Best Gas Chainsaw

We’ve done the research and checked out dozens of options to bring you the best gas chainsaws on the market. Whether you’re looking for a general purpose chainsaw for homeowners doing yard work, brush removal or fire prep, or have a specific professional need, we’ve gone through the chainsaw reviews to sort out the best. We’ve looked especially at power, reliability, ease of use and weight.

Our top pick, the Remington 16” 42cc gas chainsaw, has a great reputation for durability and is rated as one of the best petrol chainsaws you can buy. Read on to see more of our top picks.

Top 5 Best Gas Chainsaw

 #1  Remington 16” 42cc Gas Chainsaw

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: It weighs only 22 lbs dry, making it one of the lightest and most maneuverable gas chainsaws out there thanks to its anti-vibration tech and powerful motor

Pros
  • Best for homeowners
  • Automatic chain oiler
  • Low kickback chain
Cons
  • Requires regular maintenance
  • Pull cord start not the easiest to use

Along with its small size and light weight, this best chainsaw for homeowners benefits from a comfortable, secure handle, a metal chassis for durability, and a low kickback chain that includes an automatic oiling feature. You’ll still need to fuel and prime the 42 cc two-stroke engine with pre mix, but otherwise the Remington 16” is one of the more low maintenance chainsaws for homeowners and DIY gardeners.

This 22-lb chainsaw is relatively easy to move around, doesn’t take a lot of muscle to use, and makes short work of medium sized branches, bushes and even small trees. It’s not ideal for chopping large (more than about 8” wide) logs, but it’s great for most trimming and pruning tasks. Gas chainsaws can go anywhere, unlike the best corded drill, so they get the job done.

 #2  Husqvarna 24” 460 Gas Chainsaw

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Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: Near professional chainsaw performance but affordable for homeowners, this gas chainsaw has advanced features like an air injection system and Husquavarna’s “X-Torq” engine design which boosts power and lower emissions.

Pros
  • Best eco-friendly
  • Best professional gas chainsaw on our list
  • Comes with tools and 2.6-oz of two cycle fuel
Cons
  • More expensive than the other chainsaws on our list
  • Bar and chain oil sold separately

This high performance model, which is the best professional chainsaw on our list, is an upgrade over the 40-cc Husqvarna 440e. Along with about 20cc more displacement, the Husquavarna 460 gets a 24” reach with automatic chain oiling, an adjustable chain tensioner and “smart start,” which aims to reduce restarting difficulties, making this one easier to use than most professional chainsaws, while meeting all EPA requirements for gas powered equipment.

The Husqvarna 460 makes 3.6 horsepower at 9000 rpm from its “X-torq” engine, which promises reduced fuel consumption. Included with purchase are the necessary chain tensioning and choke adjustment tools, as well as a small amount of pre mixed 2-cycle fuel. Frustratingly, though, it doesn’t come with bar and chain oil. It will cut trees and other items quicker than the best hacksaw, that’s for sure.

 #3  Xtremepower US 22” 2.4 HP 45cc Gas Chainsaw

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: A budget minded, EPA-approved gas powered chainsaw for homeowners, it features anti-vibration and a quick release air filter for easy maintenance.

Pros
  • Best for brushwood
  • Automatic chain oiling
  • Assisted starting for ease of use
Cons
  • Carburetor requires periodic adjustment, unlike on more high tech Husquavarna model
  • Plastic chain adjuster may wear out prematurely

Equipped with a 22” bar that allows for up to a 21” long cut, this gas powered chainsaw represents a good value. Generally durable, it features a self oiling chain, assisted starting and a high rpm, 2.4 HP 45cc engine. It’s also very light, even lighter than our top pick, the Remington. So if lightweight is a priority, this is in the running for the best chainsaw under $200.

While it’s plenty powerful for most brush clearing, trail maintenance and around the yard tasks, those looking to do longer work hours of cutting with it may find that the OEM chain isn’t the longest wearing chain on the market. The engine runs on gasoline and 2-stroke oil in a standard 40:1 ratio.

Gas chainsaws are more heavy duty than electric chainsaws, so if you’re still looking for something for your next big project, another one of the best gas saws is the Poulan Pro 18 in. 42cc Gas Chainsaw. It comes with an automatic oiler and standard chain tension. One of its safety features is an inertia-activated chain brake that automatically stops the chain. Check out some of Poulan Pro’s other great gas chain saws, where the guide bar comes in a variety of lengths, like the PR5020 20 in., which has a 20-inch bar and tool-free chain tensioning. A good chainsaw is as handy around the yard as the best wire strippers are for electric work.

 #4  Craftsman S205 Gas Chainsaw

Award: Lightest Weight

WHY WE LIKE IT: This durable craftsman gas powered chainsaw uses a strong, 42cc engine and offers tool-free access to spark plug and air filter for ease of maintenance.

Pros
  • Best low maintenance
  • Easy start technology
  • Low kickback chain
Cons
  • Start up instructions have to be followed exactly or can flood the engine
  • Doesn’t come with tools or fluids

Long considered one of the more durable models on the market, this Craftsman is marketed for homeowners but has several chassis features cribbed from their professional gas chainsaw line. It features a low kickback chain and a five point anti vibration system so you can make precise cuts, and its handling is in general very ergonomic and easy to use.

The “easy start” pull start mechanism allows for quick starting but it still does require that you follow the “start up” instructions rather exactly, to prevent flooding. And unlike the Husquavarna, this gas-powered chainsaw doesn’t come with any pre-mix or tools included. It is as easy to use as the best drill bits. It doesn’t get easier.

 #5  Yiilove 20” 58cc Gas Chainsaw

Award: Most Powerful

WHY WE LIKE IT: This 58cc 20” chainsaw delivers nearly the power of professional chainsaw models while coming in at a much lower price.

Pros
  • 3.35-horsepower engine
  • Known for easy starting and good durability
  • Well balanced with comfortable handle
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with tools or fluids
  • OEM chain may be too soft for longer jobs and hardwoods
  • Not as fuel efficient as the Husqvarna 460

This near professional gas chainsaw comes with a potent 58cc two-cycle motor fed by a diaphragm type carburetor optimized for high torque. This gives it the ability to get the power down quickly and start cutting. A 20” bar gives it great versatility too, making it appropriate for limbing, trimming, pruning and processing firewood.

The Yiilove 20” gets generally good marks for durability and ease of starting, as long as you’re familiar with pull-start and manual choke operation. It lacks the electronics or “easy start” found on models like the Husqvarna 460 Rancher (our #2 pick) or the Craftsman S205 (our #4 pick) but it remains a rugged, effective gas powered chainsaw. Like the best shovel, this belongs in your yard tools set.

How we decided

In order to narrow down the field and select the best gasoline powered chainsaws on the market today, we first included only those that met the most stringent US Federal EPA guidelines for emissions.

Two strokes might always be noisy and smoky–it’s a chainsaw, after all, not a luxury car–but some models do a distinctly better job of cutting down on the heavy particulate emissions that might end up causing health problems. All the gas-powered chainsaws on our list are designed for current US emissions standards.

We only included petrol chainsaws with an inertial stop safety catch and with at least a basic chip guard in front of the handle.

In order to focus on gas powered chainsaws for homeowners who weren’t necessarily professional loggers, we only looked at models that offered self-oiling chains and required minimal upkeep. This means no special tools for choke adjustment, and they had to run on pump gas and two-cycle oil in a commonly available 40:1 or 50:1 ratio.

Gas Powered Chainsaw Buyers’ Guide

 

Features to Consider

  1. Anti-Vibration
    When it comes to making stable, precise cuts, a well-designed anti vibration system helps you keep a handle on your chainsaw.
  2. Reach
    The bar length of chainsaw you need depends on what you need to cut. For trimming and pruning and general gardening tasks, a 16-18” chainsaw might be ideal, whereas for more extended jobs that require longer cuts, such as cutting up a tree trunk for firewood, you might want more like a 22-24” bar.
  3. Engine
    While just about all gas powered chainsaws rely on a 2-cycle, single piston gas engine, that doesn’t mean they are all alike in terms of performance and handling characteristics. A chainsaw with a larger motor, like the Husquavarna (our #2 pick) doesn’t need to be “revved up” as much before you start your cut.

Gas Chainsaw FAQs

Will these work on hardwood?

In general these modern chainsaws are powerful enough to make sizable cuts in hardwood, as long as the cut length is a few inches less than the length of the bar. You’ll have to sharpen and replace your chain more often, the harder the material you use it for, however.

Are these gas powered chainsaws for homeowners complicated to use?

While they still rely on pull start and some require you to adjust a manual choke, for the most part modern 2-cycle gas powered chainsaws hold up well and require few special tools or maintenance items.

Are gas chainsaws hard to maintain?

If low maintenance is key, check to see that any petrol chainsaw you’re considering comes with an adjustable, automatic chain oiler, and includes all necessary hardware for chain tensioning and for changing out the fuel and oil filters.

Is Stihl better than Husqvarna?

Depends on your needs and preference. Most landscaping and arborist pros have their personal favorites; in general the Husqvarna gas chainsaw motors have more low-end torque and don’t need to rev up as high in order to begin cutting. Stihls tend to reach a higher peak RPM but may take longer to deliver full force.

What is the best brand of chainsaw?

The best chainsaw for homeowners and DIY landscapers also depends on your needs. In general we recommend Remmington’s smaller displacement models for all around use and Husqvarna’s 60cc and up for bigger jobs.

What Chainsaw do professional loggers use?

Many pros rely on the best professional chainsaws from Husqvarna, Craftsman and Stihl. For professional logging, reliability and day-in, day-out durability are the most important things.

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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