As a homeowner or landscaping enthusiast, you rely on a variety of power tools to get the job done. Among the most important? Your trusty chainsaw.
While this tool is nearly universal among homeowners and DIYers alike, many are surprised to discover just how difficult it can be to find the right model. New options such as battery power or electric solutions provide exciting opportunities, but they also make the selection process more complicated.
Brand awareness can streamline an otherwise difficult chainsaw shopping experience. In this guide, we’ve outlined key qualities worth looking for in today’s top chainsaw manufacturers, as well as a simple list of brands worth considering. You won’t find the chainsaw brands ranked, but you will find detailed explanations of products for your consideration.
Top Well Known Brands of Chainsaws in 2022
Now that you have a basic idea as to what you should look for in a modern chainsaw, it’s time to narrow your search. As we’ve touched on, brand recognition will play heavily into your selection.
While quality can vary considerably between models from the same brand, certain patterns tend to hold strong. For example: DeWalt tools are known for being exceptionally durable, while Husqvarna is a go-to brand for professionals.
The better you understand what, exactly, sets each brand apart, the less likely you are to make a purchase that you ultimately regret.
|Brands||Black + Decker||Husqvarna||STIHL||DeWalt||Bosch|
|Gas/Electric/Battery||Electric and Battery Only||All||All||Electric and Battery Only||Electric Only|
|Made in USA||No||No||Yes||Yes (with global materials)||No|
|Number of Models Available||5||41||103||9||1|
|Available At Major Retailers||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
Perhaps you’re wondering: what are the best chainsaw brands? To help you make the most of this important purchase, we’ve provided a solid introduction to five of the most notorious companies you’ll encounter.
About the Brand
Established in Baltimore in 1910 and still headquartered nearby in Towson, Maryland, Black + Decker initially made its mark by producing the very first power tool that was fully portable.
This was followed by a quickly expanding and very innovative lineup of tools, to the point that Black + Decker was a household name by the 1950s. Since then, the brand has become best known as an entry-level option for novice DIYers or new homeowners.
Black + Decker tools may not be the most powerful or the most durable, but that doesn’t mean they should be avoided. There’s something to be said for purposefully purchasing simpler, lower-power tools produced with beginners in mind. Black + Decker provides excellent options for casual users who crave innovative features in their power tools.
Recent rebranding efforts have sought to emphasize the reality that Black + Decker is not an elitist brand, but rather, an inclusive option. The brand’s vast lineup of accessible tools includes solutions for all types of users, regardless of their budget or comfort factor.
Why Customers Love Black + Decker
- Some of the most cost-effective tools on the market are available under the Black + Decker name.
- Often available on sale, these chainsaws are easy — and affordable — to purchase online.
- Beginners find Black + Decker chainsaws to be among the easiest to master — and even easier to maintain.
- Most products are covered by a two-year warranty, which compares favorably to warranties for similarly priced tools.
- Replacement parts are easy to find. While parts might not be covered by the company’s warranty, they are nearly always affordable for everyday consumers.
- Similar equipment from competing brands is frequently more powerful.
- Black + Decker models tend to be less durable than other tools are and may not hold up to heavy use.
- While Black + Decker’s product portfolio is extensive, there are few specialized items for serious hobbyists or professionals.
- The global production of chainsaw components (not to mention assembly primarily in China) may not appeal to some consumers.
- While the two-year warranty is decent given the low prices of Black + Decker products, warranty coverage is definitely shoddy as compared to many premium models.
About the Brand
The Swedish manufacturer Husqvarna may not exactly be a household name in most of America, but the company’s power tools are more popular than many US homeowners realize.
While the business has seen serious success in recent years with outdoor essentials such as chainsaws and trimmers, it actually began as a rifle manufacturer several hundred years ago.
Since then, Husqvarna has experimented with everything from sewing machines to kitchen equipment and even motorcycles. These days, however, Husqvarna receives favorable reviews for its chainsaws and lawn mowers, both of which consistently are praised by industry authorities.
Why Customers Love Husqvarna
Low-weight designs and high-level safety features lend confidence to all those who use Husqvarna chainsaws, both on job sites and at home.
- This brand provides a reasonable middle ground between price, power, and durability.
- Husqvarna produces several efficient chainsaws that keep energy consumption to a minimum.
- Excellent ergonomics improve user comfort, especially while completing time-consuming projects.
- These high-performance chainsaws can be counted on to operate smoothly and provide a clean cut of a tree, log, and more.
- A variety of high-end safety features are included to give users much-needed peace of mind.
- While the warranties for some parts and models can be decent, the company’s warranty information is often difficult to understand.
- Customer service complaints are common, with many users reporting long waits on the phone, plus general complications with navigating the warranty process.
- Husqvarna chainsaws tend to be among the most expensive. While the extra price may be worthwhile for premium models, casual users will be in for a bit of sticker shock.
The battery-powered MSA collection represents just one set of options from the trusted manufacturer STIHL.
About the Brand
Founded nearly a century ago by talented German engineer Andreas STIHL, The STIHLGroup has achieved a great deal in the past few decades. Since the ’70s, this has been one of the most trusted chainsaw manufacturers.
In addition to developing high-quality chainsaws that a variety of users can count on, STIHL aims to produce and distribute these in the most ecological and economic manner possible.
At first glance, STIHL’s approach to naming can be difficult to understand. The specific type of chainsaw will fall into one of three main categories:
- MS (Motorsäge): Referencing the German term for chainsaw, this label highlights STIHL’s standard gas-powered models. These trademark tools are incredibly reliable. Capable of advanced cutting, they are popular among high-level DIYers and even professionals.
- MSE: The “E” in this STIHL acronym references the electric power that underscores these chainsaws. They make it easy to limit fuel consumption and maintenance requirements without providing any significant compromises in terms of power.
- MSA: Proving that battery-powered chainsaws can provide consistently clean cuts, STIHL’s MSA options perform impressively even when compared to the brand’s aforementioned gas-powered models. Attention to detail is clearly evident in these well-balanced chainsaws, which cut efficiently and are also a breeze to operate.
Why Customers Love STIHL MSA
- STIHL provides one of the best lineups of battery-powered chainsaws. The brand also offers a great selection of electric models worth examining. In general, variety of power sources is a clear advantage.
- Better-than-expected performance should ease fears among those who are otherwise reluctant to make the switch to battery or electric chainsaws.
- Like many electric chainsaws, the MSA models from STIHL are easy to use and maintain.
- For several popular models, the weight-to-power ratio is exceptional. Even the most lightweight models are capable of delivering precise cuts.
- As with many STIHL products, MSA chainsaws can be painfully expensive. Sales and promotions are rare, so you can expect to pay full price.
- The warranty is less than impressive given the exorbitant price of most STIHL chainsaws.
- Customer service can be difficult to deal with, particularly when navigating the brand’s complex warranty process.
- STIHL chainsaws must be purchased within retail stores. This can be inconvenient for some users. In select situations, online ordering and curbside pickup may be available.
One of the most highly regarded power tool brands, DeWalt offers a variety of trusted chainsaws that balance tech innovation with durable construction.
About the Brand
Peace of mind is a valuable quality in a chainsaw. This is particularly true if you plan on tackling advanced projects or making extensive use of this power tool.
When you’re not willing to compromise on quality, DeWalt should be your go-to brand. Boasting nearly a century of success, the brand has consistently received rave reviews for its professional-grade power tools.
While DeWalt’s reputation alone should give consumers plenty of confidence, the company isn’t exactly resting on its laurels. The brand has made some huge technological strides in the last several years, with FlexVolt technology, in particular, demonstrating DeWalt’s ability to balance exceptional craftsmanship with cutting-edge features.
Why Customers Love DeWalt
- This prestige brand provides some of the best high-end power tools currently available on the market.
- DeWalt’s chainsaw warranties are among the best in the industry.
- Durability has long been a point of pride for the DeWalt brand — and the company’s chainsaws are no exception.
- FlexVolt technology is a game-changer, bringing the benefits of hybrid operation to the power tool space.
- Models with strong brushless motors allow for dramatic increases in bar lengths.
- DeWalt’s prices are notoriously high. These chainsaws may be too expensive for novices to justify purchasing for occasional use.
- Repairs that fall outside of the warranty process are certain to be expensive.
- While gas-powered models consistently receive high praise, some users believe that DeWalt’s battery-powered chainsaws are actually subpar compared to lower-priced options from competing models.
Which Brand Is Known for Its Gas-Powered Chainsaws?
In an expanding market that increasingly emphasizes battery-powered and electric chainsaws, gas-powered models remain ideal for completing a high volume of work in short order — and for always getting a precise cut.
Most brands offer a decent selection of these traditional chainsaws, but DeWalt goes above and beyond with high-performance models that are exceptionally reliable. Husqvarna’s gas chainsaws are also wonderful.
Which Brand Is Known for Its Battery-Powered Chainsaws?
There’s a lot to love about today’s battery-powered chainsaws. They’re easy and affordable to maintain, not to mention convenient for beginners. Several brands have recently begun to venture into this niche, but a few clearly stand out.
STIHL is an obvious leader in the electric chainsaw niche. The company’s MSA collection is highly regarded, as powerful batteries make complex tasks such as climbing and felling realistic. DeWalt is also a natural candidate, since the brand’s FlexVolt technology and high voltage sets them apart.
Which Brand Is Known for Its Cordless Models?
If you desire the convenience of a cordless chainsaw, you’ll be pleased to discover that a variety of excellent options are available. Again, STIHL makes its mark with the MSA collection, as does DeWalt with its FlexVolt solutions. Performance may take a slight step down with Husqvarna alternatives, but this brand produces an impressive balance between power and weight.
What You Should Look For in Chainsaw Brands
To the uninitiated, a chainsaw may seem like a simple purchase. It’s not the most complicated of the power tools, nor are there as many specialized features to worry about. Still, this decision can hold huge implications for future household projects.
If you’re like many consumers, you may feel tempted to streamline the shopping process by simply grabbing the first chainsaw you spot on sale. This could be a huge mistake; if it lacks the power, ergonomics, or safety features you need, you are bound to be disappointed with your purchase. What’s more, the wrong chainsaw increases the risk of less-than-stellar performance — or worse, devastating injuries.
Still confused? We’re here to help. The following are among the most important qualities to keep in mind as you examine the extensive lineup of 2022 chainsaw brands.
There’s no need for your chainsaw to break the bank. This can be an incredibly affordable investment if you know where to look. Many excellent models are available for well under $500.
Of course, you’ll want to balance affordability against durability and the quality of the warranty. Sometimes, chainsaws that seem exceptional from an upfront cost perspective are also less likely to stand the test of time. Likewise, power and performance may be worth splurging for if you need to handle a high volume of projects — or if you demand precise results for every job.
Variety in Power Sources
Depending on your personal preferences, you may find that you are better suited to either gas or battery-powered chainsaws. Gas models are, as the traditional solution, the easiest to find — but electric chainsaws become more impressive all the time.
Some brands focus primarily on one of these categories, while others offer chainsaws with both types of power sources. Determine how you want to power your chainsaw early in the buying process, as this will make it easier to focus on a specific brand.
Safer, lighter, and easier to control than their cord-based counterparts, cordless chainsaws can be a prudent investment among novice DIYers. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers sell decent cordless chainsaws. Often, intermediate or advanced users find that these chainsaws simply can’t live up to their high expectations.
Thankfully, recent technological advances have dramatically improved the performance of several high-end cordless chainsaws. These days, compromises on power are far less noteworthy. It’s simply a matter of knowing which brands provide the best cordless models.
Range of Features
As mentioned previously, chainsaws are among the simpler of the power tools you’ll find in a typical homeowner’s collection. That being said, modern chainsaws often come with several targeted features meant to boost safety, performance, ergonomics, or sound control.
While budget-oriented consumers will nearly always prefer the most reliable, bare-bones chainsaw available, others will want to look closely at the range of features offered with various models. These can differ dramatically even within a single brand, but that’s great news — why spend extra for features you’ll never use?
Important chainsaw features worth seeking out in your next purchase include:
- Safety functions: Chainsaws are among the most dangerous tools you’ll find in any workshop. From throttle locks to chain catchers, a variety of safety features can protect you or your loved ones from injury. When possible, select a chainsaw that incorporates several of these functions. Of course, these features will need to be accompanied by proper safety equipment.
- Lubrication system: Limit oil consumption with help from an advanced chainsaw lubrication system. This should control the flow of oil so that lubrication always occurs when and where it’s required for optimal chainsaw performance.
- Chain adjuster: If you need to shift tension levels of chains but don’t want to take the extra effort of using specialized tools, opt for a model that includes a built-in chain adjustment feature.
- Anti-vibration system. Exposure to chainsaw vibration is a common problem that not only limits comfort, but also, damages performance. Many brands address this problem with anti-vibration features. Typically, this involves the physical separation of the handle and the engine, often with help from strategically placed rubber elements.
Today’s customers aren’t afraid to voice their opinions about various chainsaw models. Their feedback can be incredibly helpful when determining which brand is best suited to your unique needs.
Take a close look at ratings — both good and bad — to get a sense for what you might find helpful or problematic about various types of chainsaws.
Remember that each rating represents one consumer’s personal experience and doesn’t necessarily mean that a particular chainsaw is as impressive or as terrible as that customer thinks. Some complaints may reflect preferences more than actual quality; somebody who prioritizes lightweight chainsaws, for example, won’t be impressed by an excellent power to weight ratio.
Examine enough reviews, however, and certain trends will quickly become evident. Common sources of complaints to watch for include noise, precision, and customer service.
Determine which downsides you can handle and which are deal-breakers. Steer clear of any brands or models that repeatedly are marked by negative feedback on the qualities you hold dear.
Shop the Best-Rated Chainsaws From the Best-Rated Brands
Don’t think of your chainsaw as just another power tool. This household essential could transform how you approach everyday tasks. A quality chainsaw is worth its weight in gold, so shop around the top chainsaw brands to ensure you find the best model to meet your unique needs.