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The Best Chainsaws of 2022

Elina Blom

We have tested the best chainsaws available and after hours of sawing, cutting and detailed discussions, we consider the Husqvarna 135 as the best all around chainsaw of 2022. It is a relatively compact chainsaw, which at the same time has a lot of power and top build quality. If you're after a petrol-powered chainsaw, Husqvarna 545 Mark II is the best premium choice. It is a practical chainsaw, easy to use and suitable for various needs.

Top 12 Best Chainsaws of 2022

How we did the test

Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.

We carry out all of our tests ourselves and test professional products as they are intended to be used as stated by the manufacturers. We tested the chainsaws by sawing, cutting and limbing a large number of trees of different sizes and types. We also challenged the chainsaws with tougher tasks, such as sawing through brushwood, which is hard work for both the bar and chain because it involves a lot of jerking.

Within our review process, we focused primarily on the following characteristics:

  • Performance: How powerful is the chainsaw? What limitations does it have? What type of tasks can it handle – for example, can it cut heaps of brushwood?
  • User-friendliness & safety: How easy is it to handle the chainsaw? Is it easy to maintain between uses? What safety functions does it have?
  • Build quality: What materials is the chainsaw made from? How durable is it? Does the chainsaw have good ergonomics?

We have taken into account all of these factors together with things like the range of functions, accessories, guarantees and other important points. Then we’ve looked at the price of the product and decided a final score on the basis of its value for money.

1. Husqvarna 135 - BEST CHOICE CHAINSAW 2022

Powerful workhorse for homeowners with smaller amounts of woodland

Power source: Petrol Cylinder volume: 40.9 cm³ Power: 2.01 hp Tank volume: 0.25 l Noise level: 89.7 dB (measured) Weight: 4.4 kg (excluding cutting equipment) Bar length: 31.5 cm Accessories included: Scabbard

Husqvarna 135

The Husqvarna 135 is our best all around chainsaw of 2020 because it’s a well-balanced chainsaw with few vibrations and a lot of power. It’s best suited to homeowners with both small and large trees to maintain. The bar is quite long, but despite this, the chainsaw can chew through most things without struggling. The chainsaw is sharp, and the machine is well built.

The disadvantage of the Husqvarna 135 is that it’s really reluctant to start. Many competitors include nice innovations to reduce the resistance, which means that despite being powerful machines they’re easy to start. This chainsaw requires a lot of force from your arms to get it going. At the same time, there’s no good way of positioning your body while you start it. For example, you want to put a knee against the housing to provide resistance, but there’s a bump from the spark plug in the way. What does work is putting one foot in the grip and pulling. But we think the entire starting procedure is a bit old-fashioned and fiddly.

But from another viewpoint, it’s easy to get going; it only needs 1-3 pulls before it starts up from cold. So, if you can find a good technique and you’re strong enough, this isn’t a problem.

Easy to clean and adjust

Once you've got the Husqvarna 135 going it's user-friendly. For such a workhorse you’re never negatively affected by vibrations while you use it. The saw is also well-balanced. So despite having a heavy machine weight, it’s not too taxing when in use.

The chainsaw’s grips aren’t rubberised, but that isn’t a problem because it sits very well in your hands.

The chain catcher has clear positions and reacts well. The chainsaw is also easy to maintain. The included tool makes it simple to open and access the petrol cap, oil, housing and chain tensioner. We aren’t convinced by the hard plastic snap fasteners on the housing and would have preferred to see a more substantial solution, as these reduce the build quality a little. But in general, the chainsaw feels like a well-built power tool.

All of the markings and sightlines are clearly indicated. Overall, this is a fast and quite easy to use chainsaw, with a bar length and performance that makes it ideal for homeowners with moderate amounts of woodland. Whether you need it for cutting trees or smaller maintenance jobs, this is one of the better choices among the lighter petrol chainsaws.

Very powerfulfasteasy to maintainwell-balancedbest all around option
Very sluggish resistance when startinghandles not rubberised

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2. Husqvarna 545 Mark II - BEST PREMIUM CHOICE

Excellent performance for demanding homeowners

Type: Petrol chainsaw (50.1 cm3, 2.7 kW) Decibel level: 116 Blade: 13" Chain pitch: 0.325" Tank: 0.27 l Chain thickness: 1.3 mm Other: Blade protector included, weight 5.3 kg

Husqvarna 545 Mark II

Husqvarna 545 Mark II is a powerful chainsaw for those of you with slightly larger wooded plots. It’s quick and easy to start. Its great advantage is how powerful it is – the engine has great traction.

The chainsaw has classic snap-on lids for oil and petrol. They are flexible as they are tool-free, and are easy to open even when wearing gloves.

As with many Husqvarna garden machines, filters and other maintenance parts are easily accessible. This requires the classic key you have for the chain; however, this chainsaw's the target group probably already knows that it should be included, as it is so standard here.

For those with high demands

The chainsaw makes a lot of noise when sawing. But it has a nice grip and, despite it high performance, it does not vibrate too much.

If we’re going to be picky, the string is a sluggish when starting up the saw, but it’s also one of the few negative things we noticed.

Husqvarna 545 Mark II is suitable for those of you looking for a reliable chainsaw, but who are not a mainstream professional user, but rather a homeowner with high demands and a wooded plot. It has great traction, and at the same time as it gives you good ergonomics and easy maintenance.

Solid performancegood vibration dampingeasy handlingeasy maintenance
Slightly high resistance when startingmakes a lot of noise

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Husqvarna 545 II Chainsaw

£538.80

3. Stihl MS 211 C-BE

Easy-to-start model and convenient chainsaw for all-round use

Power source: Petrol Bar length: 35 cm Cylinder volume: 35.2 cm³ Power: 1.7 kW Tank volume: 0.27 l Chain pitch: 3/8"P (low profile chain) Chain thickness: 1.3 mm Number of chain links: 50 Chain type: PD3 Noise level: 106.8db Weight: 4.6 kg Guarantee: 2 years Accessories included: Scabbard

Stihl MS 211 C-BE

The Stihl MS 211 C-BE is a chainsaw that can cope with a wide range of tasks while simultaneously being easy to start and maintain. Stihl boast a function called Easy2Start, which consists of a spiral spring that stores energy. In practice, this means you don't have to pull too hard or fast for it to get going. A simple tug gets you underway. The function works well and is one of the biggest advantages with this chainsaw. Another advantage is how easy it is to clean it. You simply pull out a button and rotate it. Nor does the chainsaw have any problems continuing to chew through trees and branches even if it's got a bit dirty.

The MS 211 C-BE is ideal as an all-round saw. It can fell smaller to medium-sized trees. It's fairly average in terms of fuel consumption, performing in roughly the same class as its competitors, which in practice means that you can fell a couple of trees and debranch them on one tank of fuel. It's also suitable for cross-cutting or limbing trees, even if a light battery chainsaw is really the best tool for limbing. We found a few negative points. The chain is sluggish to tension and the knob could have been softer. And the “On” button is small and well-integrated into the machine. We do feel however that this could have been made more visible. On the whole, the MS 211 C-BE is a good all-round chainsaw for the average user who wants to fell, debranch and cut smaller to medium-sized trees. The chain is also of a durable hard metal variety.

Convenient sizeeasy to cleaneasy to start
Sluggish chain tensioning

4. Stihl MSA200C

Powerful and versatile with good build quality

Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium ion | Voltage: 36 V | Capacity: 6 Ah Battery life: 33 min (unloaded), 19 min (loaded) Noise level: 75.1 dB Weight: 5.1 kg (of which 1.7 kg battery) Bar length: 25.5 cm Chain pitch: 1/4"P Accessories included: Scabbard

Stihl MSA 200 C-B Solo

The Stihl MSA200C is one of the market’s best battery chainsaws, thanks to a combination of neat cuts, power, ease of use and a solid battery life. It has a clear battery indicator, rubberised grip, is clearly well built and produces few vibrations to enhance user comfort. The chain is thin and really flexible. It produces very good cuts, which means that this chainsaw is ideal for finer work. At the same time, the thin chain means that you need a special file to sharpen it.

Despite the fact that the chain is so thin, the chainsaw can cope with both felling and cutting up a medium sized birch tree without protesting.

Maintenance largely straightforward

Maintaining the MSA200C is simple. You top up the oil through a cap that you fold out of the way. The battery is spring loaded so it's easy to remove and replace. Cleaning is easy because there’s a little handle type device that you turn to undo it.

The only disadvantage is the chain tensioner. There’s nothing actually wrong with the construction – a wheel that you tighten – because it works well. The problem is that the wheel is extremely sluggish. And if it happens to be splashed with oil that’s had time to harden, the problem only gets worse.

The MSA200C uses a lot of oil. The advantage is of course that it's constantly well lubricated. The disadvantage is that it becomes a bit more expensive to operate. It takes almost an entire tank of oil each time if you run it from a full fuel tank to empty. But the oil tank isn’t very big, and as we mentioned earlier it’s easy to top up.

Performance

The included battery has a high capacity and the battery life under load is good. There are competitors that perform to a similar level without a load, but with a load their working time is drastically reduced. Meanwhile, the MSA200C's battery can cope with a lot of heavier work, and we measured a battery life of 3.2 minutes per Ah during our test.

The downside of the high battery capacity is that the battery is very heavy and significantly increases the machine weight. Simultaneously, the advantages of having a battery chainsaw that can cope with felling and cutting up a smaller tree, cut timber and prune trees become clear after a couple of months’ use.

The Stihl MSA200C is therefore most suitable for arborists and people owning larger areas of woodland looking for a versatile chainsaw that can cope with both finer and heavier tasks, such as for cutting trees.

Really neat cutscan cope with a lot of workrelatively good battery lifehigh build qualityeasy to maintain
Quite heavysluggish chain tensioner

5. Husqvarna 135 Mark II

Powerful workhorse ideal for small trees

Power source: Petrol (2-stroke) Cylinder volume: 38 cm³ Power: 1.6 kW Noise level: 89.7 dB (measured) Chain pitch: 3/8” Chain thickness: 0.13 cm Chain links: 52 Weight: 4.7 kg (excluding cutting equipment) Bar length: 14-16” Accessories included: Scabbard

Husqvarna 135 Mark II

The Husqvarna 135 Mark II is a well-balanced, low vibration chainsaw. It’s suitable for working small trees that need to be felled and cut up. The chain is sharp and the machine is well built.

One disadvantage of the Husqvarna 135 is that it’s very tough to start. Many competitors offer reduced resistance, which means that – despite being more powerful machines – they’re easier to start. This chainsaw requires a lot of elbow grease to get it going. We also feel that the entire starting procedure is a bit old-fashioned and fiddly.

At the same time, it’s easy to start to the extent that it only takes 1-3 pulls to get it started from cold. So if you can find a good technique and you’re strong enough, none of this should be a problem.

Easy to clean and adjust

Once you do get it started, the Husqvarna 135 Mark II is user-friendly. The chainsaw is very well insulated against vibration and you are never negatively affected during use. The saw is also well-balanced. So despite a fairly hefty machine weight, it is easy to use.

The chainsaw’s grips aren’t rubberised, but that isn’t a problem because it sits very well in your hands.

The chain catcher has clear positions and reacts very well. Furthermore, the chainsaw is also easy to maintain. The included tool makes it easy to open and access the fuel cap, oil cap, housing and chain tensioner.

We aren’t convinced by the hard plastic snap fasteners on the housing and would have preferred to see a more sustainable solution, as these reduce the build quality a little even though they’re not bad in terms of user-friendliness. As a whole this chainsaw feels very well built. All markings and lines of sight are clear.

Overall, this is a fast and fairly easy-to-use chainsaw, with power and a bar length ideal for smaller trees in a garden. It’s one of the better choices among the lighter petrol chainsaws. It’s fine for cutting smaller trees, but won’t be very efficient if you have a lot of work to do or larger trees to cut. But if you’re only going to fell small trees and cut them up, it’s definitely sufficient.

Fasteasy to maintainvery well balanced and insulated against vibrations
Very tough resistance on starthandle not rubberised

6. Husqvarna 120i

Good for cutting timber and trimming trees

Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium ion | Voltage: 36 V | Capacity: 4 Ah Battery life: 37 min (unloaded), 15 min (loaded) Noise level: 72.6 dB Weight: 4.9 kg (of which 1.2 kg battery) Bar length: 26.5 cm Chain pitch: 1/4"P Accessories included: Scabbard

Husqvarna 120i (1x4.0Ah)

The Husqvarna 120i is a long chainsaw in terms of motor and bar, particularly with the battery on, which Husqvarna have placed at the back. But it’s still well balanced, so this is only a disadvantage in terms of size. At the same time, the saw is quite heavy, which also adds to the impression that this is a large chainsaw.

Unfortunately, it isn’t impressive in terms of power. It copes with exactly what you'd expect from a chainsaw with this motor capacity, but no more. For example, when we try to cut up a smaller birch tree, it switches off and flashes red. Then we have to wait for a while before it will start again.

The chainsaw in use

In terms of maintenance, this is a good chainsaw. It’s easy to tighten the chain, even if the knob could have been a bit bigger. It’s fast and straightforward to top up the oil as there’s a useful lid, and it's easy to remove the housing to clean the machine. The fact that it's so quiet is also making us nod in appreciation.

The chainsaw has a number of safety features. We like the fact that you can switch it off with a separate button, and that the chain brake has such distinct positions.

The balance in the saw is perfect despite its rather narrow design, and it does have very good vibration reduction. However, the plastic handles are lacking rubberised grips.

Battery life

The battery life on the cordless Husqvarna 120i is good under load, and it also has an eco-mode that adds a few minutes. Its 3.75 min/Ah makes it the best in its class just now, but that’s assuming you don’t load it too hard.

The battery system gives us a few problems. For example, we can use the chainsaw’s battery in a Husqvarna hedge trimmer with the same voltage, but the hedge trimmer’s battery doesn’t fit the chainsaw. Hopefully, Husqvarna will refresh their range in the future so that it's always possible to share batteries between machines in the same voltage class.

The Husqvarna 120i is a good chainsaw, but primarily for simpler tasks. It’s best suited for those looking to cut up trees or timber.

Quite good battery lifeeasy to maintainhigh safety levelsmoderate noise level
Trips out easilyrather unwieldy

7. Stihl MS 170

If you want to do lots of small-scale sawing for a long time…

Power source: Petrol Cylinder volume: 30.1 cm³ Power: 1.2 kW Tank volume: 0.25 l Noise level: 86.5 dB (measured) Weight: 4.57 kg Bar length: 27 cm Chain pitch: 3/8"P Chain thickness: 1 mm Number of chain links: 44 Chain type: PM3 Guarantee: 2 year Accessories included: Scabbard

Stihl MS 170

The Stihl MS 170 is a user-friendly and easy-to-start petrol chainsaw for light to medium sawing tasks. It’s simple to maintain and has a compact design. Access for cleaning is also straightforward. You open the motor cover by rotating one part 90 degrees with a screwdriver or similar tool.

This means it's firmly attached but there are no small parts that can break when you open it. We think other manufacturers should adopt this solution too. The spark plug, filter and so on are then easily accessible inside the cover.

We also like the distinct chain catcher and the built-in stop/start/choke that you can reach easily with your thumb. It makes the entire chainsaw effortless to use. However, the chain tensioner could have had a more modern design. It’s easy to tension but awkwardly positioned because the screws aren't next to each other. The chainsaw produces a vibration – not so much that it’s really bothersome, but given that the MS 170 isn’t hugely powerful these vibrations are still a bit excessive.

Nor is it all that fast. It takes a while for the chainsaw to get up to speed, and even when it’s running on full power, it's not enormously strong given the price tag. However, the MS 170 is a wonder at efficiently felling and cutting up small trees.

Its strength lies in the small user-friendly format and the fact that it's easy to start. You don't need to use too much force, which makes it even more user-friendly.

Narrow target group

However, the target group for this chainsaw is hard to define. In this segment, battery chainsaws are doing pretty well these days because they're a lot more powerful and have enough battery life to cut up timber and so on without struggling. They can even cope with felling small to medium trees and cutting them up.

This means that the Stihl MS 170 is only really interesting if for some reason you're looking for a petrol chainsaw rather than a battery one for small to medium tasks. For example, if you're going to cut up lots of small trees and need to do it in one go without changing batteries.

User-friendly designeasy to startsimple maintenance neat format
Rather underpowered given the pricequite a lot of vibrations

8. Husqvarna 440 E-series Triobrake X-Torq

Efficient chainsaw with high safety features

Petrol Cylinder volume: 40.9 cm³ Bar length: 33-45 cm Maximum chain speed: 17 m/s Power: 1.8 kW Tank volume: 0.37 Chain pitch: 325" Chain thickness: 13 mm Number of chain links: 56 Chain type: H30 **Noise level:**107.4 db Weight: 4.4 kg (excluding cutting equipment) Guarantee: 1/2 years Accessories included: Scabbard, combination socket tool

Husqvarna 440 e-series II

The Husqvarna 440 E-series X-Torq delivers both power and a high level of safety. It's ideal for beginners because it's well balanced and has double kickback protection. The chainsaw sits comfortably in the hand and produces very little vibration. It's easy to clean and seamless to top up with oil and petrol. However, we find the snap fasteners on the cylinder housing a little fiddly. They tend to wear and break over time. And we feel that the price of replacements is excessive. On a chainsaw in this price class, we expect top quality in all aspects. Another thing that impairs the overall impression of the 440 E-series is the cold start. It's easy to start in that you don't have to pull more than two or three times. But it's quite heavy to pull and you need a good deal of force. It can also take a while before it gets up to speed. This isn't a major problem overall, but it gives the impression that it could have been more lively.

Once going, the 440 E-series is a chainsaw with a great deal of cutting power. The chain is quite broad, and this together with the power means that you can fell both small and larger trees without any problems. However, it tends to jump quite a lot when we saw through harder woods. Otherwise it works evenly. We like the fact that you can choose a shorter bar when limbing felled trees. However, when you buy the chainsaw, it only includes one bar, so you have to pay more if you want to add others. We also like the carefully considered positioning and design of the stop button. The button is in a protected yet easily accessible place, and its red colour makes it clearly visible. This means you don't have any problems reaching it with your thumb. At the same time, you won't hit the button by mistake, for example if something falls against it. Our overall experience is that the 440 E-series is a good chainsaw for individuals who regularly saw trees of varying sizes; people looking for both high levels of safety and a user-friendly chainsaw will be happy with this machine.

Simple maintenancevery good cutting capacityhigh safety levelsuser-friendly design
Poor quality snap fastenersrather slow to start

9. Bosch AKE 30 Li

Smaller battery-powered chainsaw for lighter tasks

Battery: Type: Lithium ion | Voltage: 36 V | Capacity: 2.6 Ah Motor type: Brushless Bar length: 30 cm Chain speed: 8 m/s Chain pitch: 3/8 inch Noise level: 96 dB Dimensions (LxWxH): 423x268x228 mm Weight: 7.4 kg (inc. bar, battery and chain) Guarantee: 1 year (2 years if registered on Bosch's website) Accessories included: 80 ml chain oil User manual: PDF

Bosch AKE 30 Li

The Bosch AKE 30 Li is a battery-powered chainsaw suitable for smaller tasks, such as clearing small trees and cross-cutting smaller trunks. The chainsaw can be purchased with or without a battery. If you purchase a package with a battery included, this does last for quite a long time, but there are more economical batteries on the market. The chainsaw makes a helpful beeping noise when the power is switched on, which means that you don't have to check whether or not the “On” button is illuminated. However, the start button is very small and impractically positioned. It's easy to remove and replace the battery. Unfortunately, the build quality leaves a good deal to be desired and the AKE 30 Li has to be fixed quite often. This means that potential repair costs could be quite high in the long run. The chain pops off quite easily when it's exposed to tougher tasks. And when it's faced with a large heap of brushwood - which means a lot of jerking in the chain - it throws the chain pretty much straight away. The AKE 30 Li is most suited to larger hands. This is partly because the throttle control and the safety throttle are rather far apart, and partly because the kickback protection is narrow and the distance to the front handle is relatively large. The work of sawing would have been made easier if the chainsaw was better balanced. If you hold it in the centre of the front handle, the saw feels unbalanced and hard to control. The AKE 30 Li does have some strengths, but given the price we'd have expected stellar quality.

Intelligent sound alertsimple battery replacement
Mediocre build qualityeasily throws the chainrelatively unbalanced

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10. Ryobi OCS1830

Simple chainsaw for easy tasks

Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium ion | Voltage: 18 V | Capacity: 5 Ah Battery life: 25 min (unloaded), 5.3 min (loaded) Noise level: 73.9 dB Weight: 4.2 kg (of which 742 g battery) Bar length: 26.5 cm Accessories included: Scabbard

Ryobi OCS1830 Solo

The Ryobi OCS1830 is a user-friendly chainsaw that's neat in terms of its size. It has a light and relatively narrow in design. The safety button for starting it is on top so you can reach it regardless of whether you're right or left-handed. The rubberised grip gives you good control of the chainsaw despite a lot of vibrations generated.

The chainsaw has reasonable build quality for the price tag – even if it can feel a little plasticky. There’s a bit of a gap in the attachment between the bar and the machine.

The chain tensioning on the OCS1830 is really good. The chainsaw has a knob on the outside and a cover with two pegs on, one to tighten the chain with and the other to release it. This is easy, either with or without gloves. It’s also easy to undo the housing for cleaning.

The chain catcher has distinct positions and the oil cap is quite high up, which makes it easy to fill up.

Clever battery sharing

The battery is well positioned and easy to insert or remove. However, the battery indicator is underneath so you can’t see it while you’re using the chainsaw.

One major advantage of the OCS1830 is that it’s a member of the One+ family, which means you can share batteries with other 18-volt tools from Ryobi. The disadvantage with this is how it performs under load.

Unloaded it lasts for quite a long time. But as soon as we face the OCS1830 with even simple tasks, the operating time drops to just less than a minute per ampere hour. This means you can run it for about five minutes with a 5Ah battery. If you're only going to chop up a very small tree or a little heap of wood, this is perhaps enough. But given the price, this seems really stingy.

It also got stuck a lot when we were cutting up trees. But the motor is quite strong so you’re quickly up and running again.

Overall, the OCS1830 is best suited to individuals who want a chainsaw for very simple tasks. For example, it's neat and sufficiently powerful to demolish a wall indoors, or for lighter tree lopping. But this isn’t a chainsaw you’d take with you out into the forest, either for felling or limbing.

Battery sharingvery good chain tensioner
Quite weakgets stuck a lotvery short battery life

11. Bosch Universal Chain 18

Chainsaw for light pruning work

Type: Battery-powered chainsaw (lithium-ion, 18 volt) Blade: 135 mm open area Chain: Oregon Links: 33 Weight: 3 kg

Bosch Universal Chain 18 (1x2.5Ah)

Bosch Universal Chain 18 is a cordless chainsaw designed for pruning trees and cutting firewood. So perhaps we should say that it is more of a battery-powered pruning saw than a traditional chainsaw.

Unfortunately, it is quite sluggish considering its target group. Over time, it detangles slightly larger branches, but it’s too slow. It is also time-inefficient if you use it to cut firewood. Above all, it is suitable for pruning thinner branches on fairly open bushes and trees.

Too easy to start

Unfortunately, it also has a low level of safety. It is all too easy to start with one hand, as the lock and throttle are placed very close to each other – even for a child. The kickback guard is not active (it is locked in a single position).

Instead of the traditional kickback guard, there is a metal guard at the front of the blade that also provides better control when pruning – you apply it to the branch to get a straight cut. The blade itself is only open about 14 centimeters. The metal piece also acts as a passive kickback guard, but it does not turn off the chain – this (in our opinion) reduces the level of safety.

The chain is very short, so keep this in mind when planning what kind of bushes to cut with this chainsaw.

Bosch Universal Chain 18 is suitable for those of you who have other tools from the Bosch green range, and who find lopping shears physically demanding. If you find an area of application for it, it does its job, albeit quite slowly for tasks that are not simple.

Shares battery with other 18V Green Bosch
Slow on coarse branches and woodslightly low safety

12. Ryobi Ry36Csx40B

Dies as soon as it gets cold outside

Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium-Ion | Voltage: 36 V | Capacity: 2 Ah Battery life: 13.5 min (no load) Sound level: 96.1 dB (measured) Blade length: 16" Accessories included: Blade guard

Ryobi RY36CSX40B-0 Solo

Ryobi Ry36Csx40B is a fairly loud and coarse chainsaw that gives the impression of being able to handle a lot. But in practice it is mostly sufficient for felling small trees and cutting some firewood.

When it actually works – which only happens when it is reasonably warm outside – it can handle trees with a diameter of up to 15 cm, but without being particularly time-efficient. It is more reasonable to use this chainsaw to prune trees or cut firewood.

Performance that lacks some desired elements

The handle is rubberised and has quite a coarse design. The safety lock works for both right and left-handed users. The kickback guard is OK. There is a high level of resistance, and it does not give you a direct sense of finesse, but it still works well. However, our positive impressions end here.

Ry36Csx40B has several problems, but above all two major ones. On the one hand, it is a little slower when lubricating the blade, which could damage it over time. The chainsaw does not work in cold weather. You need to have a warm saw with a warm battery, because when it’s cold outside it stops working right in the middle of the tree.

Ryobi Ry36Csx40B has a couple of nice details, but the performance is not sufficient for sawing during the winter or late autumn/early spring. Many people choose to fell during these seasons, so in principle this chainsaw is unusable when it is needed most.

Works for both right and left handed users
Cannot tolerate the coldpoor lubricationloud

13. GreenWorks GD24X2CS36

Big with good power but a short battery life

Power source: Battery Battery: Type: Lithium-Ion | Voltage: 24 V | Capacity: 2 Ah Battery life: 8 min (no load) Sound level: 96.6 dB Blade length: 36 cm (measured 22 cm) Weight: 5 kg Accessories included: Blade protector, double batteries, charger

Greenworks GD24X2CS36

GreenWorks GD24X2CS36 is a sturdy chainsaw. It’s big and makes a lot of noise. The price indicates that it's a budget chainsaw, and it is. But its appearance is more reminiscent of a larger model with plenty of power.

Heavy piece with insufficient battery life Unfortunately, the battery life reduces the rating. Despite double 2Ah batteries (it won't start if you don't have two) the battery life is a mere 8 minutes and 22 seconds. That’s not enough. Although the double batteries don't seem to add battery life, they do add a lot of weight. This is a heavy machine. Without a battery, the chainsaw weighs just over four kilos. With our test batteries, you have to add another kilo, so it becomes the same weight that many high-performance fuel chainsaws have. If you want to maximise the chainsaw with larger batteries, such as double 4 Ah, you'll get a weight of 5.5 kg.

However, the GD24X2CS36 worked well once we started sawing. You can easily cut a log or fell a tree. But after felling the tree, the battery is flat and the chain is loose. There is also a risk that the chain jumps while you are in the middle of sawing a tree. It did this, even if we only held the throttle and let the blade rotate. After a short while, there was an arc a few centimetres above the blade. Nor is there a built-in tool that you can remove and tighten it with. Rather, you need to keep your toolbox with you in order to unscrew and tighten the chain.

GreenWorks GD24X2CS36 is suitable for those of you who are big and strong, and already have a bunch of machines in Greenworks’ 24 volt segment and thus have plenty of batteries. Then you will get a powerful chainsaw, and you can replace the battery if it dies in the middle of sawing. However, you will need to tighten the chain over and over again.

Good powerlong blade
Low battery lifeheavythe chain tensioner releaseschain tension requires tools

Chainsaw

The chainsaw has long been an essential tool for agricultural and forestry workers, but it is becoming increasingly popular for home use too. This is probably partly because there are now a wide range of easy-to-use and affordable chainsaws for simpler tasks, such as pruning or for carving. Traditionally, chainsaws have been petrol-operated, but today chainsaws with electric start, both mains and battery-powered, are popular. In recent years, battery-powered chainsaws have increased in popularity as their batteries have become both more powerful and cheaper. Petrol-operated chainsaws are still superior in terms of power, but electric chainsaws have other advantages which outweigh this benefit in the eyes of many consumers. Above all, they are quieter and produce no unpleasant exhaust gases. The type of chainsaw you should choose depends on what you intend to use it for. If you need a power tool for large trees, a petrol-operated chainsaw is best. However, if you're mainly going to be cutting down smaller trees or limbing, an electric or battery-powered chainsaw is probably sufficient. Interestingly, some people need a chainsaw for concrete and to cut through much harder materials.

What rules apply?

Chainsaws are powerful tools and incorrectly handled they can be extremely dangerous. Every year there are hundreds of accidents with both injuries and death resulting from working with chainsaws incorrectly. Together with agriculture, forestry is one of the most dangerous professions today. As an individual, you have the right to fell trees on your own property without documented training. However, it can be a good idea to go on a chainsaw course to improve your knowledge and reduce the risk of accidents. Even if you think you already know how to use a chainsaw you can always learn more. And a certificate will allow you to work professionally with a chainsaw. Remember that you should always erect warning signs before felling a tree, and that you should contact road and utility owners if roads or cables/pipelines are within the area where the tree may fall.

What protective equipment should I use?

In addition to close contact with the chainsaw, many accidents are related to flying wood chips, branches or even tree trunks. it's important not only to handle the chainsaw correctly but also to wear suitable protective clothing. There are no legal requirements for protective equipment, but it can be sensible to comply with the same rules applying to professional tree-surgeons. They've been drawn up for a reason. The rules for professionals say that you should wear the following:

  • Protective boots or shoes (with steel toecaps)
  • Protective trousers (which stop the chain on contact. For an example, see here)
  • Helmet
  • Hearing protection
  • Visor
  • Work gloves

Maintenance and accessories

For your chainsaw to keep running a long time, it's important to maintain it after every use by checking that it has a) the right amount of chain oil, b) that the chain is correctly tensioned and c) that it's kept sharp. When you have finished sawing, you should also check the air filter and if necessary - clean it. You should also make sure you have the right filing equipment to save time and achieve the best results.

We recommend you to purchase the following accessories when you buy a chainsaw:

  • Extra chain
  • Chain oil
  • Filing guide and depth gauge (for quicker chain sharpening)

The bar is of course also a consumable, but lasts for much longer than the chain and is therefore not included in the list above. If you want to be extra well prepared for awkward situations such as sick or leaning trees, there are also aids such as felling wedges, winches, tree pushers and breaking bars.

How to buy a chainsaw on the internet

Low prices.* More and more people are buying chainsaws on the internet. The primary reason for this is probably that it's easier to compare prices and find a model with a cheaper price. Online shop prices are often the lowest on the market. This is partly because they can keep their costs down as they don't have to pay for physical shops, with staff costs, maintenance, heating, rent etc. There's often very tough price competition between online shops.

Cost-free home delivery.* If you buy a chainsaw in an online shop, home delivery is usually included. This means you don't have to waste time getting to and from a physical shop yourself. In other words, you can often save both time and money by buying your chainsaw online.

Useful information about chainsaws

Even though chainsaws on the market may be very similar at first glance, many aspects can distinguish them from one another. For example, good balance is important for working ergonomics, and there are a number of functions that the chainsaw should include in order to be safe. Here we go through the points you should take into account when choosing a chainsaw.

We also go discuss the concept of pitch and explain how to measure the pitch on your chain...

Different types of chainsaw

One of the first questions you're faced with when buying a chainsaw is whether it should be powered by a battery, mains electric or petrol.

Battery-powered

The battery-powered version has the advantage that you don't have to struggle with extension cables when you want to use it. The disadvantage is, of course, that you have to recharge it between uses. If you choose a battery-powered chainsaw, it's important that it can cope with the entire task you intend to use it for; both felling the tree and any subsequent cross-cutting. Alternatively, you can have a number of batteries. A battery-powered chainsaw is rarely suitable for large trees or trees with harder woods such as oak.

If you choose a battery-powered chainsaw, make it one with a brushless motor, as this gives a longer lifetime.

Mains powered

Mains powered chainsaws with electric start functioning have the advantage of often being slightly lighter and neater than petrol-operated ones. For small trees, or for home use with a smaller garden and fewer substantial trees, these are often sufficient.

Electric and battery-powered chainsaws also have the advantage that they don't release exhaust gases and that they are quieter, so they can be used indoors and in urban areas without causing too much disruption.

Internal combustion engines

But for anyone with woodland, or a garden with big trees, a petrol-driven chainsaw is the best choice. They are often heavier, but at the same time have a higher capacity and don't require a cable.

Petrol-operated chainsaws for the average homeowner are normally equipped with a two-stroke motor, which is usually sufficient. But you can also get chainsaws with four-stroke motors. These are significantly more powerful.

Vibrations

As with all machines, vibrations are caused when you use a chainsaw. If you're using it often, it's important that you aren't exposed to unnecessarily powerful vibrations, because over the long term this can lead to injuries, also known as HAVS.

Cheap machines often have worse vibration absorption, which means that you can't use them for as long as others.

Safety

Sometimes chainsaws get stuck and can be thrown back towards you. This can also happen when the tip touches something before the rest of the bar. Chainsaws are therefore equipped with a chain brake or kickback protection. Exactly how this works varies from one chainsaw to another. For example, it can stop the chain when it detects the chainsaw making a sharp movement, or your hand may hit a control that stops the chain when the chainsaw flies up. It may also have an inertial chain brake.

Two other safety functions are the chain catcher, which catches the chain if it breaks or is derailed, and the right-hand protection that means the chain can't reach your fingers.

It's also a legal requirement for chainsaws to have a stop button and a safety throttle to prevent accidental acceleration.

Many chainsaws require you to depress two buttons or controls to enable them to start, which is another key safety function.

Ergonomics

Cutting down trees is generally pretty tough on the body. The working position for cross-cutting isn't exactly ideal, so ergonomics are very important when it comes to choosing a chainsaw.

This is partly about the weight of the machine and partly about how it's designed. If the grip is good and the weight right, you can saw for longer periods and it doesn't make you as tired or sore. A chainsaw should also be well-balanced.

Special functions

In addition to the important safety functions, there are also various other functions that are more related to the user experience. Functions for simple start and stop commands are common and have an array of names depending on the manufacturer.

The opportunity of varying the bar length for different tasks is also a useful function that can be found on some models. A short bar length is better for limbing, while a longer bar is necessary for cutting down bigger trees.

Professional quality chainsaws have a premium function in that they're equipped with heated handles. This means that you can work for longer even in cold winter conditions.

Maintenance

When you choose a chainsaw, make sure it's easy to tension the chain as this is something you'll be doing a lot. Some chainsaws have tool-free chain tensioners which are preferable - if they function well.

You should also make sure that it's easy to access and clean air filters and any spark plug. And that it's easy to check and top-up the oil, as that's what lubricates the chain.

Finally, you should consider chain maintenance. Some people prefer to sharpen the chain manually with a round file, where you file each cutting link separately. But if you use a chainsaw often and want the sharpening process to be as quick as possible, a chain grinder is a worthwhile investment.

Guarantees and servicing

This is an important point when you're choosing a chainsaw. A chainsaw takes a lot of punishment, and even if you maintain it carefully, damage can occur. It's essential that spares are available. Well-known brands often have these, either in the shop or via a mail-order service.

The guarantee is also important. If the chainsaw breaks down soon after you buy it, you don't want to have to pay for a new one.

Accessories

There are lots of accessories that make sawing simpler and contribute to a safer sawing environment. Here are just a few.

  • Chains: You can buy a new chain for your chainsaw if the old one has worn out and needs replacing.

  • Bar: Just like the chain, you can buy a new bar for the chainsaw when the old one wears out.

  • Oil: You should always have oil in stock so that you can keep the chainsaw correctly lubricated.

  • Winch: Helps to encourage awkward trees to fall where you want them.

  • Tree pusher: Helps to get the tree to fall in the right direction, but they can also be used as a lifting aid.

  • Felling wedge: A wedge that you insert so that the tree can't pinch onto the saw. Normally these are made of plastic.

  • Pry bar: Using the lever principle, you can encourage the tree to fall in the right direction.

  • Chain grinder: Keeps the chain's cutting links in trim so that the chainsaw doesn't have to struggle to cut.

  • Saw-horse: Lift logs onto a sawhorse so that you can stand up straighter when you cut them up.

  • Timber jig: Produce your own planks by attaching the jig to the chainsaw and then sawing through the logs lengthways.

Protective equipment

You should always wear protective clothing while using a chainsaw. This consists of chainsaw boots or shoes, gloves, a chainsaw jacket, chainsaw trousers and a helmet with a visor and hearing protection.

It's a good idea to take first aid supplies to the place where you'll be working.

Make sure you're clearly visible while you're felling trees, so that any passers-by can hear you and see what's going on.

Chain pitch

A chainsaw essentially consists of a body, a bar and a chain. For these to work together, they all have to have the same chain pitch. In other words, if you have a chainsaw without a bar or chain, you can't just buy any bar or chain.

How the chainsaw is constructed determines which type of bar and chain you need to use. The bar is normally equipped with a nose wheel; this and the chain must have the same chain pitch as the chainsaw's drive sprocket for them to work together.

However, when we talk about the chain pitch, we often mean the distance between the drive links, because it's normally the chain or bar that you'll be replacing. There are different types of chain pitch. The most common on chainsaws is currently 0.325". But there are quite a lot of chainsaws with 3/8" chain pitch.

To find out which type you need, you can do three things.

  1. The easiest is to check the model and manufacturer of your chainsaw and find the chain pitch in the manual for your machine. You can often find manuals on the manufacturer's website if you have lost the paper version.

  2. Take the chainsaw to a reseller. An expert can usually see which model it is and knows which chain and bar will fit.

  3. Measure the chain pitch yourself.

  4. If we have reviewed the chainsaw, the chain pitch value will be stated in the product specification above the review.

Option three is simple in theory, but you have to be accurate in your measurements. For example, there's only 1.3 mm difference between 0.325" and 3/8". The right way to determine the pitch is to measure the distance between three rivets. If you measure the distance between three of them, divide the figure by 2 and convert it into inches, this gives you the chain pitch.

Example: If you measure the distance between three rivets on a 0.325" chain, you get a distance of 16.5 mm. Then you calculate 16.5/2 = 8.25 mm. And finally, you convert this into inches, which is 0.325.

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