best chainsaw for the money

5 Best Chainsaws for the Money

When it comes to the best chainsaw for the money, there is a plethora of options that you can get.

Chainsaws come in different kinds and shapes, including classic gas-powered, battery-powered, and corded-electric models. There are also various types and sizes of chainsaw chains and chainsaw bars, each of which serving a specific purpose.

When looking for the best chainsaw for the money, there are also plenty of other factors to consider besides the type, but we’ll go over them in more detail later on in our buying guide.

Since picking the best chainsaw for your workplace might prove to be difficult, we’ve tried to make your life easier by reviewing five of our top picks as well as a buying guide to help you distinguish a good chainsaw from a bad one.

Without further ado, let’s get to our picks for the title of the best chainsaw for the money.

In a hurry? Here’s our top pick!

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The Best Chainsaw for the Money – Our Picks

#1 – Husqvarna 450 18-Inch Chainsaw

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Topping our roundup is the Husqvarna 450 chainsaw review. This is easily one of the best gas-powered chainsaws you can buy if you need something that will get the job done no matter what it might be. This 18-inch model can power through anything you throw at it with no issue. Why wouldn’t do, considering that it packs a 3.2 hp motor capable of spinning the chain at a whopping 9,000 RPM?

If you choose the Husqvarna 450 as your best chainsaw for the money, you also won’t have to worry about it failing you any time soon as it’s built to last with high-quality materials.

With that said, power is not enough to make the best chainsaw for the money. The Husqvarna 450 has plenty of good features such as an inertia-activated chain which stops the machine if dropped for added user safety as well as a Fuel-efficient X-Torq engine that makes this chainsaw as efficient as they get when it comes to fuel consumption. The Husqvarna 450 18-Inch Chainsaw is also quite user-friendly, which mitigates its inherent heaviness.

All in all, we picked this as the best chainsaw you can buy due to its ability to handle anything you might throw at it while also being user-friendly and very durable.

The only thing that we didn’t like about this chainsaw is its heaviness. However, this is to be expected from a chainsaw of this caliber.

What we like about it

There are plenty of great features in this beauty. For starters, this is one of the more powerful chainsaws on the market. It’s also quite durable and reliable. Additionally, this beauty has excellent safety features and is quite easy to use. What more do you want in the best chainsaw for the money?

#2 – Makita XCU03PT1 Kit

Makita XCU03PT1 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 14" Chain Saw Kit with, 4 Batteries (5.0Ah)
  • Makita-built outer rotor BL Brushless motor direct-drive system provides high power efficiency equivalent to a 32cc gas chain saw
  • Variable speed trigger and high chain speed (0-3, 940 FPM) For improved cutting performance
  • "Tool-less" chain adjustment for convenient operation and maintenance. Chain pitch: 3/8 inch
  • Built-in lock-off lever helps prevent the chain from accidentally engaging. Large oil filling port with view window allows operator to easily add and check bar oil level
  • Built-in L. E. D. On/off switch with auto power-off function; automatically shuts the saw off when operation is delayed for extended battery life

This battery-powered, 14-inch chainsaw is a force to be reckoned with. It’s also convenient since you don’t have to deal with any sort of cables. Electric chainsaws also tend to require far less care and maintenance than their gas-powered counterparts. If you’re looking for a battery-powered chainsaw, then this is probably the best chainsaw in that category.

One of the great things about this chainsaw is that it runs on the same two 18-volt batteries that are used on all Makita electric tools, so if you happen to own one or two batteries already, then you can use it to extend the usage time further. This trusty chainsaw can handle most housing projects.

With that said, the safety features on this chainsaw are rather obnoxious. For example, the off switch can turn into a nuisance since it automatically turns off the chainsaw after a few seconds, which is a prime example of how not to implement safety features into a chainsaw. However, this issue is by no means a deal breaker.

What we like about it

One of the strongest aspects of this chainsaw is the fact that it is cordless. This gives it the advantages of an electric chainsaw without having to worry about cables. Consequently, this is a quiet chainsaw that requires very little maintenance. All of that explains why we’re choosing it as the runner-up of our “best chainsaw for the money” roundup.

#3 – WORX WG304.1 Electric Chainsaw

Worx WG304.1 15 Amp 18" Electric Chainsaw
  • 15.0 Amp motor output delivers a more powerful cutting performance to the extended, 18-inch bar
  • Patented auto-tension chain system prevents over-tightening; stays at the right tension for hundreds of uses
  • Low kickback bar and built-in chain brake for added safety
  • Automatic oil lubrication and built-in oil reservoir with window level indicator
  • Comes fully assembled right out of the box, and includes 3-year manufacturer’s warranty

This is the best chainsaw for those who don’t have a lot of money to spare for a new chainsaw but truly want the bang for their buck. It’s a corded electric chainsaw, meaning that you don’t have to worry about managing batteries and your chainsaw running out of juice while you’re cutting lumber. However, this comes at the cost of being limited by its cable.

Right out of the gate, this saw comes pre-assembled, which is a huge plus. The only thing that is required of you is to pour oil into its reservoir, and voilà! You’re ready to go.

There’s also a great auto chain tensioning system. This is as user-friendly as it can get. Its safety features are also quite handy and are not obtrusive.

There’s no denying that corded chainsaw can be a bit limiting, which is why we consider them being generally inferior to their cordless counterpart. We also found that the automatic oil lubrication is lackluster in this model. That shouldn’t be a deal breaker, though, especially considering the price of this beast.

If you’re looking for something affordable and potent, then this is the best chainsaw for you, especially if you already have easy access to a power outlet.

What we like about it

Being an electric chainsaw, this has the benefit of being quite and requiring low maintenance. Its auto-tension chain system is also a great addition. Add on top of that the fact that it has great safety features and doesn’t require any assembly, and you’ve got yourself one of the best chainsaws available today.

#4 – BLACK+DECKER LCS1240B Battery-Powered Chainsaw

BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX* Cordless Chainsaw, Tool Only, 12 in. (LCS1240B)
  • SMOOTH, FAST CUTS – OREGON low-kickback 12 in. bar and chain help make every cut seamless.
  • AUTOMATIC OILING SYSTEM – Supplies the bar and chain with continuous lubrication.
  • TOOL-FREE CHAIN TENSIONING – Make fast and easy chain adjustments without any extra tools.
  • FULL WRAPAROUND HANDLE – Provides a comfortable and stable grip in different cutting orientations.
  • LOCK-OFF BUTTON AND FRONT HAND GUARD – Stay safe and in control through every job.

This battery-powered electric chainsaw took us by surprise with its power. Compared to other chainsaws within its weight class, this seems to be among the best chainsaws. However, being a 12-inch chainsaw is limiting, and you’ll notice that the uses of this chainsaw are fewer than the other chainsaws we mentioned. You’ll be able to prune trees, cut firewood, or at the very limit, cut down small trees.

With that said, if you don’t plan on doing any heavy-duty projects, then this is a great chainsaw to have since it’s very quiet and convenient. Since this is an electric chainsaw, it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. You still have to oil it manually, though.

Unfortunately, we found that the batteries needed for this chainsaw are quite expensive, which makes this chainsaw cost more than other chainsaws in the long run. However, if you’re not planning on buying extra batteries, then this is perfect for those who don’t intend on getting a bulky chainsaw.

What we like about it

What we admire the most about this chainsaw is that it’s cordless and relatively lightweight. It’s also tranquil. Having a 12-inch blade really limits the viability of this unit, though. The batteries are also quite expensive and the fact that you need to manually oil it is inconvenient. Other than that, this is an excellent choice to consider if you’re looking for the best chainsaw for the money for home use.

#5 – Poulan Pro 967185102 PP4218A Saw

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First of all, this is not among the best chainsaws that you can get today. We decided to include this Poulan Pro chainsaw review to demonstrate to you what a bad chainsaw is like. Even though Poulan is known to produce great chainsaws, this is not one of them. The only good thing we can say about this chainsaw is that it’s quite easy to start.

Other than that, it’s very unreliable as it has carburetor problems that hamper this chainsaw’s durability. Overall, this chainsaw is full of small inconveniences that all add up to make for a very unpleasant experience and a lot of wasted times.

Additionally, you’ll find that this is one of the loudest models of its types, which says a lot about this product. All in all, we don’t recommend buying this chainsaw at all. You’d be better off with any of the other chainsaw mentioned on this list.

What we like about it

The only good thing about this chainsaw is the quick-start system. On the flip side, there are plenty of issues with this chainsaw. Stalling is among the biggest. However, there’s also the fact that the carburetor already comes with severe problems and the chainsaw is very loud.

Choosing the Best Chainsaw for the Money – Buying Guide

In order to be able to make the best decision in terms of chainsaw choice, there are a couple of things you must know before you pick a chainsaw. In this guide, we’ll go over the different factors that you need to take into account before buying the best chainsaw for the money.

Guide Bar Length

This is one of the most important factors to take into account.

You can gauge the power of a chainsaw by how long its guide bar is. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. What you can reliably tell from the guide bar length is what kind of applications the chainsaw is designed for.

The shortest guide bars are around 6 inches long. Guide bar length goes up by 2 inches up to a maximum of 24 inches. Another thing worth noting is that chainsaws that have shorter bar guides tend to include more safety features. They also have other features such as being able to grab onto the piece of wood you’re cutting.

Here are the main guide bar length ranges you should consider when looking for the best chainsaw for the money:

8 to 14 Inches

We recommend going with a chainsaw that has a guide bar no shorter than 8 inches, which tends to be the standard.

These chainsaws tend to be light, easy to use, and also very safe. Chainsaws between 8 and 14 inches are used primarily for trimming bushes, cleaning up tree branches or narrow wood. We recommend these chainsaws for people who are unfamiliar with the tool since they don’t have as much kickback and are easier to control than their bigger counterpart.

For those looking for something that can handle heavy-duty tasks, we recommend 14-inch chainsaws.

16 to 20 Inches

These chainsaws are suited for heavy-duty tasks and are recommended for those who frequently use these tools. They are more powerful than the chainsaws from the previous category, so we recommend these chainsaws to experienced users as they can get a lot of use out of them.

With that said, keep in mind that the bigger a chainsaw gets, the less precise it becomes. This is mainly due to the fact that bigger chainsaws are much heavier, thus harder to control. This is why you need to know what you’re going to use the chainsaw on since that can give you an idea about which guide bar length to go with. While a big chainsaw can handle almost any task, it’s a lot less practical if you’re only going to use it for smaller tasks. You’d be better off using a small chainsaw instead.

All in all, if you’re going to be cutting a lot of firewood or other similar tasks, getting the a model within the 16 to 20-inch range is recommended.

20 to 24 Inches

These chainsaws are built for professional use only. A chainsaw with a bar length that ranges from 20 to 24 inches is the counterpart of a contractor table saw in the table saw category.

A chainsaw of this caliber is able to handle the toughest of tasks. It can cut through the thickest pieces of wood with no issue. However, these chainsaws are very heavy and hard to operate, they have the most kickback and weigh the most, so if you’re a beginner, don’t buy one of these chainsaws as your first.

Whether it’s an electric chainsaw or a gas-powered one, chainsaws of this caliber will always be heavy and bulky. If you’re not physically strong, then you’re probably better off with a lighter chainsaw as even able-bodied people are unable to hold let alone maneuver this chainsaw for long periods of time.

All in all, if you’re a professional or you’re going to be cutting large trees often, then you might want to get a chainsaw of this size since it can make short work of any heavy-duty tasks you might throw its way.


Additionally, you’ll also want to take into account the type of the chainsaw, there are gas-powered chainsaws as well as electric ones. Electric chainsaws are either corded or cordless.


These chainsaws are usually the most powerful. However, their power comes at the cost of being harder to handle than their electric counterpart. They use a pull system just like a lawnmower and use a mix of oil and gas that you can make yourself or buy.

The biggest advantage these chainsaws have over their electric counterpart is that they don’t require any cables, and don’t use any batteries. Most good gas-powered chainsaws last long before needing to be refilled. While this time can vary from one chainsaw to the next, you should expect nothing shorter than half an hour before needing a refill. Another advantage gas-powered chainsaws have over electric cordless ones is that it’s much easier to bring a can of fuel than it is to bring an extra set of batteries.

There’s also no denying that gas-powered chainsaws are the best chainsaws for the money when it comes to raw power. Even with the recent advancement and improvements of electric chainsaws, gas-powered chainsaws still reign supreme.


Battery-powered chainsaws weren’t viable before, but it’s a whole other story nowadays. Ever since lithium-ion batteries were introduced, these chainsaws have become much better. However, they still have a long way to go if they want to be a match for gas-powered chainsaws as they lack the power and the stamina to compete.

With that said, what they lack in power they make up for in ease of use and quietness. The great thing about lithium-ion batteries charge fairly quickly and last for a decent amount of time. A good idea would be to have two charged batteries that you can switch between when one of them runs out in order to minimize downtime.

Additionally, electric chainsaws generally require far less maintenance than gas-powered chainsaws, which makes them perfect for beginners.


Corded-electric chainsaws are very similar to their cordless counterpart. However, as the name clearly implies, they need to be connected to a power outlet in order to function. While this instantly makes them much less portable and convenient than both gas-powered and battery-powered chainsaws, they do make up for this in other areas.

For instance, the only thing you have to worry about is having a power outlet nearby, but if you already have access to one and you don’t need to carry the chainsaw too far from it, then you’re pretty much all good to go. Since you won’t be limited by the extension cord, you can take advantage of all that is good about electric chainsaws with few annoyances.

As we mentioned earlier when talking about battery-powered chainsaws, they are very user-friendly don’t require much maintenance. They’re also quiet compared to gas-powered chainsaws, and the fact that you can work indefinitely as long as you have it properly powered up makes it a great option if you’re going to be working in a confined area.

Safety Features

Chainsaws are among the most dangerous tools out there. You need to be able to handle one, and even then you need to be extra careful. This is why you need to take adequate safety precautions to avoid putting yourself, and potentially others, at risk.

First and foremost, you’ll have to wear the proper safety equipment when using a chainsaw, this includes gloves for a firm grip, goggles or any other protective eyewear in case of debris hitting your eyes, as well as a protective helmet and chainsaw chaps.

Other than that, chainsaw manufacturers have been adamant in making sure the tools they manufacture are safe. You’ll find that more recent chainsaws are equipped with more safety features. One of the most important of these is the chain break, which will instantly stop the chain from rotating. Some are triggered by inertia while others are manually activated via a handle on the top of the chainsaw.

One thing to note about chain brakes is that they are rarely found in electric chainsaws. Instead, you’ll find electric brakes which reverse the direction of the rotation until it reaches a halt by inverting the electricity flow.

Chain and electric brakes serve to decrease the kickback of the chainsaw, which can be very useful, especially on the heavier models which tend to have more severe kickback.

Additionally, there are also low-kickback bars which serve a similar purpose to the brakes but act in a more passive way.

There are also safety triggers that you need to hold while you operate the chainsaw to ensure that each action you perform with the chainsaw is not accidental. This feature is called “throttle interlock” and is standardized throughout most chainsaw, but there are always exceptions to the rule so you’ll want to always doublecheck to see if they’re there.

Extra Features in the Best Chainsaw for the MOney

Not all chainsaws are created equal, and the best chainsaw for the money might not have all of the features we’re about to mention, but having a couple of these perks can come in handy.

One such feature is side-mounted tension adjusters which you can use to tweak the blade’s tension. You need to properly set up the blade tension; otherwise, you won’t be getting the performance you want. If the chain is too loose, then the cutting performance will suffer greatly with it. If the chain is way too loose, you risk having it go off entirely, which is very dangerous.

The great thing about this feature is that it facilitates the adjustment of the tension by letting you do it using a wheel mounted on the side of the chainsaw. If you’re using a chainsaw that doesn’t have this feature, then you might find yourself forced to disassemble some parts of it to properly adjust the blade tension, which is very time-consuming.

Some of the more expensive models come with an auto-adjuster, which means that you won’t have to worry about adjusting the blade tension at all. These chainsaws are perfect for beginners who have the money to spare since they’re easier to use and will usually perform better than manually adjusted chainsaws.

Another user-friendly feature is automatic oilers, which can save you a lot of time and work. Since the majority of chainsaws need to have their blade oiled, this is an important thing to learn how to do. However, once you do, you’ll realize that it’s a bit tricky and requires some time. This is when this feature comes in to save the day. Chainsaws with this feature are also very great for beginners.

The way this works is by having an oil reservoir that needs to be filled. This reservoir is then used when the system detects that the blade is in need of oiling. All that is required of you is to keep the tank full, and you’re pretty much good to go.

Final Tips for Choosing the Best Chainsaw for the Money

Choosing the right model for you will eventually come down to which type of projects you’ll be using it on. Another thing you can take into account is your aptitude with chainsaws. Seeing how chainsaws can be challenging to handle, you might not want to go with something heavy right off the bat. You’ll also want something with automated maintenance features such as an automatic oiler or an auto-adjuster. All of that can really make or break your experience with the best chainsaw for the money.

Picking the Best Chainsaw for the Money – Frequently Asked Questions

How to Start a Chainsaw?

Electric chainsaws, as well as gas-powered chainsaws, are equally easy to start. This guide is made for you to show you the safest and most convenient way with which to use chainsaws.

Fix the Chainsaw

  • The chainsaw should be firmly fixed into its place. You have to put it on level ground using your right foot on the rear handle. This would ensure that it’s stable and won’t move while you’re working.
  • You have to remove anything that is nearby the bar. 

Check the Chain Brake

  • The chain brake is that element, the bar, which is found on the saw’s upper handle and it is part of the most essential components responsible for ensuring safety.
  • The chain brake keeps the chain from turning around the saw’s guide bar in case of kickbacks.
  • Always engage the chain brake first. That would keep you safe when starting your chainsaw.

Open the Choke

  • Switch on the chainsaw by using the on/off button and activate the choke. In so doing, an abundance of the air-fuel mix would be provided to the engine.
  • As the choke opens, the engine would be filled with a mix of fuel.
  • In case your chainsaw has a fuel pump, press the bulb repeatedly. You can stop only when you can finally see the fuel. The fuel, then, would penetrate the carburetor. Before entering the carburetor, a vacuum is made by the fuel primer in order to get the tank’s fuel.

Pull the Start Cord

  • Put your right foot in the rear of the handle and your left hand on the saw’s upper handle. Then, with your right hand, pull the start cord in a fast move.
  • As the engine starts turning, push it back then pull up again.
  • Squeeze the throttle once to activate the engine’s idle.
  • You can re-do it a couple of time so that the engine gets much more fuel, but not so many times so that you can maintain the motor working.
  • Put the choke in the right position, and let go of the chain brake when you’re well-prepared.

How to Start an Electric Chainsaw

  • When it comes to dealing with electric chainsaws, all you got to do to start off is to push and hold the safety lock button.
  • Simply, hold and turn on the trigger switch, and the chainsaw will start.
  • For the chainsaw not to stop operating, you need to keep the trigger switch held.
  • Always check your device’s manual. It will provide you with pieces of information that are accurate, appropriate, and exclusive to your chainsaw’s specificities.
  • When it comes to your safety, using gas-powered as well as electric chainsaws requires the same safety procedures.
How to Store a Chainsaw?

Before storing it, your chainsaw has to be thoroughly cleaned. This way, you won’t waste much of your time cleaning when you’ll need to use it even after a long time. Also, you’d better store in a properly cleaned place.

Empty the Fuel Tank

The fuel tank should be entirely emptied and thoroughly cleaned. The carburetor is the first to be emptied, as this would keep its diaphragms apart. Remember that the room in which you’d do this should be well ventilated.

Dismantle the Chain Saws

Take off the chain and guide bar. Then, make sure to clean them properly, and lastly, polish them using some protective oil.

Store it in a Dry Place

You shouldn’t keep your chainsaw outdoors; it may be damaged due to weather conditions. You’d better store it in a safe room. Pick up a well-ventilated, dry, and weather-resistant place in which to put your chainsaw.

Protect Your Chainsaw from the Sun

If the chainsaw remains for a long time under UV radiation, it would get damaged and become easily breakable. To keep your chainsaw shielded from direct UV radiation, put it in a secure place that sun rays would hardly penetrate.

Keep Your Chainsaw Dry Free

Your chainsaw shouldn’t be surrounded by dust. You can resort to some STIHL products to ensure your product’s safety.

Ensure a Safe Storage

Keep your chainsaw locked in a room or cupboard that other people, especially children, cannot reach.

If you’re onto making your own stuff (and you surely do), here’s a nice tutorial showing how to build a chainsaw organizer:

What Is a Chainsaw Bar Oil or Chainsaw Oil?

The bar oil is a fundamental element in machines that operate with an engine. It helps protect the chainsaw, preventing it from rusting and corroding, ultimately making it durable. To make your chainsaw further sustainable and more effective, it’s preferable that you get a product that is specifically made for your chainsaw.

A typical chainsaw uses for every tank of gas used one container of bar oil. For this reason, the bar oil should be hanged whenever you’re going to fill the tank with gas. In so doing, the chainsaw would last longer, would encounter fewer chances of friction, and the task of cutting would become more comfortable. Before you fill up, check that the power is off and lay it flat with its bar-side down. Then, detach the cap, put some oil, then put the cap back, and remove any unwanted extra oil on the sides.

Recommended Commercial Chainsaw Oil:

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What Can I Use for Chainsaw Bar Oil?

There are several substitutes for commercial chainsaw bar oils, including:

Motor Oil:

You can replace the industrial chainsaw oil with many other options. Amongst these alternatives, the first to list is motor oil. If you’re a car owner, this is likely the easiest to reach, simplest and nearest alternative, whenever you fall short of any of the proper oils to use.

However, one of the drawbacks of using this oil is its environment-related side effects. Being based on petroleum, motor oil would harm the environment as it spreads around its microscopic droplets when using the chainsaw. As a non-organic element, it will also damage the trees, in case you’re trimming any.

You can as well resort to your already used motor oil after filtering it if you’re totally helpless. It’s preferable to take it when it’s warm to facilitate the filtration process. However, you should be truly aware of the fact that this filtered oil will not be entirely purified, and will always contain some remains of microscopic metal particles that would hamper your chainsaw’s chain and bar. This is why you’d better leave this as the last, desperate solution.

You need to use an oil type that is suitable for the weather, as the oil viscosity varies according to temperature. For example, and if possible, you can buy oils made for summer and others for winter.  Among the summer oils you can buy, we name SAE30. When it comes to winter oils, SAE10 is widely recommended.

Recommended Motor Oil:

Amazon Basics High Mileage Motor Oil - Full Synthetic - 5W-30 - 5 Quart
  • 5 quarts of high-mileage full synthetic 5W-30 motor oil; ideal for engines over 75,000 miles and for longer drain intervals
  • Prevents build up that can cause rust and corrosion
  • Reduces friction for less engine wear; helps reduce exhaust emissions
  • High resistance to viscosity and thermal breakdown

Vegetable Oil:

The second alternative you may as well resort to is the vegetable oil. This oil, is well known for its high viscosity, although it can’t be used in winter and icy weather conditions because it becomes sticky. Unlike the previous petroleum-based oil, vegetable oil doesn’t harm your trees and the environment. It’s rather environment-friendly. As it’s known about vegetable oils, they’re relatively affordable and can be used to serve different purposes. Also, you don’t have to worry about it ruining your clothes as it’s easily removable.

Recommended Vegetable Oil:

Canola Oil:

Canola oil resembles vegetable oil at many levels. It’s equally cheap, beneficial to trees and the environment. In comparison to other known vegetable oils, it’s way too thin. This makes it leave the chainsaw in lesser time than other oils.  

You can find it anywhere, as it’s widespread. It’s such a good substance as a lubrication oil substitute and has many benefits.

Unlike most of the vegetable oils; however, canola oil is appropriate for colder weather conditions as its viscosity is more adaptable to cold weather.

Recommended Canola Oil:

365 by Whole Foods Market, Canola Cooking Oil, 101.4 Fl Oz
  • High Heat Up To 450°F
  • Our Canola Oil Is 100% Expeller Pressed And Smoke-Free Up To 450°F, Making It Perfect For: Baking, Sautéing, Pan Frying, Grilling, Sauces & Marinades
  • Trust & Quality We Are Proud To Offer This Product To You Because It Meets Our Rigorous Quality Standards, Which Prohibit Over 100 Ingredients For Both Food And Supplements.
  • 365 by Whole Foods Market products give you that dance-down-the-aisles feeling, virtual aisles too! Our huge range of choices with premium ingredients at prices you can get down with makes grocery shopping so much more than tossing the basics in your cart.
  • An Amazon brand

Drained Hydraulic Fluid:

Drained Hydraulic Fluid is also a possible alternative, yet it has a few disadvantages. The main downfall of the hydraulic oil is that it dries up sooner than any other oil type. You’ll need to add some of it repeatedly to maintain your chainsaw oiled enough.

You can easily obtain it if you have a machine with hydraulic pumps. Yet, it contains some polluting components. For this reason, this oil, as the motor oil, is also harmful to the environment, and it’s better if you leave as a last resort.

What Kind of Oil Does an Electric Chainsaw Use?

Unlike gas-powered chainsaws that necessitate a mixture of gas and oil fuel to well operate, electric chainsaws need electric energy. With electric chainsaws; however, you have to lubricate the chain and the bar with some oil. Gas-powered chainsaws and electric chainsaws operate with the same lubrication method alike.


There are certain, specific oil types that are initially made for the purpose of lubricating electric chainsaws, and they are to be used only in the chainsaw’s chain and bar. Other oils such as vegetable oils and motor oils can be harmful to your machine.


Chainsaws are generally made with chain and bar into which to put oil, in order for the machine to get the best lubrication. Usually, companies create their own oiling system and provide their own oil substitutes, while some would suggest other oil manufacturers to use for their machines. Make sure to read your machine’s manual carefully.

Where to Purchase

Buying a chain oil can never pose a problem for you. You can find bar and chain oil anywhere as they are available and easily reachable. Amongst the places from which you can buy the chain and bar oils are home and garden stores, small engine and hardware shops as well.


Although it’s easier to buy inexpensive and easy to use, as these oils may appear good enough for your use, they can prove harmful to your machine’s oiling systems. Just because a product is suitable for your budget doesn’t necessarily mean it’s effective, practical, and good enough. You may end up paying much money to repair your chainsaw.  You can have a look at one of the many tests that have been made by producers to make sure which oil is best for each chainsaw model.


Inappropriate oils would damage your machine’s oiling system, and they would shorten its lifespan, no matter how long-lasting and durable they were initially made. The sprocket and the clutch assembly can get impaired as well. When the lubrication is too low, you will notice that the tip is getting alertly hot in temperature. In this case, turn off the machine and examine the oiling system thoroughly.

How Much of Bar Oil Should a Chainsaw Use?

Your chainsaw needs to be appropriately oiled, and this lubrication is fundamental for its operation. Yet, don’t over-oil it; otherwise, you’d waste the oil in vain. When the oil adjustment is high,  and when you add too much oil would make it leak, creating circumstances favorable to dirt and dust. Stop the engine when you notice additional oil atop, and deactivate the spark plug wire. To diminish the amount of oil leaking, you have to turn the screw leftward and then, using a soft piece of cloth, clean the guide bar.

My Chainsaw Leaks When Stored. What Can I Do?

Any product can be a subject to leaks, and this can be a serious alert. Before deciding what to do with your tool, you need to follow some steps.

Source Identification

The first thing to do when you see your machine leaking is to stop whatever you’re doing immediately. However, it’s perfectly natural to have a tiny amount of oil leaking when you turn off the machine, as it is part of the machine’s working system. The situation becomes alert when you see a significant amount of oil being wasted. You can either resort to an expert or just examine the tool yourself.

It’s important that you secure yourself before starting anything. Protect your eyes with eyewear and get yourself some gloves, and don’t do anything until you’re completely sure that the machine is off entirely. Examine the oil tank; if you find the oil at its initial level, there’s nothing to worry about.

Possible Causes:

There are many factors that contribute to an oil leak, and each factor manifests itself in a different way. Pressure is the first among these factors, but it’s easy to deal with. All you need to do is to unscrew and re-screw the oil cap. If this doesn’t work, examine the rubber ring, the element that is placed between the oil reservoir and the chain, if it’s damaged, change it.

Another reason behind a significant oil leak maybe a cracked oil tank. In this case, you need to remove all the oil and clean it properly, then, add some thin water or oil so that you can detect the place of the crack. The crack can be fixed, or you can simply buy a new one.

This factor may be unexpected, but the manner with which you store your chainsaw can also cause oil leaks. To figure out the locus of the leak, put your chainsaw on cardboard when you store it next time.

Luckily, oil leaks in chainsaws can be easily repaired, no matter what reasons caused it and regardless of the locus of damage. Even in case you have an issue with the oil tank or rubber part, you may fix it yourself.

What Weight Is a Chainsaw Bar?

Bar oil types are not classified according to weight but rather classified according to season, that is, either summer use or winter use. You need to read your machine’s manual to know which bar oil is suitable for your tool.

Winter vs. Summer

Bar oil may dry up in both winter and summer, as it becomes thicker in winter, and thinner due to exposure under extreme summer heat, which can impair your tool. As a solution, chainsaw companies make sure that their bar oils are adaptable to either weather condition. Unfortunately, there aren’t any pieces of information about oil weights. The only information available is that of the University of Missouri Extension, which classifies SAE 30 for summer use and SAE 10 for winter use.

Vegetable Oil:

Part of the chainsaw’s working system is the oil leaks. Using petroleum-based oils would result in several unpleasant side effects and harm the environment. This is why it’s better to use vegetable oils, as they are rather beneficial. They maintain the environment clean and use about 50 less product than their petroleum-based counterparts. They can be used in both summer and winter.

The Standard

Usually, chainsaws use petroleum-based oils, heavy oils are habitually used in summer, while lighter ones are more suitable for winter use. Generally, chainsaws producers always make their bar oil ideal for both, to make them durable and ensure that they can be used for longer time. However, some fail to do so, and in this case, you will always find substitutes written down your machine’s manual.


The bar oil should run smoothly and cover the chain entirely in order to help protect the chain from potential damage. Thanks to bar oils, your chainsaw would be free of dirt and debris. You need to have a bar oil whose weight matches the weather’s temperature. To know whether or not it’s suitable for the outside temperature, hold the saw around eight inches from a tree stump or white rag, and put the engine at 75 percent throttle for one minute. Then, you will notice that the oil runs smoothly and you’d see a line just formed at the target object.

When to Replace a Chainsaw Chain?

With time and excessive usage, you will notice your chainsaw’s chain becoming duller and duller. Sharpening it may help at first, but there will come a time where you need to change it altogether with a new chain. There are common symptoms that indicate the emergency of replacing the chainsaw’s chain:

Check for Signs of a Dull Chain

You need to know the intensity of the chain’s dullness, to know whether or not it’s critical. This can be figured out through several signs:

If you notice that your chainsaw’s performance is degenerating and that you’re starting to invest much effort to make the chainsaw cut through the object you want to cut, then it’s a sign that the chain is becoming weaker. This would not only contribute to damaging the engine and the bar because of the extra pressure to which they are subjected but also it will make the chain dull more and more.

Another indication of the chain dulling out is when it starts recoiling back, hampering the quality and the accuracy of your cuts. This means that you either have to sharpen the chain or change it altogether.

Smoke is also a sign indicating that the chain lacks sharpness is dulling out, especially when the oiling system is working well and the tension is correct.

The next symptom is when you notice that the chainsaw cuts only in one direction. This means two things: either the teeth are dulling on one side, or their lengths are not equal.

You also need to examine the sawdust. If you start noticing the chain making fine dust it means that your chainsaw is dulling.

When you start seeing one of these signs, although having sharpened your chainsaw, it’s no longer functional, and you’d better substitute the chain with a new one.

Check for Missing Teeth

When you observe harmed teeth, displaced, or missing teeth, it’s an alert that the chain must be changed. Though it may appear obvious, not everyone acts immediately as they notice this sign. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to change the chain quickly. You do still need to sharpen the chain and check if it’s really dull.

Which Way Does the Chain Go on a Chainsaw?

You need to figure out the right place where to put the chain from the beginning; otherwise you will have your work interrupted, and your time and energy wasted in moving and displacing the chain. This would render your job even more tiring and annoying.

Here’s a good video that summarizes the whole process:

Set the Bar

This is an extremely easy, simple task to do when you have to readjust the chain. It doesn’t require more than attaching the chain bar to the body of the chainsaw. Then, the chain will need to be slightly modified to function properly. Its length should be appropriate so that it would be fixed easily and used comfortably. When you settle everything, your chain is ready to be mounted.

Check Blade Direction

The first thing to do is checking whether or not the blades are in the right direction. When the blade’s pointy edge faces the way the blade rotates, this means that the chain is in the right direction.

The usual way it operates is by having the pointy edges turning above the chain bar, then taking the direction towards the tip of the bar, to finally take apart the body of the chainsaw. If the chain is not fixed in the right direction, then it’s likely that the chainsaw has become dull. It’s now ready to be appropriately used and set into place.

Tighten the Chain

It’s essential to appropriately tighten the chain in order for the chainsaw to work properly and for you to ensure your security. It needn’t be overtightened nor under tightened. Doing it adequately right from the start would facilitate the work for you.

Why Does My Chainsaw Cut to the Right?

We all have that idealistic image of a chainsaw cutting easily and smoothly whatever object. However, you’d rarely enjoy your chain running smoothly. What’s most likely to happen is the blade deviating from the initial, right position and taking on another direction. This may be an indication of a crucial issue, but it can also entail that your chainsaw requires some care and should be maintained.

Size Matters

When the chain is damaged, it often manifests through the chainsaw tending to follow only one direction. In this case, you need to figure out whether or not the top plates are equally sized. These top plates are located on the large part of every tooth on the chain. If they don’t share the same size, the long plates must be filed in order for them to fit. File them while making sure to maintain the same angles to get straight cuts. Otherwise, you’ll get uneven, curved and unsatisfactory results.

Sharp Smart

You always need to sharpen the chain’s teeth in order not to end up with curved cuts and have your chainsaw dull. To do so, you can either consult a technician or sharpen it yourself using a file. It’s advisable if you aim to retain the teeth sharpened for longer time, to get rid of any harsh objects, as they are more likely to impair the teeth.

New Depths

You will find the depths on the front phase of the saw teeth. They are meant to indicate how the depth of the chain’s cut. There are previously set depths by different chainsaws companies, for example, ¼ inch. Refer to your chainsaw’s settings, then using a depth gauge tool and a file guide tool, measure the depth gauges. Put the tool flat atop the chain, enabling a depth gauge to slide upward through the gauge’s slot. It must be leveled with the top of the slot. If not, file the taller ones.

Other Problems

You may still face problems with your chainsaw although sharpening and maintaining it, and this means that you’ll need to consult an expert. You may notice the bar twisted, and in this case, it would affect the performance level. Whether you can fix it or you have to change the chainsaw altogether depends on the gravity of the situation. It may also indicate that the dawg bolt is not on its adequate position. When the dawg bolt is misplaced, it would be subject to constant hitting, which accelerates the dulling of the chain at one side.

How to Tell If Chainsaw Clutch Is Bad?

Generally, this is manifested mainly in two ways. The first one is by slipping while you’re using the chainsaw, or by failing to pull the chain. The second way is that they lock engaged due to weak spring or certain mechanical flaws such as rusting. In case of weak spring, the chain would spin at an idle even if the idle screw is too low.

Chainsaw Bogs Down When I Give It Gas. Why Is That?

Chainsaws may bog down as a result of several reasons the first of which is the carburetor, spark arrestor, or the air filter are not clean. Another reason may be that the carburetor has deviated from the initial, natural position.

The following section exposes the various underlying factors behind bogging chainsaws while suggesting some solutions as to how to deal with it.

High-Speed Screw

When the high-speed screw is maladjusted, it would be subject to additional and extra air penetrating the combustion chamber. This would result in extremely poor performance, with smoke invading the air filter.

You need to close the screw while making sure it’s not too far away from the engine; this may result in more troubles.

If you notice that the engine is overheating and is following a high pace until the piston stops, this means that the mixture is becoming more and leaner and leaner. In this case, you’d better use a tachometer.

Air Circulation

The spark arrestor and air filter should be properly cleaned before you fix the carburetor’s high-speed screw, as they may impair your chainsaw and hamper it if they remain unclean. However, most of the chainsaws’ producers won’t advise you to do so.

Start with the filter. Detach it, then clean it with soapy water or compressor air. If it remains uncleaned, then it’s high time you changed it.

Although chainsaws are not fabricated in the same way, most of them have the spark arrestor placed behind the muffler. You have to take off the muffler cover and clean it properly.

Clean the Spark Plug

To detect engine bogging, you have to first detach the spark plug, then examine it. In the case of bogging, you’ll notice that the spark plug is covered with carbon deposits. The spark arrestor will also be subject to excess deposits.

Adjust the Carburetor

Readjusting the volume of the fuel that the carburetor send to the combustion chamber is a complicated task with modern models of chainsaws. If the machine stops working, you have to tighten the idle adjustment. The high or low screw adjustment should be tightened if the engine bogs only when you depress the throttle.

What Are the Best Models for Beginners and Amateurs?

If you’re buying your first chainsaw, then we recommend you go with one that isn’t too difficult to handle and doesn’t have a lot of kickback and vibrations. When it comes to maintenance, electric chainsaws tend to require the least amount of care. There are also chainsaws that have automatic oilers and chain tension adjusters. In fact, both of these features aren’t only useful for beginners, but also professionals as they can save a lot of time.

What Safety Features Do Manufacturers Implement in Their Chainsaws?

When it comes to safety features, you’ll find that most chainsaws implement a chain brake, or in the case of electric chainsaws, an electric brake. Both brakes serve a similar purpose, which is to bring the chain to a halt.

Another common safety feature is a trigger button, or in some cases, two trigger buttons. One button needs to be pressed when starting the chainsaw, and the other needs to be pressed whilst turning the chain. These triggers serve to eliminate any accidental actions that might least to some serious damage to the materials or the user. Make sure you look out for these features when you’re looking for a new chainsaw.

Which One Is Better: Gas-Powered or Electric Chainsaw?

There is no clear winner here. On the one hand, gas-powered chainsaws are the most powerful but are also the hardest to handle due to how much kickback they have. On the other hand, electric chainsaws are easier to both handle and maintain. They’re also quieter, and so they tend to be better for smaller projects.

It’s also worth noting that there are corded electric chainsaws and battery-powered chainsaws, both of which differ a bit. The bottom line is, if the area you’re going to be working in isn’t big and has a power outlet, you’re better off with a corded electric chainsaw. Otherwise, a battery-powered chainsaw or a gas-powered one can be the best chainsaw for the money for you.

How Can I Maintain My Chainsaw?

To sharpen and maintain your unit, here’s a video that you can follow:

Verdict on the Best Chainsaw

Now that you’ve seen what the market has to offer and know how to distinguish a between the different types of chainsaws, you should be able to buy the best chainsaw for the job you need. Just make sure you know what you’re going to be using it for as that is the main factor that will determine the size and type of the chainsaw you’ll need.


  • Our own experience

Last update on 2023-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Chris Avore

Hello, I have been in the wood working industry for about 30 years custom building one of a kind pieces.