.

Power Options

Now since everything boils down to the strength of a chainsaw, let us take a look at its power options to understand them better.

  • A Gas chainsaw is powered by gasoline and water combined with a four-stroke or two-stroke engine
  • Battery operated chainsaws are powered by battery or powered by electricity depending on the type used. If it a cordless, it will run on battery. And if it is a corded chainsaw, it will run on electricity. Some even come with both battery and electricity to provide agility and versatility

Now that we understand the basics, how do we know, what will suit us the best? Read on...

Factors to Look For While Choosing Chainsaws

Identify Your Need

If you have a big load of wood to chop often or is a frequent user then opt for gasoline chainsaws. However, if you are looking for pruning and trimming, then go for the electric ones. If you are not a frequent user, you can also go for used chainsaws.

Length of the Blade & Bar

A chainsaw with a longer bar and blade will allow you to cut more in a single pass. This is quite suitable while cutting trees and thicker wood. If you must trim or prune branches or firewood, then go for a shorter blade and bar. Also, make sure that the chainsaw chain is working properly to avoid kickbacks.


Power is the most important factor to consider. Features like volts, amp, horsepower, and engine displacement play a big role in ensuring efficient cutting and trimming. The more power a chainsaw has, the better it is. But again, it comes down to your requirements and the job at hand.


Weight plays a crucial role while operating a chainsaw. A heavy gas-powered chainsaw is difficult to handle in harder to reach areas. Similarly, a lightweight tool might be great to carry but difficult at cutting the wood. So, understanding the weight and then buying them will help you use and maneuver them well. To make an easy decision, read more about gas-powered vs. battery-powered chainsaws for better comprehension.

Convenient Features of a Chainsaw

Having a convenient yet efficient chainsaw around is a big help. But the power alone does not guarantee convenience, knowing the working mechanism of your chainsaw and features is equally crucial. We suggest you can take a look at the chainsaw buying guide that tells you everything that you should know about chainsaws.

  • Casing

Most of the modern chainsaws come with a sturdy case that allows you to store it conveniently. It also allows you to carry them around with ease and protect them from external factors like dust and rust.

  • Tool-less Chain Adjustment Feature

This feature allows you to adjust the chain in case there is a lot of friction and tension. This feature reduces the hassle of changing the chains and provides a seamless experience.

  • Self-Air Cleaning

This feature allows the chainsaw to filter any unwanted or large wood remains or dust debris so as not to interfere with the functioning of the chainsaw.

  • Minimal Low Kickback Feature

This feature is more for your safety as it helps you protect yourself from sudden kick-back that might cause injury.

  • Chain Brake

The chain brake allows you to halt the chain mid-way in case it encounters a sudden bump of interference. Some have an automatic chain-brake system while some exhibit manual brake to improve efficiency and prevent an untoward accident.

  • Self-Oiling Mechanism

This mechanism ensures that your blade is in perfect working condition. This mechanism oils the blade whenever some tension is felt around the joints. This ensures efficient cutting and reduces your hassle to oil them manually.

  • Anti-vibration Mechanism

This feature allows you to cut through heavy loads of wood without getting exhausted with the cutting. It involves put a damping layer over the motor to increase the spring suspension.

  • Centrifugal Clutch

This allows the right power of torque to take over while cutting wood to ensure efficiency and smoothness.

Necessary Safety Tools for Chainsaws

Understanding the parts and the structural formation of outdoor tools like a chain saw or leaf blowers is quite useful. But, knowing how to use a chainsaw is not enough if you don't protect yourself from the untoward injuries that might occur. Certain tools and equipment come to use along when you are using a chainsaw. Some of the protective gears are-

  • Cut resistant and strong grip gloves
  • Eyeshield with side covers to protect your eyes from the smaller debris
  • Earmuffs for protection against the deafening noise
  • Hard hat to protect your head against the overhead branches while cutting and trimming
  • Boots and trousers are also important. The boots must have anti-slip sole to allow free movement


Chainsaws are older tools but the models that are manufactured these days like Echo Chainsaws comes with a lot of features and advanced technologies to make them ergonomic and easy to use. Always take care of your safety and maintain the saw well. Now that you know everything about it, you can take a look at Bestviewsreviews's featured-section for more on your buying options, if you are considering buying a new chainsaw.

Created with Raphaël

Rank #2 in Chainsaws

Greenworks 12-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw

Created with Raphaël
Created with Raphaël

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