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Factors to Consider When Buying a Chainsaw

This list ranks the best gas chainsaws. Do you see your favorites on this gas chainsaw list?

1) Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 32.2cc 14-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw | 2) Makita XCU02Z 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 12″ Chain Saw | 3) XtremepowerUS 22″ 2.4HP 45cc Gasoline Gas Chainsaw | 4) Homdox Powered Chainsaw Handheld | 5) Greenworks 14-Inch 9-Amp Corded Chainsaw | 6) Husqvarna 240 2 HP Chainsaw, 952802154 | 7) Echo CS-400 18″ Gas Chainsaw | 8) Poulan Pro 18″ Bar 42CC 2 Cycle Gas Powered Chainsaw | 9) Remington RM4214 Rebel 42cc 14-inch Gas Chainsaw | 10) WORX WG303.1 16-Inch 14.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw |

Buying a chainsaw that’s not right for you could mean risking your safety, failing to complete the tasks you bought it for, or simply finding yourself dreading having to use it. Not all chainsaws will suffice for all people or purposes. Before you buy, make sure you consider all of the factors below to ensure you find a chainsaw that suits your particular needs.


Almost everyone buying a chainsaw will be using it to trim or cut down trees or the wood from trees that have already been cut down. While the uses for chainsaws are similar, the difficulties of the particular jobs you’re likely to do with a chainsaw can vary widely. Trimming a tree or cutting logs down to size aren’t tasks that require just a huge amount of power, whereas cutting down a large tree or several in one day are.

A lot of around-the-house uses for a chainsaw can be accomplished easily enough with affordable electric models that bring a moderate amount of power, but for consumers that live somewhere more heavily forested or expect to use their chainsaw for commercial purposes, a higher-powered model will be worth considering.

Consider both the most frequent uses you’re likely to put your chainsaw too and the most heavy-duty needs that are likely to arise. How you’ll be using it is the first thing you need to determine in order to know what kind of chainsaw to look for.


We’ve established that generally speaking, gas chainsaws are more powerful than electric ones. You’ll find a range of power levels within each category though.

Power for gas chainsaws corresponds to engine size, which is measured in cubic centimeters (cc). Chainsaws of up to 40cc will be enough for a lot of around the house tasks, but you can find homeowner chainsaws that go up to 50cc for bigger jobs. If you’ll only be using your chainsaw for felling smaller trees or trimming and pruning, then 30cc may suffice.

The power levels of electric chainsaws are measured in voltage, for battery-powered ones, and amperage for corded ones. Cordless chainsaws with a higher voltage are both more powerful and last longer between recharges. The higher-powered electric chainsaws available can tackle many of the same tasks as the less powerful gas chainsaws, so don’t write them off before you look into what they can do.


Most gas-powered chainsaws available for homeowner use fall somewhere in the $100-$300 range, while commercial models often go for over $500. Electric chainsaws start at around $50 and go up to around $250, with most falling in the $50-$100 range.

As you’d expect, higher prices frequently correspond to higher power, but that’s not the only reason to potentially pay more for one chainsaw than another.

Some come with nice features that enhance ease of use, like an automatic oiling mechanism or heated handles to make the chainsaw more comfortable to use in the winter. And naturally, brands with a strong reputation for quality will charge more for products that can usually be expected to work better for longer.

In addition to the cost of the chainsaw itself, you should consider other ongoing costs associated with it. Electric chainsaws will increase your energy bills, although probably not by too much. Gas chainsaws will need to be regularly refueled and will need some parts, like the air filter, to be periodically replaced.

If you don’t already have it, you’ll also need to invest in basic safety equipment before using a chainsaw (especially a gas one), which we’ll get into a bit more in our next section.


Chainsaws are powerful and sharp. You can fully expect that anything powerful enough to bring a tree down can do some real damage to human flesh. Anyone planning to use a chainsaw has got to put safety first.

For a lot of homeowners, gas chainsaws may be too difficult to safely manage. They require a good amount of strength and control, so if you’re new to using a chainsaw and not sure what you can manage, going with a more lightweight electric model is your safest bet to start.

You should also look for helpful safety features, such as an anti-kickback chain that makes it easier for the user to keep control of the chainsaw. And for whatever chainsaw you buy, the most important thing you can do for your safety is read the instructions in full before using it. Make sure you understand how to use it and what you need to do for regular maintenance to keep it working as it should be.

No matter the type of chainsaw you ultimately go with, you should invest in some safety gear to wear each time you use it. Pants, boots, and gloves that are designed to be cut resistant are a must. Safety glasses and head protection are also important and, if you’ll be using a gas chainsaw, earplugs or earmuffs are a worthwhile investment as well.

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