Top Japanese Chainsaw Brands – The 4 Best

When making a decision about the make and model of a chainsaw, it is important to identify what your needs are as a consumer.

There is no shortage of makes and models, but a fundamental predicament that buyers often encounter is whether to purchase a Western model or opt for a Japanese brand.

Increasingly the number of people opting for the foreign models are increasing because of the quality, price and accessibility of Japanese models. Compared to their Western counterparts, Japanese models are often cheaper.

Additionally, with a Japanese saw an individual will cut on the pull stroke and stand more in line with the cut, unlike a Western saw where you cut on the push stroke and stand at an angle.

With a Japanese saw you get a thinner kerf which is also an advantage in many situations.

​Top Ch​oice

#1
Chain Saw, Gas, 18 In. Bar, 40.2CC

​​Very high quality chainsaw wi​th ​a unique vibration-reducing technology. Echo comes with an air purge bulb, air precleaning and air cleaner cover that you can access without the need for tools.

​4.2 of 5 Stars

Needless to say Japanese chainsaws are definitely in the spotlight when it comes to chainsaw  brands and meet the needs of many different individuals.

So if you decide to go with a Japanese saw, this list hits on the top Japanese brands on the market.


Echo 

The Echo brand is so well known that it might be shocking to learn that this brand is actually Japanese in origin. This company’s popularity is due to the high quality and high performing reputation of its chainsaws.

Not only are these chainsaws very high quality, they also have many different selections available for different purposes ranging from “do it yourself” projects, professional jobs and even work around the yard.

Chain Saw, Gas, 18 In. Bar, 40.2CC

Indeed, Echo chainsaws are popular because of their efficiency and convenience but also their versatility. With blades that range from 12 inches to 20 inches they suit any job and are very easy to maintain.

Echo CS-400 18" Gas Chainsaw 

Their vibration-reducing technology is a unique feature which also makes this brand stand out as it allows the user to gain more control over the saw. Our favorite Echo chainsaw is the  Echo CS 400.

Not only is this a relatively inexpensive saw, users report no problem cutting wood and find this saw very reliable. Additionally this saw is much lighter, thus individuals are able to use it for a longer amount of time.

Things we especially love about this saw:

  • How easy it is to maneuver
  • How light-weight it is
  • How easy to use it is
  • That it is good on gas and bar oil
  • That is comes with an air purge bulb, air precleaning and air cleaner cover that you can access without the need for tools
  • That it has an easy start system
  • 18 inch length is conductive to stability when cutting
  • That it has rubber bushings, this change in material stimulates the characteristics of a coil but it minimizes the potential for reduced resistance over time like a coil would.
  • Despite it’s lightweight it cuts easily through 6 inch diameter logs
  • How powerful it is
Chain Saw, Gas, 18 In. Bar, 40.2CC
  • 40.2cc Engine
  • 18" Bar & Chain Included

Things that could be better:

  • It does not come with a tool-free tensioner

Tanaka 

Next on our list is Tanaka, another popular Japanese brand with a wide range of chainsaws designed to fit many different purposes and jobs.

This brand makes our favorites list because of the variety of saws it provides; this brand accommodates anything from professional to casual work with chainsaws that deliver clean cuts and are easy to use.

While these chainsaws are known for their powerful engines, they are popular because they maintain a comfortable light weight which makes the saws easy to maneuver.

Metabo HPT Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 32.2cc 12-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine

We love that this brand of chainsaws creates saws with a low power to weight ratio so that it is guaranteed to minimize fatigue while using it.

Another handy feature of this brand of chainsaw is that, not only are they convenient and comfortable because of their anti-vibration feature, they also have a built in lanyard.​

Having a built in lanyard might not seem like a big deal, but when it comes to having to climb trees to cut down tree branches, this feature proves to be extremely useful.

Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 32.2cc 12-Inch

The Tanaka brand is all about convenience without sacrificing power, with the chainsaw’s 2-stroke powerful engine and oiling system that is gear driven, users are sure to find this Japanese brand one of the most accessible.

Our favorite Tanaka chainsaw is the Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 32.2cc 12-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine.

What we love about this saw:

  • The size of the saw: It is a 12-Inch top handle chain saw
  • It has 32.2cc commercial grade pure fire engine to provide a clean, powerful performance with less fuel consumption
  • It starts and warms up easily because of the half throttle choke with purge primer bulb
  • It has an automatic gear-driven oiler and a side access chain tensioning providing quick and convenient chain adjustment
  • It is easier to cut with this chainsaw because of the sprocket nose bar with Oregon chain
  • It comes with  a 7-year consumer, 2-year commercial and 1-year rental warranty
  • It cuts wood fast
Metabo HPT Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 32.2cc 12-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine
  • 12-Inch top handle chain saw with 32.2cc commercial grade pure fire engine to provide a clean, powerful performance with less fuel consumption
  • Half throttle choke with purge primer bulb for easy start and warm up. Fuel Capacity (fl oz) : 9.9. Fuel Mix Ratio : 50 : 1

What we wish this saw did differently

  • The lanyard loop’s placement is irritating. Because it is way too close to the air filter box, it is constantly rubbing.
  • Some carabiners don’t fit
  • Sometimes the gas and oil caps stick after heat and use which makes them difficult to remove
  • The temperature can be uncomfortable when climbing with the saw

Ryobi

When it comes to high-quality, inexpensive chainsaws, Ryobi provides a variety of power tools perfect for jobs such as woodworking, trimming as well as drilling and mowing.

What is special about this brand is that it provides brushless technology which offers more power, runtime and makes the chainsaw overall higher performing.

Ryobi P546 10 in. ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium+ Cordless Chainsaw (Tool Only - Battery and Charger NOT Included)

This brand specializes in chainsaws catered for smaller scale jobs. There are many features to this brand which minimize the need for frequent maintenance, which in turn saves users time and money.

As an example, the chain on the chainsaw doesn’t need keys or tools because it is easily tensioned. Also, this is one of the less  noisy chainsaws on the market and the saws do not emit smoke of fuel emissions.

Ryobi P546 10 inch

​One of our favorite Ryobi saws out there is the Ryobi P546 10 in. ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium+ Cordless Chainsaw.

We love this saw because

  • It has a Push-button oiler for easy chain lubrication and longer chain life
  • 10 in. bar and chain making it a convenient size for everyday use
  • It has side access chain tensioning for easy adjustments
  • It comes with a 3-year limited warranty on New item if purchased through Authorized Seller
  • A cool feature that this saw has is that when you pump the bar oil a few times the oil will come out of a small hole at the bar tip when you have pumped enough which is a very convenient indicator.
  • It’s small size makes it a perfect beginner saw
Ryobi P546 10 in. ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium+ Cordless Chainsaw (Tool Only - Battery and Charger NOT Included)
  • BATTERY AND CHARGER NOT INCLUDED
  • Push-button oiler for easy chain lubrication and longer chain life

What we wish it had:

  • Unfortunately this saw does not come with a battery or a charger and will need to be purchased separately
  • This saw does not have an automatic oiler so that means you have to pump the oil on a regular basis
  • This saw does not have an automatic oiler so that means you have to pump the oil on a regular basis

Makita

Our final brand and most likely the oldest on this list is Makita as it was a leading brand of chainsaws that peaked in the 1960’s.

Unlike Ryobi saws, which are more designed for smaller jobs because of their size, Makita creates the perfect chainsaw or heavier duty jobs so they are ideal for professionals

And although this is their specialty, they also offer lighter weight models perfect for smaller activities. Overall the chainsaws are easy to handle given their power.

Makita XCU03PT1 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 14' Chain Saw Kit with, 4 Batteries (5.0Ah)

What is so great about Makita is that they offer chainsaws that are either gas, battery or electric corded, so someone has the option to choose which type of chainsaw works best for them.

The chainsaws have low emissions and the chainsaw produces less noise during use.

Makita XCU03PT1 18V X2 (36V) 

​Our favorite Makita chainsaw is the Makita XCU03PT1 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 14" Chain Saw Kit. 

Not only does this chainsaw have a built outer rotor, the BL brushless motor direct-drive system provides high power efficiency comparable to a 32cc chainsaw.

Other reasons we love this chainsaw:

  • It has a variable speed trigger
  • It has high chain speed (0-3, 940 FPM) which improves cutting performance 
  • It has "Tool-less" chain adjustment so it is convenient to operate and maintain
  • It has a built-in lock-off lever which helps prevent any accidents where the chain might accidentally engage.
  • It has a large oil filling port
  • It automatically shuts off the saw when operations are delayed, which also extends the battery life.
  • It starts instantly
  • It has enough power to cut through thick trees
Makita XCU03PT1 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 14" Chain Saw Kit with, 4 Batteries (5.0Ah)
  • Makita-built outer rotor BL Brushless motor direct-drive system provides high power efficiency equivalent to a 32cc gas chain saw
  • Variable speed trigger and high chain speed (0-3, 940 FPM) For improved cutting performance

What we wish this saw did better:

  • While we like the automatic shut off switch, we wish it gave us more time before automatically shutting off.
  • It has a poor low end torque
  • Needs a lot of oil because it is difficult to find the sweet spot for the bar oil adjustment screw

​Conclusion

It is clear from this list that Japanese chainsaw brands provide high quality, easy to use chainsaws that are perfect for both professionals and individuals looking for a smaller scale jobs saws.

Either way, these brands will be sure to meet whatever chainsaw needs you may have.