What is the Best Chainsaw for the Money? (2023)

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Investing in a good chainsaw can get most of your lawn work done faster, but not everyone has enough budget to buy these premium power tools. Rather than choosing the cheapest option that can snap after light cutting tasks, you should buy a unit that’s guaranteed for the long haul.

To give you that, here are our recommendations for the best chainsaws for the money today.

Ergonomic Option
Makita-UC4051A
Editor’s Choice
Sun Joe SWJ701E
Heavy-duty Option
Husqvarna 455 Gas Rancher
Makita-UC4051A
Sun Joe SWJ701E
Husqvarna 455 Gas Rancher
• Auto Chain Oiler
• Bar and Chain: 16 inches
• Source: Corded Electric
• Current Delimiter
• Ergonomic Rubberized Handle
• Motor Power: 14 Amp
• Lightweight Design: 9.7 lbs
• Oregon Bar & Chain: 18 inches
• Kickback Brake
• Hand Guard
• Bar and Chain: 20 inches
• Type: Gas-Powered
• Side-Mounted Chain Tensioning
• Automatic Chain Oiler
• X-Torque Fuel Consumption
Ergonomic Option
Makita-UC4051A
Makita-UC4051A
• Auto Chain Oiler
• Bar and Chain: 16 inches
• Source: Corded Electric
• Current Delimiter
• Ergonomic Rubberized Handle
Editor’s Choice
Sun Joe SWJ701E
Sun Joe SWJ701E
• Motor Power: 14 Amp
• Lightweight Design: 9.7 lbs
• Oregon Bar & Chain: 18 inches
• Kickback Brake
• Hand Guard
Heavy-duty Option
Husqvarna 455 Gas Rancher
Husqvarna 455 Gas Rancher
• Bar and Chain: 20 inches
• Type: Gas-Powered
• Side-Mounted Chain Tensioning
• Automatic Chain Oiler
• X-Torque Fuel Consumption

Reviews of the Top Chainsaws for the Money

1. Sun Joe SWJ701E

Although Sun Joe SWJ701E runs with a 14 amp motor power, it’s not as heavy as other heavy-duty options of the same capacity. If you inspect the chainsaw closely as our team did, you’ll realize that it’s easy to handle, and It’s mainly because of its 9.7 lbs lightweight construction. 

Its 18-inch bar and chain are massive enough to handle thick lumber or limbs you need to get rid of. On top of that, you can rely on its automatic oiling system to keep everything lubricated to extend the tool’s life and avoid any interruption during usage. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. Makita-UC4051A

Given its great brand reputation in the power tool industry, not even our resident experts could resist the urge to test Makita-UC4051A. It may not have a gas engine, but this unit cuts more accurately and faster than typical chainsaws. 

As it’s equipped with a 16-inch bar, cutting large materials didn’t become an issue for us during the hands-on tests. Additionally, we found great comfort in its rubberized handles, which eased our extensive cutting operations. 

We also consider it one of the best chainsaws for the money because of its current delimiter. Thanks to this feature, users wouldn’t need to worry about motor overloading and overheating. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. Husqvarna 455 Gas Rancher

Another great chainsaw worth the money from a well-known brand is Husqvarna 455 Gas Rancher

It’s sold at a higher price than other options on this list, but its unmatched cutting speed of 9000 RPM and low-fuel consumption are features that will surely elevate your chainsaw experience. 

Although it runs with a heavy-duty gas engine, you can expect a seamless operation as it’s equipped with an advanced Smart Start system. It also features a reliable centrifugal air-cleaning system, making the unit’s air filters last longer than other models of the same class. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. EGO Power+ CS1401

Not all chainsaws are meant for small cutting jobs, but you can surely rely on EGO Power+ CS1401’s lightweight construction. Because this unit only operates with lithium-ion batteries, its operation can reach up to 6300 RPM. 

In a single charge, we were able to execute around 100 cuts using this reliable chainsaw. Unlike other battery-operated models, it recharges quite fast. 

Safety is also one of the priorities for this unit as it’s built with a low-kickback design and chain brake. You can efficiently finish any cutting task with the help of its brushless engine and adjustable chain tensioning. 

(You might also be interested in 16-inch and 18-inch EGO chainsaws here)

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. Worx WG304

Changing chains won’t be a problem for Worx WG304 as it’s a chainsaw equipped with a patented toolless tensioning and replacement system. And because it’s engineered with a chain brake and low-kickback bar, the user’s safety is the least of your worries. 

Despite its top-notch portability, its 15-amp engine and 18-inch bar chain allow this chainsaw to deliver a powerful performance enough to cut down tough trees. 

On top of that, it has an ergonomic handle that makes it easy for our testers to grip this unit, even in extensive cutting durations. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. Greenworks 40V

It’s not a secret that a power cord can affect your mobility during cutting operations. Thankfully, that’s not an issue you’ll face when using Greenworks 40V Chainsaw. This battery-operated tool can cut through thick limbs and wood pieces despite being a cordless option. 

If you compare it with other battery-operated units, it’s hard to ignore how it offers more torque. It operates with minimal twists and turns, so you can be sure that it will be durable enough to last for many changing seasons. 

We also liked that it produces less vibration, making it less likely for users to experience fatigue during usage. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. BLACK+DECKER LCS1020

If you’re a beginner or casual user, then BLACK+DECKER LCS1020’s 7 lbs weight should suit your cutting needs. It may not be as big as most models, with only a 10-inch bar and chain, but it should do enough in dealing with smaller jobs. 

It’s a cordless chainsaw, so it’s important to note that each full-charged session lasts around 30 to 45 minutes.

Upon inspecting, we also noticed a front hand guard installed in this unit. You may not know, but this feature can prevent you from being harmed by flying debris during operations. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Chainsaws for the Money Buyer’s Guide

Type of Chainsaw

Not all chainsaws are created equal, and that’s why not all can handle the same tasks. Here are the variations you’ll encounter when looking for the best chainsaw for the money. 

Electric

For this category, you’ll encounter two types of chainsaws. The first one is the corded electric model, which has its power source plugged into an outlet. And the other one is the cordless unit, which runs with batteries. 

Although battery-powered chainsaws offer more portability and mobility, our engineers would like to note that their cutting duration is limited. Unlike corded units, their power source isn’t continuous, and you need to recharge them. 

Gas

Most heavy-duty chainsaws operate with gasoline engines[1] and fuel tanks. Because of this, they produce more power and torque. 

However, it’s also not a secret that it’s often heavier and requires more maintenance, given its components. 

Manual

If you want a chainsaw that can fit in your pocket, it’s the perfect reason to get a manual chainsaw. This tool doesn’t have a motor to make it run, so you’ll have to use your hands to move your arms to make it cut. 

Overall Size and Weight

The size of your chainsaw determines what kind of tasks you can tackle. In that sense, you can say that a large model isn’t a suitable tool to choose if you’re planning to cut branches in tight spaces and vice versa. 

Although the weight may depend on the user’s preference and strength, we highly recommend considering the kind of task you’ll be doing. Will it take a long time to accomplish? 

If yes, using a heavyweight tool may cause hand fatigue in the long run and increases the chances of undesirable accidents. 

Bar Length

The bar is responsible for guiding the chain, so it’s crucial you inspect this component closely. Depending on the model, these tools may have bars as short as 8 inches and as long as 30 inches. 

If you’re a casual worker who uses chainsaws once in a while, models with 14 to 16-inch bars should suffice for your needs. However, if you’re engaged in regular backyard maintenance, you’ll need bars around 16 to 18 inches to cut down small to medium trees. 

For trimming and cutting larger trees on a regular basis, it’s always best to get chainsaws with 18-inch bars or higher to ensure durability and powerful performance. 

Chain Tensioning

The tension adjustments dictate your chainsaw performance. On top of that, it also ensures that you won’t be a victim of sudden kickback caused by a loose chainsaw chain. 

Because of this, it’s important to buy a unit with an adjustable and easy-to-access chain tensioner. 

Chain Oiling System

If you want to use your chainsaw safely and at its maximum capabilities, trust us when we say that the chain must be lubricated regularly. Failure to do this may make the blade dull faster than expected. 

Doing this could take time, so having an auto chain oiler in your unit should save you from all the hassle. This feature comes in fixed flow and adjustable flow variations. 

For the former, you can set a certain amount of oil that will flow into the chain consistently. Meanwhile, the former variation lets you adjust it freely depending on your needs. 

But regardless of the oiling system you’ll pick, don’t forget to consider the size of your unit’s reservoir. It should also help if the chainsaw has a small fuel level window so that you can keep monitoring. 

Safety Features

One of the many safety features any chainsaw should have is a chain catcher. You may not know, but this gear will shield you if the chain suddenly breaks during usage. 

Additionally, a unit with a flywheel should help prevent engine overheating and control the operational speed better. 

Kickback is also risky when using these tools, but a chainsaw with a chain brake will automatically stop chain movements once they detect it. Besides that, a hand guard will also keep you safe from the possible injuries caused by kickbacks. 

FAQ

Which is better, a gas or electric chainsaw?

If you’re cutting thicker and bigger trees, gas chainsaws have more power to tackle them without difficulty. However, felling smaller trees is a job more suitable for light-duty electric chainsaws. So overall, it depends on what kind of work you’ll tackle. 

What size of chainsaw should I get?

When deciding what size of chainsaw to purchase, always compare it to the material you’ll be cutting. The general rule is to get a chainsaw with a bar 2 to 3 inches longer than your target subject. 

So if you’re cutting a 10-inch limb, the best chainsaw to purchase is sized around 12-13 inches. 

What is the best chain saw size for homeowners or DIYers?

If you’re a casual homeowner with occasional backyard cutting tasks, models with bars sized 14 to 16 inches should suffice. However, you may want to get chainsaws longer than that if you’re thinking of using them regularly in different applications. 

What chainsaw size is the best for milling?

You can use a chainsaw sized 11 to 22 inches for milling. However, it highly depends on the size of logs you’ll be dealing with. 

The diameter of these materials will determine how massive your chainsaw should be. Nevertheless, it’s also better to use a model with a powerful engine. 

How frequently should I sharpen my chainsaw?

If you rarely use the chainsaw, it should be good to sharpen it once a year. On the other hand, regular usage will require you to do this more often, as this could wear and tear your chainsaw. Three hours of continuous operation should retain the blade’s sharpness.

What brands make the best chainsaws?

The brands that are known to make the best chainsaws are Stihl, Husqvarna, Makita, DeWalt, and Greenworks. However, these options aren’t always budget-friendly. 

Our Top Pick For a Chainsaw for the Money:
Sun Joe SWJ701E

When looking for the best chainsaw for the money, it’s important to consider both price range and cutting capabilities. Because of this, our backyard maintenance experts chose Sun Joe SWJ701E as our top pick. 

Not only is this chainsaw budget-friendly, but it also features an 18-inch bar and 14-amp motor power that isn’t common for models in the same price range. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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