What is the Best Firewood Chainsaw? Powerful for Cutting Wood and Trees (2023)

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There might be a lot of best firewood chainsaws out there, but a lot of them can tear down bigger logs and may even hurt you and the people around you. 

To avoid these cases, our logging pros tested a few chainsaw models to ensure they are up for the task and to keep your firewood cutting easier and safer.

Premium Option
Greenworks 40v 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
Editor’s Choice
Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-in 60.3-cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
Budget Option
Dewalt DCCS620B MAX* XR Chainsaw
Greenworks 40v 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-in 60.3-cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
Dewalt DCCS620B MAX* XR Chainsaw
• Brushless motor
• Automatic oiler
• 16-inch bar
• Push button
• 60.3 cc
• 24-inch bar
• 3.62 HP X-torq engine
• Quick-release air filter
• Compact
• 12-inch bar
• 9 lbs with battery
• 90 cuts per charge
Premium Option
Greenworks 40v 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
Greenworks 40v 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
• Brushless motor
• Automatic oiler
• 16-inch bar
• Push button
Editor’s Choice
Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-in 60.3-cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-in 60.3-cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
• 60.3 cc
• 24-inch bar
• 3.62 HP X-torq engine
• Quick-release air filter
Budget Option
Dewalt DCCS620B MAX* XR Chainsaw
Dewalt DCCS620B MAX* XR Chainsaw
• Compact
• 12-inch bar
• 9 lbs with battery
• 90 cuts per charge

Reviews of the Top Firewood Chainsaws

1. Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-in 60.3-cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw

The most efficient gas chainsaw for cutting firewood is the Husqvarna 460 Rancher. It features cutting-edge technology that allows for remarkable efficiency and smooth operation despite its compact size. 

This professional chainsaw is noticeably less cumbersome to operate than other powerful gas chainsaws. As claimed by the chainsaw’s smart start technology, it really fired up on the first pull of the rope during our tests. 

Husqvarna developed a unique X-Torq technology to minimize the company’s products’ gas usage significantly. This technology improves upon earlier generations by reducing fuel usage to give you more miles per gallon.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. Greenworks 40V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

The Greenworks G-Max 40V is an excellent choice if you want a tool and battery delivered together in one convenient box. If you need a powerful tool for outdoor work, go no further than this battery-powered chainsaw.

Increased runtime is possible thanks to the chainsaw’s larger battery and rapid charging technology. The brushless motor’s cutting-edge design means you get double the torque and twice the power of a conventional motor, guaranteeing exceptional performance. 

You’ll have no problem sawing through solid oak or hickory. You can avoid noise and fume without sacrificing the chainsaw’s performance by purchasing a Greenworks G-Max.

(For more options of the same size, check this review of the best 16-inch chainsaws next!)

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. DEWALT 20V MAX* XR Chainsaw

The Dewalt XR is a high-performance battery tool with low-kickback technology, precise user control, a strong brushless motor, and a toolless tensioning system.

A highly effective brushless motor gives this battery chainsaw the power of its gas-powered counterpart. Our skilled hands easily sliced even the treated wood into manageable chunks.

Our forestry professionals tried several types of logs, confirming the manufacturer’s claim that a single unit can produce between 85 and 90 individual cuts is true. Its battery is small, light, and more affordable than other rivals, making it easy to control while chopping down logs into firewood.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

Husqvarna has been operating since 1689, making it one of the chainsaw industry’s oldest and most trusted names—they also make the best chainsaws and power tools.

The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is one of the best gas chainsaws for cutting firewood because of its lightweight design. Its 11-pound weight makes it far lighter than comparable chainsaws in its class. 

We like that this Husqvarna chainsaw features an X-Torq Engine that can cut emissions by 60% and fuel consumption by 20%, which means you can go for longer on a single tank of petrol, saving money.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. Worx WG304.1 15 Amp 18" Electric Chainsaw

The Worx WG 304.1 is an affordable chainsaw that will make quick work of chopping firewood. This corded electric chainsaw packs a punch and is packed with time-saving conveniences.

An Auto-tensioning technology, which Worx has patented, is used to keep chains in good working order. We like that this innovative method eliminates the common problem of the chain tightening too much while using the chainsaw.

You don’t have to worry about constructing the chainsaw because it’s already assembled. The manufacturer provides a full replacement guarantee for the first three years, so you know the product is high-quality and will last.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. CRAFTSMAN 41BY4216791 S165 42cc Gas Chainsaw

The Craftsman S165 is a reasonably-priced gas chainsaw with a wide range of applications. Besides making quick work of firewood, it’s also useful for felling medium- to small-sized trees with ease, which makes this one of the best firewood chainsaws.

A 42 cc double-cycle engine delivers impressive power, easily able to lop through the hardest of woods; thus, large-scale property maintenance is a breeze with this gas-powered saw.

Changing spark plugs and the air filter is easier because you don’t need any tools, so you can switch them out without worrying about breaking anything. Plus, the bar and chain are always well-oiled thanks to the automated chain oiling system.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020

As far as 20-inch gas-powered saws go, it’s one of the most reasonably priced and sturdy options, making quick work of even the thickest trees for firewood.

Thanks to its OxyPower Engine Technology, it reduces emissions by 70% and decreases fuel consumption by 20%, both of which are major selling points. We also like their version of Intertia-activated for breaking the chain in the event of an unexpected kickback.

We recommend the Poulan Pro 20-Inch 50cc Chainsaw for cutting firewood, especially if you reside in a location with trees that are slightly larger than average. You can also alter the chain while out in the field.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Firewood Chainsaw Buyer’s Guide

Gas or Electric?

Most experts still choose the tried-and-true gas-powered chainsaw when cutting wood. While they are exceptionally strong and long-lasting, they have one big drawback: excessive noise and exhaust.

Although cutting-edge technology has greatly mitigated the annoyances of noise and pollution, [1] they remain intractable even in the best chainsaws for cutting.

In terms of cost, the most cost-effective option is a corded electric chainsaw. They’re cheap and quite effective, although one must use electricity to hook them in, and the cord can be a nuisance.

When considering power and portability, cordless or battery-operated are the best chainsaws. You get the performance of a gasoline chainsaw without the weight or noise. They are, however, somewhat pricey.

Power Output

According to our expert loggers, since the engine will be doing most of the work, it’s really important to select a good chainsaw with an engine power that is up to the task.

If you need to chop lumber 22 inches in diameter, having a 35cc engine doesn’t help you much. The ideal engine size for a firewood chainsaw is anything between 60 and 70cc. Fortunately, we’ve selected chainsaws with the most powerful engines for effortless firewood cutting.

Bar Size

Power SizeBar Size
Corded Electric: 8-10 Amps10-14″
Corded Electric: 12-15 Amps16-18″
Battery: 18-24 Volt10″
Battery: 36-40 Volt12-16″
Battery: 56-80 Volt16-18″
Gas: 32cc – 42cc14-16″
Gas: 45cc – 50cc18-20″
Gas: 51cc – 60cc20-24″

Chainsaw Size and Weight

Ideally, the best chainsaw for cutting firewood should have a bar that is two inches wider than the thickest part of the material you’ll be cutting.

Thus, a chainsaw bar length of at least 10 inches is required for cutting a log that is 8 inches in diameter but greater than 4 inches thick. Traditional chainsaws have a bar that typically measures 12 and 20 inches and is enough for wood cutting.

Lubrication System

The lubricating system is important. It is a crucial feature in some of the best chainsaws for cutting firewood because manually oiling the bar and chain wastes time.

Current chainsaws have easily adjustable automatic chain and bar oiling systems. Low oil in the bar and chain reservoir triggers an alarm.

The best chainsaws for cutting should have oil tanks with a see-through side to monitor levels, like the Echo CS Timber Wolf. For optimal bar and chain performance, keep the oil tank full to keep the chain lubricated and avoid a dull chain.

Wood Size and Type

Logs no more than 12 inches in diameter provide no problem for a quality chainsaw engine with a displacement of 30 to 45 cc. A 50 cc engine can cut logs 16 inches in diameter or greater. 

As you go on to larger logs, you’ll need the best chainsaws for cutting that feature a motor of at least 60cc to cut down anything smaller than 22 inches, and the best chainsaw for cutting firewood more than 22 inches should have a motor of 70cc.

Chain Tensioning

There’s something else to consider when looking for the best chainsaws for cutting firewood: the chain tensioning system. There are three distinct varieties of tensioning mechanisms for chains.

Only a small number of chainsaws use an automatic chain tensioning system. Eliminating the need to constantly re-tighten the chain is a huge time saver.

There is a dial on the side of the chainsaw that you can turn to tighten or loosen the chain without needing any tools.

A chainsaw with a tooled tensioning system needs a wrench or a screwdriver to be adjusted. Scrench, a single instrument that combines a wrench and a screwdriver, is included with some of the best chainsaws for cutting firewood.

Tooled tensioning is the most effective method since it securely maintains the chain in the predetermined positions.

Safety Features

You can get inexpensive chainsaws, but if you want to use them mostly for cutting firewood, you should invest in a high-quality one. It is not just a secure and financially sound investment but also one that will help prevent harm.

High-quality chainsaws for cutting firewood are built with security in mind. Preventing harm to yourself and others must be your main priority, so don’t forget to check the chainsaw’s safety features and purchase your safety gear.

Accessories

If you are looking for the best chainsaws for cutting firewood, price is important, but don’t get any cheap tool with the right chainsaw reviews.

You need the best firewood chainsaws that can get the job done, has the safety features and accessories you require, is as quiet as possible, produces as little exhaust as attainable, and has any other useful features. 

To make sure you get all the accessories included, make sure you have read our best chainsaw for firewood reviews.

Benefits of Using a Chainsaw to Cut Firewood

Fast and efficient

If you’re trying to shave a few minutes off, this is a great tool instead of dragging a log splitter. It’ll get the job done faster than a maul and wedge and with much less effort on your part. 

There is no harm in sticking to tried-and-true methods. As an alternative, it does the job well and is reasonably priced.

Cost-effective

Using chainsaws for cutting firewood is sometimes more cost-effective than other methods. Depending on your financial situation, a chainsaw may cost less than a log splitter. Buying a chainsaw for $600 sounds better.

An ax and a maul aren’t a terrible investment if you’re strapped for cash. A smaller, less expensive gas chainsaw is also available. 

While this will get the job done, it will prevent you from cutting a few of the bigger logs you require. That being said, there are drawbacks to consider.

Less fatigue

In the same vein as the previous component, this one becomes increasingly crucial as one age. You can save your body from early degeneration by forgoing the use of a maul or ax in your latter years.

It’s easier on the body if you use chainsaws for cutting firewood in larger sizes and then the splitter to handle the smaller logs.

What Size Should You Cut Firewood?

It is common practice to cut a log in half or quarters when working with a chainsaw for firewood.

Generally speaking, you can use these two guidelines to ensure that every piece of firewood is cut to the appropriate size:

Find the best chainsaw that can fit comfortably in the palm of your hand without requiring you to spread your fingers. The size of each piece of firewood depends on whether you’ll be using it indoors or outdoors.

What is the Best Chainsaw Size For Chopping Firewood?

A chainsaw with a 16 to 18-inch bar will be adequate for down trees with a typical diameter of 14 to 16 inches. However, a chainsaw of that length won’t last long if you cut down enormous trees 20 to 24 inches in diameter. Something longer will be needed to cut it in one motion.

An 18-inch chainsaw is recommended for most individuals because it can cut through 90% of trees.

For the remaining 10% of tasks, a chainsaw with a cutting capacity of 20 to 24 inches is recommended.

Seasoning, Stacking, and Storing Firewood

How to Properly Season Firewood

Leaving firewood dry is the best way to prepare it for use.

Hardwoods require around a year and a half to two years of drying; softwoods only require about six months to a year.

For another, split wood dries and burns more efficiently than uncut spherical logs.

How to Stack Firewood

The next step after using a chainsaw to split firewood would be to stack and store the logs. Your wood will remain pristine until you’re ready to utilize it if you follow these guidelines.

stack of firewood

How to Store Firewood

Once your firewood has dried out and seasoned enough, you can transport it to a new storage area.

storing firewood

Best Kinds of Wood to Use as Firewood

You can utilize any tree for firewood; however, different species burn at varying rates. Consider your desired burn period when selecting firewood.

Hardwoods are generally denser than softwoods, making them better suited for long burning periods.

Other than a Chainsaw, What Can You Use to Cut Firewood?

Log Splitter

A log splitter is a terrific alternative, but it still requires a lot of physical labor. If you’re capable, this is a fantastic choice. A log splitter will be a game changer if you have time and don’t mind the task.

Maul

The blade is the only distinguishing feature between a maul and an axe; the blade of a splitting maul is slightly less sharp than that of an axe. 

Although the maul comes in various weights, the 6-8 pound kind is best for domestic use. It’s easy to swing and doesn’t take much effort due to its small weight.

Ax

There are notable differences between using a chainsaw and an axe for cutting firewood. You chop the tree log in half and then place it down axe-side up so it’s vertical. After that, you slam down an axe on the wood to break it in half and then into quarters.

FAQ

Can I use a chainsaw to cut wet wood?

You can use a chainsaw to cut through wet wood. Wet wood can be chopped with a chainsaw just as quickly as dry wood, and the extra moisture won’t damage or slow down the sawdust. Sawdust from chopping wood will cling to the link more than dry wood. 

Can I place a larger bar on a chainsaw?

To use your chainsaw, you need a bar made specifically for your model; however, most models let you utilize a maximum of three different bar diameters. The hole spacing of the attachment point and the chain/sprocket arrangement must be compatible with the bar.

Our Top Pick For a Firewood Chainsaw:
Husqvarna 460 Rancher

Our top pick for the best firewood chainsaw is the Husqvarna 460 Rancher. It has a 20-inch bar and various convenient features like Air Injection technology and an adjustable oil pump. 

It’s one of the best chainsaws for cutting firewood because it is safer and easier to handle thanks to its anti-vibration technology. Also, the X-Torq engine produces less pollution and uses less gas than comparable vehicles.

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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