Best Chainsaws for Cutting Firewood

Whether you enjoy the ambiance of a fire on cool evenings in your backyard pit or use a wood stove or fireplace to heat your home, cutting firewood is a task that requires a lot of work. A chainsaw is one tool that can help decrease the amount of effort you have to put into the job. You want to have the best chainsaw for cutting firewood that you can get your hands on. Our reviews and buyer’s guide will provide you with a means to compare various models of chainsaws using a specific set of criteria so that you can make a well-informed purchase when you make the purchase of a chainsaw.

Best Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood Reviews

Voluker 58CC 20″ Gas Chainsaw – Best Heavy-Duty Chainsaw

Those who have a lot of work ahead of them will appreciate the features and affordability of the Voluker 58cc 20” Gas Chainsaw. This is a saw with significant horsepower without a lot of added weight.

Starting this saw requires a little less effort than some saws given its assisted recoil start. Its low vibration handles allow you to get a better grip and reduce fatigue as you work throughout the day. This saw uses an inertia chain brake and has anti-kickback features adding to its safety.

The horsepower and longer chain-bar of this saw facilitate cutting through thick, hardwood logs, making this a quality choice for those who need a heavy-duty saw at an affordable price.

Specs:

  • Fuel: 2-stroke 25:1 mixture
  • Cylinder displacement: 3.54 cu. in./58 cc
  • Weight: 12.13 lbs./5.5 kg
  • Power output: 4 hp
  • Bar length: 20 inches/50.8 cm
  • Starting: assisted recoil
  • Chain features: auto oiled, anti-kickback

Pros:

  • High horsepower motor.
  • Lighter weight.
  • Accommodates chain-bar lengths between 18” and 22.”
  • An affordable option for heavy-duty work.

Cons:

  • Made in South Africa.
  • Overall the quality and longevity of this saw are questionable.

XtremepowerUS 22″ 2.4HP 45cc Gasoline Gas Chainsaw – Best Chainsaw for Thick Logs

The longer bar of the XtremepowerUS 22″ 2.4HP 45cc Gas Chainsaw will allow you to cut through logs with a broader diameter. Several additional features make this the best chainsaw for thick logs.

An EPA stamp of approval on this saw is a feature that will help place the minds of the environmentally conscious at ease. It has lower emissions and fuel consumption features in its EcoBoost system. The 22” chain-bar length on this saw allows you to cut through thicker logs. Anti-kickback and anti-vibration features make this saw safe and easy to operate.

This is an affordable option with significant, eco-friendly features, which will appeal to some users. At 2.4 hp it is a little bit underpowered for the bar length, which is cause for concern when it comes to both safe operation and the overall durability and longevity of the saw.

Specs:

  • Fuel: 2-stroke 50:1 mixture
  • Cylinder displacement: 2.75 cu. in/45 cc
  • Weight: 18 lbs./8.16 kg
  • Power output: 2.4 hp
  • Bar length: 22 inches/55.88 cm
  • Starting: recoil
  • Chain features: anti-kickback

Pros:

  • EPA approved clean air emissions and EcoBoost fuel consumption.
  • Anti-kickback and anti-vibration features.
  • 22” bar length allows for cutting thicker logs.
  • Budget-friendly price.

Cons:

  • 2.4 hp is not enough to run a chainsaw with a bar length over 20.”
  • This saw is pretty heavy to be working with all day.

Blue Max 8901 2-in-1 14-Inch/20-Inch Combination Chainsaw – Most Versatile Chainsaw

Being able to choose from 2 different chain-bar lengths makes the Blue Max 8901 2-in-1 14-Inch/20-Inch Combination Chainsaw the most versatile chainsaw in our review. For the money you put into it, this EPA approved saw is one to keep in mind.

You can use either the 14” chain-bar to cut through logs of smaller diameter or the 20” chain-bar to handle the larger ones. Swapping out chain-bars is simple with this saw. It includes a high-performance engine with EPA-approved clean-air emissions and reduced fuel consumption among its features. This saw also has low kickback and tool-less chain tensioning to attract your attention.

It is nice to have the option of changing chain-bar lengths, which can be done on most saws but is encouraged on this saw by adding it to the purchase package. You are likely to use the 14” bar more, given the weight and horsepower output of this saw’s engine, and only use the 22” bar when you have to cut something that is pretty thick. Don’t get overly excited about the tool-less chain tensioning feature.

Specs:

  • Fuel: 2-stroke 25:1 mixture
  • Cylinder displacement: 2.75 cu. in/45 cc
  • Weight: 18.9 lbs./8.57 kg
  • Power output: 2.4 hp
  • Bar length: 14 & 20 inches/35.56 & 50.8 cm
  • Starting: recoil w/cdi
  • Chain features: auto oiling, low-kickback, tool-less tensioning

Pros:

  • Two different chain-bar lengths come in the purchase package.
  • Low-kick back and anti-vibration handles make this saw user-friendly and safer.
  • This saw will be easy to start with its CDI system.
  • EPA approved low emissions and low fuel consumption.

Cons:

  • This saw is borderline when it comes to enough horsepower to run a 20” chain.
  • Tool-less chain tensioning tends to have many issues.

VonHaus 14 Inch 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw – Best Cordless Electric Chainsaw

The VonHaus 14 Inch 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw allows you to work in remote locations with a low-noise, environmentally friendly chainsaw in your hands. There are some solid features included with this saw to make it the best cordless electric chainsaw in our review.

A 40-volt lithium-ion power pack provides the power for this 14” inch saw so you don’t have to worry about being near a power outlet, fussing with a power cord or wearing yourself out trying to get the motor started. This tool uses rechargeable power-packs that can also be used in other VonHaus tools, so swapping out is an added convenience. Its brushless motor adds to the longevity of this saw. It comes with a manual chain brake and tool-less tensioning.

Being environmentally friendly, whether your preference or a requirement of local code restrictions, is accomplished using this saw. It is an option for remote cutting away from a power supply as well. However, you will find this saw is underpowered and that your cutting time is severely limited when dealing with battery life and recharging issues.

Specs:

  • Fuel: 40V lithium-ion battery
  • Cylinder displacement: N/A
  • Weight: 13 lbs./5.9 kg
  • Power output: 4.0 amp
  • Bar length: 14 inches/35.56 cm
  • Starting: electric
  • Chain features: tool-less tensioning, kickback brake

Pros:

  • Cordless electric option allows you to work in remote locations.
  • Battery packs are interchangeable with other VonHaus tools.
  • Lightweight and compact design.
  • No starting issues.

Cons:

  • This saw is underpowered for heavy-duty tasks.
  • Operating time is limited to how many charged battery packs you have available.

Husqvarna 445 Cutting Kit – Best All-Around Chainsaw

The best all-around chainsaw in this review is the Husqvarna 445 Cutting Kit. Husqvarna is a well-known chainsaw manufacturer with a stellar reputation for producing a high-quality product and this saw adheres to those high standards.

Starting a Husky, even when it is cold out, is enhanced by its assisted starting system. Its 2.8 hp engine is specifically sized to run a 20” chain with greater efficiency and a higher degree of safety against kickback. Fuel efficiency and emissions are features that are enhanced with Husqvarna’s X-Torque and Air Injection systems. Low-noise and low-vibration are not just claims attached to this saw actual test results are published to support these claims.

You will not find a better chainsaw for the price you pay than a Husqvarna. Each saw is properly powered to fit its performance expectations and this one is no exception. Do not let the price scare you. You will replace three cheaper saws before you will have to replace this saw.

Specs:

  • Fuel: 2-stroke 50:1 mixture
  • Cylinder displacement: 3.06 cu. inches/50.2 cc
  • Weight: 15 lbs./6.8 kg
  • Power output: 2.8 hp
  • Bar length: 20 inches/50.8 cm
  • Starting: recoil assisted
  • Chain features: auto-oiling, inertia chain brake, low kickback

Pros:

  • An optimally powered engine for a 20” chain.
  • Low weight compared to saws of similar specs.
  • Low-noise and low-vibration.
  • Air Injection, X-Torque, assisted starting.

Cons:

  • Starting directions for cold/warm starting are somewhat complicated for beginners.
  • Initial investment scares some people away from this chainsaw.

Oregon 603352 Corded Chainsaw – Best Electric Chainsaw

Oregon is a well-known manufacturer of electric tools and its Oregon 603352 Corded Chainsaw lives up to their reputation of quality. You will enjoy plenty of solid benefits with the purchase of this saw, making it the best electric chainsaw in our review.

A standout feature of this chainsaw is its PowerSharp sharpening system, which allows you to sharpen the chain while you work instead of having downtime while you manually sharpen the chain. The benefits of low-noise, low-vibration, no emissions, and no starting issues are advantages of owning this saw. It features a long enough bar to handle most logs and tool-less tensioning.

This quality saw has enough power and size to perform well-cutting firewood. If you are going electric, this is the chainsaw brand to choose. The biggest drawback to this particular one is that it is corded, so you will be limited using it in locations where you have a power outlet available.

Specs:

  • Fuel: corded electric
  • Cylinder displacement: N/A
  • Weight: 12.9 lbs./5.85 kg
  • Power output: 15 Amp
  • Bar length: 18 inches/50.8 cm
  • Starting: electric
  • Chain features: auto-oiling, tool-less tensioning, PowerSharp system

Pros:

  • Low-noise, no starting issues, no emissions issues.
  • Enough power to run and 18” chain.
  • PowerSharp system eliminates downtime for sharpening the chain.
  • Budget-friendly.

Cons:

  • Have to be near an electrical outlet to use it.
  • Motor location hampers balance of the saw.

Buyer’s Guide

Features of the Best Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood

Defining some of the standard features found in the best chainsaws provides you with a template by which to make comparisons between various models. Some of the most common features to keep in mind include:

Weight

Cutting firewood is hard work. There is no point in adding more work to the job by lugging around a heavy chainsaw. In addition, a lighter chainsaw is easier to control and provides a greater level of safety to the operator. An important feature to watch out for is a chainsaw that weighs less than 20 pounds and as close to 12 to 13 pounds as possible.

Power Output

Power output can vary depending upon whether you are using a gas or electric powered chainsaw. The power output of gas chainsaws is measured in horsepower (hp), while the power output of an electric chainsaw will be measured in amperes (amps). To have sufficient power to operate a gas-powered chainsaw with a chain-bar length of 18” or over, you will want a saw that is close to 2.5 hp and above. Electric-powered chainsaws for a chain-bar length over 14” should run a minimum of 4 amps to operate properly.

Bar Length

This is the length of the chain-bar and the cutting area available for a chainsaw. Generally speaking, the length of your chain-bar determines what diameter of a tree or log you are able to safely cut. A 14” bar length should be used to cut logs that are 14” in diameter or less. Larger diameter logs will require a chainsaw with a longer bar length. 18” to 20” are good chain-bar lengths for cutting firewood.

Starting

Anyone with a lot of experience using a chainsaw will point out that starting is one of the most critic functions of operating a chainsaw. Because starting can be pretty labor intensive, especially in cold weather, an easy starting saw is highly valued. A couple of features can help with ease of starting:

  • Choke Control. Too much gas in the carburetor makes it next to impossible to get a chainsaw started. Several brands include choke control, which prevents flooding the carburetor.
  • Spring Assisted Start. An extra spring between the starter cord and the crankshaft reduces the amount of pulling force necessary to make the engine turn-over and start.

Because shutting down and restarting a chainsaw several times while you are working is common, a chainsaw that is easy to start allows you to spend more time working. The starting issue often drives people to purchase electric chainsaws, but be aware that electric chainsaws are limited in what they can do.

Chain Tensioning

Keeping the chain on your chainsaw at the proper level of tension is an important part of the performance of your chainsaw. The majority of chainsaws include a tool with a socket on one end and a screwdriver on the other or T-wrench. You use this to maintain chain tension. There are a few chainsaws that offer tool-less chain tensioning, but they tend to fall out of adjustment faster than those which are manually tensioned.

Chain Safety Features

The chain on a chainsaw can become extremely dangerous if it binds, breaks or comes off of the chain bar. Three safety features are found in nearly all chainsaws:

  • Chain brake. This provides emergency stopping of the chain. It is either manually or inertia operated.
  • Chain stopper. These are required on all chainsaws manufactured after 1995. This device catches a broken or loose chain and prevents it from whipping up into the hand or face of the operator.
  • Low kickback or anti-kickback. Kickback is what happens when the saw binds suddenly. Most chainsaw accidents are caused by kickback, so many chainsaw manufacturers have designed ways to reduce or prevent kickback.

You definitely want these features on whichever chainsaw you purchase. Pay the extra money if you have to.

Gas vs. Electric Chainsaws

When it comes to choosing a chainsaw for cutting firewood there are two different options for powering your chainsaw. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll run through quickly.

Gas Chainsaws

A gas chainsaw is the traditional type of saw that is most popular among those who cut firewood. There are several reasons why. Gas chainsaws offer a greater amount of power to cut through hardwood, which is the better type of wood for a stove or fireplace. Gas chainsaws can be used in remote locations where there is no access to electrical power. However, because they use a 2-cycle engine, you have to mix the fuel that goes with them and they tend to require a bit more maintenance to keep them operating properly. Those who are concerned about the environment also note that emissions and noise pollution are drawbacks of gas powered saws as well.

Electric Chainsaws

The advantages of electric powered chainsaws overcome the drawbacks of gas-powered chainsaws. They do not put out as much noise and there are no emissions. Electric chainsaws do not have as many maintenance issues, do not require fuel mixing and require little to no effort to start. However, electric saws are less powerful, require a power cord and an electrical outlet to be nearby. This prevents you from being able to cut wood in a remote location unless you have a cordless model. Cordless models are usually pretty weak and have a pretty short battery life. Consequently, in order to work continuously with a cordless model, you will have to carry several charged battery packs along with you to do a full day’s work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Serious buyers typically have some questions and concerns that need to be answered before making an important purchase. The purchase of the best chainsaw for cutting firewood is one that raises plenty. We have provided some answers to some of the most common questions below.

Why do I need a chainsaw for cutting firewood?

Unless you have a partner who is willing to operate the handles on the other end of a 2-man bucksaw, you are training for your next boxing or MMA fight, or you absolutely love wearing yourself out, you need a chainsaw for cutting firewood. Logs need to be cut to stove or fireplace length before being split and a chainsaw makes short work of that task.

What size of chainsaw do I need for cutting firewood?

When determining the size of saw that you need there are two factors to keep in mind: bar length and overall weight. The diameter of the logs you intend to cut will determine what the length of the chain-bar you will need. A longer bar length will require that your saw has greater horsepower and a larger engine. A larger engine, as well as the longer bar, adds to the weight of the saw. If you want to work with a lighter saw, then you will need to work with a chainsaw that has a shorter bar length. Higher end saws will provide greater horsepower but minimize overall weight.

Do I have to use a special fuel mix?

Yes, if you are going to use a gas-powered chainsaw. The majority of gas-powered chainsaws require 2-cycle fuel, which is a mixture of gasoline and special 2-cycle fuel oil. Mixture ratios will vary from one saw to another, so be certain that you follow the manufacturer’s directions when mixing fuel for your saw. Of course, electric models allow you to avoid this issue altogether.

Conclusion

A chainsaw significantly reduces the amount of work required for cutting firewood. An adequately powered saw with the capacity to cut whatever type of firewood you choose to burn will further enhance the experience. The best chainsaw for cutting firewood in our review is the Husqvarna 445. Though you will pay more for this saw, you get quality, durability, and features that place this saw well above the other models in this review.

The future advancements of chainsaws should lean toward greater safety, lower noise and vibration and an eye on being environmentally friendly. Husqvarna is already one of the most innovative manufacturers in the industry and is constantly improving these features on their new chainsaw models. Get your hands on the most advanced chainsaw for cutting firewood that you can afford and take some of the work out of cutting firewood.

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