Is your backyard full of unwanted shrubs? Or maybe you acquired a piece of land that needs clearing. Or you just need some firewood.
Whatever the case, you need not hire a lumberjack anymore. You can do it yourself. Get a chainsaw and get started. You can watch a couple of DIY videos and you are set.
Although chainsaws are a great way to obtain firewood, quality chainsaws are not exactly easy to find.
That is why have compiled a list of the most excellent options on the market to help you get the best chainsaw for cutting firewood.
So, let us dive in.
Benefits of Using Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood
Now you might think, why? Why not hire a woodcutter? That is because it is much cheaper to invest in a chainsaw in the long run. It is faster than an ax and much easier to handle. And there are lighter chainsaws for ones who aren't used to carrying heavy objects.
Chainsaws are also much safer and more efficient than using an ax. They are also cheaper in the long run.
With an ax, you do risk injuries if you do not swing it right. Herein, operating a chainsaw is much more comfortable, especially if you are handling an electrically operated chainsaw.
The Best Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood Reviews
While there are many chainsaws out there, you need to discern the good from the bad. There is nothing for you to worry about because this article is designed to help with that. Here are the top contenders for cutting firewood:
01. Husqvarna 450 18-Inch 50.2cc X-Torq 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chain Saw
Husqvarna has quite a few products out on the market, and they are all quite good. In fact, many of them make an appearance here. They have a wide range of chainsaws, and each is suited to a particular kind of customer.
This one is a heavy-duty saw that is large and somewhat unwieldy. However, it is quite a powerhouse.
In fact, the thing is so powerful it can almost plow through anything. Wood is not a big deal at all; it cuts through it as a hot knife cuts through butter. It could very well be the best chainsaw for cutting firewood. This can cut through about twenty whole inches of wood seamlessly.
Despite being a powerful chainsaw, handling it is straightforward. You just hold it still. The chain is made to be fine, and thus, there is minimal vibration. And minimal vibration means that there is very little noise. Yes, there is some noise, but it is far from the deafening sounds that some chainsaws make.
The saw cuts really smoothly, and it handles well. Unlike most conventional chainsaws, it isn't really that heavy. Yes, it is somewhat unwieldy, but by no means is it too heavy, especially for a capable adult. The cutting action is fast as well, and the chains run rapidly and eat through the wood. All in all, you'll have a good time.
These amazing features are not for everyone, however. It isn't a saw for the average homeowner. This chainsaw might be too heavy for some, and the power it runs on can be downright dangerous if you aren't a seasoned woodcutter.
So, if you're looking to get one for little projects in the backyard, there are other saws. But if you consider yourself a seasoned lumberjack, this is perfect.
02. DEWALT DCCS620B 20V MAX XR Compact 12 in. Cordless Chainsaw
Manufactured by DeWalt, this is a smaller chainsaw, at least compared to the gas-powered models. The small size, coupled with the lighter weight, makes it a great saw to carry around. You can literally wield it with one hand! This makes it easy to work with, and you can pour in long hours with no sign of stress.
The smaller size and lower weight parameters also make this an excellent chainsaw for clearing out branches. You can climb trees and easily saw off a limb or two. It might just be the best chainsaw for firewood on the market as you can easily fashion good-sized firewood out of the branches.
Despite its smaller size, it can cut really well. In fact, it has a good cutting diameter limit of about twelve inches. While that is not enough to cut down the largest trees, the bar length is enough for thinner trees, and it glides right through them.
For branches, it is more than enough actually, and you can cut anything that is short of a tree trunk.
While the cutting prowess is great, and the cutting action is seamless and smooth, the chain itself can cause issues. This is because the chain oil gets used up very quickly compared to other chainsaws.
With most other chainsaws, the oil takes much longer to run. The remedy for this dilemma is simple- keep a bottle of chain oil with you when you work.
Since it runs on electricity, the thing makes very little noise. And it works with rechargeable batteries, so you do not need to fumble around with a cord.
Other benefits include no gas smells or fumes. All of these make this chainsaw a compact and yet very efficient product that is perfect for anyone looking to get some wood cutting done.
03. Husqvarna 14 Inch 120i Cordless Battery Powered Chainsaw
Again, another great product by Husqvarna, it is an electrical, rechargeable battery-operated chainsaw for cutting trees and branches. Since it is electrically powered, it is much more eco-friendly than gas chainsaws. There are no emerging fumes to be concerned about either, as it is all mechanical.
While its diminutive size might make you think otherwise, it is definitely a good saw, with good cutting capacity. It can clear about twelve inches with its bar, and that is usually enough for cutting off the smaller limbs of trees. This product can even cut through trunks of some trees which are smaller in size.
The electrical powering system also lets the chainsaw be super quiet. With gas chainsaws, there are a couple of more intricate mechanisms that make the whole thing much noisier.
With an electric saw, you just hook up the power supply to a powerful motor, and that's all you need. So it causes much less noise in comparison.
Unlike gas-powered chainsaws, which possess a complicated mechanism, this model has a simple interior. The other benefit of this is that it is very lightweight. You can use it with one hand if you want. This makes it a great choice for starters who are not accustomed to using heavy chainsaws.
Moreover, the chainsaw also comes with a host of additional features that make you experience better. There is a scabbard that is a safety feature. It sheaths the chainsaw when not in use. There is also an extra battery that you can take with you if you are on a particularly extensive schedule.
04. WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw
Brought to you by WORX, this model might arguably be the best chainsaw for cutting trees. It has a long eighteen-inch bar which makes it ideal for cutting down large trees with wider trunks. Also, it fits along the tree trunk from end to end so you can seamlessly cut through just about any tree that is in the way.
Along with this impressive size, it is very powerful and can easily slice through even the stiffest of wood with ease. The chain is built to be rigid and strong, and thus it slices through the trunks and branches rather seamlessly.
Moreover, the sharpness of the chain also makes the cutting process easy. It could even cut other materials as well. This product is an electrically powered chainsaw, and thus, no gas or oil is required.
No smoke or nasty gases are expelled either. It uses a cord. So you can directly plug it into your outlet and run it. Electric chainsaws are much more eco-friendly, and they also make little noise. They are also much lighter in comparison.
The upside a corded chainsaw holds over a cordless one is that it is even lighter as it does not need to bear a battery compartment, which tends to be heavy. While cordless chainsaws are more portable, this model is by no means stuck in one point. You can just use a generator or a solar panel set and make it portable too.
There is a flaw in this, however. You need oil on the chain as a lubricant, and this chain uses up oil really fast. However, to mitigate this somewhat, the oil reservoir is made to be large, so you do not have to refuel as often. You still need to invest in a lot more oil, though.
05. Husqvarna 16 Inch 435e II Gas Chainsaw
Again, another model by Husqvarna, this one is definitely tailored towards the homeowner more than the lumberjack. We are all accustomed to seeing how a chainsaw is started- you have to pull a chain several times. This version has a chain as well, but only one or two will be enough to kickstart the motor.
As mentioned before, it is more for the homeowner or average Joe rather than a seasoned woodcutter or lumberjack. It is a great chainsaw for cutting firewood as it handles well, and an average adult can use it without any problems. This light-duty, easy-to-handle design makes it a good choice for beginners as well.
Despite its humble design, it is quite capable. The motor is powerful and will not yield very easily. You can be assured that it will cut all types of wood. The only limitation it might have is that it is unsuited for the thicker logs and large tree trunks.
You could chip at those with an ax and then do the finer work with the chainsaw.
In an ode to its suitability to the average user, setting up and starting the chainsaw is easy too. You can set the chain up on the bar easily. It will slide right in there and stick. But remember to oil it first!
Next, you just start it up. No settings to enable or anything like that are required. It is really easy and can be done quickly.
One downside it has is that the handle is rather flimsy. It is made of weak plastic, and therefore, you cannot get a reliable grip on it. The weight of the chainsaw can make the handle snap.
I suggest you be careful as it might be risky. What if it snaps when the saw is running? You can remedy this by fixing wooden support on the handle.
06. Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw
This model was designed by Poulan Pro, and this quite good for general cutting. It has got an excellent cutting capacity, and the harder types of wood are no match for its ultra-sharp chain teeth. This bad boy could even slice through metal, but I suggest not doing that as that can dull the chain blades over repeated use.
It can, however, cut through just about everything else almost seamlessly. The bar is very strong and holds under a lot of stress. Many chainsaws fall short in this aspect, and their bars might bend.
However, that is not the case with this one. It is very solid. The chains themselves are very strong as well, so you do not have to worry about them snapping.
Along with its cutting capacity and its solid build, this chainsaw can also cut large pieces of wood. This makes an ideal saw for clearing out large chunks of wood quite easily. You can cut down large trees. In fact, it can cut up to thirty inches of wood at once. Clearing out branches and logs is not a big deal either.
The design is made to be simple and easy to use. This makes it an ideal choice for a homeowner who likes to get some work done around the backyard. This could also be a choice for you if you are just a beginner in woodcutting or want to get into woodwork and such.
Furthermore, the functions are simple to understand, and anyone can operate this tool. However, this has a big downside, which is its plastic handle.
Yes, the handle is shaped with the comfort of the user in mind but do not swing it around much, or it might snap. The safety concerns aside, you will then have a saw that is essentially inoperable. Therefore I suggest installing some sort of support on the handle.
07. Ego 16 in. 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless ChainSaw
This model is a smaller one, unlike most chainsaws. It is meant more to knick off branches and clear out shrubs than deal with large trees. The smaller size also makes the thing super lightweight and easy to handle. You could easily climb a tree while carrying this and use it to cut off branches off the main trunk.
The smaller size and lighter weight also make this an excellent choice for backyard work. Say, you have to clear out a few shrubs or maybe even a small tree or two. This chainsaw will do just fine. You can carry it with ease thanks to its lighter weight, and it has the right level of power to breeze through wood with ease.
Unlike gas or oil operated chainsaws, this runs on electricity. The electricity is provided by a battery system that is rechargeable. While this makes it a tad heavier than corded chainsaws, it is truly a portable chainsaw. And since you do not have to invest in gas or oil, that cost is saved, plus you have better efficiency.
Moreover, the battery system allows for portability, and it also makes it so that you do not have to recharge the batteries every hour. The battery system can hold a lot of charge, i.e., it has very long battery life. So you can rest assured and have fun with it outside for hours without needing to come back and recharge.
However, there is one flaw that makes this instrument short of being perfect. The chain that is supposed to be locked in place can become loose over time.
It will not fall over, but it will not maintain the maximum tension around the bar. This can cause the cutting to become inefficient. If you feel like the bar is not advancing, check for a loose chain.
08. Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
The final product by Husqvarna, this one is more of a jack-of-all-trades type chainsaw. For one thing, it has a unique function with which you can change the chain oiling mechanism. You could go for low, medium, or high. I suggest going for medium or low, as going high makes the chainsaw drip oil.
When it comes to sheer power, although it is not the most powerful at cutting, it definitely is a force to be reckoned with. The chain blade is rather sharp, and most types of wood do not stand a chance. It can cut a wide variety of other materials as well, but I suggest you do not try it on metal, as it might break.
Also, the cutting length and depth are great. The chainsaw itself is on the longer side; it sports a twenty-inch bar, and that definitely makes it a larger chainsaw. As a large chainsaw, it can clear out many branches at once, and clearing your backyard will be easy. Even large trees can be felled with this.
Despite its intimidating size, it is definitely not just reserved for the professional. You can use it even if you are a beginner. It is enough for the homeowner, and it is perfect for a beginner.
However, it still reserves the capacity to be of quite some use to the professionals. All in all, it is a very versatile chainsaw and a must-have for all woodworkers out there.
There is one flaw that prevents this from being the best saw on the market, and that is the tendency of its chain to loosen up over time. If that happens, you will see that the blade will not advance. You need to re-tighten the chain again to make it work. For optimal performance, the chain should be taut and wound around the bar.
09. Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw
This model from Greenworks is interesting in that it has abandoned the whole chain start-up mechanism on the chainsaw thing altogether.
Yes, while characteristic, the chain system is much more time time-consuming, and it uses up more energy, and it also needs strength to start it up. This model employs a button system that lets you start immediately.
Among its additional features, the safety features stand out the most. It can be sheathed and stored away safely, and it can be turned off just as easily. However, the biggest safety feature has to be the emergency brakes. When applied, they bring the chainsaw to a halt immediately. This can be useful to prevent accidents.
While the design is simple and quite easy to grasp, the chainsaw is not full of hot air. It has quite the power and cuts very effectively. The motor used here is very powerful and can provide good output. It can clean through pieces of wood rather fast, and even wood types that are harder aren't a match for this chainsaw.
In spite of its high power, the chainsaw is not all that heavy. In fact, it is a light-duty chainsaw that is more suited for the average person.
Yes, it has got the power, but it is housed into a small unit with lighter parts. This also makes the chainsaw much more portable than the other types, and you can easily carry it around.
But there is one flaw. You need to make sure that the chain is fit on it properly. Otherwise, it is going to be difficult to cut. The blade won't advance well. You need to make sure that the chain is not loose; otherwise, it might unwind. That could be unsafe as the chain could injure you.
10. Makita Tool XCU02Z 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 12" ChainSaw
Manufactured by Makita, this is a battery-operated chainsaw. While it is a little heavy, it is very versatile and portable. Since it is cordless, you do not have to worry about a power outlet. And while you can technically carry a generator around and use a corded chainsaw, only a cordless one is truly portable.
Since it is battery operated, it has many advantages over gas-powered chainsaws. It is much better for the environment as there are no harmful exhausts produced. The electric chainsaw is free of these and therefore is easy on the environment and is easy on you too.
Moreover, the other advantage of electrical chainsaws is that it is much quieter as well. There are fewer mechanisms, after all. And these make it easy on your ears. I still recommend that you wear ear protection. The chainsaw is very light, so it is easy on the arms too. All in all, you will have a good time.
It is a bit on the smaller side, but it is quite efficient. This tool cuts well, and when it comes to cutting depth, it is great too. It can go as far as ten inches. That is enough for most backyard cleaning activities. It can clear out shrubs and cut off limbs from trees rather seamlessly. Ten inches is enough for small trees too.
The smaller size and manageable form also made it a great tool for work around the house.
So if you are a homeowner, this is definitely for you. You might love this over a professional chainsaw as this is much easier to handle. It is perfect for DIY work around the backyard. If you are starting out at woodcutting, this will be good for you.
Before You Buy – What to Look for
Here we will talk about the factors that you need to consider before buying a chainsaw.
- Engine Capacity
This is arguably the most important factor you should look into if you're looking to buy a chainsaw. The engine is the source of motion in the chainsaw, and you should definitely check how powerful it can get. Make sure you get the right engine. The power of the engine will determine exactly how deep it can cut.
You should also note whether the engine is gas-operated or electrically powered. I will cover more of that later in the other points. However, you should know what type you want. Electrical engines usually just consist of a motor that spins. Gas or oil engines are engines with pistons, and there are other complex mechanisms.
- Cutting Power
The prospect of cutting power is interesting because although it is related to engine power, it is slightly different. Cutting power accounts for the overall capacity of the chainsaw. The cutting power is dependent on three major aspects, and they are, bar length, chain quality, and engine capacity. They determine the total cutting power.
I will not go into too much detail here as I've talked about it before. You should understand that engine power can determine the cutting extent. Long story short, the higher the engine capacity, the better the cutting power.
Do not just get the highest engine capacity. However, you may not be able to handle it unless you have prior experience.
Bar length is essentially the blade length of the saw or the length of the cutting part of the saw. It should be obvious why that is important. Usually, the bar should be two inches longer than the wood that is to be cut. While it is possible to cut larger cuts of wood, it takes time, and you do risk damaging your chainsaw.
Lastly, there is the prospect of the chain. For good chain quality, you need it to be sharp and taut. The ends need to sharp for clean cutting with as little chipping as possible.
Dull blades can cause the chainsaw to heat up. The chain tension around the bar should be sufficiently high too. Otherwise, the blade advancement into the wood will be poor.
As mentioned before, the chain needs to be set properly for the chainsaw to function. The chain provides the cutting edge for the saw to cut. As mentioned before, it needs to be taut; otherwise, the saw will not be able to cut through the wood.
So you should look out for that. Many chainsaws have the problem of their chain being too loose.
The type of chain matters as well. There are a few chains that function universally. Some have thicker blades or teeth, and some are finer.
Finer blades are suited for a softer wood. Thicker blades are usually paired with more powerful engines. There are many different shapes too, but try getting the simple triangular teeth pattern, especially if you are a beginner.
- Power Source
There are two main ways you can power your chainsaw. The first is oil or gas, which employs a fully-fledged engine that has pistons that burn the fuel and convert it to energy. Electrical chainsaws simply make use of a motor. The electricity turns the motor and runs the chainsaw.
With oil or gas, the chainsaw is often more heavy-duty, and thus, they have more power. So if you are a professional or you do heavy woodcutting, you should get a gas-powered chainsaw. Gas-powered chainsaws are often larger, and you can run them for a long time before they need to be refueled.
On the other hand, electrical chainsaws are usually much lighter and easier to handle. They are definitely suited more for the average user rather than a professional.
While they are not as powerful as gas chainsaws, they still are an option if you only need to cut smaller trees and bushes. They are eco-friendly and easier to operate.
For the bar, resilience is important, especially if you cut whole trees down. For many chainsaws, the problem that often arises is that the bar might bend. This happens when the bar is too thin, especially if compared to the chain.
There has to be a certain balance between the two. Otherwise, the bar will bend from the mass of the chain
As for the chain, you should check how strong it is, especially if you do the extensive cutting. The chain might dull, and thus you will not be able to cut or worse still, it might even break and unwind. A quality chain will resist these and stay sharp even if you work it continuously. It should also maintain its tension.
Gas or oil-powered chainsaws are often the heaviest. This is because they house a whole engine in there and it adds a significant amount of weight on to the chainsaw. Another reason is that fuel-powered chainsaws are usually made bigger than electrical powered versions.
On the other hand, electric powered chainsaws are often much light because all they have is a motor that converts electricity into motion. However, there is still a difference between corded and cordless chainsaws. Corded chainsaws are often much lighter than cordless ones as those have a battery chamber.
You should also be vigilant about the safety features that a chainsaw comes with. A chainsaw is by no means safe. It can cause damage. So, you should try getting one that houses good emergency brakes and has a sheath so that you can safely store the chainsaw away with no risk.
How to Cut Wood Properly?
Even if you have the best chainsaw, if you do not cut the wood right, you will just end up wasting timber. Firewood has a certain shape and texture that makes it burn efficiently. So, here is a step-by-step process on how to cut wood properly.
Step 1: Measure
You need to measure the wood properly before you cut it. That is because you cannot reverse what you have cut. Even if you are cutting firewood, there is a certain estimate that you should have. Measurements are more important if you are doing woodwork or making very particular shapes with your wood.
Make use of rulers or set squares for better measurements. If you need to cut logs into specific shapes, that is when you especially need measurement tools. Otherwise, just an estimate is enough. Or you could also opt for a model shape and try to replicate that.
Step 2: Cut the Branches First
This makes things a lot easier as you can focus on the trunk. Stray branches might also get in the way of working on the trunk. You also risk injuries if you are not careful. So always remember to start clearing out all the limbs and branches after you can make the tree fall to the ground.
Step 3: Choose Your Cutting Style
There are various styles to cut wood. It depends on your convenience and the tools you have. You could lay out your log after you have cleared out all the branches and limbs on the ground and then apply the chainsaw to begin cutting. Also, you could place it on a metallic cutting surface and then do it.
However, that process can result in inaccurate cutting. For that, you need to support the log at both ends and then run the saw through the middle. Or, you could run it through your marked line. This is more accurate as you can easily tell where to cut and measure the distance much more accurately.
Step 4: Safety First
Always remember that safety comes first. Make sure you have ear protection on since the saw can be really loud and damaging to the ears. Remember to wear goggles to protect your eyes from dust. And always wear gloves, and even a hard hat if you feel like it. Store your chainsaw in a sheath when you are not using it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is an ax better or a chainsaw?
They both have their pros and cons. A chainsaw is much faster than an ax. However, the ax is more general-purpose than the chainsaw and can be used to cut a wider range of trees.
- Electric or gas: which one is better?
I guess getting an electric one is the best if you're a homeowner as they are easier to charge and carry. And oil or gas chainsaw is better if you are a professional as those offer higher power.
- Corded or cordless chainsaw?
That depends on how often you move around. While you can get a portable power source to move around, a cordless chainsaw is the best. However, you should remember that cordless chainsaws are heavier.
- Can my chainsaw overheat?
Yes, but that usually happens if the chain is dull.
- Will my chainsaw rust?
No, that is unlikely as they are made of corrosion-resistant alloys.
That is about it. I have laid out all the facts, and I hope that this article will be enough for you know what to get depending on what you need.
If my best chainsaw for cutting firewood review helped you to make your decision, let me know in the comments section. I would appreciate that a lot.