Best Chainsaw for the Money

When it comes to equipping yourself with the best chainsaw, you may find that there are more on the market than you bargained for. In order to choose the best one, it is recommended that you have a general idea of what type of work you will need to use it for and then choose the features that are most useful.

To save some time, we’ve compiled the top 10 chainsaws to help you choose the best one based on your workload. Whether you’re looking for some simple hedge-trimming around your property, or full-on, 40+ hours of forest and brush cleaning, this list will present you with options for the most obscure project. The chainsaws are ranked from best to almost-best based on their overall performance, size, and usability. Each product review includes the notable pros and cons for each model. For a quick reference, the following chart lists all 10 of the chainsaws for easy feature comparison:

Our Rating of the Best Chainsaw Products

Husqvarna 455 Rancher – Longest Bar Included with Purchase $$$$

For those looking for a heavy-duty chainsaw that is professional grade, this Husqvarna 455 model is the perfect fit! The 20″ bar is the longest one on this list and it can be fitted with a 24″ bar for even more length if necessary (extension sold separately). It is a gas-powered chainsaw that requires a manual application of oil on the bar, but it does come with a tool-less tension adjustment design for easy tweaks.

As a brand, Husqvarna is one of the leading chainsaw companies and this model has many features unique to this brand. A few of these features include: X-Torq design that has an environmentally low emission and better gas efficiency compared to competing models; a smart start design that reduces the effort it takes to start the motor; AutoTune which adjusts the chainsaw’s performance based on environmental features; and LowVib which reduces the vibrations allowing for increased accuracy of cuts and less fatigue. One of the best design features, however, is an air-injection cleaning system that removes dust and debris from the air before it hits the air filter. This system ensures your Husqvarna 455 has a longer, more efficient life.

Pros:

  • Tool-less chain tensioning
  • The 20″ bar and chain can be replaced with a 24″ bar and chain (sold separately)
  • CARB compliant

Cons:

  • Not recommended for small jobs due to the size (too big)
  • Heaviest chainsaw on this list weighing just under 13lbs

Remington RM1425 – Most Lightweight Chainsaw Available $

For those who are not looking for an industrial-quality chainsaw, this Remington model is one of the best alternatives. Everything about this model is small, but it doesn’t detract from the professional quality or working ability. For those looking for backyard work and weekend hedge-trimming, this model should truly be one of the highest on your list.

The frame itself measures just 14 x 7 x 8in and is the lightest chainsaw on this list, at only 6.25lbs. It arrives fully assembled and has a 14″ bar and chain. It’s an electric model which means it will need some kind of extension cord to power the 8amp motor. To finish off the chainsaw, it is designed with a nice wraparound hand guard for top protection. Due to the lightness and overall smaller design of this model, it is also an ideal chainsaw for female users too.

To keep the model in top condition it is designed with a nice push-button oiler that allows you to manually, but efficiently keep the chain oiled for optimal performance. One of the only downsides of this model is that the chain tension adjuster is not tool-less. However, it is easily accessed on the outside of the chainsaw and since the projects that this tool is built for are not too heavy-duty, it is rare that it will need adjustment.

Pros:

  • Wraparound hand guard for optimal protection
  • Most lightweight model for at-home projects
  • Push-button oiler
  • Arrives fully assembled

Cons:

  • Not made for heavy-duty work
  • An electric model which requires an extension cord to connect to the power source

Husqvarna 435EII16 SASii43516 – Most Versatile Chainsaw with Dual Power Sources $$

As one of three Husqvarna models on this list, it is important for the 455EII16 model to stand out from its same-brand competition. Compared to both the other Husqvarna models and other brand models, this holds its own. One of the best features of this model is that while it standardly runs on gas, it has the ability to use a battery (sold separately) for up to 10 hours of functionality.

While it measures 37″x 9″x 11″, with a 16″ bar and chain, it weighs just over 9lbs. This combination of size with the overall lighter weight makes this ideal for mid-to-heavy duty projects. Beyond the dual-powered ability, other standout features of this model include a start/stop switch for easy startup, and a built-in air cleaning system. Additionally, the Husqvarna AutoTune design that adjusts the chainsaw’s performance based on fuel level, altitude, humidity, and temperature.

While this is covered by a manufacturer’s two-year warranty, there are a few things that keep this chainsaw model from rising to the top. It doesn’t come with any protective case (although there is one sold separately) and the tension requires tools to adjust. Overall, however, this is still one of the best models available for both at-home work (for those that are looking for some nice power) and lighter professional work.

Pros:

  • Gas powered with battery alternative
  • AutoTune design automatically adjusts the chainsaw performance
  • Transparent fuel indicator
  • Centrifugal air cleaning system

Cons:

  • Case sold separately
  • Requires tools to adjust tension

WORX WG304.1 – Best Chainsaw with Auto-Tension System $

This WORX model doesn’t disappoint when it comes to power. With a 15.0amp motor, it comes with significantly more power than its small, 20″x14″8″ frame would suggest. Coming in at just over 11lbs it also has a surprisingly long bar and chain for its size as well, measuring at 18″.

By far, the most appealing feature of this chainsaw is a patented auto-tension system that keeps the chain from being over-tightened – no tools or manual adjustment required. Another highly enviable feature is a built-in chain brake for added safety. While on the topic of automated features, the oil lubrication is also automatic and the built-in oil reservoir has a clear window to easily indicate the oil level. It comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty – one of the longest warranties given – and new purchases include a bar cover and complimentary chain oil to get new chainsaw users up and started.

While there are many perks to this WORX chainsaw, one slight technical issue involves the oil reservoir. It is strongly recommended that the oil cap be removed and then replaced after each use to prevent air pressure buildup from within the reservoir. While this doesn’t directly impact the performance, it could be seen as an annoying necessity in order to ensure general longevity.

Pros:

  • Comes with a bar cover and complimentary chain oil
  • Built-in safety brake is designed to stop the chain rotation within seconds if improper contact is made
  • Automatic chain tensioning system and automatic oil lubrication

Cons:

  • Need to remove the oil cap after each use to avoid negative pressure buildup
  • A corded model which limits where this chainsaw can be used

Oregon 570995 CS1500 – Offers Unique Self-Sharpening System $

While not a famous name in the chainsaw industry, this Oregon model holds its own. It has an impressive length of 38″x10″x18″ and weighs just over 12lbs. It is a corded-electric model and the 15amp high-powered motor keep the 18″ bar and chain running smoothly. It has a low-vibration design and is built with a reduced kickback guide bar for an optimal operator experience.

By far the most notable feature of this chainsaw is the fact that it is the only model here that comes with a self-sharpening, PowerSharp, system. This feature ensures that each use will cut just as well as the previous ones. Additionally, it is also the only model that offers dual warranties: a 2-year consumer warranty and a 1-year professional warranty. Another benefit of this model is that it is designed with a tool-less chain tensioning system for easy adjustment.

One of the only technical misses of this chainsaw is that the operator has to manually oil the bar and chain. Unfortunately, if the bar is not consistently well-oiled, there are notable performance issues that include the chain and impact the overall usability. Additionally, since this is a corded-electric model, the areas where this can be used are limited by the length of the extension cord and accessibility of the nearest power source.

Pros:

  • Self-sharpening design feature that keeps the bar and chain at optimal usability
  • Tool-less chain tensioning system
  • Low vibration design with a reduced kickback bar and chain
  • Dual warranty with both consumer (2 years) and professional (1 year) coverage

Cons:

  • Manual chain lubrication is required in order to avoid performance issues
  • Electric power source limits usability due to it being a corded model

Husqvarna 240 – Long-lasting Chainsaw with Washable Air Filter $$

While not the best of its kind, this final Husqvarna chainsaw still holds its own against competing models. It has a fairly standard size of 32″x11″x9.5″ and comes with a 16″ bar and chain. However, for its size it is also the heaviest model on this list, weighing about 17lbs total.

Trademark Husqvarna design features include the X-torque design that works to keep fuel emission low; an air-injection system that cleans the air before it hits the air filter to ensure a longer and happier motor life; and a LowVib design that works to reduce user fatigue. This LowVib design also lends itself to more accuracy in cutting due to the reduction of vibrations. The best feature of this chainsaw, however, is the removable and washable air filter. This, combined with the air injection system, work together to keep this model running smoothly for years.

For all of its perks, however, there are a few things to note before investing in this chainsaw. First and foremost, while it comes with a combined choke/stop control which works to keep the engine from flooding and allow for easier startup, the startup seems to be anything but easy. For many, getting this chainsaw to run is the biggest challenge they had. All of the subsequent perks don’t mean anything if the machine cannot even start. Add to that, this is the heaviest model on the list and it doesn’t make this a recommended model for at-home projects or for first-time chainsaw users.

Pros:

  • An air filter is washable
  • Combined choke/stop control makes starting this chainsaw much easier than previous and competing models
  • LowVib design reduces user fatigue

Cons:

  • Heaviest chainsaw model on this list
  • Difficult to get up and running

Dewalt DCCS670X1 – Best Battery Life $$$$

If you’re looking for a dependable, battery-operated chainsaw, then this Dewalt model is for you. It measures a nice 10″x35″x9″ and has a light weight of just over 12lbs. The length is nice for getting hard-to-reach heights and the bar and chain is a standard 16″. New purchases also include the battery, charger, a hard bar cover and a 3-year warranty.

One of the best features of this chainsaw is the extended battery life; it gives up to 60 cuts per charge. A competing best feature of this model comes with a chain brake for kickback and operator protection. Second to these include an auto-oiling system that ensures the bar and chain stay lubricated and a tool-free chain tensioning design with a bar tightening knob. Other perks to this chainsaw model include a quarter-turn oil cap for quick refills.

While there are a number of desirable features in this Dewalt chainsaw, but a performance issue that is worth noting is that the engine does tend to overheat if it is not given intermittent rest. Additionally, the automatic oiling tends to use more oil than manual chainsaws.

Pros:

  • Tool-free chain tensioning
  • Auto-lubrication system for the bar and chain
  • Includes hard bar cover
  • New purchase includes battery & charger

Cons:

Worx WG322 20V – Greatest Extension Available Compared to Competing Models $

This is the second Worx model listed and it for good reason; it has several features that make it stand out from its competition. At just over 6lbs, this cordless chainsaw ties with a previous model as one of the lightest chainsaws. The standard dimensions are 25″x7.5″x9.5″ with a 14″ bar length that is about 2″ in diameter.

The main feature that makes this chainsaw stand out from the rest is the chainsaws here is that it can be fitted with a 10′ extension pole for extended reach. This makes this chainsaw ideal for high-level work and branch cutting, both at home and professionally. Other features include an automatic, tool-free tension system and automatic chain lubrication with a built-in oil level indicator. For those with multiple Worx tools, it is an added bonus that the 20V battery can be shared across tool of the same brand.

A few things to keep in mind when looking at this model, however, is that the battery doesn’t have as good a life as other battery-powered models listed. Additionally, being battery powered in this case means that the power is not always equal to the task which tends to cause more kickback and chain dysfunction.

Pros:

  • Cordless model
  • Automatic chain lubrication
  • Tool-free tension system
  • 10′ extension pole for additional height

Cons:

  • Low powered battery
  • Regular kickback
  • A chain that tends to disconnect

Black + Decker LCS1020 – Optimal Chainsaw for Small Projects $

For in-home projects that need some mid-to-high power, this Black + Decker model is ideal. Its lightweight (7lbs) makes this chainsaw appealing to both genders and most ages young and old alike. This model measures at 16″x8.8″x9.6″ with a 10″ bar and chain and comes with a full 2-year warranty when purchased brand new.

With a tool-less chain tension adjustment and a manual, press-button for lubricating the bar and chain, this chainsaw has some nice perks that make it stand out from other models. The 20V battery offers nice power and it stays charged 5xs longer than some of its competition. Last but not least, the wrap-around bale handle offers excellent support and guidance for both new and veteran chainsaw users.

There are a few things that keep this Black + Decker model from being number one. If used consistently at full pressure, the battery can easily overheat. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that you test the oil-release functionality before starting your first project as it sometimes is faulty and needs to be replaced. Lastly, the chain needs to be tightened regularly throughout projects in order to ensure optimal efficiency. Luckily though, these are more aesthetic issues and don’t hinder the overall performance too much.

Pros:

  • Built-in oiling system with a clear window to gauge the oil levels
  • Comes with a battery & charger
  • Wrap-around bale handle
  • Full 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • Manual oiling system doesn’t always work
  • The chain needs to be tightened regularly
  • Stock battery does not perform as well as separately-purchased alternatives

DEWALT CDDS620B – Well Designed for in-home Construction Projects $$$

While this model isn’t the best listed one in the ranking, it is still one of the best on the top 10 list. This Dewalt model has a moderate-sized, 12″ bar and chain and measures 25″x9″x9″. It weighs less than 10 pounds (8.8lbs total) and is an electric powered, cordless model.

Some of the standout features of this model include a tool-free chain tensioning design with a bar tightening knob. Since this chainsaw is recommended for more non-industrial or professional use, these features make it quite user-friendly and intuitive. Additionally, the low kickback design works to ensure optimal protection for the user. This Dewalt chainsaw cuts at an impressive 25 feet/second and is recommended for outdoor use and home construction projects.

There are a few performance issues that keep this chainsaw from being closer to the top of this list. First and foremost, this model is actually sold without the battery and accompanying charger. Additionally, the bar has a tendency to pop off which can cause the chain to fall off mid-project. On a semi aesthetic note, the oil from the reservoir leaks and this model does not include any sort of case.

Pros:

  • Tool-free tensioning and bar tightening
  • Cuts at a nice speed of 25 feet/second

Cons:

  • Battery sold separately
  • Oil from the reservoir leaks

BUYER’S GUIDE

Whether you are a chainsaw veteran or looking to purchase your first chainsaw, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to ensure that you choose the best one for yourself and your job. First and foremost is the type of work you plan on doing with the chainsaw. That will guide the rest of your search and ensure you choose the best in features, durability, and ease of use.

Type of Work

In general, there are two categories of chainsaws: professional saws and non-professional saws. Both types have their own unique features and qualities that make them stand out. Professional saws tend to work better for outdoors and have longer periods of working time. Non-professional saws tend to be more lightweight and have additional safety features for first-time users. This doesn’t mean that the quality is decreased in either group, it simply means that different chainsaws work better for certain jobs than others.

Features – Practical

Once you’ve decided on what type of work you will be doing, there is a range of features to take into consideration. Practical features include, but are not limited to:

  • Bar and chain length
  • Power source
  • Oil/lubrication settings
  • Tension adjustment
  • Emergency braking

There are various types of features that can impact the overall performance of the chainsaw and your experience as an operator. For some, having a tool-less tension adjustment system is a must-have if you don’t have the tools to adjust it manually. For others, the bar length needs to meet a specific inch requirement for more serious tree cutting.

Recommendation: Make a list of needs and wants for your chainsaw that will help guide you through the purchase process. If you have owned chainsaws in the past, make sure to keep the most-liked features on your needs list.

Features – Aesthetic

Beyond the features that could impact the overall performance of the chainsaw, there are extra features that are perks, but not directly related to performance. These features are often time or energy savers and can play a role in how well you like your chainsaw. Some aesthetic features to look for include:

  • Transparent oil and/or gas windows
  • Tool-sharpening
  • Weight
  • Enhanced design features that impact vibration and kickback
  • Air filters
  • Battery life

Keeping this sub-level of features in mind and using them to further guide your search will bring you significantly closer to the ‘best chainsaw’ for yourself. These may seem like features better put on your ‘wish’ list, but all chainsaws have these to consider as well. Knowing in advance a few things you’d like to have with your chainsaw makes it even easier to pick your best.

Durability

This is one aspect of chainsaws that will be determined by what type of work you are going to do. Professional chainsaws will need fairly high durability, strong batteries and good power. Non-professional models can be more lightweight, have a corded power source connection and half the time won’t need too much power to get the job done.

Ease of Use

One of the last things to consider before buying a chainsaw is the overall ease of use. The most powerful chainsaw in the world may not be the best choice if it is frustrating or awkward to use. Knowing what features you want will help contribute to the overall ease of use. Make sure to select a chainsaw that works with your level is also a huge help – be it for a novice or seasoned pro.

CONCLUSION

No matter which chainsaw finds its way into your home, maintenance is key. This will ensure that no matter what, your saw will run the best for the longest amount of time. Maintenance may look a little different for each saw, but in general, it requires a clean filter, clean oil, and a good source of energy. Giving a little extra time and attention can go a long way – especially for the newer chainsaws coming onto the market with more advanced features. Taking care of your equipment will ensure that the best stays that way long after your initial projects are done