Having a good chainsaw can make a huge difference in both time and efficiency when it comes to getting a job done.
A low-quality chainsaw may actually end up costing you more money in the long run, as you will have to replace parts, or end up hiring professionals because it just won’t work right. Value and affordability are also important though.
Here is a look at 6 best chainsaws under $400 that are both dependable, and affordable.
Note: The prices “under $400” in this post are at the time PowerOfTool.com posted it, on Sep 07, 2019. The prices may change subsequently
- 1 Top Six Chainsaws Under $400
- 2 Who Should Buy Chainsaws for Under $400?
- 3 How Do You Choose Bar Length?
- 4 Conclusion
Top Six Chainsaws Under $400
1. Poulan Pro PR5020
The Poulan Pro 20-inch gas chainsaw is perfect for yard work. You can easily cut any trees or felled wood you need to with this lightweight tool. Its OxyPower engine is also cleaner than others, while its air filter life lasts longer than others of similar price points.
- This chainsaw produces 70% less emissions than some of its more high-powered counterparts.
- Boasts 20% lower fuel consumption.
- The spring-assisted start system makes the pull-start easy for anyone.
- Combi tool is in the handle, making it extremely accessible anytime it is needed.
- User-friendly for anyone, from new homeowner to professional.
- This chainsaw comes with a protective case.
- This brand offers a full two-year warranty.
- This model needs to be oiled a little more regularly than other models.
- The bar and chain could use upgrading. This is a powerful chainsaw, but some users report the chain does not hold up as well as the rest of the components.
- This chainsaw can be louder than many others.
Overall, this affordable chainsaw has lots of power built into a lighter body.
2. DEWALT DCCS690M1
The DEWALT DCCS690M1 40V 4AH Lithium Ion XR Brushless Chainsaw is another contender for the top six chainsaws under $400 (6Ah Battery is more than $400, on September 7, 2019).
DeWalt boasts that this battery-operated saw will provide as much power as a gas-powered chainsaw with less maintenance and less noise.
- This saw comes with a long-lasting 4AH Lithium battery, which provides long-lasting power with quick charging time.
- This model has auto-oiling with LubriLink and LubriWell, meaning less hassle for you.
- Longer chain life is a plus.
- Being battery powered means less maintenance when compared to gas models. No changing spark plugs, air filters, or carburetors.
- DeWalt made this chainsaw quieter, so it won’t bother neighbors or clients.
- A trigger start means you don’t have to mess with pull cords or engine flooding.
- DeWalt offers a three-year limited warranty, one-year free service, and ninety-day money-back guarantee.
- Although this machine auto-oils the chain, it is reported that you do need to add oil to the chamber frequently.
- Users report this chainsaw is heavier than others of similar size.
- Sometimes the chain will get stuck smaller, bendy branches.
The DeWalt DCCS690M1 is a great chainsaw for anyone who wants a simple, powerful, battery-powered machine to do the job. It is quiet and easy to use, while also boasting safety features that make it ideal for beginners and professionals alike.
3. Husqvarna 450e
The Husqvarna 450e is both powerful and fuel-efficient. Husqvarna is a well-known name in the chainsaw industry, and it does not disappoint with the 450e model. With tool-less chain tensioner, smart-start technology, and X-Torq engine, you can’t go wrong.
- The patented Smart Start engine makes this chainsaw easier to start with minimal effort.
- Husqvarna included their new X-cut chain for optimal cutting.
- The snap-lock cylinder cover saves time when providing routine maintenance.
- The safety features are some of the best in the industry.
- The X-Torq engine provides top-of-the-line fuel efficiency while still providing a lot of power.
- This model is not as heavy as most other models of the same size.
- The 450e is versatile, and can both cut smaller pieces of firewood and drop large trees.
- This machine can occasionally overheat if it is overused.
- Noise can be a major issue, as it is louder than the average chainsaw of similar size. This could be due to how powerful it is.
- Consumers report some oil leaks, although that is to be expected.
Ultimately, the Husqvarna 350e is a powerfully built machine in an economical package.
4. Makita XCU03PT
Makita has been in the outdoor industry for years. The XCU03PT is a cordless battery-operated chainsaw that is both powerful and extremely safe. With its brushless motor and direct drive system, it provides high performance for less power.
- This model has a built-in lock lever, which prevents the blade from engaging accidentally.
- The automatic shut-off function provides both safety, and extended battery life.
- A variable speed trigger lets you decide how much power you need for your project.
- Zero emissions make this a more ecological friendly option.
- Runs quieter than many other chainsaws.
- Tool-less chain adjustments are convenient.
- This machine is very low maintenance when compared to their gas-powered counterparts.
- The battery life is not ideal. You may have to have several sets or be prepared to charge often.
- Some users have reported that the auto-shutoff feature is redundant, because Makita already included the lock lever.
- This saw is slightly more expensive for slightly less power than some of the competitors.
The Makita XCU03PT is a great, safe option. It is priced well and has so many safety features that you can feel confident in operating it.
5. Echo CS400
The Echo CS400 boats a professional two-stroke engine with a low effort start system. It’s lightweight makes it easy to use and carry. Being a gas-powered chainsaw means it can last longer than the average battery-powered model as well.
- The automatic adjustable oiler allows you to manage oil output to match the job, while still letting you stay cleaner.
- The tool-less air filter is mounted on top for easy access, which makes it much easier to clean and keep clear.
- The i-30 starting system takes less effort than many other pull-cord start systems.
- This model is equipped with a G-force Engine Air Pre-cleaner for a cleaner air supply.
- The chain tensioner is on the side making it fast and easy to adjust.
- A professional two-stroke engine provides a lot of power in this small package.
- There are two different bar length choices, which gives you the freedom to decide what you need for the job you are doing.
- Although it is powerful for its size, there are more powerful chainsaws on the market at similar price points.
- Consumers have mentioned the chain slipping.
- Could overheat with overuse.
The Echo CS400 is a reliable, long-lasting chainsaw that has a powerful engine and a smaller profile, It is a great tool that will last a long time.
6. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14
The Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 is a great chainsaw for beginners and professionals alike. It is marketed towards professionals and experienced users for hobby work, and light-moderate daily use.
- This model has a self-oiling system.
- Tanaka’s 32.2cc 2-stroke commercial grade Pure Fire Engine provides lots of power.
- Consumers have reported that it has a good balance as far as weight to power goes.
- It has advanced safety features to keep the user safe from accidental harm.
- The anti-vibration system makes it comfortable to use.
- The chain tensioning is accessed through the side, making it easier to adjust when necessary.
- Amazing warranty of 7 years of personal use, 2 years of commercial use, or 1 year of rental use.
- This chainsaw is on the heavy side, making it cumbersome for longer jobs.
- It needs a lot of maintenance compared to others of similar quality.
- This chainsaw is not as easy to operate as some others, and it is not marketed towards the beginner.
Tanaka has produced a solid chainsaw in the TCS33EDTP/14 for anyone with some experience and a need for something with lots of power. It may be heavier than others, but that is to account for its level of power and does not hinder maneuverability at all.
Who Should Buy Chainsaws for Under $400?
Chainsaws that fall into the “Under $400” category are generally geared towards the hobbyist or homeowner.
These are all good choices for occasional home maintenance or light work woodcarving and topiary. They may have enough power to cut down a few trees, but they are probably not heavy duty enough to be the primary tool of a lumberjack.
How Do You Choose Bar Length?
The length of the chainsaws bar will determine the types of jobs you can do with your saw. The larger the bar, the larger area you can cut. For example, you would not use a 12-inch bar to cut a 20-inch in diameter tree.
The average for the chainsaws listed here is about fourteen to sixteen inches. That is a good length for cutting smaller trees, branches, and firewood.
If you own a large property with very large trees, you may need to consider something much bigger.
What Type of Chainsaw is Best for Under $400
The two primary types of chainsaw that have been discussed are gas-powered and battery-powered cordless chainsaws. Each type has pros and cons, and which one you choose will rely heavily on how you intend to use it, as well as how often you will use it.
Battery-powered chainsaws have a lot of power, but do not do as well with long jobs. If you need to cut wood for hours at a time, you may end up annoyed at how often you need to change or charge the saws batteries.
You may also find that the more you use it, the less of a charge the battery holds. For those reasons, battery-powered chainsaws are the best option for a homeowner who usually needs to cut a felled tree or branches that fell in their yard. They are great for jobs that require a lot of power but aren’t really a daily use type of saw.
Gas-powered chainsaws require a lot more maintenance, but they can handle working all day long. They can also be used daily without concern for battery life or dying out.
If you cut firewood daily, or have a lot of wooded property on which you will need to cut trees and brush daily, the gas saws may be best for you. They may also be the better option for someone who needs a chainsaw for a hobby they engage in often, such as woodcarving and topiary art.
What is the Best Brand for Under $400?
When discussing chainsaw brands, the most trusted is always Husqvarna. They are known for being reliable, powerful, and one of the most environmentally friendly for a gas-powered machine.
They are user-friendly and the company itself offers plenty of information. Husqvarna offers chainsaws from $170.00 all the way up to $1800.00, making sure anyone who needs a saw has an option.
What About Under $500 or $600? What is the Difference?
The biggest difference between chainsaws that are under $400, and chainsaws between $400 and $600 is the size of the bar you can get.
Many of the chainsaws in this price point are very similar to the ones already mentioned, but the bar length goes up considerably. That means you could cut down larger trees and handle longer jobs with less wear and tear on your chain and motor.
Chainsaws come at many price points and can be used for any number of jobs. When deciding on the right chainsaw for your needs, it is always best to really think about what you need for, and how often it will be used.
If all you will be doing is cutting up branches that may fall in your yard occasionally, you can’t go wrong with a smaller battery-powered saw. In that case, the DeWalt or Makita may be right for you.
If you need to cut down entire trees regularly, or cut firewood often, you may want to lean towards a more powerful gas chainsaw.
Finding a high-quality chainsaw will save you time and money when it comes to getting things done. Choose the saw that fits your needs and your budget.