Checked and updated on January 5, 2021 by Aaron Barnett
The best gas chainsaw has a lot to do with your ideal motor size and, bar length for the user. For maintenance work a top handle chain saw that can be operated with only one hand is recommended. For tree cutting and for the use with an Alaskan mill attachment opt for a saw with at least 50cc.
You can later get different sized bars and chains for the sized gas chainsaw you picked when needed.
#3 Best gas chainsaw to cut down trees
Husqvarna 450 II E Series, 18-Inch Bar, 50.2cc
#4 Best tree trimming gas chainsaw
Husqvarna 445e ii gas chainsaw, 18-inch bar, 50. 2cc
Best top handle gas chainsaw [10-14 inch]
#3 Best one-handed gas chainsaw
Gas-powered chainsaw, 12-inch bar, 25.4cc
#4 Best top handled gas chainsaw
Hoteche industrial g840012, 10-inch bar, 25.4cc
A chainsaw is a handheld mechanical saw that is typically used for cutting and trimming overgrown trees. Its main features include a gas- or battery-powered motor that drives the cutting mechanism consisting of a guide bar and a rotating chain. This chain is fitted with a series of teeth that cut into the wood or timber being cut.
Chainsaws can be used for a wide range of tasks including cutting down trees, cutting branches and tree limbs, pruning shrubs, trimming hedges, and more. They can also be used to cut timber into lumber and prepare firewood. Firefighters even use chainsaws to cut firebreaks in the event of a forest or bush fire.
Still, other uses of chainsaws include making chainsaw art from wood or ice. In the hands of a skilled user, chainsaws can be used to create remarkably intricate shapes and designs.
Although commonly used for wood, there are specialized chainsaws that can be used to cut concrete as well.
The modern chainsaw traces its roots to the “endless chainsaw”. One of the earliest usable mechanical saws, this device featured a series of chain links, each of which were fitted with cutting teeth. The chain wrapped around a guiding frame much like modern chainsaws. The endless chainsaw was Samuel J. Bens in January 1905. Bens had developed the tool as a means for cutting down giant redwood trees.
The first truly portable chainsaw rolled off the production line in 1918. Developed and patented by James Shand, the saw was later developed by a German firm that would later evolve into power tool manufacturer, Festo. Even today, Festo still manufactures portable power tools for the global market.
Modern chainsaws range in size from small devices that can be operated with one hand to large machines designed for heavy-duty work.
Before buying a gas chainsaw
Check the durability
You should be able to rely on your chainsaw to withstand heavy use for long periods. cutting timber places considerable wear on the cutting mechanism and the saw’s components, so it should be able to hold up to the abuse.
Research the brand
Husqvarna makes some of the most powerful and reliable chainsaws on the market. Remington also makes a versatile all-around model that handles light to medium-sized jobs without issues.
Chainsaws from these manufacturers generally offer excellent value for the money plus the reliability advantage that comes from an established brand.
Decide on the bar size
Choosing the right bar size for your needs is essential for getting the most out of your chainsaw. Short bars are usually easier to handle, but longer bars have less movement in the event of a kickback making them arguably safer.
For home use, a chainsaw with a bar length of 12 to 14 inches is probably sufficient, but be prepared to go up to 20 inches for bigger jobs.
Figure weight limit
Your chainsaw should have enough mass to let you cut into the wood efficiently, but not be so heavy that it is difficult to handle. It is also a good idea to get a saw that you can handle fairly easily with one hand if necessary for maintenance work.
Decide on a fuel and motor type
Gas-powered chainsaws with internal combustion engines typically provide the most power and are better suited for heavy-duty jobs. For light trimming and general yard work, a good battery-powered model should be sufficient.
For maintenance work, you might be much better with a cordless chainsaw that emits no fumes and doesn’t require gas have a look at the Makita electric chainsaw.
Consider the price
Chainsaws don’t necessarily have to be expensive to provide reliable performance. Many of the models reviewed here provide a good middle ground between power and performance and affordability.
Choose your chainsaw based on your intended applications and you should able to find one that fits your budget.
Motor size (cc) needed for specific jobs
Motor size is one of the most important considerations when shopping for a chainsaw. This is typically measured in cubic centimeters (cc), and has a lot to do whether or not how much power the motor puts out. In general, the higher the cc rating is, the more powerful the motor.
So how many ccs does your chainsaw motor have to be to provide acceptable performance? If you have a fairly small yard and don’t expect to be cutting down large branches, a 34cc saw should suffice.
For light trimming to moderately heavy use, a 50cc might be better. If you need even more power, you could even consider a saw with a 65cc motor.
Ideal bar length for specific jobs
Bar length is another important consideration when shopping for a chainsaw. Although saws with longer bars are less likely to kick back–which is definitely a plus–they can also be more difficult to handle. Try to go for a saw with a bar length that isn’t too long or too short. This will give you a good balance between maneuverability and safety.
If you’re using your chainsaw to rip timber slabs, you can pair a long bar with an. This will give you the needed to rip timber into slabs.
You may also want to get a tool that lets you change the bar of your chainsaw for different jobs such as a shorter bar for trimming work, and a long bar for the use with an Alaskan mill for ripping timber slabs. This is much easier than cutting
When to consider a smaller cordless chainsaw
For heavy-duty jobs and high volume timber work, a gas-powered chainsaw is pretty hard to beat. It can rip through piles of lumber quickly and take down even the most stubborn branches on your property.
But there are situations that don’t call for so much firepower. For the majority of home users, a smaller cordless chainsaw will be sufficient for most tasks. They are generally safer and easier to use, and won’t require mixing oil or dealing with fumes.
If you have a large piece of property and expect to be doing a lot of clearing work, by all means, go for a gas-powered model. If you will be doing mostly light to medium work, however, consider picking up a cordless chainsaw instead. They are both different tools actually and its good to have both.
Choosing the top gas chainsaw
The Husqvarna 455 Rancher is a powerhouse of a chainsaw with sufficient grunt to handle the most demanding tasks. Frequently earning high marks on chainsaw ratings sites, it is the perfect saw for if you have a big yard or piece of property and you regularly need to do a lot of clearing work.
The 455 packs a 55.5cc gas-driven motor that drives the 18-inch guide bar and chain mechanism. It also accommodates a 20” bar if you need even more reach. To ensure continuous lubrication, the 455 has an automatic chain oiler. It also has a side-mounted tensioning system that lets you adjust the chain tension quickly.
Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw, 18, 20 Inch Bar, 55. 5cc
If power and reach are what you are looking for in a chainsaw, the Husqvarna 460 deserves a close look. With a powerful 60.3cc engine under the hood, it will make short work of even the thickest shrubbery on your property, and let you cut down small to medium trees besides.
The 460 accommodates bars measuring 18”, 20”, and 24”, so you have sufficient reach for high branches.
Other features include an adjustable oil pump and an X-Torq design that reduces fuel consumption and emits fewer emissions than other chainsaws. It even has a quick-release air filter for trouble-free cleaning and replacement, which makes it score points in many chainsaw reviews.
Husqvarna 460 Rancher 2 Cycle Gas Chainsaw, 18, 20, 24 Inch Bar, 60.3cc
Best gas chainsaw for the money
The Remington RM4216 is one of the most affordable chainsaws you can buy, but it delivers power and performance that measure up to the best of them. At the heart of the unit is a powerful 42cc motor that drives a 16-inch bar.
Designed for low kickback, the RM4216 handles medium to large-sized branches without a hitch. It also has a five-point anti-vibration system and a cushioned handle that allows for more balanced and more comfortable handling. It even has a quick-start feature that lets you go from zero to top speed within seconds, even from a cold start.
Remington RM4216 2 Stroke Gas Powered Chainsaw, 16 Inch, 42cc
Tips for using a gas chainsaw
I strongly advise subjecting your chainsaw to a quick check before every time you turn it on. Even if you had just used your saw the day before, always make sure that everything is in place and working as it should. It’s just good practice and will undoubtedly save you from injury in the future.
The most important components to check are the chain, the saw teeth, and the lubrication. In particular, you will have to check the sharpness of the teeth and the chain’s tension. The sharper the chain is the safer and more smoothly the saw operates.
It is also important to ensure the proper tension of the chain. I’m going to go into more detail about this aspect of chainsaw care later on. For now, suffice it to say that you should readjust the tension after using your saw for several hours and also if you have not used it for a long time.
Check to see that your saw’s engine is well-lubricated and that the oil coats the bar and chain sufficiently.
Finally, make sure that your saw has the proper amount and type of fuel. Place the saw on a flat surface while refueling to prevent spills. Although some chainsaws have an overfill protection feature that reduces spillage, it is still advisable to refuel your saw away from where you will be starting it to reduce fire risk.
Gas chainsaw maintenance advice
Why is maintenance important for chainsaws?
The best gas chainsaws are up-to-date with at least basic maintenance, this is one of the most important aspects of ensuring the safe and efficient operation of your chainsaw for years to come. Although more extensive repair and maintenance work is best left to the experts, there is still a lot you can do to maintain the condition of your chainsaw at home.
The good news is that chainsaw maintenance is fairly straightforward, so you can pick up the basics pretty quickly and get really good at it in no time.
Unless your chainsaw is used regularly, the gas in the tank is probably due for replacement. Gas starts to break down in as little as a month, causing particles to separate from the fluid. If you continue to use this gas in your chainsaw, the particles will eventually clog up the carburetor and impair its performance. Over time, this can even cause the motor to break down.
To prevent this from happening, load up your chainsaw with just enough gas to use for 30 days. Alternatively, you could use a fuel additive that will prolong the useable life of your gas.
Every time you top up the gas, take the time to check the oil that lubricates the bar and chain. In fact, it would probably be best to check the oil more frequently as it tends to dry up quickly, especially if you use your chainsaw a lot.
Keeping the bar and chain lubricated properly will prevent friction from building up and heating the components. Without enough oil, the chain won’t turn at optimal speed and possibly cause the tool to overheat. The good news is you should notice of the oil has run out on you as the saw will start to having difficulty cutting.
What needs to be done for maintenance?
A good way to tell whether your saw is sufficiently oiled is to place a piece of paper over the chain and rev the chainsaw’s engine. A properly oiled saw will spray a bit of oil onto the paper. If you don’t see even a few drops on the paper, you probably need to add a bit more oil.
If you haven’t oiled your saw before, now would probably be a good time to read the manual. Different saws have different oiling procedures so it is worth taking the time to find out the proper way to oil yours.
The importance of keeping your chainsaw clean cannot be overstated. All chainsaws are prone to building up dirt and grime, but it can be especially troublesome if you use yours frequently. If you had just used your saw recently without cleaning it, chances are that there is a lot of debris stuck to the components.
Everything from sawdust to sap to oil can build up on your saw and affect its performance. You will have to clean the affected parts thoroughly to ensure the continued efficiency of the tool.
The different components of the saw will require different cleaning methods. To clean the chain, you will have to take it off according to the manufacturer’s directions and soak it in a solution made from ammonia and water. Leave it in the mixture for about 30 minutes then scrub it with a brush to clean off all the oil and debris.
You can then rinse it thoroughly with water and dry it off. Make sure to dry it as thoroughly as you can to prevent it from rusting. For best results, leave the chain on a clean rag to dry.
Clogged up carburetors can impair the performance of your chainsaw. You will have to check the interior frequently to make sure that there isn’t a significant build-up that keeps the fuel from making its way into the engine. If there is some build-up, you will have to clear it out with compressed air. You may also mix a bit of fuel additive into the gas.
More extensive blockages will have to be dealt with by removing the valves, diaphragm, and cover plate. You could then soak these parts in a fresh batch of ammonia and water. The air filter can be cleaned with soapy water in most cases. However, if you can’t clear out the debris, you may have to replace the filter with a new one.
Maintaining the blades and the chain
Other important maintenance procedures that you will have to perform regularly are sharpening the blades and tightening the chain. If your saw produces more sawdust than wood chips or if it jumps when pressed to the wood, it is likely due for sharpening. This is best done by clamping the tool to a vice, using a hard guard if necessary.
You can then use a sharpening file on the teeth, pushing it horizontally across the blade. After reaching the end, lift up the file and continue sharpening it in the same direction.
You can generally get the best results by making three to six strokes per tooth. And you can tell when it is sharp by listening to the sound it makes when using a chainsaw sharpening file. When it sounds smooth and more high pitch the tooth is sharp and you can move to the next one.
Keep in mind you need to keep the angle constant and the same as it was before sharpening, that’s why clamping the bar in a vice grip helps a lot by keeping everything steady.
How tight should the chain be?
As you might have guessed by now, the chain’s tension or tightness has a lot to do with how well your chainsaw will perform. More importantly, chain tension will ensure your safety while using your tool.
But how tight is “tight enough”? How do you ensure that your chain is as tight as it needs to be to provide safe and reliable performance?
Most experts agree that the chain should be just loose enough that you can lift it off the bar just slightly. There should be enough slack that the chain comes off the guide bar a bit but not enough that you can slide the chain off easily.
Do a pull test with the chainsaw powered down, with your hands well away from the power switch. Pull the chain up and away from the guide bar and check to see whether the drive links remain engaged. If the links disengage from the bar, you will have to tighten the chain.
Be careful not to overtighten the chain either. You will have to leave a little bit of slack to keep the chain from breaking while the saw is in use, by giving it some slack and movement.
Comparing the top gas chainsaws
|Husqvarna 455||Hurqvarna 460|
|Weight:||20 lbs||24 lbs|
|Compatible Bar Size Range:||18”, 20”||18”, 20”, 24”|
|Motor And Fuel type:||55.5cc, gas||60.33cc, gas|
The Husqvarna 455 and 460 are pretty similar but they do have some slight differences. Go for the Husqvarna 455 if you are looking for a high powered chainsaw for heavy-duty jobs. With its 55.5cc motor and support for 18” had 20” guide bars, the 455 delivers outstanding performance in a compact and easy to handle package.
The Husqvarna 460 provides even more power via its 60.3cc engine plus it has the advantage of support for a longer guide bar. Able to accommodate 18”, 20”, and 24” guide bars, it provides sufficient reach for most trimming and cutting tasks. The 460 also uses up less fuel than similar models and produces fewer fumes besides.
Once you have a chainsaw sorted out make to also have the best cordless string trimmer.
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