Our Top Picks
Best Overall, Electric: Makita UC4051A Electric Chainsaw at Amazon
"Packed with features, robust enough to cut through large logs and limbs with ease."
Best Overall, Gas: Echo CS-400-18 Gas Chainsaw at Home Depot
"Gas chainsaw can slice through imposing pieces of wood quickly and confidently...easy handling."
Best Budget, Electric: WORX WG303.1 Electric Chainsaw at Amazon
"Faster and more balanced than a similar saw with a bigger bar... ability to easily handle light duty around the yard."
Best Budget, Gas: Remington RM218 Rebel at Walmart
"Reliable and sturdy, a hefty motor and blade that easily handles most DIY jobs around the yard."
Runner-Up, Best Budget: Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw at Amazon
"Smaller chainsaw for very occasional light-duty use, the battery usually lasts more than long enough to tackle small jobs."
Best Rechargeable: EGO Power+ CS1401 Cordless Chain Saw at Amazon
"Low-kickback design with a chain brake, tension adjustment and high-efficiency brushless motor...can handle roughly 100 cuts on a single charge."
Runner-Up, Best Rechargeable: Greenworks 40V Cordless at Amazon
"Cordless chainsaw slices through thick stumps with a brushless motor that has significant torque and power."
Best High-End: Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw at Amazon
"A powerful chainsaw that can handle a lot of use and abuse...with ample power and reliability."
01 of 08
Best Overall, Electric: Makita UC4051A Electric Chainsaw
This corded electric chainsaw inspires unparalleled devotion among its owners, who say it is surprisingly powerful for a model that doesn’t have a gas motor. It features a 16-inch bar that users say is robust enough to cut through large logs and limbs with ease. Chain speed is 2,900 feet per minute.
This Makita is packed with features, including an ergonomic, rubberized handle, a soft-start trigger switch, a built-in current limiter that helps guard against motor burnout, an automatic chain oiler and electric chain brake. Adjusting or replacing the blade and chain is as easy as turning a lever – no tools are required. Owners appreciate this ease of use and especially love not dealing with a high-maintenance gas engine, but they say the chainsaw doesn’t skimp on power, either. It weighs just over 15.5 pounds, and most users find it light enough to maneuver with ease; however, it is still heavier than comparable models and will require an outdoor-rated extension cord. It’s backed by a one-year warranty and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
02 of 08
Best Overall, Gas: Echo CS-400-18 Gas Chainsaw
If a good amount of power is what you’re after, owners say you’ll love the Echo CS-400-18, a gas chainsaw with an 18-inch bar and a two-stroke, 40.2-cc engine. Experts rave about its ability to slice through imposing pieces of wood quickly and confidently, and they also give it high marks for ease of use and easy handling.
This professional-grade chainsaw features an automatic oiler, heavy-duty air filter, reduced-effort starting system with digital ignition, a side-access chain tensioner and an air pre-cleaner. Though gas-powered chainsaws can be hard to start, buyers report that this one is easy to fire up and keep balanced during use. They also say it’s relatively lightweight at just over 10 pounds without fuel, but it still packs enough power for even heavy-duty home projects. The fuel tank holds just shy of 14 ounces, and it’s covered by an impressive five-year warranty for non-commercial use.
03 of 08
Best Budget, Electric: WORX WG303.1 Electric Chainsaw
As long as you’re willing to put up with a power cord, reviewers say it’s hard to beat the WORX WG303.1, especially for under $100. This electric chainsaw has a 16.5-inch bar and a 14.5-amp motor. Experts give it top marks in all of the important categories, including cutting speed, ease of use and handling.
Though it’s inexpensive, this WORX still has important features including a chain brake, ergonomic handle, automatic chain oiler and automatic chain tensioner. Testers say it’s faster and more balanced than a similar saw with a bigger bar, and owners are impressed with its ability to easily handle light duty around the yard. They also love how light it is at just 11 pounds. You may experience some shaking with this model – experts say it lacks vibration isolation – and a few owners say the chain jumps off the bar too easily. A handful of others warn of oil leaks. It’s backed by a three-year warranty.
04 of 08
Best Budget, Gas: Remington RM218 Rebel
It’s a workhorse for weekend lumberjacks. Reliable and sturdy, the Remington Rebel has a hefty motor and blade that easily handles most DIY jobs around the yard. It revs to life with one pull and reviewers were impressed with the well-made body and quality parts. The blade provides a lot of chew with a sprocket-tipped 18-inch bar and chain. The automatic oiler keeps the bar and chain in good condition job after job. The 42cc, two-cycle gas-powered engine is designed for smooth pull starts with its Quickstart technology. Reviewers back that up, saying that the hefty cordless saw is easy to start and handle.
The Remington packs a powerful punch and is one of the heavier saws at 22 pounds, but the five-point anti-vibration system and cushioned wrap handle cut down on kickback. Versatile and easy to handle, the Remington is ideal for trim jobs and pruning large trees that get too close to the side of a home or other tight-space projects. The heavy-duty carrying case keeps the saw and all its parts clean between seasons and jobs.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Runner-Up, Best Budget: Greenworks 20362 Cordless Chainsaw
Maybe you just need a smaller chainsaw for very occasional light-duty use, and you don’t want to worry about staying in range of the nearest outlet. Buyers say you’ll be pleased with the Greenworks 20362, which has a convenient rechargeable 24-volt lithium-ion battery and a 10-inch bar.
This Greenworks chainsaw includes tool-free tension adjustment, an automatic chain oiler and an easy-to-grip ergonomic handle. The battery can make up to 35 cuts of relatively thick branches or boards before needing a charge, which takes about 45 minutes; owners say the battery usually lasts more than long enough to tackle small jobs. While this isn’t the best choice for work on big logs or any other heavy-duty tasks, several users say it’s surprisingly effective for light duty. They also say it weighs next to nothing at under 8 pounds, making it easier to control for people who may have more limited strength or dexterity. It’s backed by a generous four-year warranty, too.
06 of 08
Best Rechargeable: EGO Power+ CS1401 Cordless Chain Saw
While most battery-powered tools are best suited for quick, light-duty jobs, the EGO Power+ CS1401 is ready and willing to do more, owners say. Its 6,300 RPM motor is powered by a 56-volt lithium-ion battery, and it has a 14-inch bar. Experts give it top marks for ease of use and very good ones for handling and cutting speed.
The CS1401 features a low-kickback design with a chain brake, tension adjustment and high-efficiency brushless motor. The battery can handle roughly 100 cuts on a single charge, and some users report going more than an hour off and on before needing to power up again, which they say is a relatively quick process. They also report using it to cut through limbs up to a foot thick – not too shabby for a battery model. At 14 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than some lighter-duty models, but most owners don’t complain. It’s backed by a five-year warranty; the battery is warranted for three years.
07 of 08
Runner-Up, Best Rechargeable: Greenworks 16-inch 40V Cordless
A cord can get tangled and tiresome when working a big job with a roaring chainsaw. The Greenworks cordless chainsaw provides a lot of bite for its buck and a long life between battery charges. It slices through thick stumps with a brushless motor that has significant torque and power. Once the electric start brings it to life, the saw provides 30 percent more torque than other cordless saws of its caliber. With less twisting and turning and precise power the saw gets less wear and tear and will last through more seasons. An automatic oiler also prolongs the life of the chain and blade. The Greenworks has a longer running time than other cordless saws on the market so you won’t have to stop just as you are finishing up. The rattle on this big handheld saw is lower than its counterparts with up to 70 percent less vibration. Reviewers found this to be one of the remarkable features of the Greenworks 40V cordless — less fatigue during the job makes for quick work of painstaking projects. The battery and charger are sold separately, a minor downside to an otherwise well-respected machine by a large amount of reviewers.
08 of 08
Best High-End: Husqvarna 455 Rancher 2-Stroke Gas-Powered Chainsaw
If you’re looking for a powerful chainsaw that can handle a lot of use and abuse, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher is a tried-and-true option that owners love for its ample power and reliability. Experts laud this saw too, giving it top marks for cutting speed and very good ones for ease of use. It has a large 20-inch bar and an impressive two-stroke, 55.5-cc engine that can go up to 9,000 RPM.
This Husqvarna is a low-vibration model with a low fuel-consumption, low-emission X-torq engine. It has a centrifugal air-cleaning system that can help air filters last longer, a side-mounted chain tensioner, an inertia-activated chain brake, an ergonomic handle and a Smart Start system that means less time spent trying to get the engine going. By and large, owners say all these features make for an exceptionally easy-to-use chainsaw, especially compared to other gas models. More importantly, they say it’s powerful enough to easily slice through large logs and limbs. There are a few complaints of oil leaks, though. The saw weighs about 16 pounds with cutting equipment, so it’s on the heavier side. It’s backed by a two-year warranty.
What to Look for in a Chainsaw
Power Source You have three options when it comes to powering your chainsaw: corded, battery, or gas. Battery powered and corded chainsaws aren't as powerful as gas chainsaws, but can be cheaper to run in the long term. Corded chainsaws can keep running indefinitely, in case you have a whole day of use ahead of you, but require you to be within range of an outlet.
Bar Length In order to safely operate your chainsaw, the tip of the bar should never touch a surface while you're cutting. That means that if you're cutting very thick trees or logs, you'll need a longer bar to prevent injury or damage to your chainsaw or chain.