This is another common question people like to ask before buying their first chainsaw. They want to know whether they can handle the tool or not. So, what’s the answer?
Are chainsaws heavy? Some of the high-end chainsaws can be rather heavy, weighing around 22 lbs or more. The chainsaws commonly found in your average household weigh around 8-10 lbs, while electric chainsaws are the lightest with some of them weighing as low as 6 lbs.
As you can see, a chainsaw’s weight can vary widely depending on its type and size. Let’s talk about the most important factors influencing the weight of these tools.
Which chainsaws weigh the most?
The most important factor here (apart from the chainsaw’s size) is the type of the chainsaws in question. There are three different types of chainsaws out there: gas powered, battery powered, and corded electric. This is important, because electric motors weigh less than gas powered engines.
Before we look at some real examples, there are a few key definitions you should understand:
Dry weight: The chainsaw’s weight without any fuel and bar oil in it.
Powerhead weight: The chainsaw’s dry weight without the guide bar and chain attached. So basically only the “main part” of the chainsaw is measured, with the engine and handle bars.
Weight: Unless otherwise specified, this refers to the dry weight of the entire chainsaw with the guide bar and chain included.
Manufacturers usually specify one of these measurements. As you can see by now, the real weight of your chainsaw can be a bit higher than what’s advertised, although not by much.
Not only will the various liquids necessary to run the chainsaw add a few extra pounds (think fuel and bar oil), but the guide bar and chain usually aren’t included in the specified weight either. The weight of the guide bar depends on its size and the material it’s made of. Smaller bars don’t add much, but larger ones can add an extra pound or two.
In some cases however (usually when buying online) the total dry weight of the chainsaw is specified. This usually happens when the chainsaw comes in a package with a bar and chain included.
Now that you understand this, let’s look at some actual examples. I will show you some of the heaviest models of each type, and one of the lighter ones as a comparison.
Gas powered chainsaws
As I’ve mentioned before, gas powered chainsaws are by far the heaviest of the bunch, but the models designed for home use have rather manageable weight. They are on the top of the list because the engine itself is rather heavy, and a completely full fuel tank will also add some extra pounds.
Some examples of this type of chainsaw are:
STIHL MS 880 MAGNUM
I’ll start with this saw, because you probably won’t find anything bigger than this. To the best of my knowledge, this is currently the most powerful chainsaw on the market. It has a 121.6 cc engine (enough to power a medium-sized scooter without much hassle).
Powerhead weight: 22.3 lbs
As you can see, this chainsaw is rather heavy. With the guide bar and fuel added it will probably weigh around 25 lbs.
The good news is that you probably won’t need a chainsaw this big, unless you are a professional forester.
HUSQVARNA 460 Rancher
This is a very popular chainsaw nowadays. It has a 60.3 cc engine (so about half the size of the MS 880 above). This also shows on the chainsaw’s weight.
Powerhead weight: 13.2 lbs
It is important to note that this chainsaw is pretty much at the top end of the list of what an average homeowner will use. Anything bigger than this and we are talking about professional-grade chainsaws (although, the Rancher would hold its ground fairly well even in that category).
The CS-310 is one of the smaller chainsaws out there. Its engine is only 30.5 cc, so again, about half of the Rancher above.
Powerhead weight: 8.8 lbs
This chainsaw is very modest in size, pretty much anyone can handle it. I just wanted to show you all the different weight categories out there, and how light a chainsaw can get.
Battery powered chainsaws
They are followed closely by battery powered models. This might surprise you, but battery powered chainsaws can be quite heavy too. This is because even though their motor is lighter, the battery itself adds quite a bit of extra weight to the tool.
Some noteworthy examples of this type of chainsaw would be:
Makita XCU04Z 16″ cordless chainsaw
Makita tools are reliable, but as a consequence of this they are built like a tank. This really shows in the weight of this saw.
Weight: 11.2 lbs
Note that in this case they specified the total weight of the chainsaw. But, it still doesn’t include the weight of the batteries – and it needs two of them. Makita’s 18V batteries weigh 1,5 lbs a piece, so the total weight of this chainsaw will be 14,2 lbs.
If you compare this to the gas powered chainsaw above, you can see that battery chainsaws can be quite heavy for their size. But it’s also worth noting that they don’t really make battery chainsaws heavier than this.
Greenworks 12-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw
This is one of the smallest battery powered chainsaws out there. You won’t be able to do anything overly hard with a chainsaw of this size, such as felling trees. On the other hand, it’s perfect for limbing and other smaller tasks.
Weight: 7.1 lbs
Like the Makita I talked about earlier, this one also doesn’t include the battery in the chainsaw’s total weight. The Greenworks 40V GMAX batteries weigh 2.97 pounds, so the total weight of this chainsaw will be a bit over 10 lbs.
These are by far the lightest overall. Not only do their motors weigh less to begin with, they also have no extra weight from batteries because they get the electricity they need through a cord.
Oregon CS1500 18″ 15 Amp Corded Electric Chainsaw
The Oregon CS1500 is pretty much as big as a corded chainsaw can get. With a 18-inch guide bar and a 15 Amp motor it’s rather powerful, you can even cut the bigger tree logs with it.
Weight: 12.6 lbs
For a corded chainsaw it’s quite heavy, but it’s also one of the most powerful models of this type. Also, it comes with a self-sharpening system which is always a plus.
Remington RM1425 8 Amp 14-Inch Corded Electric Chainsaw
The Remington RM1425 is one of the lightest chainsaws out there. It’s design is lightweight to begin with, but the chainsaw itself is also rather small. With no fuel or batteries to make it heavier, it weighs just over 6 pounds.
Weight: 6.25 lbs
If you were worried about your ability to handle a chainsaw because they are too heavy, you can stop now. Pretty much anyone can handle this chainsaw, and it’s perfect for limbing, cleaning up storm damage, and other smaller jobs. Just keep in mind that you will need an extension cord to use it.
Do bigger guide bars make chainsaws heavier?
Generally speaking, yes. But most chainsaws you will encounter use 12″ to 18″ long guide bars, which don’t make that much of a difference.
These guide bars usually weigh from under 1 lbs all the way up to 2 lbs.
Some of the really big guide bars that are designed for professional use will weigh more than that. For example, a 28″ Husqvarna guide bar weighs 4.41 lbs even without a chain.
If you are buying a chainsaw intended for home use, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
People also ask
How can I be sure I’ll be able to handle the chainsaw I’m buying?
If you really aren’t sure, you can go to a store that specializes in chainsaws and try holding some of their products. That way it will be easier to tell if you are comfortable holding them.
Also, keep in mind that chainsaws require both hands to operate so you’ll have twice the strength you would have with only one hand.
I hope this guide was informative for you. At the end of the day, whether a chainsaw is heavy or not only depends on your physical capabilities.
If you have any questions, let me know!