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The Best Small Chainsaw on the Market

You wouldn’t try to flip an over-easy egg with a large dinner plate, right? So, why would you use a large chainsaw to do small jobs? Part of doing a job right is choosing the right tool. Large chainsaws are great when you’re felling 36-inch thick trees, but for trimming a few things up around your yards, such as limbs or bushes, you should consider investing in the best small chainsaw. Not all chainsaws are the same, so you probably shouldn’t just pick a brand and grab the smallest model in its line. You’ll have to consider power source, the jobs you’ll need the chainsaw for, and where you plan to use your new tool. You can find your new small chainsaw easily if you read through some of the research here, and follow it up by reading the best small chainsaw reviews below.

5 Best Small Chainsaw Comparisons

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
byb2-table__imageEarthwise LCS35814 14-Inch
  • Weight: 15 lbs.
  • Bar size: 14 inches
  • Warranty: 5 years (2 years for battery/charger)
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byb2-table__imageGreenWorks 20222
  • Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Bar size: 14 inches
  • Warranty: 4 years
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byb2-table__imageBLACK+DECKER LCS1020
  • Weight: 7.2 lbs.
  • Bar size: 10 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years
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byb2-table__imageTanaka TCS33EDTP/12
  • Weight: 11.9 lbs.
  • Bar size: 12 inches
  • Warranty: 7 years
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byb2-table__imageMakita UC3551A 14"
  • Weight: 15.5 lbs.
  • Bar size: 12 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year
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Why Would You Need a Small Chainsaw?

The need for the best compact chainsaw comes up all the time. So, feel free to offer this guide up to your partner if you get pushback when you try to buy “a new toy.” A chainsaw is not only a timesaver when it comes to maintaining your property, it’s a helpful device to have in an emergency, which is a big selling point when it comes to small chainsaws. Here are a couple of situations you might find yourself in when a chainsaw would be super handy.

A Fallen Tree

Say the worst has happened and a tree falls on your house or car. You could call a professional to move the tree and add on to the cost of repairing your home, or you could take out your trusty chainsaw and break down the tree yourself. Even a small chainsaw is going to make this possible, but it may take a while.

Overgrown Bushes

Using a machete to trim up bushes is so 16th century. Even hedge clippers are going to take a while for this sort of job. A mini or small chainsaw makes quick work of leaves and small branches, which means you’ll have more time for the other stuff.

Firewood

An ax is a great tool to have on hand but chopping firewood the old-fashioned way can leave you with aches and pains in muscles you didn’t even know you had. Switch to a small chainsaw and you can have a cord of wood ready to go for when the weather turns.

Home Improvement Projects

All those planks and boards you bought for repairing, replacing, or starting some new home improvement project need to be cut to size. You could do it at the hardware store, or you could do it yourself at home. A saw is great for this application, but a chainsaw is going to be a faster, easier solution.

Limbing

There’s really no way around this. Sure, you could use a pole saw, but a small chainsaw is going to be easier for lopping off limbs of trees that have grown a bit too far over your roof or property.

What Else Do You Need to Buy?

The answer to this question largely depends on the type of chainsaw you buy. So, let’s take a look at the accessories that are helpful to have, depending on which chainsaw you choose. For more on which one would be best for you, keep reading!

All chainsaws have some things in common. You’re going to need to get some oil for lubricating your chain and bar. A sharpening tool is also a must-have for any chainsaw to keep the teeth sharp and ready to cut. It’s also important to invest in some safety gear. Goggles, at the very least, are necessary to keep your eyes safe from any debris. You could opt for some logging boots, but your regular work boots should be fine for around-the-house work. Chaps and gloves are worth getting to keep you safe in case of kickback. You may even want to pick out a helmet with a face screen for more protection.

Gas Chainsaw Must-haves

The most obvious answer here is gas and oil. You’ll have to mix the two and keep your chainsaw fueled up and ready to go.

Electric Chainsaws Must-haves

A long outdoor extension cord will make your life much easier. Get a big orange one and you’ll be able to have farther reach. You might even want to get a generator for projects that are deeper on your property.

Cordless Chainsaws Must-haves

Backup batteries and chargers are a good idea, especially if you use your chainsaw often. Rather than stopping the project and waiting for one battery to recharge, you can just pop a new one in and keep going.

How to Choose Between Gas, Electric, and Battery Power

If you’re looking for a chainsaw to keep in the back of your truck for use elsewhere, then any of the three options would be good. You’ll have to have a power source, of course, so you’d have to carry an extension cord, fuel, or your battery charger with you.

A gas chainsaw is going to be the most powerful option, but cordless battery-powered ones can be just as powerful, but likely for a shorter time.

If you hate tool maintenance, then an electric or battery-powered chainsaw is the right choice for you. To have total freedom with your tool, go with a gas or battery-powered chainsaw.

In the end, it comes down to price, performance, and features. So, the best way to choose the right chainsaw for you is to read the best small chainsaw reviews to get an idea of what to expect.

Top 5 Best Small Chainsaw Reviews

Earthwise LCS35814 14-Inch 58-Volt Cordless Brushless Motor Chainsaw, 2Ah Battery & Charger Included

Quick Info

  • Power: 58V
  • Battery: 2Ah Lithium-ion
  • Battery & Charger included: Yes
  • Bar size: 14 inches
  • Weight: 15 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 36 x 8.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Warranty: 5 years (2 years for battery/charger)

You’ll pay a bit more for the Earthwise LCS35814 14-inch cordless chainsaw, but this battery-powered machine packs a lot of power for such a little machine. That power is due in part to the 58V battery, which offers more oomph than its competitors. The brushless motor ups the efficiency of this small chainsaw, too. And the automatic oiler saves you time, as you won’t have to pause to keep the chain and bar oil.

Most small chainsaws, like this one, includes a tensioning adjuster that requires no tools. However, you might want to invest in a second chain or at least a sharpening tool. The teeth need to be sharpened often. Thankfully, that’s the most maintenance you’ll have to worry about with this chainsaw. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and it makes smooth cuts in boards, logs, posts, and branches. It’s one of those small chainsaws you’ll want to pack in your truck or have on hand at home.

Pros

  • Chain brake
  • Lightweight
  • Minimal kickback
  • Quiet operation
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Short battery charge
  • Teeth need sharpening often
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Pro tip

If you’re looking for a powerful small chainsaw that’s cordless and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, this might be a good choice for you.

GreenWorks 20222 Greenworks 14-Inch 9-Amp Corded Chainsaw

Quick Info

  • Power: 9 amps
  • Source: Electric
  • Bar size: 14 inches
  • Weight: 8 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 29 x 9 x 7 inches
  • Warranty: 4 years

Not all small chainsaws are battery-powered. The GreenWorks 20222 14-inch corded chainsaw uses about 9 amps and relies on electricity to power it. One benefit to this power source is that you don’t have to wait for batteries to charge for you to use it. As long as you have an outlet and a long enough cord, you can keep cutting to your heart’s desire. Opting for electric over gas means you don’t have to pull any cords to get it started – just press a button. Of course, you get tool-free tension adjustment, and there’s an auto oil system to keep your chain and bar lubricated.

Small tree trunks and branches are no match for this lightweight, easy-to-use small chainsaw. You’ll be able to saw through those bits and pieces in just minutes. You’ll be able to chop up old branches to use as firewood quickly and easily. Even if you come to thicker logs, just take your time, and periodically check the chain’s tightness. The tool-free tensioning adjuster makes it easy to do – just turn the knob. The safety of this chainsaw is great. Release the trigger and the chain stops. Perhaps the biggest issue with this chainsaw is that there are reports of the chain slipping off on occasion. Oil leaks are also common. Good news is that this small chainsaw comes with a four-year warranty for such issues.

Pros

  • Chain brake
  • Lightweight
  • Auto oil system
  • Quiet operation
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Oil leaks common
  • The chain might slip off
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Pro tip

If you’d rather have an electric-powered small chainsaw for continuous power, this one could be the right one for you.

BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Chainsaw, 10″

Quick Info

  • Power: 20V
  • Battery: Lithium-ion
  • Battery & Charger included: Yes
  • Bar size: 10 inches
  • Weight: 7.2 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 16.7 x 8.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Warranty: 2 years

The BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 may only have a 10-inch bar, but it makes up for its small size in power. Although it’s battery-powered, it’s capable of chopping all sorts of things with ease. Just keep in mind that is a smaller machine, so it’s best to tackle smaller things with it or take your time as you work your way through a stump or a large tree. You’re looking at making 9-inch to 10-inch cuts with this small chainsaw, but you could tackle even a 20-inch tree if you know what you’re doing.

Like most small chainsaws, this B+D one has a tensioning adjuster that doesn’t require you to go find a tool. Plus, it includes a low kickback chain and bar, which helps mitigate the danger of using a chainsaw. It’s also super quiet compared to other chainsaws. You have to remember that this is a battery-powered machine, so its biggest limitation is the battery charge. Tackling a big job will take the life out of this guy, so you might get 20 minutes from a single charge. Going after small things means you might get double the time. The oiler would be convenient, except it doesn’t always work, and if yours doesn’t, it could be defective.

Pros

  • Tool-free tension adjustment
  • Lightweight
  • Low kickback chain/bar
  • Oil view window
  • Quiet operation
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Short battery charge
  • Automatic oiler may be faulty
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Pro tip

If you need a small chainsaw that’s battery-powered and offers the performance of a bigger chainsaw, this one might be a good choice for you.

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

Quick Info

  • Power: 32.2cc
  • Source: Gas
  • Bar size: 12 inches
  • Weight: 11.9 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 15.4 x 11.8 inches
  • Warranty: 7 years

There’s such thing as a gas-powered small chainsaw? Why, yes, there is, if you seek the Tanaka TCS33EDTP top-handled chainsaw. It’s a powerful and popular choice, as it’s compact, easy to use, and it comes with one of the best warranties on the market. The design of this chainsaw makes it ideal for use as a climbing saw. You can easily prune trees with this compact small chainsaw. The auto oiler keeps you working without having to pause to make sure your chain and bar are properly oiled. In fact, you likely won’t have to add oil until you add fuel.

This small chainsaw is lightweight, but it packs plenty of power. Even if you aren’t using this high up in a tree, it’s a good saw to have around the house for various projects. Surprisingly, this little saw is enough tough enough for bucking jobs. This is a smaller chainsaw, though, so it may bog down in extra-thick logs, so keep that in mind. Because this is one of the more affordable gas-powered chainsaws, it has some plastic parts that aren’t terribly durable. A seven-year warranty may make up for that, though.

Pros

  • Auto-oiler
  • Starts easily
  • Lightweight
  • Anti-vibration feature
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • May leak oil
  • Not very durable
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Pro tip

For a gas-powered small chainsaw, you might want to consider this little top-handled chainsaw that’s ideal for pruning trees.

Makita UC3551A 14″ Electric Chain Saw

Quick Info

  • Power: 14.5A
  • Source: Electric
  • Bar size: 12 inches
  • Weight: 15.5 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 10 x 24.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Warranty: 1 year

Most small electric chainsaws are affordable, and while this Makita UC3551A isn’t going to break the bank, it is a little pricier than you may expect. The good news is that it should last you a lifetime if you care for it properly. It won’t require the same level of maintenance that a gas-powered chainsaw would, but it’s important that you keep it filled with oil, and you clean it occasionally. Do that and this small chainsaw will reward you with its strong torque and workhorse-like ethic.

The tool-free tensioning adjuster may be tricky to use sometimes, so some owners prefer to just remove the cover and tighten the chain by hand. Most people don’t have issues with it, though. The soft grip makes for a more comfortable hold on this tool. And the auto oiler keeps the bar and chain lubricated, so they don’t out. The biggest problem with this chainsaw is that it only comes with a one-year warranty.

Pros

  • Tool-free tensioning adjuster
  • Rubberized grip
  • Chain brake
  • Oil view window
  • Auto-oiler

Cons

  • Chain tensioner can be wonky
  • Short warranty
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Pro tip

When you want continuous power in a small chainsaw for the home, you might want to consider this little guy.

Conclusion

A small chainsaw isn’t going to replace your big, gas-powered monster that you can use to slice through thick old oak trees. However, it can prune the limbs and branches of that same tree. These are ideal chainsaws for small jobs and for home projects. Whether you choose a gas-powered, battery-powered, or electric-powered small chainsaw, it’s going to be a convenient purchase. These will easily fit in your truck and travel with you to wherever you need to chop up trees, bushes, or other stuff.

The best small chainsaw has to be the BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Chainsaw, 10″ with its portability, power, and convenience. There’s little to no maintenance with this small chainsaw, and it’s convenient to have around the house. It can be used to prune trees, bushes, and other small plants. Or you can put it to work chopping up wood for your firewood pile. It can be used, in a pinch, for dealing with a fallen tree. And it’s easy to take with you anywhere. It would be a good idea to get a backup battery, though, as the charge isn’t very long. At its affordable price, though, you can likely afford to get another battery.

About The Author

Candace Osmond

Award Winning Designer, Candace Osmond has been in the industry for over a decade. She studied Interior Decorating & Design and is also an accomplished writer and multi-published author. When she's not typing away from the comforts of her desk, Candace can be found travelling to warm destinations, tending to her garden, or enjoying the outdoor haven that is her backyard. Candace currently resides in the breathtaking Maritimes of Eastern Canada with her husband, two beautiful kids and one slobbery bulldog.

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