Table of Contents
- Chainsaw Reviews & Buying Guide
- Best Rated Chainsaws (Updated List)
- Additional Information on the Top Rated Chainsaws
- Common Chainsaw Terms to Understand
- Which of the Best Chainsaws Should You Choose?
- Which is the Best Rated Chainsaw for a Homeowner?
- More Top Rated Chainsaw Buyer Guides
- Thanks for Reading My Chainsaw Reviews!
Updated February, 2021
Are you looking for the best chainsaws?
Do you want a simple way to compare the top chainsaws quickly?
If so, you’ve landed on the right page.
Whether you’re just looking for the best deals or want to guarantee you’re only investing in the highest rated chainsaws, this list of the top 10 chainsaws for 2021 was written specifically for you.
Here, you’ll find everything you need to make the right decision on which popular chain saw to get.
By reading my chainsaw reviews below, you can skip the countless hours of research and sifting through dozens of websites just to find the best-rated chainsaws that meet your specific needs.
Below, you’ll see a list of the top chainsaws that continue to outsell—and outperform—all of the other products on the market.
This ensures that no matter which one you choose, you’ll enjoy a powerful machine that’ll get the toughest woodcutting jobs done for years to come.
If you’re interested in the top Stihl chainsaws of 2021, check out my guide, The Best Stihl Chainsaw 2021 here.
I’ve done my best to make this the best chainsaw comparison and buying guide available.
So, enjoy this list of the top-rated chainsaws.
I’m sure you’ll find the one that’s right for you!
Chainsaw Reviews & Buying Guide
Best Rated Chainsaws (Updated List)
If you’re looking for one of the top chainsaws you can use season after season, this is it.
In fact, it’s one of the most popular and best chainsaws for both rural and suburban homeowners who need a professional gas-powered tool for a variety of tree trimming and wood cutting needs.
The 14-inch bar and chain make it an excellent saw for cutting small trees and pruning branches. You can also cut down a large 28-inch tree with two opposite cuts.
The best parts, however, are the Quickstart Technology for smoother starting, the Automatic Oiler with Adjustable Flow for perfect chain lubrication, and the 5-point Anti-Vibration System that makes it extremely comfortable to use.
A Side-Mounted Chain Tensioning System allows for quick chain adjustments while working and doesn’t require any special tool.
One thing that would make this chain saw even more perfect is an advanced Inertia-Activated Chain Brake. This is one of the best safety features out there because it automatically stops the chain from spinning during the upward thrust of a kickback.
However, a Manual Chain Brake is still included for your protection and this is a safe (and most common) alternative.
This popular Remington chainsaw gives you all of the same benefits as the last review but comes with a longer bar—16 inches.
For someone who wants a great middle-of-the-road power tool that’s easy to use, this is a clear winner.
Sure, there are other brands out there that offer 16-inch gas chainsaws, but what makes this one of the best chainsaws of this size are the Automatic Oiler with Adjustable Flow and 5-Point Anti-Vibration System.
No other chain saw in this class offers that combination of features.
Additionally, this chain saw is one of the cheapest gas powered tools you can buy with a 16-inch bar.
If you didn’t know this already, Poulan Pro is one of the top chainsaw brands out there. Therefore, it’s no surprise why this popular model is rated so high on this top 10 chainsaws list.
The 20-inch bar makes it a powerhouse tool for any user. The length toes the line of being a professional grade saw.
If you’re looking for the best gas-powered chainsaw for cutting down large trees (and felling fallen trees) that’s not too expensive, this Poulan Pro model is a great choice.
It’s also excellent for cutting firewood.
The best parts of this machine are the OxyPower Engine Technology that provides a powerful engine with 70% fewer emissions and 20% lower fuel consumption. That’s good for both the environment and you’re wallet.
It also has an Inertia-Activated Chain Brake, which is one of the best safety features out there, and a Side-Mounted Chain Tensioning System for quick chain adjustments.
One thing that would make this Poulan Pro chain saw a bit more user-friendly is an Automatic Oiler with Adjustable Flow for more precision oiling.
However, the Fixed Flow version does keep your bar properly oiled at all times, which is what you want for a long-lasting chain saw.
Husqvarna makes one of the highest-rated chainsaws with a 24-inch bar.
If you’re interested in Husqvarna, check out my article on Top 10 Husqvarna Chainsaws.
This professional saw is great for experienced operators who need to do some serious work.
It’s most popular for giving you the power you need for performing the toughest jobs without any hiccups, like taking down large trees and ripping big logs into usable lumber.
The upgraded X-Torq Technology lowers emissions by 60% and reduces fuel consumption by 20% so you can cut for longer periods of time during each project (and save money on gas).
It also includes all of the top features you want in a chain saw this big: an Inertia-Activated Chain Brake, Automatic Oiler with Adjustable Flow, and Side-Mounted Chain Tensioning System.
There’s not much more you can ask for in a monster chain saw like this.
We’re now entering the section of chainsaw reviews that covers the top battery-powered chainsaws.
And the Makita XCU02PT1 is a cordless chainsaw with an electric motor that’s been done right.
With a 16-inch bar, it’s the perfect tool for residential projects, such as light trimming jobs around the house and yard.
This popular model is also easy on the ears because it runs much quieter than its gas-powered competitors and its low maintenance.
One of the best parts, however, is that it runs on two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries. This increases your run time by 50%.
The kit also comes with 4 quick-charge batteries so you can cut for several hours at a time without having to stop to recharge.
Another bonus is that the batteries are standardized across the Makita tool line, which allows you to use them in other Makita power tools.
Two final features worth pointing out are the Manual Chain Brake safety feature and an Automatic Oiler with Adjustable Flow for easy bar lubrication.
If you’re looking for one of the best-rated chainsaws that deliver the performance of a gas-powered model, but come with the convenience of a cordless version, this is the obvious winner.
Like the #3 chainsaw review above, this professional chainsaw is also a good middle-of-the-road choice since it has a 16-inch bar.
The major advantage, however, is that the electric motor runs on a Lithium-Ion battery (not fuel) and lasts up to one hour of heavy cutting time.
That design makes it a very low-maintenance tool.
The battery is also interchangeable with other DEWALT power tools, which is good if you want to commit (or already have) to this product line.
The Manual Chain Brake is a good safety feature and the Automatic (Fixed Flow) Oiler takes the guesswork out of keeping your bar properly oiled.
Finally, like all of the other chainsaws on this list, this popular model also includes a Tool-Free Chain Tensioning System in addition to a Bar Tightening Knob for fast adjustments.
This Greeworks Pro chainsaw is one of the top rated chainsaws because it offers extreme performance with a long bar—18 inches.
If you’re a homeowner looking for a powerful tool for heavy duty jobs around the yard, this is the biggest (and best) cordless battery chainsaw you’ll find.
With it, you’ll be able to tackle tough wood cutting jobs without the hassle of lugging around gasoline or breathing in the exhaust fumes during operation.
The 80V Lithium-Ion battery gives you around 30-45 minutes of cutting time and takes about 30 minutes to charge.
A nice feature that this popular model has which others don’t are Bucking Spikes.
These allow you to dig the base of the chainsaw into a log to help guide a more precise cut. They also help prevent injuries during a kickback by securing the saw.
The Manual Chain Brake is a standard safety feature on cordless chainsaws (Inertia-Activated models are hard to find) and the Automatic (Fixed Flow) Oiler keeps your saw well lubricated 100% of the time.
This last section of chainsaw reviews includes electric chainsaws. And this popular Greenworks model is one of my favorites.
With a chainsaw that has an electric motor, there’s no need for mixing fuel or waiting for batteries to charge—you can cut forever without any stops or hesitation.
What makes this 14-inch chainsaw a great entry-level model is that it has a super lightweight design (8 lbs.) that’s easy to use.
For small tree cutting jobs and pruning, this chainsaw is a dream come true for many homeowners who want something that’s low maintenance.
A unique feature it has is a wraparound hand guard to protect your top hand from any flying debris while cutting wood. However, it does lack safety features like a chain brake, but for the types of jobs that this tool is intended for, the risk of kickback is lower.
An Automatic (Fixed Flow) Oiler gives effortless oiling of the bar and chain, and a Quick Chain Tensioner allows you to easily adjust the chain tightness without a separate tool.
For a corded electric chainsaw of this size, you won’t find anything better for the price.
Perhaps you’re looking for an electric chainsaw that’s a bit more powerful than the last review.
If so, this may be the exact model you’re after.
This popular 16-inch chainsaw is perfect for first-time users and casual lumberjacks. If you have a lot of quick and easy jobs to tackle around the yard (e.g. clearing brush, trimming small trees, cutting firewood), this makes a great go-to chainsaw.
The best part of this machine is that it includes an Easy-turn Screw Chain Tensioning System that takes all of the guesswork out of tightening your saw’s chain. This helps you keep it at the perfect tension for hundreds of cuts.
Another nice feature is that the Automatic (Fixed Flow) Oiler comes with a built-in window level indicator on the reservoir. This alerts you when it’s time to refill the chamber.
Finally, the safety features a wraparound hand guard for safe operation.
If you liked the sound of the previous review but wished it had a longer bar, then you’re in luck.
This WORX professional model offers all of the same benefits as the last model with the added advantage of cutting up to 18 inches.
This is the longest length you’ll find in an electric chainsaw.
It’s a powerhouse for tougher jobs, like cutting down large trees, bucking fallen trees, and slicing up logs into firewood.
If you want one of the highest-rated chainsaws that operate on electricity, you can’t go wrong with this model.
It runs forever when plugged in and offers the ideal wood cutting length for a majority of people.
Additional Information on the Top Rated Chainsaws
If you read through my reviews and still need more information about how to make the best choice, then this section of the guide is for you.
I’ve assembled a quick list of the top brands of chainsaws, additional definitions on some common features, and a few tips that can help you compare each model.
But remember, it’s not about getting the most expensive or cheapest chainsaw. It’s about getting the most value out of a tool that’s right for you.
Common Chainsaw Terms to Understand
If you’re new to chainsaws, here are a few things you should know about to better understand how each of these best chainsaws compares.
Familiarize yourself with these terms, if you don’t know them already.
- Guide Bar – Considered the heart of a chainsaw. It’s what the chain spins around. The length of the bar determines the thickness of a limb or tree you can cut. 12 to 24 inches are the standard lengths for common jobs around the yard. The rule of thumb is to use a chainsaw bar length that’s 2 inches longer than the thickness of the object you want to cut. If you can only buy one chainsaw, you’ll want an 18 or 20-inch bar since they’re the most versatile.
- Power Source – This refers to how the chainsaw operates. You can choose between gasoline, batteries, or electricity. Gas chainsaws are the most powerful and run as long as you can fill up the tank. Battery operated chainsaws that use a Lithium-Ion battery are the second best for portability but are less powerful. Electric chainsaws are more powerful than battery models but must be plugged into a wall outlet which limits your mobility.
- Type of Oiler – All chainsaw bars and chains must be oiled to reduce overheating and wear. Oilers come in three types: manual, and two automatic versions. Manual Oilers require constant attention but give you total control over the oiling of your machine; Automatic Oilers (Fixed Flow) keep things lubricated at all times without any worries; Automatic Oilers (Adjustable Flow) provide constant lubrication and give you the option to tweak the flow when you need it.
- Type of Chain Brake – Chain brakes are a safety feature which stops the chain from spinning during chainsaw kickback (a sudden thrust of the bar toward the operator when the chain gets pinched or the tip strikes an object). Manual Chain Brakes work when they’re pushed forward by your hand or arm during the kickback. Inertia-Activated Chain Brakes automatically engage when upward force of the bar is encountered.
Now that you have those basic terms in mind, you can make a better-informed chainsaw comparison between the models reviewed above.
More Features and Definitions Found on the Best Chainsaws
Guide Bar Length – This is the length of the chainsaw bar that holds the chain. It determines the types of jobs you can perform with the tool.
Chainsaw bar lengths increase in increments of 2 inches. The shortest bar length you’ll find is 6 inches. The longest bar length for non-professional use is technically 20 inches, but some experienced homeowners can use a chain saw comfortably with a 24-inch bar.
Shorter chainsaw bars are designed for pruning and cleaning up tree branches, while longer bars are made for cutting thick tree trunks and splitting firewood. The rule of thumb is to choose a bar length that’s 2 inches longer than the width of the wood you want to cut. That gives you enough clearance at the tip of the chain for a safer cut and reduces the chance of kickback.
If you want a chainsaw that’s on the bigger side, but you don’t plan on using it very often, then a 14-inch chainsaw is the most popular choice. 14-inch bars provide enough length for most jobs around the house, like cutting small trees, and can save you a good bit of money compared to larger models.
16 to 20 inches are in the mid-range of chainsaw bars and are good for people who have a lot of heavy-duty woodcutting jobs to do. Chainsaws of this length are more powerful than smaller chainsaws and give you a wider range of projects to tackle. Technically, this range of bars is built for taking down medium-sized trees and cutting up firewood, but you can also trim and prune small branches with them if you’re careful.
20 to 24 inches is where you start to move into professional-grade chainsaws. These chainsaws have the most power and can cut very thick trees in a single pass. For larger trees, you can cut up to double the bar length if you make two opposite cuts. Keep in mind that professional chainsaws of this size are quite heavy and can cause operator fatigue when used for long periods of time.
Gas Chainsaw – A chainsaw that’s powered by gasoline. They come in two types: 2-cycle and 4-cycle. A 2-cycle chain saw runs on fuel that’s mixed at a ratio of 40:1 or 50:1 with oil. A 4-cycle chain saw runs on just gasoline and has a separate tank for the oil.
Battery (Cordless) Chainsaw – A chainsaw that’s powered by Lithium-Ion batteries. The advantages of this type of chainsaw are that it’s portable, doesn’t produce fuel emissions, and is quieter than gas-powered saws. The tradeoff is that they’re less powerful and the largest bar length you’ll find is 18 inches.
Electric Chainsaw – A chainsaw that’s powered by electricity and must be plugged into a power outlet with a cord. They’re more powerful than battery-operated chainsaws but less powerful than gas chainsaws. The biggest limitation with electric chainsaws is that they’re not as portable. The distance you use a chain saw like this from your house is limited by the length of the power cord.
Manual Chain Brake – A safety mechanism that helps prevent injuries during chain saw kickback. This larger bar is located between the top handlebar and the bar with a chain. When kickback occurs, the chain brake bar should come into contact with your top hand (or arm) and instantly stop the spinning of the chain so it doesn’t cut you.
Inertia-Activated Chain Brake – A more sophisticated version of a chain brake that’s activated by the force of inertia (not physical contact with a bar). When sudden kickback occurs, the force stops the chain from spinning. This is the safest form of a chain brake.
Bucking Spikes – These are metal spikes on the front of a chainsaw at the base of the bar. They serve two purposes: first, to allow more controlled sawing by jabbing the spikes into the tree trunk or log so you can pivot the saw blade downward for a clean-cut; second, as a safety feature to grip onto a log or tree trunk in the event of kickback to prevent injury.
Manual Chain Oiler – A method for oiling the chainsaw bar. Operated through a push-button. You control the amount of lubrication and when it happens. Good for people who want precise control over the oiling process.
Automatic Chain Oiler (Fixed Flow) – Another method for chainsaw bar oiling. It automatically delivers lubricant at a fixed rate of flow. You never have to touch a thing to ensure that proper oiling is taking place.
Automatic Chain Oiler (Adjustable Flow) – The best of both worlds for chainsaw oiling. Provides a constant stream of oil to the chain saw bar while also giving you the option to adjust the rate of flow. A great combination of manual and automatic oilers.
Side-Mounted Chain Tensioning System – This allows you to quickly adjust the tightness of the chainsaw chain on the fly. Most versions are tool-less designs where you can easily adjust the chain tension without using a special tool.
Anti-Vibration System – A special design that separates the chainsaw rear handle from having contact with the engine. This reduces vibration on the hand and lowers operator fatigue so you can use a chain saw for longer periods of time.
Chain Catcher – A piece of metal on the bottom of a chainsaw that’s in front of the clutch. It acts as a safety feature by helping reduce the risk of being injured if the chain breaks or derails.
Best Rated Chainsaw Brands on this List
Here are the manufacturers of the best chainsaws reviewed on this page:
Which of the Best Chainsaws Should You Choose?
Today, the top chainsaws come in three types: Gas, Corded Electric, and Battery operated. And each kind excels in different areas, which can make it hard for some people to make a final choice.
If you’re having trouble picking the best chainsaw, don’t worry.
Below, are some pros and cons about each type of chainsaw to help you narrow down your options.
Comparison of the Top Rated Chainsaw Types
Gas Chainsaw Features
- Most powerful
- Highly portable (no batteries to charge or cords to plug in)
- Lasts a long time on each tank of gasoline (1 gallon of fuel can last you a whole day of continuous cutting)
- 2-cycle engines require a mixture of gasoline and oil; pre-mixed fuel is available
- Produces fuel emissions
- Bar lengths go above 24 inches
- Can be harder to start over time
- Requires maintenance like any other gas-powered tool
- Heaviest type of chain saw
- Loudest type of chain saw
Corded Electric Chainsaw Features
- Second most powerful type
- Powered by electricity; must be plugged into a power outlet
- Only as portable as the length of the power cord
- Runs forever with no time limit on cutting
- Good for a lot of repetitive tasks like pruning and cutting a large number of logs
- No fuel emissions
- Less maintenance than gas chainsaws
- Lightest type of chain saw
- Quieter than gas chainsaws
- Bar lengths don’t go above 18 inches
Battery Chainsaw Features
- Least powerful type of chain saw
- Powered by Lithium-Ion batteries
- Batteries last between 30 minutes to one hour of cutting time
- Just as portable as gas chainsaws
- No fuel emissions
- Less maintenance than gas chainsaws
- Quieter than gas chainsaws
- Lighter than gas chainsaws but heavier than electric chainsaws
- Bar lengths don’t go above 18 inches
Which is the Best Rated Chainsaw for a Homeowner?
If you’ve read through this guide, you know that there’s a lot to chainsaws.
Just between the bar length, type of oiler, and how it’s powered, there’s a ton of combinations out there.
While the best-rated chainsaws listed at the top of this guide are the most popular when it comes to homeowner chainsaws, some of you may be looking for a bit more guidance on which one to select.
If that’s the case, then this section is for you.
Something you should think about when buying a chain saw is the types of projects you’re going to do most with the tool.
Once you know that, you can better match a chain saw to those kinds of tasks. The chain saw with the most value is one that does what you need it to without wasting money on features you don’t need.
With that being said, here’s a short sub-list of the best chainsaws for homeowners.
Remington makes some of the most most popular and top-rated chainsaws for beginners.
What makes this model stand out among the competitors is its versatility. A 14-inch bar is an optimal length for first-time users who need to do routine cutting jobs around the house.
As pointed out in the chainsaw comparison list above, this model includes the best type of oiling system—Automatic (Adjustable Flow) Oiler—and a 5-point Anti-Vibration System for the most comfortable use.
If you want a great entry-level gas-powered chainsaw, this is your top choice.
A step up from the previous review is this popular DEWALT model here. It’s battery-operated and offers most of the same advantages as a gas-powered chainsaw.
The only drawback is that the included Lithium-Ion battery doesn’t last forever, but it does give you up to one hour of cutting time.
If you intend to do all-day cutting jobs then you’ll want to purchase additional batteries to have on hand.
The Automatic (Fixed Flow) Oiler is a great feature for many homeowners since it keeps the bar well lubricated, preventing the unfortunate chance of them locking up.
All-in-all, this is a good middle-of-the-road chain saw for any homeowner.
If you want a more powerful chain saw that can handle the largest range of tree cutting jobs, this is going to be your top choice.
As I mentioned earlier in this guide, it’s great for first-time users and casual lumberjacks who don’t want to mess with gasoline or batteries.
This model runs on electricity and plugs into any standard outlet.
It’s good for everything too, from cutting down trees, slicing up firewood, clearing brush, and much more.
The Auto-Tension Chain System keeps the chain perfectly tight without any worries of it being too loose and the Automatic (Fixed Flow) Oiler contains a window level indicator so you know when it’s time to top off the oil.
When it comes to electric chainsaws, this is a popular powerhouse machine for any homeowner.
More Top Rated Chainsaw Buyer Guides
Below are some additional buyer guides I’ve been working on that include the most popular chain saws for particular categories.
Take a look if you haven’t found what you’re looking for on this page.
- Best Gas Chainsaws
- Best Battery Powered Chainsaws
- Best Electric Chainsaws
- Best Cheap Budget Chainsaws
- Best Homeowner Chainsaws
- Best Small Lightweight Chainsaws
- Best All Around Chainsaws
- Best 16 inch Chainsaws
- Best 18 inch Chainsaws
- Best Chainsaws for Firewood
- Best Pole Saws
- Best Chainsaw Protective Gear
- Best Chainsaw Pants & Chaps
- Best Chainsaw Gloves
- Best Chainsaw Sharpeners (Electric & Manual)
- Best Bushcraft Saw
Thanks for Reading My Chainsaw Reviews!
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best-rated chainsaws and found the information about how to select the right tool to be useful.
As you’ve come to learn in the chainsaw reviews above, there’s no one-size-fits-all chain saw for everyone.
Clearly, each person has their own preference on things like how the tool is powered, the amount of control they want over oiling the bar, the type of chain brake it uses, the length of the bar, etc.
The best thing you can do is pick one of the top-rated chainsaws above that has the features that meet your individual needs and the cutting length to get the range of work you need to get done.
Once you do that, you’ll be more than happy with any one of the popular and best chainsaws listed above since it’ll satisfy your needs now, and into the future.
If you were hoping to find some Stihl chainsaws listed, check out my guide dedicated to my top picks for Best Stihl Chainsaw here.