Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: May 15, 2021
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In choosing the right chainsaw for the job first you need to understand the brief differences between electric corded chainsaws, battery operated chainsaws, and gas-powered chainsaws. For small jobs with pruning, trimming, and small cutting electric chainsaws should easily get the job done, however, the heavier tree-cutting jobs often require stronger engines and thicker running blades which operate on a mixture of oil and gasoline. In the following review, we take a look at this last class of chainsaws, the gas operated kind and by far the best chainsaws for firewood that will later be used with a chainsaw mill.
While reviewing the top products in the current market we weighed certain features to narrow down our list till we officially had the best tools for any job. Further on we detail the specifics of many of these features and how they might affect the overall operation of each chainsaw, this list includes fuel types and how chainsaw motors will run on different sources, body weight of the machine, capable speed and power, as well as each chainsaws bar length. Throughout the individual reviews of each product you may see many of these features listed.
Another side of this review was the tireless research which went into writing it; not only did we approach the manufacturers of these products for design details and advice, we also talked to verified customers and professional landscapers and loggers. Users of these chainsaws provided many of the pros and cons you might see listed further on. For your convenience, the following article is organized with charts listing individual products’ details, along with a final buying guide which further describes the specifics of chainsaw use, care, and the functions of different features. Armed with this information it’s our hope you’ll have no trouble choosing the best chainsaw for firewood.
Easily the best chainsaw on our list and a community favorite for firewood, this machine is designed with a 4.3 horsepower engine on a pull cord system with a unique decompression valve for an almost instant start.
The bar of this chainsaw’s regular order size comes at a 20-inch bar length, though the manufacturers also build the unit in 16, 18, 24, and 27-inch lengths with replaceable bumper spikes for improved control while cutting. The professional-grade 59.8-cylinder engine is capable of 13,000 rpms for a swift smooth cut and outstanding performance without any snags or loosening chains.
For easy cleaning while on the job this chainsaw is equipped with a built-in heavy-duty air filter that cleans out wood dust and larger chips and helps retain the integrity of the machine between manual cleanings. While in rotation the chain is controlled with a clutch-driven oiler system which runs along an instant dual-post chain brake for a quick and controlled stop.
Not only is this machine large and strong enough for any job, but it’s innovative technology will also save you a quick buck on gasoline by reducing the rate of oil consumption by more than 30% that of a regular chainsaw.
What stands out?
2-stroke engine allows for aggressive performance that also reduces oil consumption
Replaceable bumper spikes
Dual-post chain brake allows for an instant and safer stop
Another effortless starter, this chainsaw comes fully equipped with 5.7hp engine that can run the chain at 12,800 rpms, and all it takes to start is a single pull with this models’ upgraded compression relief valve and spring-cord assistance. As far as hard vibrations go, the 78.5-cylinder engine is designed with a relief factor that dampens vibrations and makes for effortless sawing.
One great factor is this chainsaws powerful and high torque which makes quick work out of hard job and is great for both felling and stripping trees. Additionally, this chainsaw does not require frequent maintenance to keep in shape, instead it’s equipped with a three-stage filtration system which not only deals with damaging wood dust and larger wood chips but also cleans away oil and moisture damage while keeping the engine cool and dry.
Safeties include an automatic half throttle lock, dual chain brake, and a jam-free exhaust design. But being made by professional for professional this chainsaw is equipped to withstand hard weather conditions providing its user worriless working experience. Getting firewood at winter wouldn’t be difficult with a well-designed slide-out baffle keeping the professional chainsaw all-year ready for the best performance.
Why are we impressed?
Multiple safeties ensure a protected experience
Compression relief and spring-cord release make for the easiest starting engine
Equipped for cool weather conditions
Optimum chip flow-through with unique exhaust design
2-year limited warranty.
What negatives must you be aware of?
One of the heavier designs at 14.7lbs
Professional design is more expensive than many other chainsaws on the market
If you’re looking for a purchase that works great in the woods but saves you money on gasoline and oil, this chainsaw has one of the lowest rates of fuel consumption along with reduced exhaust emissions. For maximum durability and less vibration while sawing it’s forged into three integrated pieces that include the 60.3-cylinder engine, 24-inch cutting bar, and surrounding air cleaning system with pull-starter and chain brake.
Unique Smart Start technology is used in the design so the machine starts with minimal effort and immediately begins filtering air and purging oxygen from the carburetor. The engine has an overall horsepower of 3.62 and can cut at 9000 rpms. Along the cutting bar the chain is side mounted for easy cleaning, removal and replacement, as well as reduced tension on the blade while cutting.
In the event of kickback, this saw has a built-in stop function which activates the chain brake against any sudden inertia and greatly reduces the risk of any injury.
Why did it make our list?
Lowest rate of fuel consumption for any chainsaw
Fewer exhaust emissions
Transparent fuel indicator lets you know when you’re close to empty
Offering increased productivity this chainsaw features a design with a two-point durable chain brake built along a metal spike chain bar, not only does this addition increase inertia but also allows total control over every cut you make. Cuts themselves should be very smooth with the saw blade which is constantly lubricated by an integrated 16-inch reversible sprocket nose bar which not only retains oil but also keeps your instrument slick and easy to use all day long.
This compact chainsaw engineered which is engineered with smooth rounded surfaces for simple cleaning and easy operating, the 42-cylinder engine has a running power of 3hp with overall chain rotation of 13,500 rpms. The overlarge handle allows for easier control while cutting and its size reduces vibration.
Additional design choices include a conveniently adjustable chain with an easy-clean chain compartment, additionally the high-powered filter self-cleans and keeps your engine cool, dry, and dust-free.
Why did it make our list?
Automatic oiler keeps your chain and bar well lubricated throughout the day
Touch and stop single lever control shuts engine off instantly
Large metal front spike increases productivity and rpms
Easily one of the lightest designed chainsaws
What is not ideal about it?
Overlarge handle takes some learning and means more of the instruments weight is on your wrist rather than your hand
Air filter requires semi-consistent cleaning; best to use an air compressor to remove dust
This unique chainsaw couple’s battery convenience with sheer-cutting gas power with a powerful brushless motor that uses battery equipment to make your sawing last longer and your gasoline run out slower with fewer exhaust emissions.
For optimal convenience this purchase also features built-in LubriLink and LubriWell technologies which provide continues lubrication and use only a quarter of the oil cap throughout two hours. Mechanics include a tool-free tensioning and bar-tightening knob that will deliver the proper clamping force every time.
Electronics come with one lithium ion battery, one standard Dewalt charger, and variable speed trigger which helps control the force of each cut. At full power the engine runs off 300 watts and hits 7.5hp, chain speeds vary based on the speed trigger and your preference.
Safety measures include a low-noise design to protect your hearing and a chain break which will kick in against any sudden inertia.
What are its best features?
Automatic chain break kicks in and protects you in case of sudden jumps or jarring impacts
Unique technologies keep instrument lubricated without consuming lots of oil
Great 3-year limited warranty
What could be improved?
Fairly heavy model, however the narrow handle gives great leverage over the tool
Hybrid chainsaw requires charging; infrequent but can still be a hassle
Does not have the greatest air-filtration system and requires frequent manual cleaning
One of our only fully electric models, this chainsaw produces zero emission does not require those constant extra purchases of gas and oil, negates the confusion when adding mixtures to two or more strokes, and has no spark plug to foul. Start up is as simple as turning off the safety and pressing a button to go, no need to prime the engine and no hassle.
Draw backs are a reduced horsepower, however for a battery-operated tool it’s cuts are quite speedy at 6800 rpms. A sperate perk, especially where electronic saws are considered, is the water-resistant design which protects all electrical components, the engine, and keeps the blade and running chain rust-free. A double guard bar ensures your hands are protected at all times and a chain kickback brake offers total control at all times.
An interior air filer works at all times to keep debris – such as dust, larger wood chips, and moisture – from damaging the inner mechanisms of your saw. Unlike other electric saws which are only useful for trimming and small cuts, this saw can keep up with the gas-powered monsters and use added bucking spikes to create a secure bite which gets the job done.
Why did it make our list?
Fully electric design, does not require gasoline.
Weather resistant and water-proofed design.
Purchase comes with lithium ion battery and corded charger.
5-year limited warranty.
What is not ideal about it?
Not nearly as fast as gasoline engines
A semi-heavy tool, especially for an electric chainsaw with a smaller engine
Does not self-lubricate and requires more manual maintenance to keep in a consistently good shape
In this design the manufacturers have brilliantly lowered emission levels, total fuel consumption, and increased the chainsaws high torque over a wider rpm. This engine is powered at 2.8 horsepower for 9000 rpm’s and a clean cutting driving force. It’s unique Turbo intake air cleaning separates and removes a total of 97% of the sawdust from cutting before it reaches your air filter.
Steel springs integrated against the 18-inch bar help to dampen vibration and allow for prolonged use; additionally, the chainsaw handles are insulated from the engine and thereby totally remove cutting vibration to your hands with incredible ergonomic support. For convenient and fast chain adjustments this model has a tool-free side-mounted chain tensioner, it also has quick-release cylinder covers which provide immediate access to the air filter and spark plug mechanisms.
Other features include a switch with preferred speed settings, an integrated hand guard, visible fuel level window, and spin start which makes it 40% easier to get the engine running.
What are our favorite features?
Clean power engine reduces exhaust emissions up to 75%
Air filtration system removes 97% of the sawdust before it even reaches the filter
2-year limited warranty
What could be better?
Low running speed at 9000 rpms
Double guard bar does not also operate as an automatic brake
One of the more ideal chainsaws for general property management and personal firewood at the home, this tool is easy to use and simplifies every job (though it is the heaviest chainsaw on our list at 15.5lbs). Firstly, it has a spring assisted starter system which reduces pull force by 30% and eliminates wear on the starting mechanism.
Next, this 50-cylinder engine uses OxyPower technology for extra power with 70% less emissions and 20% lower fuel consumption, it has multiple speed settings and offers you total control over what cuts you make and how quickly you saw through each log and tree. For artists, the control this saw offers would be most ideal for ice sculptures and other similar arts.
Maintenance on the chains, along the blade, and in the air filter, is simply done with a combination tool that’s integrated into the rear handle and pops free for all hands-on fixing. Reducing the risk of damage to the filter, purge bulb, and spark plug, all of these components are waterproofed, insulated, and vibration resistant.
Additional user friendliness comes from a combined choke and stop control for faster starting and greater reliability while cutting; double post chain brakes also increase safety and protect you and your family at all times.
Why is it special?
OxyPower technology reduces emissions and fuel consumption
Offers safe and tool-less chain tensioning dial
2-year limited warranty
What are the flaws?
This is the heaviest chainsaw reviewed in our buying guide: 15.5lbs
One of the weaker air filter systems, may require semi-frequent manual cleaning
Things to Consider
The remainder or this buying guide is given to provide you the added information you might need before making a final purchase. Features are further explained below and we’ve also added our advice on proper wood-cutting technique and choosing your ideal chainsaw. Frequently asked questions are answered at the end; a list of our top nominations is also provided.
All-year profit – why to invest in a firewood cutting chainsaw
Not only can it become tedious buying firewood throughout the winter and even summer months, but it can also become quite costly. For some, purchasing wood at a store or gas station just isn’t an option, and this just might be because of distance from a nearby store or even just frequently being snowed in on your property. In the long run then, especially for those who making their living by felling and slicing trees, purchasing the perfect chainsaw can make for all-year profit which easily outweighs the initial cost of the chainsaw. Especially during the Christmas season where snow starts falling, temperatures drop, and trees must be cut and decorated, the right saw is a necessity.
How to cut wood properly?
There actually is a proper way to use and chainsaw for cutting firewood, and not only does this method create the best results – logs which burn longer, look better and sell better – it also creates the safest environment for cutting wood. To begin, you’ll need to determine the diameter of the tree you’re cutting – over time this is something which will become easier to eyeball.
Wood sizes vary, not only depending on the species of the tree but also upon the age and amount of growth it’s had. A general rule of thumb will follow: the thicker your wood the higher the power requirement of your chainsaw; under-powered chainsaws will create really shallow cuts and take forever to finish a job.
Additionally, weaker powered chainsaws on dense wood can lead to chain-breakage and dangerous accidents. As a convenient scale to measure against, the best chainsaw for a 22-inch log is anything with a 50cc engine and higher.
If you’re having a hard time measuring your wood size against your chainsaw, keep in mind that the chainsaw bar should generally be 2 inches longer than the tree you are cutting. An extended chainsaw bar with prevent kickback and increase overall productivity. Another suggestion is to invest in two chainsaws; many experts do this because they quickly realize they want a smaller tool for limbing and a larger tool for cutting trees. Why do they do this? Well, a heavier chainsaw can damage your back and make your muscles ache when you’re only using it on limbing branches one at a time.
Finally, you may actually want to cut a wedge into the tree with a blunt instrument – like an ax – before making any cuts. A wedge is a deep angled cut which ensures your tree falls a certain direction and for safety reasons many professional lumberjacks prefer to make that first cut with a felling ax rather than their chainsaw.
What type of chainsaw should you choose?
Corded chainsaws are really just for the garage and general maintenance around a small yard, otherwise the cord dragging along behind you can quickly become annoying and unrealistic – after all, are you just going to keep adding more extension cords the further out into the forest you go? Portability requirements at least call for a battery-operated chainsaw, although the best wood-cutting chainsaws are those which are gas operated. A unique choice, however, might be a hybrid design somewhere in between such as the DEWALT DCCS690X1.
Put simply, however, corded chainsaws are great for pre-cut wood which is already in your house, battery operated chainsaws are best for trimming and cleaning up a medium yard or property, and gas-powered chainsaws have the best power output of them all and are quite ideal for going deep into the forest and gathering firewood.
Safety tips for firewood cutters
Simple precautions can keep you, your workers, and your loved ones from getting injured while cutting wood. Most injuries can be avoided by wearing proper clothing and proper protection; hard hats, eye protection (goggles, sunglasses), ear plugs, safety boots, and leather gloves can greatly reduce your chances of being hurt. Other items of concern are loose clothing – because it can snag on branches and bushes and also in the chainsaw itself – and shoes with slippery soles.
Beyond what you can wear to protect yourself from injury, it’s also wise to always have a first-aid kit on hand and even a fire hydrant in case of gasoline ignition. Keeping your saw and chain brake well maintained is also a great way to ensure your safety, yet many saws come with the tools-free tensioning system. Having someone with the proper training at handling a saw, as well as first aid training, is always a plus and will come in handy. Rule of thumb: be prepared. You can avoid most accidents, but sometimes there are complications and dangers you can’t predict.
Features to consider while buying the best chainsaw for firewood
You have seen many of the below features listed in the detailed reviews of our products. In this section, we take a hard look at different features and how they work to improve the usability of your chainsaw. Ideal examples are also included and given to help you make the best purchase for your needs.
Size is a very important factor and the best-sized chainsaw depends both on the size of the trees and logs you’re cutting, as well as the largest size you’re capable of handling on your own. Weight is part of this decision and also listed below. Different size choices are involved in all aspects of the chainsaw, for instance, the size of the handle will alter where the weight of the chainsaw rests on your body. For optimal control you want a narrower handle because this will place weight in the palm of your hand; wider handles place all the weight on your wrist. Another size consideration is the size of your bar – for the best cuts and safest rhythm, the bar should at least extend 2-inches longer than the tree you’re cutting.
The lightest chainsaw isn’t necessarily the best chainsaw, however, neither is the heaviest. First, you want to pick a chainsaw which meets all other requirements, then finally ask yourself if you (and others using the tool) will be able to handle the weight on their own. Adjust accordingly, and consider that those who can’t properly hold a chainsaw will create wobbly jagged cuts which will not only endanger the user but also damage the tool. Typically the lightest chainsaws are fully electric models, however, our lightest saw is the oil-powered Jonsered CS2245.
Put very simply, a decent engine is crucial and will do the most work. Example: a 35cc engine isn’t going to be able to cut through a 22-inch thick wood, or at least it will take a long time to do so and do extensive damage to the chain and other aspects of the tool. Even a 50cc engine will take a while to saw through a 22-inch thick log, though it can do so with some patience and a few double cuts. Pick the right engine for the job, a log that thick around really requires a gas-powered chainsaw with a 60-70cc engine. The Makita EA7900PRZ1 is easily the best professional chainsaw for thick logs and heavy firewood. Adjust accordingly for your cut size.
Horsepower is very similar to engine capability and can generally be explained by the rhythms per minute of the chain along the chainsaw bar. Typically, the higher those rhythms are the deeper and easier your cuts will be – though much of this depends on the person doing the sawing.
The size of your bar is very important and should generally be extended two inches beyond the length of the log or tree diameter you’re intending to cut. Middle ground bar length is around 16 to 18 inches and saws of this length can typically handle most woods and don’t come that expensive. However, the thicker the wood you saw the higher the purchase price will go. The Echo CS-600P is a beast with a 20-inch bar size, it’s a chainsaw capable of handling anything you throw at it, however, it is pricier.
Is it easy to use?
Ease of use is greatly a matter of opinion and may, in fact, have more to do with your age, size, craft, and overall ability. Cutting firewood can be time-consuming and it’s often hard to gauge just how long the process of felling one tree then slicing logs should take. As you’re first learning the process will take much longer, especially if you’re constantly fiddling with the tool and figuring out your cuts, however as you learn this process should quicken greatly.
If it does not! Odds are you’re using the wrong tool for the job or that some aspect of your chainsaw is damaged and needs replacing. Ease of use should mean a chainsaw is simple to set up, handle, and generally easy to use for an extended period of time. Additionally, if you’re using a chainsaw properly the tool shouldn’t bring up any major safety concerns while in use, if it does and is handling strangely you can pretty much guarantee there is something flimsy about the design or that your chainsaw has worn down/been affected by a manufacturing defect.
The safety is that rounded handle-like segment on the top of your chainsaw which gives you extra grip while also protecting your free hand from coming in contact with the spinning blade. Many chainsaws now have double safeties and these are preferred, some double safeties even have a dual purpose of being a push-down brake for the chain. Consider the HUSQVARNA 460 Rancher which has two safeties and a great built in stop-function which slows the rhythm of the blade in case of any inertia (dropping the chainsaw, etcetera).
There are different chains and ways to mount them on your tool so remember to shop for replacements according to the manufacturer’s specifications; there is no ‘one chain fits all’ solution. The easiest chains to take off, clean, remount, etcetera, are those which are side mounted, you can see this with the HUSQVARNA 460 Rancher. Another great chain function to have is a tool-less chain tensioning dial to increase the grip of the chain around the bar; the Poulan Pro 967061501 has this option. Also you might want to purchase a chainsaw sharpener to prolong your device’s life.
For the safety of your purchase against damage during handling and possible manufacturing errors, consider a warranty at least two years in length. You want enough time to review your chainsaw and test it in different environments and on different log sizes and types of wood. Proper care should keep your chainsaw in prime condition, however faulty chainsaws will quickly degrade in value and reveal their flaws and defects, these low-rate chainsaws can also prove dangerous to use.
Learn from a professional, not just by watching videos on youtube, and then with the proper safeties in place you can easily saw firewood on your own. With little learning you should consider inviting a knowing friend or professional over for cutting advice, and depending on your age there may be cases in which you have someone else cut the wood for you.
Chainsaws are much quicker and create the most refined cuts and equal-sized logs, so in many ways’ chainsaws are more effective. With the proper chainsaw and correct usage sawing logs is also quicker, however for felling trees there are axes which are very quick and which can also be used simply for the ‘wedge cut’ that will ensure a tree falls a certain direction. Many professional wood cutters prefer to use both instruments, the first to fell the tree or at least make the wedge cut, and the second to finish the job and saw the logs in manageable sizes.
Mainly for safety reasons you should invest in leather gloves, safety goggles, steel toed boots, ear plugs, and maybe even a safety helmet. Other great investments are wheelbarrows for hauling the logs back onto your property, and some professionals even use a hook instrument to sling sawn logs into a truck with very little effort. Most extra purchase depend on the environment you’re sawing in and the task at hand; professional outfits usually let you know what extra tools of the trade you’ll need.
Finally, we love to leave our readers with the three top products on our list, first because these chainsaws are well worth the extra praise, but also because when caught between several different choices narrowing down the list can make the buying process easier on the customer. Based on verified customer reviews and our own research, the following three products are easily the best chainsaws for firewood.
Echo CS-600P. This chainsaw can handle anything from 18-inch diameter logs and lower, it’s the ideal choice when you’re sawing all manner of trees and types of firewood. Additionally, this instrument uses technologies which don’t guzzle gas and ultimately save you money.
Makita EA7900PRZ1. The professional choice for felling trees and cutting firewood, it’s available bar lengths go up as high as 32-inches and so it’s the ideal choice for those massive 22-inch diameter logs which most other chainsaws can’t handle.
Poulan Pro 967061501. Our lists budget pick, not only will this chainsaw quickly earn back its initial investment, it’s easily the most user-friendly chainsaw on our list. Handling it is quick to learn, starting it is simple, and sawing logs will never be easier.