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best small chainsaw

5 Best Small Chainsaw Available Today

This post was updated on: April 1, 2021

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The small chainsaws are the perfect machine and tool for homeowners and woodworkers. They offer the best balance of price and size when compared to regular or professional models.

This guide will tell you all the factors you will need to consider and break down the details about some of the best small chainsaws available today.

5 Best Small Chainsaw Picks

BLACK + DECKER LCS1020: Best Overall Pick

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Key Takeaways

Power and Performance

The Black + Decker is well-known in the power tools industry to provide high-quality tools with excellent designs and durable construction.

If you want the smallest chainsaws possible that can still deliver a lot of power, the Black + Decker LCS1020 is the most reliable you can get. It has a 10-inch bar length that is easy to use and can get a lot of tree pruning done in the shortest amount of time.

Additionally, the LCS1020 has a 20 V lithium-ion battery, which the manufacturers promise will last five times longer than traditional batteries.

Design and Features

The Black + Decker LCS1020 is as easy to use as a pair of scissors. In point of fact, this small chainsaw can make super-fast cuts while still keeping you safe.

Unlike gas-powered chainsaws, this Black + Decker model is quick to start up with its start button and sliding safety-lock combination, which doubles as safety features. Moreover, it can quickly get into awkward and tight corners.

Your neighbors have nothing to worry about because the noise of this chainsaw is comparable to a vacuum cleaner. This makes it the best small chainsaw for any yard work you may need to do.

The parts that come with this model is a 10-inch low kickback bar and chain. This minimizes kickback and keeps you safe and comfortable. It also has a wrap-around bale handle to give you extra comfort.

The Automatic Tool-less Chain Tensioning System is the best part of this small chainsaw. This sets the proper tension for the chain without you having to fiddle and guess around.

This system also prevents any over or under-tightening of the chain, both of which can cause a lot of damage to your chainsaws or, worse, injury to you.

If you want additional accessories, you can choose to get this model with a leaf collection bin, a power cut, an extra 2.0 AH battery, or an extra 3.0 AH battery.

Is This Chainsaw the Best for You?

If you typically do a lot of yard work and want the best lightweight chainsaw to speed through all your tasks, such as tree pruning and brush cutting, the Black + Decker electric chainsaw is one you should consider.

Makita XCU03PT1 18V X2: Best Value Pick

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Key Takeaways

Power and Performance

With two 18V 5.0 AH batteries as its power source, the 14-inch bar Makita CXU03PT1 packs a lot of punch despite its small size. In total, this configuration gives you 36 V of run-time and excellent performance. (I would go with the 4 batteries kit.)

Along with a 14-inch bar and chain, you can use this small chainsaw for almost any task or chore. The brushless motor delivers a lot of power while preserving battery life to prolong your use.

The Makita even claims that it can match the power of 32 cc gas-powered chainsaws. This makes it more than capable of taking down small trees and cutting dense firewood, such as oak and maple.

Design and Added Features

Basically, the Makita CXU03PT1 features a tool-less chain adjustment system. You only need to turn the knob on the side of the saw to achieve the tension you desire. Plus, it has an automatic oiler and view window, which will allow you to make sure your chain and bar are oiled adequately at all times.

The kit includes a dual-port charger that can charge both batteries rapidly and simultaneously. With this Makita chainsaw, you can ensure that you will not be emitting harmful gases or chemicals in the air.

Is This Chainsaw the Best for You?

Suppose you have a particular need for battery-powered chainsaws for continuous work, the Makita CXU03PT1 chainsaw model is an excellent choice for you.

While it may not be the lightest among the models featured in this guide, this small chainsaw offers a lot of power and fantastic cutting speeds. The 14-inch bar length makes it suitable for all home needs.

Remington RM1645 Versa Saw: Best Budget Pick

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Key Takeaways

Power and Performance

Among the top-rated chainsaw models available on the market, the Remington RM1645 is one of the best lightweight chainsaw models you can get with an electric power source.

Its chain and bar measure 16-inch, making it longer than the previous models we have reviewed. It offers the perfect compromise between bar and chain length, user-friendliness, and power. As an outcome, the Remington allows you to easily complete all of the necessary yard work you may encounter.

With a simple squeeze of the chainsaw’s trigger, you will be shredding through tree limbs and saplings with minimum kickback. Compared to various electric chainsaws, you can ensure that each cut will be smooth with this model.

Not only that, the RM1645 features an automatic oiler that makes oiling the chain and bars effortless. The oil level viewer makes it easy to find out whether you have enough oil before you start your work.

Design and Added Features

Arriving fully assembled, you only need to take it out of the box when you’re going to start pruning your trees! Its low kickback makes this small chainsaw easy to use and control.

The handle uses an ergonomic design with oversold comfort to give you a balanced and low vibration user experience. With its system, you can use the Remington Versa Saw for hours without tiring or feeling uncomfortable.

Eventually, the quick-adjust chain tension system allows you to adjust your chainsaw through an external tensioning screw quickly. This will keep your chainsaw running at peak performance at all times.

Is This Chainsaw the Best for You?

At this moment, if you are on a budget but still want the best small chainsaw, there is no better choice than this Remington chainsaw model.

Though it has a small size, it offers a powerful performance. Besides, if you particularly want a long chain and bar length, again, the Remington RM1645 is one model you should consider.

Makita UC3551A

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Key Takeaways

Power and Performance

The Makita UC3551A is an affordable 14-inch bar chainsaw, though it may not be the cheapest model available on the market. The best news is this small chainsaw is guaranteed to last you a lifetime if you properly take care of it.

This 14-inch bar chainsaw is made for fast cutting and easy operation. We will even argue that it is enjoyable to use this tool. Its massive oil reservoir will let you cut for hours without having to stop for a refill.

With a strong torque and workhorse like ethic, you can work all day with this Makita chainsaw. The 14 -inch bar length is also equipped with a chain brake.

Design and Added Features

The Makita UC3551A will not require the same maintenance level as a chainsaw with a gas power source. Yet, you need to keep it filled with enough bar and chain oil.

You must clean it occasionally. Even with a minimal level of care, this small chainsaw will reward you with its excellent performance.

As well as, the Makita’s size makes it versatile enough for nearly all yard work.

It has a tool-free tensioning adjuster system. This may be tricky to use sometimes, so some users prefer to remove the cover and tighten the chainsaw by hand. Despite this, most people do not have problems with this adjustment system.

Then, its added safety feature is the presence of a current limiter. The current limiter is built-in to reduce the power that goes to the motor in case the saw ever overloads.

The soft grip makes it extremely comfortable to hold. The automatic oiler keeps the chain and bars well lubricated at all times, making maintenance even more effortless.

Take note that the manufacturer’s warranty only covers one year from the date of purchase.

Is This Chainsaw the Best for You?

The Makita UC3551A is suited for users who do not mind minimal maintenance of their power tools.

If you can keep up with this low-effort task, you will be rewarded with a powerful tool that will last your entire lifetime. This 14-inch bar chainsaw is exceptionally versatile for any job.

Husqvarna 120 Mark II Chainsaw

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Key Takeaways

Power and Performance

The Husqvarna 120 Mark II is a small but powerful gas chainsaw. With a 14-inch bar and chain length and a fuel power source, this is considered one of the best in its class.

As a matter of fact, its 14-inch bar length and powerful 1.8 horsepower 38 cc gas engine make it versatile enough for many small chainsaw jobs.

Design and Added Features

You will be safe and comfortable with this small chainsaw. It includes an anti-kickback chain and a built-in chain brake. An automatic fixed flow oiler will deliver perfect chain lubrication every time.

Its X-Torq fuel management system will help you stretch your fuel efficiency and lower gasoline emissions, making this small gas chainsaw environmentally and economically worth it.

Is This Chainsaw the Best for You?

Suppose you are a homeowner or casual chainsaw user who wants one of the most powerful chainsaws available. In that case, the Husqvarna 120 Mark II will do well and is ideal for light tasks and occasional trimming and pruning.

Types of Small Chainsaws

Before choosing a small chainsaw for you, you need to consider a few styles and differences between them.

Each has its pros and cons, but you will find the right chainsaw for you in one of these types:

Battery – Powered Chain Saws

Pros

The best feature of small battery-powered chainsaws is that it offers a lot of flexibility. Like a typical electric chainsaw, they are also low maintenance while still giving you the portability of a gas-powered equivalent.

With present-day technology, the options for battery-powered chainsaws are robust while also being less noisy than a gas-powered chainsaws model.

The low cost of maintenance needed for this model and its portability make them some of the best options for small chainsaws.

Cons

The disadvantage is that they depend on batteries, which tend to be expensive. So, keeping a few on hand to make sure you do not run out of power in the middle of your work can cost as much as the saw itself.

Who This Is For

The battery-powered small chainsaws are best suited for homeowners who have a sizable property and only plan to utilize their saw occasionally.

Even so, it is for those who only need a portable saw once in a while, such as for cutting their own Christmas trees or for outdoor trips.

Corded Electric Chain Saws

Pros

Having been around for a long time, electric chainsaws have many models available on the market.

It takes very little for one to maintain these models in good condition, besides a quick cleaning and maintenance of the bar-lube levels.

A lot of corded electric chainsaws rival the power offered by their gas-powered counterparts.

Cons

The main disadvantage of electric chainsaws is how limited your use can be.

As you can guess, you need a reliable power source to utilize this machine, which may not always be readily available when you are working, especially in the outdoors.

You will also need to remember to always bring a suitable extension cord on hand.

Who This Is For

The corded electric is best suited for those working in small yards that do not require prolonged, frequent, and heavy-duty chainsaw use. In terms of power, they can handle mostly the same jobs as gas-powered saws.

Gas – Powered Chain Saws

Most people think of chainsaws, and the gas-powered model immediately comes to mind.

Pros

Some of the most powerful saw models available on the market are gas-powered. They can easily cut through any wood without any issue, as long as they are correctly maintained.

Cons

Gas-powered models require more upkeep than battery-powered or corded electric models. You will need to maintain a clean air filter, use the right mix of gasoline and oil, and replace the spark plugs regularly.

They are also carbureted and require adjustments to fuel and air mixtures, making them demanding if you do not know how to use your machine.

Who This Is For

If you have a large property and frequently need to use heavy-duty small chainsaws, a gas-powered model may be the best one for you.

What to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Small Chainsaw for You

Even if you get the most expensive model available, you can still feel unsatisfied if it does not suit your needs.

Furthermore, if you are not a professional, you may not know everything you need to make this purchase.

Keep the following points in mind while we help you decide on the top one small chainsaw for you. Thus, we assure you that you will be happy with the chainsaw you finally choose.

Motor or Engine Size

Your chainsaw model’s motor size (for electric ones) or engine (for gas-powered ones) significantly impacts its capabilities.

Thereby, it will also determine whether you can upgrade to a more extended bar and what types of tasks you can do with your chainsaw.

For most small gas-powered chainsaws, the size of the engine can range between 30 cc and 40 cc. This is acceptable for saws with a bar that measures anywhere from 10 or 12-inch and up to 16-inch.

While it is possible to use it with an 18-inch bar, that is the largest you should risk with a saw in this range.

You must match the bar size to the engine size, so it can adequately provide power and torque without failing you in the middle of your job or project.

As for electric saws, we recommend you consider the proper amperages.

An electric motor’s amp rating tells you how much power it can handle before internals starts to break down. For example, a saw with a 14 amp rating will likely be suited for you, as it is appropriate for most home uses.

Kickback

chainsaw’s kickback can be very dangerous, which is something you would know if you have ever used a chainsaw in the past.

The kickback happens when the top half of the saw bar’s end makes contact with a solid piece of wood.

If the user does not have enough experience or is not expecting the kickback, the saw bar can recoil toward them and cause serious injuries.

While a well-known technique involves plunging the bar’s nose into a log to cut it,  only skilled woodcutters who have years of experience should do the job.

Unless you are one of these experienced sawyers, we recommend leaving the guard at the end of the bar when in use.

You should also run low-kickback chains on your saw to protect you. Always cut with two hands on the saw at all times to make sure you can control your tool and counteract any possible kickback you may experience.

We highly advise you to take extra care if it is your first time using a chainsaw or if it is your first time trying out that particular chainsaw model.

This will allow you to get to know your saw and estimate how much kickback it can have so that you can adjust to it properly.

Bar Length

The length of your chainsaw’s bar will determine the kind of work it is best used for. But still, there are some details you should pay attention to.

Longer bars (24-inch or longer) may seem scary, but they are easy to control. Top-handle saws with short bars (about 10-inch) are small and look more approachable.

Consequently, this is an example of how looks can be deceiving. The chainsaws with short bars can be more unpredictable and dangerous for a new user. They are more suitable for arborists who frequently climb trees.

The best compromise is a bar that is 14 to 18-inch long. This size can handle most jobs that homeowners need to accomplish. They can fell small trees, buck large branches, and cut firewood without much trouble.

Still and all, these bars are easy to find if you ever need to replace them in the future.

Weight

The weight can be one of the most important considerations of all, depending on your size and physical strength. If you are unable to handle a saw safely because you find it too heavy, the fuel source or bar length simply does not matter.

A corded electric or battery-powered saw is often the lightest chainsaw type that you can purchase.

They do not require a tank of fuel mix, and their motors are smaller. This makes them smaller in size, much lighter in weight, and more comfortable to use in many scenarios.

Keep in mind, there is such a thing as a saw that is too light.

A top handle saw with a lot of power, a short bar, and a lightweight motor will likely act unpredictably if it exhibits some kickback.

The added inertia of a more massive motor will help minimize the effects of kickback. If you can, hold the chainsaw before buying it to check if the weight is suited for you.

Noise Level

Who hasn’t been irritated being awoken early in the morning because someone is using a chainsaw outside your window?

This is a surefire way to make your neighbors unhappy with you. That is why you should consider how much noise your chainsaw can make.

Gas-powered chainsaws are some of the noisiest you can use. They can be deafening, making woodcutting best during the afternoon to not wake your neighbors.

Even some electric and battery-powered models are a little loud. The whine of the electric motor and the noise the chain makes as it goes through the wood is enough to create some chatter.

No matter what, you should always wear hearing aid protection, mainly if you frequently use loud machines or tools.

There are plenty of muff style protectors at your local hardware store, and they will do a lot to maintain your hearing after you have spent a whole day working with a chainsaw.

Safety Features

There is no denying how dangerous chainsaws can be when not used properly.

One important safety feature you should look for is an inertia chain brake. These clutch style brakes can sense any rapid change in inertia that may be caused by kickback or any other reason.

Suddenly, it will automatically lock the chain to stop it from running. This will automatically engage and help keep you safe if you ever experience too much kickback or lose control of your chainsaw.

Another safety feature you should consider is the installation of low-kickback chains on your saw. This can also do a lot to minimize potential kickback.

Regardless, we highly recommend you always wear proper protective gear, including chainsaw chaps, sturdy boots, eye and ear protection, and a pair of suitable fitting work gloves.

The Verdict: Our Top Picks

Among all these models, we have picked the best small chainsaw you can buy according to your budget.

BLACK + DECKER LCS1020: Best Overall Pick

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Key Takeaways

The Black + Decker LCS1020 is the best small chainsaw because of its power, despite being battery-powered.

An automatic tool-less chain tensioning system, automatic oiler, minimal kickback, and vacuum-level noise make this small battery-powered chainsaw unbeatable in the small chainsaws category.

Makita XCU03PT1 18V X2: Best Value Pick

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Key Takeaways

The Makita CXU03PT1 is a small battery-powered chainsaw that comes with two batteries. This says a lot, considering how expensive a battery can be.

It features a tool-less tension adjustment system, brushless motor, and comes with a dual-port charger that can rapidly charge this battery-powered chainsaw.

Remington RM1645 Versa Saw: Best Budget Pick

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Key Takeaways

The Remington RM1645 is the best small chainsaw you can buy if you are looking for something lightweight.

It also comes with an automatic oiler and oil level viewer to keep your saw running. Moreover, it is built for comfort that allows you to use this chainsaw for hours on end.

Final Words

For the most part, anyone who needs a chainsaw for yard work will find a chainsaw that will fit their needs through the help of this guide. These are the best in their class and will leave you feeling delighted with your purchase.

Check my other chainsaw reviews

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