Unlike regular saws, chainsaws are complex pieces of machinery that require intricate engineering and essential safety features. For this reason, the price tag is going to be much higher than for a muscle-powered hand saw.
PowerOfTool.com have Best Chainsaw For Under $300 in this post.
If you want to save time, get the job done more efficiently, and be able to sell the wood you’ve chopped, the higher price will be worth it.
Note that these pros and cons are based upon individuals’ experiences and might not reflect the products’ wider customer base.
Note: The prices “under $300” in this post are at the time we posted it, on August 01, 2019.
- 1 1. DEWALT DCCS620P1 20V Cordless Chainsaw
- 2 2. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 Top Handle Chain Saw
- 3 3. Makita UC4051A 16″ Electric Chain Saw
- 4 4. BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw
- 5 5. WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw
- 6 6. Husqvarna 16 Inch 435e II Gas Chainsaw
- 7 7. Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020
- 8 8. Zombi ZCS5817 Cordless Electric Chainsaw
- 9 Who should buy a chainsaw for under $300 and who shouldn’t?
- 10 What to expect from a saw under $300?
- 11 What bar length should I expect?
- 12 What’s the best brand?
- 13 Conclusion
1. DEWALT DCCS620P1 20V Cordless Chainsaw
Our first chainsaw on the list is a yellow beauty from DeWalt. It measures at 25 by 9 by 9 inches, and weighs 8.8 pounds. It has a bar length of 12 inches. This product is made for cutting small trees or for cutting timber into planks. The voltage is 20V.
- Low kickback bar for improved safety.
- Highly efficient brushless motor.
- Tool-free chain tensioning to make getting the chain tighter even easier.
- Fast chain speed of up to 25.2 feet per second.
- Auto-oiling system for no-fuss lubrication.
- Cordless, therefore easier to use.
- Chain can become loose a bit too quickly.
- Sometimes struggles to cut thicker branches when it’s been running for too long.
- Oil cap is known to be a bit flimsy and difficult to work with.
2. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 Top Handle Chain Saw
Next up is a little gem from Tanaka. As with our previous saw, this one has a 12 inch bar. However, this one runs on a 32.2 cc engine. Its measurements in inches are 11.2×15.4×11.8. And its weight is 11.9 pounds.
- This saw prides itself on having a commercial-grade pure fire engine which the company claims provides power and efficiency.
- Half throttle choke, and purge primer bulb to help you to easily start it.
- Able to hold 9.9 fl oz of fuel.
- Sprocket nose bar provides even more control.
- 7-year consumer warranty, or 2-year commercial warranty, or 1-year rental warranty. So if you don’t like it, you can just send it back.
- Chain has been known to come off.
- Oil is susceptible to leaking.
3. Makita UC4051A 16″ Electric Chain Saw
Unlike the first two on this list, this saw by Makita has a 16″ bar. It also works using a cord as opposed to a battery.
It weighs 14 pounds and measures 10×24.2×10.5 inches
- Toolless blade and chain adjustments make sorting out any issues you might have a doddle.
- Rubber grip handles reduce the chances of you accidentally dropping it.
- A current limiter is built in to prevent the engine from overheating.
- An oil reservoir with a viewing window will allow you to easily check oil levels.
- This chainsaw has large metal spikes at the end of the bar for increased grip.
- The chain can come off sometimes.
4. BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw
The next chainsaw on this list is an electric one from Black + Decker. It has a 10-inch bar, and weighs 7.2 pounds. Its dimensions are 16.7×8.8×9 inches.
- For maximum run time and a long life, it comes with a 20V lithium battery to help your chainsaw stay charged for up to five times longer.
- A premium Oregon low kickback bar and chain reduce the chances of any injuries happening.
- A tool-free blade tension system will help you adjust the tightness of the chain with ease.
- Included oil system for easy lubrication.
- Some customers have complained about the oiling system, saying that it doesn’t work too well.
- Chain speed can be a bit slow for some users.
- Oil has been known to leak somewhat.
- A couple of customers have complained that the battery does not last as long as it claims.
- A select few customers have complained that it doesn’t cut through wood at a very quick speed.
5. WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw
This one is the longest bar on the list so far at 18 inches. Its dimensions are 20.6×14.6×8.1 inches, and it weighs 11.3 pounds. Its a wired saw that requires no battery.
- 15 amp motor to deliver a powerful cut.
- Patented auto-tension chain system to prevent over-tightening and to make sure it stays at the right tension for hundreds of uses.
- A low kickback bar and chain brake to make this saw very safe to use.
- Automatic oil lubrication as well as an oil reservoir with a window level indicator to make sure that the chainsaw is always at the optimum lubrication.
- It comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Gears are made out of plastic which some customers have described as ‘cheap’.
- Oil reservoir has been susceptible to leaks
- Sometimes the auto-tension system on the chain fails.
6. Husqvarna 16 Inch 435e II Gas Chainsaw
It’s another gas saw on the list now. This 16″ bar saw from Husqvarna weighs 9.2 pounds and measures 37×9×11 inches.
- Efficient and lightweight to make it easy to carry, lift and use.
- 9 cc engine to make it powerful enough to do all the jobs you want it to.
- 2 cycle engine with a built-in chain brake system to make it safer and easier to use
- Bar cover included
- Automatic chain oiler to make lubrication a doddle.
- Side mounted chain tensioning system to make any adjustments that might be required incredibly easy.
- A quick release air filter to make cleaning easy.
- Oil can flood for some customers.
- Flimsy choke switch.
- Gas might not last very long.
- Certain parts are made out of plastic which may limit efficiency.
7. Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020
This piece of machinery from PoulanPro is the new longest bar on this list so far at 20 inches. It weighs 17 pounds, and its measurements are 12×16×11.8 inches.
- It comes with an OxyPower engine which will help ensure that you can get the power that you need for almost any task.
- With its pull starting system, you need to pull 30% less hard than you would on other chainsaws with similar power.
- A combined choke/stop control ensures that this saw will work as safely as it possibly can.
- A combi tool, integrated into the rear handle, makes sure its always there when you need it for maintenance.
- Because this saw comes with a purge bulb, the carburetor is easier to start with fewer pulls. This reduces the risk of damage and improves safety.
8. Zombi ZCS5817 Cordless Electric Chainsaw
Our final entry on this list is by a little-known company called Zombi. It’s a battery-operated chainsaw that could hold up to 58 volts.
It weighs 16 pounds, and measures 35×10×11 inches.
- As well as a 5-year tool warranty, it also comes with a 2-year battery warranty.
- A powerful brushless motor makes it more durable and efficient.
- The 16 inch Oregon Bar is low kickback to improve safety.
- Auto-oiling to make sure it’s always lubricated.
- Other safety features such as chain brake, and hand guard.
- Zombi are not a well-known company and therefore have not been able to develop the reputation of some of their competitors
- Some customers have claimed that the guide bar sometimes falls off
- Certain parts are made out of plastic which some customers have described as “cheap and ineffective”
Who should buy a chainsaw for under $300 and who shouldn’t?
Some people could make good use of such a saw in certain situations but might need a bigger and more powerful saw in other situations. It’s also important to keep in mind that ‘under $300’ could mean that a saw which costs $20 and a saw that costs $299.99 both fall under this category.
So for the purpose of understanding, when we say “under $300”, this will include saws that are over $200 but less than $300.
Because of their relatively high price tag, such saws will probably not be the best for people who only need one for light woodwork, such as cutting smaller trees, and people who are only looking for a saw for trimming and pruning. These saws will be too large, powerful, and difficult to control for such small tasks.
However, if you own your own forest land, and you wish to cut down some medium-sized trees, or if you wish to work as a professional lumberjack, then investing in a more expensive and powerful saw will certainly be something worth considering.
As with any other purchase, you need to ask yourself, “Is this going to be worth the money I will be paying for it?” If you only have one tree to cut down, then renting a saw could be a better option than buying.
There isn’t really an answer to the question, “Should I buy a chainsaw for under $300?” as it will depend on what you intend to use it for and how often you wish to use it.
What to expect from a saw under $300?
As you’ve probably figured out already, these chainsaws will be more powerful than cheaper chainsaws, but less powerful than more expensive chainsaws.
Due to their increased power, none of the saws on this list will be good for jobs such as trimming and pruning, it would be like using a large truck to transport a pair of glasses: overly complicated, over-powered and not very cost-effective.
You can expect a saw that has a fair amount of power, enough to cut down trees at a reasonable speed. However, you may need to invest more money if you want to cut down very large trees, particularly those made from harder woods such as oak. For such trees, you’ll be better off buying a saw with a more powerful engine, and a longer bar.
The bar length you can expect from a saw under $300 would be somewhere between 12 and 20 inches.
In terms of power, that will depend on whether you’re buying an electric or gas chainsaw. If you’re going for electric you can expect to get about 20V but if you opt for a gas-powered chainsaw, then expect one which is about 30 cc. Having said that, these numbers are not absolute, and it’s easy to find chainsaws which are more or less powerful within the same budget range.
As it doesn’t take a genius to figure out, the longer the bar, the less powerful the saw is likely to be as the engine will have more chain to run.
What bar length should I expect?
This is a very important question to be asking. Getting the correct bar length is vital to make sure that you’re able to do the job that you want to do.
If the bar is too short, then you won’t be able cut through the wood efficiently, or even at all. On the flip side of this, if the bar is too long, then it might be difficult to control, which can increase the chances of injury.
On average, you can probably expect a bar which is about 12 inches. This will be appropriate for cutting down medium-sized trees, and do so at a relatively quick speed.
However, there are some saws within this price range which have a bar length of 10 inches. These saws might be better for smaller trees. They will be able to cut them down at a quicker speed as the battery or engine will have less chain to power, and therefore should be able to give more power per tooth.
If you need to cut down larger trees, you can spend less than $300 and get a bar length of 20 inches. But should you choose such a saw, you may need to accept that the trees will take longer to cut down as there will be less energy per tooth.
So, while 12 inches is what you can expect for a chainsaw which is less than $300, you can also get ones with bars of 10 inches, and even somewhere the bar is up to 20 inches. I’m afraid there aren’t any simple answers to the question of. “What bar length can I expect?”
What’s the best brand?
I’m not generally the type of person who likes to focus too much on brands. If it’s a good chainsaw that’s able to do the job well, then why would it matter what the brand is?
However, that’s not to say that brands don’t matter at all, as every brand has its strengths and weaknesses.
If it’s power you’re after, then a good brand to look at would be Husqvarna. These guys are a Swedish based company who have been in the chainsaw game since 1959. You can expect an engine of up to 50cc which will be powerful enough to cut through some of the harder woods.
However, if you want bar length, then a better company could be PoulanPro. The chainsaw of theirs mentioned in this article has a bar length of 20 inches, which is 8 inches longer than the average 12 inches you might expect from a chainsaw of under $300.
A longer bars means the saw will be able to cut through larger trees, although it will take longer, and can only cut through softer wood, compared to more expensive chainsaws.
If you want to be patriotic, then a company to bear in mind is Stihl. Although they’re technically a German company, some of their chainsaws and chains are manufactured in America.
For many, this won’t be an issue, but for some, you might want to support American businesses, and try to buy products made in our great nation.
There are plenty of other great brands out there, and you may have to look around a bit in order to find the best one for you.
Shopping for the best chainsaw is never an easy thing to do. And while this list has covered eight possible options, there are plenty of other saws out there. You need to look at Amazon reviews, speak to people who have purchased chainsaws in the past, and even speak to the people in your hardware store.
But before you even begin to look, you should be 110% sure that a chainsaw which is under $300 will be the best one for you. If you just want to trim and prune, go lower. However, if you want to cut down a lot of big, hardwood trees, then it will be a good idea to increase your budget.