The 5 Best Chainsaws for Beginners w/ Reviews

​Buying a chainsaw is not a one-size-fits-all type of equipment. Chainsaws can be dangerous, so it's important to get one that matches the type of cutting you'll be doing as well as one that matches your skill level.

There are a lot of chainsaws out there, so this guide is designed to tell you everything you need to know about selecting the best chainsaw for beginners.

We'll tell you the important features that you'll need and give you reviews of five of the best beginner chainsaws. Keep reading to find out more.

​Top Choice

#1

Oregon CS1500 18-inch 15 Amp Self-Sharpening Corded Electric Chainsaw, with Integrated Self-Sharpening System (PowerSharp) and Chain Brake for Safety, 120V

​The Oregon CS1500 is our top pick for beginners. For beginners who need a little more power, the Oregon CS1500 chainsaw is a great choice. ​

4.5 of 5 Stars

Buyer's Guide - Important Features of a Beginner's Chainsaw

​As a beginner, don't make the mistake of thinking that you can handle any chainsaw because you're strong and motivated. Neither of these make up for experience.

It's suggested that beginners start with smaller, lighter chainsaws with as many safety features as possible until you get the hang of using one. We've gone a little more in-depth below.

Types of Chainsaws

​As a beginner, you'll likely be using an electric or a battery-powered chainsaw. Here is some information about the both types.

  • Electric Chainsaws are corded and would require you to be near an electric power source. You'll probably need a heavy-duty extension cord.

    Electric chainsaws are the perfect choice for beginners because they are lightweight and easy to handle. They're more powerful than battery-powered chainsaws, but not as powerful as gas-powered chainsaws.

  • Battery-Powered Chainsaws are a good choice for beginners because they tend to be lower-powered which gives you a chance to get used to a chainsaw.

    However, the batteries are expensive, so you'd be kicking out quite a few dollars for a backup battery.

  • Size and Weight

    ​Beginners should choose a chainsaw with a shorter bar. A good range for beginners would be from six inches to 16 inches. Anything above 20 inches is usually considered for professionals (i.e. experienced cutters).

    Keep in mind that the longer the bar, the more the chainsaw will weigh. There are other factors that lead to increased weight and we'll cover them in the sections below.

    Anti-Vibration

    ​If possible, choose a chainsaw with an anti-vibration technology. Many people who use chainsaws for years without this technology develop a condition called Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), or white finger.

    It's a permanent condition that can cause serious damage. If you're going to be using a chainsaw long-term and/or often, make sure you choose one that has anti-vibration technology.

    Tip Protector

    ​A tip protector should be considered for a beginner. This prevents kickback, a very dangerous "upward" force that could cause the chainsaw to recoil back onto the user. The downside of tip protectors is that they hamper the versatility of the chainsaw.

    For this reason, they aren't widely used. Despite this, it's recommended for beginners until they are skilled at using a chainsaw. A tip protector can save your life if you have a mishap.


    Five of the Best Chainsaws for Beginners

    ​Now that you know some of the more important features to look for in a chainsaw, you're ready to start browsing.

    We checked out countless chainsaws and picked out five of the best ones to review. Check out our five picks below to find out what makes them great for beginners.

    1. Oregon CS1500 Self-Sharpening Corded Electric Chainsaw  

    Best Chainsaw for Beginners

    Specs:

    • Type: Electric
    • Weight: 15.96 lbs.
    • Size: 18" x 37.5" x 10.5"
    • Bar Size: 18"
    • Amps: 15 amps
    • Warranty: 2 years

    The Oregon CS1500 is our top pick for beginners. For beginners who need a little more power, the Oregon CS1500 chainsaw is a great choice. At 15 amps, and especially because it's corded, you'll get over twice the power of the previous three chainsaws.

    Unfortunately, this means that the Oregon CS1500 is bigger and heavier, so it may be slightly more difficult for a beginner to use, but not outrageously difficult. The good thing about this is that you'll be that much closer to using a larger and more powerful professional chainsaw.

    Oregon CS1500 18-inch 15 Amp Self-Sharpening Corded Electric Chainsaw, with Integrated Self-Sharpening System (PowerSharp) and Chain Brake for Safety, 120V

    Oregon is also one the number one chainsaw manufacturers in the world. Their quality is unmatched making this chainsaw one of the most durable that you'll find.

    The Oregon CS1500 is a self-sharpening chainsaw so your chain will last a lot longer. That's one area of maintenance you won't have to worry about. It also features an automatic oiling system called the Lubri-Tec oiling system.

    This will oil your chain and your bar - another area of maintenance you don't have to worry about. Overall, this is great for beginners because it's affordable, powerful, and low maintenance without being over-the-top powerful.

    Pros

    • ​Low noise level
    • ​Very low maintenance
    • ​Self-sharpening
    • Auctor ipsum dolor sagittis
    • ​CARB compliant - can be shipped and used in California
    • ​Includes safety tip and scabbard

    Cons

    • ​Bigger and heavier than most beginner chainsaws
    Oregon CS1500 18-inch 15 Amp Self-Sharpening Corded Electric Chainsaw, with Integrated Self-Sharpening System (PowerSharp) and Chain Brake for Safety, 120V
    • Powerful performance: 15A electric chainsaw with integrated self-sharpening system (PowerSharp). The perfect chainsaw for homeowners and DIY, with long-lasting 18-inch guide bar
    • Built-in PowerSharp self-sharpening system minimizes downtime by sharpening your chain in 3 to 5 seconds. Ergonomic design features Chain Brake for safety. Lightweight design.
    • Tensioning without tools: Allows you to adjust your chain quickly and easily so that you can maintain the perfect tension, for the ideal cut, with next to no maintenance

    2. Husqvarna 120i Cordless Chainsaw 

    Specs:

    • Type: Battery-powered
    • Weight: 6.5 lbs.
    • Size: 33" x 9.25" x 9.45"
    • Bar Size: 14"
    • Battery voltage: 36.5V
    • Warranty: 2yrs homeowner, 90 days commercial

    Husqvarna is a leader when it comes to manufacturing. All their products are known for being heavy-duty, high quality products.

    Husqvarna 14 Inch 120i Cordless Battery Powered Chainsaw (Battery Included),Orange

    The Husqvarna 120i chainsaw is a great starter chainsaw. It's lightweight and allows you to move freely without getting tripped up on a cord. It's great for beginners because of all the built-in features that make it easy to use.

    The chainsaw features a "save" mode that gives you the maximum battery life possible. With this feature, you can either have maximum power or maximum performance.

    The chainsaw also allows you to adjust the tension and the bar without tools. It's a simple but powerful chainsaw that's great to use while you conquer the learning curve.

    Pros

    • ​Brushless motor for higher torque and increased efficiency
    • ​Easy, flip-up oil tank cap for easy access
    • ​Has an inertia-activated chain brake
    • ​Simple operation via a keypad

    Cons

    • ​A bit on the large side for a beginner
    • ​Expensive
    Husqvarna 14 Inch 120i Cordless Battery Powered Chainsaw (Battery Included),Orange
    • 120i Cordless Battery Chainsaw is built for the homeowner who needs a lightweight saw ideal for pruning branches and feeling small trees
    • 40-Volt battery powered chainsaw with guide bar and chain
    • Intuitive control key pad with savE mode, allows user to switch between maximum power and maximum runtime depending on the job

    ​3. DeWalt DCCS620B Compact Cordless Chainsaw $135

    Specs:

    • Type: Battery-powered
    • Weight: 7.8 lbs.
    • Size: 25" x 9" x 9"
    • Bar Size: 12"
    • Battery voltage: 20V
    • Warranty:

    The DeWalt DCCS620B is a handy, compact chainsaw that is great for beginners due to the lower power levels and ease of handling.

    DEWALT 20V MAX* XR Chainsaw, 12-Inch, Tool Only (DCCS620B)

    At 20 volts, the battery can provide enough power for smaller, lighter projects giving a beginner a chance to practice before moving on to bigger projects. The size is also a factor - it's one of the most compact chainsaws available and has only a 12-inch bar. 

    This may not seem like a great choice given the lack of power and the fact that the battery and charger must be purchased separately, but all of this is precisely what you need for a beginner.

    Other features include a brushless motor and tool-free chain tensioning and bar tightening.

    Pros

    • ​Brushless motor
    • ​Long, 15-foot power cord
    • ​Compact and lightweight

    Cons

    • ​Battery and charger sold separately
    • ​A bit heavy for a compact chainsaw
    DEWALT 20V MAX* XR Chainsaw, 12-Inch, Tool Only (DCCS620B)
    • Cordless chainsaw comes with low kick back 12-inch bar and chain for construction and outdoor cutting applications
    • Compact, lightweight design (just 9 lbs. with battery) of the battery chainsaw for maximum user control
    • High-efficiency brushless motor of the battery powered chainsaw maximizes runtime and motor life

    4. BLACK+DECKER Electric Chainsaw

    Specs:

    • Type: Electric
    • Weight: 12 lbs.
    • Size: 20.69" x 13.19" x 10.81"
    • Bar Size: 18"
    • Amps: 15 amps
    • Warranty: 2 year limited

    ​Black + Decker has been a household name in the U.S. for over 100 years. They are a trusted company so getting your beginner chainsaw from them is a good idea.

    BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX* Cordless Chainsaw, Tool Only, 12 in. (LCS1240B)

    This chainsaw is more powerful than your typical beginner chainsaw and it has a longer bar than suggested. However, it has several safety features that make it attractive to a newcomer.

    First, it features an Oregon brand low kickback bar to protect you from accidents. It has an automatic oiling system with a see-through oil window so you'll know exactly when the oil should be refilled.

    It also has a chain-break and a tool-free chain tensioning feature. It's safe, low-maintenance, and made by one of the most trusted tool companies in the world.

    Pros

    • ​See-through oil window
    • ​Uses an Oregon kickback bar
    • ​Includes a scabbard
    • ​Made in the U.S.A.

    Cons

    • ​Bar is very long for beginners
    • ​Cord is short
    BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX* Cordless Chainsaw, Tool Only, 12 in. (LCS1240B)
    • SMOOTH, FAST CUTS – OREGON low-kickback 12 in. bar and chain help make every cut seamless.
    • AUTOMATIC OILING SYSTEM – Supplies the bar and chain with continuous lubrication.
    • TOOL-FREE CHAIN TENSIONING – Make fast and easy chain adjustments without any extra tools.

    5. WORX Electric Chainsaw

    Specs:

    • Type: Electric
    • Weight: 6.6 lbs.
    • Size: 7.56" x 28.5" x 8.9"
    • Bar Size: 14"
    • Amps: 8 amps
    • Warranty: 3 years limited

    ​The WORX Electric Chainsaw is a great budget option that can still get a medium-level job done.

    WORX WG305.1 8 Amp 14' Electric Chainsaw

    Even though it only has eight amps of power, it has some very impressive features that make it great for a beginner who may not be the strongest or the most in-shape person.

    At a little over six pounds it's very lightweight which helps to reduce fatigue. It has a push start engine, so you won't tire out your arm trying to pull-start it.

    It also features auto-tension and automatic chain lubrication systems. With this WORX chainsaw you'll save money while learning the basics.

    Pros

    • ​Has a chain brake for safety
    • ​It's ETL-listed
    • ​Includes a scabbard

    Cons

    • ​No safety tip included
    • ​No anti-vibration tech
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