Chain saws are among the handiest power tools. They can be indispensable labor savers when used for the correct purpose. Many professionals and enthusiasts rely on these tools for various cutting, pruning, and trimming jobs. Due to their high demand, many companies have emerged and made them available in various types. Therefore, for optimum performance in woodcutting projects, consider choosing the very best chain saw for woodworking.
These saws vary in performance depending on the power type. For instance, the gas-powered chain saws are ideal for heavy-duty jobs, while the electric (corded/cordless) are suitable for light-duty jobs like pruning and cutting tree limbs. Safety on these units is guaranteed with minimal risks of kickbacks.
It will be great to note that maintenance is a crucial characteristic in enhancing the chain saws’ durability. The products are available in varieties, which is a good thing but might be a little confusing when choosing. Keep reading because you will find the reviews of the top-tier chain saws and the main things to consider before purchasing or making an order.
Best Chain Saw for Woodworking Comparison Table
Image Title Buy Prime Top Husqvarna 24 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw Buy On Amazon Prime DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw, 12-Inch, Tool Only (DCCS620B) Buy On Amazon Prime WORX WG303.1 14.5 Amp 16" Electric Chainsaw with Auto-Tension Buy On Amazon Prime BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 10 Inch Buy On Amazon Prime Greenworks 10.5 Amp 14-Inch Electric Chainsaw, 20222 Buy On Amazon Prime Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw Buy On Amazon Prime Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020 Buy On Amazon Prime Sun Joe SWJ599E 14-inch 9-Amp Tree Limb Master Electric Handheld Chainsaw with Low-Kickback Buy On Amazon Prime Greenworks 40V 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, 2.0 AH Battery and Charger Included, 20262 Buy On Amazon Prime
Best chain Saw for woodworking Buyers’ Guide
Chain saws differ in size, power, and features. This variation leads to the difference in prices and so are the capabilities. Finding the ideal chain saw for your projects highly depends on how often you will use your machine. If you have a constant work supply, it’s recommended to go for the hefty gas-powered model. However, you can also choose small electric models of either corded or cordless form.
Below is a breakdown of all the important factors to guide your decision to find the right and best chainsaw for woodworking.
Why You Need the Best Chainsaw for Woodworking
- Compact and lightweight. These units have a compact and lightweight design to facilitate easy maneuverability and reduced fatigue.
- Different power sources. The choice of a chain saw depends on your intended power source. Therefore, these products are available in three different modes of power.
- Safe. The chain saws above are incorporated with safety features for preventing kickback and accidental startups.
- Durable. Most of these saws are integrated with an automatic oiler that ensures the continuous lubrication of the chain and bar for prolonged use.
- Multifuncional. These products are ideal for most woodworking projects that require cutting, including cutting logs for cabins, limbs, branches, and clearing thick and thin bushes.
- Rugged Chain. The saws come with a rugged chain that can easily cut through all wood types.
- Ergonomic handle. The rubberized wrap-around handle on these units provides a comfortable grip that lets you cut from any angle.
- Powerful motor. Despite the power source, these products are integrated with a robust motor that allows them to handle all wood cutting projects effortlessly.
Factors to Contemplate When Choosing the Best Chainsaw for Woodworking
- Type of chainsaw
Not all chain saws have the same mode of power. Therefore, consider checking on the type of saw with a specific power source. Below are some typical types of chainsaws.
- Corded Electric Chain saws
Generally, these types of chain saws have a plugin power cord and are less costly when compared to the gas-powered models. The electric chain saws have a compact and lightweight design. With this kind, you will not experience the hassles of pulling to start. Instead, you merely plug in and press the trigger.
However, these units have a slower speed that makes them not ideal for heavy-duty chores. But you can use them for lighter chores like trimming the occasional small tree limb or shaping hedges. Another aspect about these items is that you need to work close to an electrical outlet. Besides, to get the amperage needed for high performance, you need to have either a 14 gauge or a heavier 12 gauge power cord.
It’s also good to remember that a power or extension cord of such size can only be 100 feet long, and it’s not recommended to string multiple extension cables to avoid fire risk.
- Gas-Powered Chainsaws
Apart from an electric corded chain saw, you can also use the gas-powered one. Such saws cut smoothly and quickly. When using this saw type, it’s recommended to exert less pressure to achieve clean and precise cuts. Besides, these units are ideal for heavy-duty work such as cutting large trees or limbs. However, they are noisier and heavier than their electric counterparts.
The gas-powered chainsaws require regular service of the carburetor and the air filter. Besides, they emit exhaust fumes that contain deadly carbon monoxide. Thus, they are not ideal for indoor use. These tools also require regular fueling and oil addition. Starting such saws requires the use of energy to pull the starting cord.
The standard chain bar length for gas-powered chains ranges between 16 – 18″ for light jobs or homeowners and longer lengths for professionals.
- Battery Powered Electric Chainsaws
These types of chain saws eliminate the need for fuel or oil. They are cordless. Thus, they utilize battery power. Some tests have proven that these units can be as good or even better than the light-duty gas models. The batteries’ voltage rating determines the run time of these saws.
For instance, most cordless saws have a battery rating of about 20V. However, you will find others with a high voltage rating of about 40V, as seen in Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw, 20262.
For a semi-continuous cut, the runtime ranges between 30 to 40 minutes on a single charge. And the charging time is about 60 minutes. However, this doesn’t underrate the cordless saws as they have enough power to cut small trees and large tree limbs. The most advantageous characteristic of these saws is how their batteries are compatible with other battery-powered outdoor gears like lawnmowers and many more.
- Automatic tension system
For continuous use, while working, ensure you choose a saw with an automatic tension system. This feature helps in keeping the chain intact while cutting.
- Automatic oiler
The automatic oiler is another crucial factor of consideration. It guarantees the durability of your chainsaw by automatically oiling the chain and bar to prevent wear. It’s also good to consider a unit with a translucent oil tank so you can continuously monitor the oil level.
Even though these units are of different types, it will be good to check on the motor model. The reason is that the motor type guarantees excellent performance.
The size of your chainsaw also matters a lot. This is because compact and lightweight saws are more reliable when it comes to overhead operation.
- Blade size
The blade size depends on the specific model. Larger chain saws will have a larger blade size than the smaller ones. This gives the gas-powered an upper hand, and it’s also the main reason they can handle hefty woodcutting tasks with ease.
- Maintenance period
If you like maintaining your yard by cutting up tree limbs and pruning throughout the year, consider choosing a battery-powered electric chain saw. This unit offers a prolonged runtime between 30 to 40 minutes on a full charge.
However, if you prefer pruning or cutting tree limbs once a month or after along time, the gas-powered chain saw is a good choice for you. The reason is that it can run for hours on a full tank. Besides, refueling is simple, unlike waiting for a recharging battery.
- What’s on your property
If your garden or farm is full of matured trees or you need a chainsaw for business purposes. Consider choosing the gas-powered chainsaw since it’s designed to handle heavy-duty jobs. However, if your yard has small trees or you intend to use a chain saw for trimming and cutting limbs.
A lighter-duty gas saw will work best for you. Also, you can choose a battery-powered electric saw. If you prefer a corded electric saw, it would be great to remember that such units can only go for 100 feet. Thus, ideal for clearing bushes close to the house.
Safety Measures When Using a Chainsaw
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission stipulates that more than 27000 accidents occur annually due to chain saws’ misuse. Such accidents are caused by kickbacks that occur when the chain snags. Other mere accidents include lacerations on the arms and legs.
However, modern chains are incorporated with safety features such as automatic chain breaks and inbuilt safety switches designed to reduce kickbacks’ hazards. But this doesn’t mean that you should not take some safety precautions. Below are some of these precautions.
- Get a Grip and Stay Ground
Always ensure you have a firm grip while sawing. Also, never saw while on a ladder or above your shoulder height. Besides, you should never saw using the tip of the chain and bar. The reason is that at such a point, the kickback can occur.
- Dress Smart
Dressing smart is one of the rules while operating machines. It’s vital to dress appropriately depending on your work area. For this case, ensure you have sturdy work boots and a snug-fitting cloth. Steel-toed boots are the most preferred as they protect your toes from heavy falls.
You should also have protective gear such as gloves, and shield your legs with cut-resistant chaps. Since most of the saws exceed the 85-decibel level, ensure you are also backed with hearing protection.
For optimal performance, ensure you maintain your saw properly by sharpening the cutting teeth. You should also ensure that the automatic tensioning and oiler systems are working correctly to prevent kickback. Such maintenance also helps prevent wear on the chain and the bar. It’s also good to note that a loose chain can slip off and injure your face or head.
- Don’t Forget Emissions
It might sound so familiar that most injuries are a result of chainsaws amputations and lacerations. However, you should note that all gas-powered tools emit dangerous carbon monoxide gas that is colorless and odorless. Thus, they should not be operated indoors or in any closed space.
Best Chain Saw for Woodworking Product Reviews
The product review section of this post is meant to give a detailed look at individual products, look at some of the individual products’ outstanding features, advantages, and disadvantages of using each. Keep reading for more…
1. Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw has an ergonomic design that allows you to handle it with ease. Thanks to innovative technology, this unit is robust yet very easy to start. It’s ideal for cutting trees, pruning, or even cutting firewood.
The product integrates an air injection centrifugal system that works hand in hand with the powerful motor to prevent larger dust and debris from reaching the air filter.
Additionally, the saw has an anti-vibration system that ensures low vibration production for a comfortable operation. The two-cycle chain engine guarantees safety on this tool with an inertia-activated chain brake.
Besides, you rest assured of prolonged use with the automatic chain oiler. This feature delivers a steady supply of oil to the chain and bar, preventing wear and tear. It also guarantees safe and effective use.
While working, you can make quick chain adjustments using the simple side-mounted chain tension system. The most exciting characteristic of this saw is the x-torque that reduces emissions and lowers fuel consumption.
- It has a robust two-cycle engine.
- The item features an inertia-activated chain brake.
- The unit has an automatic chain oiler system.
- It incorporates a quick-release air filter.
- It’s ideal for all-round jobs that need a more extended bar.
- The tool has lower fuel consumption.
- It has reduced emissions.
- It’s easy to clean and replace air filters.
- You will have quick chain adjustments.
- It’s safe for operation.
- The bar and chain oil are purchased separately.
2. DEWALT XR Chainsaw, Tool Only (DCCS620B)
Most DEWALT batteries’ are compatible with DEWALT power tools that share the same battery voltage, and this is not an exception with the DEWALT XR Chainsaw, Tool Only (DCCS620B). The unique characteristic of this unit is how it does not use fuel. Thus, there is no risk of experiencing cold starts, carburetor issues, fumes, and maintenance like the one with gas-powered chainsaws.
Even though this tool is battery-powered, it’s ideal for use in the most demanding construction jobs and outdoor woodworking projects like cutting beams, managing tree climbs, and many more. It has a compact design that maximizes your control.
Furthermore, the saw employs brushless motor technology, which ensures long motor life while delivering extreme runtime.
You will enjoy up to 90 cuts per charge on a 4×4 pressure treated wood with this saw. Besides, it comes with a tool-free chain tensioning system and a bar tightening knob that facilitates proper bar clamping. Another outstanding feature is the law kickback 12″ bar that’s suitable for all outdoor cutting applications.
Summary of the key features
- It delivers up to 90 cuts per charge.
- The tool uses a 20V max battery.
- It has a highly efficient brushless motor.
- This unit comes with a bar tightening knob.
- It’s cordless.
- The battery is compatible with other 20V DEWALT tools.
- It’s ideal for construction and outdoor cutting applications.
- There is no risk of fumes, cold starts, and carburetor issues.
- The battery requires recharging after constant use.
3. WORX WG303.1
With the WORX WG303.1, you will enjoy some modern conveniences that make it easy to use. For instance, it has an auto lubrication and auto-tension system, which ensures its always in peak operating condition. These features ensure the chain is perfectly tightened and well oiled to increase the cutting efficiency and extend the tool life.
Additionally, the inbuilt oil tank comes with a transparent window so you can easily monitor the oil level. It also has an efficient chain brake that shuts down the chain whenever you need it to. With this unit, you rest assured of safety from the metal spike bumper that firmly grabs into the wood while cutting.
The specially designed full warp front handle and the rubberized rear grip provide you with options for a comfortable grip. This powerful saw has a 14″ cord that supplies the power necessary for operation.
Summary of the key features
- It comes with a vigorous 14.5 Amp motor.
- The chain features a pitch of ⅜”, 0.05” gauge, and 57 links.
- It has an auto-tension and auto lubrication system.
- The chain brake prevents accidental cutting.
- The unit features an ergonomic full warp handle.
- It has a translucent oil tank.
- It’s suitable for both vertical and horizontal cutting.
- You can easily monitor the oil level.
- The rubberized rear handle gives superb control.
- The metal spike bumper prevents kickback.
- It’s engineered with cutting-edge technology and above modern efficiency.
- You will experience the hassles of a cord.
4. BLACK+DECKER Cordless Chainsaw, (LCS1020)
Eliminate the hassles of cords, carburetor issues, fumes, and many more using the BLACK+DECKER Cordless Chainsaw (LCS1020). This product is powered by a robust 20V MAX lithium battery that provides a continuous run time. The battery of this saw is compatible with other BLACK+DECKER power tools. The saw also comes with a fast charger that charges in only 5 hours.
The ergonomic wrap-around bale handle ensures you have complete control of your project by providing enhanced comfort. At only 7.2 pounds, this saw is lightweight to reduce fatigue and facilitate easy maneuverability when working. It also comes with a 10″ low kickback bar and Chain to deliver smooth and faster cuts.
The unit also features an improved oil system for easy lubrication of the chain and bar. Furthermore, it has a clear window that lets you monitor the oil levels. The chain tensioning mechanism allows for faster and easy adjustments.
Summary of the key features
- The unit is only 7.2 pounds for easy maneuverability.
- It has an improved oil system with a transparent window.
- A 20V battery powers the saw.
- The tool has a tension system for quick adjustments.
- It has a 10″ chain and a low kickback bar.
- The product offers smooth and fast cuts.
- It uses an interchangeable cordless battery.
- You can easily lubricate the bar and the chain.
- The ergonomic handle provides increased control and comfort.
- It’s compact and lightweight.
- The battery has a maximum of only 20V.
5. Greenworks Electric Chainsaw, 20222
For ease of use and reliable power, choose Greenworks Electric Chainsaw, 20222. The saw comes with an electric 10.5 Amp motor, which starts within seconds.
With the 14″ bar, you can use this chainsaw for various woodcutting jobs. Besides, you will have quick chain adjustments using the tool-less chain tensioning system that lets you get back to the task on hand in no time.
Another added feature is the ergonomic wrap-around handle that provides comfort while working, thus, rendering this unit the best chainsaw for woodworking. It further incorporates a translucent oil tank that lets you have a clear view of the oil level.
Your machine will have adequate lubrication with the auto oiler to facilitate the best cutting experience without the hassle. The lightweight design of this tool allows for easy maneuvering around the job site and reduced fatigue.
Summary of the key features
- The saw comes with a 10.5 Amp electric motor.
- It has a 14” bar chain.
- It features a tool-less chain tensioning system.
- This unit has a translucent oil tank.
- The saw integrates an auto oiler for adequate lubrication.
- It has a corded electric power source type.
- It has a lightweight body.
- The product is easy to use.
- It offers reliable power.
- You will experience quick tension adjustment.
- It delivers adequate lubrication.
- It offers smooth operation and less noise.
- The saw is easy to plug.
- It’s not ideal for areas with power shortage problems.
6. Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Husqvarna has a new release of the best chainsaw for woodworking. This rugged machine with model number 455 is gas-powered and ready for any wood cutting application.
This item comes with an air injection centrifugal air cleaning system that helps keep the larger dust particles from reaching the air filter. This system is ideal for improving engine life.
Additionally, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw features an anti-vibration system that provides a comfortable operation by reducing the vibration levels. This unit’s maximum power speed is 9000 rpm, making it suitable for landowners and part-time users in need of a high-powered chainsaw.
The product comes with a 2.6-ounce bottle of pre-mixed fuel and a bar cover for optimum performance. You will also enjoy safe and effective use with the automatic chain oiler that delivers a steady supply of chain and bar oil. Lastly, it’s the side-mounted Chain tensioning system that facilitates quick chain adjustments.
Summary of the key features
- It features a two-cycle engine with an inertia-activated chain brake.
- The product has an automatic chain oiler.
- This saw comes with a 2.6-ounce bottle of pre-mixed fuel.
- The unit has a quick-release air filter.
- There is no need for charging or hassles with cords.
- It offers safe and effective use.
- The saw is safe to operate.
- It’s easy to clean and replace the air filter.
- There is the emission of fumes and hassles with the carburetor issues.
7. Poulan Pro 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020
The Poulan Pro 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020 is equipped with an Owxypower engine that delivers more power with 20% lower fuel consumption and 70% less emission level. The saw also incorporates an effortless pull starting system with a reduced pull force of 30% to facilitate easier starting and reduced wear on the starter system.
With the combi tool embedded on the rear handle, you will always have quick maintenance whenever and wherever. The purge bulb is well protected to prevent damage. This feature provides the carburetor with fuel and allows for easy starts with fewer pulls. The user-friendly combined stop/choke control reduces the risk of engine flooding. Therefore, allowing for more excellent reliability and easy starting.
Even more, the saw integrates a powerful two-stroke engine and a filtering system that guarantees reduced fuel consumption and extended air filter life.
Summary of the key features
- It has a soft start purge bulb.
- The unit features choke/stop controls.
- It incorporates a convenient side adjust chain tensioning system.
- At the rear is a combi tool for quick maintenance.
- The product features an Oxypowered engine technology.
- This saw comes with an effortless pull starting system.
- It has fewer emissions and lowers fuel consumption.
- It’s easy to start with fewer pulls.
- The machine has a reduced risk of damage.
- Maintainance is quick and easy.
- There no hassles of cords or chargers.
- The air filtering system assures long air filter life.
- It requires the use of energy to start.
8. Sun Joe SWJ599E
At only 7.7 pounds, Sun Joe SWJ599E is among the lightest, and most reliable chain saw for most woodworking projects. The compact design facilitates maximum maneuverability around the garden with no need for gas.
This saw also offers a cleaner and greener way to maintain your garden with its 9 Amp motor. It’s ideal for light work such as slicing through branches, cutting tree limbs, and clearing thick bushes up to 10″ thick.
With this tool, you can quickly collect a load of logs, prune pine trees, or cut a cord of wood with a mere press of a button. The unit integrates an inbuilt safe switch to prevent unintentional starting. It also features a 14”(35.6 cm) Sun joe bar and chain that offers exceptional performance.
The unique thing about this chainsaw is how it’s easy to maintain since it’s electrically powered. This eliminates the need for gas, oil, and tune-ups. So why suffer when you can enjoy using the Sun Joe SWJ599E that also comes with a full two-year warranty.
Summary of the key features
- The saw only weighs 7.7 pounds.
- It has a powerful 9 Amp motor.
- The chain is easy to maintain.
- It features a safety switch.
- The product has an automatic oiler.
- It automatically lubricates the bar and chain for continuous cutting.
- The saw is protected against accidental starts.
- It’s versatile.
- The item is backed with a two-year warranty.
- There is no need for gas or oil.
- You require a power source close to your workplace.
9. Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw, 20262
The final product for this article is from Greenworks, an industry-leading company in power tools. The company just released their latest model of the best chainsaw for woodworking with model number 20262. This heavy-duty unit utilizes a cordless power source that eliminates the need for gas or oil.
What’s best about its cordless nature is that it comes with a G-MAX 40V lithium-ion battery and a fast charger. The battery delivers fade-free power without loss of memory after charging. You will also enjoy using the tool-less chain tensioning mechanism that offers ease of use. It also delivers the highest cutting performance.
The ⅜” chain pitch provides the right amount of capabilities to ensure you effectively get all the limbs trimmed and cut with minimal kickback. The automatic oiler ensures optimal use by applying oil to the bar and chain when needed, while the translucent oil tank allows for easy monitoring of the oil level.
Summary of the key features
- A 40V lithium battery powers it.
- The product is compatible with the G-max 2.0Ah and G-max 4.0Ah batteries.
- It comes with an automatic oiler.
- The oil tank is clear to view.
- The product has a wrap-around handle.
- It’s ideal for multiple cutting positions.
- The ⅜” chain pitch provides the right amount of capabilities.
- It delivers the highest cutting performance.
- The battery delivers fade-free power with no memory loss.
- It’s durable and easy to use.
- The handle has a soft grip.
- It requires charging.
Chain saws are classified as a powerful and versatile tool ideal for most wood cutting and shaping activities, including pruning, cutting or removing tree limbs, and trimming. But not all saws are the same since they differ depending on the power source and other technical aspects, including brand, size, or price.
Before choosing, consider what the three chain types offer and which one stands out as the best chain saw for woodworking in the market. The Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chain saw left me with no option due to its impressive power despite its compact and lightweight design.
With the above reviews and the detailed guide, choosing the best chain saw for woodworking can never be a problem for you again.