What is the Best Logging Chainsaw? Top Models for Cutting Trees (2024)

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Logging demands a chainsaw that doesn’t compromise on power or durability. Sadly, not every chainsaw on the market is up to the task. I’ve encountered models that just can’t handle large, dense trees.

To help you make an informed decision, I’ve curated a list of the best logging chainsaw that I’ve personally relied on for years 

Premium Option
Makita EA6100PRGG Chain Saw
Editor’s Choice
Husqvarna 455r Gas Chainsaw
Budget Option
Poulan Pro 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
Makita EA6100PRGG Chain Saw
Husqvarna 455r Gas Chainsaw
Poulan Pro 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
• Heavy-duty filter system
• Spring-assisted starter
• Balanced power-to-weight-ratio
• High RPM
• Faster acceleration
• Anti-vibration and air cleaning system
• Chain brake system
• Oxy Power engine
• Auto-chain oiler
Premium Option
Makita EA6100PRGG Chain Saw
Makita EA6100PRGG Chain Saw
• Heavy-duty filter system
• Spring-assisted starter
• Balanced power-to-weight-ratio
Editor’s Choice
Husqvarna 455r Gas Chainsaw
Husqvarna 455r Gas Chainsaw
• High RPM
• Faster acceleration
• Anti-vibration and air cleaning system
Budget Option
Poulan Pro 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
Poulan Pro 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
• Chain brake system
• Oxy Power engine
• Auto-chain oiler

Reviews of the Top Logging Chainsaws

1. Husqvarna 455 Rancher

The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is a logging workhorse that’s equipped with a 55.5cc gas engine. As one of the most powerful chainsaws today, it can effortlessly cut through hefty trees faster than most saws.

The seven-inch handle is surprisingly comfortable for extended use, and the anti-vibration system helps prevent shocks during the cutting process. Also, its powerful centrifugal air cleaning system helps extend engine life and eliminates bigger debris particles as you cut. 

Its 3.62 HP X-Torque engine ensures fuel efficiency, reducing fumes emissions. With its highly efficient system, you can count on the saw to ease fuel costs and cutting time. 

What I Like

What I Don't Like

2. Makita EA6100PRGG Chain Saw

The Makita EA6100PRGG is a powerful a 20-inch 61cc professional logging chainsaw with a 4.6 engine power. Its cutting shaft is 20 inches long and comes with a cover to prevent damage.

I’m particularly impressed by its two-point durable chain brake and the slide-out baffle. Together, they ensure a seamless and potent operation, simplifying chain tension adjustments. The inclusion of a heavy-duty air filter system also speaks to its durability, promising an extended lifespan for the chainsaw.

Although this is quite pricey compared to regular chainsaws, its robust construction and large fuel capacity make it a perfect choice if you’re looking for a durable and powerful engine.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. Poulan Pro 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw

Another tough option but on the budget side is the Poulan Pro 2-Cycle chainsaw model. It features a 55cc engine, made harder by chromium cylinders. This power equipment weighs around 15 pounds and has a bar of 20 inches long that’s equipped with a chain brake system that minimizes kickback issues while cutting.  

What’s interesting about this cordless chainsaw is its environmentally-friendly gas-powered feature – the Oxy Power. It lowers the emission rate by 70% compared to most professional chainsaws. It also has an automatic chain oiler which proved to be convenient in keeping the chain sharp as you cut. 

Overall, it’s one of the best chainsaws for the money you can get today. 

What I Like

What I Don't Like

4. DeWalt 20V MAX XR Chainsaw (DCCS620B)

If you’re looking for a high-quality 12-inch bar saw, look no further than this model from DeWalt. This is one of the exceptional power tools suitable for many professional loggers. 

In my experience, the DeWalt 20V MAX XR chainsaw can effortlessly handle 12-inch wood logs, delivering clean and sleek cuts. Thanks to its potent brushless motor, it can confidently manage thick logs, wood, and branches. Furthermore, its low-kickback design assures me of safety and ease while operating.

One feature I particularly appreciate is its tool-free maintenance, making upkeep a breeze. Another winning attribute? Its weight. Tipping the scales at approximately 9 pounds, it’s impressively portable. For those who need a dependable chainsaw and find themselves constantly on the move during work, I highly recommend this one.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

5. Echo CS-590-20AA Gas Chainsaw

Another gas-powered model among my recommendations for the best logging chainsaws is the Echo CS-590-20AA. This features a fuel capacity of 21 ounces and a 60cc engine, which guarantees great power. 

This Echo chainsaw is ideal for professional loggers because of its extended bar length of 18 inches with a solid shaft, allowing easy cuttings. This cordless chainsaw weighs around 13 pounds, which is relatively light for a heavy-duty tool. 

It’s also easy to carry around, reducing the risks of getting injured. I like its chainstay below the chain that can prevent strong vibrations as you cut.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

6. Greenworks 40V 16-Inch Chainsaw

The Greenworks 40V 16-Inch chainsaw is powered by a brushless motor producing high-level power for intensive projects. This is also a lightweight model, which you carry around without any issues. 

I’ve personally put the 16-inch bar to the test on logs and trees as long as 30 inches, and it has consistently delivered. Even more impressive, it does its job while keeping the noise surprisingly low.

What’s noteworthy is its endurance; this 40V professional-grade saw can achieve 140 cuts on just one charge. And with features like the automatic oiler and chain brake, it’s evident that safety hasn’t been overlooked, making it an ideal choice for my fellow professional loggers.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

7. Jonsered CS2245 Gasoline-Powered Chainsaw

This Jonsered chainsaw brand is a great option if you’re a professional logger who wants to use a full-time saw for felling trees, bucking, and so on. 

The Jonsered CS 2245 is one of the best professional chainsaw models that feature a turbo intake air cleaning system. Aside from that, its anti-vibration technology, pin starter, and inertia-activated brake are impressive, enabling smooth cutting operations.  

In essence, I see the Jonsered CS 2255 logging chainsaw as an excellent fit for forestry professionals, given its 55cc power and a 20-inch bar.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

Logging Chainsaw Buyer's Guide

Purpose and Frequency of Use

Before choosing among the chainsaw brands, you must determine their purpose and how frequently you need to use them. 

I’d recommend seriously considering the specific tasks you have in mind for the chainsaw. Pose these questions to yourself:

Chainsaw Size and Design + Ergonomics

The size of a chainsaw is very important. The wrong one can make it hard for you to control and dangerous to use. 

The length of the bar, which extends from the body of the saw, determines the size of the tool. Most saws have bars that are about 16 to 20 inches long.

If you’re planning on using the saw for a lot of cutting, then you need a longer bar. On the other hand, if you’re only going to do some light-duty cutting, a shorter bar might be ideal. 

Before you start using the saw, you need to decide on the bar length and the chain pitch. The distance between the two links of the chain is known as the pitch.

The distance between the two chain links is measured in inches. If you want to make up for the length lost due to the bar length, you need to add more links. In addition to choosing the right length of the bar, you also need to choose the chain’s gauge. This determines how thick the teeth are on the blade.

Although thicker bars will strengthen the saw, they will also reduce the chain speed. One of the most important factors you should consider when choosing the right gauge for your saw is to make sure that it doesn’t break down while you’re using it. 

You can consult a hardware store expert about the ideal gauge for your work.

Power

When it comes to buying a new chainsaw, make sure that you get something that has the proper power to efficiently convert logs into lumber with the use of a chainsaw

For instance, if you want to speed up the conversion of logs into lumber, you need a powerful engine that can handle the power.

Gas-Powered vs. Corded Electric vs. Battery-Powered

There are various types of chainsaws–gas, corded electric, and battery-powered chainsaw models–designed for different tasks. Knowing which one is ideal for your job will make your life easier.

These days, corded electric chainsaws are commonly used for smaller jobs and are relatively easy to use. However, they have some disadvantages. Since they only work while plugged in, you’ll need to plan for projects involving multiple tasks, such as setting up a power source.

Compared to electric models, a gas-powered chainsaw is more powerful and can be used to clear huge trees and thick branches. However, gas-powered chainsaws require more care and maintenance than other chainsaws. 

Also, gas chainsaws are noisier and heavier than other models, which can make them unsuitable for long periods of use.

Moreover, battery-powered chainsaws are ideal for those looking for a portable and lightweight chainsaw, an alternative to an electric one. It can handle most jobs and is easy to use, though it requires regular recharging.

Full Chisel vs. Semi-Chisel Chains

When it comes to choosing a chain for your job, you need to know which type will work best for you. There are two main types of chains that are commonly used in the industry: semi-chisel and full chisel.

A full chisel chain is commonly used for cutting softwoods. Its teeth have square corners and sharpened edges, giving it a more aggressive cutting action. Compared to semi-chisel chains, which are more durable, full chains tend to dull quickly.

On the other hand, a semi-chisel chain is commonly used for cutting both hardwoods and softwoods. Its rounded corners and sharpened teeth make this chainsaw chain ideal for cutting hardwood, though it can take longer to cut through delicate pieces. 

But compared to full chisel chains, semi-chisel chains are not as fast.

Tree Size and Wood Type

One of the most significant factors when it comes to cutting down trees is the right saw. Proper size for the tree is very important, and choosing a saw that’s too small or too large can make the job more difficult.

It’s important to determine the size of the tree that you’re planning on cutting. This will allow you to choose the appropriate saw for the job. For instance, if you’re planning on cutting a small tree, you should use a smaller saw. 

On the other hand, if you’re planning on cutting a larger tree, you should use a bigger one.

Also, before you start cutting, it’s important to consider the type of wood. Certain woods are harder than others, so it’s important to choose a saw that will work with this type of wood. 

If you can’t tell which type of wood to cut, ask a hardware store personnel for advice.

Safety Features

When choosing a saw, you shouldn’t forget the safety mechanism it offers. You might want to check if it has the following features: 

While having basic safety features is good, it is even better to choose a chainsaw that offers extra protection.

Extra Features and Carrying Case

Professional loggers prefer lightweight models that are easy to operate and have a built-in safety feature called kickback protection. 

Before you start shopping for a new chainsaw, make sure that it has a vibration-damping mechanism for added comfort. Also, look for one that has easy-to-use components and is durable.  

When it comes to storage, you can opt for logging saws that come with a sturdy carrying case. This can prevent the saw from damage while you’re not using it. 

Price and Warranty

Before you buy a new chainsaw, think about your budget. While price is important, it’s also important to consider other factors we’ve mentioned in this guide.

Also, you may want to consider buying professional chainsaws that offer warranty. Actually, some top-quality chainsaw brands offer a commercial warranty, which is very beneficial for professional loggers and woodworkers. 

So if you’re a professional logger, you can rely on the products for a long time and feel secure knowing that they will not break down after several uses. 

FAQ

What kind of chainsaw chain do loggers use?

The kind of chainsaw chain that loggers use is the chisel skip chain or full chisel chain. A full-chisel chain is an aggressive type of chain that professional loggers use on shorter chain saw bars. 

But when cutting long cuts, most professional loggers use the chisel skip chainsaw chains.

What size of chainsaw do loggers use?

The size of chainsaw that professional loggers usually use is 18 to 36 inches long. Large equipment is often used for larger trees but can cause more damage, while smaller saws are easier to control and are ideal for smaller trees.

What chainsaws are used by the Forest Service?

The Forest Service uses most chainsaws from the Stihl chainsaws, especially the 500i and the MS3626-AR commercial chainsaw. It has a 36′′ bar, and it has an inertia-activated chain brake, which makes it ideal for felling trees up to 12 inches in diameter.

What chainsaws are used by firefighters?

Firefighters use specialized equipment such as chainsaws. They use powerful saws with longer blades, which allows them to cut through larger pieces of wood.

What is the best chainsaw maker and brand chosen by loggers?

Professional loggers use some of the brands that are known for their powerful engines and ergonomic designs, and excellent features, such as those from Husqvarna and STIHL.

Do logging chainsaws cost a lot?

The high-end professional models of chainsaws typically cost around $600 to $400. On the other hand, cheaper models can be bought for around $80 to $200, depending on the brand and chainsaw size.  

My Top Pick For a Logging Chainsaw: Husqvarna 455R

After thorough tests and comparison, the Husqvarna 455R emerged as the best logging chainsaw. It’s a versatile tool that not only professional arborists can vouch for but also home users, proving its mettle in both logging tasks and varied home and forest projects.

You just need to monitor its run time, otherwise, it’s one of the power tools that pros can rely on for its power and ergonomics.   

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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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