7 Best Chainsaw Reviews 2019 | Power Tools for Sawing In Your Yard & Garden

Chainsaws are not just for loggers. These days, with so many models on the market, anyone can find the best chainsaw for their general yardwork and gardening maintenance. They are simple, powerful tools that will help to cut your time spent pruning and trimming in half.

Editor's Rating:

4.4/5

  • Fuel efficient design
  • Powerful for larger tasks
  • Quieter than other gas-powered engines

Editor's Rating:

4.2/5

  • Comfortable, ergonomic design
  • Powerful engine 
  • Easy to start and handle

Editor's Rating:

4.3/5

  • Smart start system for easy pull start
  • Fuel efficient engine
  • Visual fuel monitoring

We have put together a list of 7 of the best chainsaws on the market in 2019. There are pros and cons to each of them, but we’re hoping you’ll be able to find what you are looking for here, depending on your specific needs.

Before you shop, check out this helpful buyer’s guide, to learn what you should be looking for in a chainsaw.

Best Chainsaw Buying Guide

Never shopped for a chainsaw before? We’ve got you covered. Here are some of the most popular chainsaw types out there, as well as a few important features you are going to want to keep an eye out for.

Gas-Powered

When most people think of a “chainsaw”, a standard gas-powered model is probably what comes to mind.

Gas-powered chainsaws are powerful and capable of handling pretty much any sawing task you put in front of them, depending on the blade length. A gas-powered saw from Stihl, Husqvarna or another popular brand could be your most useful gardening power tool, as long as you know how to use it.

For the hard to reach thicker branches, we recommend getting one of the best gas powered pole saws in our lineup.

That said, there are some downsides to using a gas powered chainsaw. For one, they are harder to start, and can be prone to engine flooding. They are also louder and more wasteful than other, more modern options.

If you think a gas saw might be too much hassle for your needs, you might want to look into other designs.

Corded Electric

A corded electric chainsaw, like the name suggests, is powered by an electrical power cord that plugs into a socket or a portable gas-powered motor.

The upsides of using a corded electric chainsaw: they are generally quieter, lighter and easier to work with and maneuver than most gas-powered saws. They are perfect for cutting up smaller branches, pruning trees and bushes and cutting down firewood.

The downside: the power of a corded electric saw will always be limited. Home sockets and even portable motors just do not supply enough electricity to power a chainsaw like a gas engine can. They are also limited in terms of mobility by the length of their cord.

In short, a corded electric saw could be a great choice for lighter, around the house chores, but you will not be able to do any serious logging with it.

Battery-Powered

A battery-powered chainsaw will be about equivalent to a corded electric chainsaw in terms of power, but with better mobility, less noise and even less waste.

A lot of people choose a battery powered chainsaw because they need to be able to take it with them to a job site, camping, or somewhere else where a power outlet will not be available, but they don’t want all the noise and hassle of a gas engine.

To reach the branches higher up, get one of the best electric cordless pole saws we reviewed.

If you are interested in a battery powered saw, we recommend looking out for a lighter, quieter model, to get the most out of its benefits – DeWalt, Husqvarna and Black + Decker produce some high-quality, affordable models.

Are electric chainsaws as good as gas-powered? 

Well, the answer to that question is not as simple as yes or no. There are some serious pros and const to both options – it really comes down to what your needs are.

A gas-powered chainsaw will be louder and take a little more effort and experience to handle, but it will be much more powerful for larger sawing tasks. If you are a pro or semi-professional logger or plan on cutting down large trees with your saw, gas-powered is the only way to go.

However, for ordinary housework, the best electric chainsaw will be just as good as gas-powered – plus lighter, easier to use and much quieter. Most electric chainsaws, corded or battery-powered, can handle general branch trimming and sawing jobs.

Pros should also check out our best professional chainsaws.

Optional and Safety Features

Whether you have a gas-powered or an electric model, every chainsaw is a dangerous power tool. Here are a few crucial safety features you will want to look for.

A chain catcher, for one, is a feature on the body of come chainsaws that will catch the chain if it breaks, in order to stop it from flying backwards at you.

A throttle lock is another great feature that will prevent you from accidentally pressing the throttle, when the chainsaw is on but you are not prepared to use it. Think of it a little like a safety on a gun – it is just an extra measure to prevent accidents.

A stop button on the chainsaw will allow you to stop the engine quickly, anytime you feel like conditions have become unsafe.

Chain Brake and Hand Guard

A chain brake is one of the most important safety features on any chainsaw. This is what will stop the chain in case of kickback – which can happen any time, no matter how much chainsaw experience you have. The chain brake will prevent the chain from rotating backwards, which could send the sun flying back at you.

There are a few ways a chain brake can be activated. One way is by registering the saw body hitting the user’s left wrist – which would happen if the chainsaw is suddenly thrown back in your hands. This method is not as highly recommended. It can be annoying if the saw hits your wrist for another reason, and then you have to stop and restart it.

The other way is by registering the inertia, or motion, of the kickback, and stopping it before it can really start. There is a little less room for error with interia activated chain brakes, so we generally recommend them as the best safety feature.

The hand guard is also crucial. It covers the handle, generally made of a durable plastic, and protects your hand from a broken chain or flying debris. Even with thick work gloves on, you will want the extra safety measure of a hand guard.

Front and Rear Handle

You will often see chainsaws categorized as either rear handle, or front handle (sometimes referred to as top handle). The difference is the physical location of the handle on the body of the saw, and it can determine how you handle and use the chainsaw.

A front handle allows you to cut by driving the chainsaw downward. That means it is great for working in trees, cutting individual branches, or other situations when you will need to saw from above.

A rear handle, in general, is a little easier to handle and more versatile, allowing you to cut in a range of motions. For a first-time buyer, we definitely recommend a rear handle chainsaw. Fortunately, most chainsaws you find will have both a front and rear handle, to give you the most options.  

Easy-Start System

If you have ever tried to start a traditional, gas-powered chainsaw before, you know how difficult it can be. Some chainsaws are equipped with special features and easy-start systems to make cold starting your chainsaw easier.

A decompression valve will help to prime the engine before you pull the cord. Likewise, a primer bulb on the side of the saw, which you press a few times before opening the throttle, will help a cold-starting engine get going faster.

If this is your first chainsaw, you will definitely want to look for some easy-start features to help yourself out.

We should also mention that you won’t need to worry about easy start features if you are buying an electric chainsaw. Most electric chainsaws start just by turning off a safety switch and holding down the trigger.

Automatic Oiler

An automatic oiler will help you to maintain your chainsaw as you use it. The blade of your chainsaw needs to be lubricated continuously as you use it, to prevent both the bar and chain from wearing down.

With a manual oil, you will need to remember to release oil while you are working by pressing a button. An automatic oiler will continuously release oil for you, but you won’t be able to control the amount – still, it is a great feature for a beginner.

Kickback Reduction

As mentioned earlier, kickback can happen when the chainsaw blade is snagged on a tough spot and the chain begins running in reverse. Kickback is really dangerous, and you will definitely want to look for a chainsaw that takes measures to prevent it.

A chain brake is a great place to start. Keep an eye out for additional kickback reduction features, like a low-kickback chain.

The 7 Best Chainsaws of 2019

Editor's Rating:

4.4/5

This Husqvarna 2-cycle gas chainsaw is a gas-powered saw, incredibly powerful, with a 20-inch blade that is great for mid-size to larger tasks. It can handle general yard maintenance or heavier logging, and is equipped with tons of special features to keep you safe as you use it. 

A smart-start system allows you to start the chainsaw without too much of a headache.

The easy start-stop switch and intelligently designed fuel pump mean that you won’t be stuck pulling the cord repeatedly to get the engine to turn over, and your chances of flooding the engine are much lower than with other models. 

Additionally, the Husqvarna 2-cycle is much more efficient than a lot of other gas-powered chainsaws. The X-Torq engine consumes less fuel and emits less exhaust than an average chainsaw engine.

An air injection cleaning system helps to keep the body of the saw clear of debris, and the whole system is designed to reduce vibrations, so that it is more stable in your hands and easier to handle. The chainsaw has a top and a rear handle, so it can be maneuvered at different angles for a variety of jobs.

Overall, this is one of the best rated chainsaws on the market. Users love it for its balance between high power and fuel efficiency. The smart start system is also very well reviewed – it works as well as advertised, and really does help you get to work faster from a cold engine.

One less positive factor of this Husqvarna is the weight – as a large, powerful gas-powered saw, it is a little heavier than some people will want to work with for a long time. However, the reduced vibrations make handling the heavier saw easier. It is also a little noisy, but quiet for the relative engine power.

As a final word, this might not be the best chainsaw for smaller yardwork, but it is great option for professional or semi-professional logging and heavy forest work.

Things We Liked

Fuel efficient design

Powerful for larger tasks

Quieter than other gas-powered engines

Safe and easy to start

Things We Didn't Like

A little on the heavy side

Editor's Rating:

4.2/5

The Remington Outlaw is a durable and reliable gas-powered chainsaw. It has an 18-inch blade, long enough for large or smaller jobs, and a low kickback chain for increased safety. Best of all, it comes at a very affordable price for the quality.

The chainsaw is powered by a 46cc gasoline engine. That is not quite as powerful as other gas-powered models, but still has plenty of kick to take on heavier logging jobs.

Its unique, slim design makes it easier to handle than some other, heavier saws. It has a rear handle as well as a cushioned front handle to give you the most secure grip possible while you are using it. 

This chainsaw does have a quick start system, so cold starting it is generally pretty easy, and th risk of flooding the engine as you are trying to start it is low. An automatic oiler adds to the convenience, keeping the blade lubricated as you work without any effort on your part.

Users like this saw for its convenience and versatility, as well as its affordable price. It may not be as heavy-duty as some other gas-powered saws, but it is more comfortable to hold for long periods of time, and easier to maneuver.

One area where this saw might fall short is with the automatic oiler – a lot of more experienced users like a manual oiler, so that they can control the oil output as they work. It is also very heavy, despite its slim design.

Other than that, this is a great saw for the price. While maybe not ideal for professional standards, it is more than powerful enough for general maintenance and yardwork – plus it is safe, convenient and comfortable for a beginner.

Things We Liked

Comfortable, ergonomic design

Powerful engine

Easy to start and handle

Low kickback chain for safety

Things We Didn't Like

Can be heavy for some users

Editor's Rating:

4.3/5

As the second Husqvarna model on our list, this 2-cycle fully assembled gas chainsaw is powerful and has a long, 20-inch blade for professional and semi-professional logging tasks – or whatever else you might need it for. 

The chainsaw runs on a 50cc gas-powered engine. It is an X-Torq, 2-cycle engine, which means it uses less fuel and puts out less emissions than comparable gas chainsaws. Smart start technology makes it easy to cold start the engine – most users report getting the engine running within 2 or 3 cord pulls. Engine flooding is also kept to a minimum.

An air purge system helps to clear the engine of any dirt or falling debris as you are working, which protects the engine for long term use and leads to an easier cold start. It has a manual oiler, not an automatic, which has benefits and drawbacks for the overall use. On one hand, the manual oiler is a little harder to remember, but on the other, the ability to monitor oil levels as you go can be helpful in maintaining the chain and bar.

There is an auto-return stop switch on the body of the saw, which allows you to shut it off quickly in case of an emergency. You can visually monitor your fuel levels, and ensure the tightness of the chain with side mounted chain tensioning.

Because of its engine power and long, 20-inch blade, this is a great chainsaw for logging. It is a little heavier than you might want for working in a home environment, as well as loud. That said, it is easy to start and maneuver even for a beginner.

If you plan on doing any serious logging with your chainsaw, this Husqvarna could be the perfect choice for you. It is our favorite 20-inch blade option.

Things We Liked

Smart start system for easy pull start

Fuel efficient engine

Visual fuel monitoring

Powerful for cutting large logs and trees

Things We Didn't Like

May be louder than others

Editor's Rating:

4.0/5

What can we say – it’s hard to go wrong with a Husqvarna. This 2-cycle gas powered chainsaw has an 18-inch blade and a durable 50.2cc engine. It is fuel efficient, easy to start and use, and built to last through years of use, without much maintenance or repair.

Overall, this is a great power tool for a home or professional setting. 

The chainsaw’s X-Torq engine is designed to consume less fuel as well as emitting fewer harmful exhaust emissions, so you can feel a little better about using it. The body is designed to reduce vibrations as much as possible, making it more comfortable to hold for a long amount of time. The frame of the chainsaw is also designed to be lighter weight – that means that it is more comfortable to hold and use, as well as easier to carry with you and store. 

An inertia-activated chain brake works to effectively prevent kickback. By ‘inertia-activated’, we mean that the brake will activate as soon as it registers kickback starting, preventing the chainsaw from flying back.

One thing users love about this chainsaw is its versatility. The 18-inch blade is a little shorter than comparable Husqvarna models, which helps to reduce the weight and makes it a little easier for you to cut precisely. That means it can trim branches and smaller logs easily. At the same time, the engine is still powerful enough to take down full-sized logs and trees, if you need to.

The smart start system can also be a huge help for someone who has not spent a lot of time working with chainsaws in the past. A centrifugal air cleaning system ensures a longer life of the engine, by cleaning out twigs, dirt and debris before they can do any damage.

A small downside to this chainsaw comes in the noise. Even though it is fuel efficient and easy to handle, it is still very loud, which might make it annoying to use around your home property. Other than that, most users have experienced very few problems with this Husqvarna. It would be a perfect choice for someone looking for a reliable, middle-ground chainsaw that can accomplish just about anything.

Things We Liked

Easy to start and use

Versatile uses

Fuel efficient

Things We Didn't Like

Can be a little noisy for home use

Editor's Rating:

4.0/5

This Echo gas-powered chainsaw may not have the name-brand recognition of a Husqvarna, but it is still a high-quality and reliable little chainsaw, perfect for home use and lighter logging jobs. 

The Echo chainsaw has an 18 inch bar and a lighter, 40.2 cc engine. The smaller engine means reduced power compared to other gas-powered saws, but it also means a lighter weight and less vibrations while you are using it.

It is also equipped with an anti-vibration handle, making it even more comfortable and easy to maneuver. 

For its price, this is an extremely reliable chainsaw. It should stand up to multiple years of regular work, without requiring too much maintenance. When it does need replacement parts, disassembling the case to handle repairs or measuring is easy.

It has an adjustable automatic oiler, which means you can control the oil output by adjusting the oiler before you start the saw, rather than having to remember to press a button constantly, like with a manual oiler.

One small issue with this Echo chainsaw is that it does not come with a quick start system. Because of the smaller engine, though, it still is not too much of a pain to start. It is a little noisy, like with any gas-powered chainsaw, but the noise is not as bad as with some bigger models. Another issue some users have run into is with the chain tightness. It is a little tougher to tighten the chain, and it needs to be tightened more routinely than on other chainsaws.

Despite those minor problems, this is a quality, reliable and affordable chainsaw and an awesome choice for someone making their first chainsaw purchase. Getting to know how to handle a gas-powered chainsaw with a smaller engine is a great first step into becoming a pro.

Things We Liked

Lightweight for a gas-powered saw

Easy to handle and maneuver

Durable design

Good for learners

Things We Didn't Like

Less powerful engine

Editor's Rating:

4.4/5

This DeWalt compact cordless chainsaw is the first electric chainsaw model on our list so far. It is much more compact than some of the others, with a short, 12-inch blade and a light body. For its size, though, it is fairly powerful – not to mention quiet, smooth and easy to use.

This could be a great choice for ordinary housework and gardening. The chainsaw is powered by 20 volts of electricity.

That is a little less powerful than some other models out there, but it is part of what keeps the chainsaw as a whole so light and compact. Even with the lower power, you can still accomplish a lot with a 20 volt saw – it may just take a little longer to get through the same piece of wood than a 40 or 50 volt option. 

It is cordless, meaning it runs on a battery. The battery life is long enough for a full day’s work, at least, before it needs to be recharged. Because of that, and thanks to its light weight (only 8.8 pounds all together and compact size, this is a chainsaw that you can easily take on the road – bring it camping or to a cabin to cut firewood, or carry it as far as you need to for routine property maintenance.

It comes with an automatic oiling system, which can be adjusted and easily monitored. There is a rear and top handle to give you a wide range of movements and uses, and hand guard to protect against a breaking chain. There is no chain brake, but because of its light weight, kickback is not as much of a concern as it would be with a heavier, gas-powered chainsaw.

The obvious downside to this DeWalt electric chainsaw is that it is simply not as powerful as a gas-powered saw. At 20 volts, it isn’t as powerful as some other battery-powered saws out there, either. That said, it is portable and super easy to start and use, and great for working around your yard or garden.

Users have reported that this little saw consistently performs better than expected, considering its size and voltage. It is also durable and made to last. All things considered, we would generally recommend this chainsaw to anyone looking to add a little more power to their yardwork.

Things We Liked

Quiet and energy efficient

Compact and lightweight for portability

Long battery life

Super easy to use

Things We Didn't Like

Battery sold separately

Editor's Rating:

4.4/5

Last but not least is this surprisingly powerful 12 inch, 40 volt cordless electric chainsaw from Greenworks – not a huge name in chainsaws, but one of the top producers of electric power tools for home maintenance and cleaning. 

The saw comes with a high performance, 40 volt lithium ion battery that will hold its charge all day or longer. The charger is also included with the purchase of the saw.

It has a 12 inch blade, perfect for trimming branches, cutting firewood or cutting down saplings, and a rear handle as well as a top handle with a hand guard. 

The automatic oiler will keep the chainsaw’s bar lubricated while you are working. The oiler has a transparent tank, so that you can visually monitor the oil levels and replace it as soon as it starts getting low – this can be a huge help in prolonging the overall life of your chainsaw.

The chain is designed to reduce the chance of kickback and cut as smoothly as possible. Starting the chainsaw is a breeze – just pull back the safety and hold down the trigger.

For the most part, users are very impressed with the performance of this chainsaw. It is incredibly easy to use and very lightweight, but still strong enough to tackle some pretty heavy jobs without breaking or wearing down. One major downside is that, even at 40 volts, it is not enough to cut through full-sized trees or larger logs easily. For general yardwork, though, this Greenworks electric saw really can’t be beat.

Things We Liked

Electric chainsaw – quiet, light and fuel efficient

Easy to start and handle

Automatic oiler with transparent tank’

High voltage, powerful battery

Things We Didn't Like

Not as powerful as a gas-powered saw