Best Chainsaws for Cutting Trees

Best Chainsaws for Cutting Trees

Coming from a family of professional loggers there was a lot of talk about chain saws around the dinner table.  I learned a lot growing up, cut down a tree and buck it, types of chain saws, sharpening and more.  I am now grown with a family of my own.  We lived in the city for a while but since moved out into the forest where I need to gather A LOT of fire wood from our property for winter heating.  I racked my brain trying to remember all the characteristics needed to find the best chainsaws for cutting trees.

Best Chainsaws for Cutting Trees Characteristics

So I set out to find the best types of chain saws for taking trees down and then bucking them.  These are the top four characteristics I was looking for:

  • Price.  Chainsaws can range from crazy expensive (thousands of dollars) to just a few hundred.  Does price equal quality? My goal was to land somewhere in the middle.
  • Safety.  It can go without saying that the more powerful the saw the more dangerous it’s going to be, along with possible kickback.
  • Usability.  I may have come from a family of Axemen, but I sure did not inherit their skill set.  I would like to be able to use a saw without having to worry about cutting off a leg or toe.
  • Power.  I don’t want a cleanup saw, I need a saw powerful enough to take stubborn green oak or sappy pine trees down.  That means these saws must be gas powered.
  • Chain.  Without a good cutting chain it does not matter how much power the saw has.  Only the best chain for chainsaw will do.

Husqvarna 240 Chain Saw

This chain saw is rated for light cleanup or occasional use.  With a whopping 33.2 cc engine you will be able to take down trees up to 10″ in diameter.  I wouldn’t go above that.   This particular saw comes with a 16-inch bar which is pretty big for the engine size.

The price is not entirely bad, at about $200 dollars and is perfect for a homeowner needing to do simple clean up, or cutting smaller diameter trees down.

This was the lightest saw of the bunch which allowed for easy maneuverability. My one complaint is that I had a hard time getting it to start and stay on.  I ended up upping the throttle which helped, but not recommended.

All in all, the Husqvarna 240 is a fantastic simple chainsaw for homeowners. for pruning trees or cutting smaller trees.

Poulan Pro Chain Saw

One of the higher rated chain saws out there for low to mid level usage.  The best 50cc chainsaw, it is fantastic for smaller to medium size trees and weighs about 15 pounds.  With 20″ bar you will be able to take down most tress up to 20″ in diameter.   I was blown way to find out that the saws engine is actually from the Husqvarna family.

You can find the Poulan Pro a little cheaper than the Husqvarna 240, for about $190 dollars.

The biggest complaint we had with this saw was the OEM chain.  Like most “factory” chains, they are built to reduce kickback which results in easily dulled chains.  We were able to get through about 3/4 of a cord of wood before we had to sharpen the chain. We would recommend upgrading to a higher quality chain asap.

This little chain saw is worth its weight in gold and is perfect for home owners that need to occasionally cut down trees and then buck them.

Husqvarna 460 20-Inch Rancher Chain Saw

I own one of these and can say its one of the best saws I have ever owned.  All around great saw for the price.  It comes with a 20″ bar which is great for cutting down most tree sizes you will come across.  With 60.3cc of power I have no problem cutting trees and then bucking them for firewood.

These chain saws usually go for around $500, worth every penny.  The amount of time it will save you over the long haul is well worth the investment.  I learned this the hard way by buying an under powered saw for cutting trees down, decided to rent and give the 460 a try and never looked back.

The only downside I have come across is the weight.  At about 20 pounds I find myself with a sore back after a while.  I will usually use my 460 to cut a tree down and then buck it with one of my littler saws.

This is a fantastic all around mid level saw, perfect for all those weekend firewood warriors or even clearing trees off your land.  We can easily rate this saw for home owners, ranchers and farmers.

Husqvarna 562XP Chain Saw

Welcome to the next level of power! WOW. This chain saw definitely qualifies to be in the pro category.  Husqvarna professional saws are some of the best in the wold.

The 562XP is 60cc of raw power letting you rip through just about any kind of tree wood you can throw at it.  Walnut, sappy pine, fir, cedar, madrone, stubborn oak and more. You can attach a 24″ bar that will allow you to cut through most tree sizes.

The price of the saw is about $780.  I was surprised by this since it has a lot of the same characteristics as my 460 Rancher (which is a lot cheaper).  The trade off is quality. This saw actually spits out less emission’s and is much lighter than my 460.  A perfect saw for a professional logger to be using out in the woods cutting trees all day.

If you work professionally in the woods or have a firewood business, this saw is for you.

Husqvarna 390XP Chain Saw

All XP Husqvarna chain saws are in the ELITE or professional category and this saw is no different.  This monster packs 88 CC of power can handle a bar size up to 42″.   This saw is strictly for professional use and should not be used for simple clean up jobs.

For what this saw can handle the price is not too bad, if you shop around you should be able to get this saw for around $1000.

This is the heaviest of all the chain saws we reviewed, clocking in at almost 30 pounds.  This brings up a safety concern, which is getting tired.  The more tired you get, the more clumsy you become and an accident is right around the corner.  The more professional saws are going to be bigger, more powerful and heavier and a little more difficult to control than their smaller counter parts.  This just comes with the territory, if your a professional logger then you are most likely used to a saw as powerful as this one.

This is the biggest saw on the list and probably out of the scope for most people’s purposes.  We wanted to include it to showcase the range of saws available.

Use common sense when trying to find the bestchainsaw for cutting trees.  If you are a homeowner and live on some land, your going to need a mid size chainsaw.  If your a home owner and just need to do some trimming, there is no need to invest in a thousand dollar professional chainsaw.