Best Chainsaw Under $500 [2021 Review]

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It can be difficult to find an affordable chainsaw that will last a long time and get the job done. When you are looking for the right chainsaw, most of the high-quality models can reach up to a thousand dollars. 

Fortunately, we have compiled our favorite options that cut well, last a long time, and are all under $500. 

Top Chainsaw Reviews Under $500 

Before you make any purchases, you will want to have a decent understanding of what you are looking for in a chainsaw. We’ve laid out a few choices and weighed the pros and cons to help you decide which chainsaw is best for you. 

Brand
Best Overall
Black+Decker 40V
Best Lightweight Chainsaw
Black+Decker LCS1020 20V
Best Long Bar Chainsaw
Greenworks Pro 80V
Product
BLACK+DECKER 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch...
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw,...
Greenworks Pro 18-Inch 80V Cordless Chainsaw, 2Ah...
Power Source
Battery-powered
Battery-Powered
Battery-powered
Item Dimensions
28.56 x 8.81 x 9.63 inches
16.7 x 8.81 x 9.63 inches
32.4 x 9.65 x 7.56 inches
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
Black+Decker 40V
Product
BLACK+DECKER 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch...
Power Source
Battery-powered
Item Dimensions
28.56 x 8.81 x 9.63 inches
Rating
-
Price
Best Lightweight Chainsaw
Brand
Black+Decker LCS1020 20V
Product
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw,...
Power Source
Battery-Powered
Item Dimensions
16.7 x 8.81 x 9.63 inches
Rating
-
Price
Best Long Bar Chainsaw
Brand
Greenworks Pro 80V
Product
Greenworks Pro 18-Inch 80V Cordless Chainsaw, 2Ah...
Power Source
Battery-powered
Item Dimensions
32.4 x 9.65 x 7.56 inches
Rating
-
Price

Best Overall Chainsaw Under $500: Black+Decker 40V 

BLACK+DECKER 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch...

Out of all the chainsaw options we have compiled, we believe that this is the top pick. At well under $300 and an average of 4.5-star reviews, the Black+Decker 40V is a safe bet regardless of what you are looking for in a chainsaw. 

The dimensions of this tool are 28.56 x 8.81 x 9.63 inches and it weighs a little over ten pounds, so it is not the biggest option on this list, but not quite lightweight either. 

The Black+Decker 40V has a 12-inch bar, allowing it to cut stumps and logs of many sizes. It is easy to adjust the chain tension to allow smoother and quicker cuts. 

You can either purchase the tool on its own or include the full kit for a small additional cost. If desired, you can also add on a leaf collection kit for free. 

It is fully battery-powered, but you will need to charge it fairly often. Fortunately, the (optional) full kit can come with a spare battery. 

The even balance of size, price, and strength in this chainsaw makes it the top pick on our list. 

Pros 

  • The chainsaw is battery-powered and comes with a rechargeable battery by default, which makes it more eco-friendly and cost-efficient compared to gasoline-powered saws. 
  • The chain is easy to adjust; it does not require any additional tools. 
  • You can opt for monthly payments. 
  • It has an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. 
  • It includes safety features such as a front handguard and a lock-off button. 

Cons 

  • The bar is not quite as long as other chainsaws on the list. 
  • Unlike most of the featured chainsaws, the product page for the Black+Decker 40V does not specify any anti-vibration features. 
Sale
BLACK+DECKER 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch...
  • 12-INCH CORDLESS ELECTRIC CHAINSAW - 40V MAX*battery-powered chainsaw with extended runtime
  • SMOOTH, FAST CUTS - OREGON low-kickback bar and chain for easy and efficient cutting
  • TOOL-FREE CHAIN TENSIONING - Quickly and easily adjust chain tension
  • ENHANCED SAFETY FEATURES - Front hand guard and lock-off button for increased safety

Best Lightweight Chainsaw Under $500: Black+Decker LCS1020 20V 

BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw,...

Bulky chainsaws tend to be more powerful, but not everyone has the body strength to wield them. If you are looking for a lightweight, easy-to-maneuver chainsaw, the Black+Decker 20V is an excellent option. 

With dimensions of 16.7 x 8.81 x 9.63 inches and weighing just over seven pounds, this chainsaw is smaller than most chainsaws on this list. It should be easy for most people to carry and utilize. 

This chainsaw is also the same brand as the previously featured chainsaw, so you can expect similar quality. If you were interested in the Black+Decker 40V but are looking for something a tad smaller, this is an excellent alternative. 

Its smaller size does not mean lower quality, either — this chainsaw has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and has an overwhelming majority of positive reviews. 

Like the previous chainsaw, it is battery-powered and comes with a lithium battery when you purchase it. You may have to recharge the battery in between uses, so we recommend that you add on the spare one as well. 

Pros 

  • This chainsaw is small and lightweight, and therefore easy for most people to maneuver.  
  • The blade tension is easy to adjust and does not require any additional tools. 
  • The self-oiling system is better compared to other models from the same brand. It also has a window so you can keep track of its oil level. 
  • This chainsaw is small and therefore more precise; it will be more useful for creative woodworking projects than other items featured on this list. 

Cons 

  • It has only 20 volts, which is only half as much as the Black+Decker 40V. 
  • Because it has a smaller bar length than the Black+Decker 40V, it is not able to cut through thicker pieces of wood. 
Sale
BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw,...
  • Tool free blade tension system for improved ease of use & quick adjustments
  • Lightweight design for ease of maneuverability & reduced fatigue
  • Improved oiling system with clear window to gauge oil level

Best Long Bar Chainsaw Under $500: Greenworks Pro 80V 

Greenworks Pro 18-Inch 80V Cordless Chainsaw, 2Ah...

If you are planning to use your chainsaw to cut through thick tree trunks and stumps, you will want to ensure that your chainsaw has a particularly long bar. 

The Greenworks Pro 80V chainsaw has an 18-inch bar that is ideal for this, as compared to other chainsaws in this list that normally range from 10 to 16 inches. Its fierce cutting performance will allow you to smoothly tear through thick chunks of wood with ease. 

At a total of 2.05 pounds, it is much lighter than the other options. It also has less vibration, which will allow you to maneuver more safely and steadily, and a low kickback chain as a safety precaution. 

Along with the chainsaw, the package includes one rechargeable battery, one rapid charger, and an operator’s manual to get you started. 

Pros 

  • Includes an automatic oiler that will keep the chain constantly lubricated; the oiler also has a window so you can easily tell when you need to refill it. 
  • It charges up in just thirty minutes, while the other featured electric chainsaws can take several hours. 
  • The brushless motor makes the Greenworks Pro quieter and more stable than other chainsaws. 
  • The lack of a pull cord ensures an easy startup. 
  • It has 80 volts, making this stronger than both of the electric Black+Decker options. 

Cons 

  • Because it is battery-powered, it is not quite as powerful as a gas-powered chainsaw. 
  • This chainsaw has hundreds of high ratings on Amazon, but not any written reviews. 
Sale
Greenworks Pro 18-Inch 80V Cordless Chainsaw, 2Ah...
  • SUPERIOR CUTTING PERFORMANCE: Incredible power and performance, get up to 150 cuts on 4x4 lumber...
  • BRUSHLESS MOTOR: Advanced brushless motor technology delivers major torque, power, and life. 9X...
  • 18-INCH BAR AND CHAIN: Perfect for homeowners and prosumers that need to take down large branches,...
  • AUTOMATIC OILER: Ensures chain stays lubricated for longer chain life, and the oil level indicator...

Best Gas-Powered Chainsaw Under $500: Craftsman 42CC-16 

CRAFTSMAN 42cc-16 (2020 Model) S165 42cc Full...

If you prefer the quick start-up and overall strength that comes with gasoline-powered chainsaws, the Craftsman 42CC-16 is a smart choice. 

Gas-powered chainsaws tend to be stronger than battery-powered ones. Its ability to perform smooth and efficient cuts makes every cent worth it. 

The Craftsman 42CC-16 has a 4.6 out of 5 star rating on Amazon. Its 16-inch bar and low kickback chain are the keys to making this a notably powerful chainsaw. It also has bucking spikes that will allow you to have more control over your cuts. 

Its dimensions are 28.5 x 9.75 x 11.25 inches and it weighs a little over 20 pounds, so compared to other models on the list, this one is on the larger side. To balance it out, it also has an anti-vibration system and a soft grip handle to allow easier maneuvering.

This chainsaw includes a container of 2-cycle oil and a carrying case for easy transportation. It also has an automatic chain oiler and an easy-to-access filter to allow quick cleaning. 

If you have the strength to maneuver it and do not mind the use of gasoline, this chainsaw is a smart decision. 

Pros 

  • Its 2 cycle engine makes this chainsaw more powerful without the extra vibrations. 
  • It’s easy to start up, and being gasoline-powered means you will not have to wait for it to charge. 
  • It includes a safety feature that stops the chain automatically when it is stuck. 
  • Like the Greenworks Pro 80V, it includes an automatic chain oiler. 

Cons 

  • At over twenty pounds, it is not lightweight and can be difficult or even unsafe for certain people to use. 
  • The use of gasoline can emit fumes, which isn’t eco-friendly and can be unhealthy over time for the person using the chainsaw. 
  • You will need to purchase fuel for this chainsaw, making this more expensive than battery-powered chainsaws. 
CRAFTSMAN 42cc-16 (2020 Model) S165 42cc Full...
  • HIGH OUTPUT CRAFTSMAN ENGINE with 16-INCH BAR & CHAIN: 42cc full crank Craftsman 2 cycle engine...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT DURABLE POLY CHASSIS: Easy to Handle, lighter in weight, without sacrificing power. This...
  • EASYSTART TECHNOLOGY: Designed for quicker, smoother and easier pull starts. Get right to work on...
  • ADJUSTABLE AUTO CHAIN OILER with EASY VIEW: Maintains the proper amount of lubricant on the chain...

Best Pole Chainsaw Under $500: MAXTRA 

MAXTRA Gas Pole Saw, 42.7CC 2-Cycle Powerful...

If you are looking for a chainsaw to trim branches from your trees and tall shrubs, you will probably want to go with a pole chainsaw. The MAXTRA is a reliable and affordable option that can help you efficiently get your yard work done. 

With an adjustable 11.4 foot pole and a 10-inch bar, this pole chainsaw is strong and precise. It can reach up to 16.5 feet even without the use of a ladder. 

This pole chainsaw runs on gasoline, so you will not have to worry about dealing with cords or recharging it. 

It is important to remember that a pole chainsaw works best for its niche, so unlike the other featured chainsaws, it is not ideal for cutting through thick pieces of wood or for creative woodworking. 

If you are only looking to trim branches with your chainsaw and do not need the features of a standard chainsaw, however, this pole chainsaw is a good option. 

This chainsaw comes with a one-year warranty. If you want, you can opt for monthly payments. 

Pros 

  • It comes with a shoulder strap to reduce vibration. This will ensure more comfort and control as you maneuver this chainsaw. 
  • This chainsaw comes with a case so you can easily transport and store it. 
  • It has a 2-position choke that can allow either hot or cold startups. 

Cons 

  • Its unique structure means it is only capable within its niche. It is not a multi-purpose chainsaw. 
  • It runs on gasoline, which can emit fumes and become more expensive over time. 
  • It weighs 21 pounds, making it one of the heaviest options on this list. 
MAXTRA Gas Pole Saw, 42.7CC 2-Cycle Powerful...
  • [POWERFUL ENGINE] 42.7cc,1100w, 2-stroke engine which is more powerful and steady. It can cut woods...
  • [MULTIPLE USE] Cordless gas pole saw can cut the branches on the big tree, cut wood,logging,pruning...
  • [ADJUSTABLE EXTRA LENGTH] This gas powered pole saw can be adjust from 8.2 to 11.4 ft and with 10...
  • [HUMANIZATION DESIGN]Air filter provides engine protection. 2-position-choke for hot or cold starts...

Features to Consider 

Regardless of what you are looking for in your chainsaw, there are a few important factors that you need to consider. 

Power Source 

Chainsaws can either run on gasoline or batteries. There are pros and cons to each power source, and whichever you may choose should depend on a few factors. 

Ryobi chainsaw

If you use your chainsaw for cutting large, thick chunks of wood, you will probably want to go with a gasoline-powered chainsaw. These tend to be much more powerful than ones that run on batteries. In addition, you will not have to worry about waiting for the battery to charge. 

However, depending on the model you choose, they burn through gasoline rather quickly. As a result, buying fuel can be pretty expensive over time. 

The use of fossil fuels also has negative environmental impacts. Some of them emit fumes as well, and inhaling these can cause health issues in the long run. 

Battery-powered chainsaws are not quite as powerful as those powered by gas, but if you plan to mostly cut smaller branches or softer wood, it would be a wise option. 

The initial cost of battery-powered chainsaws can be more expensive than their gas-powered counterparts, but when you don’t need to purchase gasoline, it will save you more money over time. 

Because some of the batteries can take several hours to charge up, you will need to have some patience when you use these chainsaws. 

In addition, the use of rechargeable batteries is more eco-friendly than the frequent use of gasoline. If you do not mind waiting for them to recharge, a battery-powered chainsaw is a smart choice. 

Power

The power of your chainsaw is another feature to keep in mind. It might seem intuitive to choose the strongest possible option, but depending on what you will be using your chainsaw for, you might not need the most powerful chainsaw on the market. 

If you are only looking for a chainsaw to trim thin tree branches or do woodworking projects, for example, you will not need an ultra-powerful gasoline-powered chainsaw. A small, battery-powered option should be enough. 

But if you are looking to cut down thick-trunked trees, your best option would be a gasoline-powered chainsaw. However, if you would prefer not to use fossil fuels, a battery-powered chainsaw upwards of 40 Volts can be very effective. 

Man using a chainsaw to cut a tree log

You will also want to consider how often you plan to utilize your chainsaw. If it is something you do not plan to use every week, you do not need to spend the extra money on a particularly strong chainsaw. 

However, if you plan to use your chainsaw frequently, something with a bit of extra strength will be worth the money. 

Bar Length 

The length of the bar normally ranges from 8 to 24 inches. Depending on what you are cutting, it can have a huge impact on the chainsaw’s effectiveness. 

A 10 inch bar, for instance, is not going to be effective in cutting through the trunk of a tree. You will want to find a chainsaw with a bar length of at least 16 inches. 

Smaller bar lengths can have benefits, however. A smaller chainsaw can allow easy maneuvering and more control, especially if you intend to use them for woodworking projects. 

Safety Features 

Ensuring that your chainsaw comes with safety features is a must, especially if you are buying one for the first time. In addition to the bare basics such as protective glasses, there are safety features you will want in the chainsaw itself. 

When you choose your chainsaw, it is ideal to choose one with features such as automatic chain brakes or centrifugal clutch. These can minimize or even prevent injuries altogether. 

Finding one with low vibration is also important, especially if your chainsaw is on the heavier side. High vibration can result in loss of control at worst, and unsatisfactory cuts at best. Certain chainsaws can come with accessories to help manage vibrations and secure your grip. 

Conclusion 

While we have listed the Black Decker 40V as the best overall option, it is not the right chainsaw for everyone. Before you make any final purchases, make sure to weigh the pros and cons of every chainsaw on this list and take note of their differences. 

As a result, you can end up with a chainsaw that will be worth every cent.

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!