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 convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about lots of tools — including the best power drills, the best leaf blowers, and the best lawn mowers — here, we’ve rounded up the best chainsaws, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
“Chainsaws scared the bejesus out of me,” one 61-year-old reviewer admits, but says “once I got the hang of it, there was no stopping me.” And dozens of other reviewers agree that this lopper chainsaw is easy to use, regardless of skill level. “After applying bar/chain oil to the saw, I chomped down on several 1-2-inch branches and it was like going through butter,” one customer writes, while another says “I was able to cut down a few small trees and easily take some of the larger branches off of my hedges.” Many say they used this to cut the branches of already-cut trees into smaller sections for disposal. One user who “took down a dense 15-foot tree in about 4 hours with an electric chainsaw” used this lopper to “reduce that whole pile into baggable chunks.” They add, “It could not have been easier.”
Best-rated (less expensive) chainsaw
Reviewers are surprised by how tough this electric chainsaw is. “DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS LITTLE CHAINSAW … This bugger will do it,” one reviewer writes, explaining they had a “20-foot length and about 26 diameter” stump they needed to cut, and “this saw got it all cut up in no time flat.” Another says, “I was surprised how easy it was to operate and for an electric model it had a lot of power.” They add, “It chopped down the six-inch diameter tree in less than five minutes.” “Lightweight” is a word that comes up in lots of reviews, as well. One customer writes, “I am a petite woman — five feet tall and I can’t manage a heavy saw,” and says, “This one has allowed me to feel self-empowered and I’ve used it to cut down a lot of limbs and branches in my yard.” Another says, “I use this saw whenever possible … and definitely for low horizontal cutting and whenever I’m on a ladder … because it’s so lightweight.” And while many agree that this might not be best chain saw for a professional, they think it’s perfect for average household use. “While this might not be heavy duty, this thing is an excellent choice for someone that just needs an inexpensive chainsaw,” one concludes.
Best electric chainsaw
“Is it basically the best electric chainsaw you’ll ever buy?” one reviewer asks, before answering, “Yes. It cut through a rock hard dead mountain ash, no problem.” Chainsaw novices and old pros alike are impressed by this electric option. “I am not a chainsaw wielding mountain man,” one reviewer admits, but says “My wife likes Pinterest and this last week there was projects that involved a chainsaw … hence … now I own a chainsaw.” He found this saw “made it a simple breeze” to “take the 22-foot Christmas tree down and cut her into pieces.” Another who calls this “a serious chainsaw in the electric class” says they “took down two large white pines with it.” One user points out that “It says only 3-inch diameter maximum, but I felt like it could do much more if needed.” And dozens of other reviewers have proven that theory true, including one reviewer who “used it to take down (and slice up) 8 trees ranging from 4 inches to 12 inches in diameter.” A more experienced reviewer concludes, “The trade-off of no oil-gas mixing, and auto chain tightening makes this thing a great choice for moderate-to-heavy outdoor use around your property.”
Best battery-powered chainsaw
More than 80 percent of reviewers give this battery-powered chainsaw five stars, and many are impressed by how long the battery lasts. One user who “broke it in on a 14-inch ash I dropped with one of my gas saws” says, “Two hours later, the ash was on the woodpile and the batteries showed half a charge.” Another surprised reviewer writes, “After 3 hours of cutting and piling the batteries indicated 75 percent full.” One even says, “Never would have imagined that I could cut down an 18-inch diameter, 35-foot tall ash tree and turn it into fireplace-sized logs within 2 hours without charging the batteries.” Not only do the batteries last a long time, but one reviewer says “Makita fast charge is excellent too.”
Best small chainsaw
“Be aware, it is a small chainsaw,” one reviewer warns, but says, “It is great for what I want to do — clean up deadfall in the yard, trim back tree limbs that are going inappropriate directions, etc. and do things I previously had to find/pay someone else to do.” Another customer writes, “I needed a small chain saw to cut up a bunch of limbs from a Bradford Pear I had just trimmed back to the core … This did an amazing job.” This chainsaw’s small construction also makes it easy for a variety of people to use. “I’m not a big, strong lumberjack, I’m a great-grandmother, so I’m not all that keen on chainsaws but doing a job without the right tool is just wrong,” one reviewer writes, calling it, “the right tool for me. I was able to cut a nice pile of logs up in the 20 minutes of operating time for the battery charge.” The chainsaw is so small that one user even took it on a camping trip, writing, “On my last trip, we were getting low on firewood and I found a dead tree that was partially blocking the road. I cut about 12 rounds off the tree, anywhere from 3-inch to about 8-inch diameter at the base, plus removing branches as I went.”
Best chainsaw for small- to medium-size trees
The consensus among reviewers is this chainsaw is ideal for small- to medium-size jobs. “This is a great example of form and function being optimized,” one reviewer writes. “Absolutely reliable, starts every single time, none of the clumsiness of a corded chainsaw, very easy to maneuver into position — and cuts very well. Understand that you won’t be felling any 16-inch trees with this baby, but for quick and easy work on a smaller scale, this is great.” Another says, “This chain saw is very good for small to medium size trees that have fallen down or need to be taken down,” noting, “I had no problem cutting through 6-inch, even 8-inch size trunks/limbs.” One reviewer concludes, “it can’t be used for big trees,” but adds “this works excellently for small trees or limbs. I managed to cut up 2 decent sized trees with this before I felt I needed to recharge.”
Best self-sharpening chainsaw
Simply put by one reviewer, “The self sharpening ability is what sets it apart from other[s].” Hundreds of reviewers praise this chainsaw’s unique sharpening feature. One reviewer — who put this to work on a 25-inch diameter, 40-foot pine tree and “HUGE Hackberry limb … all before needing to sharpen the blade” — says that when they finally did sharpen the blade, “The sharpening feature worked great, and saved me a ton of time and effort.” Another reviewer raves, “I cut more wood faster than ever because the chain was always sharp. No stopping and sharpening, which is such a PITA.” Another who attests that the sharpener does indeed work adds, “Within a few minutes the chain was cutting like new.”