people's choice

The Best Chainsaws on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: KEN HIVELY/LA Times via Getty Images

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most worthwhile. While we’ve covered yard tools like the best lawn mowers and leaf blowers, here we’re zeroing in on the best chainsaws as reviewed on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Best battery-powered cordless chainsaws

Makita XCU02PTX1 18V X2 36V LXT Lithium-Ion 12-Inch Chainsaw Kit and Brushless Angle Grinder
$319 at Amazon

“This saw is awesome. It is light and quiet. The chain speed is quite slow compared to a gas saw and it is easy to stall it out if you get really aggressive. It is so convenient for pulling out for a quick one or two cuts. I own a garage full of Stihl saws as I trim and remove trees as part of my business. I thought this saw might be like a toy that I would never use but I find new uses for it all the time. I wouldn’t be without it now that I have had it for over a year. It doesn’t replace my gas saws but it is so convenient that it takes the place of hand saws sometimes. I am not sure if a citified desk job homeowner would find enough uses for this saw to justify the price. However, if you have the LXT system already and you do much of anything with a real chainsaw, then you will not regret picking one of these up.”

Makita XCU03PT1 Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 14-Inch Chainsaw Kit with Four Batteries
$389 at Amazon

“Seriously this saw is incredible if you can set your expectations based on it being electric. If you are happy knowing you could process a 20-foot tree that fell over on your property with minimal noise, no pull starts, and no extension cord, then this thing is for you. I have easily cut through 12-inch diameter trees in 20 to 30 seconds. Anything smaller and this thing will just chew it right up. Great tool to keep in your truck for clearing debris and fallen limbs. Good for 10- to 20-minute chunks of work. Double if you have extra battery set. If you do chainsaw work for hours on end it’s not for you. For the other 80 percent, this thing is enough of what you need with a lot less hassle. Also when cutting large limbs or logs just keep the trigger/throttle fully depressed to maximize torque and let the weight of the saw do the cutting with minimal downwards pressure. Have fun!”

Black & Decker LCS1240 40-volt Cordless 12-Inch Chainsaw
$159 at Amazon

“Great product. I can’t even begin to explain how impressed I am with this product. I spend a lot of time off road riding a Canan SxS. I do a lot of trail maintenance. This saw acts much bigger than it is. And it is is very light weight and easy to carry on my SxS. The battery life is great. On numerous occasions I have cut down and cut into firewood trees that are 10 to 12 inches at the base on a single fully charged battery. The chain does turn slower than a gasoline powered chain saw, but this actually has an advantage to it. It is much easier on chains and bars because it does not build as much heat, which will drastically reduce chain and bar life. I’ve been using it several months now. I would estimate I’ve cut the equivalent of about a cord of wood with it. A mix of hardwood and soft wood. GREAT SAW!!!!!!! I can’t say enough good about it.”

DeWalt DCCS620P1 20V MAX Lithium-Ion XR Brushless Compact Cordless 12-Inch Chainsaw Kit
$279 at Amazon

“I get a little giddy every time I pull this little guy out of the trailer. Granted, it’s not exactly a powerhouse, but it’s so easy to handle for overhead work, or when walking along a scaffolding doing precision demolition work. It’s great for remodeling, especially if you already have other 20V DeWalt tools. Order a few chains or find a local shop where they can custom cut one. It’s fairly quick to resharpen if you have to cut dirty wood or hit an unseen nail, but you need a back-up (or three) if you’re in a hurry. Its only limitation is the 12-inch bar, but it will do 95 percent of the work I have remodeling a log cabin, without filling the house with exhaust fumes.”

Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw
$187 at Amazon

“This is the perfect saw for me to use to do clean-up and cutting that I cannot persuade my husband to get after with his gas saws. It is pretty light and quiet. Works great. I have gotten about two hours from one battery charge and it really does charge back up in about an hour. I use it so much around our small farm that I got a second battery. I am not comfortable with the gas saws but have no issues with the size and weight, plus safety features, of this Greenworks saw. Biggest thing I have cut so far was about five-inch diameter and it powered right through it. Can’t imagine that I would need anything more powerful.”

Greenworks 12-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw
$138 at Amazon

“I really like this little chain saw, I’m a five-foot-four-inch, 65-year-old woman and this is just right for me. Plenty of power — I trimmed quite a few dead branches off our evergreen windbreak trees and the battery lasted for at least an hour — it never ran out of power but I ran out of branches I could reach from the ground. Enough weight to make it stable to use but not so heavy I couldn’t handle it. The chain came off a couple of times but that was mostly me learning about my new saw — it went back on easily and after I figured out the tightening mechanism, it stayed tight. I really like that it is self-oiling — I have an older cordless chain saw, different maker, and the way it SAYS you are supposed to feed bar oil is both messy and not very effective. So … overall I would recommend this to anyone for an all-purpose backyard type saw.”

DeWalt DCCS670X1 60V MAX Lithium-Ion Brushless 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw Kit
$335 at Amazon

“I have had this saw for a couple weeks now and must say I’m very amazed at it’s performance. Was it enough for me to sell my 440 Husqvarna? Yes it was and no regrets. I have really no cons to say about this saw yet other than you get the basic charger DeWalt provided with this kit and not the fast charger. Remember folks that this is battery power so don’t expect all day use on one charge. Like all cordless tools, invest in some more batteries. If you’re thinking of going cordless with this saw for use on your property, you will not be disappointed.”

Black & Decker LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion 10-Inch Chainsaw
$112 at Amazon

“I was hesitant because I have had electric saws that were useless. But I thought, after weeks of thinking about it and really tired of rebuilding the gas powered chainsaw, I’ll give it a try. This thing is a beast. I have cut four trees down with it (two medium and two smaller trees). It does go through batteries fairly quickly but I have batteries from my other B&D tools which fit so I swap them out and keep going. The manual oil isn’t that much of an issue (just push the bulb once or twice occasionally). My fourteen-year-old uses it quite a bit so it is very easy to handle. I have a gas power saw but this one is easier to get started and cuts just as well if not better. Adjusting chain tension is much easier on this than the gas powered. I have no regrets with this purchase and it makes clearing the rough so much easier.”

DeWalt DCCS690H1 40V 6AH Lithium Ion XR Brushless 16-Inch Chainsaw
$339 at Amazon

“Two years later … WOW! All those years with gas was just stupid, looking back. Unless you are a lumberjack or have 20 acres of wooded forest to look after … I’m not sure why you would choose gas when this is available. It’s been great for the last two years … Today, it was put to the test. Three hours of cutting everything from one inch to ten inches including about ten four-by-four pressure-treated cedar posts. This never hesitated. It took four battery swaps and five re-fills of chain lube … but, easy enough; unless you don’t have extra batteries. Super quiet and and only runs when you pull the trigger! Again … Why gas?? We are in half-acre wooded lots, so neighbors are happy. And blowing through this pile in a few short hours makes for quite a few enjoyable nights by the fire.”

Greenworks PRO 18-Inch 80V Cordless Chainsaw
$330 at Amazon

“Holy cow, I was wasn’t sure about this but thought, well if anything I could keep it at the cabin to clean up brush and small trees. I have so many issues with gas and carb work. I have three gas chainsaws and one is normally at the shop getting cleaned and gone thru. Wasn’t expecting this to cut the trees it did!!!! Spent an afternoon cutting down five large walnut trees with my brother-in-law. He had his gas chainsaw; I used this … MINE WINS! He overheated, had a hard time starting a couple times … he was a believer after that day! After cutting a couple trees, cutting all the branches off, and cutting them up, it was time to charge. IT CHARGES IN A HALF HOUR!!!!!!! Then I’m back at it. I was very happy with the amount it cut on the charge!!!”

Best corded chainsaws

Makita UC4051A 16-Inch Electric Chain Saw
$236 at Amazon

“I have a Stihl MS250 chainsaw. It’s awesome. So why did I buy this chainsaw? Because my Stihl is noisy, smoky, requires gas refills, and sometimes is difficult to start. Basically, my Stihl is for big jobs, outside away from my neighbors. The Makita is quiet and doesn’t put out any exhaust. The amazing this is that it is almost as efficient as my gas powered Stihl. I am truly impressed by the power of this saw. The fit and finish are up to the quality you would expect from Makita. It features a cool clip that keeps the saw from inadvertently becoming unplugged from an extension cord. Highly recommended!”

Black & Decker CS1518 15amp 18-Inch Corded Chainsaw
$83 at Amazon

“Why gas and pull-start a chainsaw? This one does a really good job. It downed a medium size redwood with no problem. If you’re going to go up to the woods to do logging, you would need a big ol gas one, but this is perfect for home or small acreage use. Good weight, Good balance, Heavy enough without being too heavy for a lady to use … which I am. I’ve had lots of experience with gas chain saws, so this lady knows what she’s talking about. Husband thinks it is great as well. Just about perfect.”

Earthwise CS30116 16-Inch 12-Amp Corded Electric Chain Saw
$100 at Amazon

“Love it! Cuts just as well as my 16-inch gas-powered saw. No more mixing, no more priming, pulling, adjusting idle speeds, hard starting, stalling in the middle of a job, etc. Just plug it in and start cutting! It even had good power when powered through a 100-foot regular-duty extension cord.”

Worx WG304.1 18-Inch 4 15.0 Amp Chainsaw
$84 at Amazon

“A massive oak tree, six feet in diameter, at the base, fell in a wind storm and crushed my car. I bought this WORX chainsaw to cut it up. Yes, with an 18-inch bar. It was phenomenal, cut easily, and fast. Didn’t need to sharpen chain till three-quarters of the way through the job. I get amazing, (almost faces of unbelief) stares from men when they find it’s electric. Just haven’t cut the last 16 feet of the trunk, which goes from three feet to six feet. Cut from both sides of the tree to get to the middle, once it was thicker than 18 inches in diameter. I repeat, despite twists, and pressure points, in a fallen tree, on a crushed car, and a damaged roof, this chainsaw cut easily, fast, without any hassles. Works now as if I had just begun cutting. Absolutely amazing deal for a $100 chainsaw.”

Worx 16-Inch 14.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw
$76 at https://www.amazon.com/BLACK-DECKER-LCS1240-Cordless-Chainsaw/dp/B00N8PQCE2?keywords=chainsaws&qid=1540830266&sr=8-5-spell&ref=sr_1_5&ascsubtag=[]st[p]cjnuheugx008inly6n0ev0trx.html

“Wow! This thing is just perfect! Strong, easy to use. Adjust the chain tension WITHOUT tools. Just keep the reservoir full of chain oil (it auto feeds the oil as well) and you’re off! No tinkering, no mixing gas and oil. No spark plugs. What’s not to like? Just get the job done! Love it! Cut down an 18-inch spruce with it the other day. Worked like a charm!”

Best gas-powered chainsaws

Husqvarna 455 Rancher 20-Inch 2-Stroke Gas-Powered Chainsaw
$410 at Amazon

“Awesome power, chain was super sharp, and made quick work of the old blown over oak tree. The only complaint I’d have would be size and bulk, but this is a serious chainsaw and I feel that’s expected for the performance you get. It might be a little much for the average home owner.”

Tanaka 14-Inch Top Handle Chainsaw with Pure Fire Engine
$230 at Amazon

“I purchased this Tanaka saw two months ago and have heavily pruned three very large trees with three more to go. The beauty of this saw is its light weight and top handle when you are up in a tree pruning. This saw fits this niche perfectly and it starts well, handles well, cuts fast, is economical to run, and the oiler works very well. The seven year warranty is a large selling point. This is not the saw for cutting your years supply of firewood, but it shines and is strong and reliable and well balanced and designed for pruning. Once my pruned limbs hit the ground it is also so light and easy to use to cut the downed pieces into carrying size for transport or stacking. Some of my pruning involved cuts up to ten inches and the saw sliced right through. Wonderful saw and I recommend it!”

Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chainsaw With Smart Start
$379 at Amazon

“Extreme tree cutting capability. This product is perfect; we will never have anything bigger than this saw can handle. We have 30 acres and a whole lot of trees, and this will always work and not just work: It will work better than good for everything we will need. A friend of mine cuts trees for a living and this is the same chainsaw that he has; the only difference is that he put a 21-inch blade on his. That’s another great thing: You can change out the blades, so if you need bigger, you go bigger and never need to by a new one.”

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The Best Chainsaws on Amazon, According to Reviewers