Best Small Chainsaw for Backyard Activities

Best Small Chainsaw for Backyard Activities

Picking the best small chainsaw is a solution for many wood-bound tasks from trimming to log cutting. Using a little chainsaw is less wearisome than a large heavy one. Best lightweight chainsaws integrate the chain break and feature weaker kickback and thus are safer.

Additional features like an integrated oiler or a tension regulator play their part, too. The best chainsaw for cutting trees is the one letting you concentrate on the task, not on the cumbersome chainsaw maintenance.

They also produce less noise than a big saw, so that your neighbors would appreciate if you pick the best lightweight chainsaw in a class.

The chainsaws can be powered by:

  • Battery-powered chainsaws: this type of chainsaws has the benefit of an immediate start and good portability. Require no specific maintenance except for the battery charging / replacement. Still, these saws are quite heavy due to added weight of the battery. Fit for light tasks like trimming or middle branches removal.
  • Gas chainsaws: the classic of the powered saws, even the lightest gas chainsaw are able to do serious jobs. In spite of the size and weight, the best lightweight gas chainsaw provides much more FPM than electric-powered saws. Still, this type requires constant gas replenishment implying additional expense and security measures. The best small gas chainsaw performs hardest tasks like log cutting or trees felling.
  • Corded electric chainsaws: have the benefit of additional driving power than the battery type and spare all the fiddling with gas supply. Fit for middle tasks like cutting saplings and heavy branches. A considerable drawback is a limited operation area fixed by the cord.

Quite a lot to think about, isn’t it? Let’s solve the riddle and pick the best small chainsaw out of the small chainsaw reviews below!

Small Chainsaw Reviews

Best Battery Powered Chainsaws

Makita XCU02PT – Extra Power & Running Time

Makita XCU02PT
This sturdy battery-powered chainsaw produces a longer run on its 1,650 FPM motor allowing doing most of the backyard tasks. It combines two 18V batteries letting use the chainsaw longer and applies the same batteries as in other Makita 18V tools. The batteries have an improved design letting them supply considerable power to the motor yet not discharge too quickly. They also do not require much time to get fully charged meaning there are no long breaks between the sawing activities.

The bar has 12 inches length meaning it can cut deep into the fallen trees and do felling and log processing efficiently. The chain is rotated fast and steadily ensuring the quick operation of this easy to use chainsaw.

The tool has enhanced protection technology integrated letting no dust specks or water get into the mechanism. The solid build suppresses vibration ensuring the safety of the chainsaw user.

  • The noise is no worse than the one of the middle sized diesel truck (87 dB).
  • The chain can be tensioned without additionals tools.
  • Brushless motor ensures durability and no need for maintenance.
  • High price tag.
  • Not the most lightweight in its class.

Greenworks 16-Inch 40V – Next-to-Professional Cordless Chainsaw

Greenworks 16-Inch 40V
With improved motor torque and a large 40V battery, this powered chainsaw undertakes every DIY or yard trimming task one might invent. It can make as much as 150 cuts through a single battery charge and works at any charge level. The powered saw features a 16 inches bar and has multiple stabilizers ensuring a very low vibration level. The chain pitch measures 0.375 inch, which is close to the pro chainsaw specs. The motor is brushless serving for the efficient maintenance-free operation.

This relatively small lightweight chainsaw also possesses a developed user security system. Due to the sturdy build and smart engineering design, it produces a low kickback and is additionally guarded by the chainsaw brake technology. There is also an automatic oiling appliance that doesn’t require the user’s intrusion and keep the tool operational. The oil tank is transparent, so there’s no need to take it out regularly to check the oil level.

  • Fast battery charging.
  • LED lights indicate the battery capacity left.
  • Automatic chain regulating mechanism.
  • Heavy battery (getting a spare one along isn’t handy).
  • Oil leakage happens at times (especially at hard cutting).

Worx WG322 – Beginner-Friendly Battery-Driven Little Chainsaw

Worx WG322
This small chainsaw is designed with comfort in mind. First, it weighs just a bit over 6 lbs (bare tool) and has good balance. The ergonomic rubberized handles make it easy to grab and hold firmly during cutting. The chainsaw also has an option of mounting the extension pole of 10 ft length letting to reach farther (e.g higher branches of the tree). The chain regulating mechanism is completely keyless. Just a turn of the special vent on the side loosens the chain or makes it tighter.

The tool is powered by 20V battery, which provides good torque to the motor and drives the 10-inch bar confidently. It makes easy sharp cuts and is perfect for pruning the large bushes and trees or processing the wood.

While it isn’t quite a professional tool, it makes a reliable home light chainsaw fit for most of the household needs.

  • Easy chain resetting (in case it jumps off).
  • Lubricated automatically with the built-in oiler.
  • LED indicator of the battery state.
  • The chain tends to slip off at high load.
  • Battery is too small for long-lasting cutting.

BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 – Sturdy Little Chainsaw for Medium Tasks

This small lightweight chainsaw has slightly above 7 lbs and about 17 inches in length. It is great for clearing the trees and storing small logs for firewood. The chainsaw is solidly built, all the components fit seamlessly and the unit feels on level with much more expensive models. It’s made of solid soft plastic and metal and possesses user-friendly facilities like a keyless chain regulating mechanism and one-button start. The integrated oiler tank is well visible, so the oil level can be easily traced and refilled when needed.

Included 20V battery ensures constant operation within at least 25 minutes and drives the 10-inch bar steadily. The saw makes clean even cuts even at 8 inches thick wood and works consistently through all of its lengths thanks to the well-balanced design.

  • Quick charging of the battery (needs 2-5 hours to get full from flat, depending on Amps number).
  • Wide gauge neck of the oiler makes it easy to refill it.
  • Clingy wrap handle for a tighter grip.
  • The oiling mechanism must be pressed to oil the bar / chain before each cut.
  • Pressing the tool too hard results in chain skipping / kickback.

Best Gas Chainsaws

Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 – Adjustable Low-Emission Small Gas Chainsaw

Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12
This sturdy little chainsaw lets no compromise on cutting tasks. Its 12-inch bar is incorporated into the complex seamlessly built mechanism resulting in the high cutting efficiency and next-to-zero vibration. The tool features an innovative Tanaka engine of 32cc capacity that possesses a special choke and purge system. This technology lets starting the motor easily and quickly and drives its power to the bar / chain movement. It also produces low emission in comparison with other chainsaws of its class.

The chainsaw is powerful and works steadily on a hardwood producing sharp clean cuts and leaving little sawdust. It is great for pruning, clearing the rough, saplings trimmings, and firewood processing. It is well-balanced and can be used at taller branches thanks to the comfortable handle location.

The oiler is automatic and passes just the right quantity of oil during the chainsaw working cycle. No user intrusion is required except replenishing the tank.

  • The sprocket nose bar allows regulating the bar / chain motion and makes yet rougher or milder cuts.
  • The air filter is easily retrieved for cleaning / replacement.
  • Can handle a 14-inch bar and chain (optionally).
  • Heavy design.
  • The caps of the oil and gas tanks tend to stick and are hard to unscrew.

Husqvarna 966997234 – Monster Power and No Vibration Small Chainsaw

Husqvarna 966997234
This next-to-pro grade chainsaw combines high torque and driving power with a compact size and easy operation and maintenance. The 35.2cc motor produces 2 horse powers that can easily cut a 10-inch log or trim the trees in an orchard. While fuel tank is quite big, the chainsaw spends the fuel wisely. It doesn’t spend much at idling work; yet, at maximum 10,000 RPM, the fuel expense is much more noticeable.

The chainsaw is well-balanced and designed to deliver less user’s fatigue. It features a wide grippy top and wrap handles and anti-vibration system to provide for enhanced control over its work.

The built-in oiling mechanism provides for non-stop chainsaw operation. The bar and chain are oiled periodically, while the mechanism can be adjusted with regard to the current operational needs.

  • The smart fuel pump allows boosting the motor and starts it easily.
  • The inertia-driven chain brake stops the chain within seconds upon trigger release.
  • Net-like protective guard design lets seeing the full picture when cutting.
  • High price.
  • Quite noisy — comparable to the ambulance siren.

Remington RM4214 – Durable Well-Balanced Compact Chainsaw

Remington RM4214
The strong build and steady operation particularly mark this little chainsaw. It implements a five-point stabilization mechanism that flats the vibration, and features a sturdy wrap handle for a comfortable well-controlled grip. A cast body and a solid bar are connected reliably ensuring a steady chain rotation and a low kickback.

The engine is a powerful 42cc driver letting the 14-inch bar slice even the thick wood with ease. It handles the orchard trimming and wood processing equally easy and can also be used for saplings felling. The works at heights might become an issue for the untrained users, as the chainsaw is quite heavy (over 15 lbs).

The chainsaw spares the user the hassle with oiling the chain and automatic oiling system. The latter can be fixed with regard to the current cutting needs.

  • The bar and chain equip sprockets for sharper cuts.
  • An incorporated Easy Start system allows pulling the motor to work within seconds.
  • The primer bulb is clear letting check on the minimal gas level.
  • The oil leaks happen during storage.
  • Stiff choke control button.

ECHO CS-310 – Low-Noise Lightweight Chainsaw

This gas-powered tool has just 8.1 lbs to weigh the user’s hand and is additionally balanced by the solid wrap handle and vibration-neutralizing system.

The chainsaw engine has 30.5cc displacement and gets started easily enough. The chainsaw integrates a smart quick start system i30 enabling quick motor cranking. It requires about three pulls to make the cold start. It manages the chain over a 14-inch sturdy bar for delivering confident even cuts of 8 inches deep and even more. It is handy to prune the trees, trim the bushes, cut the firewood, and even large trunks. Cutting is quick and effortless, while the chainsaw features an integrated low-kickback mechanism.

The tool has additional features for non-stop steady operation. It possesses a decent fuel tank of 8.5 oz and an automatic oiler not requiring user’s intrusion. In spite of the powerful engine, the chainsaw produces less noise than other gas-powered saws in its class (up to 90 dB).

  • The priming is performed without holding the trigger pressed.
  • Low emission during operation.
  • A winter / summer plug positions for use at different environment temperature.
  • The oiler opening has a small diameter (not too handy to refill).
  • Considerable oil consumption.

Best Corded Electric Chainsaws

Remington RM1425 – Sturdy Middle-Class Performer

Remington RM1425
This small corded chainsaw is designed for performing all the backyard jobs and even become a solution in extreme situations. It can easily cut through small-to-big tree limbs and efficiently process the logs.

The chainsaw is assembled of the solid metal and plastic components that fit seamlessly and let no vibration to be conveyed. It features a 14-inch elevated bar that is counterweighted by the straight saw body with the back handle. The side handle provides additional stability and freedom of operation.

The motor gets started immediately upon the trigger’s pressure and doesn’t need a “break-in” time to reach the maximum FPM. It has 8 Amp power which is fine for most of the rural household tasks. The chain is low-profile and is regulated by the external side screw. What is unhandy is that it needs a key or at least a screwdriver for it.

  • Quiet operation (similar to the jigsaw’s one).
  • Responsive push button measures the oil supply precisely.
  • The side handle is shielded to protect the user’s hands.
  • The supplied chain gets dull quickly.
  • Oil leakage is a frequent problem.

WORX WG305 – Easy-to-Handle and Portable Corded Chainsaw

The tool is small in size and weight; still, it has good stability. Its 8 Amps motor drives the 14-inch bar effortlessly providing considerable power. This electric powered saw is capable of doing 3-inch logs without issues and particularly fits for pruning and cutting of small saplings. It is handy to operate overhead at higher branches, as it provides a solid low-vibration design and a firm hold on the tool. Both of its handles are sturdy, the side one being rubberized for a more confident grip.

The chainsaw is easy to operate thanks to the automatic chain tensioner allowing it to tighten or loosen the chain with one hand turn and admits no excessive tension to the chain. The oil pump is sensitive to the pressure and lets just the correct amount of oil to be supplied to the chain. At no load operation, the chainsaw produces very little noise.

  • The chain is easy to install, should it fall off occasionally.
  • Spacious oil tank of 4 Fl. oz.
  • Very lightweight design (below 7 lbs).
  • Quickly gets clogged.
  • It has a hand protective shield.

Buyers Guide

What Size Chainsaw Do I Need?

Determining the right size of a chainsaw is important as it outlines the range of feasible tasks and time needed to perform them. The level of tiredness, too. The modern chainsaws vary from the tiny 6-inch pole saws to large 25-inch ones and even more. For picking a right size chainsaw, consider the following:

  • Experience. If you have no experience with a chainsaw, it is advisable to start with smaller models (up to 16 inches). Such tools are easier to control and they have lower kickback; thus, are safer. If you pass the beginner’s stage, then getting a larger chainsaw might help do your tasks of shrub removing or limbs cutting more efficiently.
  • Physical strength. If you are a true lumberjack by the constitution, the saw of any size would fit. However, if you have a more refined build or have limits to the physical effort, working with a 12-16-inch chainsaw will be much easier and will cause less fatigue.
  • Tasks difficulty level. This is about the main point in this list. The chainsaw is used for cuts of different depth. If you foresee doing extensive jobs on thick and hardwood, so a large chainsaw no less than 20-inch long is a must have. However, for the seasonal pruning of a small orchard and occasional firewood processing a little chainsaw up to 14 inches would fit. Chainsaws from 12 to 18 inches long are considered middle duty ones. They are used for thick shrubs and saplings removal.

How Much Does a Chainsaw Weigh?

The chainsaw’s size correlates with its weight. The larger the tool, the more lbs it has. However, other factors also play their part:

  • Build. Sturdier chainsaws weigh more due to a larger amount of metal in their construction. They also last longer; so, here the weight must be considered over the durability.
  • Size. Small chainsaws of up to 12 inches in size can weigh as little as 6 lbs. Longer bars imply more material and consequently more weight. The 25-inch powered saw can have 20 lbs and even more.
  • Type. The gas-powered chainsaws are the heaviest. They carry a fuel tank, an oil tank, and often feature all-metal working part fit for industrial works. The battery-powered tools can be a bit lighter; yet, the power bank also adds considerably to the overall weight. The lightest are corded electric chainsaws. They do not carry the power source along and produce as much or more power than the cordless units.
  • Power. For each type of a chainsaw, the more powerful tool weighs more. It’s caused by not only a larger amount of “fuel” onboard, but also by safety issues. The weight stabilizes the chainsaw with a high-torque engine ensuring its low kickback and better user’s control over a chainsaw.
  • Range of tasks. The heavy duty chainsaw must be durable and powerful. That implies larger weight. Still, the heavy units are cumbersome at height works, getting stuck between the branches and causing user’s fatigue too fast. For regular household needs, the chainsaw of the light weight is the most practical.

How to Start a Chainsaw Properly?

Depending on the type, chainsaws require different actions to get started. However, the general framework is common for all types:

  • Check the manual. Make sure to read the manual in full, in order to be ready to act in different circumstances, not reaching out for the manual with one hand and holding the chainsaw with another.
  • Inspect the chainsaw. Make sure all the parts fit seamlessly, there are no loosened screws, the chain is fixed properly (not too tight and not loosely), the tanks are filled with needed liquids, the batteries are full.
  • Ensure the safe start and operation. Make sure your environment is safe and spacious.
  • Put the tool on the ground or hold it between the legs.
  • Check the chain brake. It should be activated.
  • Remove the bar sheath.
  • Connect the power source. Pour gas or insert the batteries or plug the cord into the power outlet.

Upon that, gas chainsaws need:

  • Choke activation (if there is a decompression valve, press it, too).
  • Hold the saw firmly and pull the cord. When the engine responses, push the choke and pull the cord again to start the chainsaw.
  • Press the trigger and release the chain brake.

Electric chainsaws are much easier to start. All they need is to press the trigger and release the chain brake.

How to Use a Chainsaw Safely?

  • Get prepared. Make sure the chainsaw is whole and functional (all tanks are filled, the chain is sharp and properly tensioned), the objects to be cut are fixed firmly, the workplace is spacious and all hazards (power cords, water, children, and animals, etc.) are safely out of it.
  • Wear protective equipment. Large goggles, thick gloves, and sturdy boots are obligatory.
  • Take a firm position. Your feet must stand firmly on the ground or stick to another object (e.g. a thick branch or a wall).
  • Avoid kickback zone. Don’t cut with or near the top part of the blade at its tip.
  • Don’t cut anything above your shoulder level.