Using a regular chainsaw for tree pruning isn’t always a great idea, especially if you involve a ladder. Balancing with one hand while trying to operate a heavy chainsaw is a recipe for catastrophe. Besides, it’s not the right tool for all jobs due to its size, weight, and utility.
Luckily, mini chainsaws can help you with smaller tasks. They’re designed to be used with one hand, so they’re light and easy to operate, and they make tree pruning a safe and easy task. Due to their small size, they’re usually battery-powered. That’s why getting an extra battery is a good idea if you have a lot of trees that need pruning.
BackyardBoss Best Mini Chainsaws For Tree Pruning
MKSENSE Mini Chainsaw
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Merece 4 Inch 20v Electric Chainsaw
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RYOBI ONE+ Cordless Battery Chainsaw
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Milwaukee M12 FUE HATCHET
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POTENCO Mini Chainsaw
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Best Complete Kit
Why We Like it: This 4-inch chainsaw is designed specifically for single-handed tree pruning.
It’s light and compact enough to take with you when you climb up the nearest tree. There’s a guard over the blade to protect the user in the event of the saw kicking back. There’s also a handy safety button that needs to be engaged at the same time as the trigger for the blade to start spinning. It’s an excellent safety feature that will stop the saw from working when you least expect it.
What’s more, this product comes with everything you need to start pruning. Two batteries, a charger, two chains, a screwdriver and wrench, and even a pair of gloves all packaged up in a neat carrying case.
Who Should Buy It: For those who are serious about safety and tree pruning. The safety features of this saw are excellent and will prevent you from any accidents.
Best For Budget Conscious
Why We Like It: Even though this saw is small, it’s very powerful and cost-effective.
It arrives fully assembled, so to make it work you just have to charge the batteries. The chain guard is adjustable which means you can swivel it out of the way to access hard-to-reach branches. Swivel the guard back in place to protect the user from the chain in the event of a kickback.
Another useful feature is the variable speed of the blade. Light pressure on the trigger will give you a slow-spinning blade for precision cuts. As you increase the pressure, the blade starts to spin faster and cut through branches quicker. This comes in handy when you have a small margin for error in your pruning process.
Who Should Buy It: For those who need some extra precision while pruning their trees, this product will be a perfect solution.
Best 8-Inch Blade
Why We Like It: Thanks to the compact design of this chainsaw, you will never feel fatigued after using it, even for hours.
It’s lightweight and compact, meaning you will easily store it and move it around your garden. It comes with 8 inches bar and chain, which makes it the largest tool on this list. To make the maintenance super easy, it is equipped with an oil-free function.
To prevent accidents from happening, this chainsaw includes a SAFE-T-TIP that you have to install before using it. Ryobi has an 18V platform of over 255 tools, which means that this tool is compatible with all batteries and chargers within the platform.
Who Should Buy It: If you are looking for a durable tool that will allow you to prune limbs around your house effortlessly, consider buying it.
Best For Control
Why We Like It: While you can easily use this chainsaw with one hand, there’s an added grip for your second hand when you need some extra stability.
The Milwaukee brand comes with a reputation for durable, well-designed tools. It comes with a price, but it’s peace of mind and a quality tool you’re paying for. The battery lasts for a long time, but the oil reservoir is quite small. This means you’ll have to refill the oil a few times per battery charge.
Who Should Buy It: If you prefer high-quality products from a brand with an excellent reputation, this saw will fit be worth consideration.
Best For Safety
Why We Like It: Safety is the main priority of this mini saw. There’s a locking switch that should be engaged while not in use to prevent any accidents.
The adjustable chain guard will protect you from any kickback accidents as well as stopping sawdust from hitting you in the face. If the motor reaches 200 degrees, it’ll cut out to stop burning out the engine or the user. It also comes complete with two batteries, two chains, and two bars. Thanks to that, you have a backup ready to go if any of these parts fail.
Who Should Buy It: It’s a great option for new chainsaw users, as all the added safety features will keep you safe while you learn how to use it.
How To Pick A Mini Chainsaw
To choose the best size of the chainsaw, try to determine the average thickness of the wood that you’re planning to cut. Once you have the average thickness, add another two inches. The number you’re left with is the length of the bar that your chainsaw should have. It’ll allow you to cut wood while not damaging the saw.
In this article, we put the maximum bar length limit for a mini chainsaw at 6 inches. So if you’re going to be cutting wood that’s mostly 4 inches in diameter or less, this product is what you need. If you’re cutting wood that’s a little wider than 4 inches, have a look at the best small chainsaws on offer.
Always think about safety before making any purchase decisions. It’s especially important if you’re a chainsaw novice, or if you don’t have enough strength to fully control the machinery. A guard over the blade is a great safety feature that will keep you safe from kickbacks.
When it comes to power sources for mini chainsaws, your options are limited to battery-powered tools. This is because they’re intended to be mobile, and the extra power that comes with gas-powered saws isn’t necessary for mini chainsaws. It’s always worth considering the compatibility of your other battery-powered tools with the chainsaw you buy. Most brands have universal batteries that you can use across the whole range of their tools.
When Should You Choose A Larger Chainsaw
Mini chainsaws are best suited to pruning and small clean-up jobs around the yard. They’re also a great tool for cutting up firewood and less labor-intensive than an axe. However, they have their limitations. That’s why it’s important to establish when you should choose a larger chainsaw.
The first thing you should consider when choosing a chainsaw is what you’re going to use it for. If you have a plantation of 100-foot trees that you need to fall, a mini chainsaw won’t be a proper choice. Instead, choose the best chainsaw for this type of job. Alternatively, if you need to prune a few branches off your apple tree, a full-sized, gas-powered chainsaw is way oversized. It won’t allow you the finesse required to carefully prune a few branches off your tree.
The blade of the chainsaw should be about 2 inches longer than the width of the wood you’re trying to cut. For example, if the biggest branch you need to cut is 4 inches thick, your chainsaw blade should be at least 6 inches long. Using your chainsaw incorrectly will quickly deteriorate the blade and bar and can lead to more serious breakages down the road.
If you need to cut wood that is mostly 6 inches thick or more, you should consider getting a bigger chainsaw. This will ensure that you don’t damage your chainsaw and that you stay safe.
You may be tempted to oversize your chainsaw so that you have a tool to handle any woodcutting job. While this decision ultimately comes down to you, it’s not recommended. Bigger chainsaws are heavier, less mobile, and more dangerous. They’re also less precise. Meaning you might end up cutting branches that you didn’t intend to, or even cutting down the whole tree by mistake. The added power that comes with bigger chainsaws means more torque, which makes them harder to control.
How We Picked
To find the best chainsaw, we’ve gone through various factors. Below you can find the most important ones that helped us narrow the list to the five best products available on the market right now.
- Size. We made the upper limit for the length of the bar 6 inches. Most chainsaws in this range are designed to be used with one hand and can firmly be defined as mini.
- Price. We like to include a range of prices so that there is a product accessible to all budgets. If price is your main concern, read our reviews for the best cheap chainsaws on the market.
- User experience. We wanted to add a range of products that can be used by people with varying experience levels with chainsaws. There are chainsaws with all the safety features and others that are intended for experienced users.
- Power. All chainsaws of this size are battery-powered. We made sure to choose products that have a long battery life or come with two batteries so your work won’t be interrupted.
- Weight. It should be possible to use a mini chainsaw with one hand. In fact, most of them are designed to be used with one hand. We included a chainsaw in this list that can be used with two hands for those who need extra control or stability.
The Best Mini Chainsaw – Our Recommendation
We are confident that all of the chainsaws we included are great tools and that you will benefit from having them. However, due to its remarkable features, our top pick for mini chainsaws is the MKSense Mini Chainsaw. The compact design, coupled with the safety features and the fact that it comes as a complete kit, makes this our number one choice.
When you buy this chainsaw, it comes with everything you need to start pruning straight away. The short battery life shouldn’t be too much of an issue since it comes with two batteries. Simply keep one battery on the charger while the other is in use to extend your working time.
Let us know, which mini chainsaw you like the most, and as always, please share!