For landowners with heavy-duty landscaping needs like trimming or cutting down mature, fifty-foot trees, a basic chainsaw just isn’t going to cut it. Ranchers and landowners that need to chop through tough timber as efficiently as possible will benefit from buying a professional-grade chainsaw.
The chainsaws PowerOfTool.com will review in this article are all designed for heavy use, think forestry and logging versus shrub trimming. We’ve scoured Amazon for their best-reviewed professional-grade chainsaws and broken them down by pros and cons so you don’t have to.
If you’re not sure if a professional-grade chainsaw is the right choice for you, we’ve also detailed some key differences between the professional and homeowner chainsaw as well as some general tips and tricks for choosing the best chainsaw.
- 1 Top 8 Best Professional Chainsaw Reviews
- 1.1 1. Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
- 1.2 2. Husqvarna 460 Rancher Cutting Kit with accessories
- 1.3 3. Makita 20″ 64 cc Chain Saw
- 1.4 4. Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
- 1.5 5. Remington RM4620 Outlaw 46cc 2-Cycle 20-inch Gas Powered Chainsaw
- 1.6 6. Dewalt Flexvolt 60V MAX Lithium-Ion Brushless 16″ Cordless Chainsaw Kit
- 1.7 7. Echo 20 inch Gas Powered Chain Saw, 59.8cc
- 1.8 8. Zombi 16-Inch 58-Volt Cordless Electric Chainsaw
- 2 How to Choose the Best Professional Chainsaw
- 3 Professional versus homeowner chainsaw
- 4 Conclusion
Top 8 Best Professional Chainsaw Reviews
1. Husqvarna 20 Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
An internationally trusted name for all outdoor equipment, Husqvarna sells products suited for commercial businesses and the average homeowner. This 20-inch rancher gas-powered chainsaw is built to last. With built-in safety features and an air cleaning system, this chainsaw will deliver the results you’re looking for with the security you need.
- Smart-start technology
- Automatic oiler
- Two-cycle engine with a chain brake
- The side-mounted tensioning system so you can adjust while working
- Built-in air filter for easy cleaning
- Replacement parts available
- 30 day limited warranty
- Cannot return to Amazon once it’s been oiled
- Some customers reported missing or broken parts
- May not come with oil mix
- User must carefully read the manual before operating
2. Husqvarna 460 Rancher Cutting Kit with accessories
This 60 cc Rancher comes with a professional-grade chainsaw from a trusted brand as well as some additional accessories that will prove useful for the user like professional work gloves, a cutting kit and a chain with a file. The 24-inch bar allows you to cut larger diameter trees with ease, most chainsaws on the market require the user to purchase a separate bar if you need a 24-inches, but this Husqvarna knows that bigger is better when it comes to logging!
- 24” bar and chain for monster logs
- Centrifugal air cleaning system built-in and easy to remove air filters
- Comes with extra chains, gloves, and a cutting kit
- Smart start equipped
- Easy start with choke stop control
- Reduced risk of engine flooding
- Low vibration
- 2-year warranty
- Some users report difficulty starting
- Heavier weight
3. Makita 20″ 64 cc Chain Saw
Makita specializes in all your home’s outdoor needs. From the garden to the garage, they have a tool for everything. This high-powered, easy start saw will make your job easier from start to finish in any type of weather. Additional features like the easy clean chain compartment make maintenance a breeze.
- Reduced vibration due to Makita’s advanced vibration dampening system
- 4.7 horsepower, engine speed of 35,000 RMP
- Easy to clean chain compartment
- The 20-inch bar for bigger jobs
- Electronic ignition and decompression valve
- Slide-out baffle can be reconfigured for cold weather
- Long-lasting engine
- Can be used easily on hardwoods
- 30-day warranty
- May not restart for long period after engine flooding
- Some users reported difficulty starting
- Uses a lot of chain oil
4. Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
Poulan is a division of the Husqvarna brand, which is internationally trusted for outdoor equipment. This professional chainsaw boasts OxyPower technology which means 70% lower emissions on your chainsaw and less gas use than other brands. Poulan says their products will complete any job at a price that homeowners will love.
- 2 year limited warranty
- OxyPower engine technology guarantees a high powered engine with low emissions and low fuel usage
- Choke/stop control that offers faster, easier and reliable start-ups with less likelihood of engine flooding
- Rear handle integrated combi tool
- 20-inch bar
- Protected purge bulb is unlikely to be damaged during use
- Chain tightening assembly may loosen during use
- Priming may lead to engine flooding
- Heavy weight may make cutting more difficult
- Some parts are not covered under Poulan’s warranty
5. Remington RM4620 Outlaw 46cc 2-Cycle 20-inch Gas Powered Chainsaw
Remington says they have all you need for a yard well done, and that’s certainly the case with this gas-powered chainsaw. Remington machines are built for use and comfort to make your outdoor tasks painless and a price that won’t break the bank. Their quick start technology allows you to get to work right away without hassle.
- 40 cc engine is powerful and reliable
- Quick start technology for faster and easier pull starts
- 20-inch bar and chain allows you to get the big jobs done
- More comfortable to operate due to cushioned grip and 5 point anti-vibration system
- Automatic oiler
- Comes with bar and chain oil and carrying case
- Side access chain tensioner
- Easy to restart after initial starting
- Clear rubber primer bulb so you know when to refuel
- Leaks chain oil when stored
- Case isn’t aesthetically pleasing
- Multiple steps necessary in order to cold start
- Factory setting on chain is too tight
- Low torque
6. Dewalt Flexvolt 60V MAX Lithium-Ion Brushless 16″ Cordless Chainsaw Kit
There’s a reason most professionals trust Dewalt, their history with power tools, hand tools and outdoor equipment is unparalleled and their products are known to be long-lasting. This battery-powered chainsaw requires no gas and there’s no cord to hold you back while you work.
- Flexvolt battery has two voltages
- Easy to start trigger, no pull cord
- No carburetor, spark plugs or air filters necessary mean low maintenance
- Less noise than a gas-powered chainsaw
- Low kickback bar and kickback protection with a chain brake
- Tool-free tensioning system
- Automatic oiler with quarter turn oil cap for easy refills
- Lightweight and ergonomic makes it easy to maneuver
- 16-inch bar may make cutting bigger trees difficult
- Included charger takes a while to fully charge the battery
- No case
- Bar oil leaks when not in use
- Battery life may lessen with age
- May malfunction if used for too long as the tool will get very hot
7. Echo 20 inch Gas Powered Chain Saw, 59.8cc
Echo brand is owned by the Japanese company, Yamabiko Corporation. They specialize in landscaping products that are powerful but easy to use for the average homeowner. Echo stands by all their products and this 20-inch chainsaw is no exception. This is a long-lasting product that will withstand temperatures while still being easy to maneuver.
- 3.9 horse powered engine
- Automatic chain oiler is adjustable
- Anti-vibration handle that won’t leave your hands buzzing with long use
- Doesn’t need to be sharpened as often as other saws
- Powers through logs and branches easily
- Chain guard is made of plastic and can easily break with use
- Carburetor needs to be adjusted professionally if you live about 1100 feet ASL
- Some users report issues starting the machine
8. Zombi 16-Inch 58-Volt Cordless Electric Chainsaw
Zombi Power Tools are manufactured by American Lawn Mower Co, which has been around since 1895. You’re likely to see this brand on the shelves at Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and Home Depot and you won’t be able to miss it. Zombi’s power tools are not only high performing and long-lasting, but they’re also an electric blue. This cordless, gas-free electric chainsaw gets the job done with no emissions, no gas smell and more safety features you’ll love
- Brushless motor is powerful and efficient yet durable
- Oregon bar and chain is low kickback and chainsaw tool is included in a built-in compartment
- Safety features to protect you while you work include a chain brake, automatic oiler with indicator reservoir and a hand guard to protect you from debris
- The battery-powered machine is much less noisy than a gas-powered chainsaw
- Comes with battery and charger
- 16-inch bar
- Guide bar may loosen during use
- Battery life declines with use
- Chain may hit the plastic tensioner if not installed properly
- Plastic housing
How to Choose the Best Professional Chainsaw
At this point you may be asking yourself, how do I choose the best professional chainsaw when there are so many highly reviewed options? We’ll break down the differences here so you can make the best choice possible depending on your personal needs.
Make sure you’re familiar with basic operations of yard equipment before you decide to do landscaping on your own. You should be able to stand for a longer period of time, hold 10 pounds or heavier for an extended period of time, be able to read and understand an owner’s manual and be prepared to provide basic maintenance of a power tool.
If you don’t think you can handle one or more of the above, you may consider enlisting the help of a more experienced friend or hiring a professional for your landscaping job. Remember, safety first!
Professional versus homeowner chainsaw
First of all, do you need a professional chainsaw or a regular homeowner’s chainsaw?
The best way to figure this out is to determine how often you will be using the chainsaw and what type of wood you’ll be cutting. If you have a lot of land with many mature trees, chances are you use a chainsaw often to maintain your acreage.
Professional chainsaws are higher powered and heavier-duty so that they may be used frequently, for longer periods of time. They’ll probably be heavier in weight too, and most are gas-powered.
Gas-powered chainsaws require a mix of gas and oil that can be dangerous if you’re not experienced, they also use a pull to start method that can be tiring if you haven’t used them before. Finally, professional gas-powered chainsaws are loud and emit an odor, so they’re not always ideal for typical suburban use.
The professional chainsaw will also be more expensive, but this is often worth it for the amount of use you will get out of it. If you look at a chainsaw and question why you would need to spend so much on a piece of machinery, you probably don’t need a profession chainsaw!
If you have some downed branches after a storm or another job that seems like it may be a one-time deal, you could probably get away with a standard homeowner chainsaw.
You can get gas-powered homeowner chainsaws, which will have the same issues as the gas-powered professional chainsaws, but you are more likely to see a variety of electric (corded and battery-powered) chainsaws available for homeowner use. These require less maintenance and can be easier to start and easier to maneuver, not to mention safer.
You can also typically get a homeowner chainsaw for a lower cost. This is because it’s not meant to be used every weekend in all types of weather, but occasionally and in nicer weather.
If you find you don’t need a professional chainsaw, check out some of the corded and battery-powered chainsaws on Amazon. If you know a professional chainsaw is right up your alley, we’ve got a buying guide for you below to help you choose between the different types.
There are a few types of chainsaws. The professional chainsaw is usually going to be gas-powered, this means it needs fuel to run. Different brands and different motors require different fuel mixes, you will probably need to keep fuel on hand in case you run out in the middle of a job (stored safely and properly). And you’ll want to check the owner’s manual to be sure you are using the right ratio (not to mention operating the machine properly).
Gas-powered chainsaws also have more parts (a carburetor and air filters for example) so they require more maintenance. If you are prepared to perform regular maintenance on a piece of machinery, this should not be a problem for you. However, if this sounds like a hassle, you may be better suited for an electric chainsaw.
You may also notice we’ve found a few battery-operated chainsaws. These electric chainsaws run on a rechargeable battery, the voltage level will vary with different brands. A battery-powered chainsaw has the same advantages of corded and battery-powered homeowner chainsaws we listed above (they are quieter, better for the environment and don’t emit the gasoline smell associated with regular chainsaws).
However, a professional-grade battery-operated chainsaw will be much more powerful and useful for bigger jobs and frequent use, unlike the homeowner electric chainsaw.
There are drawbacks to the battery-powered chainsaw. If you run out of battery in the middle of a job you may have to wait several hours for the battery to recharge (depending on the power of your battery charger).
Also, just like your cell phone battery, you may find your chainsaw battery life begins to decline with age and you need to charge more often after using for less time. This can be fixed by purchasing a new battery for an extra cost.
If you need a professional-grade chainsaw, chances are you’re looking for a high powered machine, strong enough to fell trees with large diameters. How do you determine the power level of a chainsaw?
Gas-powered chainsaws are measured in cubic centimeters (or cc). The higher the cc, the higher-powered the chainsaw. We’ve included cc in our review, but if you’re looking on your own it’s helpful to know that a typical homeowner chainsaw is 40cc, so for professional use look for 50 cc or higher.
To determine power for an electric chainsaw, look at the amps. A professional-grade chainsaw can be anywhere between 12 and 15 amps. The electric chainsaw will be less powerful than the gas-powered chainsaw.
Size & Weight
You’ve probably noticed that chainsaws are sold with different bar lengths. The bar length corresponds to how many inches in diameter the chainsaw can cut without having to switch angles during cutting to cut cleanly through a log.
For professional use, we recommend the 20-inch bar. Some of the products we reviewed come with 16 or 18-inch bars, but you can switch them out for a longer bar in most cases (just check the owner’s manual before doing so and be sure to order the correct parts.
Weight is also important, a heavier weight will put more pressure on the wood while you cut and slice through easier, but the heavier a chainsaw is the more difficult it is to wield. A lower weight chainsaw will have just the opposite problem, it will be easier to hold but you may find you need to apply more pressure to make your cuts. 11-12 pounds is a great weight for a professional chainsaw.
Most of the time with a professional chainsaw, you get what you pay for. A high-quality chainsaw with a higher cc will be more expensive (think $300-$400) than a lower quality chainsaw with lower cc. Look at what accessories a chainsaw comes with when you consider the price, a chainsaw that comes with an extra chain or a case is worth more than a chainsaw that comes without those items.
Also, consider the warranty when you pay for your chainsaw. A low-cost chainsaw might not come with a warranty. Instead, you can pay upwards of $60 for a one, two or three-year warranty. The factor that into the cost when you’re comparing products. Chainsaws get heavy use so many customers find they need replacement parts and can get these free under warranties.
Regular chainsaws vibrate when in use, and the high power engine your chainsaw has the more you can expect it to vibrate if the product does not come with anti-vibration technology.
With regular vibration, chainsaw users will experience a buzzing feeling in their hands which, believe it or not, can get very uncomfortable with sustained use, even while wearing safety gloves. It can be uncomfortable enough to make you want to take a break. That’s why most of the products we reviewed use anti-vibration technology to reduce and/or protect the user from the regular vibrations of the machine.
If all else fails, you can always count on the product reviews to mention the vibration level.
By nature, all chainsaws are dangerous if not handled properly by experienced users. The tool itself is very dangerous if misused, but the job is also dangerous as often branches and other debris can fly up and hit you while you work.
In order to be safe while working with a chainsaw, first and foremost always consult the user’s guide before using. Familiarize yourself with the tool, be sure you’re starting it correctly and know how to use any important safety features.
Always wear protective gear when working with a chainsaw. Protect your eyes with goggles, your head with a hard hat and your ears with noise-canceling ear covers. Wear long sleeves and long pants to protect your body in the event of an accident or of flying debris.
Finally, most chainsaws come with important safety features like chain brakes and handguards. Check out the product specifications to make sure the chainsaw you choose has all the safety features you need.
Every brand is different, we highlighted some of the more popular chainsaw brands above, but you might find others that you’re interested in. We recommend looking for a trusted brand that offers customer support and money-back guarantees (most are only 30-days, but that’s better than nothing).
If you haven’t heard of a brand before, do some research or ask a professional for their opinions. For example, if you find a cheap chainsaw that’s from an unknown brand, definitely make sure it’s safely manufactured and comes with a warranty before you buy. Remember, price is usually tied to quality when it comes to chainsaws.
We hope you learned everything you need to know about professional-grade chainsaws, now get to work!