2018’s Best Chainsaw Guide & Chainsaw Reviews

 

We’ve assembled the best reviews from carpenters, commercial HVAC construction workers, woodworking specialists, woodworking craftsman, lumberjacks and more to produce the ultimate guide to purchasing your chainsaw online. Using our guide you should be able to understand chainsaws by most popular, best price, best value and more.

All chainsaws are available to purchase online and can be immediately shipped using Amazon fulfillment. We recommend using Amazon over your traditional hardware store to buy power tools because of how easy it is to create returns and access to the best brands.

#1: Best Overall — The Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw With Smart Start ($385)

This is the winner take all event holder. Husqvarna is a well-known and well-respected brand with a history of excellent products and the 450 ranks right up there. And guess what, this baby is only 11.3lb’s. Yep, you read that right, under 13 pounds in total. Its easy to whip this guy around and that helps with safety while using a chainsaw as well.

Check it out in action right here:

The Husqvarna 450 technical specifications

  • Powerful 18-inch gas-powered chain saw ideal for landowners and others who cut less regularly
  • 3.2 HP X-Torq engine reduces harmful exhaust emissions and increase fuel efficiency
  • LowVib vibration dampening; minimal effort via Smart Start feature and combined choke/stop control
  • Centrifugal air cleaning system; inertia activated chain brake; snap-lock cylinder cover
  • CARB Compliant
  • 18-inch bar
  • Just 11.3 lbs

Buy it on Amazon Prime!

 



#2: Most Versatile — Echo CS-450 Gas Chainsaw, 18 Inch ($470)

Why do we like this guy so much? Its versatile, it can accept a bar lengths from 16 to 20 inches. Also in terms of longevity, we’ve heard it from the group of 50 craftsman that we polled, its top of the line in that regard. It comes with a little higher price tag but if you are going to be doing some big jobs and need something you can carry with you for the next 15 years, this might be your guy.

The Echo CS-450 technical specifications

  • Accepts 16, 18, or 20-inch guide bars
  • Weighs about 11.2 lbs
  • Side-access tensioner
  • Chain-brake and inertia chain brake
  • Automatic oiler
  • Vibration reduction

Buy it on Amazon Prime!

 



#3: Electric Hustle — Makita UC4051A 16-inch ($235)

Makita is well known for their quality and if you are looking for something under the $300 price point that fits in with more of the at-home needs versus potential construction needs, this might be your best option. And we’ve read the reviews and hacks, once you add the necessary 10 to 12-gauge extension cord, this saw begins to creep into the gas chainsaw cost neighborhood.

The Echo CS-450 technical specifications

  • Accepts 16, 18, or 20-inch guide bars
  • Weighs about 11.2 lbs
  • Side-access tensioner
  • Chain-brake and inertia chain brake
  • Automatic oiler
  • Vibration reduction

Buy it on Amazon Prime!

 



#4: The “Safe Bet” — DEWALT DCCS690M1 40V 4AH Lithium Ion XR Brushless Chainsaw, 16″ ($350)

We’re big fans of DeWalt, the reason is because they’re one of the most used companies by commercial construction workers, wood craftsman and HVAC installers. Its a trusted name with a great guarantee behind it. And while other sites have listed the DCCS690M1 a little lower on their list, we bump it higher. The lithium ion battery life doesn’t give us trouble. The auto lubrication is incredible on this piece of machinery. A little heavier in weight than our other options but still an amazing piece of machinery. Add this to your DeWalt collection.

Check it out in action right here:

The DEWALT DCCS690M1 40V 4AH Lithium Ion XR Brushless Chainsaw, 16″ technical specifications

  • Variable speed
  • Weighs about 12.3 lbs
  • Low-kickback 16-inch bar and chain
  • Tool-less chain tensioner and bar tightening knob
  • Chain brake
  • Auto oiler

Buy it on Amazon Prime!





 

#5: Most Popular — BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 40V MAX Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 12″ ($199)

Definitely the most popular choice for DIY at home enthusiasts. Folks who are looking to get a couple trees down in the backyard. Might use it a few times and then tuck it away in the garage. We get it! The reason we put this last on the list is because we’ve had some difficulty with Black & Decker products in the past. Not as reliable as DeWalt. Although we’re not ruling them off the table entirely. For the price point, this things pretty great. Gets you under that $250 mark and might be a weekend or two each month you use this.

Check it out in action right here:

The BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 40V MAX Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 12″ technical specifications

  • 40V MAX Lithium Ion Battery for longer runtime and overall life
  • 12″ premium bar and chain
  • Automatic oiling system
  • Tool-free chain tensioning for quick and easy chain adjustments. 40V MAX* 2.0Ah Battery provides over 60 4×4 pine lumber cuts on average per single charge
  • Full wrap around handle for comfortable cutting in different orientations

Buy it on Amazon Prime!

 



Using & Maintaining Your Chainsaw

A chainsaw is an important tool for cutting projects but without the proper training and knowledge, it can also be dangerous. Here are some tips for operating and caring for your chainsaw.





Before Operating A Chainsaw:

Before ever starting a chainsaw, you must thoroughly read the owner’s manual. You will learn about all the controls and safety features. You must abide by all the safety recommendations to ensure you can operate it safely and properly.


Protective Apparel & Accessories:

  • Long Pants, and if possible, Chaps
  • A Hard Hat (Note – some hard hats have hearing protection built-in)
  • Working Gloves
  • Steel-Toed Boots
  • Protective Eye Wear
  • Proper Ear Protection

Getting Started:

An electric chainsaw is operated with a trigger that is pulled. If you have a corded device, you will need a good extension cord. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for getting the right extension cord and read through the Power Cord Safety Tips. When using an extension cord, be aware of the extension cord and where it is located when you are cutting.

Before starting the chainsaw, have the choke control set to ON, push the decompression valve (if there is one) and then press the primer bulb 6 times.

Your left hand should hold the front handle while your right foot is on the rear handle. Pull the start with your right hand until the saw fires-up.

To activate the throttle, push the choke in and then pull again. Once started, squeeze the throttle quickly to disengage the high idle. Stop the saw by turning off the ignition switch.

Again, there is a lot of valuable information in the operator’s manual. Read it through for advice for other steps that should be taken on various models before starting the saw.


Cutting With A Chainsaw:

Hold the front handle with your left hand with your thumb underneath, grab the rear handle with your right hand. Position your legs apart to create stability and pull back the chain brake to disengage it. Squeeze the throttle. The chainsaw cuts best when it is at full throttle.

Always make cuts away from the bar tip as the tip could cause a kickback which is very dangerous causing the engagement of the chain brake. If this happens, just pull back to unlock. Always cut at waist level and never above your shoulders. Do Not cut near the ground as the tip could cause a kickback. It is advised that you cut from the side of the saw and never hover over the work area which could be even more dangerous.

Again, read everything in the manual including cutting instructions.

When operating the saw, keep everyone else at 15 feet away. If you are cutting down a tree, increase that distance by at least twice the height of the tree.


Maintenance & Safety Precautions:

  • Each time you operate the saw, check the chain tension and adjust if needed
  • Inspect the bar and clean when necessary
  • Inspect the operation of the throttle lockout, chain brake, chain catcher, and the oiler

Never perform an inspection or maintenance until the saw is completely turned off!

Follow all manufacturer’s instructions and directions for mixing fuel or get a good premixed fuel The manual and manufacturer’s instructions will provide you with good information so your chainsaw will always run properly.


Sharpening A Chainsaw:

Follow the instructions from the manufacturer as some chains need a specific sharpening device and should not be performed manually. Some manufacturers highly recommend you have the depth gauges and chain sharpened by a professional.


Sharpen the chain manually:

Always make sure you are wearing your heavy-duty gloves when handling the chain. Make sure the bar is secure in the vise then activate the brake to lock the chain.

When cleaning the teeth, place the gauge with the arrows pointing toward the bar nose. Use a round file and file every other tooth at a right angle to the rollers in a pushing stroke. Release the brake to view the teeth and then re-engage. When done, turn the chain around and use the same steps to file the other teeth.

At some point, if the chain has been sharpened back to the angled guideline on the teeth, it should be replaced.

When the teeth are completed, file the depth gauges with a flat file. Place the guide over the teeth using the hard or soft wood position which depends on the wood you are cutting. File until your file contacts the depth guide.


A Maintenance Tool Kit:

A Chainsaw Manual, All-In-One Tool & Sharpening Kit should have several maintenance essentials including:

  • Wrenches & screwdrivers, or an all-in-one tool
  • A round file & file gauge
  • A flat file & depth gauge tool
  • Cloths for cleaning
  • Your saw’s documentation