If there is one power tool that is without a doubt the most badass piece of kit you could own…
It’s the chainsaw.
Star of several horror movies, it’s also really useful for felling trees, cutting thick branches, and logging wood around your property.
And these days, they need not cost the earth.
Once regarded as only accessible to the professionals, chainsaws have plummeted in price and are now readily available – and going for a song.
So, check out this review of the best cheap chainsaws 2020 – and see how surprised you will be at their affordability.
A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.
Just remember – you’re not allowed to wear a mask and frighten the kids with one.
- Top 14 Best Budget-Friendly Chainsaws 2020
- Sun Joe SWJ599E Tree Limb Master Chainsaw
- Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim Chainsaw
- WEN 4017 Electric Chainsaw
- Worx WG303.1 Electric Chainsaw
- Greenworks 20222 Electric Chainsaw
- Zombi ZCS12017 Corded Electric Chainsaw
- Black+Decker LCS1020 Cordless Chainsaw
- Oregon CS1500 Self-Sharpening Electric Chainsaw
- Remington RM4214 Gas Powered Chainsaw
- Huyosen Gas Powered Chainsaw
- Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw
- Remington RM4216 Gas Powered Chainsaw
- Poulan Pro PR4218 Gas Chainsaw
- Husqvarna 120 Mark II Gas Chainsaw
- How to Choose the Best Cheap Chainsaw in 2020
Top 14 Best Budget-Friendly Chainsaws 2020
Sun Joe SWJ599E Tree Limb Master Chainsaw
Revving us up first is this 14-inch, electric chain saw from Sun Joe. It’s a great entry-level tool that’s ideal for trimming and pruning limbs and branches, offering nine-amps of power with low kickback, all while weighing just eight pounds.
Featuring an auto-oiler with a window to gauge the oil level to lubricate the bar and chain for continuous cutting, you’ll never have to slow down in the yard.
Safety-wise, the Sun Joe has a quality, non-slip hand grip, a protective handguard, a safety switch to prevent starting accidentally, and a blade sheath included for when you’ve finished the job. Considering this is under $50 and is low maintenance, you really can’t go wrong.
REWARD: The cheapest chainsaw in the review
- Super lightweight.
- Outstanding price.
- Instant start.
- Corded tools have limited range.
- Not as durable as other products.
Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim Chainsaw
At just over six pounds, this Limb N Trim eight-amp chainsaw from Remington is one of the lightest power tools of its kind.
It’s super compact, ensuring you can maneuver it easily when you’re cutting branches or saplings, with a wrap-around handguard that fully protects your guiding hand from flying debris.
It comes completely assembled, ready-to-cut right out of the box, with a quick tension adjuster to make it easy to ensure the chain is set just right.
The push-button oiler maintains a controlled amount of oil on the chain and guide bar – which is designed to offer minimum kickback for a super-smooth cut.
REWARD: The lightest cheap chainsaw in the review
- Surprisingly powerful.
- Great price.
- Quiet operation.
- Not the best grip and trigger arrangement.
- No blade guard included.
WEN 4017 Electric Chainsaw
Wen produces some good quality power tools at affordable prices, so it’s no surprise to find the budget tool manufacturer on this list.
This is a 16-inch chainsaw that has a powerful 12-Amp motor that can rotate the chain 44 feet per second with low kickback. Featuring an auto-oiling system for durability and to improve the cutting efficiency, the tool-free chain replacement allows you to easily switch out the chain if and when you do need to.
It’s another lightweight design coming in at 10 lbs, so you won’t have operator fatigue nearly as quickly as with a gas-powered machine. It’s tough, durable and easy-to-use, all at a budget-friendly price point.
REWARD: The best cheap electric chainsaw for the money
- Good-sized chain.
- Extension cord wrangler.
- Highly rated.
- Chain scabbard included.
- Powerful motor.
- Some plastic parts could have been improved.
- Not suitable for heavy-duty cutting.
Worx WG303.1 Electric Chainsaw
This Worx electric chainsaw is a close rival to the previous Wen model, also from a renowned budget tool manufacturer. Sharing the same 16-inch bar length, this has a slightly more powerful motor at 14.5 Amps that gives a cutting performance similar to gas.
The patented auto-tension system ensures the chain will stay tight no matter the job, while the bar offers minimal kickback and the bonus of a built-in chain break for additional safety.
It features automatic oil lubrication and built-in oil reservoir with window level indicator, and a rubberized rear handle and ergonomic full-wrap front handle for extra control and comfort.
REWARD: The highest-rated electric chainsaw
- Bar scabbard included.
- Powerful motor.
- Good safety features.
- Easy to use.
- The chain tensioner can play up sometimes and require adjustment.
Greenworks 20222 Electric Chainsaw
Popular Eco-friendly company Greenworks offer this 14-inch electric chainsaw that is backed by a 10.5 Amp motor (although different lengths and power options are available if required).
It has a tool-less chain tensioning system so you can always be ready to go, and an auto-oiler so the chain has constant lubrication, with a translucent tank to see when you need to replace the fluid.
It’s one of the lightest models in our review at eight pounds, with an instant electric start, fast-breaking system, and smooth operation that makes this a great tool for use on the smaller jobs around your garden.
REWARD: One of the most versatile chainsaws available
- Name to trust.
- Cord lock.
- Ergonomic handles.
- Scabbard included.
- A chain break would have been a nice safety addition.
Zombi ZCS12017 Corded Electric Chainsaw
Not to be confused with the undead, Zombi power tools are in fact a tributary of the American Lawn Mower Company (who also manufacture excellent lawn mowers for small yards – as you might expect).
They do a nice range of equipment for helping you maintain your property, and this is their 16-inch electric chainsaw with a powerful 13 Amp motor that’s capable of tackling tough jobs.
The auto-lubricating bar and chain will keep you in business as you easily shred through branches and trees, while the safety lock button and ergonomic front handguard are there to ensure you stay comfortable and protected as the steel teeth get to work.
The molded handle is rubberized for extra grip, and the tool-less chain tensioner means you don’t have to keep stopping and starting for long periods when adjustments need to be made.
REWARD: One of the most durable electric chainsaws on the market
- Quality build and construction.
- Translucent oil reservoir.
- Powerful motor.
- No assembly required.
- Attractive design and livery.
- Some reports of it being a little on the heavy side.
Black+Decker LCS1020 Cordless Chainsaw
The first of our cordless chainsaws is this version from power tool stalwarts Black and Decker.
While their recent rebranding might not look the best on this kind of equipment (and is far better suited to kitchen appliances) one would hope that the quality of the product has not been affected. Thankfully, it hasn’t, and this is a very highly rated 20-Volt chainsaw with a 10-inch, low kickback bar and chain.
Featuring an oiling system with translucent tank to keep the chain lubricated, tool-free tensioning, and a cordless battery that is interchangeable with hundreds of other tools in the range, this might be the best affordable chainsaw money can buy. Thousands of satisfied consumers seem to think so.
REWARD: The highest-rated cheap chainsaw in the review
- Name to trust.
- Wrap-around handle.
- Smooth, quiet operation.
- Durable build quality.
- Battery included.
- The chain needs to be manually lubricated.
Oregon CS1500 Self-Sharpening Electric Chainsaw
Although not quite as popular as the Black and Decker (and returning momentarily to a corded model) this 18-inch electric chainsaw from Oregon is still well regarded.
The generously-sized cutting bar is backed by a powerful 15-inch motor, able to handle most jobs with low kickback. The tool-less chain tension system and auto-oiling feature means you won’t have to slow down, but perhaps its best feature is that it has self-sharpening technology – the only tool of its kind on the market to do so.
Simply pull the red lever as the saw is running to be razor-sharp again inside three seconds. Replacement parts for this are readily available, so you’ll have no problem switching them out when they eventually wear down.
REWARD: The best self-sharpening electric chainsaw on the market – and not just because it’s the only one!
- Rugged and durable.
- Silent between cuts.
- Chain break.
- Reports of it being a little tricky to change the chain when required.
Remington RM4214 Gas Powered Chainsaw
We come to the first of our gas-powered budget chainsaws now with this two-stroke, 14-inch model from Remington.
The high-output engine is a 42cc full-crank motor that provides less vibration and more power.
With quick-start technology to provide smoother pull starts, the durable and lightweight chassis has been built with tough and durable components, and includes an automatic oiler to ensure the chain stays lubricated even through the toughest jobs.
The ergonomic, full-wrap handle has a five-point anti-vibration system to dampen any tremors, and the unit offers tool-free access to the spark-plug and filter for easy maintenance.
REWARD: The cheapest gas chainsaw there is (or one of them)
- Quality look and feel.
- Highly rated.
- Low kickback.
- Sprocket-tipped chain.
- Comfortable to use.
- Some issues with starting and restarting – let it cool down periodically.
Huyosen Gas Powered Chainsaw
This gas-powered chain saw from Huyosen comes with all the gear you need to get it up and running. It’s a 40.1cc, two-stroke engine with a 16-inch guide bar and chain.
Perfect for trimming and pruning limbs and branches around your property, this rugged power tool is well-built, with an ergonomic wrap-around handle that features a comfort grip for control and guard for added safety.
An additional safety-switch prevents accidental starts, and the included bar and chain scabbard keeps the chainsaw protected when it’s not in use. Probably one of the best cheap petrol chainsaws for the money, it doesn’t get much better than this at this price point.
REWARD: The best budget gas-powered chainsaw for the money
- Rugged, durable build.
- Fuel mixing bottle included.
- Heavy-duty use.
- Assembly required.
- No chain brake.
Greenworks Cordless Chainsaw
We return to another Greenworks product now, this time to check out their 40-Volt cordless chainsaw with the battery and charger included.
It features a high-performance power pack that delivers fade-free power with no memory loss after charging. The 12-inch steel chain and bar has tool-less tensioning and superior cutting performance, as the automatic oiler applies lubricant to the bar and chain when needed to ensure durability and optimal use, with a translucent oil tank so you know when you’re running low.
Sturdy wrap-around handles provide optimum control and comfort for working at all angles, and the instant electric start will get you going in no time.
REWARD: Probably the best cheap cordless electric chainsaw on the market
- Durable construction.
- Very lightweight.
- Highly recommended.
- Name to trust.
- Multi-use battery system.
- The oil tank is easy to overflow.
Remington RM4216 Gas Powered Chainsaw
Targeted at the suburban homeowner, this is an excellent gas-powered chainsaw from Remington that is ideal for tougher jobs around your property.
With a 16-inch bar and chain, you’ll enjoy a powerful 42cc engine that can easily tackle medium to large-sized branches with minimal kickback.
It has a similar five-point anti-vibration system to the previous model in this line, automatic oiler, and tool-free access to the maintenance hatch so you can keep the tool ticking over with maximum performance.
And just to sweeten the deal even further, a heavy-duty carry case is included. Not at all a bad price for what you get, here.
REWARD: The best cheap top handle chainsaw – with carry bag included
- Value for money.
- Comes with two-stroke oil.
- Durable construction.
- Wrap-around ergonomic handle.
- Reports of it still being a little shaky when it comes to vibration.
Poulan Pro PR4218 Gas Chainsaw
Poulan is a by-word when it comes to chainsaw quality. You only have to ask Leather face from a certain infamous horror movie – who sported a tool from this brand back in 1974. The jury is out whether that sort of publicity is a good thing, but movie executives usually want the very best for their flicks – so I see it as a good advertisement.
This affordable beast is a 42cc, two-stroke, gas-powered chainsaw with an 18-inch bar and chain. It’s targeted at medium-duty storm clean-up, cutting firewood, and felling trees, so this will suit most suburban homeowners down to the ground.
Packed with useful features including less fuel, lower emissions and easy-start technology for 40% less effort to get going, this is a solid chainsaw from a market-leading brand.
REWARD: The most powerful cheap chainsaw in the review
- Tough and durable build.
- Name to trust.
- Carry case, extra chain, and oil included.
- Attractive look and feel.
- Chain tensioning tool required – although it is built-in.
Husqvarna 120 Mark II Gas Chainsaw
One of the world’s leading manufacturers of outdoor power tools and equipment, I must admit I find it a pleasant surprise that there is a Husqvarna product able to squeeze its way into a review about budget chainsaws.
The Swedish company makes some of the best in the world and this is certainly no exception. It’s a compact, easy-to-use machine with low kickback and safety brake, automatic oiler and 16-inch heavy-duty guide bar and chain.
It weighs just over 10 lbs, with a powerful 38.2cc engine, and a simple tensioning system that allows for quick adjustments while you’re working. And with reduced gas emissions and fuel consumption, you’re unlikely to get this kind of quality at a cheaper price than this.
REWARD: The best gas-powered chainsaw in this review
- Name to trust.
- Strong, durable construction.
- Wrap-around ergonomic grip.
- Good safety features.
- Oil and scabbard included.
- It’s pushing the “budget” level a little bit.
How to Choose the Best Cheap Chainsaw in 2020
If you’re looking for the best budget chainsaw – you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s take a look at the things you should be considering before adding to cart.
The first thing you might notice about cheap or budget chainsaws, is that the really inexpensive models tend to be corded electric versions.
Generally speaking, corded electric chainsaws are much cheaper than anything else on the market. They do have several other advantages, however.
They are usually the lightest models, and they will need little to no maintenance to keep them operating at their best performance.
Corded (and battery-powered tools) offer zero emissions and give off no fumes or consume fuel. They’re environmentally friendly – including limiting neighborhood noise pollution as they run much quieter than gas.
And providing you have access to the power socket, they will go all day long without stopping if need be.
But the need to use an extension cable and be in the proximity of electrical outlets is exactly what limits corded chainsaws – or any corded tool. You’re much more restricted when it comes to range and maneuverability.
Corded chainsaws don’t come with an extension cable as part of the package – and you need to make sure you purchase the right one so you don’t lose too much power over distance.
This is where battery-powered chainsaws (or cordless chainsaws) have a real advantage. All the benefits of electricity, without the restrictions or dangers of a power cord.
Of course, the downside here is that they will eventually run out of juice and need to be recharged. It’s a good idea to have more than one battery so you can rotate the power source when they run dry.
Gas-powered chainsaws are the still most powerful for cutting trees, branches and just about anything else. Although alternative energy sources are catching up, a gas engine is unbeatable when it comes to torque.
However, you have fuel to worry about, carbon emissions, oil, maintenance costs, and noise pollution. They can cause a serious racket – which isn’t ideal if you’ve got neighbors.
Choose the right power source for your needs to get the job done. It’s quite simple when it comes to engine size, horsepower, amps and voltage – the higher the number – the more powerful it is.
Usage and Capabilities
In addition to the power source, also consider what the chainsaw is going to be used for – and what it CAN be used for.
What are its capabilities and limitations?
Much like these electric hedge trimmers, people are often confused by what the tool can actually do – and then complain about it when it breaks trying to take down a giant oak.
Make sure the chainsaw you’re thinking of purchasing is capable of doing the job you’re purchasing it for. Check that it will easily cut through the diameter of branches or tree trunk you need it to.
It’ll save you a lot of hassle in the long run – and the need to write a negative review in the process.
Length of Bar and Chain
The length of the chainsaw bar and chain can vary from between around 6-7 inches on small electric models to over 20 inches on larger, professional machines.
The larger the bar, the larger the diameter of branch/trunk it will cut in one single pass.
Again, decide what you need the tool for. Are you pruning and trimming? Chopping firewood? Perhaps you’re cutting down larger trees or clearing storm damage?
Maybe you’re chasing a screaming tourist out onto a lonely dirt road at sunset?
Whatever you need the chainsaw for – make sure you get the right length of chain and bar for the job.
I believe the lightest of the chainsaws in this review is around six pounds, but gas-powered machines will be significantly more.
The longer the bar and chain – the heavier the machine will be, and with the weight of the engine, gas-powered chainsaws are always going to be much heavier than their electric counterparts.
And with these tools being among the most dangerous you could own, you need to be honest with yourself when it comes to operating them. Are you capable?
Remember, even if a chainsaw seems light at first, with regular use fatigue will soon set in – and that’s when accidents can happen.
A good trick is to lift something in your home that is roughly the equivalent weight – and see how you are at holding it up for a while.
Make sure you’re 100% comfortable with it before purchasing.
All these chainsaws come with extra features that will help make the job much easier.
- An auto-oiling system is ideal so you don’t have to keep stopping and starting to ensure the chain is lubricated – which it MUST BE at all times when you’re using the machine.
- Comfort-grip, ergonomic, wrap-around handles will give you the most control, eliminate or minimize fatigue, and are generally the safest option.
- Anti-vibration systems are a very good idea if you’re going to be using the machine over extended periods.
- They should all come with a good hand guard to protect your lead hand from flying debris.
- Look for low kickback chainsaws that limit the chain from jumping up when hitting an obstruction. Equally as important is a chain brake that stops the motor when encountering a problem – but this isn’t available on all models.
- Chainsaws with a tool-less adjustment system ensures you can adjust the tension of the chain without the need to stop.
- On gas-powered models, an assisted start is a nice touch. This will ensure the motor gets going with less effort and fewer cord pulls.
- A self-sharpening system is a great addition – but I believe only one model currently has that function.
- Finally, a carry case and scabbard keeps the chainsaw safe and protected when not in use.
Not all chainsaws come with all of these extra features as standard – so decide what is essential for you and go from there.
Professional or commercial-grade chainsaws can run into thousands of dollars. Since this article is on the best cheap chainsaws on the market, I’ve limited the selection to the best I could find for under $170.
The list isn’t exhaustive, but you get the idea.
Buy the best you can afford – so long as it suits the job you need it to do. For many people, an electric chainsaw under 100 bucks is more than enough.
Do I need a chainsaw?
Take a look around your property. Do you have trees on your land? How large are they? If the answers are “yes” and “medium to large” then you will likely need a chainsaw.
For many residential chainsaw users, clearing up storm damage is one of the most common uses of having a budget chainsaw.
If you’re in the country, you’ll most likely need something a lot more heavy-duty.
Even if you don’t actually need one – it might still be a good idea to have one just in case. You could always call in a professional – but it will cost you.
What is the best chainsaw for the money?
That’s a tough question, considering the quality you see here. It comes down to a matter of opinion and what you need the machine for.
I’m going to sit on the fence for this one – I think all the machines in this review are great value. It’s up to you to choose the one that’s right for your needs.
How much does a small chainsaw cost?
A decent small chainsaw will set you back anywhere between $40-$200. However, this price will increase significantly depending on the make and model – not necessarily the size.
What is the best brand of chainsaw?
Again, this comes down to personal preference or user experience. Choosing one brand that stands alone isn’t an easy task, but the best include – Husqvarna, Poulan Pro, Remington, Makita, Black and Decker, and Oregon.
I think brands like Stihl and ICS are really top of the food chain here though – but they’re in a professional class and usually much more expensive with no place in a budget chainsaw review.
How do I use a chainsaw?
Chainsaws are very dangerous tools and should only be operated by someone who is capable of doing so. For loads of tips, tricks, and advice, check out the excellent video below.
What safety equipment do I need when operating a chainsaw?
I’m very glad you asked. Chainsaw safety is very important, and aside from using the machine with great care, you should also be kitted out with the right equipment – which is non-negotiable.
Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants with leg protection. Something heavy-duty that is cut resistant. Make sure your clothes fit well and are not too loose.
A pair of good-quality gloves is essential. Although that link is more for landscaping gloves – you might still find a heavy-duty product that is suitable. Either way – you need to protect your hands and protect them well.
Eye goggles should always be worn – no matter the size of the job. Even the tiniest shard or splinter could fly up and cause serious damage. If you wear spectacles, make sure your eye protectors cover them, and they should always have side shields.
Ear protectors are essential if you’re using a gas-powered chainsaw, and even though electric saws are much quieter – ear protection is still highly recommended when using tools of this type, also.
Boots with a good lug grip and steel toes are required. Never, ever wear anything exposing your feet.
Finally, a hard hat is essential if you’re working with branches overhead – and consider a high-visibility jacket so you can be clearly seen.
Keep pets and children indoors at all times when you’re operating your chainsaw.
Cheap or not, chainsaws are not toys. Please, don’t become one of the 36,000 chainsaw-related injuries the US alone experiences each year.
I hope this review and buyer’s guide has led you to discover the best cheap chainsaw 2020. It’s not an easy task, but I think there are some quality picks in here if I do say so myself.
Let me know which product you would choose and why.
Personally, I’d stretch to the Husqvarna. I think that’s an outstanding price for a quality gas-powered chainsaw. And with these tools, the freedom and power you get with gas is unbeatable.
Good luck, happy sawing, and don’t be starring in any horror movies!