If you’re in the market for a new, affordable, gas chainsaw, you’ve probably noticed the Blue Max line of chainsaws. They tend to be surprisingly affordable for a modern gas chainsaw. Many of them come with interesting accessories and even a second bar.
But, all the bells and whistles in the world won’t help a poorly designed chainsaw.
You need a machine that is durable, consistent, and effective. Most importantly, you need a machine with several safety features. After all, amazing cutting power won’t do you any good if you’re too injured to use it.
We’ve taken a good look at several of the Blue Max lineup of saws to determine if they’re worth your investment.
PowerOfTool.com cover the most important pros and cons of each, as well as providing a buying guide and other important information about this brand of saw.
- 1 Top 5 Best Blue Max Chainsaw Reviews
- 1.1 1. Blue Max 18″ 2-Stroke Gas Powered Chainsaw
- 1.2 2. Blue Max 22″ Gas Powered Chainsaw
- 1.3 3. Blue Max 20″ AND 14″ Gas Powered Chainsaw
- 1.4 4. Blue Max 20″ 51.5cc Gas Chainsaw
- 1.5 5. Blue Max 14-Inch 2-Stroke Gas Powered Chain Saw with free 20″ Bar
- 2 Who Should Buy A Blue Max Chainsaw?
- 3 How to Assemble Blue Max Chainsaw?
- 4 How to Start Blue Max Chainsaw?
- 5 Conclusion
Top 5 Best Blue Max Chainsaw Reviews
1. Blue Max 18″ 2-Stroke Gas Powered Chainsaw
The Blue Max 18” chainsaw comes with all the most important safety features you should look for in a good, modern, chainsaw.
It has an auto oiling system to reduce wear and tear on the bar and chain. However, the oil reservoir is not transparent, so you do need to remember to check your oil levels before you start the tool.
You should also check your oil through long days working with this saw.
It also has a vibration-reduction handle, uncommon in a chainsaw at this price point. It isn’t perfect, and vibration resistant gloves are still a good idea as with most chainsaws. That said, it’s nice to see this feature on an affordably priced chainsaw.
It also includes the all-important kickback brake, a handguard, and a safety trigger. All these make it less likely for this tool to injure you if something does go seriously wrong while you’re working.
Although it doesn’t have the same cutting power as a top of the line machine, the Blue Max is more than powerful enough for most household use.
- Anti-vibration handles
- Auto-oiling system
- Kick back brake system
- Safety trigger system
- 18” bar can handle most household needs, including cutting stumps, branches, and small trees
- No primer button
- Starting the chainsaw takes a bit of effort
2. Blue Max 22″ Gas Powered Chainsaw
22 inches is an impressive bar length for a consumer-targeted chainsaw. This larger bar length makes this a good chainsaw for heavily wooded properties.
If you have a lot of chainsaw project coming up, and you need a long working cutting surface, this chainsaw is a good option.
Like the rest of the Blue Max line, this is a gas-powered chainsaw with an auto-oiling system for the bar and the chain. Like the 18” model, the auto-oiling system doesn’t have a window, so you will need to manually check both your oil and your gas levels.
You’ll also need to consult the user manual that comes with the chainsaw for the appropriate gas-oil ratio for this tool.
This model still has all the standard chainsaw safety features, including vibration resistance and a kickback brake. The biggest advantage this model has is the added length of the bar. Since you shouldn’t cut anything wider than your bar is long, added length extends the flexibility of this machine.
- 22″ bar gives you 18”-20” of working space
- Has all the necessary safety features
- Cutting speed at 10,500 maximum RPM
- Long-running time on a tank of fuel
- Toolless chain tensioning system
- A little heavier than similarly sizes chainsaws
- Some users report some loose screws after opening the box (easy to correct)
3. Blue Max 20″ AND 14″ Gas Powered Chainsaw
The big draw on this machine is the inclusion of 2 different lengths of bar and chain. Instead of getting a single chainsaw, you’re essentially getting two.
The fuel mixture for this model is also straightforward. 1:25 oil to gas. Those are fairly easy numbers to work with, cutting down on complicated math before you can get to work.
Since the bars disconnect and connect fairly easily, you can also quickly switch between different bar lengths for different jobs. The 14” is great for smaller jobs that need more control and precision, while the 20” bar is big enough to tackle larger branches and big jobs around your estate.
The low range kick-break on this model offers additional security as well.
If you get this model with the case, be warned, the 14” bar sits on the bottom of the case where it’s easy to miss. Don’t worry, it’s there, but you aren’t likely to see the second bar at first glance.
- Buy two chainsaws in one with an additional 14″ bar and chain included
- 20” bar more than enough to handle most tasks around your home
- Low range kick break
- Auto oiling
- Vibration reduction
- Easy fuel mixture
- Case hides the second bar underneath
- Need to keep a careful eye on oil levels when switching out the bars
4. Blue Max 20″ 51.5cc Gas Chainsaw
If you are looking for the versatility of a 20” bar, but don’t need the smaller addition of a 14”, you can save some money with this model over the 2in1.
The half-liter tank on the Blue max line lasts a surprisingly long time, letting you power through more cuts on a single tank. However, the cutting power is a little lower than higher-end competitors, so each individual cut is likely to take a little longer.
It’s also more important to watch oil levels with this chainsaw than with some other brands, the bar and chain are more easily damaged without enough lubrication.
Unfortunately, another common report on this model, in particular, is that the gas tends to flood, cutting off your chainsaw. Other uses found that it overheated easily when they were cutting through hardwood varieties.
We recommend that this is a good low-cost option for general use and use with soft lumber like pine. If you want to be cutting mahogany and oak, you should probably look for a tougher machine.
- Easy to use
- Highly affordable
- Tank size is reasonable, gives you a lot of work time
- Good selection of safety and comfort features
- Overheats easily
- Best for softer varieties of wood and lumber
5. Blue Max 14-Inch 2-Stroke Gas Powered Chain Saw with free 20″ Bar
This is a good option if you’re looking to start with the 14” bar first, or just don’t want the hassle of looking for the 14” bar under the case. The 20” bar is certainly easier to spot.
That said, the basic features and statistics behind this chainsaw are the same as the rest of the Blue Max line.
One important thing to note with this line of chainsaws is the temperature preferences of the start system. It’s no more difficult to start this chainsaw in cold (even sub-zero) temperatures than it would be to start it on a warm summer day.
However, one the chainsaw has been in operation for a while and is nicely warm, it gets more difficult to start the tool.
That makes this chainsaw a good option for colder climates, and for users who don’t mind giving the tool a cool-down period between uses.
- Essentially get 2 saws in 1
- Comes with its own carrying case
- Easy to start in the winter for cutting firewood and branches
- Lots of safety features
- 2,800 no-load RPM
- Difficult to re-start the still warm chainsaw
- Need to check the bar and chain for wear and tear between every use
Who Should Buy A Blue Max Chainsaw?
Looking through our review, you’ve probably noticed that there are some serious benefits and some concerning issues with this line of chainsaws. Let’s summarize before we talk about the target consumers for this chainsaw.
The vibration reduction, rated to cut about 30% of the total vibration of the tool, is a great asset, especially if you’re new to chainsaws. At this low price point, averaging $150 to $200 depending on the set, there aren’t many chainsaws that offer vibration assistance.
It also has all the safety features we look for in a good chainsaw, safety triggers and kick back brakes are just the start of that list.
These saws also toolless tensioning, some come with multiple bars, and other bells and whistles. The saws tend to be a very complete package.
The first consideration that rings some alarm bells is the weight of these chainsaws. While 20 lbs might not seem like much, add the vibration and working angles for using a chainsaw, and that 20 lbs of weight gets difficult quick.
Despite advertising themselves as an easy start chainsaw, they aren’t. There is no primer button, and it takes more than a few pulls to get these saws going (more on that later)
They’re also more difficult to start when they’re warm, and seem more likely to overheat than similarly priced competitors.
The Blue Max line is neither the worst nor the best, chainsaw line in its same price point. They have nice safety features that make them a decent pick for a new chainsaw user. But they are a little too heavy to be truly easy to use.
They also are only good so long as you can get them started, so you might find yourself taking breaks to let the saw cool off.
We’d say that these are a good option if you’re looking for a cheap saw to get a job done fast. But they aren’t suitable for heavier work, contract work, or anyone likely to need to cut through hardwood.
How to Assemble Blue Max Chainsaw?
To put the bar on a Blue Max Chainsaw you need to first make sure the chain brake is in the disengaged position. In the manual, it’ll tell you to move the brake back. That isn’t possible. Just disengage it.
- There are two nuts on the bar knob. Both need to be loosened.
- Remove the clutch cover.
- There’s a guide bar. Move it along until it rests against the clutch sprocket.
- The manual will provide a visual for how you should grip the chain. But the drive links should be facing in, and the cutters toward the right.
- Fit the drive links into the clutch drum socket, and the chain drive links into the bar groove. Pull the guide bar forward to make sure all the links are lined up.
- Reinstall the clutch cover.
- Attaching the bumper spikes also requires removing the clutch cover, so if you think you need to replace them you should try to do it at the same time.
- Just like before you need to loosen the bar knob by removing both nuts. The spikes should be installed with the screws facing downward.
How to Start Blue Max Chainsaw?
To start the Blue Max Chainsaw first check both your fuel levels and the oil reservoir. While checking the auto oiling system isn’t entirely necessary, making it part of your start process will save time in the long run.
- Make sure the toggle is on, and the choke is fully extended.
- Press both triggers in and use the trigger lock to keep them down.
- Give the pull cord 4-6 good pulls.
- Go down to half choke for a couple more pulls. When it sounds like it’s ready, close the choke and pull one more time.
- These chainsaws need about a 60-second warm-up period before you want to start your first cut.
Overall, the Blue Max lineup is a good option if you’re looking for a reasonably priced chainsaw for occasional light-duty around your home and property. However, it isn’t a good option if you have a lot of oak, or similarly hard trees, on your property.
It’s a good option for cutting pine, both firewood and lumber. But this chainsaw is likely to overheat if you attempt to cut harder seasoned wood.
It’s probably not a good investment for contractors and professionals since it overheats easily and is a little heavier than average.
But, if you don’t need a top of the line tool, these chainsaws have plenty of cutting power and are willing to work!