Sometimes, a full-sized chainsaw is just too big and powerful for the jobs that homeowners need to tackle. They can be rather intimidating machines to those who don’t have much experience with one, too, so naturally, a smaller one seems more manageable.
Those of you in search of the best small chainsaw will appreciate the info we will share in our guide.
In addition to highlighting the top 10 products, we’ll also provide you with some tips that will make selecting one so much easier and share our reviews and experience with the top three chainsaws.
Who says bigger is always better?
Before we get started, we wanted to mention quickly what our idea of “small” is.
Based on our experience with chainsaws, a small chainsaw is one with a bar length of 14 inches or less. Anything longer than that and it feels too much like a regularly sized chainsaw.
We’ve listed the length in our table below to help make it easier for you to compare them.
Top 10 Small Chainsaw Table
Consider the Power Source
Most smaller chainsaws run on a battery or with a cord, but we did find a couple of options – the Husqvarna T435 Chainsaw, the Tanaka TCS3EDTP/14 Gas Powered Chainsaw, and the Poulan P3314 2-Cycle Chainsaw – that run on gas.
What’s the difference?
- Gas. These are usually the stinkiest and loudest chainsaws but the best option for cutting down serious timber.
They’re great for cutting firewood, too, but for smaller lawn care projects around the home, you’ll probably be better off with a battery-powered chainsaw.
- Battery. Many love the fact that a battery-operated chainsaw is so quite, and this is an important feature when you’re working in residential areas. There is no smoke that comes wafting up in your face, and it is still cord-free just like a gas-powered unit.
Keep in mind that you’re limited to the amount of time it will run since the battery doesn’t last forever, but if you’re out where a cord won’t reach, it is the next best alternative to gas.
- Corded Electric. For use around the home, you should have no problem using a corded electric chainsaw. Power outlets are usually always within reach of where you need to trim, and an extension cord can help you access areas that are farther away.
The power supply is constant so that you don’t have to worry about runtime like you do with a battery operated unit.
Top 3 Best Small Chainsaw Reviews
Type: Battery Powered
We love everything about this little chainsaw. It is comfortable to hold in the hands, you can see how much oil is in the tank through the clear window on the side, it is easy to start, and in spite of its small size, it performs surprisingly well for a battery operated unit.
This little workhorse can handle small trees (as long as the 12-inch bar can near the center of the trunk, it should be fine) and has a 1,650 FPM (feet per minute) cutting speed. It is one of the quietest chainsaws out there with a noise level of only 89 dB. That is the limit they put on child-friendly headphones, just to give you an idea. It is also lightweight – just 10.1 pounds.
While the battery isn’t going to last you as long on this chainsaw as it will with the next one, we still consider it to be the best small chainsaw on the list for most homeowners.
Keep in mind that this particular model doesn’t come with the batteries or charger, so if you want those, you’ll need to purchase the kit rather than just the chainsaw body.
Type: Battery Powered
Giving the Makita a run for its money is this model from Black + Decker.
The battery is much better on this one – 40 volts – and this one is a better deal overall since it costs the same as the previous model with the battery included. Not a bad deal!
They recommend this chainsaw for light pruning and cutting up fallen tree limbs, but we’ve even used it for a few smaller trees (firewood size), and it has worked great.
Inside, the unit is self-oiling, so you don’t have to worry about the bar and the chain getting too dry and the handle makes it easy and comfortable to cut in different positions/directions.
While it isn’t as quiet as the previous one, this is a little workhorse, and the included battery makes it a much better deal.
Type: Gas Powered
Tanaka’s gas-powered chainsaw is noticeably more expensive than the other two units, but the bar is longer, and it can handle much larger timber than they can.
The engine is designed to run cleanly and on less fuel without sacrificing power. It also has a sprocket nose bar that helps you maintain control during a cut, although we wouldn’t recommend it for harsh cutting conditions since a hard nose bar will offer you a lower risk of kickback. The half throttle choke with purge primer bulb also makes starting the chainsaw a breeze, even if you’re not very experience.
If you’re an arborist or have some wooded areas on your property that you would like to thin out, we highly recommend this model.