Chainsaws are one of the best and most useful power tools any homeowner can own. Chainsaws can be used for pruning, cutting firewood, yard cleanups, and so much more.
But, not all chainsaws are created equal. And although very useful, they can also be very dangerous. This is why extra care should always be exercised when handling one of these tools.
Choosing the best chainsaw is vital. You cannot expect good levels of safety, performance, and productivity from a poorly designed product.
There is one problem, though.
With so many different brands, how do you find which one is the best?
This is why I set out to find what are the best chainsaw brands and what we need to know about them.
What Is the Best Chainsaw Brand?
Stihl, Husqvarna, and ECHO are the best chainsaw brands on the market today. Stihl and Husqvarna are best at manufacturing powerful and more expensive chainsaws aimed at contractors and professionals. ECHO is best at delivering smaller and cheaper chainsaws that many homeowners love.
With that being said, which one you choose will depend on different factors such as:
- The type of sawing work;
- Personal preferences;
- Local dealers;
- Comfort levels;
- Availability of replacement parts;
Of course, the list I’ve put together is highly subjective – you could put 10 chainsaw professionals in a room and chances are they wouldn’t be able to agree on which brand should take the top spot.
With that said, let’s get right to it!
Stihl is a well-known brand even by people that do not work with power tools or chainsaws.
Almost a century ago, things were a lot different. People back then used axes and raw muscle strength to cut down trees.
Enter, Andreas Stihl. He had a different idea on his mind; that there must be another way, a better way. It was a simple idea, but one that turned his name into one of the world’s best brands.
Stihl invented the first electric saw. It looked nothing like the electric saws we have today, as it weighed more than 140 lbs (or 64 kg).
So what can a company that actually started out by revolutionizing the chainsaw market offer us? Quite a lot, it seems.
The chainsaws produced by Stihl are widely considered to be one of the best on the market. They are used by many contractors, firefighters, and landscapers.
Stihl chainsaws combine three of the best things you want in a chainsaw; durability, power, and safety.
The MSA product line aims to deliver some of the best battery-powered chainsaws. A cordless chainsaw is the perfect solution for anyone who wants to use a significantly quieter saw that produces zero emissions and can be used anywhere.
One of their best models is the MSA 200 C-BQ.
This chainsaw is equipped with a powerful yet lightweight brushless motor.
The saw is equipped with two different safety systems that will stop the chain in case of a kickback or when the handlebar is released.
It cuts exceptionally well and can be used with a variety of different batteries that can provide anywhere between 15 to 200 minutes of run time.
Stihl has several different electric corded chainsaws. These are not as popular as the other types of chainsaws due to the limitations imposed by the length of the cable.
Nonetheless, they are great for the occasional trimming and cutting jobs around the house.
The MSE 170 C-BQ is a clean and powerful chainsaw that delivers a lot more than what you may expect. This model is as light as they get, weight at just over 8 lbs.
In this category, we have a wide variety of different gas-powered chainsaws.
Here you will find your everyday homeowner’s chainsaws.
The MS 170 is easily one of the best selling models. It is perfect for occasional cutting and trimming jobs around the yard. It is light and powerful, featuring an intelligent air to fuel adjustment system.
The anti-vibration handle makes for easy and more comfortable use.
If you want something more powerful, then you may want to take a look at another popular model. Namely, the MS 271 FARM BOSS®. This model is equipped with some extra features that you will not find on the cheaper models. It has a more fuel-efficient engine, lower toxic emissions, anti-vibration handle, and advanced air filtration system.
And if you are looking for something that is aimed for extensive and larger cutting jobs, then look no further than the professional MS 261 C-M.
This is a very powerful saw that can deliver one of the best cutting experiences. It features the M-Tronic technology, which works to make sure your engine is working at optimal power ratings all the time.
Are you looking for easy to use and lightweight pole pruners?
Stihl has a few products in this category as well.
The HT 56 C and C-E are one of the best pole pruners for any homeowner that has to do some occasional pruning around the yard.
If you are not into using gas-powered tools, then you can choose to go with a battery-powered pole saw.
Depending on the battery you choose, you can expect to have between 17 to 230 minutes of run time.
This is an extremely powerful saw that works as well as some gas-powered models.
A Full Product Mix
The reason why Stihl is one of the best chainsaw brands is not only because they have different chainsaws or because of their company goals, but because of their whole product mix.
They even sell several different chainsaws aimed at professionals like rescue saws, in-tree saws, and carving saws.
They have a wide array of different chainsaw gadgets and accessories too. You will be able to find wedges, files, chains, guide bars, and other forestry tools.
With more than three centuries of manufacturing experience under their belt, Husqvarna must certainly be one of the top chainsaw brands.
Husqvarna is a brand name that everyone has heard of. They sell a wide variety of different tools like trimmers, chainsaws, lawnmowers, dusters, blowers, pressure washers, and so much more.
Husqvarna and Stihl are the two big names in the chainsaw industry. And while Stihl has definitely earned itself a reputation, many professional loggers prefer using Huskies.
This product series is designed for homeowners and occasional cutting or cleanup work. One of their best chainsaws in this category is the Husqvarna 120 Mark II.
This is a very compact and powerful chainsaw that packs some neat features. It comes with an X-Torq engine that delivers low toxic emissions and consumes less fuel. It is the perfect tool for cutting firewood and doing any sawing work around the yard.
These are aimed to be some of the best value chainsaws on the market. They all come with the more efficient X-Torq engine, fuel pump, and a returning switch that makes starting the saw a lot easier.
One of the best representatives in this category must surely be the Husqvarna 455 Rancher.
A very comfortable and easy to use saw that delivers exceptional power. It is perfect for both occasional and more demanding larger cutting work.
Professional and Powerful Saws
This is a huge category with a lot of different chainsaws. All of these are designed to meet the requirements of landowners and professionals.
The importance is placed on reliability, safety, comfort, long work times, and, last but not least, exceptional power and performance.
We can start with some well-performing chainsaws like the Husqvarna 545 Mark II and end up with behemoths that nothing will stop like the powerful Husqvarna 395 XP®.
If you need a reliable tool for larger sawing jobs, you can’t go wrong with these Husqvarna saws.
High Diversity of Accessories
Husqvarna offers a full product mix of everything you may need.
We are talking about chains, guide bars, files, lubricants, protective gear, work clothing, and other forestry tools.
Husqvarna has also professional tree arborists covered by offering a very lightweight and easy to use tree care chainsaws. It is designed to provide outstanding tree pruning and shaping.
And they also sell plastic chainsaw toys for the kids, too. Now that is some dedication right there!
Echo was founded back in 1972, and to this day, they have never stopped expanding and getting better at what they do.
In my opinion Stihl, Husqvarna and Echo are the three big brands that deserve your attention.
With that being said, Echo is considered to be more of a homeowner-grade brand. However, this does not mean that their chainsaws cannot be used for more than the occasional pruning and cutting firewood.
Rear Handle Chainsaws
Rear handle chainsaws are easier to handle and control and Echo sells a variety of different chainsaws in this category, from homeowner up to professional-grade saws.
The ECHO CS-310 is one of their most popular homeowner chainsaws. It carries a powerful 30.5 cc two-stroke engine that will deliver substantial power. This saw is great for occasional cutting work around the yard.
On the other side, we have a very powerful professional chainsaw, the ECHO CS-590 Timber Wolf. With its big and powerful engine, this little beast will make quick work of any sawing job.
Top Handle Chainsaws
Top handle chainsaws are more compact. These are used primarily by arborists for in-tree sawing.
One of the saws in this category is the ECHO CS-355T. It is A very humble-looking saw but nonetheless, extremely powerful. This little guy can perform as good if not better than some of the more expensive comparable chainsaws.
It is worth checking out if you need a specialized in-tree saw.
The ECHO X Series
The ECHO X Series represents the best products in each category.
The X Series chainsaws are designed for professionals that require the utmost power, productivity, and ease of use.
One of the best saws in this category is the CS-620P. This little beast is definitely giving Stihl and Husqvarna a run for their money. It is perfect for more demanding jobs like felling, bucking, and limbing.
WORX, as a company, aims to provide great customer support and also build tools that are easy on the environment. This is why you will find that their chainsaws are either electric or battery-powered.
WORX has even received the WWF’s platinum award for low carbon manufacturing.
The WORX G303.1 is one of the most popular corded chainsaws by WORX. It features a powerful 14.1 amp motor, chain auto-tension, improved safety, and automatic oil lubrication.
All of this makes for one very powerful yet lightweight chainsaw that delivers what it promises. And for the price that it sells at it is a real steal.
WORX manufactures a few different cordless chainsaws; the WORX WG322 is one of their popular models in this category. It is lightweight and easy to use; a great saw even for the ladies.
WORX also produces a few different pole saws.
The WG323 is a very lightweight and compact pole saw that can help you reach any branches up to 12 feet, which is not bad at all.
It is a cordless pole saw featuring a 20V PowerShare battery. WORX also sells a comparable corded version.
For the people that want something a bit more different, WORX has the ideal product to offer.
The JawSaw features a bar and chain that are fully enclosed. This offers quality cuts but at unrivaled safety levels. You won’t have to worry about the tree branches or logs moving while you cut them, and there is a low chance of kickbacks.
You can choose from corded and cordless models.
The WORX WG307 is one of the more popular models. It is an electric saw that almost anyone can use. It is great for general sawing work around the yard and will not leave you disappointed.
The cool thing is that you can also buy an extension pole and use it as a pole saw too.
The PowerShare is an interchangeable battery system that can be used across all the PowerShare compatible tools by WORX.
From a small machine shop in Baltimore, Maryland to outer space, Black and Decker has turned itself into a world-renowned brand.
The company was founded in 1910 by Duncan Black and Alonzo Decker, and ever since its humble beginning, the company has continued to expand and grow
Some of their tools have even been used in space by NASA.
But we are interested in chainsaws, preferably ones that we can use here on earth.
Black and Decker have a variety of different cordless and corded chainsaw, so let’s take a look.
The battery-powered chainsaws in this category are very light and easy to use. These are perfect for cutting small logs, branches, and occasional cutting that does not require you to have a professional saw.
There are two different types of batteries: 20V and 40V.
One of their best models is the B&D LCS1020 20V MAX. This is a very light, weighing a mere 7.2 lbs, chainsaw that is perfect for any small cutting work around the house.
Electric Corded Chainsaws
Black and Decker currently sells two corded chainsaws as well (a 12 amp and a 15 amp).
The B&D CS1518 is the 15 amp chainsaw, and it is ideal for smaller cutting work like pruning, cutting firewood, and more.
Pole saws are great for pruning and taking care of smaller branches.
Black and Decker manufactures both corded and battery-powered units. One of the more popular ones is the B&D LPP120 20V MAX, which is a battery-powered pole saw. The overall reach is about 115 in. and weighs at 6.3 lbs.
Alligator Lopper Chainsaws
If you are in need of an easy to use chainsaw that you can use for pruning and cutting small branches, shrubs, and bushes but you do not really feel safe with the regular chainsaw then look no further.
An alligator lopper may easily be the best type of a chainsaw for that sort of work. These saws are safe and easy to use. The probability of a kickback and branches moving around as you cut them is significantly lower.
Black and Decker are selling both cordless and corded alligator loppers.
20/40V MAX System
Black and Decker uses an interchangeable battery system across its products. The batteries can be either 20V or 40V and are a great solution if you intend to buy more products from Black and Decker.
Back in 1921, Arthur Mall founded Remington in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What was once a small tool company today is a well-known and trusted manufacturer.
Today Remington produces a wide array of different power tools and equipment, including chainsaws.
Ever since its first steps, the company has continued to deliver quality power-tools (at affordable prices) that people like, making them one of the best brands of chainsaws.
Here you will find the biggest product diversity of chainsaws.
Remington manufactures several different gas chainsaws, with Remington RM4216 being one of their best products.
This chainsaw is light and easy to operate. It is not a saw that you use for large cutting jobs that require high amounts of power and a professional grade of saws.
Nonetheless, it is perfect and cheaper option for occasional sawing work around the backyard.
Electric Corded Chainsaws
Remington currently makes two different corded models.
Both models are top-rated, especially the Remington RM1425. This can be quite easily one of the best small, lightweight, powerful, and reasonably priced corded chainsaws on the market as of today.
No wonder many homeowners like it.
Currently, Remington sells only one battery-powered chainsaw – the RM4040.
Compact and easy to use, this chainsaw is perfect for backyard cleanups and occasional cutting work.
The battery lasts a decent amount of time too, definitely a model worth checking.
Makita was founded back in 1915. Initially, the focus of the company was placed on repairing and selling electric motors but later became the first manufacturer in Japan to produce a portable electric planer.
Ever since then, Makita has never stopped expanding and manufacturing electric and battery-powered tools.
Today their product mix incorporates a wide variety of different tools, including a good selection of chainsaws.
Rear Handle Chainsaws
One of the best models in this category is the Makita XCU03PT1. It is powered by two 18V batteries and a powerful brushless motor that is equivalent to a 32cc gas chainsaw.
It is perfect for everyday small sawing jobs.
Back Handle Chainsaws
If you need a smaller and more compact saw for in-tree work, then the Makita XCU02PTX1 may be what you are looking for.
Powered by two 18V batteries, it can deliver high levels of power and performance. It is one of the best battery-run chainsaws.
LXT Battery System
The LXT® battery system by Makita allows you to use your battery on other compatible products.
One battery can be used on more than 225 different products like blowers, trimmers, chainsaws, lawnmowers, and so much more. How cool is that?
Tracing its roots back to 1921, Homelite began its journey in Port Chester, New York. Homelite is a USA-based company manufacturing different products and power tools.
The first Homelite electric chainsaw was produced in 1946. Today Homelite is a brand name that is associated with high-quality and very durable power tools and equipment.
Homelite offers two different electric corded chainsaws. The more powerful one is the Homelite UT43122. It runs a powerful 12.0 amp motor capable of delivering a lot of torque.
There are also a few different gas models.
The Homelite UT10640 is their smallest saw featuring a 42cc two-cycle engine. Despite its small profile, it packs quite a punch.
Greenworks is a company that is relatively new. Founded in 2007 in Canada with one goal; to offer quality and reliable power tools that are either electric or battery-powered.
Greenworks’ product mix includes edgers, trimmers, blowers, chainsaws, air compressors, cultivators, and more.
The cordless product line has a lot to offer.
The most popular model is the Greenworks 20322, which comes with a powerful brushless motor and 40V G-Max Li-ion battery.
It is easy to start, use, and requires very little maintenance. This saw is perfect for the occasional cutting work, and you will not have to worry about harmful fumes and loud noises.
Of course, we can also expect to see some corded chainsaws as well.
One of the best corded chainsaws by this company is the Greenworks 20222.
Lightweight but powerful, this 10.5 amp saw is capable of providing a lot of power and torque. It has a perfect braking system, and it is lightweight, easy to control and use.
Best of all, it comes at a very decent price – a real bargain.
The G-MAX System
Certain chainsaws are equipped with a G-Max battery.
This means that this battery can be used on any other G-Max system compatible tools. So if you have a few different G-Max tools, that means that you are not required to buy a battery for each one of them.
A Japanese company founded in 1943, Ryobi has been growing steadily year after year.
Ryobi started out by selling die-cast products but continued and expanded into different niches.
Today Ryobi sells different components and power tools for several industries.
Their chainsaws are primarily electric or battery-run.
Ryobi offers a wide selection of different cordless chainsaws.
One of their best models is the Ryobi RY40511. This is a very light and powerful chainsaw ideal for any small sawing work around the house and backyard cleanups.
Corded chainsaws are usually not very popular due to the limitations imposed by the cable. This is why it does not come as a surprise that Ryobi sells only one corded model.
This is the Ryobi RY43155. A small and very lightweight (weighing at 5.8 lbs) saw that is nonetheless very powerful.
Sometimes you just need something more powerful and mobile. In this case, a gas-run saw may be worth the investment.
One of the best gas chainsaws by Ryobi is the RY3716.
We are talking about a 37 cc two-cycle engine. The saw is powerful enough to tackle down even larger trees.
Despite this, the chainsaw is also very lightweight, weighing at about 10 lbs.
Ryobi also offers a few different pole saws. You can choose from cordless or corded models.
The best selling one is Ryobi P4361. This is a neat little battery-powered saw that can be extended to reach branches up to 9.5 feet high. It is a durable and convenient saw that can be used for small pruning work on trees, shrubs, and bushes.
As always, there are going to be some brands that didn’t quite make it to the top (mostly because I don’t personally know them that well, or they just didn’t stand out to me as much as some of the others), but were very close and deserve recognition.
Some of these brands are:
- John Deere