What is the Best Chainsaw to Purchase in 2017?
Years ago, my father owned a company that specialized in the removal of unwanted trees and tree stumps for clients.
Chainsaws are commonly used products in most jobs. Even though you can’t finish a job with chainsaw, same as the awesome reciprocating saw, they are still mandatory pieces of equipment for wood workers, in forests and etc
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to work alongside my father in this business and gained quite a bit of experience in the usage and maintenance of chainsaws since I was working on job sites for the business for 5-6 days per week for nearly 5 years.
It was a tough line of work but understanding what chainsaws were models of chainsaws were durable and built to get the job done helped us to complete hundreds of tree-removal jobs.
With my experience, I was able to quickly learn what aspects of a chainsaw to look for when determining if it’s one that will truly hold up to the promises and job demands.
With that said, I’ve decided to write-up a guide on the best Chainsaws which is intended to help you find the best chainsaw model for your project(s).
For this buyer-review guide, I’ve purchased a total of six chainsaws each of which I reviewed and tested to bring you accurate and in-depth information about each of the chainsaw models included within this guide.
Since chainsaws tend to be on the more expensive side, it’s important to understand the build quality and capability of the chainsaw before you purchase so you alleviate the chance of purchasing a saw that won’t hold-up to your requirements.
Do I need a chainsaw?
While there are a multitude of tools and unique kinds of saws available that allow cuts to be made on trees/branches, chainsaws are most recommended as they’re quite versatile in the sense that many types of cuts can be performed and they’re the most powerful kind of saw that you can have in your arsenal.
What should know before purchasing a chainsaw?
There are many aspects to consider before you finally choose the best chainsaw to purchase and our guide is intended to provide you with the information you’ll need to choose a chainsaw that meets your standards and project requirements. Some of the many things to consider before choosing a chainsaw are the power capabilities, safety features, warranties and included accessories all of which you’ll be able to learn more about out in this write-up.
Chainsaw Reviews and Comparison Updated for 2017
Now that you fully understand the benefits and recommendations of purchasing, using and maintaining Chainsaws, it’s now time for our reviews of what we believe to be the best chainsaws currently available on the market! Don’t forget to check the guide bar length and power source. Here are the best models today.
1. Husqvarna 450 18-Inch Chainsaw
The Husqvarna 450 18-inch chainsaw was the chainsaw that I was most excited to review as Husqvarna is very well known for quality craftsmanship (in terms of build qualities) and high power output. This particular chainsaw is the best chainsaw for those with high volumes of work load so if you run a tree-removal company or live in a large lot where many trees are needing to be removed then this is the saw of choice!
This chainsaw, while being more powerful than the average chainsaw purchased by consumers is not as heavy professional-grade chainsaws so you’ll get the power you need while being able to easily handle the machine.
One of the features on this model that has best chainsaw enthusiasts talking is the new feature that’s known as “SmartStart” which is feature that’s proprietary to Husqvarna. This feature as I’m sure you’ve already guessed makes starting the machine much easier for its users by reducing the amount of pulling power needed to start the saw by 40%!
Features of the Husqvarna 450 18-inch Chainsaw includes:
- Perfectly powered saw that will serve well for both residential and commercial users.
- Powerful 3.3 horsepower X-Torq based engine which provides better fuel efficiency while reducing emissions.
- Low amount of vibration and easy startups with the SmartStart feature.
- Keep your air filter clean with the Centrifugal air cleaning system.
In simpler terms, compared to the previous models of their saws, you’ll only need to pull the cord at 60% of the power that you’d use to start older models as the resistance has been adjusted to make start-ups easier.
I was also happy to see that a new mechanism was added that combines the “choke” and “stop” in to one button which prevent the saw from flooding. Flooding can be a pain and an inconvenience to deal with especially when you’re in the middle of a project.
However, Husqvarna didn’t stop there; they continued to improve upon their already impressive Husqvarna 450 upgrades by adding an attached fuel pump which will ensure that all of the fuel lines are kept clear at all times.
This saw was really put to the test during an 8-hour job that consisted of cutting through 12-inch pine logs and only once or twice was there a sign of resistance or strain on the motor. I can tell you now that the centrifugal system which is designed to keep debris out of the air filter works very well (better than any other saw that I’ve reviewed).
2. Husqvarna 455 Rancher 20-inch Chainsaw
The Husqvarna 455 Rancher (20-inch blade) is an incredibly well-built chainsaw from quality parts that’s powerful enough to handle nearly any job that you throw at it.
I’ve owned multiple chainsaws which were counted as the best chainsaw in the past that were built by Husqvarna and I must say that I can tell that a lot of improvements have been made to this new and improved model (the 455 Rancher).
Some of the new features included with this chainsaw are the new x-torque engine (which reportedly allows you to use the chainsaw with a huge reduction in gas consumption) and a centrifugal air filtration system which smartly removes dust or wood particles from the saw before being able to reach the air filter (a great feature for avoiding damage to the chainsaw).
One aspect that I’d like to discuss about this chainsaw is the vibration levels which to me are very important considering that I use my chainsaws for hours at a time.
After just a few minutes of usage, I quickly realized (and was pleasantly surprised) to see how low the vibration level was. After doing some research I found out that Husqvarna in-part introduced the x-torque engine mechanism not only to reduce fuel consumption but to reduce the amount of vibration caused by the engine.
It’s because of these features that I consider the Husqvarna 455 Rancher to be the best gas chainsaw of 2017.
- Low gas/fuel consumption which is due to the new and improved z-torq engine.
- Easy cleaning and replacement process of the air filter (changeable in a matter of a couple minutes).
- Centrifugal air filtration and cleaning system which stops wood dust and particles from reaching the air filter (stops around 90% of debris).
- 20-inch chain with a 1/2cc, 2-Stroke engine.
If I had to guess, I’d say there’s at least 50% less vibration on this chainsaw compared to previous best chainsaw models that I’ve used by this manufacturer and they’ve done a fantastic job at not only improving on these areas but on the build quality as well.
I really put this chainsaw to the test and used it for around 6 hours on a job that required me to cut 8-foot pieces of wood (34 pieces in total) and I was able to breeze through the entire job with this chainsaw without running in to any issues.
If you do the math on that, I made a total of around 425 cuts in a period of just 6 hours and the saw/blade were still going very strong.
Overall, I highly recommend the Husqvarna 455 Rancher saw to anyone looking for a durable; high-quality chainsaw that will meet any job requirements that you put it up to the test to. The Husqvarna is without doubts one of the best chainsaws in the industry.
3. Makita XCU02PTX1 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill
I must say that I’m typically the kind of guys who tends to stay away from electrics chainsaws as I’ve always been under the impression that they’re less powerful than traditional chainsaws and I never had the urge to really go out and purchase one, so counting this model in our best chainsaw comparison wasn’t trivial.
However, with an exception made for this review, I decided to purchase the Makita XCU02PTX1 cordless/electric chainsaw and if I had to sum-up my impression of this electric chainsaw in just a couple of words I would say that it’s “Simply Awesome”!
I was very surprised at the power and sharpness of the blade as I cut 8-foot sections of wood for a couple of hours and this electric saw just about held up to a standard, has-powered chainsaw.
- Two large and powerful batteries delivering a chain speed of 1,650 FPM.
- Two batteries (18V LXT) will be included within the chainsaw kit.
- Zero emissions and low operational noise levels making working and wood grinding a more pleasant experience.
- Ability to change-out the chain without the use of tools.
Makita has done a great job at designing and constructing this saw and I was very impressed at the power output of the two 18V LXT batteries that power this 18-inch saw.
What’s nice about this chainsaw kit is that Makita includes not one but two 18V LXT 5.0Ah batteries in additional to a dually ported charger (no need to purchase these accessories separately which saves you money).
I was also happy to see that a four and a half inch angle grinder (paddle switch) which is developed and designed to allow you to perform grinding cuts at power levels similar to that of the best gas powered chainsaws.
For being an electric chainsaw I’m very impressed by what this saw is capable of but with 1,650 FPM and two large powerful batteries powering the blade you’ll be able to handle any job with the Makita XCU02PT electric chainsaw!
4. DEWALT DCCS690M1 Chainsaw
First off, I want to say that one of the most important things to take in to consideration before purchasing your best chainsaw are the warranties that are offered by the manufacturer as you don’t want to get stuck later down the line with a large repair bill is something were to happen to the saw.
DEWALT is a household name and provides each customer who purchases this saw with not only a 3-year limited warranty but a one full year of free service and a 90-day, no hassle money back guarantee!
DEWALT stands behind their products and this great chainsaw was nothing short of impressive and powerful which you’ll learn more about below.
The Dewalt 40V Max DCCS690 boasts a 16-inch chain and is now powered by a brushless motor which is a great improvement over previous models since brushless motors tend to provide more power to the blade while also allowing the saw to be used for a longer duration of time.
What I also like about brushless motors is that you don’t need to worry about wearing out carbon brushes so conducting maintenance on the saw doesn’t need to be done that often.
Speaking of low maintenance, during development of this awesome chainsaw, DEWALT included what’s called “LubriLink” and “LubriWell” technology which lubricates the chain on the saw for you!
This will allow you to spend less time doing maintenance and more time getting the job done! One of the many reasons that the DEWALT 40V is considered to be one of the best electric chainsaws.
- A low-kickback bar system with easy handling featuring a 16-inch chain.
- Easy maintenance with self-oiling LubriLink system/technology.
- Quick oil refills with a quick-turn oil cap.
- Adjust chain and bar tensioning without the use of tools.
- User-friendly and lightweight (Only weighs 13.5 pounds).
I did quite a bit of research on this particular chainsaw and read many positive reviews from buyers about it with many chainsaw enthusiasts stating that it’s the perfect chainsaw for those needing the power of gas but also want the option of cordless usage, which makes it a valuable model in this best chainsaw test.
Before concluding my review on this DEWALT electric chainsaw, I want to point out a few benefits of this particular model that I believe a majority of “best chainsaw shoppers” will find useful.
For many, quite obvious reasons, electric chainsaws provide many benefits compared to traditional gas-powered saws some of which include much less maintenance and low noise levels. If you’re like me and have shoulder problems, the Dewalt 40V Max DCCS690 chainsaw may be the best chainsaw for your money as using the saw only requires that you squeeze the trigger and when released the chainsaw will stop.
This will save your arm from the constant pulling and will be much cheaper in the long-term to operate with or without a license.
5. Oregon Cordless 40V CS300 Chainsaw
Oregon is one of those chainsaw manufacturers that don’t release new models of of their best chainsaws often but when they do they do a great job at catching up to current chainsaw user expectations by upgrading internal components and innovating self-maintenance technologies to make usage of the saw as user-friendly as possible.
The Oregon 40V Chainsaw, among the best chainsaw experts community has been dubbed the name as the “Self-Sharpening Chainsaw” which boasts a 4.0Ah battery which requires a 4-hour charge before use.
The charge time is the only downfall of this model in my opinion but if you don’t mind waiting a few hours to use the saw and aren’t pressured to have quick charges then it’s well worth the waiting time.
This saw is quite aggressive when grinding through wood and it tears through the wood like there’s no tomorrow! This is due to the new and improved Oregon 81PS PowerSharp saw chain which works simultaneously with built-in technology that actually sharpens the teeth of the saw for you during use.
- A powerful brushless motor that doesn’t require much maintenance.
- A 16-inch bar with a chain tension system that doesn’t require the use of tools.
- No pull-start required – Simply squeeze the trigger to start and release to stop.
- A self-sharpening system will sharpen dulled teeth which is accomplished by using PowerSharp technology.
- Lightweight (weighs only 12-pounds including the battery) and is easy to handle.
- A 4.0 Ah battery pack will be included and will require a 4-hour charge to be full.
The self-sharpening mechanism is quite effective at its job and is accomplished by a lever on top of the saw that curves to a meeting point with a sharpening stone which sharpens dulled teeth on the saw during usage.
In regards to the battery life of the best chainsaw in general I was actually quite content with the 51 cuts that I was able to perform on a full-charge. I tested the saw to cut a 10-inch pine log which took right around 11 seconds which for a 4.0 amp powered chainsaw isn’t too shabby.
Keep in mind that the 10-inch pine log that I cut was done as a stress-test and I don’t advise that you purchase this saw to cut wood of this size as Oregon recommends that you only cut wood that’s no thicker than 3-inches.
Yes, that’s right, 3-inches is the recommended maximum thickness for this saw and while it did manage to cut the 10-inch pine log during the stress-test, I could tell the motor was under stress and almost stalled once although it did end up pulling through in the end and made the desired cut that I was looking to accomplish.
My conclusion on the Oregon 40V CS300 Chainsaw Overall, it’s a great saw that I think would work great for individuals that need a saw for “around the house” kind of maintenance such as cutting dead branches off trees. I wouldn’t recommend performing cuts over 3-inches as in the long-term you’re going to wear the motor out quickly as this wasn’t built nor intended for heavy-duty cuts. If you’re shopping on a budget and want a cordless and easy-to-use model then definitely put this one on your best chainsaw consideration list!
6. Echo CS-590 20-inch Timber Wolf Chainsaw
At first I wasn’t going to review this chainsaw as one of the best chainsaws but after reading many good reviews on Amazon from buyers I knew I had to test this “bad boy” out for myself!
I typically don’t think of Echo chainsaws when I’m needing the best chainsaw or saw in general for heavy-duty work that requires commercial strength, But before getting in to the details I’ll say now that I’m highly impressed with what Echo has built here.
First, I was shocked at the weight of the saw as just by appearance it seems that it’d weight less than the actual weight of the saw although it does weigh considerably less than the Echo CS-400 model.
While not discussed too much by Echo, one thing I noticed is that they’ve tremendously improved upon weight distribution. As soon as I picked up this saw, heaviness was quite noticeable although the weight “seems to be” evenly distributed throughout the saw as a whole.
Features of the Echo CS-590 20-inch Chainsaw includes:
- Engine Size 59.8 cc (2-stroke).
- A large fuel capacity capable of holding 21.8 ounces of gasoline.
- A decompression valve which makes starting the saw easier than ever before.
- A good sized oil capacity of capable of holding 10.1 ounces.
- A 1-year warranty for commercial users and 5 years for consumers (residential use).
Working and grinding wood for an entire day with this saw left me with no back pain and I never had to strain to make a cut as positioning the saw and leveraging it to the perfect position was as easy as it gets!
After extended usage of this saw, I’m literally blown away by the sheer power that this thing puts out and it’ll definitely not disappoint you regardless of what you task it with.
In the past, I’ve purchased and owned saws at twice the cost of this saw that only performed at about 50% of what this saw is capable of so if you choose to go with the ECHO Timber WOLF CS-590 as your best chainsaw you’ll be receiving a tremendous value for your money!
How do you choose from the best Chainsaws in 2017?
We get it, with so many unique chainsaws available on the market, choosing to purchase a particular chainsaw model can be difficult because you’re never really sure about how the saw will perform until you have it in-hand.
However, the chainsaw reviews in this guide are unbiased and are from my honest view points and opinions from my hands-on experience. Apart from the reviews and pricing, one thing you’ll want to consider foremost are your job requirements that you’ll be tasking your saw with.
Since saws can vary quite drastically between commercial and residential use, make sure you fully read and understand the specifications and features of the saws listed within this guide so you can make a great purchase decision.
Also make sure that you actually need a normal chainsaw and not pole model for your project, and not something like circular saw or jigsaw or whatever.
Thanks for reading our “Chainsaw Reviews” guide! I hope that I’ve been able to provide you with valuable information that will help you to choose the best chainsaw for all of your cutting needs!