If you have yardwork to do at your home, whether it be removing a tree that shades the wrong area of your garden or cutting up firewood, you will likely need a chainsaw to tackle the project at hand.
But, finding the right chainsaw for the job can be difficult and confusing, especially if you have never shopped for a one before.
What are some good gas-powered chainsaws, and what should you look for, specifically, when you go to purchase one?
Let’s go with PowerOfTool.com!
- 1 Top 7 Best Gas Chainsaws
- 1.1 1. Remington RM4214 Rebel 42cc 2-Cycle 14-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw
- 1.2 2. Husqvarna 20-Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
- 1.3 3. Poulan P3314 14-Inch 33cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Chainsaw
- 1.4 4. XtremepowerUS 22-Inch 2.4HP 45cc Gas-Powered Chainsaw
- 1.5 5. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 32.2cc 14-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine
- 1.6 6. Echo 18-Inch 40.2cc Gas Chainsaw
- 1.7 7. Blue Max 8901 2-in-1 14-Inch/20-Inch Combination Chainsaw
- 2 Who Should Buy a Gas Chainsaw?
- 3 Buy vs. Rent a Gas Chainsaw?
- 4 How to Choose the Best Gas Chainsaw?
- 5 What Gas (or Gas Mixture) for a Chainsaw?
- 6 What is the Lightest Gas Chainsaw?
- 7 How to Start and use Gas Chainsaw Safety?
- 8 Conclusion
Top 7 Best Gas Chainsaws
1. Remington RM4214 Rebel 42cc 2-Cycle 14-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw
Remington has long been known for its quality tools, and this chainsaw is no different. With QuickStart, a 5-Point Anti Vibration System, and a durable 42cc engine, its compact size does nothing to take away from its reliability and capability as a dependable gas-powered chainsaw. It utilizes an inertia-activated chain brake for safety, and keeps your saw ready to work with an automatic chain oiling system for a safe and effective working experience.
- Compact size and weight mean that you can work more effectively for a longer period of time, as the chainsaw weighs only 15.7 pounds.
- Ergonomic design: Well-balanced and maneuverable, the Remington Rebel is easy to work with even for those tighter spaces.
- Impressive safety features: With a low kickback, the chain brake technology, and an anti-vibration system, Remington has made sure to minimize your risk of operational injury.
- Not great for larger projects such as bucking or cutting larger pieces of firewood.
- Regular maintenance is a must to make sure it stays operating at peak performance.
2. Husqvarna 20-Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Husqvarna is a powerhouse in the world of modern tool manufacturing, but specifically makes a fantastic, quality chainsaw and it shows in their 455 Rancher.
With a 55.5cc engine, you will get an impressive amount of power out of this compact chainsaw, all with the quality and durability you expect from the Husqvarna name. It is an ideal chainsaw for landowners or professionals who need a heavy-duty, responsive tool that will impress in any cutting conditions.
- Side-mounted chain tensioning system that lets you perform quick adjustments while working.
- X-Torque lowers fuel consumption and reduces emissions, which means you can work more efficiently for longer periods of time.
- Lightweight but powerful: The Husqvarna 455 Rancher weighs in at only 12.8 pounds, and along with an ergonomic design, means you can avoid fatigue and get the job done in a timely fashion.
- Price – While well worth the cost, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher can be pricey: the 20-inch chainsaw will set you back for about $420.
- Does not come with bar and chain oil.
3. Poulan P3314 14-Inch 33cc 2-Cycle Gas-Powered Chainsaw
This 14-inch, 33cc gas chainsaw isn’t quite as lightweight as others in this list, weighing 16 pounds, but it definitely gets the job done for the price. Primarily, consumers use the Poulan P3314 for lightweight yardwork, such as trimming or pruning hedges, bushes, and loose, thin tree limbs.
- Features a clean air filter system, which helps to extend the life of the air filter.
- Ideal for small, frequent jobs around the yard that require a firm but precise approach.
- Includes a one-year warranty with the purchase, and comes to you fully-assembled.
- Affordable price: Won’t break the bank for reliability and great performance.
- Weight: Given its size and mid-range engine, it’s heftier weight can be a little off-putting if you intend to do more than small jobs with it.
- It is not CARB compliant, and cannot be sold or purchased in the state of California.
4. XtremepowerUS 22-Inch 2.4HP 45cc Gas-Powered Chainsaw
Cleaning up after a nasty storm, pruning trees, or preparing firewood are all incredibly simple tasks with the XtremepowerUS Gas-Powered Chainsaw. With a 22-inch bar and a 45cc engine, it is definitely one of the bigger, more heavy-duty chainsaws and is not to be taken lightly as a result. This is the kind of gas-powered chainsaw you should use if you need to cut medium-to-large pieces of firewood or fell medium-sized trees.
- Quick start and stop control increase your safety during operation and use.
- EPA approved, with a clean air-intake system that lowers emissions, increases power, and reduces fuel consumption.
- Easily adjustable chain, carburetor, fuel, and air filters give you control over the performance of your chainsaw.
- The large size and heavyweight: This is not the chainsaw to use for light yardwork; this is the chainsaw you use with experience and large jobs to do, otherwise it’s not particularly practical.
5. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 32.2cc 14-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine
Tanaka has always been a major innovative force in the world of tool research and development, and their work on this gas-powered chainsaw is on par with what you would expect from that experience.
At 32.2cc, the Pure Fire engine provides a clean, powerful performance with remarkably low fuel consumption. Offering a quality, warranty-backed product at a surprisingly reasonable price, this chainsaw is well worth consideration for any user.
- Comes with a 7-year consumer, 2-year commercial, and 1-year rental warranty automatically. Tanaka is more than willing and able to back up their products and ensure you have what you need to get the job done.
- Lightweight: This powerful little saw only weighs 12.4 pounds, which means less fatigue for you when combined with the comfortably ergonomic design.
- Half-throttle choke and purge primer bulb for easy start and fast warm-up.
- Due to its small size, it really isn’t cut out for larger jobs, though it is perfect for smaller jobs or work that requires precision.
- Filter cover may be easily knocked loose if bumped.
6. Echo 18-Inch 40.2cc Gas Chainsaw
This Echo chainsaw is the lightest one on this particular list, and a smaller version exists weighing in at just half its weight! Even weighing only 10.1 pounds, it packs a powerful 40.2cc engine and an 18-inch bar. It features an adjustable, automatic chain oiler as well as an anti-vibration handle, which minimizes almost any kickback that might occur when wielding this particular saw.
- Extremely lightweight and easy to manipulate and maneuver.
- I-30 starting system for easy, no-hassle starting.
- Able to handle bigger jobs with its 40.2cc engine and larger bar, without the added weight or fatigue.
- May not run as well with a usual fuel mixture of 40:1; 50:1 is suggested.
- Needs regular, frequent maintenance to keep performance up; make sure to clean it after each use to be sure all debris is free of the saw, and that there are no bent teeth.
7. Blue Max 8901 2-in-1 14-Inch/20-Inch Combination Chainsaw
Blue Max is a name you don’t hear or see often, but it should be. With a 45cc engine, there isn’t much around your home that you couldn’t handle with this chainsaw. As an added bonus, it comes as a combination – with one purchase you get a 14-inch bar as well as a 20-inch bar, meaning no matter what job you have, the Blue Max 8901 will be able to tackle it with no problem.
- The two-in-one combination makes it well worth buying just to have the multi-purpose use all in one purchase, without having to buy additional add-ons or kits.
- Comes with a quick start button, meaning you can get right to work without having to struggle with a cord or choke.
- Low price point, coming in at under $200.
- Might not be powerful enough for heavy-duty contract or professional jobs, but makes a good back-up for those jobs to finish off any remaining work.
- It is recommended to make sure the chain is tight before each use, more so than others as there are some reports of the chain coming loose easily.
Who Should Buy a Gas Chainsaw?
Gas chainsaws are convenient, powerful, and fast. Whether you’re a professional or just looking to do chores around your home, it’s difficult to argue that gas-powered chainsaws aren’t the best option to go for regular use.
If you want to avoid tripping over a long cord and extension cord, or want to avoid having to worry about a battery, a gas chainsaw is perfect for you and comes with enough size, weight, and power options to fit any need you could have in your work.
Buy vs. Rent a Gas Chainsaw?
Whether you should buy or rent a chainsaw depends on how frequently you intend to use it, and for what projects. If you only need to use the saw for one or two projects a year, such as cutting down a particularly large tree in your yard, renting may be more cost-effective for you. Renting could also be viable depending on the cost to rent from local or chain equipment stores, where sometimes the cost is as low as $25 per day.
However, if you intend to fell or trim trees or bushes more often or cut up firewood, you may want to go ahead and purchase a chainsaw outright, as it will be cheaper in the long-run and more convenient. More frequent use or professional use should always be a purchase. For large or potentially dangerous jobs, remember that it is always best to consult and hire a professional, regardless of whether you have or are purchasing your own chainsaw.
How to Choose the Best Gas Chainsaw?
There are a lot of things to consider when you’re in the market for a new gas chainsaw. The following are the most defining factors in almost every chainsaw owner’s mind when they go to make a purchase.
Size & Weight
If you’ve never used a chainsaw before, you typically want to go with the smallest chainsaw that will still accomplish your goals. Unless you’re experienced, you want to stay away from saws with large bars, such as anything over 20” or so.
The smaller size and, subsequently, lighter weight is easier for new users to keep control of and maneuver around, whereas larger chainsaws can be cumbersome. Even as an experienced user, never go above what bar length and weight you can safely handle without fatiguing quickly – it will make your project take longer to complete and is, ultimately, just flat-out unsafe.
This is an excellent guideline to go by:
|Chainsaw Task||Guide Bar Length|
|Trimming||16” or less|
|Pruning||12” or less|
|Limbing||12” to 14”|
|Felling a small tree||12” to 14”|
|Felling a medium tree||16” to 18”|
|Light firewood cutting||14” to 16”|
|Medium firewood cutting||16” to 18”|
|Bucking||18” or larger|
Power is a measurement of engine size, and the higher the number, the more powerful the engine. Keep in mind that more power often equates to more weight.
Most homeowners, for occasional tasks around their personal property, will be fine using a chainsaw between 24cc to 46cc of power. For any heavy-duty cutting, you’ll want to consult a professional to be safe. Otherwise, this table is a good guideline for most needs:
|Task||Chainsaw Power Required|
|Small tree felling||30cc to 40cc|
|Medium tree felling||45cc and higher|
|Large logs (bucking)||50cc and higher|
|Light firewood (under 10”)||35cc to 45cc|
|Medium firewood (10”-16”)||40cc to 50cc|
As with almost any product, particularly tools, you will get what you pay for. Gas-powered chainsaws can average anywhere from $80 to $600 for the higher-end models and brands.
You can absolutely find good quality, non-professional saws on the lower end of the price spectrum, though, so be sure to shop around and read reviews. Don’t forget to think about things such as safety features, power, ergonomics, and even brand names you might trust more than others.
With over 100,000 chainsaw-related injuries every year in the United States, purchasing a chainsaw is not something to take lightly because of the dangerous nature of operating one, especially with inexperience or a lack of practicing proper safety precautions during operation. As such, PPE (personal protective equipment) is not optional during operation if you want to avoid injury as much as possible.
Aside from using PPE, there are features you can look for on each chainsaw, such as:
- Anti-Vibration Features: These lessen the vibrations felt as you operate the chainsaw, allowing you to work for longer periods of time while minimizing discomfort such as numbness.
- Automatic Chain Oiler: When your chain is lubricated, it operates and cuts more safely and efficiently.
- Chain Brake: These are great for any kickback that might occur. Manual chain brakes will force the chain to stop quickly if the saw kicks and the guard hits your hand. Inertial chain brakes are automatic and sense the rotation of a typical kickback, and functions much faster than your reflexes will.
- Spring-Assist Starting: Makes starting the chainsaw much easier, lessening the initial fatigue that you might typically feel when starting older chainsaws or ones without the spring-assist starter.
- Throttle Lock: This forces you to operate the throttle lock before pushing the throttle to use the chainsaw, and prevents unintentional operation as a result.
As with almost anything you can purchase, from power tools to appliances, there are brands that you come to rely on or trust more than others. Some of those brands, in regards to chainsaws, are on the list found earlier in this article. But, there are other, equally-reliable brands out there with plenty of great reviews that you can look into yourself.
- Stihl, with 90 years of experience in manufacturing power tools and a focus on chainsaws, in particular, is a trusted brand due to their reliability and functionality.
- Husqvarna is one of the foundations of modern power tool manufacturing, and has been producing outdoor equipment for over 329 years! It’s safe to say they know what they’re doing.
- Remington was established in 1921, and grew by word of mouth and producing quality, reliable products – it’s no surprise that they remain one of the top brands out there.
- Craftsman, whose roots began in the 1920s, has made great strides in the development of chainsaws over the years, and continues to be a household name.
What Gas (or Gas Mixture) for a Chainsaw?
If you want to mix your own fuel, you’ll need a fuel container with a cap, the high octane fuel of your choice, and the two-stroke engine oil you plan on using. Fill the container with half of the gasoline you want to use, then the entirety of the oil of your choosing.
Cap the container and shake it, and then you can add the remainder of the gasoline. Re-cap the container, shake well again, and then make sure that you label the container for storage and future use.
Your mixture should be a ratio of 40:1 or 50:1 (gasoline:oil), depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Higher octane gasoline will burn slower and run cooler in all 2-cycle motors found in gas-powered chainsaws.
If you have trouble with measurements for your mixture, there are containers available for purchase in most equipment or tool stores that come with marks or measurements already on the container.
If you aren’t planning to use the mixture within two or three months, it’s advised to add a fuel stabilizer to it to extend its shelf life. Alternatively, if you don’t want to mix your own fuel, it is sold in childproof, premixed containers with gasoline, oil, and stabilizer, ready to go for your convenience.
What is the Lightest Gas Chainsaw?
The ECHO 12-Inch Bar Gas Chainsaw is the lightest gas-powered chainsaw currently on the market. Weighing in at only 5.2 pounds, it packs an impressive amount of power without sacrificing on safety features. The clutch-driven adjustable oiler only runs when the chain is moving, and the starter handle doubles as a wrench for the fuel and oil caps. It’s perfect for smaller jobs and is extremely versatile.
How to Start and use Gas Chainsaw Safety?
First and foremost, always read the owner’s manual and manufacturer’s instructions. They are there for a reason, and offer useful information for maintenance and operation of your chainsaw.
For instances when you plan to fell trees or prune large branches, remember to keep your work area clear and only work when there is no inclement weather such as high winds. You need to be sure that no debris, branches or trees will fall on property such as cars or homes, as well as that they do not fall on things like power lines.
Always use PPE. This includes eye and ear protection; heavy work boots; long, thick pants and sleeves; heavy work gloves; chainsaw chaps; a hardhat. Remember that it is always better to be safe than sorry when operating a chainsaw.
Make sure the chainsaw is either on the ground or between your legs (blade and bar facing outward). Grip the handlebar, press the throttle trigger, and pull the starter rope with the choke engaged. After a few pulls, it will pop but not start, and at that point, you will disengage the choke and pull the starter rope again. Tap the throttle trigger to set the saw to idle before use.
Also be aware of your footing and balance when operating a chainsaw, as any slips or mis-steps could be dangerous, if not fatal.
Be cautious of kickback and pinching: be aware of the position of the saw and bar tip at all times. Always use a firm two-handed grip and balanced stance, and always do proper maintenance between uses. This will not only keep you safe but will ensure your chainsaw is operating as intended.
- DO NOT use the saw if there are damaged, loose, or missing parts.
- DO NOT “drop start” (in the hands with only one hand controlling the chainsaw) or start while the chain is touching or near your body.
- DO NOT make adjustments to the chain or bar if the motor is running.
- DO NOT leave a saw running unattended.
- DO NOT operate a chainsaw alone; always have a partner nearby to keep the work area clear, and just in case of any mishaps or emergency situations.
In conclusion, gas-powered chainsaws are fantastic, versatile tools you can use for a variety of yard work. As with any tool, though, you should always be sure of operation protocols and safety measures, and maintain healthy respect that the tool you are using has the potential to cause serious bodily harm if used incorrectly. There are many options for any number of projects, jobs, or contracts you may have, to meet any needs.