A chainsaw can be used in a variety of contexts. Whether you are a homeowner wanting to cut down some blocking trees, manage branches, sell firewood or if you are a professional tree surgeon who has a business of maintaining gardens and open green spaces, a chainsaw is likely to be an item that you will need to quickly and efficiently cut wood over different situation. But what is the best chainsaw for cutting firewood?
In this review and buying guide, we focus on particular aspects that we find important when looking to purchase a chainsaw for firewood. These include the fuel type, bar length, speed and power, weight, environmental-friendliness, and warranty. It is very important that you consider these aspects in combination with knowing exactly what you wish to use a chainsaw for. There is no point spending a significant amount of money on a chainsaw that you may only use once a year.
This article uses a variety of online sources and customer reviews to present nine in-depth product reviews of chainsaws currently available to purchase online. The reviews contain product description, pros/cons, key features, and a comparison table. The buying guide then provides you with all the essential information you need to know before purchasing the best chainsaw for your firewood needs. If you are new to the world of chainsaws, the process can be confusing. Before you commit to purchasing one, take your time and do as much research as possible—or just read this article.
Top 9 Chainsaws For Firewood Review 2021
Makita EA7301PRZE – Editor’s Choice
Bar length: 24’’
Speed: 13,500 rpm
Power: 5.4 hp
Weight: 14.7 lb
Warranty: 30-day refund, 1-year limited
More features: automatic half throttle lock, 3/8’’ pitch, 24.5 oz fuel tank capacity, 73 cc displacement, heated handle, slide-out baffle, vibration dampening system, lateral chain tensioning
The Makita 73cc Chain Saw has a fantastic power when considering the relatively low weight of the chainsaw. This chainsaw is one of the most powerful available to purchase. Delivering a power maximum of 5.4HP as well as an engine speed of 12,800 RPM, the Makita 73cc competes well with rivals as a viable choice for the best chainsaw for firewood.
It is not only power that makes the Makita 73cc such a great purchasing option, but it is also the usability. Many chainsaws cause a problem for handlers because of the excessive vibration and difficulty to start the motor. The Makita 73cc overcomes these issues by containing an automatic half-throttle lock which is very straightforward to operate.
In addition, the ignition comes with an optimized timing feature, allowing to work effectively across all ranges of speed. The reduced vibration of the chainsaw is enabled by the inclusion of an advanced vibration dampening system, which is ideal for those who often avoid chainsaws because of the vibration.
One of the best features of the Makita 73cc is the heated handle that provides users with extra comfort when handling firewood in extreme weather conditions. Given the time of year in which homes are most likely to use firewood, this feature is particularly welcome as it provides that added reassurance when chopping the firewood.
The compartment that stores the wood chips in the Makita 73cc is very straightforward to clean and is able to easily dispose of the chips. This efficient compartment comes into its own when rip cutting.
What we liked:
High power capacity
Great safety features
Lateral chain tesioning
What could be better:
Echo CS-600P Gas Chainsaw – Best Professional
Bar length: 20’’
Speed: 13,000 rpm
Power: 4.3 hp
Weight: 13.3 lb
Warranty: 1-year commercial, 5-year consumer
More features: digital ignition system, automatic clutch-driven oiler, 59.8 cc displacement, heavy-duty air filter, aluminum handle with rubber over-mould, two-piece flocked air filter
The Echo CS-600p offers strong and reliable chainsaw performance and is designed for professional tree surgeons or those who chop firewood on a regular basis. The digital ignition system is particularly advantageous, reducing any engine-starting problems commonly associated with chainsaws, while also adapting to different engine timings.
For any reliable performing chainsaw, having a strong filtration system is crucial. The Echo CS-600p delivers on this by having an air filter that is easily accessible and also heavy-duty. This ensures the chainsaw is able to perform on a regular basis, with the excessive amounts of wood chips never blocking or disabling the engine from operating.
Although the 59.8cc engine may not be the strongest compared to rival chainsaws, this power is a professional grade and will perform well over a long period and in more challenging situations. Performance is also very efficient in terms of oil usage. This is due to an oiler that is clutch-driven and is able to minimize consumption of oil when operating the chainsaw.
The cutting ability of the Echo CS-600p is something that has not been overlooked by the manufacturers. Including a cutting bar which measures at 20″ and chain combination primed for high-quality performance and the strong cutting ability for even the toughest firewood.
For professionals and consumers, Echo provides decent warranty agreements ensuring strong purchasing protection. For professionals, this agreement lasts for one year, whereas lasts five years for consumers. Warranty is definitely a strong consideration when purchasing a chainsaw given the heavy-duty nature of the product and firewood cutting process.
More features: 64 cc displacement, slide-out baffle, automatic half throttle lock, two-point chain brake, metal spike bar, low vibration, lateral chain tensioning, decompression valve
The Makita 20” 64cc Chain Saw follow its sibling chainsaws in the Makita range by providing highly powerful performance with low vibration. The 64cc engine is very powerful compared to many other chainsaws on the market. This engine has a horsepower of 4.7 and a strong engine speed of 13,500 RPM, ensuring the chainsaw will be able to cope with some of the more challenging firewood cutting conditions.
Ignition is very straightforward thanks to the half-throttle lock and ignition that is completely electronic. Having electronic ignition is particularly helpful as it can adapt to all the different speed ranges without any manual operation. In situations where you may need to adapt the power range due to the type of firewood being cut, the Makita 20″ 64cc is able to cope well such changes to provide a smooth transition.
The Makita 20” 64cc contains similar features to the 73cc model, simply on a slightly reduced power capability. Similar features include a chain compartment that stores the wood chips that is very easy to remove and clean. To reduce the vibration created by the chainsaw power, the premium dampening system, a key feature of the Makita range, ensures users are not overwhelmed by chainsaw vibration. This is also crucial to good performance, as often those chainsaws with excessive vibration become difficult to control.
The power and versatility of the Makita 20″ 64cc is best suited to contexts of tree felling and stripping, in addition, cutting to firewood. Purchasing the product equips consumers with a good range of potential uses, making it a good value purchase.
What we liked:
Vibration dampening system
Easy to clean wood chip compartment
Lateral chain tensioning
What could be better:
Reduced power compared to others in the Makita range
Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas-Powered Chain Saw – Best Safety Features
Bar length: 20’’
Speed: 9,000 rpm
Power: 3.5 hp
Weight: 12.5 lb
Warranty: 2-year limited
More features: centrifugal air cleaning, tool less chain tensioning system, low vibration, X-Torq® system, adjustable oil pump, 114 dB noise level
The Husqvarna 455 is heavy-duty chainsaw that is perfectly suited to homeowners wanting a solidly powered chainsaw to cut firewood. Featuring a 55.5cc engine that delivers 3.5 horsepower and 9,000 RPM, the 455 sites in the medium to high range of powers available for chainsaws available to purchase.
One of the best features of the 455 model is the safety considerations built into the product design. This includes an inertia chain brake that is activated when the chainsaw is in operation. This provides an extra layer of control to the chainsaw which can ease any safety fears particularly for those who are using a chainsaw for the first time and may be slightly unsure about how they work.
A great feature of the 455 item is the tensioning system that is mounted on the side of the chainsaw. This ensures that consumers can make rapid chain adjustments while the chainsaw is in operation. The advantage of this is greater flexibility. Cheaper chainsaws are more rigid in the chain mechanism, therefore investing in the 455 chainsaw benefits when cutting different types of wood.
The 455 model is also pretty easy to maintain through incorporating an air filter that is quick-release which ensures that cleaning and replacing the air filter is a very easy and straightforward process. Maintenance is also ensured through the automatic chain oiler which efficiently lubricates the chain and bar of the chainsaw to provide maximum performance. Consumers do need to purchase their own oil as it is not included in the initial purchasing package.
More features: brushless motor, 3/8” chain pitch, 6.7 oz oil tank capacity, 56 chain teeth, overload protection system, 18V lithium-ion battery, 45 min full charge
The Milwaukee 2727-21HD delivers high-quality performance from a battery-powered engine. This chainsaw is well-designed for cutting firewood as it has sufficient power to cut through a variety of hardwoods, giving consumers a great degree of choice and certainty of the performance of the chainsaw.
There are two main advantages for the 2727-21HD being battery powered from a high output 12.0 red lithium battery. Firstly, the battery power speeds up the cutting ability of the chainsaw compared to gas-powered, which enables you to be more efficient with your time. When fully charged, the 2727-21HD is able to complete 150 cuts of firewood. The run time of this battery is unmatched by any rival battery-powered product currently on the market.
Also, the battery-powered chainsaw is more environmentally-friendly giving you extra peace of mind. There is also a cost consideration here, as the batteries last considerably longer than a container of fuel. Investing in a battery-powered chainsaw has a positive cost-benefit over time.
Adding to the speed of the 2727-21HD is the M18 FUEL™ technology that ensures the engine throttle meets the required pressure after 1 second. This allows users to achieve maximum productivity and control of the chainsaw in a very quick time. Control is also achieved through the POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor which deals with significant loads far more effectively than gas engines. With the REDLINK PLUS™, the chainsaw is protected from excessive heating and loading. These features add to the long-term durability of the 2727-21HD.
The DEWALT 40V MAX is a brushless chainsaw that is able to rival, and even exceed, the performance of a gas chainsaw. The brushless motor is also fitted with a bar measuring 16″ which is able to easily pierce through the rugged demands of firewood. The power is provided through a 40v lithium ion battery.
Often many think that battery powered chainsaws are likely to lack the power of gas-powered chainsaws. With the DEWALT 40V MAX, this theory is certainly questionable. With assistance provided by auto-oiling features such as LubriLink™ and LubriWell®, the 40V MAX is constantly well maintained and is able to rival the power of gas-powered chainsaws. These lubrication features are very important in ensuring the smoothness of the firewood cut. This is important if you are buying for business purposes, where many who sell firewood prioritize the smooth and slick appearance of the wood.
While power is important, think of all the positives for the environment. By purchasing a battery-powered chainsaw such as 40V MAX, you will be reducing the demand for gas-based chainsaws which pollute the environment.
The 40V MAX also comes fitted with a tool-free tensioning system that ensures the chain and bar configuration can be easily manipulated without requiring any other tools. This is perfect for beginners who may not be very DIY savvy, having this easy adjustment system is a huge bonus. The 40V certainly delivers on power and smoothness of cut and is perfect for use on firewood.
What we liked:
What could be better:
Oregon CS300-R7 – Best for Soft Firewood
Bar length: 16’’
Speed: 2,796 rpm
Weight: 12 lb
Warranty: 3-year on tools, 2-year on battery, 2-year commercial on tool and battery
More features: 40V lithium-ion battery, 90 min to full charging, tool-less chain tensioning, self-sharpening chain, automatic oil lubrication
The Oregon CS300-R7 is one of a growing number of battery-powered chainsaws currently available to purchase online. Battery powered chainsaws have environmental advantages as well as being able to match the power and speed of more common gas powered chainsaws.
Powered by a 40v Max Lithium-Ion battery, the CS300-R7 is able to generate a significant amount of power. In fact, compared to its predecessor, the CS300-R7 generates roughly 40% additional power, which certainly strengthens the performance of the chainsaw. The best aspect of the lithium-ion battery is its running time and storage capacity. The battery will be able to outrun any rival battery used for chainsaws and can actually store the power when charged for many months. This is great if you use a chainsaw intermittently, as you will not have to charge it every time before use.
Following the trend of the majority of modern chainsaws, the CS300-R7 also provides instant ignition and setup. Gone are the days of requiring pull chords or a warm-up period. The CS300-R7 removes all of that to give you an instant start and no toxic emissions.
One of the best features of the CS300-R7 is the patented PowerSharp® system which effectively allows the chainsaw to be self-sharpening. All you have to do is pull the system lever and the chainsaw then sharpens at the click of your fingers. Purchasing the CS300-R7 is a guarantee that your chainsaw performance will never be hampered by a blunt chain.
More features: brushless motor, 80V lithium-ion battery, 30 min full charge, auto chain oiling, charger included
The Greenworks PRO GCS80420 is a battery-powered chainsaw that is designed for professional use due to its superior bar length of 18″ as well as the super strong 80V lithium-ion battery. The power of this battery-powered chainsaw rivals that of a 45cc gas engine, which when considering the environmental advantages, is something to be welcomed with the chainsaw sector.
Although some may disregard battery powered chainsaws for firewood, many of the modern products go beyond advances in gas-powered chainsaws. While products such as the PRO GCS80420 cannot compete with the speed of a gas chainsaw, it can rival the power and smoothness of cut which is ultimately more important.
It takes approximately 30 minutes to fully charge the PRO GCS80420 which is in itself very quick and convenient for professionals who may require to use the chainsaw to its maximum capacity multiple times in the course of one day. When fully used in the morning, the PRO GCS80420 can be fully charged during the lunch break.
The automatic oiler is essential with any modern quality chainsaw. The PRO GCS80420 is no different by containing an automatic oiler that guarantees long-term durability. This in addition to an electronic brake for the chain, ensures the PRO GCS80420 is safety assured and is a good value for money by guaranteeing a life-long service.
Too often people have put off chainsaws because of the noise pollution created by the motor. The PRO GCS80420 is one of a few products that prioritise sound reduction into the product design, saving ears from excessive sounds.
What we liked:
High battery power
Automatic chain lubrication
What could be better:
BLACK+DECKER 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw – Budget Pick
Type: battery powered
Bar length: 12 inch
Speed: not specified
Power: 40 V
Weight: 10.4 pounds
Warranty: 2-year limited
More features: 40 V, side-access chain tensioning system, 5-point anti-vibration system, case included, battery powered
The Black+Decker is a long-length, battery powered chainsaw that is perfect for cutting through firewood in a smooth manner. Powered by a 46cc engine with two cycles, the Black+Decker is able to generate steady medium-range power at an affordable price. This chainsaw is perfect for someone who may not need a chainsaw on a regular basis but requires a smaller investment in a chainsaw for intermittent use.
Like the majority of modern chainsaws, the Black+Decker features a vibration dampening system with five separate points. Having such an anti-vibration system on an affordable chainsaw is a real bonus, as often these tend to be features of premium range chainsaws. Reductions in vibration ensure that that you can have greater control over the chainsaw which in turn improves your precision. Precision is important for the professional craftsman.
The Black+Decker also follows the premium products in having an easy starting system. For too long, people have been deterred from using chainsaws due to the difficulties of getting them started. The Black+Decker contains quick start technology, which ensures the pull start is much easier than before thanks a spring mechanism that assists the ignition process.
The Black+Decker keeps the chain and bar well lubricated to ensure a smooth cut for the firewood. This also provides reduced kickback and the keeps the chain in a top-quality condition so it has good long-term durability. Another bonus of the Black+Decker is that the chain comes with a carry case so it can be easily transported.
Before purchasing a chainsaw, there are a few things to consider and understand well including its benefits, safety and features, as discussed before.
Benefits of Owning a Chainsaw for Firewood
It is costly and tedious to buy firewood throughout the year, especially during summer and winter. Having a chainsaw reduces costs.
It is better to own a chainsaw to avoid being snowed down during winter as well as the distance to a firewood store.
Owning a chainsaw for business purposes of slicing and selling trees can bring good profits throughout the year.
A chainsaw is important especially during Christmas season when you want to cut the perfect tree for decoration and it is cold and snowing outside.
Safety Tips for Cutting Firewood
Here are a few tips for you to cut firewood safely and avoid injuries with a chainsaw:
If you are carrying a running chainsaw, make sure that you are wearing chaps or pants for chainsaws to avoid a cut on your thigh.
Use the front handle to carry a chainsaw for less than 10 feet to avoid cutting your thigh in case you accidentally trip. If you are moving more than 10 feet, always turn off the engine.
The concentration needed to work on the chainsaw and the noise it produces can make the operator be unaware of who might be approaching them, therefore, it is important not to sneak on them blindly.
Always have someone who can do first aid and give medical assistance with you while cutting the trees, to be of help in case of an accident.
Have your cell phone on in case you need to call someone for emergencies.
Always cut below your shoulder height and not above.
Cut the trees on the uphill side so that they fall on the other side and not on you.
If you are not cutting trees, always make use of the chain brake, which should always be on or locked position.
When starting any cuts, use a full throttle before you can touch the wood.
Never operate a chainsaw when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or any drugs.
When you are moving logs, seek help or use a lever to avoid injuring your back.
Do not let the cutting teeth of your chainsaw touch the ground, it can easily get dull.
Always keep your chainsaw teeth sharp, as a dull one is hard and unsafe, it can also overwork you and the saw.
Chainsaws come with different prices, ranging from more affordable to more premium products depending on your budget and how often you want to use it. A rough indication of chainsaw’s prices varies from $160 to $800.
Features of a chainsaw to consider when choosing the perfect one
The following features will help you choose the perfect chainsaw for cutting your firewood:
Choosing the perfect size for a chainsaw will depend on a number of factors including the size of logs and trees that you want to cut as well as the biggest size you can handle by yourself.
Different sizes affect the different parts of the chainsaw. For example, the handle size will decide the part of the body that the weight of the chainsaw will rest. To have full control of the chainsaw, a narrower handle is preferred as it puts the weight on the palm, while a wider handle puts the weight on the wrists. The bar size is also important to consider. It should at least 2 inches longer than the tree you are cutting, to be able to achieve the safest rhythms and the best cuts.
The heaviest or the lightest chainsaw is not necessarily the best one you can get. You need to ask yourself whether you or any other operator will be able to use the chainsaw on their own. This is because if the chainsaw is not properly held, it will lead to jagged cuts which can be dangerous to the operator and also it can damage the chainsaw.
Most lighter chainsaws are electric models, but also the oil-powered Husqvarna 455 is the lightest saw.
Even for those experienced with using them, chainsaws are the most dangerous and powerful tools you can use. However, it can be really easy, simple and efficient to use. In order to be comfortable using them and enjoy all its benefits, it is important to familiarize yourself with the various types of saws and how they work.
The power of the engine
This is the most important feature to consider before purchasing a chainsaw because the engine is the part of a chainsaw that does most of the work. Find an engine that is suitable for your needs as a stubborn log will need the right engine.
Logs which are 12 inches and below, need an engine which is between 30cc and 45 cc. To cut logs of up to 16 inches, you will require an engine of around 50cc. you will need a more powerful engine to cut bigger logs. Logs between 16 inches and 22 inches will need an engine which is at least 60cc while any log above 22 inches will require a 70cc engine.
The safety is the handle-like part which is round on the top of the saw. Its main purpose is to give extra grip while preventing your hand from touching the spinning blade. Most chainsaws have double safeties and some can also be used as a push-down brake for the chains.
Consider the Husqvarna 455 because it has two safeties and stop-function that slows the blade rhythm in case you drop the chainsaw.
The ability to use a chainsaw is mainly affected by your size, age and craft as well as your overall ability. The process of slicing down trees and then cutting them into logs can be time consuming. In the beginning, it may take longer to cut down firewood, but with time you learn how to use the tool well and the process will be much quicker. However, if it is taking too long, chances are you are using the wrong chainsaw for the trees or some parts of the tool is damaged.
Using a chainsaw means easy set-up, handling and general use for a longer period of time without any problems. If issues occur, that should a manufacturing defect or the chainsaw has just worn down.
Corded or not
A corded chainsaw is useful if you are cutting logs in your property on your weekends, but not in the woods as there is nowhere that you can plug it in. corded-electric chainsaws are lightweight, quiet, dependable and less expensive than the gas-powered chainsaws. In as much as the corded-chainsaws are smoother and do not make noise, their gas-powered counterparts produce more power.
If you an experienced chainsaw operator, you will know that applying oil takes time and is an art in its own, but if you are new, chances are you would not know where and when to put the oil.
Automatic oilers save you a lot of work and time as you just need to fill the reservoir before starting the chainsaw. It will detect when the saw needs oiling then it automatically oils it. You will spend less time worrying about the oil situation and more time cutting the trees.
Chain-tooth durability and quantify
Different types of chains fit different types of tool, there is no one specific chain for all machines. Always replace your chain with one recommended by the manufacturer.
The easier chains to remove, remount and clean are the ones with side-mounting, as seen in the Milwaukee 2727-21HD in order to increase the grip between the chain and the bar, it is important to find a tool which has less chain tensioning. A good option for this is the Oregon CS300-R7. It is also important to purchase a chainsaw sharpener in order to increase the lifespan of your chainsaw.
When purchasing a chainsaw, it is important to consider its reliability and the type of warranty it has. Most of the chainsaws reviewed above have their warranties ranging from one year up to four years. Whether you are using the chainsaw for commercial purposes or consumer purpose, make sure that you contact your manufacturer to know the type of warranty that they give.
Helpful Advice for Cutting Firewood with a Chainsaw
The following video will show you how to cut firewood with a chainsaw in a safer way:
Chains and guide bars can be changed as long as the parts are meant for the machine. Different designs are meant for different chainsaws, therefore, it is important to switch a chain and a guide designed by the manufacturer for your chainsaw. However, most chainsaws are designed to power specific chains and guides, hence, size doesn’t really matter as smaller saw motors may not be able to power a large bar. To obtain better use of your machine, ensure that you check its specific capabilities when you choose to change the blade.
Before starting to use a chainsaw, it is necessary to check the chain tension. After an hour or so of using the saw, recheck the tension and adjust if needed. New chains tend to stretch, therefore, you need to check after 20 minutes of usage. Loose chains cause serious injuries and damage to the driver’s bar, preventing it from fitting into the groove.
To adjust it, you first need to loosen the nuts holding the bar. Then, while tightening the adjusting screw, lift the bar until the chain is against it. You will know that the tension is right when you can easily drag the chains around the bar without lifting the chain drivers out of the bar grooves. Finally, retighten the nuts of the bar.
Buying and wearing safety gear is very important. Wear a shirt that is long-sleeved and steel-toed boots that is resistant to cuts to protect yourself from scratches that are inevitable. In order to protect your eye, head and ear, wear a helmet which has a comfortable package including ear protection and face screen. In order to save your thigh from a moving chain, wear special chaps. You will find this gear at most chainsaw dealers.
An axe will come in handy when your chainsaw breaks down. You can also use an axe to cut the logs into smaller pieces which are portable. Besides, using an axe is a great workout for your biceps. However, using an axe for a longer period of time will cause blisters that can be so painful.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with all the essential information you need to know to guide you in selecting the best chainsaw to suit your firewood.
Our verdict on the top three chainsaws currently available to purchase are:
Makita EA7301PRZ takes top prize for superior strength compared to all other chainsaw products. Although a premium range product, it guarantees strong and reliable performance.
Echo CS-600P comes second in our ranking because of its relevance to professionals. Backed up by strong warranty agreements, any professional will see this chainsaw as a good business investment.
Makita DCS6421RFG finishes third in the ranking due to its versatility in coping with a variety of wood types as well as the low vibration technology which improves overall control.
Take time researching before you settle on a specific chainsaw. As this will likely be a long-term investment, give yourself every chance of making a successful choice.