Chainsaws are a great tool which can be a little overwhelming for a first time user. The amount of power and the potential danger they offer can be frightening. This is why it is important to find the best chainsaw for a beginner when first starting out.
Using a chainsaw for the first time can be quite the daunting task, which is very understandable when you consider just how much there is to know. The great thing about chainsaws is that they’re open to customization. So going with a smaller saw to begin with isn’t always a bad idea, since you can upgrade it in a few ways. But what are some of the things you should look for in a beginners chainsaw?
Quick Links To Info On This Page
- 1 What To Look For In A Beginners Chainsaw
- 2 My Top Rated Chainsaws For Beginners
- 3 Best Beginner Friendly Electric Chainsaw
- 4 First Time Users Love This Chainsaw
- 5 Best Battery Operated Chainsaw For Beginners
- 6 Best Gas Powered Beginners Chainsaw
- 7 Best Heavy Duty Chainsaw For Home Use
- 8 My Final Thoughts
What To Look For In A Beginners Chainsaw
While power is a big selling point for a lot of the high end chainsaws, it isn’t really the most important thing for a beginner. Unless you are jumping straight into the deep end need to cut 20 inch trees on a regular basis. Having a powerful saw can be very dangerous if you’re not use such a powerful tool. So going into your first chainsaw with a crazy 70cc engine is really not recommended. So going with a lower power chainsaw is something that I would recommend for your first chainsaw. But there are certain times where it is recommended to go with a more pro grade saw to begin with. This is something to consider if you plan on eventually upgrading to something more serious.
What Size Bar?
If you don’t know what the bar on a chainsaw is, is the guide bar that the chain goes around. The length of the bar does somewhat determine how wide of log you can cut with a saw. So going with a larger bar does have that advantage, but that doesn’t mean the smaller bars aren’t good. The smaller bars are much easier to maneuver, and easier to get into smaller place. The smaller bars are also a lot more beginner friendly since they are easier to maneuver.
This is something that a lot of people have a tendency to ignore, but it is quite an important one. Having a heavy 20 pound chainsaw is fine if you have been using chainsaws for decades. But for a first timer having to carry such a heavy chainsaw for so long, can be quite painful. The amount of arm fatigue you can get from carrying a chainsaw for so long, can get to almost all experienced users. So you don’t want to get a chainsaw that weighs to much.
What Powers The Chainsaw
There are three main types of chainsaws, all with there advantages and disadvantages. The most common type of chainsaw is the gas powered variety. Being a gas chainsaw usually makes them more powerful, which is extremely useful. With the added bonus of not needing to worry about having a power outlet on site. The downside of a gas chainsaw is that they can be difficult to start, and that they require a lot more maintenance then other types of chainsaws.
The next common type of chainsaw is electric, which are a great choice for the beginner. The great thing about electric chainsaws is that they are so much easier to start, which takes a lot of hassle of using a chainsaw out of it. They also don’t require as much maintenance as a gas unit. While the biggest downside of a electric unit, is that you need a power outlet or generator. Then you have to take into consideration how you need extension leads to get the chainsaw near what you need to cut. While that is the biggest downside of a electric chainsaw. However I find the easy starting and less maintenance makes up for it in most circumstances.
The last type is a battery powered chainsaw, which is kind of a hybrid between the two previous. The battery gives it the portability of a gas chainsaw, which does remove the biggest downside of electric chainsaw. Tho you do have to charge the battery, and are limited to how long you can work. Having the portability and not needing fuel does make this a high recommendation to a beginner.
My Top Rated Chainsaws For Beginners
With that in mind, finding the best chainsaw for a beginners is still a difficult question to answer. So to find the answer to this question I went through countless hours of research, and testing to find the best of the best. On this list I have included a wide range of chainsaws that are for all types of beginners, and hopefully you find the right tool for the job.
Best Beginner Friendly Electric Chainsaw
This Remington is an impressive chainsaw for its small size, and it isn’t very overwhelming for a beginner. It has a few features that make it great for a first timer. One important thing when using a chainsaw is that you need to keep the bar oiled while using it, this prevents it from overheating and burning out. So Remington have included a simple button that you press which then puts oil on the chain for you, which will help prevent the burnout.
One thing that makes this chainsaw great for a first timer is that it isn’t to powerful with its 8 amp motor. Which powers its 14 inch bar so it is great for handling those smaller jobs you have around the yard. This chainsaw is the very definition of a chainsaw that was made for beginners, who only have small jobs around the yard. This is made more apparent by how much it weighs, coming in at a small 6.25 lbs.
What I Like About This Remington
- If you’re not the most mechanically minded person then this chainsaw comes fully assembled, which should remove some of the headache for you.
- Even tho it is only a 8 amp electric chainsaw, it was still able to cut through some trees that were 6 inches in diameter.
- I really like how light this chainsaw is after using it for several hours, the 6.25 lb chainsaw had barely caused any arm fatigue.
First Time Users Love This Chainsaw
Black+Decker Electric Chainsaw
This Black+Decker chainsaw is one of my personal favorite electrics on the market. It is great value for money, and is very beginner friendly due to one of my favorite feature. This is the automatic oiling system which does take some headache out of operating a chainsaw. When you combined this with its tool free chain tension system, means you only need a electrical lead and you’re good to go with this chainsaw.
This chainsaw is a lot more powerful then the Remington above, with a powerful 15 amp motor. This gives it the ability to cut through larger things then the model above, which it could easily handle some 15 inch soft oak logs. Tho against some hard wood it wouldn’t be able to get through such large trees. The 18 inch bar does mean it can handle larger soft woods quite easily, so if you have some larger things to remove then this is recommended.
When it comes to weight, this model is heavier then the unit above by quite a bit. This chainsaw weighs around 12 lbs which is close to the average weight of a chainsaw. So it won’t cause to much arm fatigue.
What I Like About The Black+Decker
- I’m a big fan of the automatic oiling system on this chainsaw, and wish every unit would have it.
- It was surprisingly powerful for an electric chainsaw, and one of the more powerful electrics on the market.
- While it weighs 12 lbs, I never found it to heavy to carry around and operate.
Best Battery Operated Chainsaw For Beginners
Greenworks 40V Battery Chainsaw
While a lot of people don’t know a lot about Greenworks, they have been making some great cheaper alternatives that don’t sacrifice quality. One of the things to note with a battery chainsaw is that you can only work as long as you have charge, so it is recommended to have two batteries if possible.
Depending on how intense you push this chainsaw, the battery can last for quite a while. It lasted in between 2 and 3 hours depending on what I was cutting. The battery does charge in two hours, so I find having a second battery really useful for this chainsaw.
Having 2 to 3 hours to cut through things doesn’t mean a lot if you don’t have the power to cut anything. And thankfully this chainsaw has a 40V battery to power it and its 16 inch bar. This gives it a fair bit of power that can handle the smaller tasks very easily, and was easily able to cut through tree limbs that were 12 inches in diameter.
Being such a portable chainsaw it needs to be quite light, and thankfully it is. Only weighing around 10 lbs is about the perfect weight for a chainsaw of this size. Which means it isn’t to heavy to lift above your head to cut some tree limbs down. So it is great for clearing out your backyard.
What I Like About The Greenworks
- The amount this chainsaw was able to get through was really impressive, and while 12 inches seemed like the perfect size. It was able to get through some logs that were 16 inches in diameter.
- This chainsaw also has an automatic oil system, which as I said before I’m a big fan of.
- Having a battery lasting 2 to 3 hours on this chainsaw, makes it one of the longer lasting battery powered chainsaws from my experience.
Best Gas Powered Beginners Chainsaw
Tanaka 12 Inch Gas Chainsaw
Tanaka are a well renowned chainsaw manufacture who make some of the finest chainsaws on the market, and this 12 inch gas chainsaw is no different. This is one of the more powerful chainsaws on this list, which is surprising since it only has a 32.2cc engine. But the thing to note about the engine is that is is of a commercial grade, so it is very reliable chainsaw. Tho I have found that this is a very thirsty chainsaw, so that is something to consider.
This chainsaw weighs roughly 11.9 lbs so it isn’t too heavy to carry while operating. Tho you don’t get as much arm fatigue since this chainsaw has a anti-vibration system. Which is great for long hours of use, which is what you will be able to do with this chainsaw. One thing this chainsaw has that a lot of others is that it is a top handle chainsaw, which means it is easier to operate one handed. So if you’re up a ladder and need to use it one handed, it is easier with this chainsaw.
In terms of what this chainsaw could cut through gave a variety of results, that was expected with who it was designed by. It cuts very aggressively and cuts through things very quickly, which is a great thing. It was able to cut through a tree that was 18 inches in diameter, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that to often.
What I Like About The Tanaka
- Personally I really liked the top handle on this chainsaw, being able to use this chainsaw one handed allowed me to cut things normally that would of been more difficult.
- The anti vibration system made this a lot more comfortable to use, over longer periods of time.
- While the 12 inch bar is great for the smaller size, it does have the option to come with a 14 inch bar instead. The customization is something I appreciate.
Best Heavy Duty Chainsaw For Home Use
Husqvarna 450E Gas Chainsaw
Even if you have never used a chainsaw before you will have heard of Husqvarna, they are my personal favorite chainsaw manufacturer. For a beginner this could be a difficult chainsaw to use, but if you want your first chainsaw to be a unit that you won’t have to upgrade due to lasting a lifetime. Then this is a great choice. It will last a long time, and has plenty of power to handle the larger jobs which is one of the main reasons to upgrade. Once you start using a chainsaw it starts to become more addictive and you want more power.
This is easily the most powerful chainsaw on this list, but does cost more which is something to consider. But it is certainly one of the best chainsaws for under $400 that I have come across.
But in terms of power it outclasses everything easily thanks to its 50.2cc engine. While this isn’t the most powerful engine on the market, it is a very solid easy to start engine. Thanks to Husqvarna smart start system, which fixes the issue of the old 450 model. The old 450 is highly regarded as one of the best chainsaws ever made, so the 450E has improved on that in my opinion.
The surprising thing about the 450E is how much it weighs, you would think having the larger engine would make this thing weigh a lot. But that isn’t the case with this chainsaw, it only weighs 11.3 lbs which is very impressive for such a powerful chainsaw. Having this kind of power with such little weight really makes this an easy pick for a beginner who wants to take there chainsaws more seriously.
What I Like About The 450E
- The smart start system was something that I really liked, it was great operating a gas chainsaw and not feel like your shoulder gets ripped out of its socket.
- Having such a powerful engine and a 18 inch bar let me able to cut though a tree stump that was 29 inches in diameter, but it was red oak which is a soft wood.
- For such a big motor it didn’t use as much fuel as I was expecting, which was a nice advantage of this chainsaw.
My Final Thoughts
All of the chainsaws on this list are great in there own rights and you can’t really go wrong with any of them. The toughest choice you will have is what you will need to cut, and how much you’re able to spend on the chainsaw.
If budget is no issue and you don’t mind starting with such a powerful saw right away, you can’t pass up the Husqvarna. It just outclasses all the others and packs some serious punch. But if you’re on a budget you could choose almost any of the others without any worry.