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Best Small Chainsaws 2023: Top picks by experts


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If you have a few trees on your property, you'll probably need to use a chainsaw sometimes. Having the best small chainsaws may be a big help, whether a storm knocked down some branches or you want to get a bit more sunshine in your garden. Small chainsaws come in a variety of sizes and styles. Choosing the best one among them may be a pretty tricky task. As a result, this review will highlight the respective features of the chainsaws and their advantages and disadvantages to ensure you find the best small chainsaw the next time you go shopping.



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Last update on 2023-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

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  • Weigh just 9 lbs when fully assembled.
  • Low kickback 12-inch bar and chain for construction and outdoor cutting tasks.
  • High-efficiency brushless motor maximizes runtime and motor life.
  • Up to 90 cuts per charge on 4x4 pressure-treated wood (with a 20V MAX* 5Ah battery).
  • Tool-free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob for optional bar clamping force.

The DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw reigns supreme as the best overall small chainsaw, combining power, portability, and ease of use.

Feather-Light Construction: This chainsaw is a featherweight champion, weighing just 9 pounds when fully assembled. Its low weight makes it exceptionally easy to handle for various cutting tasks.

Efficient Cutting Power: The low kickback 12-inch bar and chain are tailor-made for construction and outdoor cutting duties. With a high-efficiency brushless motor, this chainsaw maximizes runtime while ensuring the longevity of the motor.

Impressive Performance: Equipped with a 20V MAX 5Ah battery, this chainsaw can deliver up to 90 cuts on 4x4 pressure-treated wood on a single charge, ensuring you have the endurance to complete your tasks.

User-Friendly Features: Enjoy the convenience of tool-free chain tensioning and a bar tightening knob for optional bar clamping force. These features simplify maintenance and ensure you're always ready to tackle your cutting projects.

Gas-Free Convenience: The DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw runs on battery power, eliminating the hassles of cold starts, exhaust, clogged carburetors, and regular maintenance associated with gas chainsaws.

Versatile Portability: This cordless chainsaw is the ideal companion for cutting timbers, chopping branches, and dismantling small structures. Its portability and low weight make it a versatile tool for various outdoor tasks.

Why Our Editors Suggest This Item:

The DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw is the epitome of convenience and performance in a small chainsaw. With impressive cutting power, user-friendly features, and gas-free operation, it's a top choice for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike.

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  • Weigh only 7.2 lbs with battery for operator comfort.
  • Outer Rotor BL Brushless Motor direct-drive system provides high power efficiency that is equivalent to a gas chainsaw.
  • High chain speed (0-4,720 FPM) and variable speed trigger for improved cutting performance.
  • Torque boost mode for cutting thick materials.
  • Guide bar nut chain tensioning with captured nut.
  • Adjustable automatic chain lubrication with big oil reservoir.

The Makita XCU06Z LXT Chainsaw secures its place as the best runner-up for compact chainsaws, offering a winning combination of lightweight design, power efficiency, and versatile performance.

Featherweight Champion: This chainsaw weighs a mere 7.2 pounds with the battery, prioritizing operator comfort and ease of use. Its lightweight construction makes it a breeze to maneuver during various cutting tasks.

Gas-Powered Equivalent: The outer rotor BL Brushless Motor direct-drive system ensures high power efficiency that rivals that of a gas chainsaw. You get robust cutting power without the emissions and noise associated with gas-powered models.

Impressive Cutting Performance: With a high chain speed of up to 4,720 feet per minute (FPM) and a variable speed trigger, this chainsaw delivers enhanced cutting performance. The torque boost mode is designed for tackling thick materials with ease.

User-Friendly Features: Adjusting chain tension is a hassle-free experience thanks to the guide bar nut chain tensioning with a captured nut. The chainsaw also features adjustable automatic chain lubrication with a generous oil reservoir, promoting longevity and smooth operation.

Professional-Grade Design: The small top-handle design, absence of emissions, reduced noise, and minimal maintenance requirements make the Makita XCU06Z an excellent choice for professional tree care and similar industries.

Why Our Editors Suggest This Item:

The Makita XCU06Z LXT Chainsaw earns its runner-up status with its lightweight design, exceptional power efficiency, and versatile cutting performance. It's a worthy companion for professionals in the tree care industry and beyond, delivering reliable results with minimal environmental impact.

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  • Lightweight and compact design (weigh only 6.2 lbs).
  • Tool-free chain tension system and automatic chain lubrication system make for smoother cuts and extend the tool's life.
  • Rechargeable battery powers the motor driving the 10 inches chain bar and chain, which makes it cut cleanly and fast.
  • Fast chain speed (12.5 ft/s) tears through any reasonably sized log or branch.

One of the best lightweight models available, the WORX WG322 20V PowerShare 10" Cordless Electric Chainsaw is powered by a battery that delivers 20 volts of power.
Not only is it strong enough to deal with most chainsaw duties in the backyard, but it is also small and simple to use, meaning that you don't need to be a lumberjack to use it.

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4. BEST SMALL CHAINSAW FOR HEAVY TASKS: Greenworks 40V 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw

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  • G-MAX 40V Lithium-Ion battery provides fade-free power without memory loss after charging.
  • 3/8-inch chain pitch delivers the proper amount of capability to trim and chop those limbs with minimal kickback.
  • Robust 12-inch steel chain and bar with tool-less chain tensioning provides ease of use while delivering the highest cutting performance.
  • Automatic oiler ensures durability and optimal use with a translucent oil tank for a clear view of oil level.

The Greenworks 40V 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw stands tall as the best budget chainsaw, offering affordability without sacrificing essential features.

Lightweight and Compact: Weighing just 6.2 pounds, this chainsaw boasts a lightweight and compact design, ensuring effortless maneuverability during your cutting tasks.

Effortless Maintenance: The tool-free chain tension system and automatic chain lubrication system make every cut smoother while extending the tool's lifespan. You'll spend less time on maintenance and more time getting the job done.

Impressive Cutting Power: The rechargeable battery powers the motor, driving the 10-inch chain bar and chain. With a fast chain speed of 12.5 feet per second, it tears through reasonably sized logs and branches with ease.

Affordable Performance: The WORX WG322 is not only budget-friendly but also packs a punch with its 20-volt PowerShare battery. It's strong enough to handle most backyard chainsaw duties, making it an ideal choice for DIY enthusiasts of all skill levels.

User-Friendly Design: This chainsaw's simplicity and ease of use mean you don't need to be a lumberjack to operate it. It's suitable for a wide range of users, making it a versatile and budget-conscious tool.

Why Our Editors Suggest This Item:

The WORX WG322 20V Chainsaw excels as a budget-friendly option, providing lightweight design, effortless maintenance, and impressive cutting power. It's the go-to choice for those seeking an affordable yet reliable chainsaw for backyard projects, all without breaking the bank.

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  • Come with a 10’’ bar and a 20V lithium-ion battery.
  • Tool-free tensioning system for improved ease of use and quick adjustments.
  • Improved oiling system with a clear window to gauge oil level.
  • All-round handle ensuring a firm and comfortable grip.
  • Convenient automated functions.

The BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Max Lithium-Ion Chainsaw takes the crown as the best chainsaw for light use, offering the perfect blend of convenience and functionality.

Compact and Efficient: Equipped with a 10-inch bar and a 20V lithium-ion battery, this chainsaw is designed for light-duty tasks around your home and yard. Its compact size makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces.

Tool-Free Tensioning: The tool-free tensioning system simplifies the user experience by allowing quick and hassle-free adjustments. You can maintain optimal chain tension with ease.

Enhanced Oiling System: The improved oiling system includes a clear window to gauge the oil level accurately. This ensures proper lubrication for smooth and efficient cutting.

Comfortable Handling: The all-round handle provides a secure and comfortable grip, reducing fatigue during extended use. It's designed with user comfort in mind.

Convenient Automation: The BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 incorporates automated functions that enhance the user experience. It's the perfect tool for light work around the home, ensuring you can tackle tasks with ease.

Why Our Editors Suggest This Item:

The BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 20V Chainsaw is the ultimate choice for light-duty tasks, offering a compact design, tool-free tensioning, and enhanced user comfort. It's the ideal instrument for homeowners looking for convenience and reliability when handling occasional cutting jobs around the house.



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1. How Lightweight Do Small Chainsaws Come?

Small chainsaws are known for their lightweight and compact design. They are specifically engineered to be easily maneuverable and user-friendly. While the exact weight can vary depending on the brand and model, most small chainsaws typically weigh between 7 to 10 pounds (3 to 4.5 kilograms). This lightweight design makes them ideal for tasks that require precision and control, such as pruning, trimming, and light cutting.

2. Do I Need to Wear Special Gear While Using a Small Chainsaw?

Safety is paramount when operating any chainsaw, regardless of its size. While small chainsaws are generally less powerful than their larger counterparts, they can still pose risks. Therefore, it's essential to wear appropriate safety gear, which includes:

  • Protective Clothing: Wear close-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants to shield your skin from debris and potential contact with the chainsaw.

  • Safety Helmet: A helmet with a face shield or safety goggles will protect your eyes and face from flying wood chips and debris.

  • Hearing Protection: Chainsaws can be loud, so wearing ear protection like earmuffs or earplugs is advisable.

  • Gloves: Use anti-vibration gloves to reduce hand fatigue and protect your hands from cuts and blisters.

  • Footwear: Sturdy, slip-resistant boots with steel toe caps provide the necessary protection for your feet.

  • Chainsaw Chaps or Leggings: These specialized pants are designed to stop the chainsaw chain in case of a kickback, protecting your legs from serious injury.

It's crucial to read and follow the safety guidelines outlined in the user manual of your specific small chainsaw model.

3. What Can I Cut with a Small Chainsaw?

Small chainsaws are versatile tools that can handle a variety of cutting tasks, including:

  • Pruning: They are excellent for trimming branches and bushes in your garden or orchard.

  • Limbing: Small chainsaws are ideal for removing branches from felled trees.

  • Light Cutting: You can use them for cutting firewood or small logs.

  • Landscaping: Small chainsaws are great for carving, sculpting, and shaping wood in landscaping projects.

However, it's important to note that small chainsaws are not suitable for heavy-duty tasks like felling large trees or cutting thick hardwood. For such jobs, a larger and more powerful chainsaw would be necessary.


Whether it’s for property maintenance or cutting little logs for a backyard campfire, owning a small chainsaw may help you get the job done faster. While many people may not require a real professional tool, the key is to find the perfect balance of power, size, weight, and safety. Our final recommendations for the best small chainsaw under $200 are as follows:

I hope you find this advice useful in selecting the best small chainsaws for your work.

CONNER WALSH is a true garden lover. He is already retired for a while, so he spends a lot of time gardening. He has been researching, buying, and testing many tools to help with gardening tasks. He has crafted even a blog with all the tips and tricks regarding the products he uses. He wants to encourage others to make their homes green and look stunning. With plant lovers in mind, CONNER WALSH has made sure that anyone will be able to use his tips for their own garden!