9 Best Gas-Powered Chainsaws of 2021 [Reviews]

Two men using chainsaws to cut down a fallen tree in the woods

Gas-powered chainsaws are a tree’s worst nightmare. They’re the most powerful cutting machines for felling, limbing, and trimming trees of all shapes and sizes.

Whether you’re a lumberjack or an average Joe, there are lots of options to choose from when selecting a gas chainsaw. Engine size, weight, saw bar length, and price are all key factors.

We’ve researched dozens of gas-powered chainsaws, picked out the best, and compiled a list that will help you narrow down the field and choose the right model for you.

Top 9 Best Gas Chainsaws – Reviews

1. DEREAL 6220F

DEREAL 62cc-Gas-Chainsaw 2 Cycle Gasoline Powered Chain Saws Handheld Cordless Petrol Chainsaws Optional-20 Inches Guide Board Power Chain Saws for Trees Wood Farm Garden Ranch Forest Cutting

The DEREAL 6220F is both powerful and affordable. The two-stroke, 62 cc engine puts out an impressive 3.4 horsepower. It has a 20-inch saw bar and an automatic oiling system that keeps it lubricated while in use. 

This chainsaw also has a variable speed trigger, a trigger lock for sustained cutting, dual throttle action to prevent accidental starting, and a built-in chain brake for safety.

Specifications

  • Engine: 62 cc
  • Weight: 18.3 lbs
  • Saw bar length: 20 inches

Pros

✓ Powerful 3.4 horsepower engine and variable speed trigger
✓ Automatic oiling system
✓ Includes a one-year warranty

Cons:

✗ Chain tensioning requires some disassembly
✗ Difficult to start on first use

2. HUYOSEN 5820L

HUYOSEN 42cc Gas Chainsaws 2-cycle Gas Powered Chainsaw, 16-Inch Chainsaw, Cordless Handheld Gasoline Power Chain Saws for Cutting Trees, Wood, Garden and Farm(4216L)

The HUYOSEN 5820L is a high-performance cutting machine that can tackle even the toughest jobs. It has a 3.6 horsepower, 62 cc engine and a 20-inch saw bar. The non-slip handle is ergonomically designed and shock-absorbing to help to reduce vibration. 

Throw in an automatic oiling system, bucking spikes, and low kickback bar and you have one impressive chainsaw.

Specifications:  

  • Engine: 58 cc
  • Weight: 18.5 lbs
  • Saw bar length: 20 inches

Pros:

✓ Variable speed trigger and trigger lock
✓ Electronic ignition for quick start-up
✓ Automatic oiling system and built-in bar nose sprocket

Cons:

✗ Some reported issues with damaged spark plugs
✗ Some reviewers report difficulty with first start-up

3. Remington RM4618 Outlaw

Remington RM4618 Outlaw 46cc 2-Cycle 18-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw with Carrying Case Automatic Chain Oiler and 5-Point Anti Vibration System, 46 cc-18, Orange

The Remington RM4618 Outlaw combines powerful cutting with ease of use. It has an 18-inch bar and a 46 cc two-cycle engine, but it’s designed with comfort in mind. 

Key features: The 5-point anti-vibration system and cushioned, full-wrap handle make for a smooth cutting experience. The die-cast chassis gives it durability, and the automatic oiling system adds convenient lubrication.

Specifications:  

  • Engine: 46 cc
  • Weight: 16.4 lbs
  • Saw bar length: 18 inches

Pros

✓ 5-point anti-vibration system for smooth operation
✓ Low kickback chain reduces risk of bucking
✓ Automatic oiling system with chain oil included

Cons:

✗ Some reviewers complain that the chain dulls too quickly
✗ Some reports of a leaking oil reservoir

4. RYOBI RY5020

RYOBI RY5020 20 in. 50 cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw with Heavy-Duty Case

The RYOBI RY5020 is a lightweight, high-powered chainsaw. It’s capable enough to tackle larger jobs, with a 50 cc engine, yet still maneuverable at just 11.3 pounds. 

The metal bucking spikes and 20-inch saw bar mean this chainsaw is built for felling large trees. It also has a 3-point vibration isolation system so it’s comfortable to use. 

Bonus points: This unit includes a heavy-duty carrying case for easy transport and storage, as well as a three-year warranty.

Specifications:  

  • Engine: 50 cc
  • Weight: 11.3 lbs
  • Saw bar length: 20 inches

Pros:

✓ Automatic chain oiler
✓ Includes heavy-duty carrying case
✓ Safe-T-tip bar and inertia-activated chain brake for safety

Cons:

✗ Some complain that chain tensioning is difficult and the chain falls off often
✗ Some reviewers feel the chain brake is too close to the handle

5. Poulan Pro PR5020

Poulan Pro 20 in. 50cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw, PR5020

The Poulan Pro PR5020 is another professional-grade chainsaw designed for personal use. It has a convenient, side-adjust chain tensioner and a combi-tool that’s integrated into the rear handle. 

Key features: The Effortless Pull-Start System makes it easier to start with less effort. The OxyPower engine is engineered to produce 70% less emissions and 20% lower fuel consumption than most gas chainsaws. It also has a filtering system for longer air filter life.

Specifications:  

  • Engine: 50 cc
  • Weight: 17 lbs
  • Saw bar length: 20 inches

Pros

✓ OxyPower engine for lower emissions and fuel consumption
✓ Easy access chain tensioning with integrated combination tool
✓ Purge bulb to fuel carburetor and combined choke/stop control to reduce risk of engine flooding

Cons:

✗ Becomes more difficult to start when hot 
✗ Sometimes bogs down under heavy loads

6. Blue Max 8901 2-in-1

Blue Max 8901 2-in-1 14-Inch/20-Inch Combination Chainsaw in 4 Color Carton

The Blue Max 8901 is a 2-in-1 chainsaw built with versatility in mind. 

This chainsaw comes with both a 20-inch and a 14-inch guide bar that are easily interchangeable. Whichever bar you use, it’s powered by a 45 cc engine with maximum cutting speeds of more than 10,000 RPMs. 

Good to know: The automatic oiler keeps it lubricated and the chain brake keeps it safe.

Specifications:  

  • Engine: 45 cc
  • Weight: 18.2 lbs
  • Saw bar length: 20 inches & 14 inches

Pros

✓ Easy access to chain tensioning system
✓ Includes 20-inch and 14-inch saw bars
✓ Anti-vibration handle and center balance for minimum strain

Cons:

✗ Initial assembly and first start-up can be difficult
✗ Some reviewers complain that the on/off switch is poorly placed and can be accidentally tripped while cutting

7. CRAFTSMAN S205

Craftsman CMXGSAMY426S 46cc 2-Cycle Full Crank 20-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw with Carrying Case, 16-in, Liberty Red

The S205 is CRAFTSMAN’s high output, 20-inch model. The 46 cc 2-cycle engine runs on a durable chassis for durable power. 

Reviewers love the reduced vibration of the 5-point anti-vibration system and the easy start technology. This chainsaw also comes with a big, sturdy case for storage and transport.

Specifications:  

  • Engine: 46 cc
  • Weight: 17.7 lbs
  • Saw bar length: 20 inches

Pros:

✓ Tool-free access to the air filter and spark plug
✓ Includes heavy-duty carrying case and 2-cycle oil
✓ Backed by a two-year warranty

Cons:

✗ It’s the heaviest chainsaw on our list at over 23 pounds
✗ Some reviewers complain that it leaks bar oil

8. Husqvarna 130

Husqvarna 16 Inch 130 Gas Chainsaw,Orange

The Husqvarna 130 is a great choice for homeowners looking for a lightweight chainsaw for simple work around the yard. It’s best suited for light to moderate work, but it can still handle some larger jobs as well. 

This chainsaw is the lightest saw on our list at just 10.3 pounds, making it easy to maneuver. The 38 cc engine and 2.0 horsepower give it enough strength for limbing, trimming, and debris clearing.

Specifications

  • Engine: 38 cc
  • Weight: 10.3 lbs
  • Saw bar length: 16 inches

Pros:

✓ Simple chain tensioning system
✓ Inertia-activated chain brake for safety
✓ LowVib system for reduced vibration 

Cons:

✗ Bar and chain oil not included
✗ Some reviewers say the carburetor needs adjusting, but is difficult to adjust

9. Poulan Pro PR4016

Poulan Pro PR4016, 16 in. 40cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw

Another strong effort from Poulan Pro, the PR4016 is ideal for light to medium-sized jobs. It uses Poulan’s OxyPower engine technology and SuperClean filtration system for reduced emissions and better fuel economy. 

Bonus points: The 16-inch bar has an automatic oiling system and it includes an onboard scrench for easy chain tensioning. The two-year warranty makes this a safe option for any homeowner.

Specifications:  

  • Engine: 40 cc
  • Weight: 13 lbs
  • Saw bar length: 16 inches

Pros:

✓ Automatic oiling and SuperClean air cleaning system for reduced maintenance
✓ Comes with oil and an onboard scrench for chain tensioning
✓ Includes a two-year warranty

Cons:

✗ Struggles with heavy-duty jobs
✗ Some reviewers complain that the chain falls off its track too often

Buyers Guide

Choosing the right chainsaw for your needs will mean sorting through lots of options. The type of yard work you’re doing will be a major factor in picking a saw and the options that you want to go with it. This buyers guide will help you make the best decision for your specific chainsaw needs.

Engine size

Engine sizes for gas-powered chainsaws are measured in cubic centimeters. For the most part, the larger the engine, the more powerful the saw. 

Engines of 32 cc or more are typically strong enough to handle most home uses, but larger chainsaw engines are required for bigger tasks. Felling large trees will likely require an engine of 45 cc or more.

Chain oil

Chainsaws need lubrication to avoid overheating and to keep the chain running smoothly. Any chainsaw operator should monitor their chain’s lubrication levels and stop to oil the chain if needed. 

Many modern chainsaws have an automatic oiling system that continuously releases oil onto the saw bar so that you don’t have to stop and do it yourself. As long as the onboard oil reservoir is full, the saw will do the oiling work for you. 

Some models even have adjustable oiling systems that allow you to increase or reduce the oil flow depending on the work that’s being done.

Chain tensioning

Even with lubrication, a saw chain gets hot during use. As it heats up, the chain expands and can eventually become loose enough to slip off the saw bar. 

You’ll need to keep an eye on the chain tension while cutting and tighten the chain if it starts to over-expanded. Otherwise, a stretched chain can “jump” off the guide bar. 

Some models will require you to keep a specific tool or a screwdriver handy so that you can tighten the chain when needed. Others will include automatic chain adjustments or a “tool-less” chain tensioning system that makes tensioning easy.

This video provides a great explanation of chain tensioning:

Safety features

Using a chainsaw is inherently dangerous. They are powerful machines that can cause serious injury if used improperly. Safety features should be an important consideration when looking for a chainsaw, especially for beginners.

A chain brake is one of the most important safety features of a chainsaw. It allows you to quickly stop the chain from spinning between cuts or if the chain slips off the bar. Some models have a chain brake built into a trigger, others will do this automatically.

Kickback is when the tip of the saw catches on whatever you’re cutting and causes the machine to “kick” back at the user. Low kickback chains and bars are specifically designed to reduce kickback, or “bucking,” to protect the user. 

Some chainsaws also have bucking spikes to help you leverage the saw against bucking.

FAQs About Gas-Powered Chainsaws

1. Is gas or electric better?

This all depends on the work you’ll be doing and your personal preference. 

Gas engine chainsaws are more powerful and run longer on a single tank, but they’re loud, give off toxic emissions, and can be a hassle to maintain. 

Electric chainsaws are typically less powerful than gas models, but they’re quiet, emissions-free, and start at the push of a button.

2. What should I look for when buying a gas chainsaw?

Start by considering the type of work you’ll be doing and the experience that you want.

— Does it have enough power to handle the job?
— Is the saw bar long enough?
— Do you want automatic oiling and tool-less tensioning?
— If noise and fumes are a concern, you may want to consider electric models.

3. What size chainsaw should I buy?

Your chainsaw bar length should be at least 2 to 3 inches longer than the width of the object you’re cutting. If you need to cut tree trunks or limbs that are up to 14 inches wide, you’ll need at least a 16-inch bar.

Conclusion

Gas-powered chainsaws come in all shapes and sizes. Whether felling small trees or clearing storm debris, the options are plenty. With our buyers guide in mind, you’ll have everything you need to select the right tool for you.

Or if you still can’t decide, you can always call on a professional to handle the tree work for you. You can find a tree care professional near you in seconds and choose to relax this weekend instead.

Main Photo Credit: Jim Bartlett Team Rubicon/BLM for USFS / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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Ryan Plank

Ryan Plank

Ryan Plank is a freelance writer and journalist in Orlando, Florida. He studied at Florida State University and is an avid golfer.