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  • Ray Campbell

A Gun Owner Ranks The Best Chainsaws For The Money

A good chainsaw can make all the difference when it comes to tackling tree limbs, logs and brush, but there are a lot of options out there to choose from. I ranked my top choices, and added hands-on reviews.

FYI, Prices and ratings are accurate as of time of writing.


1. Greenworks 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw + 4AH Battery and Charger

Top-rated: 4,242 ratings


Greenworks 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw + 4AH Battery and Charger

Highlight: Delivers up to 30% more torque for the greatest cutting performance; offers up to 70% less vibration for user comfort while working.

Helpful review: "Bottom Line: This is an outstanding product and would meet the needs of homeowners, professional landscapers, and also be a useful addition for professional orchardists. Highly recommended but buy extra batteries if you want to cut for several hours.
I grew up on a walnut orchard with 4000 trees to prune and 10% to cut down and replace each year for several years. My dad only used Husqvarnas so we had several of different sizes for pruning and cutting down 40 to 80 year old walnut trees. That's my background and when I recently returned from overseas and bought 25 acres of hardwood forest in the Ozarks, I had to carefully consider what garden and forestry equipment to buy. I did a lot of research and very hesitantly took the big risk and went all in with Greenworks and bought this chainsaw, a blower/vac, lawnmower, weedeater, and pole saw. When I was younger I didn't mind maintaining and rebuilding a bunch of small gas engines but I have no desire to any more so that weighed heavily on my decision.
It's been four months now and I'm really happy and impressed with this line of garden tools. I'm especially impressed with this chainsaw. In these last four months I've been clearing about two acres of my hardwoods and have cut down probably 300 or so trees. Most were small (6-10" diameter) but I've cut down maybe 30 big ones including a couple that were 20" or so. This saw has really performed well so far and has plenty of power as long as you're a little more patient and slow than with a gas saw. The pros of not having to breath in the fumes, maintain the engine each year, deal with the extra weight, and lug around gasoline mix entirely outweighs the only disadvantages of slightly less power, needing extra batteries, and not having the cool noise of a gas chainsaw running. My recommendation from a lot of experience is that this saw ought to be the choice of any homeowner, pro landscaper, small farmer, and be an addition to the saws a professional orchardist or forester has. If I were back working my dad's walnut orchard, this would be my go-to saw for all the annual pruning and augment our husky's dropping those giant old walnuts. By the way, two additional notes:
1. The chain and bar are not some weaker version of a gas saw like some reviews have said. They're a standard Oregon product with the Greenworks name on it. You can even find the equivalent Oregon product on the Greenworks website.
2. I have in no way received any benefit from Greenworks for this review. I've never even corresponded with them. I rarely write reviews but when a really great product comes along that is functional, more convenient, and more environmentally-friendly to boot then I'm all for it. Again, it's only been four months and if all these things blow up or break in the future, I'll update my review." — JG

Get it from Amazon now: $178.50 & FREE Returns

 

2. DEWALT 12-Inch Chainsaw

Top-rated: 8,180 ratings


DEWALT 12-Inch Chainsaw

Highlight: Compact, lightweight design for maximum user control.

Helpful review: "For reference, I'm a professional Arborist, currently working for a municipality, with over a decade's experience in Line-Clearance Arborism. So, you might say that I know a thing or three about working a chainsaw..
I'm honestly amazed.. This saw is awesome! With a thirty-five(ish) dollar upgrade (bar & chain), it'll hold its own against either the Stihl or Husqvarna battery-powered top-handles. And, it'll do so, for half the price!
On one of the large 60v flex batteries, it did hard work all day. You can actually, easily forget to add bar oil, because you're never stopping to refuel. It's THAT efficient! This is now my go-to climb-saw...hands down!
One of this saws best features is how quiet it is. Imagine this:
...you're up a tree, about to make a decent size cut with a conventional chainsaw. Before you begin your back-cut, you check on the "all-clear"; all systems Go! Shortly after you start on your back-cut, throttle open, your ground person sees "something" (let's pretend it's an out-of-control baby buggy, for dramatic effect!) that, for some reason, you can't see. The grounds person is yelling at the top of their lungs, trying to get your attention, before it's too late! Meanwhile; all you can hear is that ported & polished 201 or 338, screaming like a banshee...
It's a scary thought. And not only COULD it happen; it HAS happened! But, with an electric chainsaw, volume levels are a negligible factor.
Oh, and, as an added bonus, it doesn't reek of gas! Try driving around on a hot day with a conventional chainsaw in the car.. (sarcasm!) A headache and nausea are the BEST you can hope for! Not a problem with an electric saw.
So, why no fifth star..? Two reasons. No guns (sight lines), on either side. And no real felling dogs...or even the option to add felling dogs. Come on DeWALT, get your $#!+ together!.. But, I guess we can forgive them a few oversights, as they are relatively new to the chainsaw game.
I hope you found this review helpful. And, while I might sing it's praises, rest assured that I paid the same price you will. This is my unsolicited opinion.
Good Luck & Be Safe!" — Dave Rentz

Get it from Amazon now: $148.99 & FREE Returns

 

3. WEN 16" Electric Chainsaw

Top-rated: 1,873 ratings


WEN 16" Electric Chainsaw

Highlight: 12A motor rotates the Oregon chain at up to 44 feet per second.

Helpful review: "The chain guide bar mounts to a steel plate, on one end of which are the bumper spikes. Due to poor packaging design, this steel plate was bent in transit (It is scarcely protected from possible impact in shipping). Something had hit the bumper spikes hard and bent the whole plate. Had I tried to assemble the guide bar to the body of the saw, it would not have worked well, if at all, because it was not possible to assemble the bar properly in-line with the chain sprocket. After some tinkering with a wrench to un-bend the plate, I was able to mount the guide bar in the appropriate and stable position.
Regarding the oil leaking out of the reservoir: folks, it's a gravity feed that is supposed to oil the chain continuously. What else would you expect? The oil reservoir and feed line approaches the guide bar / chain from the motor side. I find that if I stow the chainsaw on its side, motor side down, then the oil leaking is minimized. I have not used the chainsaw enough to comment on how long the oiler will continue to work.
The saw seems quite powerful and is making short work of a 60' tall tree that fell down in our back yard. Note there is no chain brake so the chain continues to spin down for a second or two after you release the power button/trigger. Many parts of the saw appear to be made of plastic, where I expect steel would be the better choice. Whether or not this saw would withstand the rigors of daily use is not my concern - I might use it two or three times per year.
Interesting: I'm supposed to tension the chain every couple of cuts. I'm happy to do that. What happens is that the chain gets a little loose after a couple of cuts. As soon as I loosen the Bar Adjustment Locking Knob, the chain seems to automatically tension itself. So then I just retighten the knob. It takes me about ten seconds every couple of cuts. I hardly ever have to fiddle with the actual adjustment (with the Chain Tension Wheel).
Read the instructions: they are well written, apparently by a native English speaker, and very nicely and accurately illustrated. The instructions are surprisingly well done, useful." — B. Starosta

Get it from Amazon now: $79.99 & FREE Returns

 

4. Oregon Self-Sharpening Corded Electric Chainsaw

Top-rated: 5,807 ratings


Oregon Self-Sharpening Corded Electric Chainsaw

Highlight: 18” guide bar and PowerSharp chain allow you to sharpen your chain right on the saw in 3 seconds or less.

Helpful review: "I love this chainsaw. I had two gas chainsaws and every time I would take them out to use, they wouldn't start or they ran like crap. I bought this Oregon electric chainsaw and have never looked back. Awesome product!!!
The main reason I am writing this review is to comment on all of the reviews that mention the chain falling off. These people have no idea what they are doing. I have never had the chain fall off while using this chainsaw. I suspect the chain oiler is clogged or they are not setting up the chain tension per the included instructions. If the oiler is not pumping oil on the bar, then the chain will heat up and EXPAND!!! This will cause many problems including the chain falling off the bar.
An easy way to tell if the chain oiler is working is to hold the tip of the bar close to a log that you are going to cut. Run the chainsaw at full speed and you should see oil splatter onto the wood. If you see no oil hitting the wood, then your oiler is not working. Stop and figure out why. If you continue and the chain and bar are dry, I guarantee your chain will start falling off and parts will start to melt like one of the reviewers on here.
If your chainsaw is not pumping oil then read the manual. If you still can't figure it out, contact Oregon. This is where you will see Oregon shine. Excellent support!!!" — Elwood P.

Get it from Amazon now: $122.01

 

5. Cordless Battery-Powered Mini Chainsaw

Top-rated: 1,009 ratings


Cordless Battery-Powered Mini Chainsaw

Highlight: Includes 2 lithium batteries and 3 chains.

Helpful review: "I had a lot of fun playing with this single-hand held 4” Wireless Chainsaw. I pruned several small growth trees, branches and weed-like cedar on our property. Can easily cut through 2-3” branches with ease. You can do twice as thick but will need to be smart about how you cut through the full circumference. As long as you take several swipes through it with maybe about a 2” cut at a time, you should be fine.
Where this thing shines are all those branches that are too big for hand-held trimmers or cutters. This thing melts through them. I trimmed most of my branches on a single battery. It comes with two, so you are good for plenty of trimming time.
Batteries are super lightweight lithium and have integrated charge chips inside them. An AC adapter plugs directly from the wall into batteries. Wall AC unit initially will have a Red LED when charging and turns green when charging is complete. Batteries have internal circuits to turn off battery charging when full.
It comes with 2-extra chains and tools to change them.
Pro-Tip: If going through tree branches thicker than 3”-4”, go slow, making “V” shaped cuts as you go to give your blade plenty of wiggle room as it cuts through your branch/tree. This will keep the chain free to always spin without getting tight or seize between the friction or weight of the tree around the chain. If going through the multi-foot tree, yes you can do this too if done correctly, only use 1/2 of your chain length while making a “v” shaped slice out of the falling side of the tree. When you cut out this cheese shaped/piece of cake shaped slice, then you can begin doing the same cut on the opposite side of the tree about 8-12” higher up the tree trunk than the “v” slice you just cut on the falling side of the tree. This will allow the weight of the tree to lean towards the cheese wedge you cut out. You literally could fall a 2’ wide tree with this with correct technique and patience. Not that this is your first tool of choice but it is strong enough to make 2” deep swipes, as long as you keep making “v” shaped cuts as you go.
This is a great under $100 tool to have in your yard maintenance shed/toolbox. I found it helpful getting through all branches that are too big for hand-pruners." — Philster

Get it from Amazon now: $69.99 & FREE Returns

 

6. BLACK+DECKER Cordless Chainsaw + Extra Lithium Battery

Top-rated: 6,209 ratings


BLACK+DECKER Cordless Chainsaw + Extra Lithium Battery

Highlight: 20 Volt MAX lithium battery for long runtime.

Helpful review: "Black & Decker is a name in tools that I know and trust for making quality products. I was happy to see that they make this battery powered chainsaw. We have a gas chainsaw but like many others have noted, starting it takes more energy than using it. I really needed something easier and faster to use. We're mainly cutting Aspen and some pine for firewood.
As soon as this came in the mail, I pulled out the battery and the charger and got it to cooking. It took about 5 hours as the booklet said to reach a full charge. During that time, I read through the instruction booklet and put the saw together. That didn't take more than a few minutes and requires absolutely no tools. I was impressed with the sturdiness of the saw. The saw is made of metal and plastic and is very light and well-balanced.
I'm not a big, strong lumberjack, I'm a great-grandmother, so I'm not all that keen on chainsaws but doing a job without the right tool is just wrong. This is the right tool for me. I was able to cut a nice pile of logs up in the 20 minutes of operating time for the battery charge. I have a picture of my pile below.
I like the weight and how easy it is to use the saw. I don't like the manual lube of the chain. It's annoying to have to push the little plunger after every cut or so to keep the chain lubed. I like that I feel safe while using the saw. It seems easy to keep it in control as it's not running anywhere near as fast as our gas chainsaw. I also like how easy it is to adjust the tension on the chain if I see it getting a little loose. I don't have to stop what I'm doing and pay attention to taking care of that.
Bottom Line: The price was right and I'm happy with my purchase. If I could do it over knowing what I know now, I would probably opt for the 40V version with the automatic chain lube and a little more power but this will work for me for now.
Day Two: I wanted to add a few thoughts after spending a second day with this little chainsaw "wannabe". Today we tacked a 50+ foot Aspen with approximately a 7 inch diameter. We won't be trying that again. The B&D cuts too slow for a job like this and in the end, the tree fell all wrong even with the right cuts. We again only had 20 minutes of cutting power and that was enough to down the tree and cut it into small enough sections to get on the sled to haul out of the woods. I used my gas powered chainsaw to finish the job of cutting it into firewood.
This is a great little tool for having around the yard for cutting up limbs and fallen trees. It's sturdy, easy to use and well-designed (except for the manual lube on the chain). It's a step up from a hedge cutter and a step down from a gas chainsaw power-wise. Consider your needs and how you will be using this before you buy it." — SueJean

Get it from Amazon now: $188.99

 

7. EGO Power+ 14-Inch Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw

Top-rated: 1,402 ratings


EGO Power+ 14-Inch Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw

Highlight: Double guard bar and narrow-kerf sprocket nose.

Helpful review: "Saw runs and cuts well, but beware the chain oiler - mine didn't work at all. EGO customer service offered to replace the saw but before going through that grief I took a look inside. The oil tank feeds through a small plastic tube affixed to its outlet. The tube was twisted and kinked so no oil or the compressed air I used for testing could pass. All I had to do was remove the tank mounting screws and rotate the tank 360 degrees to get rid of the kink - now the chain and bar have a nice film of oil while running and a nice spray off the chain while cutting.
NOTE-this is an assembly issue, not a design issue so there is no telling how many saws are assembly incorrectly as mine was. As sales of this saw are likely targeted at folks who may not have much chainsaw experience, they may not notice the oiler not working. The chain and bar will overheat and won't last long without lubrication so beware." — Gerald Aquino

Get it from Amazon now: $269.00 & FREE Returns

 

8. Greenworks 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw + 2.0Ah Battery and Charger

Top-rated: 4,714 ratings


Greenworks 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw + 2.0Ah Battery and Charger

Highlight: Automatic oiler applies oil to bar and chain when needed to ensure durability and optimal use (with a translucent oil tank for clear view of oil level).

Helpful review: "At age 68, mixing gas, pumping primer bulbs and pulling starter cords, till I almost fall over dizzy, to drop a broken branch. NOT! I have NOT used my 2 Poulan 16in. &14in. bar chainsaws since I bought this. Battery life is the equivalent of a tank of gas on either of the Poulan's. There have been day's I've run both Poulan's alternately while taking down 40-50 foot high trees as big around as I. So, don't take this to a Kansas Tornado aftermath.. BUT - take it with the ATV and a 3x4' garden cart into the woods to get 400 pounds of firewood. You'll fill the cart easy. 4-6in x16 inch logs don't need splitting for the wood stove.. I also own the 8in. pole mounted 40V cordless chain saw, so I have 2 batteries.. I rate that 5 stars too.. Cuts Christmas trees right off at the ground level. Final thought - I would take this up into a tree if I have to take a limb off while tree climbing over a rope pull any day!
UPDATE- 1month shy of 70 years old. Everyone knows Kansas spring this year. Lots or rain - new record for May- flash flooding and tornado's. I have a creek that flash flooded and some 18 inch diameter 40 foot tall trees came down. I was able to cut limbs off then drag the trunk with my tractor. They damaged 85 feet of barbed wire fence. Well I spied another 40 footer dead and looking to fall on the barbed wire fence again. Need to remove.. I put my arms around the trunk and could not touch fingers.. Well I have 1 saw and 2 batteries.. Started cutting one side of the tree.. then made a cut 3 inches higher on the other side. I didn't have a wedge so I stopped.
Clearly it was ready to fall. I nursed up my tractor and placed the front bucket on the tree at about 9 feet and pushed a little...It went down right where I wanted it. Since I have a bad shoulder, and can't start those 2 gas saws...I put them on Marketplace yesterday. 8am today sold them for $60.. I just can't pull start- chain saws, weed eaters or lawn mower anymore. Yesterday I ordered the 16in. lawnmower that uses the same battery. I have a garden tractor but there are spots my 46" cutting deck can't get mainly ditch by the road. So no gas chain saws, no gas weed eaters, no gas push mower. no more icy-hot on the shoulder.. all electric now...As an electrical engineer retired why run to the gas station for juice when you can get it from the wall? or off my solar panels. Recommendation BUY..." — Lawrence Macionski

Get it from Amazon now: $179.99 & FREE Returns

 

9. WORX 14-Inch Electric Chainsaw

Top-rated: 1,870 ratings


WORX 14-Inch Electric Chainsaw

Highlight: With the auto-tension chain system keeping it tight, and the easy prime oil-pump making it simple to keep the chain lubricated, there is far less maintenance involved to keep this cutting tool in tip-top-shape. Plus, those systems extend the life of the bar, chain and motor.

Helpful review: "Ok Amazon. I often do positive reviews but this might be one of my most important purchases. My husband has a huge chainsaw but I needed something for myself that is lightweight - no way I am using the Farm Boss. We have an old-growth Appalachian forest and it is starting to die off in many areas. Lucky us. I am a small but mighty lady so the weight is important but endurance is even more important because I needed something that would last longer than a wireless but less cumbersome than a gas powered.
I have two one-hundred foot extension cords and they are just about long enough for most projects. I have had to cut shrubs, dead pines, yearling "volunteers," saplings, heavy hardwoods, sap galore, and even chop fallen 80 ft pines. No joke, this little guys is amazing and worth every penny. Oh yeah, I even left it out in a storm and still works. Still cuts wood like a champ! My only problem was that it leaked oil, but honestly for this price it didn't matter. Still 5 stars in my book and there is likely a gasket i could buy for it.
I have had it jam a few times in an 8 inch tree trunks which is a little over the recommended circumference. It came out fine with hubby's help. More has been done on our property with this electric chainsaw than my husband's fancy Farm Boss chainsaw. I would purchase again in a heartbeat. I will probably wear it down at some point but it just keeps going. I bought it a month ago and it keeps going. If it dies tomorrow it will have been worth it." — Mountain Gal

Get it from Amazon now: $59.98 & FREE Returns

 

10. Sun Joe 12-inch Electric Chain Saw + Kickback Safety Brake

Top-rated: 2,616 ratings


Sun Joe 12-inch Electric Chain Saw + Kickback Safety Brake

Highlight: Automatic chain lubrication system.

Helpful review: "I purchased a SunJoe Pressure washer earlier this year and it worked great and did everything I needed it to flawlessly. I needed a small chainsaw for some light household duty. I found this one by SunJoe and read some reviews on it so I decided to give it a try. After about 6 hours of use I can honestly say that the only drawbacks was my inexperience becauseI have never used a chainsaw. Fortunately I have a very steep learning curve so within a few tries I became a pro. I have read the other reviews and I’ll tell you the secrets.
1. Let the tool do the work (Don’t try to force it)
2. Take your time (rushing will cause the chain to come off)
3. Wear Eye and Hand protection (non negotiable)
4. Respect the tool (it can and will bite you)
The only negative is that there is no auto-brake when you release the trigger." — Robert Segrave

Get it from Amazon now: $56.00 & FREE Returns

 

11. BLACK+DECKER Alligator Lopper Cordless Chainsaw

Top-rated: 1,680 ratings


BLACK+DECKER Alligator Lopper Cordless Chainsaw

Highlight: Get up to 150 cuts of 1-1/2-inch branches per charge.

Helpful review: "I LOVE this. I saw it reviewed by crazyrussianhacker on youtube. We have two properties in Georgia (18 acres) and Alabama (111 acres). Both are mostly left wooded so small trees, muscadine, wisteria, etc. are common and the vines can get really thick. I have a ratchet lopper that I love but it can’t get over 2” and if I am doing a lot it just gets tiring to use. I like to help maintain things around the properties. I wanted something like a small chainsaw but I don’t like the exposed blade. This can do up to 4” and is battery powered. I haven’t timed how long the battery lasts because it’s not constantly used but it seems to last a long time. I would estimate at least 3 hours. It cuts perfectly. I have cut muscadine, wisteria, and sweetgum from 2” to 4” with no issues. Even my fiance was impressed and he has all the heavy equipment and tools, etc. The best part are the blade protectors. I was cutting down and didn’t anticipate it coming down so quickly when I cut something and it hit the top of my foot. Had those not been there I could have been injured very badly. I try to also cut as close to the ground as I could and they protect from the dirt. I highly recommend watching the YouTube review. I looked and I can’t find anything similar to this. I am a 54 year old woman." — Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon now: $84.00 & FREE Returns

 

12. WORX Cordless 10-inch Chainsaw + Replacement Battery

Top-rated: 3,029 ratings


WORX Cordless 10-inch Chainsaw + Replacement Battery

Highlight: The automatic chain lubrication system not only makes for smoother, more efficient cuts, it extends the life of the tool.

Helpful review: "My husband laughed when I told him I wanted to buy this particular chainsaw for cutting small trees on our property. His chainsaw was way too heavy for me & I had a hard time starting it because it was gas powered. I was also sick & tired of waiting for him to cut the trees needing to be cut.
Earlier in the season, I bought a WORX Leafblower which came with 2 batteries so I used those batteries & bought this chainsaw! BEST BUY EVER! My husband now sneaks MY CHAINSAW out when I'm not around! I've cut 6 inch trees with it but mostly focus on smaller box elder type trees which block the light from my oak trees. The light weight makes it easy to maneuver & nothing beats the electronic batteries! Each battery has lasted me around 30 minutes of intense nonstop cutting but I highly recommend buying 2 batteries or the WORX Chainsaw that already comes with 2 batteries.
It's easy to put the chain on & it's also easy to adjust it. The first couple of times you need to tighten the chain after a few cuts because it loosens up which is normal I am told, but it's super easy to tighten it with a turn of the knob. And I like the fact that I can take the batteries off when I start fooling around with the chain. It's an extra safety precaution I like to take. You need to buy bar chain oil & I would recommend buying an extra chain or two. Very very very happy with this purchase!" — Mountain Haven

Get it from Amazon now: $179.96 & FREE Returns

 

13. Gocheer Cordless 6-Inch Mini Chainsaw + 24V Rechargeable Battery

Top-rated: 1,387 ratings


Gocheer Cordless 6-Inch Mini Chainsaw + 24V Rechargeable Battery

Highlight: The speed of the chainsaw reaches 13.2ft/s, so it only takes about 10 seconds to cut a log with a diameter of 5.91inch.

Helpful review: " My old kit was small and missing crucial pieces. I couldn't be happier with this new one. Screwdriver manufacturers have really upped their game since I last bought. A comfy grip. Magnetized bit holders. Flexi-bit extensions. Security torx and triwings included. Lots more. I'm blown away. As someone who uses my last kit every week, this is going to get lots of use! Will update review with long term findings." — J. F.

Get it from Amazon now: $85.99 & FREE Returns