Best Small Chainsaw

Whether you’re a lumberjack, an amateur wood crafter or just a homeowner lodging in the wild, the best small chainsaw may come in handy for many purposes. From cutting tree trunks to DIY projects in your garage workshop or even manicuring your shrubs, this tool comes with countless benefits.

There is a bountiful range of small chainsaws on the market. From gas to electric, from corded to cordless, how can you choose the best one?

To help you in your quest, we’ve roamed the market and found the most promising models. Check them out below.


Best Small Chainsaw - Comparisons


Best Small Chainsaws - Reviews

Check out our top 10 small chainsaws guaranteed to cut through wood like a knife through melted butter.


 1DEWALT DCCS620P1 Cordless Chainsaw Kit

The DEWALT DCCS620P1 is perhaps the chainsaw you could come across. Powered by a reliable 20V Max lithium-ion battery, this dependable power tool withstands even the toughest jobs and can easily handle all types of wood.

Ideal to have in your workshop for either personal or professional use, the chainsaw delivers up to 30 cuts per charge on a 6x6-inch workpiece or up to 70 cuts on 4x4-inch objects.

A high-efficiency brushless motor maximizes run time and extends the unit’s lifespan, while the battery is part of the 20V Max system tools and is interchangeable.

A tool-free chain tensioning system and convenient bar tightening knob add up to convenience, while a compact and lightweight design ensure maximum control and comfortable operation. In fact, with a nice weight of only 8.8 pounds, the chainsaw is easy to maneuver.

You’ll also like the fast start system that only requires a pull of the trigger to put the chain in motion; at the same time, the low kickback 12-inch Oregon bar adapts to all users in either construction or outdoor cutting applications.

Trade options include a bare unit variant that helps save some money if you already own the battery or a complete kit that brings true value for the money.

What we liked

  • Low kickback 12-inch Oregon bar and chain
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Performs up to 70 cuts on a single charge
  • Interchangeable 20V Max lithium-ion battery

What we didn’t like

  • Poor oil cap design
  • stop
    Oil may leak


 2. Makita XCU03Z Cordless Chain Saw

Makita-XCU03Z-Cordless-Chain-Saw

Another promising cordless tool is the Makita XCU03Z, a tool compatible with the 18V LXT batteries you already own or that can be bought separately.

This smallest chainsaw uses either one or two batteries for a total power of 36 volts. This is sufficient to provide up to 3,940 FPM for a quick and easy operation in construction or wood cutting.

Durable and resilient, this tool comes equipped with an in-house-built Outer Rotor brushless motor and a direct drive system that ensures high power and efficiency compared to gas-powered machines.

Designed to be used in all environments, the chainsaw also comes with an incorporated LED on/off switch with an auto power-off function that extends the battery’s run time. Furthermore, the 14-inch guide bar ensures suitability for projects of all kinds. 

Safety features include a built-in lock-off lever engineered to prevent the blade from accidentally engaging.

This chainsaw comes as a bare tool, although it is also possible to purchase the tool and the battery kit together.

What we liked

  • High speed up to 3,940 FPM ensures fast results, even for challenging cuts
  • Gas-like performance ensured by the dual 18V battery design
  • Lock-off lever increases safety
  • Auto power-off feature increases the battery’s run time when the operation is delayed.

What we didn’t like

  • Battery kit sold separately
  • stop
    Short run-time
  • stop
    The trigger is a pain to use

 3. BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 Cordless Chainsaw

BLACK+DECKER-LCS1240-Cordless-Chainsaw

BLACK+DECKER has always been associated with top quality and reliability, and its LCS1240 cordless chainsaw doesn’t disappoint.

This tool was built for performance in a domestic environment, but it’s powerful enough to withstand light and mid-duty commercial use too.

Equipped with a strong 40V Max battery, the chainsaw boasts a nominal power of 36 volts and can handle up to 60 cuts on 4x4-inch pine lumber on a single charge.

The lithium-ion battery recharges in only a few hours and is interchangeable with other power tools in the system.

Ideal for most types of projects, the tool also boasts a long 14-inch premium bar and chain and an automatic oiling system that lets you forget about lubrication.

You can easily make tensioning adjustments thanks to the tool-free system. Another great feature is the wrap around the handle that ensures comfortable cutting in different orientations.

The battery is interchangeable and can be shared with all other tools in the system, and the manufacturer proposes two retail options, with battery kit or bare tool.

What we liked

  • Longer run time and lifespan thanks to the 40V lithium-ion battery
  • Automatic oiling system and easy oil refill
  • 12-inch premium quality bar
  • Provides up to 60 cuts on average on a single charge
  • stop
    Wrap-around handle

What we didn’t like

  • Eats up oil very quickly
  • stop
    Replacement batteries are expensive

4. DEWALT DCCS670X1 Cordless Chainsaw

DEWALT-DCCS670X1-Cordless-Chainsaw

Whether you’re a hobbyist working on more demanding projects or a professional looking for a reliable and eco-friendly tool, the DEWALT DCCS670X1 delivers unparalleled performance for a battery-operated chainsaw and is powered by a reliable 60V lithium-ion battery that is compatible with all other power tools in the system.

Coming with a performing low kickback 16-inch Oregon style bar and chain, this is one of the top rated small chainsaws on the market. It is constructed for all outdoor cutting applications and easy to handle thanks to its manageable 12.2-pound weight.

Perhaps the best feature is the auto-oiling system that guarantees continuous operation even though your tool will go through oil fast.

Moreover, the tool-free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob allow you to achieve a proper clamping force without any hassle.

Like its little brother above, this tool can perform up to 70 cuts per charge on pressure-treated pine wood.

Retail options include the chainsaw with or without the battery kit, allowing you to choose between the convenience of a complete tool or saving some money if you already own the battery.

What we liked

  • High-end 16-inch Oregon bar and chain
  • Lightweight at only 12.2 pounds
  • Ergonomic design
  • Auto-oiling function
  • stop
    Quarter-turn oil cap

What we didn’t like

  • Annoying to use trigger
  • stop
    Some of the components feel cheap
  • stop
    Uses up a lot of oil

 5. Greenworks 20262 Cordless Chainsaw

Greenworks-20262-Cordless-Chainsaw

Perfect for occasional wood cutting, this high-performance tool is part of Greenwork’s G-Max system and comes with a reliable 40V lithium-ion battery that delivers high power and no memory loss, regardless of the moment in the cycle when you decide to charge it.

Like most Greenworks tools,this is the best lightweight chainsaw.It's  delivers gas-like capabilities, although it has a more limited run time.

A robust 12-inch bar and steel chain comes with a tool-less tensioning mechanism that allows for quick adjustments during use.

Another thing we like is the minimal kickback that makes trimming branches and cutting wood a breeze while limiting user fatigue. Doubling as a hedge trimmer on the shorter shrubs, the tool makes a splendid addition to a landscaper’s arsenal.

One thing to be aware of   is that the battery is not interchangeable with the 40V batteries traditionally used by the brand. The tool only works with a battery in the G-Max system, which lasts longer and has a longer lifespan, but is also more expensive.

What we liked

  • Powerful 40V G-Max battery
  • Gas-like capabilities
  • Sturdy 12-inch bar and chain
  • Electric start
  • stop
    Automatic oiler
  • stop
    Up to 75 cuts per charge

What we didn’t like

  • Leaks oil
  • stop
    A little slower than expected

 6. BLACK+DECKER CS1518 Corded Chainsaw

BLACK+DECKER-CS1518-Corded-Chainsaw

If you don’t mind limited mobility and instead want limitless power, this corded chainsaw delivers an 18-inch Oregon-style low kickback bar and chain, which promises a fantastic cutting performance, even on harder wood, while dealing with branches with a greater diameter is no longer an issue.

Like most small chainsaws, this one is easy to adjust thanks to a tool-free tensioning mechanism, while an automatic oiling system ensures continuity during use. 

Another nice feature is the clear window that allows you to monitor the level of oil, to ensure smooth operation and prevent tool damage.

As for power, this tool comes with a reliable 15-Amp motor that lasts for years of dependable service. While extending the operating range with an extension cord is possible, it is recommended to only follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and plug the unit directly into a grounded wall outlet for maximum safety.

Ergonomic and easy to maneuver in most positions, this corded chainsaw is ideal for homeowners who wants to manicure their property.

What we liked

  • Powerful 15-Amp motor
  • Low kickback Oregon-style bar and chain
  • Sturdy 12-inch bar and chain
  • Automatic oiling
  • stop
    Automatic oiler
  • stop
    Oil level window

What we didn’t like

  • Quite short power cord
  • stop
    Can lose tension as it heats up
  • stop
    The cord can get in your way during operation

 7. Greenworks CS40L210 Cordless Chainsaw

Greenworks-CS40L210-Cordless-Chainsaw

Another reliable tool from Greenwork’s G-Max system, the CS40L210 promises versatility for homeowners and landscapers alike.

It comes with a reliable 40V lithium-ion battery and a charger that is compatible with a wide range of other power tools, while a bare tool variant is also available for those who already own a battery.

You can also choose from a shorter or longer bar and chain. The two available versions are a 14-inch and a 16-inch chainsaw designed for lighter or heavier-duty use, respectively.

Power is guaranteed by the reliable brushless motor that boasts an extended run time and longer lifespan than its brushed counterparts, while a quick start button, integrated safety options, and an auto oiling function ensure convenience and comfort during operation.

An ergonomic design adds further convenience to this tool, allowing you to maneuver it with ease in almost all positions without getting too tired.

What we liked

  • 0.043-gauge bar suitable for mid- to heavy-duty applications
  • Powerful 40V lithium-ion G-Max battery
  • Wrap-around handle
  • Ergonomic and lightweight
  • stop
    Auto oiling mechanism

What we didn’t like

  • Consumes a lot of oil
  • stop
    Only accepts G-Max batteries

 8. Husqvarna 240 - best gas chainsaw


Husqvarna-240-Chain-Saw

We all know that ignoring environmental considerations, ​gas-powered tools are the most reliable and suitable for heavy-duty applications.

So, if you’re a professional landscaper or lumberjack looking for a reliable tool to add to your arsenal, the Husqvarna 240 could be the right one for you.It's one of the best small gas chainsaw.

To begin, this chainsaw is powered by a reliable 38.2cc 2-horsepower x-torque engine capable of delivering outstanding performance regardless of the type of wood you cut.

A combined start/stop switch with a Smart start option allows you to power up this workhorse instantly, even in colder weather, while a recoil backup system helps prevent situations when the smart system might not work.

This motor has low emissions and complies with most federal regulations regarding the use of gas-powered tools.

Vibrations are also of no concern thanks to the low-vibration system that reduces operator fatigue. Add to this a nice size that increases maneuverability, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a winning power tool.

When using this tool, you’ll discover a reliable centrifugal air cleaning system designed to remove dust and debris before they reach the air filter, reducing maintenance and improving the engine’s lifespan.

What we liked

  • Fairly quiet operation
  • X-torque delivers lower fuel consumption
  • Lightweight for a gas-powered machine
  • Air injection and centrifugal air cleaning system
  • stop
    Comfortable to use

What we didn’t like

  • Needs constant maintenance
  • stop
    Noisier than a corded or cordless machine

 9. Makita XCU02Z Cordless Chainsaw

Makita-XCU02Z-Cordless-Chainsaw

Compact, lightweight and very easy to use, the Makita XCU02Z is ideal for homeowners in need of a light-duty, but portable tool.

This is one of the best small chainsaws for home use and comes as a bare tool, although various purchase options include the batteries too.

This chainsaw uses two 18V LXT batteries for a total no-load power of 36 volts; due to the interchangeable technology, you can use this tool with the batteries of other Makita power tools you already own or purchase a new kit separately that you’ll still be able to share between the machines.

A Makita motor ensures sufficient power and torque, driving the chain at 1,650 FPM to ensure cutting precision on the soft woods and small-diameter branches.

 Along with this technology also comes a lower noise level that increases comfort during use. You will still need to use ear protection during operation, but the noise level is much more bearable than that of many other chainsaws on the market.

Speaking of comfort, this chainsaw boasts an ergonomic design and is easy to maneuver. The ability to adjust the bar and chain without tools also ensures convenient operation and maintenance, while the 12-inch guide bar allows for increased cutting capacity.

What we liked

  • Reliable battery system
  • Powerful brush-less motor
  • Low noise level
  • Robust 12-inch bar and chain
  • stop
    Interchangeable batteries

What we didn’t like

  • Plastic tension adjuster feels flimsy
  • stop
    Grips need improvement

 10. Worx WG304.1 Chain Saw 

Worx-WG304.1-Chain-Saw

The last small chainsaw on our list is the Worx WG304.1, a dependable corded model that uses a powerful 15-Amp motor to cut through most types of wood and handle branches of larger diameters.

Ideal for lumberjacks as long as you have a power source nearby, the chainsaw plugs into a wall outlet or can be used with a power generator if you need mobility.

We wouldn’t recommend plugging this workhorse into an extension cord, nor using it with a shared outlet.

The 18-inch bar ensures suitability for most operations, and the tool can easily handle no matter what the forest throws at it. A patented auto-tension chain system prevents over-tightening and reduces the need to adjust the chain length too frequently.

Another thing you will like is the low kickback bar and the incorporated brake that increase safety during operation. Performance is also guaranteed by the 63-link long chain, while an automatic lubrication system and windowed oil reservoir make it simple to use the tool.

Ergonomic and lightweight, this chainsaw is easy to maneuver in all positions and suitable to use for all types of chores.

What we liked

  • 15-Amp motor
  • 18-inch bar cuts easily through thick branches
  • 63-link long chain
  • Lightweight and ergonomic

What we didn’t like

  • The auto-tightening mechanism could be improved
  • stop
    Only works with synthetic oil

Which Type of Small Chainsaw Do You Need?

Small chainsaws can be classified into gas-powered or electric.

Gas-Powered Small Chainsaws


Gas-powered chainsaws use fossil fuels for operation and come equipped with smaller or bigger motors suitable for different types of tasks.

Most models on the market have at least 1-horsepower engines, although it is possible to find smaller models. Home-duty tools typically don’t exceed 2 horsepower, whereas commercial-grade small chainsaws can have motors that put out 3 horsepower or more.

Among the advantages of a gas-powered small chainsaw we can mention:

  • Power
  • Unconditional operation
  • Suitability for heavy-duty, high-volume commercial work

Some disadvantages include:

  • Polluting
  • Noisy
  • Heavier than the electric models
  • Hard to start in cold weather

Electric Small Chainsaws


Can be further divided into corded and cordless.

  • Corded electric chainsaws: Draw energy from a traditional wall outlet or power generator. The best corded small chainsaws have capabilities comparable to the gas-powered units, but their mobility is limited by the power cord.
  • Cordless electric chainsaws: Are powered by batteries, either NiCad or lithium-ion, are portable, and typically are suitable for light- or mid-duty tasks. Some of the high-end units can manage the same tasks as a gas-powered machine, but their run time rarely exceeds a half hour of continuous operation.
  • Electric chainsaws tend to have certain advantages:


    • They are lightweight
    • Environmentally friendly
    • Easy to start in all types of weather
    • Operate quietly

    On the down side:

    • They are less powerful than gas-powered chainsaws
    • Either mobility or run time is limited

    Which One to Choose


    How to Choose a Chainsaw video credit: Canadian Tire


    There are a few questions you should ask yourself before buying a small chainsaw to make sure you pick the best tool for your needs.

  • What type of wood do I have to cut? If it’s a soft wood, an electric chainsaw could be your best bet. Hardwood is better handled by a more powerful gas-powered machine.
  • Do I need mobility? If you typically cut firewood next to your shed, a corded model could be the best one for you. If instead you want to roam the woods in search of the perfect tree to chop down, a cordless or gas-powered unit is more appropriate.
  • Do I have to operate the tool in cold weather? If yes, pick one that is either electric or equipped with an electric start.
  • What to Consider when Buying a Small Chainsaw

    Besides the power source, there is a series of features to consider before investing in a small chainsaw; these features determine both the tool’s suitability for your purpose and its safety. Check them out.

    • Bar length: The length of the bar determines the saw’s ability to cut thicker branches or workpieces. Aim for a tool with a bar length of at least 12 inches if you want some versatility. A great size for home use is 14 inches, while commercial small chainsaws rarely come with bars shorter than 16 inches.
    • Chain: Another thing to check is the material the chain is made from, to ensure it is resistant enough to cut through all types of wood. Steel is a great choice, as this material is hard and resistant. Avoid tools with chains made of aluminum, as they will not withstand high-volume use.
    • Motor: This component determines not only the power of your tool, but also its lifespan. Choose one with high horsepower or amperage and make sure it is brushless.
    • Build: The chainsaw itself must be made of strong materials; opt for a model with aluminum housing and few plastic components to ensure that it is durable.
    • Weight: When choosing a small chainsaw, remember that it has to be lightweight. Gas-powered models are typically heavier, but still, avoid choosing a unit that weighs over 20 pounds. Don’t forget that you’ll have to add the weight of the fuel to the size listed in the manual.
    • Grip: The small chainsaw must be ergonomic and easy to maneuver. Full wrap handles are the most comfortable, providing a better grip. Also, make sure the surface is coated with an anti-skid material to prevent incidents.
    • Automatic oiling: Like most saws, chainsaws require lubrication. An automatic oiling system takes care of this for you, allowing for continuous operation. Pay attention to the type of oil the machine accepts, too. Most tools work only with synthetic oils, and you won’t be able to use them with biodegradable products.
    • Safety features: Another important thing to check is the safety features. The chainsaw should have an automatic stop function that turns off the tool if it overheats. Protective guards are also important to prevent debris from injuring you.

    Conclusion


    A small chainsaw is an essential tool for amateur woodworkers, lumberjacks or just homeowners who heat their homes with wood. Easy to maneuver, compact and lightweight, these tools can also replace the pole saw for light-duty landscaping and are ideal for shaping shrubs or cutting tree branches to keep your property neat and tidy.

    Finding the right model is not always easy, but now you know about some of your best options and how to choose the one that serves your purpose.

    FAQ


    Do I have to mix oil with gas in a gas-powered chainsaw?

    You only have to mix oil and gas if the chainsaw is operated by a two-stroke engine. Four-stroke engines have a separate oil container for the motor in addition to the oil tank dedicated to the lubrication of the bar and chain.

    Why is there an oil tank on my electric chainsaw? 

    All chainsaws need oil for the lubrication of the bar and chain. Therefore, they all come with a dedicated oil tank.

    The liquid in this container is not used by the motor, although many novice users confuse this tank with one dedicated to the operating mechanism.

    What is chainsaw kickback?  

    Kickback occurs when the moving saw chain on the nose of the tool contacts a solid object, causing a rotational force that drives the bar towards the operator.

    This movement can make the tool hard to control, and accidents may cause severe injuries or death. Investing in a tool with low kickback is essential to prevent fatal injuries.

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