Looking to find your best chainsaw?
Buying a chainsaw isn’t like buying most other consumer products. And that’s because of the risk it involves if you don’t use them properly.
Make sure you always use the correct safety equipment and thoroughly read the instruction manual provided by the chainsaw manufacturer. Don’t become a statistic, safety should be your main priority when embarking into a task.
Things you need to consider before buying
Before buying a chainsaw, there are a few things you need to consider. If you’re in a rush, scroll down for the top three chainsaw reviews.
Petrol Chainsaw vs Electric (Corded or Cordless)
The first thing to decide is whether you want a petrol chainsaw or an electric one.
If you’re just cutting branches a few times a year, then an electric chainsaw is a good choice. They are lightweight and usually cost less than its petrol counterpart. They’re easy to start – just plug it in and press the trigger. The downside of corded electric chainsaws is their mobility – you will need a power outlet nearby.
Cordless chainsaws or battery-powered ones are, as the name suggests, powered by batteries. These are the latest release in terms of chainsaws and they are usually powered by one or two batteries. The more – the better, as they are usually more powerful and a single charge last you longer. Again, they’re lightweight and a lot more silent compared to the petrol chainsaws, just like the corded version. Mobility wise, they’re great – you can carry them around pretty much anywhere. Their downsides: limited run time and the acquisition price. They typically are the most expensive of the batch. You usually have to purchase the batteries and a charging port separately and they don’t come cheap. A port would cost you anywhere around £50 and a battery between £30 to £60. But this is where brand loyalty kicks in – if you already have other battery-powered tools of the same brand around your house, their batteries tend to be universal, therefore you can use them to power your chainsaw as well.
Petrol chainsaws are great for the more demanding jobs out there, like felling trees, as they tend to be more aggressive than the electric ones. However, petrol chainsaws are typically heavier, noisier and they need more maintenance. Plus, starting the engine isn’t very pleasant.
Once you picked the right chainsaw for your job, you want to know how it handles.
Vibration can be a real issue with the saw. It is caused by two things: engine vibration and cutting vibration. You have little control over a chainsaw engine vibration but most of the chainsaws now feature a handlebar that isolates the vibration level to a minimum.
The cutting vibration is different. The latest models have an improved design that reduced the vibration level compared to the older ones. But the chainsaw operator plays an important role in reducing the level of vibration of his saw.
You should also consider the weigh of the chainsaw and how well is balanced.
Convenience is another thing to consider. You should check how easy each saw is to use, how cheap is the maintenance and how easy you can adjust the chain.
To stay safe, there are a few things you should know. Among others, these are the two most important:
Chainsaw kickback is a major concern. It occurs when the tip of the saw touches the wood and it lurches back at you or when the wood closes in and squeezes the chainsaw chain in the middle of the cut. On some models, the kickback is more powerful than on others.
Chain breaks are also a very important feature. If the saw kicks back, it will instantly shut off the chain.
These features are designed to help you and make it easier to use a chainsaw but don’t completely rely on them. You still have to be sensible, a bit of common knowledge and use a chainsaw safely and correctly.
It is highly recommended to invest in some protective equipment before using the chainsaw.
- Safety Glasses: to protect your eyes from the flying wood chips
- Gloves: to protect your hands from cuts.
- Chainsaw Boots: you need a pair of steel toed boots to protect your feet from heavy pieces of wood that might fall on them.
- Ear plugs: some of the chainsaws are very loud, especially the petrol ones.
- Hard hat: especially if you plan to cut down trees, it is very important to wear a hard hat.
- Chainsaw trousers: also known as chaps or chainsaw leggins, they are made of multiple protective layers to keep your legs protected against the sharp saw.
So what are the best chainsaws in the UK market?
Now that we’ve talked about the things you need to consider before buying, let’s get down to the chainsaw reviews.
Assuming you already know the type of chainsaw you’re after, here are the reviews of what I consider the best chainsaws that are currently available to buy online in the UK:
Best Cheap Petrol Chainsaw: Parker 62cc Chainsaw Review
It is equipped with a 62cc engine which delivers enough power to slice some of the most challenging logs, timber, branches or trees.
However, for trees anywhere above the 2,5-3 feet thickness, I suggest a more powerful, expensive one.
Comes equipped with a long, 20-inch bar and it requires an easy assembly before being ready to be used.
It has an automatic chain lubrication system and its 2 stroke engine means that you have to add some 2 stroke oil to its fuel.
There are two filler caps on the side of the chainsaw. The big one is for the petrol/oil mixture while the chainsaw oil (can use any, find your nearest supplier or search online) goes into the smaller cap.
Rest assured though, you do get a comprehensive user guide where you can find all the information you need.
It comes with a 1 year warranty and two extra chains. Plus, you get a tools kit and a useful bar cover for safe storage.
Overall, great value for money, one of my favourite in terms of the best budget petrol chainsaw currently available to buy online.
Best Electric Chainsaw: Bosch AKE Review
A popular and one of the best electric chainsaw, manufactured by a leader in the industry, Bosch. A great thing about the electric chainsaws is that they are a lot more silent compared to their petrol counterpart.
This specific Bosch chainsaw has a powerful 1900 W engine that generates a chain speed of 12 m/s. With an automatic oil lubrication system in place, all you have to do is to make sure the oil level is right.
You do, however, have to buy one extra litre of oil as the amount supplied is dismal.
The bar has a length of 40 cm (15.7 inch) which should be more than enough to take down an unwanted small garden tree or for any other jobs around your house.
You can adjust the chain using the in-built chain tensioning system. You also receive a chain bar protection to store it safely.
The cable length is around 4m but you should get a suitable extension lead for ease of movement and flexibility.
It’s quite easy to assemble and there are absolutely no tools needed for that. You receive an instruction manual with your purchase in which you’ll find all the information you need for that.
It’s a lightweight chainsaw, it weighs around 4,9 kilograms. Plus, thanks to its good built balance, it feels even lighter.
There is a 2 years warranty in place, which can be extended to 3 if you register your tool on Bosch’s website within 28 days of your purchase.
Best Cordless Chainsaw: Makita DUC302Z Cordless Li-Ion Chainsaw Review
If you need mobility, this Makita battery powered chainsaw is a great solution. Its 36V DC motor is powered by 2 x 18V batteries. However, please bear in mind that the batteries are not included in the sale price. So, unless you are already using other Makita tools with a charger and batteries around your house, you do need to buy yourself some.
The charger that I use and recommend is the Makita DC18RC, you can find it by clicking here.
The best battery is the Makita BL1850 5.0 Ah which you can buy by clicking here. The 5.0 Ah provides the maximum power to your cordless chainsaw however, you can use any other LXT batteries as well.
What you need to know is that the 5Ah batteries will increase not just the power, but also the usage time of your cordless chainsaw so I would recommend spending that little bit extra.
You should get anywhere between 45 to 1 hour continuous usage time, depending on the batteries you use.
It’s a very lightweight chainsaw as well, it weighs less than the corded one: around 4,1 kilograms.
The bar length is 30 cm for which you get a cover. I keep insisting on the cover as I had the unpleasant surprise of finding out how important one is, safety always comes first.
This Makita cordless chainsaw features a battery capacity warning lamp. This means that whenever the battery capacity decreases under a certain limit, the motor automatically stops and you get reminded to change the battery by a solid light. There’s one warning lamp for each battery.
Among other features, this battery-powered chainsaw includes an electric chain brake, kickback brake, chain oil level window, ergonomic soft grip, automatic chain oiling and soft start. It also comes with a 1 year warranty.
I was surprised by how silent it actually is. Overall, a great piece of kit, hence the reason it is one of the best-rated cordless chainsaws on Amazon.co.uk. It is very handy, you can carry it around pretty much anywhere.
A bit pricey, especially if you need to invest in a charger and batteries as well but, overall, I consider it a very good long-term investment. Plus, you’ll be able to use the batteries for almost any other battery-powered Makita tools.
Click here to check the latest prices.
Learn how to use a chainsaw safely
By reading our chainsaw reviews, you can tell that these pieces of equipment are not meant to be used by anyone. They are powerful tools that can cause some serious damage if they are not being used accordingly. Educate yourself or attend a specialised training if this is the first time you ever use one. There are even a few books available online, Homeowner’s Complete Guide to the Chainsaw being one of the most popular and best-rated books on Amazon.co.uk.
How to check if your chainsaw chain is getting oil to it
It is very important that your chainsaw is constantly lubricated. As most modern chainsaws include an automatic chain lubrication system, here are two quick tips to make sure the feature still works fine:
1. Start up your chainsaw and run it freely for a bit without cutting through anything. Stop it and take a close look at the chain (you can even touch it) to see if it’s oily. You can also lift the chain from the bar and look at the drive links – there should be a bit of oil on them.
2. Run it perpendicularly against a clean piece of cardboard with the tip of the chain as close as possible. If your chainsaw is oiling properly, you will see a spray of oil on the cardboard.
Hope you find these chainsaw reviews helpful. A lot of thought can go into buying your best chainsaw but, hopefully, we managed to simplify things for you.
Whether you decide to go for the best budget chainsaw or its high-end counterpart, inform yourself accordingly so you can get the best value for money. Most importantly, make sure the chainsaw you decide to buy is the right one for your needs.
Is there any other chainsaw that you consider worthy of our list? Any specific product you want us to review?
Please let us know in the comments box below.
Until next time, stay safe!