UK’s Best Chainsaws Reviewed
- 2000W electric motor
- 40cm guide bar
- Ergonomic rear handle
- Automatic oiling
The GH-EC 2040 from Einhell is a robust saw with a blade length that is suitable for all kinds of sawing, from pruning bushes to cutting logs for a wood burner. Powered by a 2000W engine, the electric motor offers ample cutting speed, reaching 13.5m/s.
The guide bar measures 40cm providing a good length up to 37.5cm, which is enough for most pruning needs and sawing logs. Weighing 5kg, it is on the heavier side for an electric model, although this is still much lighter than any petrol model while offering plenty of cutting power for heavier tasks.
There are some notable safety features included, most notable the kickback protection facility. This means any time there is a mechanical chain break with the saw that the chain stops immediately for added safety.
Another nice feature is the automatic chain lubrication. Many saws need you to manually oil the chain to keep it lubricated, but with this model there is an integrated oil tank that automatically lubricates the chain. It means less maintenance which is always welcome.
For added convenience, there is also toolless chain tensioning. Instead of using tools to adjust the chain tension, you simply rotate the pivoted lever on the handle to adjust as needed.
- Oregon high-quality rail and chain ensures optimum cutting performance
- Tool-free chain tensioning and changing
- Powerful 2000 w motor with robust metal gearing
BLACK+DECKER 18V Cordless 25 cm Chainsaw Review
- 18V cordless motor
- 25cm guide bar
- Lock off safety switch
- Tool-free tension adjustment
BLACK + DECKER are known for their reliable power tools and their foray into the chainsaw market is no different. Sporting a cordless design, this battery operated device offers complete freedom when sawing and pruning throughout your outdoor space.
It is especially useful for smaller maintenance tasks, like pruning trees and bushes, while it can also be used to cut fire logs. However, because it is on the smaller side it may struggle with especially thick and large logs, so you may find it best reserved for pruning and garden maintenance.
Weighing just 3kg, this is one of the lightest models on the market, thanks in no part to the lithium-ion battery. The 2.0Ah battery offers around 222 cuts per charge, which is roughly between 15-60 minutes of use depending on what you saw.
Changing the battery takes up to 5 hours, although you do not need to wait for it to run dry before recharging, with topping up after each use a good way to avoid long waits. Another option is to buy a secondary battery, effectively doubling the runtime.
It has an ergonomic design that includes dual handle operation – one on top and one at the rear- allowing for safe and comfortable operation, especially when considering how light it is.
Ryobi OCS1830 18 V 30 cm Bar ONE+ Cordless Brushless Chain Saw
- 18V brushless motor
- 30cm Oregon guide bar
- Automatic oiling
- Toolless tensioning
- Mechanical and electrical chain brake
The Ryobi OCS1830 is part of the One+ collection, a range of power tools from Ryobi that have interchangeable 18V lithium-ion batteries. Basically, if you own one cordless tool from this collection, the battery works with other compatible tools, with over 100 tools available.
So, if you own any of these compatible tools and are looking for a chainsaw, then this is the perfect choice. Even if you don’t have the other tools you can start here and then add more to your collection.
This does mean no battery is included with the base kit, although a 4.0Ah battery is available and will provide ample runtime.
The Oregon guide bar is 30cm, offering a decent cutting length for light and moderate cutting tasks. While it may struggle with the largest size logs, the brushless motor offers enough power to cut through all sorts of growth, including logs and smaller trees.
For safe operation, the device features a mechanical and electrical chain brake, minimising the risks of any accidents. A rear handle with over mould grip provides comfortable grip and operation at any orientation, while the lighter weight allows for pronged used without any fatigue.
Makita DUC353Z 36 V Large Cordless Chainsaw
- 36V brushless motor
- 35cm guide bar
- Two 18V lithium-ion batteries
- Variable speed control
- Toolless tension adjustment
- Automatic oiling
The DUC353Z is a powerful 36V cordless electric model, allowing for easy sawing throughout your outdoor area. Cordless operation always improves manoeuvrability, allowing you to easily reach those awkward areas.
Sporting a robust 38V brushless motor, it is powered by two 18V 2.0Ah lithium ion batteries, providing lots of cutting power and a good runtime. This is one of the more powerful cordless models on the market, being lightweight yet with plenty of length (35cm) and power to cut larger logs and trees.
LED battery displays indicate how much charge is left for each battery, allowing you to easily top up the charge as needed .There is also an adjustable lever for chain tension at the side, while you can also adjust the automatic chain lubrication to ensure smooth operating.
Weighing just shy of 5kg, it is not the lightest around but for the power it offers, you will struggle to find a more compact model. There is both an electric chain brake and kickback brake for safe operation, while low noise and low vibration output ensures comfortable operation.
OREGON CS1400 2400W Electric Chainsaw 16-Inch (40 cm) Guide Bar
- 2400W electric motor
- 40cm guide bar
- Automatic oiling
- Toolless tension adjustment
- Low vibration
The OREGON CS1400 is a versatile product suitable for domestic and professional use alike. A corded electric design, you do require a power source to opera the tool, although a 6m cable means it should be easy to connect to a source without restricting much movement.
When powered, the 2400W electric motor offers lots of cutting power for small and thick growth alike. Whether it’s trimming hedges, pruning shrubs, or cutting up logs for firewood, this saw has enough power for most tasks.
The 40cm guide bar provides lots of cutting length, making it suitable for thicker timber that smaller electric models often struggle with. Chain speed is impressive notching 14.7m/sec to make quick work of all but the thickest timber.
It is also a low maintenance tool, with an automatic oiling feature lubricating the chain and guide bar as it cuts. Despite its impressive power, it only weighs 5kg, which is certainly lighter than most in this power range.
Standard safety features are also included, such as the integrated chain brake and low vibration to avoid fatigue.
Greenworks Battery Chainsaw
- 40V motor
- 4.0Ah lithium ion batteries (sold separately)
- 30cm guide bar
- Ergonomic rubberised handle
- Automatic oiling
This battery-operated device from Greenworks is perfect for small maintenance tasks throughout the garden. Compact and lightweight, it is easy to operate and offers good cutting power for smaller tasks like pruning brushes, small trees, and trimming hedges.
Equipped with a 30cm guide bar, the device is powered by a 40V electric motor and lithium ion battery, producing a cutting speed of 2.5m/s.
The battery is not included but when purchased it works with countless other Greenworks cordless power tools, so if you already own one or are looking to buy more tools this is a good option to consider.
Both 2.0 and 4.0Ah batteries are compatible, the latter offering longer runtimes so a better option for anyone that plans on using it frequently. Automatic chain lubrication is also included, meaning less time and hassle needed to manually oil the chain after each use, while there is a transparent level indictor so you know when to top the oil.
Operation is easy and comfortable thanks to the ergonomic handle design. It is large and easy to get a grip on due to the rubberised material across the handle. There is a secondary bow handle for added stability and working at different orientations.
P1PE P6220C 2-Stroke Petrol Chainsaw Easy Start 20-inch
- 66cc air cooled 2-stroke petrol engine
- 50cm guide bar
- Automatic chain lubrication
- Anti-kickback safety break
- Toolless tension adjustment
If you require unrivalled cutting power then it may be best to consider a petrol powered device such as the P6220C.
This tool has an impressive Hyundai 66cc air cooled 2-stroke petrol engine, meaning a lot of cutting power for even the thickest trees and logs. This is designed for heavy duty use, so may be too powerful for minor garden maintenance, especially considering petrol devices are harder to handle.
Experienced users certainly have plenty to like here, with the versatility of the tool making it a good choice for all kinds of applications. It doesn’t even weigh too much for a petrol model, weighing just 5.4kg – similar to many electric models with less power.
Two chains are included for added durability, although the automatic oiling and toolless tension adjustment mean the chains should last for a long time before needing replaced or sharpened. There is also a storage bag and chain protector included for when it is not in use.
Maintenance is trickier with petrol models, so these features certainly minimise the amount of time needed to maintain it.
As a petrol model you can use it for long periods, with the inclusion of anti-vibration technology ensuring minimal fatigue when operating.
- ⚫ Powerful Easy start Hyundai 62cc air cooled EURO 2 – 2 stroke petrol engine
- ⚫ 20’’ (50cm) bar including 2 chains to ensure an efficient log cutting…
- 🟠 Automatic chain lubrication ensure long chain & bar life
Chainsaw Buying Guide
Finding the best chainsaw is not always easy for a first time buyer as there are so many things to consider and features to look out for. Check the guide below for all the important info you need to know!
Electric Corded Chainsaws
This type is powered by an electric motor that requires a mains power connection. They are often the smallest, most lightweight types available, making them suitable for minor maintenance tasks around the garden like pruning trees and bushes, while many have enough power to cut through thicker logs.
Because it needs to be plugged in the reach and manoeuvrability are limited, so it may not be best for those with a larger outdoor area, taller trees, and any space where a lot of movement is required.
Like a corded device, this type is powered by an electric motor, but instead of using mains power it uses a rechargeable battery, usually lithium-ion. As a result, it doesn’t have any power cord restricting reach or manoeuvrability, making it more convenient for those working in large spaces or using ladders.
However, by using a battery the runtime is limited, often just a few hours, and requires several hours to recharge the battery. This can be inconvenient, especially if the battery dies mid-task, although buying additional batteries does solve this problem.
While the power varies from each product, most are not as powerful as their corded counterparts.
Powered by a small combustion engines, this type comes with unrivalled sawing power, making it a good choice for heavy duty tasks and frequent sawing. It operates on fuel so has a lengthy runtime, while the lack of cord means it can be used anywhere.
The engine does require regular maintenance, while the heavier weight does make it challenging to operate. In fact, a petrol chainsaw is best left for experienced users, as the device is incredibly powerful and more challenging to safely operate for first-time users.
Guide Bar Length
Usually measured in centimetres, the guide bar references the size of the cutting blade on the saw. The size of the guide determines the size of log cut with a single pass, with larger bars capable of sawing through thicker logs.
However, you can saw through larger logs using a smaller guide bar, it just requires more passes of the saw so takes more time and effort. Also, it generally safer to saw with additional length on the guide bar – you want at least 2-inches more length than the log you are sawing.
So, the guide bar length you need ultimately depends on your sawing needs. If just doing some minor pruning and maintenance around the garden, 30cm should be more than enough. Any heavier duty sawing, such as logs or trees, may require a guide bar between 40-50cm – the bigger the thing you saw the more length you want.
Also, bear in mind that a longer guide bar means a heavier tool to wield!
Sharpening A Chainsaw
It is important to consdier how you plan on maintaining the chainsaw. The blade can be replaced but you may find it is more cost-effective to sharpen it yourself. A separate device is needed for this, called a chainsaw sharpener, with manual and electric types available.
Manual sharpening does take more time and effort but the sharpener is cheaper, and you may only need to use it a few times per year. Those frequently sawing may want to consider an electric sharpener, which is fast and efficient at sharpening the chain, albeit it does cost more.
Another option is to simply replace the chain once it dulls. This does end up costing a lot more over the long-tern and is not the best option for the environment.
Like with any power tool, always consider the weight of the device before you buy it. Anything too heavy becomes cumbersome to operate, making it less safe and likely to cause fatigue when used for too long.
Given the importance of safe operation with this tool, you want to choose a device that doesn’t weigh too much for you to comfortably operate. Weight is typically measured in kilograms, so always check this for any product before you buy, comparing each one to see what is the heaviest.
Petrol powered types are the heaviest, although do offer the most power, so it is important to strike the right balance. If your sawing needs aren’t too demanding, then consider a corded or cordless electric type, as these weigh far less, especially battery-powered devices.
As you can imagine, a chainsaw is not the safest tool to operate. Therefore, it is vital that you consider all safety features for any device you are thinking of buying, along with how easy the device is to use, as this can impact how safe it is to operate.
For example, petrol powered tools are much heavier and more powerful, making them difficult to operate for beginners. Therefore, anyone using one for the first time should avoid petrol powered types, as they won’t know how to safely operate them.
Furthermore, there are ample safety features to look out for to ensure safer operation. All come with a double trigger stop that prevents it accidentally starting, while some may have a secondary chain break near the trigger that slows the speed down as you ease off the power trigger.
Also, it is highly recommended that you buy appropriate safety gear for using the power tool. This includes a safety helmet, safety gloves, and safety trousers, padded gloves, steel toecap boots, and ear defenders to avoid damaging your hearing.
Features to Look Out For
Handle Type: Top Handle vs Rear Handle
Using a power tool is always easier with the right type of handle. There are two main options available for this tool – a top handle or rear handle.
A top handle saw is only suitable for sawing up trees, so if you need to remove lots of limbs and branches this is the best choice. The handle position allows for one handed operation, which is only required when sawing up trees.
If sawing exclusively on the ground, then choose a rear handle. You should never need to use one handed operation when sawing anything else, so a rear handle design is the best option unless you need to saw at elevated heights.
While not included with every product, those the utilise anti-vibration technology are well worth consideration. This feature reduces the amount of vibrations produced when sawing, making it much easier to operate for longer periods.
Vibrations in the handle can quickly lead to fatigue and aches throughout the arm and upper body, so by looking for this feature you can expect much easier and more comfortable operation.
As the name suggests, this feature helps start the engine, which can be tricker than you might expect, especially on older devices. Most need a few pull of the starter cord to get going, but with this feature you can expect it to work on the first or second try. Many start immediately, making it a convenient feature worth having.
Can You Change the Blade Size on a chainsaw?
It depends entirely on the product. Some do let you swap out the guide bar for one of a different length, essentially changing the blade size for sawing. However, this feature is not a given and will increase the cost of the product, especially considering you need to buy any additional guide bar.
Instead, it is best to choose a tool with a blade size suitable for your specific needs.
Are Electric Models and Good as Petrol Models?
Yes, an electric model may be perfect for your needs, even more suitable than a petrol one in many cases. While petrol models are more powerful, so can therefore cut larger timber, they are heavier and more challenging to operate, and you may not even need all this sawing power.
For example, an electric model is ideal for general pruning and log sawing around the garden, with a petrol model only needed for those heavy duty tasks. Petrol models do have more raw power, but that doesn’t necessarily make them best suited for everyone, with electric models just as good for most people.
Can the Chain Stretch on a Chainsaw?
All chains start stretching after frequent use, causing it to eventually loosen to the point it needs tightened or replaced. A loose chain is incredibly dangerous to operate with, so it is important to always check how much it has stretched.
You can stretch the chain if it feels too tight. Ideally, it should feel snug but still stretch slightly from the bar.
Do Chainsaws Need Oil?
Yes, there two instances where oil is needed. The first is for petrol models, which require a combination of petrol and engine oil to operate. All saw chains also need regular oiling to keep them lubricated. The oil is often included with the product.
Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API