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10 Best Small Chainsaws in 2020

When most people think of chainsaws, they think of large, gas-hungry chain saws that you see being used to cut down large trees and slice through heavy lumps of wood in under ten seconds flat. While they definitely have their uses, a chainsaw of that size is hardly practical: if you are needing to saw through something like this, small chainsaws can usually give you the perfect balance of low weight and high cutting power. But how do you find the best small chainsaw on the market, and what matters most when you are comparing all of the different statistics or specifications?

Here is our list of the ten best small chainsaw models on the market at the moment, along with advice on which ones might be right for you and how you can identify the features that matter most.

View The Best Small Chainsaw Below

1. Sun Joe SWJ800E Telescoping Electric Pole Chain Saw

Sun Joe SWJ800E Telescoping Electric Pole Chain Saw

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This telescoping pole chainsaw uses an extended body to give you up to 15 feet of reach, making it easy to trim branches on trees or reach far-away pieces of wood that have to be sliced up. A 6.5-amp motor allows it to easily cut through wooden objects up to 7.5 inches in thickness, and the automatic lubrication system ensures that the 2.7 fl. ounce oil tank is constantly keeping the saw blade at maximum efficiency. The start system is located at the bottom of the shaft, and the middle uses a foam gripping handle for better comfort and vibration protection.

Pros:
+ Extended reach.
+ Built-in safety switch.
+ Comfortable grip section.
+ Adjustable, telescoping pole length.
+ Self-lubricating.

Why We Liked It – This chainsaw pole is a really convenient option if you need to make sure that distant items are trimmed, whether that is a tree branch or just pieces of wood.


2. Tanaka TCS33EDTP Top Handle Chain Saw

Tanaka TCS33EDTP Top Handle Chain Saw

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The high quality of this handheld, lightweight chainsaw allows it to cleanly saw through surfaces with ease, making use of a rear air filter and anti-vibration system to improve performance and user protection even further.

An excellent weight to power ratio ensures that you aren’t dealing with a lot of vibrations, making it easy to stay accurate and avoid muscle fatigue while you are trying to make a precise cut. A classic top-mounted handle, combined with a reliable half-throttle choke, means that you can easily position your cuts even if you haven’t turned the chainsaw on yet.

Pros:
+ Easy to control.
+ Low vibrations.
+ Designed for accurate cutting.
+ Lightweight.
+ Uses a more consistent sprocket nose bar design.

Why We Liked It – This lightweight chainsaw provides an excellent level of cutting power, offering low kickback and vibrations to help you stay accurate with each cut or movement.


3. Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim

Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim

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This excellently-designed corded chainsaw combines a lightweight design with a strong 8-amp electric motor, helping you easily cut through smaller objects without having to struggle. The simple button-activated oiler can lubricate the blade without needing any extra user input, and the excellent external chain tensioning system can make sure that you are getting the best results possible.

It also uses a wraparound handguard that provides extra vibration prevention and keeps your hands safe from flying debris or shavings. The easy starting system that works alongside the motor means that you can get the chainsaw ready to use at a moment’s notice.

Pros:
+ Easy to use.
+ Protects you from cutting debris.
+ External tensioning system
+ Comes ready to use.
+ Has a one-button lubrication system.

Why We Liked It – Compared to most small chainsaws, this design manages to be both convenient and powerful, especially for new users.


4. EGO Power+ CS1600 Cordless Chainsaw

EGO Power+ CS1600 Cordless Chainsaw

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The high-efficiency brushless motor used inside this chainsaw provides plenty of cutting power, helping you quickly cut through a wide range of materials. The 16-inch bar and chain give you more cutting distance and surface area, while the weather-resistant overall design can make sure that you won’t suffer performance issues during bad weather or less-than-ideal temperatures.

The chain tensioning options don’t require any tools to adjust, and the built-in low kickback brake keeps you safer when trying to saw through thicker and more durable materials. A simple lithium-ion battery power source also means that you are never struggling to keep it full of liquid fuel, too.

Pros:
+ Simple design.
+ Effective at cutting larger items.
+ Tool-free tension adjustment system.
+ Easier to handle than gas chainsaws.
+ Very weather-resistant.

Why We Liked It – This small chainsaw combines a durable and weather-resistant design with an effective bar and chain, making difficult outdoor work much less of a hassle.


5. Oregon CS1500 Corded Electric Chainsaw

Oregon CS1500 Corded Electric Chainsaw

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The self-sharpening 18-inch bar and chain design of this electric chainsaw allow it to stay at peak performance for much longer. This, alongside the high-powered 15-amp motor, can help you carry out long-term projects or multiple smaller tasks without needing to sharpen and repair the chainsaw halfway through, speeding up your progress.

A tool-free chain tensioning system also makes it easy to adjust the chain as needed. Due to the ergonomic and lightweight chainsaw body, the tool can protect the user from vibrations and sudden kickback. You also have a built-in chain brake that can be used to stop the chainsaw if something goes wrong, keeping you even safer during difficult jobs.

Pros:
+ Great at cutting.
+ Tool-less adjustment options.
+ Powerful internal motor.
+ Ergonomic and balanced design.
+ Contains a brake system.

Why We Liked It – This particular small chainsaw design is heavily focused on user safety and comfort, making it one of the best options for handling jobs that can put you at risk of getting hurt.


6. Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw

Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw

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The high-performance lithium-ion battery inside this small chainsaw provides consistent power with no deviation or performance problems, powering the 12-inch bar and chain to make cutting through most materials extremely easy. The automatic oiler system keeps both the chain and bar lubricated and ready to use at any time, even using a translucent oil tank so that you can see how much is left inside.

A shielded wraparound handle makes it easy to cut at multiple angles without subjecting your hands to wooden splinters or metal shavings. At only 6 pounds, it is also a very lightweight chainsaw that doesn’t take much effort to move around.

Pros:
+ Self-lubricating oil system.
+ Lightweight design.
+ Balanced bar.
+ Simple electric start system.
+ 3/8-inch chain pitch.

Why We Liked It – This electric chainsaw is simple but effective, giving you plenty of useful features without losing any raw power and cutting efficiency.


7. WORX WG309 2-in-1 Electric Pole Saw & Chainsaw

WORX WG309 2-in-1 Electric Pole Saw & Chainsaw

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The auto-tensioning system in this chainsaw allows it to automatically adjust to the best tension, removing the need for you to alter it by hand with other tools. A strong 8-amp motor and 120 ml oil tank provide far better performance for most cutting tasks, and the low overall weight means that it is much easier to move the tool around at any given time.

However, the best feature is the tool-free extendable pole, which you can use to reach up and cut branches or other high-up objects without needing a ladder or climbing step. This pole can easily be adjusted to suit the situation, or shortened to give you a regular chainsaw design.

Pros:
+ Extendable pole.
+ Lightweight.
+ Easy, tool-free adjustment.
+ Auto-lubricating system.
+ Self-tensioning design.

Why We Liked It – This chainsaw handles its own lubrication and chain tension, giving you one of the best power tools for people who don’t have time for maintenance in their schedule.


8. BLACK+DECKER Cordless Chainsaw

BLACK+DECKER Cordless Chainsaw

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The ten-inch bar and chain on this chainsaw are designed to reduce kickback and help you cut accurately, making use of a premium design and an accessible tension system to get the best results possible. A simple wraparound bale handle with a small shielded section protects your hands without reducing your cutting precision, and the built-in 20-volt lithium-ion battery can run for up to five times longer than most small chainsaws. A lightweight overall design also makes it easier to avoid fatigue and other problems, as well as making the chainsaw itself a lot easier to carry from place to place.

Pros:
+ Reliable bar and chain design.
+ Easy to move.
+ Helps you make accurate cuts.
+ Long running time.
+ Reduced kickbacks and vibrations.

Why We Liked It – This small chainsaw is both comfortable and effective at cutting, making it one of the best options if you want to stay safe and vibration-free during your sawing tasks.


9. WORX WG305 Electric Chain Saw

WORX WG305 Electric Chain Saw

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The strong 8-amp motor inside this small chainsaw allows the extended bar and chain to cut through a wide range of material types. Despite this, the design itself is both lightweight and compact, making it a highly portable choice of power tool for any cutting task. The chain lubrication system has its own oil lever indicator to make it far easier to use, holding up to 4 fluid ounces of oil at any one time.

On the top is a grip that can help you make accurate downward cuts and saw through materials at angles, as well as a rubberized set of handle materials that prevent vibrations from causing as much muscle fatigue.

Pros:
+ Powerful motor.
+ Auto-tensioning system.
+ Built-in chain lubrication tools.
+ Compact construction.
+ Offers consistent cutting performance.

Why We Liked It – This is a great choice of small chainsaw for your typical cutting task, giving you a compact body and adding extra features and tools without reducing its raw sawing strength.


10. Husqvarna 435e II Gas Chainsaw

Husqvarna 435e II Gas Chainsaw

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This small gas-powered chainsaw has a two-cycle engine and built-in chain brake to provide much better user protection while they use the 16-inch bar and chain. The chain oiling system improves performance and keeps the tool running smoothly without needing you to manually lubricate it, and a side-mounted chain tension option allows you to make quick adjustments with simple tools like screwdrivers.

You also have a quick-release air filter that makes it easy to clean out the unit between tasks. The entire chainsaw is surprisingly lightweight, meaning that it is much easier to move around or transport from place to place.

Pros:
+ Reliable engine.
+ Stable fuel consumption.
+ Simple lubricant system.
+ Good tension controls.
+ Quick-release air filter.

Why We Liked It – This small gas chainsaw is great at what it does, helping you easily cut through most materials without even needing to stop and check the bar between uses.


Small Chainsaws Buyer’s Guide

Choosing a small chainsaw involves looking at a lot more than just the basic design, and identifying the features that matter most to you can be the easiest way to get the hang of what you should be looking for. Here are some key details that you should prioritize during your searches, as well as information about why they are so important compared to other parts of a chainsaw’s design.

Bar Length

Man with small chainsaw

The bar length of your chainsaw directly contributes to the size of the blade and the chain. Whether you are looking for the best small gas chainsaw on the market or the biggest heavy-duty power tools you can find, the bar length will always impact the performance of the tool, especially if the bar length has been chosen for a specific purpose. The bar, if you weren’t aware, is the ‘blade’ of the chainsaw that holds the chain of teeth in place, and is often designed specifically for a certain set of chainsaw types.

A larger bar length allows a chainsaw to cut through larger objects. For example, a tree trunk that is 10 inches thick can be completely sawed in half with a bar length of above 10 inches. By contrast, a 14-inch bar length won’t be able to saw through a 16-inch tree trunk unless you walk around to the other side since the bar doesn’t have enough length to reach all the way through. Any type of powered chainsaw can technically mount any bar length with enough modifications, but some designs might not have enough power to make them work, and it can also make them much less easy to handle.

Remember that a larger bar length also means more material is used for both the blade and the teeth covering it. Depending on the design of these parts, a larger bar might easily lead to some added weight: this makes the chainsaw heavier and can often cause balance problems if the blade is much heavier than the rear section.

Weight

Speaking of weight, it can often be one of the biggest draws for people who want to buy small chainsaws specifically. The lower the weight of a chainsaw, the easier it can be to use it for a range of different tasks since you don’t need to spend as much energy and effort taking it from place to place. A lightweight design is also usually much more comfortable, reducing fatigue and making the entire tool easier to control. However, it is important to remember that a lightweight design can sometimes indicate a lack of other useful features, so you will want to check the specifications properly.

For example, you might find the best lightweight chainsaw in terms of actual weight, but some designs might sacrifice cutting power to achieve this. This means that the chainsaw will be easy to use but won’t provide the same cutting results as larger power tools: this could be from a reduced bar length, a weaker motor, or even just a less efficient overall design.

Keep in mind that weight is also usually going to affect things like accuracy and cutting precision. Some people prefer heavier power tools due to the larger mass, while other people might prefer lighter ones that they personally find easier to control. It is not hard to find small chainsaws that weigh as much as normal models if that is what you prefer, so try to figure out how much weight you’d want in your tool. Too little can make them feel ‘floaty’ and not as responsive as they should be.

Tension

Chainsaw Chain Tension.

A chain tensioner system is essentially a tool for tightening the chain on chainsaws, allowing it to properly cut without being too loose to work effectively. Loose chainsaws will wear down quickly, bump into other parts of the blade, and might even end up getting tangled if they are far too loose. There are various designs that let you use specific methods of adjusting the chain tension, but most chainsaws will only have one of them.

The most common are tool-based chain tensioner adjustments, where the chainsaw requires the use of a tool (such as a screwdriver) to make the adjustments. This can be fine in most situations, but it also means that you need to have those tools with you, so many people find this impractical. Tool-free adjustment options are similar, except there are no tools involved, and you can use built-in controls or dials to change the tension instead.

The third type is auto-tension systems, which are supposed to change their own tension whenever possible. This is the easiest way for people to keep their chainsaw ready to go, but these systems can also fail if they are not properly checked, so it doesn’t remove the need for maintenance entirely. Systems like this also apply to lubrication tools: you can get manual, tool-based, and tool-free options, but most chainsaws will only offer one of the three.

Power Source

The power source of your chainsaws will also have an impact, for obvious reasons. Gas or petrol chainsaws and electrical chainsaws work in the same basic way, but they require different fuel types to operate, which can lead to obvious upsides and downsides depending on how you use them. The most common issue with gas chainsaws is the increased weight of the fuel, whereas electrical chainsaws sometimes feel more limited due to power cables.

Batteries in electrical chainsaws can seem like the best option, but remember that batteries still have weight and often need to be charged up beforehand. Unlike a gas chainsaw, you can’t quickly fill it up when it runs out, so you will have to delay tasks if your chainsaw runs flat. Power cables can rectify this problem, but they also limit where you can move, especially if you don’t have any kind of extension cord.

When you are choosing a chainsaw, petrol or gas models can also be quite a common option. These trade the clean nature and simplicity of electricity for higher base power and less risk when you use the saw around water. However, there are also clear downsides, with the price of the fuel being only one of them.

What is the best small chainsaw?

Small chainsaw on the ground

It is not easy to start looking for the best small chainsaws on the market if you don’t have an idea of where to look first, but that also means that you have to spend time understanding what you personally need from a new chainsaw. A brand that gets a lot of praise for being the best might still not be useful to you, especially if you have very niche needs.

For example, you might personally find that the BLACK & DECKER LCS1020 is suitable for the kind of work you need. Alternatively, you might think that the BLACK & DECKER LCS1020 is completely irrelevant compared to the list of features you are looking for. There is no guarantee that any BLACK & DECKER product, or any product from any other specific brand, will fit the niche you have worked out.

What is the smallest chainsaw?

While it can be tempting to choose the smallest chainsaw on the market, keep in mind that the actual smallest designs are only around six inches long, technically speaking. After a certain point, smaller sizes become more of a hindrance than a help, so it is important to choose a design that is ideal for the tasks you will be doing. Don’t buy something small for the sake of owning something small, especially when it comes to power tools.

What is the best chainsaw for a homeowner?

If you are buying a chainsaw for futureproofing rather than for a specific task, then it might be harder to choose a single design. However, many chainsaws can be quite versatile, so you usually just have to look at the raw statistics. Does 14 inches sound like a long enough bar for the jobs you might need to do in the future or is 14 inches too small? Does it use the power source you are most comfortable storing? How much room will it take up? Consider everything, but don’t be afraid to make guesses if you have to.

Conclusion

Buying chainsaws isn’t easy, large or small, but small chainsaws, in particular, can be a big hassle if you are not prepared. Finding the best small chainsaw for your personal situation and needs can seem like a really difficult job, but it just takes some careful thinking and a lot of planning. After all, most chainsaws can still work well for tasks that they are not specifically designed for, so you don’t have to be hyper-specific and get everything right the first time.

Whatever you end up buying, remember that most chainsaws are still treated just like regular power tool types: they come in all shapes and sizes, but they are all performing the same basic function (with some small exceptions). Feel free to use the products above as a starting point for your search: you can explore the related products or some of the connected brands, and you never know what you might find! Even if no useful products appear, you might still have an idea of what you want to search for in a chainsaw.

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