Best chainsaws 2024: top picks for hobbyists or professionals

Best chainsaws 2024: Jump Menu

Image showing the Husqvarna Power Axe 350i Cordless Electric Chainsaw being tested on a small log

(Image credit: Future)

1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best overall: Husqvarna Power Axe 350i
3. Best for beginners: Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 48-Volt IONMAX
4. Best for small jobs: DeWalt 20V MAX XR DCCS620P1
5. Best for thick wood: Echo CS-310-14
6. Best for affordability: Homelite UT43122B
7. Best value gas-powered: Husqvarna 240
8. Best lightweight cordless: BLACK + DECKER 40V Max 12-inch Cordless
9. How to choose
10. FAQs
11. How we test

Owning one of the best chainsaws will mean that you have the best tool for clearing the yard and maintaining the space effortlessly.

Much like a set of the best pruners, just meaner in size and ability, a chainsaw will cut through overgrown foliage. Unlike their smaller counterpart, however, tree trunks and thicket will tamed by a revolving chain and fuel to make the cut. With so many different chainsaws available, though, it can be challenging to know where to start. That's why we've compared various models and looked for important features such as power, safety, build quality and fuel types.

One of the most significant differences between chainsaws is whether they are gas-powered or electric. Gas models are generally more potent, making them ideal for bigger tasks, but they can also be heavier. Electric chainsaws can either be cordless or corded, and the best option for you will depend on how long you will need to use the chainsaw because cordless models require charging.

Chainsaws also come in different bar lengths (also called the blade), and the longer the bar, the better it is for extensive tasks such as cutting down trees.

All seven of the chainsaws featured in this guide have been reviewed by one of our resident experts. They have been tested for a minimum of two weeks to tackle brush, pre-cut logs and old trees. We've considered everything from the list price and availability to the design and performance. Whether the chainsaw is battery-powered or gas-powered, we've even noted the maintenance requirements so can can vouch for the overall use of the tool. 

Read on to see which of the chainsaws made the cut into our guide then, check out our shortlist of the best leaf blowers for help sweeping up after using the power tool.

Alex Temblador
Alex Temblador

Alex Temblador is a Dallas-based award-winning author and freelance writer who has covered home, design, architecture, and art in publications such as Tech Radar, Tom’s Guide, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Home & Gardens, Dwell, Architectural Digest, Insider, among many others. She recently bought her first home, a green Sears & Roebuck house that's over 103 years old, sits on half an acre of land, and features a stunning wraparound porch, original hardwood floors, pocket doors, and a butler pantry. 


Alex loves to test products for Top Ten Reviews, Tech Radar, and Tom’s Guide buying guides and reviews, which has helped to expand the richness of her first-time homeowner life. She has tested the majority of the chainsaws featured in this guide. The Husqvarna (Power Axe 350i), Black + Decker, Snow Joe and DeWalt chainsaws have been tested for a minimum of two weeks to tackle brush, pre-cut logs and old trees. Alex is busy reviewing more chainsaws (etc!) for Top Ten Reviews.

The quick list

The best chainsaws we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best chainsaw overall

The best chainsaw overall

Specifications

Power type: Battery
Bar size: 18”
Weight: 7.72 lbs
Battery capacity/fuel tank volume: 40 V
Noise: 90 dB

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful enough to cut through large trees and limbs
+
Battery-powered
+
Quality safety features

Reasons to avoid

-
On the heavier side
-
Oil is not included
Buy it if

✅ You want power: With a boost mode and the ability to cut through thick limbs or logs up to 17 inches, Husqvarna Power Axe 350i Cordless Electric Chainsaw can be used for heavier-duty yard tasks.

✅ Safety is your priority: This chainsaw has a good number of safety features, including two stable handles and a chain brake. It only turns on if you press two triggers and the power button at the same time.

✅ You want a chainsaw that is easy to use: To set up and operate the Husqvarna, all you have to do is adjust the chain manually, fill the oil container, slot the battery into place, and power it on.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don’t want a heavy chainsaw: This 18-inch chainsaw gets quite heavy once the battery is slotted into place, so you might find that your arms get tired after yard work.

❌ You want the most budget-friendly chainsaw: While we consider this chainsaw model to be quite a bargain, there are cheaper chainsaws available. They offer fewer features and less power.

You don’t want the fuss of recharging the battery: A gas-powered chainsaw will suit you better if you don’t want to have to recharge a battery, although this model’s battery should last approximately two hours before it needs to be refreshed.

The bottom line

🔎 The Husqvarna Power Axe 350i Cordless Electric Chainsaw is a powerful chainsaw packed with safety features so that users can cut through small, medium or thick logs and limbs with ease. The boost mode adds extra horsepower for those who want to deal with 15- to 17-inch limbs. ★★★★★

The Husqvarna Power Axe 350i Cordless Electric Chainsaw may be more expensive than some of the other chainsaws we've reviewed. However, with a powerful 40V battery and the ability to cut through thick trees under 17 inches, it is a very reliable companion for yard work. 

Features:  This model gave us a great first impression, with an 18-inch bar and a generous assortment of safety features, including a chain brake and two-trigger system. The chainsaw will only turn on when the two triggers and power button are pressed, which adds an extra security blanket. 

An opaque oil chamber is positioned on the side of the machine. It's slightly awkward to add the oil, even with use of a funnel. However, the S93G chain (with its .05 gauge and Spur 6 sprocket) is easy to use; there's a built-in tension mechanism which involves turning it right to tighten and left to loosen. 

The boost mode is also very handy, as it quickly increases the horsepower, resulting in a more efficient cut for thicker limbs.

Performance: Once the battery is inserted, the chainsaw begins to feel quite heavy. Nevertheless, it runs quietly (at 90 dB), especially in comparison with gas-powered models.

At first glance, you might not think that a 40V battery would equal power. However, our reviewer found that the chainsaw easily cuts through small and medium-sized logs without the need for pushing or maneuvering. For thick 15- to 17-inch limbs, the boost mode is efficient.

After running the machine for one hour, we found that the battery had only depleted by 50% while on test. It also feels safe and secure to use, with bumper spikes and well-placed handles adding extra control.

Value: When it is purchased directly from Husqvarna, the Power Axe 350i Cordless Electric Chainsaw costs $479.99. This is mid-range for a chainsaw of its caliber. There are cheaper alternatives around, but they can’t match this chainsaw’s power and features. Chain oil was not included in the package and will need to be considered as an additional expense. It’s also easily available from Amazon, Lowe’s, Acme Tools, and other retailers.

Read our full Husqvarna Power Axe 350i Cordless Electric Chainsaw review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
FeaturesPacked with safety features and offers a helpful boost mode.★★★★★
PerformanceCuts smoothly, efficiently and quickly.★★★★★
ValueFor $479.99, it's more expensive than other battery-powered offerings.★★★★

The best chainsaw for beginners

The best chainsaw for beginners

Specifications

Power type: Battery
Bar length: 16”
Weight: 11.5 lbs
Battery capacity/fuel tank volume: 2 24V batteries
Power: 48V
Noise: 86 dB

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and easy to use
+
Good safety features
+
Visible oil level

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks a boost mode
-
Less comfortable for use by left-handed people
-
Not cut out for felling
Buy it if

✅ You’re looking for a lightweight model: The Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 48-Volt IONMAX Cordless Chain Saw weighs just 11.5 lbs. As well as being lightweight and easy to operate, it’s also very compact if you’re limited on storage.

✅ You’re on a budget: Sold around the $200 mark, this battery-powered chainsaw is very affordable and includes two batteries.

✅ You’re a beginner: The chainsaw is easy to set up and use. All it takes is adding the batteries, and then the oil, before pulling two triggers. It also has a chain brake as an essential safety mechanism.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You’re looking for power: This chainsaw cuts efficiently for the most part, but it’s slower to deal with thick logs and limbs. It also lacks a boost mode.

❌ You’re cutting through thick trees: The 16-inch bar allows for cutting through 15.5-inch trunks but if need to deal with anything larger, you’ll need to find a chainsaw with a longer bar.

You’re left-handed: You’ll still be able to use the chainsaw if you’re left-handed, but the Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 48-Volt IONMAX Cordless Chain Saw has clearly been designed with right-handed users in mind because the front handle juts out to the left.

The bottom line

🔎 The Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 48-Volt IONMAX Cordless Chain Saw is a lightweight model with lots of advantages for beginners, from the fact that no tools are needed to tighten the chain to the oil level being visible. Capable of cutting 15.5-inch limbs, it’s good for pruning tasks but not for felling large trees. ★★★★

The Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 48-Volt IONMAX Cordless Chain Saw comes with two 24V batteries and a 16-inch bar. If you’re just beginning to use chainsaws and want to handle basic pruning tasks, it’s a wise pick.

Features: Aiming to cut through trees thicker than 15.5 inches? Stop reading and jump back up to the Husqvarna Power Axe 350i Cordless Electric Chainsaw. However, if you want to chop firewood or prune medium-sized trees, this chainsaw has all the features you’ll need.

Firstly, there are two 24V batteries and a two-battery charging port. An oil indicator window displays how full the container is. There's also a built-in tension mechanism which allows you to tighten or loosen the chain without using any tools. On top of that, a chain brake which will jam the brake if the chainsaw kicks back. 

The indicator light is also handy for beginners, using a traffic light system to alert the user that the chainsaw is ready to use or has overloaded, although it’s quite small and easy to forget about. The chainsaw unfortunately lacks a boost mode for more powerful tasks.

Performance: No tools are required for set-up, so once you’ve purchased chain oil and added the batteries, initiate the two-trigger system to begin working. For left-handed people, using the chainsaw might be tricky because the front handle is positioned out to the left (ideal for right-handers).

In all, we found that the chainsaw performs as expected for an affordable, lightweight battery-powered chainsaw. It's reasonably powerful but not as efficient as other chainsaws in our round-up. For pruning trees in your backyard, our reviewer found that it works well and stays extremely quiet, emitting only 86dB (equivalent to a food blender). It has a comfortable grip.

Value: For $209, the Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 48-Volt IONMAX Cordless Chain Saw is very affordable. You can also find it for even cheaper at retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, and Lowe's.

Read our full Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 48-Volt IONMAX Cordless Chain Saw review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
FeaturesLightweight, quiet and easy to use, with a comfortable grip but no boost mode.★★★★
PerformanceNot as powerful as other options but performs as expected.★★★★
ValueGreat value for money but lacks the power you get with more expensive models.★★★★

The best chainsaw for small jobs

The best chainsaw for small jobs

Specifications

Power type: Battery
Bar length: 12”
Weight: 9 lbs
Battery capacity/fuel tank volume: 20 V
Noise: 88 dB

Reasons to buy

+
Only weighs 9 lbs
+
Visible oil level
+
Built-in chain tension tool

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suited to left-handers
-
Not good for big projects
Buy it if

✅ You’re chopping small trees or logs: With a 12-inch bar, the DeWalt 20V MAX XR DCCS620P1 is designed to cut limbs or logs that are less than a foot in length and nothing more.

✅ You value safety features: This chainsaw has a chain brake and a two-trigger system, so you should feel safe and secure even if it’s your first time using a chainsaw.

✅ You don’t have much storage space: Weighing only 9 lbs and with a bar size of just 12 inches, this model should fit into your tool shed even if you are short on space. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to slice through thick trees: If it’s possible that you may need to cut through wood more than 12 inches in width, you might want to err on the side of caution and invest in a chainsaw with a longer bar.

❌ You want great battery life: For big projects lasting an afternoon or morning, look elsewhere. This chainsaw only has a 20V battery, which needs charging more regularly than a 40V or 60V.

You’re looking for lots of power: While the chainsaw is surprisingly powerful considering that it only has a 20V battery, it’s limited.

The bottom line

🔎 The DeWalt 20V MAX XR DCCS620P1 Battery Chainsaw is surprisingly powerful considering it has a small 20V battery. For small jobs, it cuts efficiently just as long as the limbs or trees are less than a foot in diameter. ★★★★

The DeWalt 20V MAX XR DCCS620P1 Battery Chainsaw proves that your chainsaw doesn’t have to be heavy-duty to do a good job. With a 20V battery and a small 12-inch bar, it won’t be able to handle limbs larger than 12 inches but otherwise, it cuts smoothly and powerfully.

Features: The first thing you’ll notice (as we did) about the DeWalt 20V MAX XR DCCS620P1 is that it’s smaller than most battery-powered chainsaws. It’s lightweight and easy to store as a result. The ergonomic handles are designed for right-handed people rather than left-handed people. There’s also an easy-to-use built-in chain tension tool incorporated into the design.

The 12-inch bar is designed for the typical backyard chainsaw user who only deals with small trees, bushes or chopping firewood rather than professionals who want to cut through larger trees. In terms of safety features, the chainsaw has a chain brake and a two-button safety feature. We found that one main downside with its design is that the body is constructed from hard plastic, a material which is not as durable as metal.

Performance: Weighing just 9 lbs, this chainsaw is incredibly lightweight. This is great if your tool shed is far from the pruning or felling site. On test, our reviewer found that it easily cut through logs that are four, six or eight inches long. Despite having a small battery, the chainsaw also cuts efficiently and quickly, only faltering when the limb is too large (over 12 inches long). We recorded a noise reading of 88 dB, which is pretty much the same as the noise of a car. 

Value: The DeWalt 20V MAX XR DCCS620P1 Battery Chainsaw costs as little as $246 from retailers like Amazon, ACE, and Home Depot, although chain oil must be purchased separately. There are cheaper chainsaws available which are also larger or more powerful.

Read our full DeWalt 20V MAX XR DCCS620P1 Battery Chainsaw review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
FeaturesVery lightweight and compact chainsaw but it has a small battery.★★★★
PerformanceGood for small jobs but not cut out for bigger yard work.★★★★
Value Cheaper options are available with similar features and more power.★★★

The best chainsaw for cutting through thick wood

The best chainsaw for cutting through thick wood, and it's a good option for those who prefer to cut with gas

Specifications

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
Buy it if

✅ Speed is of the essence: 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.

✅ You want flexibility and portability: The Echo CS-310-14 is a gas-powered chainsaw, so you're not limited by cord lengths or battery run times.

✅ You have regular garden maintenance: During testing, this chainsaw coped well with clearing a garden of hard cherry tree stumps and overgrown bushes. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You need a long guide bar: The Echo CS-310-14 Chainsaw's 14-inch guide bar is adequate, but not the longest you can buy.

❌ You're a chainsaw beginner:  If you aren’t going to use the Echo CS-310-14 regularly or don’t have a lot of experience with chainsaws, you may want a more manageable model.

You want a quiet chainsaw: This Echo chainsaw is loud. It reached 90 decibels, which is equivalent to a subway train or a concert.

The bottom line

🔎 The Echo CS-310-14 is light and starts quickly, making it great for professionals, power tool lovers, and rural homeowners. It also provides the power to cut through thick wood. ★★★★

The Echo CS-310-14 is a powerful standard gas-powered saw. The 14-inch bar is strong enough to fall trees, but the tool is small enough to store in a garage. 

Features: Its 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, though, and 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. 

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.

Performance: 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 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. Despite the bar not being the longest you can buy, we never felt that we needed any more length when we were using it to cut lumber or doing other yard work with it.

Value: While this is one of the best chainsaws in this category, we found that 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 noting 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.

Read our full Echo CS-310-14 review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
FeaturesIt's marginally weaker than other chainsaws on this list but it delivers enough muscle to cut through wood quickly and smoothly.★★★★
PerformanceThis chainsaw coped well with clearing a garden of hard cherry tree stumps and overgrown bushes.★★★★
ValueThis is one of the best chainsaws but it may be overkill if you’re not a regular user.★★★★

The best entry-level chainsaw

Best affordable easy to use chainsaw

Specifications

Power type: Corded electric
Bar size: 16"
Weight: 8.5lbs
Battery capacity/fuel tank volume: Mains
Engine power: 12Amp
Noise: Quiet

Reasons to buy

+
Decent 16-inch reach
+
Affordable price
+
Very easy to setup and use

Reasons to avoid

-
Slower than some
-
Not ideal for thicket lumber
Buy it if

✅ You want value for money: Due to the fact it's an electric saw, once you've bought the Homelite UT43122B there aren’t any fuel costs (aside from electricity) to worry about.

✅ You need a comfortable chainsaw: The Homelite UT43122B is a very lightweight chainsaw, making it ideal for overhead jobs or for anyone with injuries.

✅ You're a beginner: Electric saws are much easier to start than gas-powered models, and this chainsaw is lightweight and ergonomic for new users. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You have large jobs: The Homelite UT43122B is perfect for small jobs but not suited to larger jobs with thicker lumber.

❌ You need portability: Its corded design can restrict how and where you use this chainsaw, and you need to have a power source nearby.

❌ You're heavy-handed: Pushing this chainsaw too hard will almost certainly damage the saw and could even be dangerous, so it needs to be used with care. 

The bottom line

🔎 The Homelite UT43122B is a great example of an entry-level chainsaw that offers ease of use, a decent length cut, and a lightweight, held back only but its top power output is slower than some.  ★★★★

The Homelite UT43122B is a very easy to set up and use chainsaw. It uses corded mains power, which will limit your range without extension cords. But with a decent length of cut and the lightweight build, we found it to be a pleasure to use. Just don't attempt much thicker lumber, as this won't have the power to cut at speed.

Features: The Homelite UT43122B chainsaw is a very lightweight model that's super simple to use. This makes it ideal both for beginners and for those who may have injuries or issues with working a larger model. 

Thanks to a decent 16-inch guide bar, you have a large cutting potential, although putting all that into one thick piece of lumber may leave you wanting power as this can run on the slower side compared to more expensive or gas models.

Expect an easy setup (as we did) with clear instructions and simple use. Fill with oil, plug in, and you're good to go. It's also very easy to pack away and store without taking up too much room or leaving a smell.

Performance: We found that the Homelite UT43122B is fine for small to medium lumber and will cut with relative quiet compared to some models. The lightweight also makes it helpful for higher cuts, which heavier models might make painful on your back or shoulders.

While this can make a larger cut, going through a 6x6 piece of lumber in our testing, it did so slower than some. This made that cut in 16 seconds, quite a bit more than the gas models that will do it in under 10 seconds. But if you're in no rush, this can do the job and leave you with little maintenance, noise or smell, and few ongoing costs.

Value: It might not be a chainsaw for all jobs or last forever, but it’s a very good beginner pick, and at under $100, it’s good value for money.

Read our full Homelite UT43122B review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
FeaturesThe Homelite UT43122B is a lightweight, easy-to-use electric chainsaw with enough grunt to manage domestic jobs, but has limitations in terms of its corded design and power. ★★★
PerformanceThis chainsaw is perfect for general yard work, but you will need a more powerful gas saw for anything more serious★★★
ValueThe Homelite UT43122B is an excellent, affordable entry-level chainsaw for the novice user★★★★★

The best value gas-powered chainsaw

The best value gas-powered chainsaw

Specifications

Power type: Gas chainsaw
Bar size: 16” bar
Weight: 11.6lb
Battery capacity/fuel tank volume: 16.9oz
Engine power: 38.2cc engine
Noise: 113db

Reasons to buy

+
Super smooth to operate
+
Starts well

Reasons to avoid

-
Shorter reach
-
Engine can cut at full
Buy it if

✅ You want an easy-to-use saw: The Husqvarna 240 has an easy-start system that makes it easy to get going.

✅ You want power for a low price: This isn't the cheapest, but for impressive power and a great brand name, it's of great value.

✅ You want a comfy chainsaw: The anti-vibration and shock absorber system makes this a very smooth and comfortable-to-use model.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You have hearing problems: The noise this chainsaw makes might be an issue for some people as it reaches 113 decibels when in use.

❌ You want a low-maintenance saw: Although it has an auto-oil feature, this saw requires a bit of maintenance, but it comes with tools to assist.

You want to gun it: The Husqvarna 240 is powerful, but when at full grunt, it did cut out a few times in testing.

The bottom line

🔎 The Husqvarna 240 represents great value for money with a powerful and comfy-to-use chainsaw that comes from a brand known to last.  ★★★★

The Husqvarna 240 is a good budget chainsaw for the newbie who wants a good introduction to gas-powered saws. 

Features: The Husqvarna 240 runs on a 38cc motor, which sounds smaller than some, but then it's powering a 16-inch bar length, so that works out as plenty of power for medium to larger cuts.

The anti-vibration system and shock absorbers work really well at this price point, giving you a professional level of comfort in use. That makes this an ideal model for longer periods of use where you might otherwise struggle with feedback.

This is very easy to start and relatively easy to maintain, too. Thanks to the X-Torq engine, it will also use up minimal fuel, making it a good value in the long term.

Performance: The Husqvarna 240 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 Husqvarna 240's main downside is that it can cut out when at full power. Thankfully, it's easy to get started again, but it can still be an annoyance if you're using this for longer periods and don't want to keep on restarting.

Value: This isn't the cheapest, but for the brand, the power and performance, and all that comfort, it does represent a great value-for-money option.

Read our full Husqvarna 240 review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
FeaturesA low fuel use, powerful and easy-to-start chainsaw that lacks some key features.★★★★
PerformanceThis is suitable for any yard, and any task but its heavy.★★★★
ValueDespite the relatively low price, this saw offers a lot of power but it lacks some safety features as a result.★★★

The best lightweight cordless chainsaw

The best lightweight cordless chainsaw

Specifications

Power type: Battery
Bar size: 12”
Weight: 10.4 lbs
Battery capacity/ fuel tank volume: 40 V
Noise: 87 dB

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and compact
+
Great battery life
+
Built-in chain tension tool

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow to cut
-
Battery charging takes 4-5 hours
Buy it if

✅ Your yard work involves small limbs and trees: For limbs or trees less than 12 inches in width, the BLACK + DECKER 40V Max 12-inch Cordless Chainsaw is an effective chainsaw.

✅ You want a compact model: Lightweight and compact, this chainsaw is easy to store even if you’re limited on space. It also weighs just over 10.4 lbs, making it lighter to carry than other options.

✅ You only want to spend a couple hundred dollars: It may not be the best choice for heavy-duty yard work, but if you only want to spend a couple hundred dollars on a tool that will help with lighter yard tasks, it's a good option.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to prune all day: This battery-powered chainsaw is limited by its battery life. Then, it takes 4-5 hours to fully charge again.

❌ You’re all about power: You’ll sometimes need to maneuver and push this chainsaw through thick limbs, as it’s not the most powerful chainsaw in our round-up.

You want to work very efficiently: The chainsaw takes several seconds longer to cut through trees and limbs compared to other chainsaws we have reviewed. If you’re pressed on time, this will make your projects take longer.

The bottom line

🔎 The BLACK + DECKER 40V Max 12-inch Cordless Chainsaw is a lightweight chainsaw which can slowly and steadily cut through limbs or trees up to 12 inches in width. It’s a good pick for people who deal with odd bits of light yard work, rather than long sessions ahead of them. ★★★★

Light tasks are no problem for the BLACK + DECKER 40V Max 12-inch Cordless Chainsaw. This compact, lightweight chainsaw may not be designed for heavy yard work, but its 12-inch bar is perfectly capable of cutting through trees or limbs up to 12 inches in width.

Features: In terms of build, the chainsaw is very lightweight, weighing just 10.4 lbs. That’ll be due to it only having a 12-inch bar and a single 40V battery. The battery lasts well, but it takes 4-5 hours to charge, something to bear in mind if you want to use it for a full morning or afternoon. The oil container is also quite small, requiring regular refills.

A two-trigger system must be activated to power on the chainsaw, an important safety features along with the chain brake. The chain brake only engages when the chainsaw kicks back. You can’t switch it on manually if you want to set down the machine for a second.

Performance: Despite having a 40V battery, the BLACK + DECKER 40V Max 12-inch Cordless Chainsaw isn’t as quick to cut through trees and limbs as other more powerful chainsaws. It takes 3 to 4 seconds longer than some, which might not be very noticeable at first but adds up over the course of a few hours. The 12-inch bar is also small, meaning you’re limited with what you can do if you want to cut through larger trees and limbs.

During testing, we found that the chainsaw let out an average level of noise (87 dB) and didn’t vibrate excessively. It sliced slowly and steadily, rather than quickly. It also required some elbow grease, needing to be pushed through limbs at times. It’s less suitable for long periods of work, due to the force and effort required.

Value: BLACK + DECKER is a recognisable brand, known for its quality chainsaw builds. Even so, this model only costs $218.99 directly or as little as $169.95 on Amazon and Walmart. Compared against other battery-powered chainsaws, it’s quite affordable, but you need to remember that it’s not as powerful and can’t cut through the same density as other models.

Read our full BLACK + DECKER 40V Max 12-inch Cordless Chainsaw review

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
FeaturesSmall and compact, with good safety features but the battery takes a while to recharge.★★★★
PerformanceNeeds some assistance and cuts slowly but steadily.★★★
ValueAn affordable choice, even if it lacks some power.★★★★

How we tested the best chainsaws

How we test the best chainsaws

We like to be through with our testing here at Top Ten Reviews, and we're on a mission to ensure that all the products featured in our buyer's guide have been vetted and reviewed by one of our experts.

When reviewing chainsaws, we assess everything that you could possibly need and want to know. From setting up the chainsaw to trying it out on trunks and branches, we're here to share with you our honest end-to-end experience of using the chainsaws so you can make an informed purchase decision.

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. 

Find out more about how we test

reviewing chainsaws for top ten reviews

Left to right: Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 48-Volt IONMAX, Husqvarna Power Axe 350i Cordless,  DeWalt 20V MAX XR DCCS620P1 (Image credit: Future / Alex Temblador)

How to choose the best chainsaw for you

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.

Chainsaw 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 to $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.