You might be a professional who makes his or her livelihood in the forestry industry. Or perhaps you’re a busy suburban white-collar worker who wants to clean up some of the overgrown brush and fallen trees on your property this weekend.
Irrespective of your situation, you need to purchase a good chainsaw that will be suited to your needs. But where do you begin? It can be a daunting and time-consuming task figuring out what companies make the best chainsaws.
Well, don’t fret, because I am going to explain to you the top brands. When you’re done reading, you’ll be able to decide just who makes the best chainsaw and which brand is best for you.
What features do you desire?
Before I talk about the top brands, I want to ask you what you’re looking for in a chainsaw. Features such as tool-free chain tensioning and choke on/off switch are generally found on most chainsaws while air pre-cleaning systems will only be in the more expensive models.
The top brands of chainsaws include Craftsman, Echo, Homelite, Husqvarna, Stihl and John Deere. While most of the leading companies who design chainsaws are based in the United States, Husqvarna is a Swedish outfit while Stihl chainsaws are made in Germany.
Follow along as I discuss each of the top brands produced by these companies (in no particular order).
A household name if there ever was one, Husqvarna started off nearly four centuries ago as a company that produced muskets and other equipment for the Swedish military. Over the past 80 years, Husqvarna has proven itself to be one of the leading manufacturers of chainsaws on the planet.
These high-quality chainsaws are often preferred over other leading brands. Like their American and Japanese counterparts, these Swedish power tools have bar lengths ranging from 14 – 20 inches.
You can purchase Husqvarna chainsaws in major retailers such as Lowe’s as well as dealers and online.
One of the most popular models nowadays is the Husqvarna 460 Rancher. It’s a great all around saw, slightly above their “occasional use” chainsaws in terms of power.
You can see it in action in the following video:
Husqvarna chainsaws are a big hit with hobbyists and professionals alike due to the fact that they are generally light, powerful and easily maneuverable. Furthermore, filters are easy to clean and never get that dirty to begin with.
This is one of the most common names in gas and electric saws you see in hardware stores throughout North America and indeed the world. This company – originally owned by Sears – has been producing the finest high-quality tools since 1927.
Craftsman chainsaws have bar lengths that range from 10 – 20 inches.
Craftsman makes very versatile saws geared toward the consumer market which includes both professionals and hobbyists.
One highly popular type of chainsaw produced by this company is the Craftsman 41BY429S799. Review after review has hailed this power tool is one of the best on the market.
It is powerful enough to fell large trees. The 41BY429S799 also has a loud engine, which means you probably want to do your cutting away from quiet residential neighborhoods.
Furthermore, this type uses an 18-inch bar and 42cc two-cycle engine to give you the best results. You can buy it on Amazon.
The first Japanese corporation to make our list, Echo’s roots go back to 1947, when it began as the Kioritz Corporation. The separate Echo company was started in 1978.
If you’re in the market for a powerful gas-engine chainsaw, you can’t go wrong with Echo. As with other brands, Echo chainsaws have bar lengths starting at 12 inches to beyond 20 inches.
These chainsaws, which are geared toward the average consumer as well as forestry professionals, have received generally positive ratings.
Happy customers have stated that the Echo is extremely easy to start the first time and is powerful enough to cut through hardwood without much muss. These types of chainsaws are also economical to use and operate.
Little wonder why this major U.S. outfit made our list of the top chainsaw-producing companies. Originally a maker of generators, The Homelite Corporation designed one of the first electric chainsaws in 1946.
In 1963, Homelite produced the world’s first truly lightweight chainsaw, the magnesium-alloy framed Homelite XL – 12.
Today, Homelite makes a variety of gas and electric chainsaws. Because the bar lengths are under 18 inches, models are marketed toward consumers such as yourself. Homelite chainsaws are renowned for being easy to start and powerful enough for doing jobs such as pruning and cleaning up minor storm damage.
When Andreas Stihl set out to build an early version of the chainsaw in 1926, he probably never foresaw his name becoming iconic around the globe. Stihl’s legacy lives on to this day.
Here’s an interesting fact: while Stihl is not only the world’s best-selling brand of chainsaws, it’s also the only company that makes its own customized chains and guide bars.
Whether you’re after a consumer or professional-grade gas or electric chainsaw, Stihl most likely has something suited to you. As with other leading brands, Stihl electric chainsaws have smaller bar lengths than their gas – powered counterparts.
There are certain types of Stihl chainsaws that have stood the test of time and the Stihl MS 170 remains one of the most popular. The MS 170 has a 30. 1cc motor, which makes it perfect for felling and pruning those small trees on your property as well as cutting up your winter’s firewood.
John Deere makes chainsaws? Like you, I was a bit surprised by this piece of news. Yes, the world-famous manufacturer of farm equipment – whose origins go back almost two centuries – makes high-quality chainsaws.
Though not as popular as the other leading brands mentioned in this article, John Deere chainsaws are nonetheless admired enough to make the list.
John Deere chainsaws are known for being very powerful and are geared more toward farm and forestry work than the yard. Engine power 77cc up to 81cc.
John Deere chainsaws are also rugged and durable and are widely used in cold climates such as the northern United States and Canada.
Other notable brands
There are other perhaps not as world-famous but nonetheless popular brands of chainsaws that deserve mentioning. These are Greenworks, Worx, Remington, Oregon, Makita, DEWALT, and Black and Decker.
It isn’t uncommon to find these brands alongside the others listed above in your local hardware store or power tool dealer. I will discuss about each one and how they can be of benefit to you.
Here’s a large, multinational corporation with Swedish roots that has offices all over Europe, the United States and Asia. As you might have guessed, Greenworks makes durable, reliable chainsaws for both regular consumers as well as forestry professionals.
As the name suggests, the company specializes in both corded and cordless, electric saws and other home care equipment. One of the most popular brands of Greenworks chainsaws currently on the market is the 80V Cordless Chainsaw.
This workhorse is capable of performing over 150 cuts on a fully-charged Li-ion battery. If you thought that was impressive, did you know that the 80V is as powerful as a 45cc gas chainsaw? Furthermore, it has a brushless motor that helps to extend the life of the chainsaw.
Were you aware that the Chinese were into building high-quality power tools, including chainsaws? Worx is a relative newcomer to this game, but it’s showing itself as a feisty competitor.
Worx is actually a line of power tools made by the Positec Tool Corporation. Now, let me talk about the awesome chainsaws designed by this corporation.
Although there are some who may think that Worx is a lousy chainsaw, review after review states otherwise. They are very effective and are excellent for those small cutting jobs around the property.
In fact, Worx chainsaws have become so popular with middle class folks the world over that they are mass-produced by Positic, thus making them affordable. One of their best selling products is the WG303.1, which is an affordable, high performance electric chainsaw.
Companies rarely focus on designing one product, and Remington is no exception. This world-famous American outfit – whose roots originate in the 19th century – may be known for firearms, but it also builds a mean chainsaw.
Remington power tools are found in hardware stores. The chainsaws made by this company have a wide appeal as they get the job done. Some of the larger cordless chainsaws feature a 40V MAX/36V battery, brushless motors, 12-inch bar and chains and automatic chain oiler.
Of course, the company also makes corded chainsaws for those of us who don’t want to be hindered by battery life while doing their work.
Oregon chainsaws tend to be a big hit with lumberjacks and those who need a powerful tool while working in the woods. Let me tell you now, the Oregon chainsaw really delivers.
Oregon Products have been a major player on the power tool scene for several decades. What’s more, this company – which is aptly based in Portland, Oregon – has the distinction of having the only self-sharpening corded electric chainsaw on the market.
If you’re looking for a chainsaw that gives you little trouble in starting it, is low maintenance, is quiet and easy to sharpen and handle, you can’t go wrong with Oregon.
This is one of the oldest companies to make the list. The world-famous name in chainsaws began over a century ago when Mosaburo Makita of Nagoya, Japan, found Makita Electric Works.
Mr. Makita started this legacy selling and repairing lighting equipment, motors, engines as well as transformers and just about any type of mechanical device you could imagine.
As technology progressed, Makita expanded its products. By the sixties, it was one of the leading manufacturers of chainsaws.
How good are Makita chainsaws? How exactly do they measure up to other leading brands spoken about in this article?
Like Oregon, many of the types of chainsaws designed by this historic Japanese company are geared toward heavy-duty forestry use. Customers in various countries have praised Makita chainsaws for their power, torque and lightweight handling.
Furthermore, Makita chainsaws have powerful engines, which makes them perfect for professional foresters that consistently fell trees. I was surprised to learn that Makita chainsaws have lower emissions than other leading brands, thus making them environmentally – friendly.
DeWalt Power Tools is actually a subsidiary of Black and Decker. Like other brands, DeWalt builds a variety of chainsaws with different engine strengths and bar lengths. Overall, they are a fairly popular line of chainsaws.
One feature of the DeWalt brand of chainsaws that make them stand out from their competitors is the FlexVolt technology used in them.
Let me explain: the FlexVolt system makes use of distinctively designed batteries that change voltages depending upon the chainsaw’s voltage requirement. Voltages typically run between 20V and 60V.
The heavier models of DeWalt chainsaws are outfitted a long chain that features 0.043 – inch thick drive links.
Another nifty feature found in many DeWalt chainsaws is the flip-up tab on the oil cap. These caps are easy to open with a quarter turn, making adding oil an a relatively painless endeavor.
One final word about some of the main features found on DeWalt chainsaws before I move on. Many of the popular models have a tool-free bar adjustment that many customers have found to be convenient. There is also a chain brake.
Black and Decker
If you’ve never heard of this iconic brand of power tools, you’ve most likely been living under a rock. Yes, Black and Decker makes a strong, reliable chainsaw that is popular with regular consumers.
These chainsaws have over a century of strong manufacturing behind them. Black and Decker formed in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1910.
Black and Decker is renowned for manufacturing lightweight saws aimed at getting that yard work done. One of the most popular brands is the LCS1240 40V Cordless Chainsaw.
This battery-operated saw has little kickback and a chain that provides smooth and fast cuts.
The LCS1240 is also admired by average homeowners who perhaps aren’t experts in the handling and maintenance of chainsaws.
You’ll especially like the tool-free blade tension system which allows for easy use and fast adjustments. A lightweight design of only 10.4 pounds reduces fatigue and enables you to maneuver without much hassle.
Now that you’ve been shown the top brands of chainsaws in the world, it’s ultimately up to you to decide who makes the best chainsaw.
As always, it will depend upon your needs and budget.