Best Chainsaw For Cutting Hardwood [2021 Review]

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A quality chainsaw is always important. You need to find one that will have a good chain since the whole cutting experience is going to depend on it. Chains that have a bit of blue on the surface are often more robust compared to the other options.

And since chains can get worn-down or overheated with frequent usage, you want to make sure that you get one that can be kept up well and last a long time.

Our Top Chainsaw for Hardwood Reviews

There are a lot of things that you need to consider when it comes to which chain you would like to invest in. Hardwood is going to be stronger than some of the other projects that you can use and having the right chain to take care of it will make all the difference.

Because there are so many options to choose from, we have provided you with a list of some of the best chainsaws that you should choose to help get any project done. Some of the best chainsaws for hardwood include:

Brand
Best Overall
Husqvarna 460 Rancher Chainsaw
Best Budget Chainsaw
WORKX WG304.1 Firewood Chainsaw
Best Small Gas Chainsaw
ECHO CS-400 18-inch Gas Chainsaw
Product
Husqvarna 24 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
WORX WG304.2 Saw 18-Inch 15.0 Amp Electric...
Chain Saw, Gas, 18 In. Bar, 40.2CC
Power Source
Gas Powered
Corded Electric
Gasoline-powered
Item Weight
22.6 Pounds
11.2 Pounds
10.1 Pounds
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Husqvarna 460 Rancher Chainsaw
Product
Husqvarna 24 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
Power Source
Gas Powered
Item Weight
22.6 Pounds
Rating
-
Price
Best Budget Chainsaw
Brand
WORKX WG304.1 Firewood Chainsaw
Product
WORX WG304.2 Saw 18-Inch 15.0 Amp Electric...
Power Source
Corded Electric
Item Weight
11.2 Pounds
Rating
-
Price
Best Small Gas Chainsaw
Brand
ECHO CS-400 18-inch Gas Chainsaw
Product
Chain Saw, Gas, 18 In. Bar, 40.2CC
Power Source
Gasoline-powered
Item Weight
10.1 Pounds
Rating
-
Price

Best Chainsaw for Hardwood: Husqvarna 460 Rancher Chainsaw

Husqvarna 24 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw

When it comes to cutting firewood, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher Chainsaw is one of the best. it is a well-known brand that relies on gas and is going to last for a long time. We liked how easy it was to start and stop this chainsaw with just one or two pulls, much less than some of the other chainsaws that you may have used in the past.

You will also like that this one won’t wear you out as much as some of the others.

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  • At only 13 pounds and very little vibration, the chainsaw will not be too heavy to hold and can be easier to control as well.
  • This chainsaw is able to cut into 9 pin trees and 3 oaks in a fraction of the time of other options.
  • Despite all of the power behind this one, it will not guzzle on the fuel, saving you a lot of money

The trigger leaves a little bit lacking so you will need to be careful for this. But the quick-release feature has made it easy to change out the air filter and make sure that it will not get overheated while you work.

This chainsaw is not for someone who just uses a chainsaw once or twice a year. It is meant to be used often and can withstand some of the big projects you need to do.

Pros

  • The oil pump is adjustable
  • Easy to start compared to many others
  • Has a lot of power without all the vibration

Cons

  • More expensive than other brands
Husqvarna 24 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
  • 460 Rancher chainsaw is a robust all-round saw for jobs that need a longer Bar
  • 60. 3cc 24 inch gas chainsaw with guide bar and chain
  • 2 cycle fuel Included, Bar and chain oil must be purchased Separately
  • 60. 3cc 2 cycle engine with air injection and adjustable oil pump

Best Budget Chainsaw for Hardwood: WORKX WG304.1 Firewood Chainsaw

WORX WG304.2 Saw 18-Inch 15.0 Amp Electric...

When you are looking for a less expensive option for cutting firewood compared to the Husqvarna 460 Rancher, then the WORKX WG304.1 Firewood Chainsaw is a god substitute. It is able to keep up with the work of some of the more expensive chainsaws on the list, but comes in at just a fraction of the cost.

  • Despite the lower price, you will get a 15-amp motor with 4 horsepower (which is more than the Husqvarna chainsaw above)
  • The 18″ chain and bar will be able to cut through a big oak tree with ease.

If you are a beginner with using a chainsaw, then this is the chainsaw for you. It has a lot of features that make it great for a beginner and you can even put the chain on without needing any tools.

The auto-tensioning feature is useful because it makes sure the chain is never too tight or too loose, which is hard to learn as a beginner. When you get the chainsaw in the box, it comes fully assembled. This can make it easy to just take it right out of the box and enjoy.

This is an electric chainsaw, but not an underpowered one. Electric models are often underpowered when compared to their gas counterparts, but you will be surprised at the amount of power that comes with this one. This can help you to cut into hardwood without needing to hit the gas station first, making it a great option for many people.

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Pros

  • Light and easy to carry around
  • A rubber handle that is ergonomic
  • A chain break built into the machine to add to the safety

Cons

  • The oil reservoir tends to leak
  • The auto-tension feature is not the best
WORX WG304.2 Saw 18-Inch 15.0 Amp Electric...
  • [A BIGGER SAW] With an 18” bar you can fell larger trees, and with a powerful motor you can get...
  • [A TIGHTER CHAIN] The clever auto-tension system won’t let you over-tighten, which increases the...
  • [A SMOOTHER CHAIN] The auto-lubrication system keeps the chain well-oiled and running efficiently...
  • [STOPS QUICKLY] The chain brake shuts down the chain almost instantly to prevent accidental cutting....

Best Small Gas Chainsaw for Hardwood: ECHO CS-400 18-inch Gas Chainsaw

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

For those who are looking for a small powerful chainsaw that relies on gas, the Echo CS-400 is a great option. It has a 40 cc engine capacity and a two-stroke easy start engine that will help it to tackle all types of wood, plastic, and even metals on occasion.

The smart electronics in it will be responsible for helping you to adjust the engine timing while also reducing how much the machine is going to vibrate on you, making it easier to use this with comfort.

Another thing that you will like about this is that it is equipped with an innovative i-30 starting system. This is a fancy way of saying that the system is going to be easy to start up, even for someone who is a beginner. It comes with a heavy-duty air filter and lots of force to make sure that it will keep going, even during some of the harder cuts you would like to do.

This chainsaw is sturdy, comes with a number of steel parts, and is only 10 pounds so you can get the work done without feeling like the saw is too strong. Even though you will need to use stools to help tension the chain, the adjustable oiler is going to give you some more benefits when dealing with tough woods.

Pros

  • 40cc powerful engine capacity
  • Innovative i-30 easy start system
  • G-force air injection system

Cons

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  • This is an older model
Chain Saw, Gas, 18 In. Bar, 40.2CC
  • 40.2cc Engine
  • 18" Bar & Chain Included
  • Engine Oil Included
  • Fully Assembled

Best Self Chain Sharpening Chainsaw for Hardwood: Oregon Cordless 16-inch Chainsaw Kit

Oregon Cordless 16-inch Self-Sharpening Chainsaw...

The Oregon Cordless 16-inch Chainsaw Kit is going to offer you some of the best when it is time to slice into those big trees. It features a 16-inch long bar and chain and will cut down through the trees and other items with ease.

You will love that it only takes a few seconds to sharpen the chain and with a pull of the lever, you will be able to get everything in place.

Everything about this chainsaw is automatic, which can make your life so much easier than before. It has an automatic lubrication system, a brushless motor, and a strong battery to give you a lot of power, speed, and torque along the way.

This model also does not have a slow startup and since it is going to weigh only 12 pounds, it is easy to carry around.

There are a number of safety features that you will like with this chainsaw, including the safeguards on the battery that produce emissions and other features like reduced kickback bar and a low kickback chain, hand guards on the front and the rear, and a chain brake activated by inertial forces. Altogether, this is a great option for you to choose for safety and power.

Pros

  • Self-sharpening chain system
  • Solid construction
  • Brushless motor
  • Powerful battery

Cons

  • It can be expensive
  • The battery takes a long time to charge
Oregon Cordless 16-inch Self-Sharpening Chainsaw...
  • Brushless motor provides increased efficiency and power output
  • PowerSharp chain minimizes downtime by allowing you to sharpen your chain right on the saw within...
  • Lightweight for comfort and ease of use
  • Silent between cuts

Most Powerful Chainsaw for Hardwood: Makita EA6100PRGG 20-Inch 61 CC Chain Saw

Makita EA6100PRGG 20' 61 cc Chain Saw

When you are looking to find a powerhouse chainsaw, then the Makita EA6100PRGG 20-Inch 61 CC Chain Saw is the right one for your needs. This will have a lot more power compared to the Oregon chainsaw and it has a great power to weight ratio with it only weighing 13.2 pounds.

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The 20-inch bar length is one of the best for some of those tough or thick trees like oak.

This chainsaw has a lot of heavy duty parts going on, but it is easy to start up with the help of the Easy Start spring-supported starter. It also has a lot less vibration, low emissions, and as a no-load speed of 13,800 RPM for fast speeding up.

The gas-power will give you some of that extra power that you need as well, making sure that you are able to get through the toughest woods out there.

The dampening system for vibrations is lower than some of the other options and you will like the side-mounted chain tensioning that will make it easier to clean up the chain.

There are a few features that will make this one good when dealing with safety. The touch and stop single-lever control will help to shut the engine off and the 2 point durable inertial forces will force the chain brake to keep you safe.

Pros

  • Easy to clean up
  • Light and easy to carry around
  • Lots of horsepower
  • Spring assisted startup to make life easier

Cons

  • Expensive
Sale
Makita EA6100PRGG 20" 61 cc Chain Saw
  • Easy start spring-assisted starter with optimized engine Management for quick starting with less...
  • Powerful 4.6 HP Stratified air Scavenging engine for lower emissions and improved fuel efficiency
  • Magnesium housing for improved durability and less weight (Only 13.2 lbs.)
  • Heavy-duty cartridge air filter system for extended air filter life and improved durability

Hardwood Chainsaw Considerations

Since hardwood is hard to cut through, you need to make sure that you choose a chainsaw that is strong and can last a long time. There are certain characteristics that you should consider when choosing a powerful chainsaw including:

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Types of Chainsaws

There are three main categories of chainsaws that you can choose from. These include battery-operated, electric, and gasoline engine. The gasoline options are going to offer the most power and often work the best with frequent use against hardwoods. The other options can have some power, but make sure that they have a strong motor behind them.

Bosch chainsaw

Saw Weight and Bar Size

It is usually best for you to look for a balance between the power and the size of the chainsaw. But when you want to frequently go against hardwoods, you should go with the chainsaw with the most power.

In addition, consider your own physical capabilities when it comes to the weight of the chainsaw. A particular chainsaw may have a lot of power, but if it is too hard for you to carry around, then it is not a good one to use.

Keep in mind that the more power behind the chain saw, the larger the bar length. This will help you get more efficiency, cutting capacity, and power in the saw. You will need to determine what your own personal skill level Is ahead of time to see which type of chainsaw is right for you.

Automatic Chain Oiler

Cutting through hardwood can cause some to burn a bit with a charcoal mark if it is not given the right amount of oil while it goes through each step.

The feature of having an automatic chain oiler can be handy to keep the chain as cool as possible. It does this by applying a coat of oil over the chain, which can help prevent the wood from burning while you cut.

Grip and Vibration

Both of these are going to be important when it comes to getting a chainsaw that is able to last and will be comfortable enough to use for each project.

Since these types of chainsaws are often heavier due to all the work, you need to go with one that has an ergonomic design and a padded grip. This will make it easier to use wherever you need.

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Consider the vibrations of the chainsaw as well. Gasoline engines will provide more power, but they are also able to produce a lot of vibrations as well.

Look at the chainsaw to see whether they have a vibration dampening system. While there are some things that you can compromise on when it comes to cutting, never compromise on either the vibration or the grip because you will be miserable if you do.

Chainsaw chain

Fuel-Efficiency

Since the gas powered chainsaws are some of the most powerful options that you can choose, it is important to take a look at the fuel efficiency to make sure that it is the right one for you.

If you plan to use the saw all the time, you need to go with a chainsaw that is going to have good efficiency with this. Some engines are going to use an air injection system.

This is an important design element that will keep the filter clean because it will remove the debris and dust that tries to get in. This is a feature that will help add to the fuel economy.

Safety Features

It is always a good idea to look at the different safety features that are found with a chainsaw. A chainsaw can be a dangerous tool when it is not used properly.

The good news is that most of the heavier duty ones are going to be equipped with anti-kickback chains, chain brakes, and safety guards. These are all important parts to the chainsaw and you need to make sure that your chainsaw has them before using.

Those above are often standard when it comes to your chainsaw and how well it works. You can also look at some of the other personal safety measures that you will need to use with these. This can include ear safety, a face shield, goggles, non-slip gloves, and more. This will keep you safe along with the safety features that come with the chainsaw.

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As you are looking for a good chainsaw, you can also check out some of the additional features that are present with it. A good warranty, an affordable cost, and even the ease of start for someone who is just getting started will all be great features to consider before purchasing.

Choosing the Right Chainsaw for Hardwood

There are many different types of chainsaws that you are able to choose to get the work done. However, not all of them are going to work well when you want to get through harder types of wood. When you are ready to cut down those trees, work with firewood, and so much more, make sure to check out some of the great chainsaws for hardwood that we have above.

Raised with a fix-it and improvement mindset, my wife and I completely restored our Craftsman-style home. Learning how to DIY a variety of home improvement projects, I started SawsHub with my father. He's the fine woodworker, I'm the DIYer!