Buying a chainsaw on a budget? $300 is a good amount to spend on a chainsaw to get a quality model. I have taken the time to review and compare chainsaw models in this price class to find the best ones so you don’t have.
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My top overall pick is the Husqvarna 440E. This is the best overall, a versatile, high quality and reliable gas powered chainsaw from a world renowned brand.
This is the best chainsaw for under $300 dollars.
Finding the right chainsaw for your needs can be a very difficult process. Luckily, we are here to make it simple and help you make the right pick.
We compared many chainsaws under $300 from the three different types: gas powered, electric corded and battery powered. Here are the results we got. A budget of $300 was chosen because that is what most people want to spend to get a good chainsaw.
Best gas-powered chainsaw [under $300] – our top rated pick
Looking for the best gas powered chainsaw under $300 dollars? This is our top pick!
The Husqvarna 440E – since we are talking about a model from the famous manufacturer Husqvarna, there is no doubt that this model is one of the best machines you can find on the market today. The Husqvarna 440E has chain bar of 16” and features tool-less chain tensioning. It weighs nearly 10 pounds, so we can classify it as a lightweight machine. However, apart from fast cutting logs and limbs, this chainsaw is capable of taking down smaller trees. It is very comfortable to hold and you can use it with ease.
But what makes this model better than any other in its category?
It is the quality, versatility and reliability of the brand and particularly this model that make it the best choice under $300.
What else is different about this model? You won’t believe it, but it is the air filter. What so special about it? It has a quick release so you don’t need to care about air replacement. It has an engine of 40.9 cc and we can easily say that it is an all-around chainsaw. Another great advantage is that it is fuel efficient and it has reduced emission levels. It is easy to start and even easier to handle, so it is definitively worth buying. Its price is at the top of the ‘under $300’ range, but it is a great quality machine with great features. These are the reasons why this machine has a rating of 4.3 stars and is our top pick overall and for a gas powered chainsaw under $300.
Related: Husqvarna chainsaws
Best electric corded chainsaw [under $300] – our top rated pick
Want the best electric corded chainsaw under $300? This is our pick!
Makita UC3551A – without any doubts, this is the best corded chainsaw you can find on the market. Makita is one of the oldest manufacturers of chainsaws, so it is clear why they deserve a place on our list.
But what is so great about this one? Why is this model better than any other corded chainsaw?
This is top quality cordless chainsaw from a world renowned chainsaw manufacturing brand Makita.
First of all, it uses metal gears, completely different from other chainsaws that are using plastic ones. The chain can be adjusted and you don’t need to worry about any potential injuries thanks to the anti-kickback system.
It is great for beginners, as you can’t overload it and cause damage to it thanks to the system that prevents burnouts. When we talk about power, the engine power is 14.5 amp, combined with a 14” chain bar, you get the most convenient corded chainsaw. It weighs a bit more than 15 pounds, it cuts very fast and is a great machine for cutting and trimming. When we combine everything, we can say that this is the best corded chainsaw for sure.
But, not everything is so perfect. Then, what kind of issues can you expect from it? Similar to the previous model, the oil replacement. Here you don’t get a bottle with the saw, so you will need to buy it as an additional. For some may the price be a problem, but even though this is the most expensive model, it is definitively the best one, so since you are buying quality, you shouldn’t care about that. Also, it has the highest rating with 4.6 out of 5 stars and is our top pick for an electric corded chainsaw and it is under $300.
Related: Makita chainsaws
Best battery-powered chainsaw [under $300] – our top rated pick
Here is our best pick for a battery powered chainsaw under $300.
The Black+Decker LCS 1240 – excellent chainsaw powered by 40v battery. If you have used any other Black+Decker battery powered tool, you know how great their batteries are. It is easy to handle, as it weighs an only bit over 10 pounds, but a very powerful machine.
So, why is this the best battery powered chainsaw under $300?
Black+Decker are known for their battery powered tools. This battery chainsaw is great quality and has one of the best power to weight ratio among all battery-powered chainsaws.
So, as a lightweight chainsaw, you won’t be able to cut big woods, but small trees with 8 inches in diameter and small branches would be perfect for this model. Since it is using a battery as a power source, the time you are able to use it is determined by the intensity of using it. It has a chain bar of 12” that cuts wood easily and very fast and of course, we can’t forget about the tool-free tensioning feature.
This is ultimately the best battery-powered chainsaw you can find. With a full wrap-around handle you will be able to operate with it without getting tired. The problem with the battery life can be solved easily, this company sells chargers that can fully charge your battery for only 40 minutes. Limbing, pruning, felling small trees -all of these activities are just one part of what this lightweight machine is capable of.
This saw has received a lot of positive feedback from users. We are giving it a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. With a price of over $200, it may not be a budget machine, but with the performance you are getting, it is a machine definitively worth every penny of its price. Comparing to other models, we can easily say that the Black+Decker LCS 1240 is the best battery-powered chainsaw available on the market.
|Model||Type||Rating||Power||Weight||Chain bar length||Price|
|Remington RM 4216
||gas||4.3||42 cc||22 lbs||16”||$$ mid price|
||gas||4.3||40.9 cc||9.78 lbs||16”||$$$ expensive price|
|Poulan Pro 5020Av
||gas||4||50 cc||10 lbs||20”||$$ mid price|
||gas||3.7||38.2cc||10.3 lbs||16”||$$ mid price|
|XtremepowerUS Gas chainsaw
||gas||3.8||45cc||16 lbs||22”||$$ mid price|
||corded||4.2||14.5 amp||11 lbs||16”||$ cheaper price|
||corded||4.4||15 amp||11.3 lbs||18”||$ cheaper price|
||corded||4.6||14.5 amp||15.15 lbs||14”||$$ mid price|
||corded||4.1||15 amp||12.6 lbs||18”||$$ mid price|
|Sun Joe SWJ 701E
||corded||4||14 amp||9.7 lbs||18”||$ cheaper price|
|Scotts S20510 SYNC
||battery||4.1||20 V||6.5 lbs||10”||$$ mid price|
|GreenWorks 201312 Digi Pro G-MAX
||battery||4.4||40V||6.9 lbs||16”||$$$ expensive price|
|WORX WG 320
||battery||4.5||20V||11.68 lbs||6”||$$$ mid price|
||battery||4.6||18V||8.8 lbs||12”||$$ mid price|
|Black+Decker LCS 1240
||battery||4.5||40V||10.4 lbs||12”||$$$ expensive price|
What are good gas chainsaw options [under $300]
We will start our list with some great gas-powered chainsaws. With a gas powered chainsaw, you get superior power than electric or battery chainsaws. If you have a big cutting job, especially one far from a power socket then a gas powered chainsaw is what you want. You get much more horsepower and cutting torque with a gas-powered chainsaw than an electric or battery will provide.
Gasoline chainsaws are much more mobile, too. You don’t need a plug-in power source for a gas saw. This means you can work freely far away from a generator or outlet and not worry about a cumbersome extension cord.
It has a 2-stroke engine of 42cc, offering great power and durability. The QuickStart feature makes the starting even faster and easier. This model comes with a 16” bar, that cuts branches and wood easily.
Since is a big and powerful chainsaw, you are probably wondering how it deals with the vibration.
Well, it has an anti-vibration system combined with a special wrap handle, so you will enjoy while operating it.
You can even use it for hours, without getting tired. It is very comfortable and easy to use, you definitively need to consider this one. Plus, it has an automatic oiler, so the chain will be always in good lubricated condition, something that would cause you worries if it didn’t have this feature. It weighs 22 pounds, and it is a great choice if trimming and pruning medium and large branches are the main activities you are going to use it for. According to the quality you are getting, the price is good value and expected. This model, not surprisingly, gets great customer feedback. The Remington RM 4216 for sure it is one of the best chainsaws available for under $300. See more customer reviews and buy the Remington RM 4216 on Amazon.
- Chainsaw for the suburban homeowner
- Designed for medium to large sized branches
- Ergonomic design
- QucikStart technology
- handy carrying case
|Quick start||limited to pruning and trimming|
Every chainsaw person knows the famous manufacturer Husqvarna. There is no doubt that this Husqvarna 440E model is one of the best machines you can find on the market today. Just like the previous Remington RM 4216 model, the Husqvarna 440E has chain bar of 16” but also features tool-less chain tensioning. It weighs nearly 10 pounds, so we can classify it as a lightweight machine. However, apart from fast cutting logs and limbs, this chainsaw is capable of taking down small trees. It is very comfortable and you can use it with ease. But what makes this model better than any other in its category? You won’t believe it, but it is the air filter. What so special about it? It has a quick release so you don’t need to worry about difficulty accessing your air filter to clean or replace it. It has an engine of 40.9 cc and we can easily say that it is a good all-around chainsaw. Another great advantage is that it is fuel efficient and it has reduced emission levels. It is easy to start and even easier to handle, so it is definitively worth a try. This is our top-rated pick for a gas powered chainsaw under $300! Read customer reviews and get the Husqvarna 440E on Amazon.
- Tool-less chain tensioning
- Air filter with quick release
- Great durability
|Lightweight, all around chainsaw||Limited to small trees cutting|
|Air replacement system|
Related: What is a rick of firewood
We talked about this great machine in one of our previous reviews, mentioning it as one of the best budget chainsaws. The Poulan company is owned by Husqvarna, so you don’t need to worry about the quality of the parts, as both companies are using the same parts.
This chainsaw is designed for cutting large trees, which is no problem thanks to the powerful engine of 50 cc. However, it weighs 10 pounds so it may not be the best pick when it comes to pruning and limbing. You can use it for that, but you will see that it will be very tiring. Of course, it has an anti-vibration system, so you can use it for longer periods, but only for the right activities.
The 20” chain bar is capable of more than you can even imagine. It is easy to start you will need only a few pulls, it has a combined stop/choke control and easy to handle and operate with it. It has reduced fuel consumption, but you get the same power, so it is definitively one of the best gas-powered chainsaws available on the market. It is a good quality but budget price chainsaw which is why we have given it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. Check customer feedback and buy the Poulan Pro PP5020AV on Amazon.
- OxyPower technology
- Effortless starting system
- Combi tool
- Combined choke/stop control
|Powerful||Not suitable for pruning and limbing|
We are back again with another model from Husqvarna, this time a model better for smaller or lighter jobs. It is well suited for pruning and lighter cutting, thanks to the engine of 38.2 cc. The engine is a bit loud, but it is very powerful for the engine size and with a chain bar of 16”, we can easily say that it is capable of many tasks.
The Husqvarna 240 is a very small machine, compared to other chainsaws with the same cubic capacity this one really stands out. Small and compact, that means easier handling, and no problems when operating it with hours. It weighs only 10.3 pounds, making it a lightweight chainsaw. Smaller machines have less vibration, so you can use it for longer periods and still don’t end up being exhausted.
It has a special feature for kickback prevention or reducing the risk of kickback. Another great advantage of this model is that is quite durable, which means with right maintenance it will last longer and it won’t need any servicing. It is a serious competition to every model in this category, although it has a bit lower powered than some other gas powered saws which is why we have given it a rating of 3.7 out of 5 stars. The price is great, and this machine is worth every penny of it. Read customer feedback and buy it on Amazon.
- Side-mounted chain tensioner
- Combined choke/stop control
- Maximum speed 9000 rpm
I guess you are now wondering, what is this? It is not a famous manufacturer like the previous chainsaws we talked about. Well, you should definitively see this. The Xtremepower US Gas chainsaw is a very powerful chainsaw with an engine of 45 cc, weighing 16 pounds.
But what is so special about it?
We have talked about models with similar specifications before. This model comes with a longer chain bar at 22″ long. This is great for sawing through bigger trees or logs. It also has a bit different air system that prevents the dust from going inside the engine.
Some users have reported that if you have too much oil in the fuel or leave the mixed fuel too long and some evaporates, it is prone to clogging up carburetor with this sticky fuel. So, if your chainsaw stalls when you are using, that means that you should clean your carburetor. Plus, it has a chain brake which has proven to be very efficient.
Another thing that makes it different from the other models, is that it has an ‘ecosystem’, that reduces toxic exhaust emissions. It is also fuel efficient, and like many modern machines, it has both anti-kickback and anti-vibration features that make the operating it very easy. All in all, it may not be the best chainsaw that you can find, but it has good customer feedback and it is great gas-powered chainsaw that you really need to check it out. The price is reasonable and what you get for it is definitively worth it. See more customer feedback and buy it on Amazon.
- Comes with a longer 22″ chain bar
- Clean air-intake system
- Mechanical chain brake
- EcoBoost engine
- Anti- kickback system
|Kickback prevention||Carburetor prone to clogging up|
Related: How many logs in a cord of firewood
What are good electric corded chainsaw options [under $300]
Enough of the gas-powered models, let’s take a look at something different. So, from now on, we move to corded chainsaws.
Electric corded chainsaws are lighter than gas powered saws. This can make them easier and less tiring to use. There is also no mess of mixing gas with oil and breathing the engine exhaust fumes. Starting an electric saw is also really easy. There is no pulling a cord or anything like that, just push the button and it is on and then release the button and it is off.
Here are the best electric corded chainsaws under $300:
The WORX WG303.1 chainsaw is one great representative of this type of machine. It is a model very popular among people who do not use their chainsaw often. This Chinese brand has succeeded in producing one of the greatest cheap electrical chainsaws, that is very easy to handle.
So what is good about it?
Everything is automated, so you don’t need to adjust anything on your machine.
WORX has taken the anti-kickback feature to another level, as the chainsaw stops immediately in order to prevent any damage. It has a great design with a wrap handle, so you can use it for longer periods without getting tired. It weighs 11 pounds, which is quite similar to the previous models.
With the 16” chain bar you will be able to tackle anything that is considered a small or a medium duty task, really fast. It is a very popular chainsaw that almost anyone can afford, with a price even lower than $100 it is a low investment for someone that only needs a cheap saw for occasional use. Since we know that electric chainsaws are a bit expensive, this is good news for every household that needs an electric chainsaw, so it is a great choice for anyone who needs a chainsaw but their budget is limited. This machine is a very good high-quality chainsaw and good value for money especially considering the price. Check customer feedback and buy from Amazon.
- Great cutting performance
- Auto-tensioning system
- Automatic oil lubrication
- Low kickback bar
|Great value||Not recommended for heavy duties|
|Easy to handle|
The WORX WG304.1 chainsaw is like an updated version of the previous model. This version is bigger and more powerful by 0.5 amperes.
Why is this model better than the previous?
Well, it has some great features you should really take a look at. For example, the tool-free chain replacement and the auto-tensioning system change the way you maintain it and operate with the chainsaw. That means fewer problems for you, and more focus on the supercuts by this chainsaw with a chain bar of 18”. Also, we need to mention the chain brake, as one of the best safety features ever made. In case of kickback, the chain stops at the moment it occurs preventing any injuries.
However, not everything perfect. Yes, we said that this is a great machine, but it has one big disadvantage and that is – oil replacement. With buying this model, you will only get one small bottle, and you will need to lubricate your chainsaw often, so remember to buy an additional bottle. All in all, a great machine weighing 11.3 pounds and very easy to handle.
Again, the price for this amazing and durable chainsaw is below the $100 mark and with great customer feedback, this should be enough to convince you to buy it if you want a corded chainsaw. Read customer feedback and buy it on Amazon.
- Auto-tension chain system
- Automatic oil lubrication
- You get it fully assembled
|Tool-free chain replacement||Needs often lubrication|
Without any doubts, this is the best corded chainsaw you can find on the market. Makita is one of the oldest manufacturers of chainsaws, so it is clear why they deserve a place on our list.
But what is so great about this one? Why is this model better than any other?
Apart from being a high quality well built chainsaw by a wold renowned chainsaw manufacturer. First of all, it uses metal gears, completely different from other chainsaws that are using plastic ones. The chain can be adjusted and you don’t need to worry about any potential injuries thanks to the anti-kickback system.
It is great for beginners and pros alike, as you can’t overload it and cause damage to it thanks to the system that prevents burnouts. When we talk about power, the engine power is 14.5 amp, combined with a 14” chain bar, you get the most convenient corded chainsaw. It weighs a bit more than 15 pounds, it cuts very fast and is a great machine for cutting and trimming. When we combine everything, we can say that this is the best corded chainsaw for sure.
But, not everything is perfect. So, what kind of issues can you expect from it? Similar to the previous model, the oil replacement. Here you don’t get an oil bottle, so you will need to buy it separately. For some people the price may be a problem, but even though this is the most expensive model, it is definitively the best one, so since you are buying quality, you should expect to pay for it. Also, as expected customer feedback about this model is very positive. Read customer reviews and buy it on Amazon.
- Tool-less chain adjustments
- Soft grip handle
- A big oil reservoir
|Prevents burnouts & damage||No oil bottle|
There is no way to create a list of best chainsaws without mentioning a model from a great company like Oregon.
You maybe won’t believe in this, but many chainsaw users haven’t even heard about this model.
We are not really sure what is the reason behind that, but what we are sure of is that this is a very durable machine.
The chain bar at 18” is great for any household, and here comes the interesting part – you don’t need to worry about sharpening this chainsaw. Sounds unreal, but it is true, this model has a special sharpening system, so all you need to do is pull the sharpening lever and you get a sharpened chain.
With 15 amps, the Oregon CS1500 is as powerful as other chainsaws of its type. It is a silent machine, that cuts fast, so you won’t have problems with your neighbours too. It is considered as a lightweight machine with a weight of nearly 13 pounds, and has an ergonomic design. As a quality chainsaw with a mid-price, you should definitively take a look at it before making your pick. Check out customer feedback and buy on Amazon.
- Self-sharpening chains system
- Tool-less chain tensioning system
- Low vibration
- Integrated chain brake for safety
We will end the corded chainsaws with another manufacturer that is underrated but produces great machines definitively worth a mention. The purpose of this company was to create a low-cost machine that has features many expensive chainsaws have. It is a very small, but a compact chainsaw, a lightweight model that weighs below the 10 pound mark. Surprisingly, it is very powerful, at 14 amps, and weird for a corded machine, it is very mobile. It is best for trimming and pruning.
So, what is good about the Sun Joe SWJ 701E?
You can use it for hours without feeling tired thanks to its lightweight ergonomic design. Plus, there is one feature that we can’t forget to mention – the self-lubricating system. Yes, it is hard to believe that this low-budget chainsaw has something like that.
However, you will need to take a look at the oil level regularly, especially if you use it for longer periods. Like the previous models, you will need to buy chain oil, as this model doesn’t come with any.
What you do need to take care is the chain adjustment, as it needs to be tight enough as you don’t want it to come off. This is one of the cheapest corded chainsaws available and the cheapest on our best of list. So if you want a chainsaw for you, but don’t have hundreds of dollars, then this is the right choice for you. It has positive customer feedback and a price below hundred dollars. If you still didn’t find your favourite model, then you should check out the Sun Joe SWJ 701E on Amazon.
- Best for limbs and logs
- Self-lubricating chain and bar
- Maximum comfort
|Low budget||No oil bottle|
Related: Ranking firewood
What are good battery-powered chainsaw options [under $300]
We are now moving to another type, battery-powered chainsaws. A battery powered saw is like a corded one but you are not limited to the length of your power cord. This makes a battery powered saw great for portability but limited by the charge you have in the battery.
The Scotts S20510 SYNC, it is a 20V chainsaw, which means you won’t be able to take down trees. However, with its 10” bar, it is the perfect model for limbing and pruning. There is no lighter chainsaw than this in our list, with a weight of 6.5 pounds.
The operating and handling couldn’t be easier than this, plus it helps you with the organization of your workplace. It has a wall-mounted charger, designed so good that also look really good on your wall. You can take it wherever you go, as the battery can last up to 2 hours.
But what if I don’t want to use the chainsaw for a longer period, and I can’t finish for under 2 hours?
Well, you can choose to change the batteries or use a charger that will fully charge your batteries for about 45 minutes.
We also said that battery-powered chainsaws are more expensive than other types, but at a price of a bit more than hundred dollars is really fair for what you get. Combine that with its great customer feedback, and you get one of the best battery-powered households machines. Check out the customer feedback on Amazon.
- Dual charging system
- 20V hour battery
- Push button oiler
|Interesting design||Limited use(battery life)|
|Lightweight||Not recommended for heavy duties|
|Wall- mounted charger|
This is one of the best battery-powered, because it has so much power people often compare it to the power of a gas-powered one. It is a great machine designed for taking small tasks in your garden. Pruning and small branches cutting is what this model is made for, and with 6.9 pounds, we can easily say that handling this machine won’t be a problem.
What is good about this model?
The lightweight powerful 40V engine combined with a chain bar of 16” could be the right choice for your needs.
On the other hand, this tool has one big disadvantage, like any other battery-powered chainsaw. Yes, maybe you can guess what I am talking about, it is the power source. You can’t use it for longer periods because of the battery. The logic is – the harder you push, the faster the battery drains. So, you are not really limited by the time you use it, but by the amount of sawing you do. But no need to worry- the solution is simple and that is buy another battery, so you can replace it and continue working.
The good thing is, that this model is compatible with all GreenWorks batteries, so you can borrow one from other machines. To sum up, this may be a bit expensive chainsaw, but for the quality you get, the price is good. It has good customer feedback (check reviews and ratings on Amazon here), and without a doubt we can say that this is a chainsaw you definitively need to consider.
- up to 100 cuts in a single charge
- less vibration and more comfort
- chain brake
|Powerful||Battery drain issue|
This is something way different from what you have seen before. This model from WORX will completely change the way you look at chainsaws. If you didn’t find your favourite, maybe it is time to take a look at the WORX WG320.
So, let’s take a closer look why this is so special.
Well, it has a chain bar of only 6”, which is weird as it sounds. However, with the steel teeth, you will be able to cut any wood that is up to 4” in diameter and cut it directly on the ground. It is much safer than any other chainsaw, and it weighs less than 12 pounds, so it is easy to operate it. There is absolutely no risk of kickback, or chain damage.
It has a really cool design and an automatic oiler. It starts easy and quickly, with just a button push and the engine is powered by 20V. We cannot forget the auto-tensioning system, that every user will definitively love. It has a mid-price and very good customer feedback and ratings. Many users recommend it, so you need to give it a chance even though is very different from the ordinary chainsaw. Check out customer feedback here on Amazon.
- Steel chain teeth
- Auto-tension feature
- Automatic oiler
- Cover guards on the chain
|Great design||Limited to 4” wood|
|No risk of kickback|
People love trees, but most of us don’t have the equipment to take care of them. However, if you like having them in your garden, with this easy-handling machine you will be able to take care of them in a matter of minutes and give your yard a great look.
The Makita XCUO2Z engine is powered by two 18V batteries, that are sold separately and do not come together with the chainsaw. That is probably the biggest disadvantage of this Makita chainsaw, but there is a real reason why they don’t include it with the chainsaw. The batteries are compatible with other Makita models as well, so someone who already has the batteries for other Makita tools probably doesn’t want to buy more batteries. So, they decided sell the batteries separately.
It is a fast cutting chainsaw, with a 12” chain bar, and a really quick startup. Plus, it has an automatic oiling feature, so you don’t need to worry about lubing your machine. It weighs nearly 9 pounds and it is a very quiet machine. It has great customer feedback, reviews and incredible rating, and it is considered as a mid-price chainsaw. If you didn’t make your pick yet, maybe this battery-powered model is the one for you. Check it out and buy it on Amazon.
- Increased cutting speed, up to 1650 FPS
- Powered by 2 batteries
- Low noise
- Tool-less chain adjustments
|Easy-handling||Batteries are sold separately|
This is an excellent chainsaw powered by 40v battery. If you have used any other Black+Decker battery powered tool, you know how great their batteries are. It is easy to handle, as it weighs an only bit over 10 pounds, but a very powerful machine. So, as a lightweight chainsaw, you won’t be able to cut big pieces of wood, but small trees with 8 inches in diameter and small branches are handled perfectly by this model.
Since it is using a battery as a power source, the time you are able to use it is determined by the intensity of using it. It has a chain bar of 12” that cuts wood easily and very fast and of course, we can’t forget about the tool-free tensioning feature.
Why buy the Black + Decker LCS 1240?
This is ultimately the best battery-powered chainsaw you can find. It has one of the best weight to power ratio among all battery-powered chainsaws.
With a full wrap-around handle you will be able to operate with it without getting tired. The problem with the battery life can be solved easily, this company sells chargers that can fully charge your battery for only 40 minutes.
Limbing, pruning, felling small trees -all of these activities are just part of what this lightweight machine is capable of doing. With great customer feedback and a price of under $300 it is a machine definitively worth every penny of its price. Comparing to other models, we can easily say that the Black+Decker LCS 1240 is the best battery-powered chainsaw under $300 available on the market. Read customer feedback and buy on Amazon.
- Automatic oiling system
- Tool-free chain tensioning
- Full wrap around handle
- Fade-free performance
|Easy to handle||Battery draining fast|
|Tool-free tensioning feature|
Have you ever wondered what are the most important tools that deserve a place into your garage? What are the tools that make your life easier and help you in many aspects of your living?
If we start numbering, the list would be too long, so that is why we will stick to only one machine. A machine that every household must have, a machine capable of many activities and one of the most useful devices ever produced. Many of you guessed it right, we are going to talk about the chainsaw. So, without any more hesitation, let’s begin!
What is a chainsaw?
First of all, we need to define what this tool is, and more important, what is its usage. The most simple definition of it would be a portable tool, more precisely a saw, that is able to cut thanks to the “teeth” attached to a chain that is rotating. At first, this looks very simple, but chainsaws are much more complex machines with so many features that will help you a lot when operating with it.
This great machine can be used for much more activities than you actually thought. You have probably learned in school that a chainsaw is used for cutting down trees, but believe me, that is completely wrong. Bucking, limbing, felling, pruning, chopping firewood, this machine can offer you a huge variety of activities and help you with your daily tasks. You don’t need to be a professional sawyer, but you definitively need to have a chainsaw.
Do you know how to measure firewood?
How to choose the right model for me?
Let me take a guess – you want to buy a chainsaw, but you are not sure what to choose? I know the feeling, when I purchased my first chainsaw I asked myself the same questions over and over again. The market nowadays is full of chainsaws, many reliable manufacturers are offering machines with seemingly pretty similar features. Fortunately, now after years of experience with different models I have the answer and am willing to share that with you, and help you to make the right pick. You don’t need to know much about chainsaws because I do. What you need to know is what you will use it for. However, if you want to know more about chainsaws read on.
There are several types of chainsaws and here we will explain all of them. Basically, you will learn everything you need to know about each type in this section.
We will start with this type as it is very popular and probably the most used type of chainsaw. Many professional sawyers, but also people that do not use a chainsaw regularly, can say that this type is what everyone needs. The name of this type says that they are powered by gasoline. However, most of the machines of this type use 2-stroke engines, which means that they use a mix of gas and oil. The reason behind this is simple – gasoline runs the engine while the oil lubricates the parts preventing any damage. The 2- stroke engine we mentioned, is very powerful and because of it, you will be able to saw the wood very fast. They are very effective and better than any type, but here is the scary part – they have some disadvantages too.
These machines have a big engine, so they weigh more. Bigger weight makes them harder to operate, plus they produce a lot of noise. The last disadvantage is again result of the engine, and that is the vibration. But many models of this type have features that can reduce vibration. So, all in all, we can say that this type may be a great choice for you, especially if you are looking for a chainsaw for heavy duties. Also, take notice, gas-powered chainsaws are usually more expensive than electric corded ones.
What if you could replace the gas with another energy source? For example, what if you can combine a chainsaw with electricity? That is exactly the next type we are going to discuss. Since the electricity is the only power source they have, we can say that they are immobile. Unless you have a portable source of electricity, you won’t be able to move very far with your chainsaw. If we compare this to the previous type, it is not difficult to see that corded chainsaws are less powerful than the gas-powered, so they cannot handle big tasks. But if we make a comparison between corded and battery chainsaws, we will notice that the corded ones are much more powerful. Corded chainsaws are capable of small trees cutting, but are not very good with heavy duties.
However, there is one thing in which they are better than the gas-powered ones – that is there are no exhaust fumes from them. Since they have less powerful and less complicated engines, normally, they weigh less. In addition to this, they do not make much noise. Another advantage of this type is that corded chainsaws can be easily used by beginners. More precisely, corded chainsaws are a great option for beginners and are used for lighter chores. They are about two times cheaper than the gas-powered chainsaws.
|Immobile||Must be plugged in|
This type eliminates the need for a direct source like electricity in corded, or gas in gas-powered chainsaws. Instead of that, battery-powered chainsaws are run by batteries that need to be recharged from time to time. Just like you need electricity to run your corded chainsaw, and gas to run you gas-powered one, you need to keep your batteries charged so you can operate with your battery chainsaw.
The disadvantage here is that you might need to change the batteries in the middle of your work, which will definitively slow you down and take you more time. The logic says this – machines that are run by batteries cannot be as powerful as electric or gas-powered ones, and this is not an exception too. Battery powered chainsaws are designed for taking lighter tasks, for example for activities like pruning, trimming and limbing. Don’t be discouraged – you will be able to cut trees, but only small ones. When it comes to smaller tasks like these, battery chainsaws are much better than the previous two types we mentioned. Plus, smaller engine means that the machine will weigh less it will be easier to handle. So, if you plan to use your chainsaw from time to time, for small tasks, a battery-powered chainsaw is what your choice should be. Surprisingly, even though this type is less powerful and not good with bigger chores, battery-powered chainsaws are the most expensive type of chainsaws.
|Lightweight||Limited to lighter tasks|
|Mobile||Batteries need to be replaced|
|Less powerful||Can’t be used for longer periods|
This type of chainsaw do not require fuel nor electricity, but the only power source is your arms. Isn’t that too tiring? Actually, it is and it takes much effort and even after a short period of using it you will be exhausted. It can be found in almost every chainsaw supply store, or if you are an experienced sawyer you can build it by yourself. We don’t need to talk about power here since no human hands can substitute motorized chainsaws. There are much cheaper than every type we talked about before and you may even need to buy only a few accessories to make one. One use for a manual or hand chainsaw could be when back packing or camping but even then there are better options available like an axe or hatchet. Check out some great axes and hatchets for backpacking and camping here. If you do want to use a manual chainsaw you can find a good one here on Amazon.
|No noise||Manual use|
Well, this is not an actual chainsaw, but somehow it goes in this section as pole saws can substitute some of the tasks like other types. To define this, it is simply a saw attached to a pole, mostly used for trimming and prunning. They come in 3 versions – gas-powered, corded and battery-powered. The gas-powered are more powerful, but they are noisy. The electric ones don’t have this problem, but are less powerful and are more powerful than the battery-powered ones. As the normal saws prices go, the battery-powered pole saws are the most expensive, at the second position are the gas-powered and on the last place, the corded ones.
For a battery powered pole chainsaw we recommend the BLACK+DECKER LPP120.
For an electric corded pole saw we recommend the Remington RM1025SPS Ranger.
For a gas powered pole saw we recommend the Poulan Pro PP258TP.
|Many different versions||Limited to several activities|
Check out my ultimate review of the best battery powered and electric corded pole saws.
Parts and accessories
In this section, we will help you learn most of the chainsaw parts, as well as the accessories needed for efficiently and no-risk chainsaw running. Almost every part of the chainsaw can be replaced so it can improve the effect your chainsaw has. Enough of this, let’s begin with the parts!
Different tasks require different chainsaws. Lucky for you, there are tasks that can be done with just a chain replacement, so you won’t need a new machine. Saw chains come in huge variety of models, designed for different tasks, and there is always a chain that will help you according to the task you need it for. They come in many different sizes and thickness, so you just need to pick the one that suits your duty. We can divide the chains into several categories:
- low-profile – simple chains and easy for filling, and are one of the most used chains
- semi chisel – made up for cutting hardwood, and when in touch with softwood it goes very fast, but they are getting dull very quickly
- square chisel – these are the most professional and the fastest cutting chains, but they need frequent sharpening
As always, we would like to recommend you some products that you might like. So, take a look at our chains recommendations.
Oregon 91VXL062G – recommended saw size is up to 42cc, and the bar length is up to 18”
Oregon S56 -semi-chisel chain that can fit many different brands of chainsaws
Husqvarna 531300439 – low vibration chain, ideal for many models
As you probably know, bars are very important part of every chainsaw. Just like the chains, they come in many variants for many different models. If you don’t use the oil for the chain properly, you will damage your chainsaw, which you don’t want to happen. In case you were wondering how many types of bars there are, we will give you the answer below.
- Solid bars– dusty or sandy weather conditions, won’t be a problem for this bar type. They often come in sizes 30”-42”
- Solid bars with replacement tips – in order to reduce the load on the tip of the bar, using blade tips is a great solution as it will reduce the load on the bar. The can be found in sizes 24”-28”
- Laminated bars with nose wheel – these bars are smaller than other types, so they offer bigger control and lower percent of a possible kickback. They come in sizes 10”-20”
- TechLite – easy to handle and up to 18% lighter than any other chain bar. It is available in sizes 12”-14” and 12”-16.
- X-Fore Pro laminated bars – this is probably the highest productivity bar. It is very durable and easy to maintain, comes in three sizes of 15”, 18” and 20”.
NOTE: the last two bar types are unique bar types that are produced by Husqvarna, while the other types can be found from other manufacturers as well. In addition, here is what we recommend.
Husqvarna 531300440 – fits many Husqvarna models and it has a .050 inch gauge
Oregon CUTTING SYSTEMS 510124 – high-quality construction with a size 7/32”
Husqvarna 531300436 – ideal for professional users, with a .050 inch gauge and .325 inch pitch
There is one very important thing you need to remember – body safety is number one priority. Operating with the chainsaw requires some equipment and safety circumstances. You need to prepare the environment as well, but do not forget about the safety gear too. More precisely, by protective equipment, we talk about helmets, jackets, glasses, gloves, and footwear. Take a look at our recommendations.
Husqvarna helmet – we already mentioned what this company name means in the chainsaw equipment industry, so there is no need for further explanations why we made this pick
Husqvarna jacket – you can also try this jacket, as it offers great protection
Glasses are also an important part of your safety gear, and the good thing is that you can find them for as low as $10.
Husqvarna glasses – these are not only a cheap, but also a great quality piece of equipment
Gloves – when it comes to gloves, you will notice that there are many different types, so it is up to your personal choice and here are our picks
Erdodyne Proflex – suitable for lightweight machines
Youngstown gloves – great cut-resistant model
We cannot forget about boots, as another important part of your safety
Viking footwear – this may cost you a bit more, but it is definitively worth spending a bit more on it as operating with a saw may be dangerous without good quality boots.
Not only when using them, but even when chainsaws are not working, you need to be sure that they are in good condition. The first step in this, is finding a bag, or case for your chainsaw. There are different storage and carrying bags, so you can keep your machine intact, or carry it from one place to another. Whatever your choice is, make sure you check our recommendations. Check out these chainsaw cases.
In case you have chosen a battery-powered chainsaw, you are aware that battery life is the biggest issue with this type of machines. What you don’t want to happen is an empty battery or a chainsaw with no power in the middle of your session. So, in order to avoid situations like that, you need to get a charger or extra batteries. These solutions can solve your problems and you will be able to finish your task without worries of not having enough power.
Is that everything? Definitively, not! In order to complete this section, we need to talk a bit about chainsaw maintenance, as well as the equipment you need to have to keep your machine working properly. Stick with me here and you will learn several simple tricks that will prolong the life of your machine.
Most of you are probably not aware of how much your machine suffers if you do not follow the maintenance tips. It is true, you will need to spend some money and time, but that investment will save your machine from damaging and bigger expenses. The best part is that you can do everything on your own, following this simple tips. Most of the maintenance tips below are for gas powered models. Maintenance for electric corded and battery powered models is primarily cleaning and chain lubrication.
Use the manual
It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie, or a professional chainsaw operator, the manual will always help you. It has more than how to prepare and use your chainsaw, so you will find stuff like a step-by-step maintenance tutorial. In case your model doesn’t have something like that in the manual, you can visit a local service from the same manufacturer that should provide help.
What can go wrong?
In one of our previous articles, we explained what tools you need to have so you can clean, lube, and adjust your chainsaw. Even though, regularly doing this eliminates the risk of chainsaw problems, there is something more than this that you should take care of.
Guide bar groove
The chain is guided through the bar by a channel, which can cause you troubles. It can get clogged with saw dust, and if you continue using it, it can get nicked. What is the solution to this? It is very simple and straightforward, all you need to do is to remove the case cover, the chain, and the bar and clean the groove using a wire or a small screwdriver. You may need to file any nicks flat, and get everything as it was.
These ports can also cause troubles if they get clogged. The cleaning procedure is same as before, you clean them with a wire or small screwdriver.
After a period of using the chainsaw, you will notice that the sprocket is worn out. Your task would be checking the teeth, and if they are damaged, you will need to replace them.
When using the chainsaw, you may see that the cuts are a bit curved or that it is becoming harder and slower to cut. What should that mean? It is a sign that your chain needs sharpening. So, remove the chain of the bar, and look for any signs of damage. Next, you mount the chain and the bar and get ready for sharpening.
It is very probable that you will get the sharpening tools together with your machine. Below are some of the sharpening tools that we recommend. They may not be super cheap but they are quality tools and mostly come together as “sharpening kit”.
Oregon chain file – great tool designed for a 16’’ chain bar
Poulan Pro– flat file and depth gauge combo
Oregon – depth gauge and flat file combination
Sharpening your chainsaw isn’t something you should be afraid of, but it is a process that should be regularly done in order to maintain proper function of your chainsaw.
After every sharpening session, turn the chainsaw over. When you finish with sharpening, you will need to lubricate the chain. Before using lubricant, make sure the chain is clean and there is absolutely no sawdust on it. The process of lubricating is next – soak the chain in a bath of motor oil and leave it there overnight, or about 12 hours.
Most of the chainsaws have air-cooling systems, so you need to be sure that this system is functioning properly because if not, that can cause serious issues with your machine. Grime and dust may build up on the flywheel vanes or around them and you need to clean them as soon as possible. You will need kerosene and a small brush and maybe a narrow wooden blade to get into tight places. Remember one thing – the carburetor choke needs to be closed as you don’t want the dirt to get inside.
Spark plug and ignition
Gas-powered chainsaws have 2-stroke engines, a combination of gas and oil, which can foul spark plugs and cause you problem. How to solve it? Remove the plug, clean it with some gasoline and a brush then re-install it in your chainsaw. If it still does not work, take a look at the electrodes, they need to have a brown or dark grey color. Otherwise, it means that air is leaking or fuel and oil mix is bad. If this is the case with your chainsaw, there is nothing you can do but take your machine to the local service. You may need to replace the plug, but be careful to find the right size for your model.
The issue you can have with the exhaust system is that one of the parts or all of them can get clogged after a while. The process of cleaning is very simple, remove the screen as well as the muffler, and clean them with a brush and solvent (gasoline). WARNING: wait until the muffler is dry of any gasoline before restarting the chainsaw. In order to clean the port, you will need a wooden stick to scrape if something is build up on it. However, depending on the model you may need to remove other parts, so you can access the exhaust port.
Cleaning air filter is very similar to the exhaust system, you just need to remove the air filter and wash it with water. If you have an air compressor, you can use it to blow air in it. Plus, you can clean the area around the air system, just in case there is dust in there too.
The fuel goes to the engine with a small wire, that can be cleaned but can be also replaced. Since it is not expensive, but difficult to clean, we would recommend replacing it. Another thing you may need to do is drain old fuel and add newly mixed fuel and oil according to your model needs.
If you experience problems with your carburetor, you may need to contact someone who is familiar with this problem. How do you know it is the carburetor that is causing trouble? If the engine idles too slow, or too fast, you know it’s probably the carburetor. Take your engine to service, and try to learn how to adjust the mixture screws by yourself. Basically, there are three adjustment screws, but in most cases, you will need to open only the idle-speed one.
If you have a newer more expensive model, it is very likely that your chainsaw has an automatic oiler, a system that oils the chain by itself. The cleaning is simple and is completely same as cleaning the fuel filter, so I think we don’t need to put effort into explaining it.
What if you experience issues while starting the machine? You have checked everything mentioned before, but still, have trouble when starting it? Don’t worry, as we have the solution to that too. When pulling the rope for starting the engine, check for any signs of damage. Even if the rope is damaged, the replacement of it is very simple and you can do it in several minutes.
Summing up – Conclusion
To conclude, different types of chainsaws are suitable for different activities. In this article, we tried to sum up pretty much everything you need to know about buying the best chainsaw for under $300. There are many models available, and after reading this article, you will be able to find the right one that will satisfy the needs of your household.
The best overall pick is the Husqvarna 440E which is a gas powered chainsaw.
The best electric corded chainsaw is the Makita UC3551A great for a wide range of jobs within power cord range.
The best battery power chainsaw is the Black+Decker LCS 1240, the best of the battery powered models.
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