The chainsaw is by far one of the most versatile power tools around and can be found in home improvement, gardening, farming, and more. Even in one particular field, there can be a number of uses for the same tool – loggers, for instance, will fell trees, clear branches, and slice the wood to lengths with one chainsaw.
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With so much riding on it, it’s important to pick a good model; getting stuck with a poor one could be a serious blow to your project and might even keep it from getting done at all. A good chainsaw should be comfortable to use and carry and be able to cut easily through even the densest lumber.
As an additional criterion, we’ve added a budget cap of two hundred dollars to our list, helping you select a chainsaw both effective and economical. Here are our top five picks.
Our Chainsaws Under Two Hundred Dollars Reviews and Comparisons
|1. WORX WG304.1
|2. Husqvarna 240
|3. Blue Max 6595
|5. Black and Decker LCS1020
1. WORX WG304.1
This saw features a number of automatic maintenance mechanisms that let you work with confidence.
- Fifteen-amp motor delivering four horsepower
- Chain can be replaced by hand
- Automatic chain monitor prevents over-tightening or loosening
- Self-lubricating from a two-hundred-milliliter internal reservoir
This saw delivers quality performance without the need for much attention to the parts.
This model is on the heavy side, especially compared to other electric models
- Built-in chain brake
- Tool-free chain replacement
- Extended cutting bar
- Relatively heavy
- Internal oil reservoir can deplete quickly
2. Husqvarna 240
All the reliability and freedom of movement of gas power with the low emissions more common to electric.
- Internal vibration control system
- Air purge keeps fuel lines clean
- X-filter exhaust reduces pollution and noise
- Choke and stop control allows for easier starting and stopping
This is an exceptionally low-emissions model, with the filtered exhaust and dispersal system reducing noise, pollution, heat, and vibrations all at once.
This model has been reported to need adjustments to start properly, and legal issues have made it hard to order parts or the tool itself from the manufacturer.
- Powerful exhaust filter
- Low vibrations
- Relatively light for a gas saw
- Chain tension control system to prevent fouling
- Hard to get proper manufacturer parts and service
- Starter can be confusing for new users
3. Blue Max 6595
A powerful saw delivering cutting speed and efficiency well beyond its low-cost category.
- Eighteen-inch cutting bar
- Up to ten thousand cycles per minute at full speed
- Handguard, safety, trigger, and power switch keep the user safe
- Self-lubricating mechanism reduces need for maintenance
This saw does a lot of work for a cheaper model, with exceptional cutting speed and forty-five cubic centimeter engine to power it through large quantities of wood.
The chain can be problematic, coming loose easily and needing tools to replace.
- High cutting speed
- Eighteen-inch cutting bar
- Vibration control system
- Automatic lubrication
- Chain can be fragile and hard to replace
- External control surfaces are plastic and not as durable as the rest of the tool
A compact gas-powered model that is easy to store and use, and comes with a number of accessories besides.
- Sixty-two cubic centimeter engine with air cooling system
- Twenty-inch cutting bar
- Extra chains and maintenance kit included
- Strong customer service and warranty.
Besides the extra cutting length and power, this saw is consistently more durable than similar models and will keep working long after competing tools will quit.
This saw is reported as running particularly hot and not as efficient as other models.
- Extra cutting length
- Extremely durable
- Replacement parts included
- Good customer care
- Heats up quickly
- Not fuel efficient
5. Black and Decker LCS1020
Black and Decker brings their reliability and experience to make a chainsaw with the easy use and intuitive controls sought after by professionals.
- Balck and Decker interchangeable battery
- Tool-free chain adjustment
- Ten-inch cutting bar
- Wraparound handle reduces operator fatigue
This saw is easy to use even for novices, and has the reliability and cutting power for professional workloads.
The oiling system is subpar, and the chain may need to be oiled by hand.
- Lightweight and compact
- Cordless power
- Ergonomic handle is easy to use for extended cuts
- No tools needed for assembly or maintenance
- Oiler is reported as problematic
- Ten-inch bar may not be enough for some jobs
Each of these models is both cheap and serviceable, making them exceptional choices for homeowners or landscapers not expecting a particularly heavy workload. Those who are expecting such a heavy task may well find a friend in this list as well; one of the appeals of these products is their durability even under unusually difficult or prolonged use.
A buyer heading for a more serious logging site or extensive home improvement project would be better advised to invest a little extra in added capability and quality. Carefully consider the needs of your planned project before investing in any tool to avoid disappointment in a purchase or shoddy results when the work is done.
As these tools include exposed and extended cutting bars, it is of critical importance to consider the environment in which you plan to use them as well, and to select a model with the safety features that will keep you and those around you out of harm’s way. Make sure not to select a saw that you cannot use or store safely.
Even if it means an added expense, choosing a tool that you can control should be of paramount importance for any buyer.