The Best Chainsaws for Senior Citizens – Buyer’s Guide

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A few months ago one of my friends asked me what chainsaw would I recommend for his father. My friend’s father is in his 70s, and needed a new chainsaw but wasn’t sure which model to buy.

This got me thinking. After all, senior citizens may face a bunch of problems that aren’t that obvious if you are younger. After a bit of brainstorming and researching I narrowed down my list of chainsaws to about 6. I couldn’t get it any lower because even among older guys the best choice can be different for every person, depending on their situation.

Either way, I figured this topic would make for a good article on my blog. Whether you are a senior citizen yourself or shopping for an older relative, hopefully I can guide you in the right direction.

You can find my recommendations down below, but first let me show you what thought process I followed to compile my list.

What makes a chainsaw ideal for older people?

To answer this question, first I had to understand what problems these people face while using a chainsaw. I also needed to know if they have any concerns before buying one. After talking to my friend for a bit, I have managed to identify a few key issues.

Chainsaw weight

Some of our senior citizens are in quite good physical shape – with many of them being veterans and/or retired blue collar workers. Despite that, many will find that their backs or shoulders can’t handle pressure like they used to.

Because of this, a smaller (and therefore lighter) chainsaw might be a good choice. This may not be the case for you, but it’s worth considering if your back or shoulders hurt after heavy lifting or using a chainsaw for an extended period of time.

Power

While this is connected the weight of the chainsaw that I mentioned earlier (smaller chainsaws are generally less powerful) I feel like it still needs its own paragraph. After all, two chainsaws with the same engine size can have different weighs depending on the materials used in the build, the size of the guide bar, etc.

Anyway. One of the biggest concerns my friend’s father had is that his reflexes and physical strength aren’t as good as they used to be, so he feared he’ll have problems controlling the kickback if the chainsaw is overly powerful.

Most chainsaws nowadays have a built in chain break system to prevent injury in case of a sudden kickback, but this is still a valid concern. For this reason, I recommend buying a chainsaw that has an engine size smaller than 50cc, preferably around 30-40 depending on your needs.

Price

Another concern my friend’s father had is that he didn’t want to spend $500 or more on a new chainsaw. While he does appreciate quality tools, he just couldn’t justify spending that much money on a chainsaw that he will only use a few times a year.

Which is understandable. Most of our senior citizens are retired – and more often than not, their pensions are a lot lower than their salaries were when they still had a full time job. Which forces them into a tight budget.

Therefore, we are looking for a chainsaw that isn’t necessarily professional-grade and has a good price/value ratio.

Fortunately, there are a lot of good chainsaws that are very affordable. Corded chainsaws are by far the cheapest in general, but I’ll get into that later.

Easy to start

One of the problems older guys tend to face with chainsaws is that they simply can’t pull the cord hard enough to get it started. Which can be caused by a lot of different reasons. Maybe they have a previous injury that prevents them from applying the necessary force, or maybe the chainsaw itself is just very old. Either way, this can lead to a lot of frustration.

The solution to this is a chainsaw that has some kind of easy start system built in that reduces the force necessary to get it started (there are many such models out there). Alternatively, electric chainsaws can be fired up by the push of a button, so they can be a good option depending on your needs (more on this later).

Low emission

I was browsing the internet a while ago and I came across this forum post about an older guy who had some kind of lung disease. I forgot the exact name for it, but it basically caused him to cough heavily every time he inhaled the fumes emitted by his chainsaw.

This got me thinking about a possible solution. Although there are chainsaws with lowered emission rates out there, I doubt any of them could eliminate the problem completely. In this case electric chainsaws seem like the obvious choice, or at least something to consider if you have lung problems.

The 6 best chainsaws for senior citizens

And with that we have finally arrived to the main topic of this article. As you can see from the points above there is no single best option that fits everyone, but I’ll do my best to help you decide.

Without further ado, here are my top picks in no particular order:

Echo CS-370

The first chainsaw on my list is manufactured by Echo. This company is known for its build quality. In fact, many people say it’s on par with Husqvarna.

But it also has other qualities that make it a good choice for older users, such as the i-30™ starting system that requires 30% less pulling power to start compared to regular chainsaws.

The CS-370 is a gas powered chainsaw, equipped with a 2-stroke 36.3 cc engine. It also features an automatic, adjustable oiler mechanism to match all cutting conditions.

The only downsides I can think of is that it’s a bit over of the budget I’ve chosen when compiling this list, and it’s somewhat heavy, although still not as heavy as the professional-grade saws out there.

Weight: 15.7 lbs
Guide bar length: 16″
Check current price on Amazon

As you can see, this saw is not lightest item on our list, but the easy start system and the bit of extra power it provides can still make it a good fit depending on your needs.

Check out this video if you want to take a closer look:

And here is another one in case you want to see it in action:

Echo CS-310

The CS-310 is like the smaller version of the CS-370 I have previously mentioned. It has the same i-30™ starting system in place – it requires 30% less pulling force to start than regular chainsaws according to the manufacturer. But since the engine is only 30.5cc, this version is much lighter and also more affordable.

I recommend this model if you need the mobility that a gas powered chainsaw provides, but you don’t need that much raw power. It’s ideal for cutting smaller branches, and light work around your property.

Guide bar length: 14″
Check current price on Amazon

I’m somewhat confused about the weight of this saw, because the manufacturer’s site says it’s 8.8 lbs without bar and chain, while Amazon says it’s 6.42 lbs. Either way, this is a very light chainsaw. Probably the best small gas chainsaw on my list.

Here is a pretty good demonstration of what you can expect:

Husqvarna 440e

The next item on my list is a Husqvarna. If you know anything about chainsaws you have probably heard this name before. It is one of the most reputable brands out there, and the 440e is another good example of their build quality.

At first I was a bit hesitant to put this on my list because I assumed the price will be higher. But after checking the actual price tag and the specs of the chainsaw I was pleasantly surprised.

This chainsaw has a 40.9cc engine, making it the strongest saw on my list (although the Echo CS-370 isn’t far behind with its 36.3 cc). Like most Husqvarna saws nowadays, it also uses the x-torque technology to reduce fuel consumption and harmful emission. This can be important if your lungs gets irritated by the exhaust fumes of your chainsaw, but you still need a gas powered model.

It also features and automatic chain oiler, a simple side-mounted tensioning system and an easy to clean air filter.

Weight: 9.8 lbs
Guide bar length: 16″
Check current price on Amazon

As you can see it’s surprisingly light for its size, and also very affordable considering it’s made by such a mainstream brand.

The downside of this chainsaw is that it doesn’t have an easy start system like the Echo saws above. That being said, Husqvarnas generally don’t need more than a few pulls to start up, but it’s definitely something to consider if you had problems starting your previous chainsaws.

You can see it in action here:

Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw

This is a battery powered chainsaw from Greenworks. The company itself is a relatively new kid on the block, but has already made a name for itself with its wide range of cordless tools and interchangeable batteries.

There are a number of reasons why buying a cordless chainsaw can be a good option for older people. First of all, they start up with the push of a button – there is no cord to pull, you press the button and it works. They also produce zero harmful emission as they don’t use gas to run, which is critical if your lungs get irritated easily. This also makes them cheaper to operate in the long run, as you don’t have to spend money on gas.

These saws are also low on maintenance – no fuel mixing, no spark plug – although they still require bar oil to function properly.

This chainsaw features a brushless motor that offers up to 30% more torque and 70% less vibration. It also comes with a low kickback chain for extra safety. It is also worth mentioning that the battery can be used by other Greenworks products (as long as they use the same voltage).

Weight: 10.4 lbs
Guide bar length: 16″
Check current price on Amazon

It’s only a bit heavier than the Husqvarna above. Also, if you already own a 40V Greenworks battery (presumably from another tool) you can order the bare tool only, which makes it even cheaper.

The downside to these chainsaws is battery life. They can usually run for about 35-40 minutes with a single charge (depending on how hard you are cutting). It is worth mentioning that it can perform up to 100 cuts on 4×4 lumber with a single charge, according to the manufacturer.

After that, you will have to recharge the battery which takes about 60 minutes. They also aren’t as strong as their gas powered counterparts, but they can get the job done. If you aren’t sure if the Greenworks is right for you, check out this article I wrote about the pros and cons of battery chainsaws.

Also, here is a pretty good demonstration of its capabilities:

Greenworks 12-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw

This is like a smaller version of the 16-Inch Greenworks I mentioned earlier. It has all its good qualities too, except for the brushless motor, and it also seems to have plastic bucking spikes instead of metal. But in turn it is much lighter.

I mainly included it in my list for people who want a small battery chainsaw for some easy limbing, or just can’t handle a stronger/heavier saw. Also, its weight of 6 lbs makes it the lightest chainsaw on our list – it really shouldn’t be a problem for anyone to handle it.

According to the manufacturer, it can handle up to 75 cuts on 4×4 lumber with a single charge.

Weight: 6 lbs
Guide bar length: 12″
Check current price on Amazon

The downside of this saw is its lack of power – you probably won’t be felling trees with this one. But if that isn’t a concern to you, it can be a good choice. It’s probably one of the best small battery chainsaws out there.

WORX WG304.1 Electric chainsaw

The last item I’m gonna show you today is an electric chainsaw made by WORX. This is also the only chainsaw on our list that requires a power cord to function. Electric chainsaws like this have all the advantages of battery chainsaws – no emission, instant startup, no fuel consumption – except the mobility.

As you can imagine, the cord can be a limiting factor to many, but it really isn’t a problem for people with small properties. With a reasonably sized extension cord you can use it where you need it, and you don’t have to bother with refilling your fuel tank or charging batteries.

This chainsaw is also fairly powerful, its 15 Amp motor yields power comparable to that of a smaller gas chainsaw. I wouldn’t take it into the woods but it’s enough for light work around the yard.

Weight: 11 lbs
Guide bar length: 18″
Check current price on Amazon

It’s ideal for people on a really tight budget, or for someone who only intends to use it near their home.

Unfortunately it isn’t a good option for people with big properties, or people who intend to use it in the nearby forest to cut firewood, etc. The only workaround to this (that I can think of) is owning a generator that you can transport. If you don’t already own one however, I wouldn’t recommend buying one because it’s such a huge expense that it defeats the purpose of buying a cheaper saw entirely.

You can check it out in action here:

Other things to consider before buying

Before you actually buy a new chainsaw, there are a number of important questions you should think about.

Is this your first chainsaw?

I understand most people have already owned multiple chainsaws before they reach retirement. But I know some people who never really owned one before, and only wanted to purchase one because they could no longer do the job with their ax.

If you are in a similar situation, I suggest buying one of the smaller gas chainsaws, or an electric/battery one. Smaller chainsaws are easier to control, which is important if you have never operated one before.

Electric chainsaws are especially low on maintenance, so getting one of these as your first saw can ease your learning curve.

Also, if you have any friends or relatives who are experienced chainsaw users, you could ask them to teach you the basics. And don’t forget to wear protective equipment – chainsaw chaps, ear and eye protection are a must.

How big is your property?

The size of your property is another important factor while choosing your new chainsaw. If you only want to do some light trimming around your home then one of the electric models can be a perfect match.

But if you have multiple acres of land to cover, you will probably need a gas powered chainsaw for the mobility it provides. A battery chainsaw can also give you great mobility, but keep in mind that they can only really cut for about 40 minutes at a time (unless you own more batteries).

What are you going to use this chainsaw for?

If you are only going to use your saw to cut some branches, clean up storm damage or split some firewood, then one of the smaller ones can be a good choice.

But if you are going to fell bigger trees, then I’d suggest getting one of the stronger gas chainsaws. You really don’t want to get your bar stuck in a tree out in the forest.

People also ask

Are these chainsaws viable for older ladies?
I would say yes, women in general are more than capable of using chainsaws. If this is your first chainsaw however, I would suggest going with a smaller gas chainsaw like the Echo CS-310, or one of the electric ones. Also, keep the weight of the chainsaw in mind while making your decision – you need to select one that you can comfortably handle.

Electric and battery chainsaws are also easier to operate and are less “messy” in general, so they really are a good choice for women. But it’s all up to you in the end.

I’m not in the best physical condition, will I be able to start these chainsaws?
Most likely. I’ve only selected models that should be easy enough to start, but it all depends on your unique situation. If all else fails you can try starting your chainsaw from a ground position.

To do this, first place your chainsaw on the ground and make sure that the chain brake is engaged. Next, place your right foot in the rear handle and hold the top handle firmly with your off-hand. You should have an easier time pulling the cord from this position. This is actually considered to be one of the “correct” ways of starting a chainsaw.

If you are 100% confident that you can’t start a chainsaw using a pulling cord, I’d suggest choosing one of the electric saws instead.

Are these chainsaws hard to maintain?
Absolutely not. The electric models need the least maintenance, you only really need to add some bar oil before using them, and sharpen the chain blades every once in a while. As for battery chainsaws, you’ll have to charge the battery before using them.

The gas chainsaws are a bit trickier, they need fuel mixed with oil to run (check your user manual for the recommended ratio). You can mix it yourself, or just buy pre-mixed. Most manufacturers sell their own chainsaw fuel.

Other than that, you will have to clean the air filter every once in a while. The chainsaws I’ve listed above have their air filters in an easy to access location, and are also easy to clean.

Conclusion

There you have it – my top recommended chainsaws for senior citizens. I hope this article was helpful to you.

See you guys next time!

Peter Toth

Hi! I'm Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I've created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!