What is the Best Limbing Chainsaw For Arborists? (2022)

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Some users think limbing branches isn’t a daunting task compared to other bigger jobs in the backyard. However, did you know that picking the wrong limbing chainsaw could make your cutting experience time-consuming and less clean? 

If you want your new saw to be worth its price, join our professional arborists as we test and compare the best limbing chainsaw models in the market. 

Premium Option
Husqvarna 120 Mark II
Editor’s Choice
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020
Budget Option
GreenWorks ‎20262
Husqvarna 120 Mark II
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020
GreenWorks ‎20262
• Type: Gas-Powered Chainsaw
• Easy Tensioning System
• Quick Adjustments
• Bar and Chain: 16 inches
• Built-in Safety Chain Brake
• Type: Battery-Powered Chainsaws
• Tool-free Blade Tensioning System
• Lightweight Design
• Low-Kickback Bar and Chain
• Comfortable Grip
• Type: Electric Saw
• Low-Kickback Chain & Hand Guard
• Automatic Chain Oiling System
• Cuts Per Charge: 65 (4x4 wood)
• Power Voltage: 40V
Premium Option
Husqvarna 120 Mark II
Husqvarna 120 Mark II
• Type: Gas-Powered Chainsaw
• Easy Tensioning System
• Quick Adjustments
• Bar and Chain: 16 inches
• Built-in Safety Chain Brake
Editor’s Choice
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020
• Type: Battery-Powered Chainsaws
• Tool-free Blade Tensioning System
• Lightweight Design
• Low-Kickback Bar and Chain
• Comfortable Grip
Budget Option
GreenWorks ‎20262
GreenWorks ‎20262
• Type: Electric Saw
• Low-Kickback Chain & Hand Guard
• Automatic Chain Oiling System
• Cuts Per Charge: 65 (4x4 wood)
• Power Voltage: 40V

Reviews of the Top Limbing Chainsaws

1. BLACK+DECKER LCS1020

Despite not being a gas-powered chainsaw, BLACK+DECKER LCS1020’s 20V battery system allows the tool to deliver extensive battery life and runtime. While using this chainsaw in cutting tree limbs, its anti-vibration handle makes it easier to execute controlled cuts. 

It may be a lightweight saw, but its electric motors and Oregon bar chain offer enough power to handle the frequent tree limb removals. Thanks to its perfect weight ratio, our testers didn’t struggle to cut high tree branches. 

You’ll also have no problem setting the correct tension because this limbing chainsaw has a reliable tensioning system without needing other tools. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. Husqvarna 120 Mark II

If you need to cut thick branches, a gas chainsaw like Husqvarna 120 Mark II should get the job done faster and better. Users can enjoy uninterrupted cutting sessions thanks to its bar length of 16 inches and a power of 2.1 HP.

Surprisingly, this Husqvarna limbing chainsaw isn’t as heavy as other gas saws in the market. In fact, its dry weight only ranges from around 4.22 lbs. If you add the bar and chain into the equation, it will only weigh 10.7 lbs. 

And unlike most gas-powered models, this Husqvarna limbing chainsaw features an air-purge system that gets the engine going in a few pulls. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. GreenWorks ‎20262

Another electric limbing chainsaw you can consider when you’re on a tight budget is GreenWorks ‎20262. Although it’s a battery-powered tool, you can rely on its 40V battery system to deliver gas-like power. 

Besides its impressive electric power, we also noticed that this saw has a durable 12-inch bar and chain. Given this size, getting clean cuts on tough tree limbs won’t be an issue. 

We also consider it one of the best limbing chainsaws because its 3/8-inch chain pitch ensures accurate cutting and reduces kickback. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. Worx WG323

Most tree limbing jobs require reaching above the ground, so it’s reassuring that Worx WG323 has a 12-foot extension pole sold with its saw head. It also runs with a 20v battery system, allowing it to operate at extended hours with enough power to get rid of tough limbs from tall trees. 

However, the feature that caught our attention the most was the unit’s auto-chain oiling system. You may not know, but it keeps the chain and bar well-lubricated to maintain the cutting operation at its optimum performance. 

Cutting limbs at the correct tension is also easier as it has a tensioning system that you can adjust in a snap. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. CRAFTSMAN CMCCS620M1

Compact chainsaws like CRAFTSMAN CMCCS620M1 should be one of your top choices if you’re cutting branches in narrow spaces. With its 12-inch chain and bar size, it won’t have any issue cutting down tree branches and wood pieces around 10 inches thick. 

Although this electric chainsaw relies on battery power, we could execute approximately 60 cuts during the hands-on tests. Its power and lightweight construction also helped a lot when we tried to saw a 4×4 pressure-treated pine wood.  

On top of that, it features tool-free tensioning, allowing us to adjust the saw easily for accurate and level cutting. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. ECHO OPE 24-Inch Gas Chainsaw

You can get both massive power and less weight with light gas chainsaws like ECHO OPE B00286WTTY. Despite only weighing 6.42 lbs, this saw houses a 14-inch bar that makes cutting 13-inch tree branches the easiest job in the world. 

And because it operates with dual 30.5 cc engines, we didn’t encounter many problems ripping through fallen tree logs during our first-hand experience. 

You don’t need to worry about motor vibrations as this unit has a firm wrap-around handle to dispel any shaking during usage. It’s also aided with an auto-oiler system to keep the saw lubricated and cutting operation smoother. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. WORX WG303.1

Getting small and budget-friendly saw like WORX WG303.1 should fulfill your needs if you intend to delimb a small tree around the yard. Besides being affordable, this chainsaw runs at 12 m/s, which gets the job done faster than you think. 

You’ll read a mix of chainsaw reviews about this tool, but if you ask us, it’s all a matter of where you’ll use it. Given that it has a power output of 14.5 Amps, the chainsaw should be capable enough to tackle vertical and horizontal cutting. 

We also liked that the unit has a built-in chain brake, as it prevents accidental cutting during usage. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Limbing Chainsaw Buyer's Guide

Chain and Bar Length

When looking for the best limbing chainsaw, we highly suggest considering the unit’s bar & chain length. You may not know, but these specifications indicate how easily you can cut through thick materials. 

Adjustable Tension

It would benefit you greatly if your chainsaw had easy-to-use chain tension. This feature will help you to set the right angle to get accurate cuts during usage without wasting time. 

As you can see in our chainsaw recommendations, most models have toolless chain tensioning. It means that you don’t need a wrench or any external tool to adjust the tool’s chain. 

Oiling Mechanism

If your saw has an oiling system, it will always keep your chain properly lubricated [1]. In return, this feature will maintain smoothness on the chainsaw components and prevent rough cuts. 

On top of that, keeping the chainsaw lubricated also extends the machine’s life. It prevents the saw’s component from wearing because of frequent usage. 

Comfort and Ease of Use

Like it or not, the comfort level of any chainsaw stem from its weight. Limbing needs mobility, so getting a model with enough cutting capacity and lesser weight should be your top priority. 

If you can, our tool experts also recommend using tools with anti-vibration handles to give more user control and prevent inaccurate cuts. 

Size and Weight

As previously stated, your chainsaw’s size and weight heavily affect how you cut. Although cordless models are easier to carry and wield than gas alternatives, it’s important to note that these options can have shorter lengths and less powerful engines. 

You can discern your needs by considering how thick the branches you’ll be cutting and determining if you have the skill level and strength to handle a heavy-duty tool. 

Portability

If you’re a newbie or hobbyist, you must get a chainsaw that you can carry around easily. Assuming that you’ll be trimming many branches, the tool’s lightness and length should dictate the level of its portability.  

Gas or Electric?

As we repeatedly mentioned in this chainsaw review, gas models are more powerful than electric units. However, it doesn’t mean that the latter can’t handle tough jobs. 

On top of that, gasoline-powered saws require more maintenance and can be heavier than their electric alternatives.

So unless you’re cutting bigger limbs, using cordless chainsaws is still more efficient for these jobs. 

Corded or Battery Type?

The very obvious disadvantage of corded tools is you always have to connect them to electric outlets. 

If you have enough money to spare, you could invest in extension cords to still have the mobility you need. However, it doesn’t change the fact that you must maneuver around the tool’s cord during usage. 

On the other hand, battery-operated chainsaws don’t have this problem. Given that they’re cordless, you can carry them around without minding any electric cord. However, carrying extra batteries is highly recommended because their runtime relies on battery levels, not fuel. 

What Does it Mean to Limb a Tree?

Limbing a tree derives from the activity you’ll do during the process. It means getting rid of the limbs of a tree. You can do this task to a tree still standing or a fallen one. 

Most people in California do delimb to lower the chances of forest fires. On the other hand, removing limbs is also a great way to gather logs to burn or clear the area to make way for electric lines. 

Risks of Limbing Trees

If you’re clearing limbs for electrical wiring, we suggest taking extra caution. You may not know, but limbs and branches are great conductors, so it’s not wise to throw them out carelessly. 

How Do Limbing Chainsaws Work?

As you start cutting, your tool’s chain will move along the bar with the help of the engine housed in the tool’s powerhead. If your chainsaw has a shorter bar, it can be lighter and easier to maneuver in tight and high spaces. 

Meanwhile, delimbing a fallen tree can pose more danger than you think. If you don’t put your 100% focus during the cut, you may accidentally remove the limb or branch that’s supporting the entire thing. This incident will cause the tree to roll over and create unprecedented accidents.

FAQ

Can a 10-inch chainsaw cut big trees?

If you’re using a 10-inch chainsaw, you can cut a tree log up to 24 inches in diameter. It would be best to remember that deeper cuts can only be achieved when the bars are longer and bigger.

How can you measure a chainsaw’s power-to-weight?

You can measure the tool’s balance by dividing its HP or KW specifications by the overall weight. This calculation can exclude the chainsaw’s chain and bar weight. 

Which Stihl chainsaw is perfect for limbing?

When it comes to Stihl chainsaws, the perfect one for limbing is till Stihl MSA 140 C-BQ.

Why are top-handle chainsaws expensive?

Top-handle chainsaws are sold higher than standard models because they feature high-end components. On top of that, these are compact with shorter bar lengths, making them more convenient.

Our Top Pick For a Limbing Chainsaw:
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020

The tools for cutting limbs from trees should be light enough to maneuver, so our experts picked BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 as the best limbing chainsaw in the market. With the help of its reliable tensioning system, adjusting the saw wasn’t as complicated. 

Although some users still prefer gasoline-powered models, we believe that this unit has the perfect feature and design to fulfill daily limbing needs. 

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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