Top five best chainsaws for 2020
By Alice Williams
Can't decide which chainsaw is right for you? Discover our pick of the best petrol, cordless and corded electric chainsaws.
Our guide rounds up the best petrol, cordless and electric models so you can find your perfect machine.
We rigorously test chainsaws, cutting through logs of different sizes and hardness. In the table below, we've picked the chainsaws that came top in our test, whether you want to cut through thin logs or tough railway sleepers.
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This chainsaw is outstanding. It's light and easy to use, slicing through even the hardest logs quickly and cleanly. It's quiet for a petrol chainsaw, and very easy to start. Slightly less powerful than a similar larger model, it's well balanced and handles brilliantly.
The cordless battery chainsaw rivals petrol chainsaws when it comes to use around the garden. It's light and extremely easy to use, but can still cut through hard wood quickly and smoothly. The only drawbacks are the short battery life and rather hefty price tag.
Another great chainsaw from this brand. It's very similar to the smaller version in the range but is a little more powerful, which can make it a bit more challenging to control as you start to cut. It impressed us by cutting consistently, quickly and cleanly through all of the wood we put in its path.
If you prefer a hefty chainsaw with plenty of power for tough jobs, then this chainsaw won’t disappoint. It quickly slices through the hardest wood and the thickest logs. It's easy to start from cold and the chain doesn't need much adjustment as you work. It uses quite a bit of fuel, though.
This powerful corded electric chainsaw comes very close to being a Best Buy. It powers through branches and logs quickly and makes light work of cutting harder wood. Like all corded-electric models it's a bit unwieldy, but much quieter than petrol machines.
Not found the right chainsaw for you? Browse all our chainsaw reviews.
Not all chainsaws cut cleanly, and some take a long time to cut through anything but the thinnest logs. To make sure you avoid these models, we've rounded up three of the worst in the table below.
Ones to avoid
This chainsaw struggles to get through the largest logs, despite having a higher-voltage battery than some we have tested. It doesn't cut very cleanly, either, and the chain requires regular tightening - if you're a chainsaw novice you may find this difficult to handle.
The three most important chainsaw features
- Size - this relates to the weight of the saw, and its guide bar. Weighty saws are usually more powerful, but can be more unwieldy. And saws with a longer bar are a good choice for thicker logs, though they're usually harder to start.
- Safety features - you'll find various safety additions on any chainsaw. Look out for a reduced kickback chain, a second chain brake in the trigger to slow down the chain as you remove your finger, a throttle lock (to stop you pressing the trigger accidentally) and a chain catcher that stops the chain if it comes off the guide bar.
- Anti-vibration - these features are designed to minimise vibration to make your chainsaw safer and easier to use for longer periods.
Find out more about the features you need and the type of chainsaw you should consider in our expert guide to buying the best chainsaw.
Why Which? reviews are different
You can't know what a chainsaw is really like to use when you try it out in a shop. That's why we put every chainsaw we test through 21 different ease-of-use tests, and only the most comfortable to use get our recommendation.
We also make 40 cuts with each chainsaw on different types and thickness of logs. This shows us exactly where its strengths and weakness lie and helps you to choose a chainsaw that meets your needs.
You can trust that our reviews are independent and impartial. We don't accept any freebies from manufacturers and we buy every sample we test.
To compare everything we've put through our test lab, see all our chainsaw reviews.