No matter how tight your budget is, you deserve the convenience of working with a powerful and functional chainsaw.In respect to this, we have prepared a detailed buying guide to help you get the best chainsaw under $200.
This includes reviews on some of the most affordable chainsaws that do not compromise on quality. It includes some of the features you should consider when shopping for a chainsaw.
The Remington RM4216 is an easy to operate, gas-powered chainsaw. It is suitable for occasional cutting of small to medium-sized branches, bucking logs, and limbing trees whose diameter does not exceed 12 inches. This is made possible by the unit’s 16- inch sprocket tip bar and chain.
The sprocket tip reduces friction and allows the chain to move easily, enhancing cutting performance. Since the bar and chain are both Remington owned (MTD products), they are readily available on the market, and therefore easy to replace. The bar is reversible and ought to be changed after every 5 weeks of use to heighten the unit’s life.
The Remington RM4216 Rebel chainsaw is powered by a 42cc 2-cycle engine that gives it adequate power for light cutting jobs. Being a budget chainsaw, the engine power is remarkably high. As is the case with any other gas chainsaw, you will need to carry out periodic maintenance like changing the spark plug and the air filter.
Fortunately, you can do this easily, even if you don’t have much technical knowhow.
Although the Remington RM4216 is not the lightest chainsaw on the market, it has an ergonomic design, an anti-vibration system, and a cushion wrap that makes it more maneuverable and less tiring. However, this gas chainsaw is not as quiet as many electric models. Ear protection is recommended when working with it.
Despite its affordable cost, this model has a load of convenient features. These include QUICKSTART technology that makes possible to power on the engine with an On/Off button, and an automatic oiler that keeps your chainsaw fully lubricated.
This chainsaw has been made with kickback reduction in mind. It comes with a 3.8-inch tip, 57 drive links, and a 0.05-inch gauge. This is a popular size among homeowner saws and offers both exceptional performance and strength. The chain works with a speed of about 20 meters per second and is therefore better compared to most electric chainsaws whose speed range from 12-15m/s.
Other safety features include a throttle lockout switch at the handle to prevent accidental engine acceleration, and a front hand guard that protects your hand in case it slips off the handle as the saw is running. The product also has a chain brake that stops the chain in milliseconds when activated, and a chain catcher that minimizes injuries should the chain slip or snap off the bar.
Accessories in the package include a user manual, a hard plastic carry case, and a supply of bar oil.
An electric powered budget chainsaw, the Oregon CS1500 is an electric corded unit run by a 15 Amp motor. This powerful motor delivers power equivalent to 1,800 Watts, which is sufficient to handle many cutting tasks.
The cutting equipment is an 18-inch guide bar and chain. It is suitable for medium-sized tree cutting, light storm damage clean up, and other related tasks.
The guide bar has a small radius nose to reduce friction and kickback. Although the bar’s nose sprocket is irreplaceable, the body is laminated and therefore ensures more life when greased regularly.
The chain has a 0.05-inch gauge, a 3/8 pitch, and 62 drive links. This allows the chisel-style cutters to carry out efficient cutting. The chain operates at a speed of 15m/s, which is at the upper hand for electric chainsaws.
The unique selling point of the Oregon CS1500 chainsaw is its integrated sharpening system. All you need to re-sharpen your chain is lift the lever while running the saw at full speed for about three to five seconds.
One complaint leveled against this model is the tendency of its chain to slip. However, this can be avoided by keeping the tool well oiled and tensioned. Avoiding aggressive use is also important.
This chainsaw has been well designed with robust metal drive components and a hard plastic cover. The handle comes with a grip for easier handling. The throttle trigger is well-positioned, and a trigger lockout switch has been incorporated for safer powering on.
The motor powering the Oregon CS1500 is not brushless. This makes the tool less-powerful than many gas chainsaws that use brushless motors. However, it still generates adequate power to get the job done.
To get the most out of this chainsaw, you will need to use the right power cord. Oregon recommends a 14 Gauge (AWG) cord for a 50-foot cord and 12 AWG for a 100-foot cable.
Like many high-end chainsaw models, this unit comes with an automatic oiling system that releases oil automatically depending on the sawing conditions.
Safety features include a brake that stops the motor and saw in the event of kickback. Bumper spikes support the saw during cutting, while front and rear hand guards keep the hands safe from flying debris and the chain. A throttle and catcher are also included to prevent accidental saw startup and protect the hand in case the chain snaps, respectively.
Accessories include a protective scabbard for the bar, a little amount of bar and chain oil, and a user’s manual.
If you are looking for a chainsaw to use on-the-go and one that will not bother you with a cumbersome extension cord, the Black+Decker LCS1240 might suit you.
This tool is powered by a 40V lithium-ion battery that supplies the motor with sufficient power to do most of the domestic cutting. However, the small 12-inch bar and chain limits this chainsaw to lightweight pruning, small-sized tree cutting, and backing small limbs.
Nonetheless, this saw can handle some big jobs. Just use a little bit of patience.
Starting this chainsaw is easy. You only need to pull the lock off button with your thumb, and then pull the trigger. There might be a little delay in activation before it roars into action.
The handle is fully wrapped with plastic to give a comfortable, ergonomic grip. This allows you to saw in different orientations with minimal fatigue.
This saw weighs just a little bit over 8 pounds and is therefore lightweight and very easy to handle.
The Black+Decker LCS1240 has an automatic oiling feature that keeps the bar and chain well lubricated. It also has an integrated filter to catch any large debris spray.
The 40V MAX Lithium-Ion Battery holds charge up to 18 months. In one charge, you can do more than 60 4 x 4 lumber cuts. With moderate work, this battery lasts about 30 to 60 minutes of continuous cutting. Hotter temperatures and cutting logs that are more than 11 inches larger will drain the battery faster.
A charge indicator shows you the remaining battery charge.
The Poulan Pro PR5020 is a powerful and portable budget gas chainsaw for more complex professional and DIY jobs.
The saw is powered by an OxyPower 50 CC 2-Cycle engine. This engine is more powerful than that of many average gas chainsaws which have a maximum capacity of 45CC.
This gives the unit’s 20-inch blade the ability to handle medium to slightly heavy-weight tasks. The OxyPower engine technology allows 20% less fuel consumption and 70% less emissions.
A super clean air filter system gives the engine more life, reduces fuel consumption, and facilitates a steady supply of power.
Gas chainsaw models with an engine above 45 CC produce a decent amount of kickback. However, the Poulan Pro PR5020 has been built to minimize kickback and does not transfer vibrations to your hands. With minimal kickback and vibrations, the tool is safer to use and less prone to causing fatigue.
Another safety feature is an instant chain stopping function. This keeps you from the risk of accidents while the saw is in use. A chain guard also protects you from accidentally touching the chainsaw blades.
Despite its relatively affordable cost, this chainsaw does not compromise on design. It is a comfortable fit ergonomically designed to help you work longer. Again, the vibration dampening technology of this saw reduces saw instabilities and makes it more convenient to work with.
An electric corded chainsaw, the WORX WG3041 would suit you if you are looking for a cheap, handy, and reasonably powerful saw. This works for light/medium cutting jobs around your farm or home.
The model operates with an 18-inch bar and chain that conveniently cuts through 12-inch diameters of wood. This makes the saw suitable for tasks such as clearing some light-to-medium storm damage, cutting firewood, and felling medium-sized trees.
Despite the medium-sized blade and large motor, this chainsaw is easy to operate. It comes in a lightweight and balanced design to facilitate easy maneuvering and use for an extended time with minimal fatigue.
The motor has an output of 15 amps, which makes the tool one of the most powerful models in its league. This produces 1800 watts that translates to 2.4 BHP, nearing many gas-powered chainsaws.
Unlike many gas-powered models, the WORX WG3041 works quietly to help you cut wood without disrupting your neighbors. An automatic oiling system offers constant lubrication to reduce friction and give the tool more life.
The unit comes with a kickback guide bar as well as a low kickback chain that meets ANSI B175.1 standards. Although this does not guarantee zero kickback, it dramatically reduces the impact and likelihood.
A chain brake adds on safety, while front and rear guards protect your hands from the saw and debris. Another safety feature is a lock-off button that you can deploy to prevent accidental powering on.
The following features differentiate the best budget chainsaws from those that are not as good.
There are three types of chainsaws. These are gas-powered, electric corded, and battery-powered chainsaws.
The tasks you intend to carry out with your chainsaw will determine which among these options will suit you.
Gas chainsaws run on engines. Their power is measured in terms of cubic centimeters (CC). The higher the CC, the more powerful the engine is.
Unlike battery-powered models, gas chainsaws cut thicker tree diameters. They can be used for extended hours, thanks to their powerful engines.
Regrettably, gas chainsaws are more cumbersome than corded and battery-powered models, and more likely to cause fatigue. Gas chainsaws are also noisy and vibrate more.
A gas chainsaw would be a good option if you are looking for a tool for heavy-duty tasks like delimbing large branches or felling medium to large-sized trees.
Corded chainsaws come with a cable that’s connected to an Alternating Current (AC) power source to run the motor.
Although corded models are not as powerful as their gas-powered counterparts, they are more portable, cost less, and are easy to use.
Unfortunately, electric corded chainsaws are limited in use by their cables. This makes them only suitable for use in areas close to a power outlet. However, you can invest in an extension cord to increase their range of use.
If you are looking to carry out some light trimming around your yard occasionally throughout the year, then an electric corded chainsaw might suit you.
A cordless saw is powered by a rechargeable battery. Once fully charged, these models can be used from anywhere.
The key selling point of cordless chainsaws is their mobility, and their ability to cut small to medium-sized materials. However, they are not ideal for heavy-duty cutting.
A battery-powered chainsaw would be good if you are looking for a tool to handle less complex tasks without gas emissions and cable limitations.
For gas chainsaws, the unit for engine size measurement is Cubic Centimeters (CC). Engines with a higher CC generate more power and are hence suitable for more complex tasks. However, they tend to be heavier.
A good budget gas chainsaw will have an engine capacity ranging from 30 to 45 CC. These will generate a Brake Horsepower (BPH) of about 1.7 BPH and 3 BPH.
The motor power of electric chainsaws is measured in amps. Most chainsaw motors come with power ranging from 8 to 15 amps and therefore offer a brake horsepower of about 1.3 BPH to 2.4 BPH respectively.
The higher the amps or BPH, the more powerful the chainsaw is.
A guide bar’s size is measured from its tip to the point where it contacts the saw’s power head. This ranges from 6 to 42 inches, with most averaging at 20 inches.
When used in the right way, a chainsaw is capable of cutting a log whose diameter is twice the size of the bar. This implies that a 20-inch guide bar can cut a log with a diameter of 40 inches.
Of course, a longer bar will cut a bigger diameter in one single pass. One rule of thumb is to have a bar whose length is 2 inches longer than the diameter of the wood you intend to cut. Using a smaller blade will heighten the risk of ‘pinching’ kickbacks.
A chainsaw’s portability will determine how easy it is to maneuver around with, and how fast you will get tired after using it.
While gas saws are heavier than electric chainsaws, you can still choose a gas model whose weight is easy to handle. Chainsaws are also more likely to cause fatigue. In this case, a tool equipped with vibration dampeners will be more convenient to use for extended hours than one with none.
While handling a chainsaw, cautiousness is paramount. A model designed with extra safety features will keep you from accidents and injuries. Some chainsaw safety features include:
A well-designed safe chain will also reduce a chainsaw’s kickback.
Most modern chainsaws come equipped with convenient features like an automatic oiler to keep your tool fully lubricated.
Some models have an automatic tensioning system mounted on the side. By adjusting the chain’s tension, you will be able to cut with ease, thus saving time.
A chainsaw whose guide bar has Sprocket tips would also have lesser friction around the tip and have a higher cutting speed. This feature also reduces the chances of the bar wearing out.
If you live in a cold area or need a chainsaw for cutting during winter, you can choose a chainsaw with a heated handle.
Some chainsaws are designed with heated carburetors to keep ice crystals away from accumulating at the engine.
When looking for a gas chainsaw, it would be great to consider one with a spring-assisted starting in order to shrink the pulling force required to start your saw.
Another convenient accessory is a carry case. This will protect your chainsaw and make carrying it around easier.
Consider chainsaws that come with a reasonable warranty. This will keep you worry-free and help you avoid unnecessary costs should some parts of the chainsaw malfunction.
The words “cheap” and “chainsaw” rarely exist in the same sentence. However, this does not mean that you should overlook important chainsaw features when buying a cheap chainsaw.
By following our buying tips, you will definitely get a unit that works for you. Our reviews are also on the best performing saws in the market, and one of them will most likely suit you.