Ripping logs into usable lumber isn’t an easy task. If you don’t choose the right chainsaw for the job, you may end up ruining your logs, wasting more time, or worse, hurting yourself.
That’s why I’m writing this article. I went along and did the research to source the 4 best chainsaws for ripping logs this year.
In addition to the reviews, I’ll also discuss some important factors that should help you make a better purchase. So make sure to stick till the end.
Without any further ado, let’s dive right in!
The Husqvarna 18" 455 Rancher Gas chainsaw allows the homeowner to handle the power of the saw with ease. Powerful, yet easy to start thanks to smart start technology, This gas powered chainsaw is ready to cut trees, whether you need to prune, limb or cut firewood.
The 4 Best Chainsaws for Ripping Logs: Reviews
How does every chainsaw operate? Does it offer any perks? Are there any downsides to consider?
These are some of the questions that I’ll answer in each of the following reviews.
Husqvarna 18-Inch 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw - Best Overall
If you’ve been in the market for a chainsaw for a while, you must’ve heard about Husqvarna. This giant manufacturer has been around since 1689!
The best thing about the 455 Rancher is the light build. At 13 lbs, it puts a lot of the commercially famous chainsaws to shame.
As a part of its sustainability program, Husqvarna equipped this chainsaw with its renowned X-Torq engine that generates 60% fewer emissions. Better yet, it can also save you some bucks since it consumes 20% less fuel.
The thing that makes the 455 Rancher suitable for heavy-duty work is the Air Injection technology.
With the help of centrifugal air, it can remove dust and debris before they reach the air filter. In turn, this should improve engine life and decrease the needed maintenance.
The only downside is the high price. Most of Husqvarna’s products cost double or triple the average. However, for professionals and serious DIYers, this chainsaw would be a worthy investment.
Greenworks Pro 80V 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw - Best Cordless
Fuel isn’t for everyone. Aside from the fuel mixing ordeal, gas chainsaws need a ton of frequent maintenance.
You have to constantly clean the filter, check the carburetor, change the spark plugs, etc. If this seems like too much, ditch it and go for a cordless electric chainsaw.
I know what you’re probably thinking: Battery-powered devices are way weaker than their gas counterparts.
While this is generally true, this isn’t the case here. The DigiPro 80V brushless motor performs just like a 45cc gas engine.
Thanks to the unique build, this chainsaw weighs 11 lbs only, which adds more value to its already-amazing portability.The only thing I’m not fond of is the battery capacity. It lasts for 30 to 45 minutes and recharges in 30 minutes, which can be quite limiting for large tasks
- 18'' CHAIN AND BAR : perect for professional users
- TRUBRUSHLESS MOTOR TECHNOLOGY : 2 x more torque. Provides more power, longer runtime, quiet operation, and extended motor life
- AUTOMATIC OILER : delivers proper chain lubrication and increased productivity
WORX WG304.1 Chainsaw 18-Inch 15.0 Amp - Best Corded
For recreational DIYers, gas chainsaws would be unnecessarily powerful, and batteries would be unduly limiting. In that case, a corded machine will offer the best of both worlds.
The WG304.1 features a 15A motor that matches the power of a 40cc gas engine. It’s not the most powerful, but it should be more than enough for personal use.
With a 100-foot extension cord, you can conveniently use this chainsaw inside the perimeter of your home.
I like that WORX added an auto-tensioning chain system. This eliminates the need for frequent pauses to adjust the chain.
By extension, the chain will live much longer since it won’t be over-tightened.
- 15.0 Amp motor output delivers a more powerful cutting performance to the extended, 18-inch bar
- Patented auto-tension chain system prevents over-tightening; stays at the right tension for hundreds of uses
- Low kickback bar and built-in chain brake for added safety
ECHO 20-Inch 59.8cc Gas Chainsaw - Best Heavy-Duty
If you’re a professional lumber cutter, consider this chainsaw from Echo. With its 20-inch bar and 60cc motor, you’ll be able to cut through the longest and widest trees in a shorter time.
To match the heavy workload, the G-Force Engine Air Pre-Cleaner makes sure that no dirt or debris can reach the motor during use.
In addition to the longer lifetime, this makes regular maintenance a lot easier.
On the downside, this chainsaw weighs about 17 lbs, which could impair the portability to some extent. Then again, you can’t expect a lighter build while maintaining the same power.
- Price For: Each Fuel Type: Gas Anti Vibration Handle: Yes Item: Chain Saw HP: 3.9 Chain Oiler: Auto/Adjustable Includes: Chain, Bar, Operators Manual Bar Length: 20" Fuel Type: Gas Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.8 oz. Engine Displacement: 59.8cc Anti Vibration Handle: Yes Replacement Chain: Mfr. No. 72LPX70CQ Item: Chain Saw Country of Origin (subject to change): Japan
What to Consider Before Buying a Chainsaw for Ripping Logs
Now that we’ve reviewed the products, let’s see the factors that should help you pick a suitable product.
Clearly, determining the bar size of a chainsaw depends on the width of the trees you’ll often cut.
Generally speaking, the most common logs you’ll lay your hands on will measure between 14 and 16 inches in diameter. That said, I always recommend opting for a 16 to an 18-inch chainsaw. In other words, always make sure the bar is 2 inches longer than the log you're ripping.
For wider trees, an 18-inch saw would be a nightmare. Not only will it be impossible to rip logs in one pass, but you’ll also have a higher likelihood of pushbacks, pull-ins, and kickbacks. That said, most heavy-duty professionals work with 20 to 24-inch chainsaws.
Chainsaws dedicated to ripping and milling logs must have engines that can sustain a powerful performance for the whole length of a log.
The good news is, you probably don’t have to worry about it. If you picked the right bar size, you can be certain that it’s paired with a proper engine.
In the following table, I’ll list my suggested engine power that corresponds to different bar lengths.
Based on my elaborate research, I can say that Husqvarna 18-Inch 455 Rancher is the best chainsaw for ripping logs. With its ingenious technology, it consumes 20% less fuel and generates 60% fewer emissions.
Does a gas chainsaw seem like a lot of work? You have to try the Greenworks Pro 80V 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw. Its brushless motor is comparable to a 45cc engine.
Lastly, the WORX WG304.1 Chainsaw would be your best bet if you want a corded unit. It’s not the best in terms of power, but at least it adjusts the chain tightness automatically.