What is the Best 16-inch Chainsaw? Reviews and Buying Guide (2024)

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Deciding which tool best suits your needs isn’t the toughest decision yet. It’s the strength and performance that a chainsaw can provide, whether it’s for home use or professional cutting jobs. 

You don’t want to buy one with an engine that breaks down suddenly while using at home or work. So, I’ve tested and ranked the best 16-inch chainsaws that ensure power and durability.

Premium Option
HUSQVARNA 16-Inch 435e II Gas Chainsaw
Editor’s Choice
CRAFTSMAN 41BY4216791
Budget Option
WORX WG303.1 Chainsaw
HUSQVARNA 16-Inch 435e II Gas Chainsaw
CRAFTSMAN 41BY4216791
WORX WG303.1 Chainsaw
• Lightweight Bar
• Quick Release Air Filter
• X-torque Function
• Lightweight polymer-design
• Reduced vibration
• Easy-Start Technology
• Ergonomic Front Handle
• Cutting Edge Technology
• Metal Spike Bumper
Premium Option
HUSQVARNA 16-Inch 435e II Gas Chainsaw
HUSQVARNA 16-Inch 435e II Gas Chainsaw
• Lightweight Bar
• Quick Release Air Filter
• X-torque Function
Editor’s Choice
CRAFTSMAN 41BY4216791
CRAFTSMAN 41BY4216791
• Lightweight polymer-design
• Reduced vibration
• Easy-Start Technology
Budget Option
WORX WG303.1 Chainsaw
WORX WG303.1 Chainsaw
• Ergonomic Front Handle
• Cutting Edge Technology
• Metal Spike Bumper

Reviews of the Top 16-inch Chainsaws

1. CRAFTSMAN 41BY4216791

When exploring the best 16-inch chainsaws, the Craftsman 41BY4216791 stood out for me. Designed mainly for hardcore professionals, it boasts a powerful 42ccs dual-cycle engine. That engine means business; when I used it, I noticed the low kickback chain reduced vibrations significantly, allowing for easy cuts even through tough wood.

It has a durable polymer-plastic design reducing the chainsaw’s weight without compromising its effectiveness and durability. It was nice to see that the handle combined with a soft polyester cover made for comfortable use over extended periods.

This Craftsman model also has an automatic flap and oiler that’s easily adjustable whether you want to increase or decrease the lubrication volume per task. Plus, the easy start technology ensures a smoother cutting process. It’s these thoughtful touches that really made a difference in my experience.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

2. WORX WG303.1

Another cheap variation of 16-inch chainsaws is the corded electric WORX WG303.1. I like that it’s durable and lightweight, only weighing 11 pounds. 

Running on 14.5 power amps, this chainsaw has an automatic tensioning system and lubrication, preventing the chain’s over-tightening. So, you can maintain the right tightness of the chainsaw. Plus, the added convenience of it being self-lubricating and having a low-oil indicator saved me from second-guessing when it was time for a top-up.

The rubberized rear handle combined with the full-wrap front handle gave me great control. It noticeably managed the chainsaw’s kickback, making for a safer operation. But since it’s one of those corded electric chainsaws, you’ll need a power outlet nearby. 

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. Makita UC4051A Electric Chain Saw

One of the common predicaments with chainsaws is the difficulty of starting it. But with the Makita UC4051A, it wasn’t a problem for me at all. The large trigger switch was right there, easy to find. It also has a toolless blade, making it easier when adjusted. 

I always prioritize safety, and this Makita 16″ had my back. There’s this built-in brake feature, which I think is crucial. You’ll also find a built-in current limiter that minimizes the power load impeding possible overheating. 

Makita also has a large oil reservoir with windows. At a glance, I could see if I needed to top up the oil. Simple, but so effective.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

4. Poulan Pro PR4016

The Poulan Pro PR4016 is designed ergonomically and runs with heavy performance and an incredible power set. It standout because of its patent – Oxy-power technology that provides more power but reduces fuel consumption by about 20%. 

This technology also minimizes the fumes that come out from the engine by about 70%. This Poulan 16-inch chainsaw also has a super clean air filter system that provides an advanced filtration mechanism. 

Additionally, it features a built-in compart for the adjustment tool, making it easy to carry the tool and adjust the chain tension everywhere. One thing to note, though, is that it only comes with the saw. If you’re looking for a carrying case, you’ll have to get that separately.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

5. Husqvarna 16-Inch 435e II Gas Chainsaw

The Husqvarna 435e II is crafted with advanced and innovative technology, which provides optimum performance. This chainsaw is designed with an advanced X-Torq engine, allowing reduced fuel consumption to extend the chainsaw’s usage due. 

Another impressive feature of this engine is the smart start technology that allows easy start. And with the advanced air injection technology keeping out dust particles, every cut was clean and accurate. 

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it – this unit might pinch the pocket a bit more than other saws. But after seeing its capabilities firsthand, I believe it’s a worthy investment for anyone serious about their tools.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

6. Hitachi CS33EB16 16-Inch Chain Saw

The Hitachi CS33EB16 16-Inch Chainsaw was a pleasant surprise in the gas-powered chainsaw category. It’s the lightest brand, only weighing 11 lbs, and has an anti-vibration system, making it the most comfortable and lightweight chainsaw, suitable for women and beginners.

Now, don’t let its size fool you. It packs enough punch for both professional and home use, adept at handling light to medium cutting tasks. 

Here are some other features worth mentioning. This Hitachi chainsaw has a chain catcher that prevents you from being hit once the chain accidentally slips or breaks. Another is its lockout system preventing accidents from the throttle trigger. Last is its spiked bumper or bucking spikes, which ensures the chainsaw’s operating stability.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

7. Remington RM1645 Chainsaw

This Remington RM1645 chainsaw is your best alternative if you want to save money on batteries or gas. 

It’s a battery-powered chainsaw that can take on huge jobs because it’s engineered for any skill level. Besides, it is one of the cheapest pieces of equipment with advanced features, making cutting tasks easier with better results. 

This Remington chainsaw has quickstart technology that equips it with an easy start and automatic chain oiler for precise lubrication. Not to forget, its 5-point anti-vibration system – it’s almost like the chainsaw knows how to give your arms a break!

What I Like

What I Don't Like

16-inch Chainsaws Buyer's Guide

Gas vs. Corded vs. Battery-Powered

Navigating the world of 16-inch chainsaws can be a challenge, but I’ve got some insights to share.

When deciding the type of 16-inch chainsaw you should get, opt for the most suitable for your needs. Conventional chainsaws are usually gas-powered, but they’re the best for heavy-duty work. 

However, 16-inch gas chainsaws can be very heavy. It also entails a lot of maintenance but can provide more power and mobility. 

Corded tools are best for home users who just need something reliable for tasks at home. You don’t have to worry about buying gas or changing batteries, and they are notably lighter. The trade-off? You’ll need to stay close to a power outlet. And in the price department, these often come out as the more affordable choice compared to their battery and gas-powered cousins.

You can expect great mobility, lightness, and enormous power with battery-powered tools or cordless chainsaw units. A lot of professional woodworkers I know keep one of these handy as a backup.

 They can be on the pricier side and run on a limited charge. So if you’re considering making it your primary tool, keep in mind you might want to invest in some extra batteries.

Handle and Bar Length

Chainsaws come in different bar lengths. Machines with bar lengths from 16″ to 22″ are the most popular and versatile tools to invest in. The length of the blade will define the trunk’s thickness that you can cut. 

While longer bars can cut thicker wood, you won’t likely need a bar longer than 20.”

Weight and Ease of Use

Weight is one of the most important factors to consider because as much power as there is with a gas chainsaw, it can be heavy and difficult to work around. 

Yet, I’ve noticed many professionals in tree-cutting swear by gas-powered chainsaws despite the heft.

Cordless chainsaws are lightweight and easier to use, so depending on what type of user you are, checking if the handles are comfortable will help you decide if the trade-off is worth your needs. 

Essential Features

Whether you’re using an electric power tool, or battery-powered chainsaws, recognizing the essential features is necessary.  

Automatic Oiler

The best 16-inch chainsaw units features an automatic oiler that ensures smooth cutting and keeps the chain lubricated as you cut. While some may be fully automatic, other chainsaws require manual oiling. 

Chainsaws with automatic oilers reduce fuel consumption, maximizing the machine’s efficiency. 

Spring-assist Start

Ever wrestled with a chainsaw’s pull string? It can test your patience, but here’s a silver lining: many of the best gas chainsaws now feature a spring-assist start. This feature makes it easier for you to start the engine as there’s lesser power needed when pulling your chainsaw. 

Tool-free Tensioning

Tools are also quite expensive, making chainsaws with tool-free tensioning preferable for woodworkers and DIYers like me. With this feature, you can easily adjust the chain tensioning without fishing out extra cash for separate tools.

Low Kickback Bar

Kickback is something I always caution new chainsaw users about. It doesn’t matter if you’re handling a battery or gas chainsaw; safety is paramount. My advice is to look for machines equipped with low kickback bars. Your safety is worth it.

Safety Features

Besides your budget, you should also prioritize your safety, especially when felling on large trees. You wouldn’t want cheaper chainsaws that have compromised safety functions, right? 

That’s why you must consider checking whether the chainsaw of your choice is secure enough with reliable safety features. 

Chain Brake

Check the electric chain brake and how to activate them properly. Usually, these can be activated by pushing the handguard forward. With the chain brake feature, the saw will automatically stop in case of malfunction or potential accidents. 

Anti-vibration System

Chainsaws with high vibration can cause a huge impact, resulting in the ‘vibration white finger’ or ‘hand-arm vibration syndrome. So I recommend going for saws with minimal vibrations, or they should be equipped with an anti-vibration system. 

Safe Start

Choose a saw with a safe start feature so it doesn’t start unless you have released the throttle trigger.

Additional Features and Accessories

Throughout my years of using chainsaws, I’ve realized it’s those little extras that can make a significant difference. Some 16-inch chainsaws come packed with features or handy add-ons – think blade cases or automatic tensioners. Those can be quite a treat for any woodworker, trust me.

Safety Gear

Using safety gear when operating any power machine is a must [1]. So make sure you have these things ready: 

Hard Hat

Always wear a hard hat to protect yourself from falling trees or branches if you’re working overhead.

Safety Goggles

Here’s something I learned the hard way: those tiny flying debris can be deceptive. They seem harmless, but a stray piece hitting your eye? Not fun. That’s why I always stress on protective glasses. Every. Single. Time.

Hearing Protector

The loud noise produced by chainsaws can cause irreversible damage to your ears, so always wear ear puffs or earplugs. 

Gloves

Your hands are the soul of working with your chainsaws; without gloves to help create tighter grips, you may lose control. 

Chainsaw Chaps and Pants

Flying debris is no joke. I can’t count how many times my trusty cut-resistant pants saved my legs. If you’re handling a chainsaw, invest in these. Your legs will thank you.

High-Vis Vests

Vests are a must when operating with power tools as it reduces the impact your body consumes when running the chainsaw.

Steel-toe Boots

Steel-toe boots protect your feet from getting cut as you work a chainsaw, though these may be a little heavy. A tip from me: go for ones with nonskid soles for extra protection from slips. 

Price

The cost of your chainsaw is a common metric that directs your decision on which to purchase. Consider your budget and be prepared for the flaws, depending on the price. 

You can be a smart shopper, procuring the most efficient and budget-friendly, or end up with one that you can only use for a short time. 

A corded electric chainsaw is cost-efficient because they run on a power source, while cordless chainsaws (including the gas chainsaw or battery-operated saw) can be quite heftier as batteries and gas are another cost that you should consider. 

Tips for Chainsaw Maintenance

What is a Chainsaw Used For?

Chainsaws are designed for cutting, but since there are different cutting jobs, so are different chainsaws for each type. You can make an array of tasks with a 16-inch chainsaw, including the following:

Pruning trees

Tree Pruning is the process of eliminating dead and loose wood. This allows the tree to be kept in shape and prevents branches from falling.

Felling trees

Tree felling is simply the term used when cutting trees. 

Bucking

Bucking is the process of cutting trees into usable lengths. 

Harvesting firewood

To harvest firewood, you’ll need a chainsaw to cut the logs. With its powerful cutting capabilities, it can quickly and precisely fell trees, allowing for easier collection and preparation of firewood. Using a 16-inch bar is best for cutting firewood pieces. 

FAQ

How big of a tree can a 16-inch chainsaw cut?

A 16-inch chainsaw can cut trees and limbs up to a maximum diameter of 12 to 14 inches. This size can also cut down larger trees, but you’ll have to adjust your working position to maximize efficiency. When cutting, you’ll have to consider the diameter to ensure rigid and precise cuts. 

What size chainsaw do loggers use?

Loggers use 16-inch chainsaw units due to their efficiency.  Depending on the logging load, they find it easy to work around as it can make a lot of different cuts. Professionals, however, opt for gas-powered chainsaws due to their high-performance capacity. 

Is a 16-inch chainsaw big enough?

Yes, a 16-inch chainsaw is big enough for homeowners who like to bring down huge trees and cut down limbs to maintain their property. Chainsaws of this length are convenient enough to provide performance and optimized power.

Which chainsaw should I buy, an 18 or 16-inch unit?

Both sizes of chainsaw are recommended, but your preference will depend on the budget since it’s where these chainsaw sizes vary. 

However, regarding the cutting mechanism, an 18 or 16-inch chainsaw is comparable and can cut thick branches. An 18,” however, is more universal and versatile. 

Is an electric chainsaw more hazardous?

Any chainsaw is dangerous and can expose you to a lot of accidents, whether it’s a cordless chainsaw (like battery chainsaws or a gas chainsaw) or corded-electric chainsaws. 

Gas chainsaws are more dangerous than corded chainsaw since they run on gas, and oil leaks are another possible mishap. 

When should I replace the chainsaw chain?

There are telltale signs of when you should replace your chainsaw chain, and the easiest and most common is cutting quality. If you see the cuts getting worse, the chains are probably dull. 

Sharpening may be a possible option, but it’s time to change it if that doesn’t solve the problem anymore. If you apply proper maintenance, then your chainsaw chain can run smoothly for about 5 years. 

my Top Pick For a 16-inch Chainsaw:
Craftsman 41BY4216791

After trying out numerous chainsaws, I’ve landed on the Craftsman 41BY4216791 as the best 16-inch chainsaw in my book. This cordless beauty doesn’t just look good—it performs like a champ with its dual-cycle engine.

It has great features like a low kickback chain, automatic flap and oiler, and easy-start technology for a complete cutting experience. The best part is it’s light enough to maneuver easily, ensuring a smooth and efficient cut every time.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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