Best chainsaws in 2023: Browse tools from Makita to Husqvarna

Best chainsaws 2022: STIHL and Makita chainsaws
(Image credit: iStock / Getty)

Some tasks require some extra assistance and the best chainsaws will be just that. Ideal for making light work out of clearing your yard, tidying up storm damage, or making gardening maintenance a breeze, chainsaws are a great tool to save time. 

With so many options available though, it can be difficult to know where to start. Thankfully, we’ve compared models to look for all important features such as power, safety features, build quality, and fuel types. 

The first big difference between the best chainsaws is that some are gas-powered and others use electric. Gas models are typically more powerful making them great for larger tasks but they’re sometimes heavier too. Electric chainsaws, however, can either be cordless or corded and the right option for you will depend on how long you’ll need to use the chainsaw because cordless models will need charging up.

You’ll find that chainsaws come in a range of different bar lengths (also called the blade) and the longer the bar, the more suited it is to extensive tasks such as cutting down trees. We’ve taken everything into account from how loud each chainsaw is to the extent of safety features included below so that you can find the best chainsaw for you. Alternatively, don’t miss our guide to the best gas lawn mowers and the best riding lawn mowers

Best chainsaws

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We've rounded up the best chainsaws to help you discover the right one for you and your yard. While we have reviewed most of the products in this guide, there are two that are currently still in the process of being reviewed. However, we've summed up user reviews for these two chainsaws to help you make your purchasing decision. 

The best chainsaws

Best chainsaws: Makita XCU03PT1

(Image credit: Amazon)
The best battery powered chainsaw overall


Power type: Battery
Bar size: 14”
Weight: 11.5lbs
Battery capacity/fuel tank volume: 2 x 5AH
Engine power: 36v/32cc equivalent
Noise: 100 dB

Reasons to buy

Low maintenance
Low noise
Incredible safety features

Reasons to avoid

Need additional batteries

The next level safety features on this mid-size, domestic-use chainsaw make the Makita XCU03PT1 very appealing to the casual user. The hold down safety button makes it harder for injury to occur, plus an instant chain brake and metal bucking spikes for greater control. 

This is a respectable, professional grade electric saw that comes with four batteries and can handle some larger jobs as well, though you might need to purchase additional batteries if you're looking to tackle a large project.

We also like that this Matika model is relatively light at 11.5 lbs which will make it easier to handle and reduce fatigue. Despite being battery-powered, this chainsaw is louder than some of its gas competitors in our guide but you won’t have to deal with messy gas refills and once you’ve purchased it, the only expense is charging the batteries. The 14-inch bar means it’s suitable for most maintenance tasks around your yard, but if you’re cutting wood wider than 12 inches, we’d suggest scaling up with a larger, alternative model.

To keep you safe while using this chainsaw, you have to have the safety button engaged which reduces the likelihood of you hurting yourself. An instant chain break will also stop the machinery from working if you have any kickback while you’re using it. These features combined make the Makita an ideal option if you’re relatively new to using a chainsaw.

Compared with most other electric chainsaws though, the Makita XCU03PT1 is very expensive. Coming in at around $380, it's much more of an investment than Makita's previous saws. Still, we think it's worth every penny and it'll likely be the only saw you ever need.

Best chainsaws: OREGON CS1500

(Image credit: Oregon)
The best self-sharpening chainsaw


Power type: Corded electric
Bar length: 18” bar
Weight: 14.7 lbs
Battery capacity/fuel tank volume: MAINS
Power: 15 Amps/120v
Noise: Low noise, silent between cuts

Reasons to buy

Built-in chain sharpener
Instant start
Powerful for an electric model

Reasons to avoid

Chain can slip off if not properly tensioned

The OREGON CS1500 is an electric powered chainsaw at the larger end of the domestic market that offers a unique self-sharpening chain system. If you strike the ground or accidentally hit a rock, there is no need to remove or replace the chain, you can be up and running again in under three seconds.

Users should be wary of the OREGON's reported tendency to slip the chain when in use, which is an issue caused by improper tensioning of the chain. As long as the chain is properly tensioned, you shouldn't have a problem.

Despite this issue, we found that the OREGON CS1500 was a great medium power chainsaw with enough power to do most domestic tasks. Its blade measures 18 inches making it suitable for cutting wood up to 16 inches. In addition, this OREGON chainsaw is available for under $100 which makes it a fantastic option if you don’t want to spend too much money and need a good all rounder. 

It is a safe, easy to maintain electric saw for the larger urban or suburban garden but it does use quite a bit of oil so that’s something to be aware of when you’re maintaining and funding this bit of machinery. The only thing to consider about this chainsaw is that it’s corded so you will need to be near a power source in order to use it. However, you won’t need to worry about running out of battery like you would with a cordless model. 

Best chainsaws: WORX WG320 Cordless JawSaw

(Image credit: WORX)
The best chainsaw for beginners and for small garden jobs


Power type: Electric
Bar length: 6” bar
Weight: 8.1lbs
Battery capacity/fuel tank volume: 20v/4AH
Engine power: 5Amps
Noise: Quiet

Reasons to buy

Cuts on the ground or reach overhead

Reasons to avoid

Slow to recharge
Small jobs only

WORX claim they have reinvented the chainsaw, and if you’re looking for something just for the very small jobs, then that could be true. The Worx WG320 cordless JawSaw has a patented design that makes injury almost impossible. That’s because the blade itself is housed in a metal casing so that there is no danger of kickback. It is light weight which makes it comfortable to use if you need to reach up high, and the batteries can be shared with other WORX products.

However, it really is made for only the smallest of pruning jobs and couldn't be used for cutting planks or large tree limbs. The WORX is almost more accurately described as a pair of chain shears as opposed to a full blown chainsaw. Its bar measures 6 inches and so can only really take on small branches that gardening tools won’t be able to handle. Despite its fairly limited capabilities in terms of large jobs, this chainsaw is quite expensive at over $140.

While it doesn’t come as standard, you can purchase a 12 ft extension pole for this chainsaw so that you can reach up high without any limits. Other helpful features that are included are an automatic chain oiler to help maintain the tool, you simply have to keep an eye on the oil levels and make sure you replenish it when need be.

However, we found the WORX WG320 to be a fantastic little garden tool that is comfortable and convenient to use for those little jobs that don't really justify the use of a heavy duty chainsaw.

Best chainsaws: Echo CS-310-14 Chainsaw

The best all-rounder


Power Type: Gas powered
Bar length: 14in
Chain size: 14in
Max cut diameter: 25in
Chain pitch: 3/8in
Weight: 10.3lb
Noise: Up to 90 dB

Reasons to buy

Powerful enough to make quick work of any wood
Lightweight and durable construction

Reasons to avoid

You must mix your fuel with oil before using
Quite loud – up to 90 dB

This Echo chainsaw 30.5cc two-stroke engine is marginally weaker than the Poulan Pro PP4218A which we’ve also included in this guide. It delivers enough muscle to cut through wood quickly and smoothly. It’s also quite light, weighing only 8.8 lbs.

The Echo CS-310-14 is a gas-powered chainsaw so you won’t be limited by cord lengths or battery run times but you will need to factor in the fuel as part of your maintenance and running costs. During testing, this chainsaw coped well with clearing a garden of hard cherry tree stumps and overgrown bushes and we think it’s a great choice if you’re regularly doing garden maintenance.

In terms of noise, we found that during our testing, this Echo chainsaw reached about 90 decibels. To put that into context, 90 decibels is equivalent to a subway train or a concert so you’ll want to wear protection like earmuffs or plugs when you use it, although we recommend taking those safety precautions while using any chainsaw. The plastic and aluminum body is quite sturdy and can take some punishment.

This saw clocked in some of the fastest times we saw during our testing phase. You can expect this chainsaw to cut at about an inch per second. Its 14-inch guide bar is adequate, but not the longest you can buy. Models such as the Worx WG304.1 have 18-inch bars. Nevertheless, we never felt that we needed any more length when we were using it to cut lumber or doing other yardwork with it.

While this is one of the best chainsaws in this category, it may be overkill if you’re not a regular user or you’re facing hefty cutting tasks. If you aren’t going to use it regularly, or don’t have a lot of experience with chainsaws, you may want to look into a less expensive, more manageable model. It’s also worth nothing that there aren’t any extras included with this saw. You’ll have to pay extra if you need a case, file or other add-ons.

Best chainsaws: Husqvarna 460 Rancher

(Image credit: Husqvarna)
The best chainsaw for tackling medium-sized outdoor jobs


Power type: Gas powered
Bar size: 18”, 20”, 24” bar available
Weight: 13lb
Battery: 14oz
Capacity/fuel tank volume: 14oz
Engine power: 3.62hp
Noise: 104 dB

Reasons to buy

Easy to start
Great safety features

Reasons to avoid

Long bar makes handling complex
High price

The Husqvarna 460 Rancher is a powerful, well-built saw that can handle some very large jobs, as well as the small to medium jobs you’d find in any large, suburban garden. It is powered by the Husqvarna X-Torq engine, which offers low emissions and low vibration technology for comfortable use. 

Husqvarna have designed this particular chainsaw to be suitable for professionals too so if you’re serious about investing in a chainsaw (and at nearly $600, an investment it certainly is), this could be the option for you. Its key selling points include the impressive power and the decent bar lengths, and because it’s gas-powered, you’re not restricted by any cords.

It also boasts great safety features, including an inertia chain brake which turns the saw off if it is dropped and minimizes the kickback from the saw during use.

However, if you’re looking for a chainsaw that’s quieter, the Husqvarna 460 is not for you. This piece of equipment reaches 104 decibels when it’s being used. That’s not far off the sound of a nightclub and about the same as a motorcycle. Because of that, you’ll need to protect your ears when you’re using it.

This model comes in a choice of bar lengths with the cheapest model including an 18-inch bar. That makes handling and maneuvering the Husqvarna 460 Rancher tricky, a problem that can be exacerbated by the saw's hefty weight. This means the Rancher isn't an ideal purchase for smaller individuals.

Best chainsaws: WORX WG304.1 Chainsaw

(Image credit: Amazon)
Best reliable and entry level chainsaw that’s easy to use.


Power type: Corded electric
Bar size: 18"
Weight: 11lbs
Battery capacity/fuel tank volume: Mains
Engine power: 15Amp
Noise: Quiet

Reasons to buy

Fully assembled, use straight out of the box
15-amp motor for powerful cutting action
18-inch bar

Reasons to avoid

Uses an electric cord

The WORX WG304.1 chainsaw is a lightweight, easy-to-use, 18-inch electric chainsaw with enough grunt to manage larger domestic jobs. This is an excellent entry level chainsaw for the novice user. It's affordable and incredibly easy to maintain while the light weight makes it maneuverable and comfortable to use. 

One thing you will need to bear in mind, however, is that it’s corded so this can make the area you’re working on more restricted. With that in mind, though, you won’t need to do much in the way of maintenance and once you’ve purchased the saw, there aren’t any fuel costs (aside from electricity) to worry about. 

With that said, this WORX model is not built for anything more than the most basic of domestic tasks and while some users have reported felling small trees with it, this is not recommended. Pushing it too hard will almost certainly damage the saw and could even be dangerous. 

The 18-inch bar length makes this chainsaw suitable for cutting wood into smaller logs but those that are new to using a chainsaw may find the longer bar length harder to handle than a shorter model.

In terms of safety features, the WORX WG304.1 chainsaw has a built-in safety brake that will stop the chain and there is a rubber handle to protect you too. These features are pretty standard across the inclusions in our guide but it’s good to see them even on a budget model.

It might not be a chainsaw for life, but it’s a very good starting point and at under $100, it’s good value for money.

Best chainsaws: Poulan Pro PR5020

(Image credit: Poulan)
The best value gas-powered chainsaw


Power type: Gas chainsaw
Bar size: 20” bar
Weight: 15.5lb
Battery capacity/fuel tank volume: 15oz
Engine power: 50cc engine
Noise: 102db

Reasons to buy

Easy to start
Powerful for its size

Reasons to avoid

Needs idling time before use

According to the manufacturer, the Poulan Pro PR5020 is suitable for any yard, and any task. It’s large enough to manage some of the big jobs, and agile enough for the small to medium work. Bear in mind that it's heavy, but it is powerful for the price.

The OxyPower engine offers greater efficiency and lower emissions, while the easy start system is designed to need 30% less effort than previous models. It offers an automatic chain oiler, comes with tools to help with maintenance, and a protective case for storage, which is a nice touch.

The Poulan Pro's main downside is that it needs idling time during colder weather to prevent it from stalling. This can be frustrating and adds to your fuel consumption costs, which is something to consider if you live in colder climates. The noise this chainsaw makes might be an issue for some users as it reaches 102 decibels when in use. That’s equivalent to a motorcycle and therefore, you’ll need to wear protective gear. 

Considering the cost of this model is around the $200 mark, it offers a lot of power for the price. We were disappointed, however, to see that this chainsaw doesn’t come with any safety features aside from an inertia-driven chain brake which essentially minimizes kickback problems. 

If you’re familiar with chainsaws then the Poulan Pro could be a good choice for you but it does need quite a lot of maintenance including keeping an eye on the chain tension. If you’re brand new to chainsaws, we’d recommend an alternative model with more safety features and fewer maintenance requirements.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet

(Image credit: Home Depot)

8. Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet

The best lightweight electric chainsaw


Power type: Electric
Bar size: 6”
Weight: 5 lbs
Battery capacity/ fuel tank volume: 4aH batteries/ 120 cuts per charge
Engine power: 2.25 torque
Noise: Quiet

Reasons to buy

Super lightweight

Reasons to avoid

Small bar length
Not suitable for larger tasks
Battery not included as standard

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet is described as a pruning saw because of its ability to handle every day tidying up jobs around your garden. 

What the users say

The Milwaukee M12 scores an average of 4.8 out of five stars over at Home Depot’s website. Users praise how easy it is to handle with one commenting ‘[It’s] more powerful than I thought. Comfortable in my hand. Easy to use’. Another reviewer said, ‘Extremely useful and convenient for yard maintenance.’ Not all reviews are gleaming, however, and criticisms come in the form of some users saying that the battery is hard to remove and holding the safety trigger is difficult due to the design.

It’s a fantastic option if you’re looking for something easy to handle and that won’t make your arms ache when you’re using it as it only weighs 5 lbs. 

This is a corded model so you won’t need to worry about regularly buying gas. Plus, an automatic chain oiler will help you keep on top of maintenance. Because of the small bar length, you’ll only be able to tackle wood as big as three inches wide, although Milwaukee does offer an 8-inch option for this model too.

At just shy of the $200 mark, this chainsaw sits in the middle of the price range of the options we’ve included in this guide. However, be warned that this price does not include the battery and you can expect to pay a further $120 for the battery, making this model a pretty steep investment considering its limited ability when it comes to larger clearing tasks.

If you need a powerful chainsaw to take on some massive jobs, this Milwaukee chainsaw isn’t the model for you but if you just need something to help you keep on top of garden bushes, trim smaller branches, and tidy up, then it’s a great, lightweight option.

WEN 40-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Brushless Chainsaw

(Image credit: Lowe's)

9. WEN 40-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Brushless Chainsaw

Best battery-powered chainsaw for bigger jobs


Power type: Electric
Bar size: 16”
Weight: 12 lbs
Battery capacity/ fuel tank volume: 4 Amp-hour batteries
Engine power: 40 volts
Noise: Quiet

Reasons to buy

Long bar length
Push start button

Reasons to avoid

Chain needs tightening regularly

A 16 inch bar length means this chainsaw can tackle pieces of wood as big as 14 inches, making it much more versatile than the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet that we’ve included in this guide. 

What the users say

The WEN 40-Volt Max Lithium-Ion Brushless Chainsaw has an overall rating of 4.8 out of five stars at Lowe’s. Users like that it’s ‘lightweight’ and the blade is ‘easy to replace and tighten’. They also commented on how handy the battery indicator is so you can see how much power you have until it’s time to put the tool on charge. While there aren’t lots of criticisms for this chainsaw, the few that do exist comment on how the ‘chain needs regular tightening’ and the ‘bar guide is a little thin’. 

Aside from the long bar length, the big benefits of this WEN chainsaw are the fact that the battery is included in the price making it great value for money, and it’s a lot quieter than a gas model of this size. 

The battery on this model is interchangeable with any other WEN product, making it a versatile purchase if you already own something from the brand’s range. An automatic chain oiling system takes care of the maintenance on this chainsaw and a push start makes it a great option if you don’t want to bother with engine pulls. 

Suitable for light and medium maintenance tasks, this WEN chainsaw is ideal if you need the power to cut logs and clear the garden but don’t want the noise and gasoline smell that a gas-powered model brings with it. 

What makes a good chainsaw: An expert explains

We reached out to industry professionals who use chainsaws regularly. We spoke with Caesar Bustos, Corporate Safety Supervisor and Trainer at Asplundh – a nationwide tree care company. He emphasized safety above everything else. “You have to respect the saw, if you don’t you can definitely get killed.”

He likened buying a chainsaw to riding a motorcycle, “If you have bought a motorcycle, you get a safety course – you should have one for chainsaws too.” He recommended asking the dealer you buy your chainsaw from if they offer classes or recommend ones you can take. He cautioned against the mindset that chainsaws are just another power tool. “When you take that tool on, you don’t think it’s dangerous – any model at any level can hurt or kill you,” said Bustos.

When we asked him about the different types of chainsaws, he said it’s all about the situation you use them in. Of gas vs electric he said that, “Gas ones can go quite a while,” noting there’s about a two-hour limit on electric models. However, he said that electric-powered models are good for areas that are fire prone since the motors don’t get quite as hot as gas saws.

Of the length of a guide bar, he said it’s all based on what you’re doing with it. “You can accomplish a lot with small bars, it depends on the size of the tree’, explains Bustos. But the most important things he recommends looking for is durability, you want “something that you can depend on whenever you start it.”

Chainsaws FAQs

How much does a chainsaw cost?

As with any outdoor appliance, the cost of chainsaws can vary widely depending on the type, brand and size of chainsaws you’re looking at. The same goes for the size of the motor and how much power it packs to take care of your trees. To give a rough figure, corded and battery-powered models start at around $40 and can range all the way up to $400 at the highest end. Gas models are a little different from the models in this guide (bar the Husqvarna 460 Rancher and Stihl 271 Farm Boss) costing from $130 and $200. If you need a seriously heavy-duty model for professional jobs, models sourced from dealers will probably end up costing you more. If you just need a smaller model for cleanup and renovation projects, however, then this is the price range you should be looking at. 

(Image credit: Future)

How to choose a chainsaw

We asked tool expert William Byrne what's important to consider when choosing a chainsaw. This is what he had to say

William Byrne
William Byrne

William Byrne is an accomplished tool buyer at ADA Fastfix, ensuring a diverse and high-quality inventory of construction tools and equipment. Outside of work, William enjoys woodworking and hiking. He firmly believes that a hands-on approach and staying connected with the end-users of the products he procures are critical for his success as a tool buyer.

"Purpose: Determine the primary tasks you will be using the chainsaw for, such as trimming, felling, or cutting firewood. This will help you narrow down the suitable options.

Power: Chainsaws come in various power levels, measured in horsepower (HP) or cc (cubic centimeters) for petrol-powered models, and volts (V) for electric models. The power required depends on the intended use and the size of the wood you plan to cut.

Weight: Choose a chainsaw with a weight you can comfortably handle for an extended period. Lighter chainsaws are easier to maneuver but may be less powerful, while heavier chainsaws may offer more power but be more challenging to handle.

Chain length: The length of the chainsaw bar determines the size of the material you can cut. A longer bar can handle larger logs, while a shorter bar offers better maneuverability and control.

Fuel type: Chainsaws are powered by gas, electricity, or batteries. Gas-powered chainsaws are more powerful and suitable for heavy-duty tasks, while electric and battery-powered chainsaws are quieter, lighter, and more environmentally friendly, but may lack the power needed for larger jobs.

Safety features: Look for chainsaws with safety features such as a chain brake, anti-vibration system, and low-kickback chain to minimize the risk of accidents. 

Maintenance: Consider the maintenance requirements of different chainsaw types. Gas-powered chainsaws require more frequent maintenance (oil changes, air filter cleaning, etc.) than electric or battery-powered models.

Price: Set a budget for your chainsaw purchase and choose a model that offers the best balance of features and affordability within your price range. 

Brand reputation: Research and compare the reliability, durability, and customer support of various chainsaw brands before making your decision.

Ergonomics: Choose a chainsaw with a comfortable grip and handle design to minimize fatigue during use.

Electric vs gas chainsaws: which are better?

Bryne added, "Both electric and gas chainsaws have their advantages and disadvantages. The better option depends on your specific needs and intended use. Here's a comparison of the two types: 


  • Environmentally friendly: Electric chainsaws produce no emissions, making them better for the environment.
  • Quieter: They are generally quieter than gas chainsaws, making them suitable for residential areas with noise restrictions.
  • Lighter: Electric chainsaws tend to be lighter, which can make them easier to handle and maneuver, especially for prolonged use.
  • Lower maintenance: They require less maintenance compared to gas chainsaws, as there are no spark plugs, air filters, or fuel to worry about.
  • Easier to start: Electric chainsaws start with a simple push of a button, eliminating the need for pull-starting.


  • Limited power: Electric chainsaws typically have less power than gas chainsaws, making them better suited for lighter tasks like trimming and pruning. 
  • Corded limitations: Corded electric chainsaws require a power source and can be limited by the length of the extension cord, restricting mobility.
  • Battery life: Cordless electric chainsaws rely on batteries, which can limit their runtime and may require you to have spare batteries for extended use.  

Gas Chainsaws: 


  • Emissions: Gas chainsaws produce exhaust emissions, which can be harmful to the environment.
  • Noise: They are generally louder than electric chainsaws, potentially causing disturbance in residential areas.
  • Heavier: Gas chainsaws tend to be heavier, which can make them more challenging to handle and maneuver. 
  • Maintenance: They require more frequent maintenance, such as cleaning air filters, changing spark plugs, and mixing fuel. 
  • Starting: Gas chainsaws typically use a pull-start mechanism, which can be more difficult and less convenient than starting an electric chainsaw. 

In summary, electric chainsaws are generally better for lighter tasks, quieter operation, and lower maintenance, while gas chainsaws are more powerful and suitable for heavy-duty tasks. The best choice depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the tasks you plan to undertake. "

Is it always best to get the most powerful chainsaw you can afford?

Bryne said, "No, it is not always best to get the most powerful chainsaw you can afford. The right chainsaw for you depends on your specific needs, the tasks you plan to undertake, and your level of experience. Here are some reasons why a more powerful chainsaw might not always be the best choice: 

  • Purpose: If you plan to use the chainsaw primarily for light tasks such as trimming branches, pruning, or cutting small logs, a more powerful chainsaw would be unnecessary and potentially unwieldy. 
  • Weight and maneuverability: More powerful chainsaws are typically heavier and more challenging to handle. This can lead to increased fatigue and difficulty in controlling the tool, especially for users with less experience or physical strength.
  • Safety: A more powerful chainsaw can be more dangerous, especially for inexperienced users. It's essential to choose a chainsaw that you can safely control and operate to minimize the risk of accidents. 
  • Maintenance: More powerful chainsaws, especially gas-powered models, may require more frequent maintenance, such as cleaning air filters, changing spark plugs, and mixing fuel. If you prefer a low-maintenance tool, a less powerful chainsaw might be more suitable. 
  • Cost: A more powerful chainsaw usually comes with a higher price tag, both for the initial purchase and ongoing maintenance costs. It's essential to find a balance between power, affordability, and your specific needs."

Safety tips for handling chainsaws

According to the CDC, an estimated 36,000 people per year are treated in emergency rooms for chainsaw related injuries. This number increases after storms and natural disasters.

To keep yourself out of harm's way, we strongly encourage you to use ear protection, chaps, goggles and gloves. It's best to wear fitted clothes that cover your whole body and a helmet, especially when working in trees.

Never, ever operate a chainsaw under the influence and be sure to keep children and pets away from the work site. There are many online chainsaw safety courses available that can teach you how to operate, store and maintain your chainsaw properly. Proper maintenance keeps the saw's chain sharp and well lubricated, preventing kickback.

The grip and weight of a saw have a huge effect on its performance of the user. A saw without anti-vibration features can fatigue your hands quickly, making it hard to hold the saw and work safely. Since power source comes down to preference, if you don't need a powerful beast of a saw, go with an electric model. If you want power and use the saw often, gas is a good direction to take.

(Image credit: Future)

How to maintain your chainsaw

While performance is a priority when choosing a chainsaw, don’t overlook other factors which will affect your experience of using your chainsaw over the long term. If this is your first time maintaining a chainsaw, purchasing it through a licensed dealer is a sound choice. If you encounter any issues, you can return it to your dealer for repairs. This can give you peace of mind that your chainsaw is in expert hands and they’ll have access to spare parts as needed. 

Whether you choose gas-powered or electric, regular maintenance is crucial to keep your chainsaw working at its best. Make it a habit to go through routine checks before and after use to make sure you maximize the life span of your chainsaw. Before you start the saw, you’ll want to check for leaks, cracks, or obvious damage. Test the throttle, choke, trigger lockout, and stop switch. Next, check the chain brake, chain, bar, fuel, and oil levels before starting your jobs. Once you’ve finished your tasks, you’ll thank yourself later if you clean the entire chainsaw. Don’t forget to pay attention to the air filter and cylinder fins. Proper cleaning keeps your chainsaw in good condition so you make the most of your investment.  

Another consideration is storage. Most likely you’ll store it over the winter which tends to be a quieter period in the garden. If you’re not planning to use your chainsaw for an extended period, make sure to drain the fuel and oil. From a safety perspective, this is crucial as it reduces the risk of fire hazards from storing flammable materials. If you have a gas-powered chainsaw, you’ll need to run the engine until the carburetor is dry which will avoid the diaphragms sticking together. Regardless of whether you have a gas or electric model, take off the chain and guide bar before wiping down the machine and storing it.

Do I need a chainsaw sharpener?

The more you work with and get to know your chainsaw, the easier it is to recognize when it needs sharpening. Here are some signs your blade might be dull:

  • You have to use pressure to get into the wood. A sharp saw should pull itself into the wood with guidance, not pressure
  • It smokes even though everything is fully lubricated and the tension on the chain is right
  • The sawdust is fine instead of strands or large chunks, especially when you cut against the grain
  • The chainsaw bounces, rattles or pulls in one direction

You can either sharpen or replace a worn out blade. If you don't know how to properly sharpen the blade, we recommend heading to a dealer with expertise in your brand of chainsaw.

Sophie Bird

Sophie is Home Editor at Top Ten Reviews. Starting off her career in print journalism, Sophie then moved to digital and now specializes in lifestyle, home interiors and social media. While she has scooped awards for her journalism, Sophie likes to whip up a storm in the kitchen when she's not writing.

With contributions from