Chainsaw Reviews – The Family Handyman

House Instruments, Gear & Gear Energy Gear Chainsaws

Up to date: Jun. 06, 2022

Overview: Chain noticed critiques and finest options

With the highest 4 producers providing greater than 80 fashions mixed, choosing the proper chain noticed could be a daunting activity. That can assist you make a alternative out of one of the best chainsaws, we divided the saws into two classes based mostly on value and engine dimension. Then we fired them up and made tons of of cuts. We in contrast options and efficiency. Select from those that finest suit your specific wants and funds.

However first, particularly if purchasing in your first chainsaw, learn by way of the chainsaw options we love. They’ll orient you to the important thing problem-solvers that producers construct into their merchandise and make chainsaw use safer and simpler.

Lots of the options listed under, like tool-free chain tensioning, are discovered on the whole vary of saws. Others, like an air pre-cleaning system, are solely obtainable on costlier fashions. Log on or cease at your native seller to choose up producers’ literature that outlines the options and gives you comparability charts to assist in your choice.

Function 1: Software-free chain tensioning

The chain in your noticed must be tensioned accurately. If it’s too free or too tight, it will possibly injury the bar and current a security hazard. With out tool-free tensioning, adjusting the chain pressure requires a wrench and screwdriver. With this innovation, you don’t want both.

Methods differ barely amongst saws, however basically, the nuts that safe the bar to the noticed’s physique have been changed by a mechanism constructed into the clutch cowl. You loosen the bar by hand after which flip a knurled wheel of some kind to regulate the chain pressure. We like this characteristic and assume it’s price spending a number of further {dollars} for.

Function 2: Choke and on/off swap

Beginning a chilly chain noticed requires closing the choke and rising the throttle pace. To cease the noticed, you turn it off. Some saws mix all these features in a single swap. Others have separate on/off and choke switches.

We desire the kind of swap discovered on the Husqvarna and Jonsered saws as a result of it’s giant sufficient to function simply with gloves on, pushing down on the swap stops the engine, and the swap mechanically returns to the “run” place. You don’t have to modify the noticed again on to start out it once more. This helps stop unintentionally flooding the engine by making an attempt to restart it with the swap off.

Function 3: Straightforward-start system

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The larger the engine, the tougher it’s to tug the starter twine, until there’s some characteristic inbuilt to scale back the starter twine pressure. One modern answer modifications the spring mechanism within the recoil (the half that rewinds the starter twine) to make it simpler to tug. Stihl’s Easy2Start system, which makes use of this mechanism, is surprisingly straightforward to tug, and works nice. Different producers have easy-start recoils too, however the distinction isn’t as dramatic.

One other design that reduces beginning effort opens a brief gap within the cylinder to scale back compression, making it simpler to tug the starter twine. Search for this decompression valve characteristic on bigger chain saws.

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Function 4: Physique width

Execs who work with chain saws all day desire compact saws. Costlier saws just like the Husqvarnas, Jonsereds and Stihls have narrower our bodies than a few of the cheaper ones. The narrower physique makes the saws simpler to hold and to maneuver in tight spots.

Function 5: Carbide-toothed chain

A boring chain cuts slowly, however worse, it will possibly injury the chain and the bar in addition to put further pressure on the noticed. It solely takes a fraction of a second to boring the blade for those who contact the bottom with the chain, noticed soiled wooden or hit a nail.

A sequence with carbide ideas, just like the one you’ll discover on the Stihl MS 230 C-BE, can face up to encounters with filth and nails and nonetheless be sharp sufficient to maintain chopping. You’ll pay an additional $50 or so for this characteristic, however for those who lower soiled wooden, want to chop stumps near the bottom, or lower a variety of “city wooden” that’s prone to have nails embedded in it, then this can be cash nicely spent.

The draw back is you could’t simply sharpen a carbide chain your self, and even sharpening outlets might not have the gear to do it. Before you purchase a carbide-tipped chain, or a series noticed that features one, discover out if you will get it sharpened and the way a lot it’ll value.

Different options: Anti-vibration, air purge, and extra

Straightforward-access air filter Each chain noticed has an air filter related to the carburetor, and if it will get clogged, your noticed will waste gasoline, pollute extra and maybe run poorly. For those who can entry the air filter simply, with out having to tug out a screwdriver, you’re extra prone to hold it clear. Stihl saws have one of many best covers to take away.

Air purge Most of those saws have a translucent, rubbery bulb that you just press 5 – 6 instances earlier than you begin the chilly engine. It’s referred to as an air purge or a primer bulb as a result of it replaces the air within the gasoline line with gas. This reduces the variety of instances it’s important to pull the starter twine, saving put on and tear on the noticed and your arm.

Gasoline gauge On some saws, you’ll be able to see the extent of the gas within the tank with out eradicating the cap.

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Straightforward-to-remove gas and oil caps Stihl chain saws have gas and oil caps that you just take away by flipping up a deal with and twisting 1 / 4 flip. Different saws embody a raised “deal with” that permits a greater grip. Each are good options.

Air precleaner system Lots of the costlier saws have a precleaner system that throws out a lot of the bigger mud particles earlier than they attain the air filter. This reduces air filter upkeep and improves engine efficiency.

Anti-vibration All however the most cost-effective chain saws have springs or rubber bushings that separate the deal with meeting from the remainder of the noticed to scale back the quantity of vibration you’re feeling. The costlier the noticed, the extra sturdy the springs or bushings are. We may really feel the distinction between the saws that didn’t have any springs or bushings and people who did.

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Chainsaw manufacturers and critiques: 3 Chain Saws for a Tight Funds

We restricted this class of saws to a value level beneath $150, which implies they’ll usually have an engine dimension beneath 40 cc. For those who’re not heating with wooden or chopping down 2-ft.-diameter bushes, a series noticed on this class could also be all you want. We tried three saws that value beneath $150. Understand that for those who improve your funds to $200, you’ll have much more selections, which is able to embody saws from Stihl, Echo, Husqvarna and Jonsered.

Evaluate 1: Homelite UT10560

This noticed has many good options together with an air purge, springs for vibration management, tool-free chain tensioner and see-through gasoline and oil reservoirs, and it comes with a case. We discovered the tool-free mechanism barely tougher to make use of than most and the clearance between the deal with and the chain brake slightly tight. On-line critiques are combined, however our take a look at noticed ran easily.

Evaluate 2: Poulan P3816

Just like the Craftsman (under), this noticed contains an air purge bulb and comes with a case. It doesn’t have the tool-free chain tensioner however does have a series tensioner constructed into the bar that’s simpler to entry than more-conventional chain pressure adjusters. You need to take away screws to entry the air filter. We like the massive grips on the gas and oil filler caps however don’t like the truth that there’s no vibration dampening constructed into the deal with. For a similar value, the Craftsman gives the extra tool-free chain tensioner.

Evaluate 3: Craftsman 35170

This Craftsman noticed seems to be similar to the Poulan P3816 (above) besides the Craftsman has the tool-free chain tensioner. The noticed has an air purge and features a carrying case. We had slightly tougher time beginning this noticed than we had with a few of the costlier fashions. We don’t like the dearth of vibration dampening within the deal with of this noticed. In any other case it’s worth and value contemplating within the under-$150 value vary.

Noticed critiques: 4 chain saws for medium-duty use

We restricted this class to a value level beneath $350 with engines about 40 cc. For those who lower wooden a number of instances a month, desire a noticed that doesn’t wrestle when chopping at full capability, or similar to to purchase top-quality instruments, then that is the class for you. Saws on this vary typically embody the entire high quality elements and options of costlier chain saws. They simply aren’t fairly as highly effective.

Evaluate 4: Stihl MS 230 C-BE

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This noticed is loaded with each characteristic you would need, plus it comes commonplace with Stihl’s Duro carbide-tipped chain. However what actually units it aside is the Easy2Start system. A delicate, regular pull on the starter rope winds a spring that releases when it overcomes the compression strain, turning over the engine. It’s noticeably simpler to tug, with out the jerkiness you usually really feel.

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We additionally like that the air cleaner cowl and gasoline and oil caps are straightforward to take off and exchange with out instruments. For an additional $50 over similar-size saws, you get a series noticed that’s tremendous straightforward to start out and features a carbide-tipped chain.

Evaluate 5: Jonsered CS 2240 S

You’ll be able to’t go mistaken shopping for a Jonsered noticed. Jonsered gives fashions in all however the lowest value vary. This noticed features a tool-free chain tensioner, a spring-assisted starter twine, an air filter precleaning system, a press-down- to-stop and return-to-start swap, a gas stage indicator and sturdy springs for vibration dampening. The noticed begins simply, runs easy and cuts quick. We couldn’t discover any fault with this noticed.

Evaluate 6: Husqvarna 440 e-series

As with the Jonsered, you should buy a Husqvarna with confidence, realizing that you just’re getting among the finest chain saws available on the market.

Actually, beneath the quilt, this noticed appears similar to the CS 2240 S and has all the identical options (see Jonsered’s CS 2240 S above). We couldn‘t discern any distinction in the best way the 2 saws begin, run and lower. The tool-free tensioner on each of those saws is excellent. There’s a big deal with that flips out to provide you further leverage, and the adjuster has “enamel” which can be giant sufficient to work with gloves on.

For those who’re making an attempt to resolve between the Jonsered CS 2240 S and this noticed, we advocate you select the one which’s obtainable at a neighborhood seller. The Husqvarna narrowly edged out the almost similar Jonsered for our Editors’ Selection solely as a result of the retail value was $10 much less.

Evaluate 7: Echo CS-400

Right here’s one other top-quality noticed from a revered identify in outside energy gear. The Echo CS-400 contains an air purge bulb, air precleaner and an air cleaner cowl that’s straightforward to take away with out instruments. This noticed lacks a tool-free chain tensioner however does have an easy-start system that works nicely.

There’s a small toggle swap to show the engine on and off and a separate choke lever. The noticed has rubber bushings fairly than springs for vibration dampening. It begins simply and runs nice. Except you will discover this noticed on sale, nevertheless, we advocate both the Jonsered or the Husqvarna as a result of they’ve higher options for a similar value.

Noticed critiques: 3 chain saws for heavy-duty use

This class contains saws that value $350 to $600 with engines bigger than 40 cc. For those who personal acres of land and spend a variety of time on tree chopping and cleanup, spending slightly extra for a series noticed is smart. Saws on this class have the best-quality elements and are made to face up to each day use. Plus, you will get larger engines able to dealing with longer bars. The three saws listed below are typical for this vary.

Best chainsaw 30 inch ranked by customer satisfaction.


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