chainsaw for cutting firewood

Best Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood Reviews and Buying Guide 2019

– Best Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood Reviews 2019
With the weather cooling off, one of the best ways to stay cozy and warm is by sitting next to a crackling fireplace. While you can re-enact Paul Bunyan and get an ax to chop firewood, using a chainsaw is much quicker and easier. That is why we put together a list of the 5 best chainsaws for cutting firewood reviews of 2019. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide and answer your most pressing questions in a FAQ. We found that the Husqvarna 460 Rancher and DEWALT MAX XR are the best options for most people, but you have to keep reading to see our best value pick.

– Best Seller
— Husqvarna 20 Inch 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw
https://www.amazon.com/Husqvarna-Rancher-20-Inch-2-Stoke-Powered/dp/B003CJTWDW/
Of all the companies we reviewed, few are able to make the kind of claims that Husqvarna can boast. For one, this is easily the oldest company on our list with an extensive history reaching back hundreds of years, though their foray into chainsaws is a bit more recent. Regardless, Husqvarna still has more experience in the market than any of its other competitors reviewed. On top of that, Husqvarna is also the only company on our list specialized exclusively on outdoor lawn care equipment, though some of the other companies do place a strong focus on the category. Still, there are no other companies that we reviewed which can also be used for professional or light-commercial projects outside of Husqvarna– at least not for landscaping. When you combine this general level of quality with one of the more capable chainsaws we came across, it is easy to see why the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is our best seller option.

Great Cuts
When cutting firewood, it is important to understand that not all chainsaws perform as well in every situation. This is especially true when considering how thick your starting timber is since most consumer chainsaws are not really meant to handle whole logs. That said, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher chainsaw definitely provides more cutting power than most and can handle extremely thick pieces of timber. This begins with the fact that this is the only gas-powered chainsaw that we reviewed which means it cuts with significantly more torque than the other options on our list. This is a requirement if you intend to start with a thick log that is then cut not just across but potentially split a couple of times. Basically, thick pieces of timber can be cut across and then be split down the middle or even quartered.

To handle this kind of workload, the Husqvarna chainsaw comes with a large 60.3 cc engine that puts out 3.62 hp. The 460 Rancher chainsaw’s engine is able to generate up to 3.4 nm of cutting torque and a blade speed of 20 m/s– both of which top our list. This ultimately translates to a chainsaw for cutting firewood that can handle logs up to 30” in diameter– another list-leading category. While all of this power is great, the Husqvarna chainsaw also made sure that the engine does not cost you too much in the long run either. With the inclusion of X-Torq technology, the 460 Rancher chainsaw uses less fuel than many other gas-powered models and keeps emissions down to a minimum. The Husqvarna 460 Rancher chainsaw also increases its cutting reliability by using a durable 3-piece crankshaft that can handle more rigorous workloads without failing.

Decent Handling
Unless you simply intend to cut just enough firewood to be used at any given time, chances are you will want to cut a good bit of firewood all at once. While the 460 Rancher chainsaw is more than capable of accommodating this demand, you may not necessarily want to keep up with it. This is because the Husqvarna is the largest and heaviest chainsaw on our list which will make using it for extended periods of time more fatiguing than many of the other options we reviewed. On top of that, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher chainsaw is also not quite as easy to use as some of the other products. Specifically, the sheer size and power of this chainsaw limit its ability to provide a completely tool-less blade tensioning system. As such, you will still need to tension the blade with the provided scrench, a task that is time-consuming and takes some practice.
On the other hand, the 460 Rancher chainsaw is much easier to maintain than some of its competitors. For example, this is one of the few products we reviewed that features a quick-release air filter system. On top of that, the engine of the Husqvarna chainsaw uses centrifugal airflow to keep the air filter clear of any large debris, making the need to change the filter less frequent in the first place. Also, to account for its heavier weight, the 460 Rancher chainsaw is also the only product on our list to include LowVib technology that reduces the amount of vibration you feel while using the product. This will ultimately reduce your fatigue over extended periods of time and allow you to cut more firewood before tiring. The Husqvarna 460 Rancher chainsaw also features and inertia-activated chain brake system. Should the Husqvarna chainsaw kickback on you, the motion of the bar itself engages the chain brake to help keep you safe.

— Pros
Is a gas-powered chainsaw
Has 60.3 cc engine
Has LowVib technology
Has an X-Torq engine
Has a chain speed of 20 m/s
Is easier to maintain

— Cons
Is a more expensive chainsaw
Is a heavier chainsaw

– Top Pick
— DEWALT DCCS620B 20V MAX XR Compact 12 in. Cordless Chainsaw (Tool Only)
https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DCCS620B-Cordless-Chainsaw-Brushless/dp/B073FTGBZY/
Of all the companies on our list, DEWALT is likely the most well-known, but that is not necessarily in the field of outdoor landscaping equipment. DEWALT is more understood as a professional-grade power tool manufacturer with their outdoor equipment comprising a relatively small and recent entry in their lineup. In fact, not only is the outdoor line of DEWALT products fairly new, but it is also far more limited than many of the other companies we reviewed. That said, DEWALT has a long history with almost a century of experience to back them up, and they do offer some interesting approaches to an innovative market. In terms of chainsaws for cutting firewood, the DEWALT provides a solid entry that covers most of the bases which is why we rated it as our top pick.

Solid Build
One thing to keep in mind when looking for a chainsaw for cutting firewood is that most people are likely not going to start with large timber. While the ability to cut down a thick tree and turn it into neatly stacked cords of firewood might sound nice in theory, most of us are going to start with more manageable workpieces. In this instance, it is probably a good idea to look for a chainsaw that can handle a longer workload than necessarily focusing on a chainsaw that can cut the thickest pieces of wood. To this end, the DEWALT DCCS620B chainsaw offers a nice mix of features and qualities to help ensure that you can cut firewood of an average thickness without much fuss.
This begins with the DEWALT chainsaw being one of the more compact options that we reviewed. This is important not only because it reduces the amount of fatigue you feel when using it for extended periods of time but also because it is easier to maneuver. Remember that when cutting firewood, you will actually use the chainsaw about as often as not when you factor in all of the time it takes to secure the timber, arrange the cuts, and clear the cut pieces. As such, the ability to easily maneuver the chainsaw can be just as important as its cutting power. In order to further expedite your cutting time, the DEWALT MAX XR chainsaw also uses a tool-less chain tensioning system with a knob on the side and a bar that clamps the chain in place.

Okay Cuts
One thing to keep in mind about the DEWALT chainsaw, and pretty much their entire outdoor equipment line, is that they are all electric models. Aside from the fact that the DEWALT chainsaw is electric, it is also a cordless, battery-operated chainsaw too. The cordless design means that you can use the DCCS620B chainsaw anywhere without having to worry about a fuel source. This also helps reduce the longterm cost of the DEWALT chainsaw without the need for a fuel and oil mixture. That said, the DEWALT DCCS620B chainsaw is already a bit more expensive than some of the other options we reviewed and that price does not even include the battery which must be purchased separately.
On the plus side, this is the only electric chainsaw on our list that uses a brushless motor which significantly extends the lifespan of the motor. While this does not actually affect the DEWALT chainsaw’s cutting power, it means that you will not have to run the kind of maintenance on it that other electric chainsaws require. That said, the DEWALT MAX XR chainsaw is definitely not the most powerful chainsaw that we reviewed. Aside from the fact that the motor only runs on 20V batteries, it also sports one of the slower chain speeds that we reviewed at 7.7 mps. This means that you should not expect the DEWALT chainsaw to handle thick pieces of timber as easily as even some of the other electric chainsaws let alone the gas-powered models. Still, the MAX XR chainsaw does come equipped with an anti-kickback Oregon bar which is a nice value in and of itself.

— Pros
Is a cordless electric chainsaw
Has a brushless motor
Has tool-less chain tensioning
Comes with an Oregon bar
Has a compact profile
Is a lightweight chainsaw

— Cons
Is a more expensive chainsaw
Has a slower chain speed

– Best Value
— WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 15.0 Amp
https://www.amazon.com/Worx-WG304-1-Chain-18-Inch-15-0/dp/B007AQZ9QC/
WORX is not one of the older companies on our list having been founded a little over a decade and a half ago. However, it was founded to provide solid consumer-grade outdoor equipment and to compete directly with BLACK+DECKER in this market. In fact, WORX is the brainchild of an ex-BLACK+DECKER executive and the OEM manufacturer Positec. While WORX slowly expands into other power tool markets, they still make it a point to focus on outdoor equipment first and foremost. While there are definitely some things to watch out for, the WORX chainsaw comes in at a much lower price than many of the other products reviewed and surprising capability.

Good Cuts
One thing to keep in mind with the WORX chainsaw is that it is a corded electric model. While this means that it is not the most powerful chainsaw that we reviewed, the WORX does still offers a surprising amount of cutting power. For one, the WG304.1 electric chainsaw easily provides the most powerful electric motor on our list at 15 amps. That fairly powerful motor is coupled with a great chain speed of 12 m/s allowing the WORX WG304.1 chainsaw to cut through thicker pieces of wood than all of the other electric chainsaws we reviewed. That said, do not let the surprising power fool you into believing that this chainsaw can handle turning timber into logs and then into firewood. Of course, the WORX can handle cutting split logs into smaller split sections before cutting them into cords of firewood.

Iffy Build
It seems as if the WORX corded electric chainsaw’s surprising amount of cutting power often inspires its users to assume it can do more than it was designed to. As such, it is important not to push the WORX beyond its designed capacities as an internal gear that is made of plastic may become stripped. Though, even if you use the WG304.1 corded chainsaw as intended, you still have to contend with the fact that it leaks oil. On the other hand, this is in part because the WORX electric chainsaw features an automatic oiler as well as a tool-less chain tensioning system. Even better, the WORX is also one of the few chainsaws we reviewed with an inertia chain brake that cuts the motor during a strong kickback.

— Pros
Is a less expensive chainsaw
Is a corded electric chainsaw
Has a 15-amp motor
Has a chain speed of 12 m/s
Is a safe chainsaw
Is easy to use

— Cons
Will leak oil
Is not the most durable

– Runner Up
— BLACK+DECKER 40V MAX Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch (LCS1240)
https://www.amazon.com/BLACK-DECKER-LCS1240-Cordless-Chainsaw/dp/B00N8PQCE2/
BLACK+DECKER is one of the oldest and most well-known companies on our list with a history that stretches back over a century. That said, BLACK+DECKER is another company known far more for its power tools than their outdoor equipment. However, BLACK+DECKER positions itself squarely as a consumer-grade brand which allows them to tailor their products to a specific type of person. Still, the BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 chainsaw comes up short in a couple of important ways that push it farther down our list.

Fairly Convenient
One of the main things that the BLACK+DECKER chainsaw got right in terms of their company philosophy is making it easy for the average person to use. For example, the LCS1240 chainsaw features a tool-less chain tensioning system that relies on a side knob. On top of that, the BLACK+DECKER electric chainsaw is also one of the lightest options we reviewed. The LCS1240 chainsaw also sports a fairly compact profile, making it easy to maneuver. The wrap-around handle allows you to hold the BLACK+DECKER chainsaw in a number of positions based on what you find comfortable.

Iffy Cuts
The BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 chainsaw is another cordless electric model, though this one comes with a 40V motor. While this often correlates to more power in other power tool categories, this is not the case with the BLACK+DECKER cordless electric chainsaw. While the chainsaw itself produces enough initial cutting power, the chain speed of only 5 m/s prevents it from putting it to the best use. Aside from the fact that this is the slowest chain speed we reviewed, this also means that the BLACK+DECKER cordless chainsaw has one of the smallest maximum cutting diameters as well. On the other hand, the BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 electric chainsaw does come with a 12” Oregon bar to help prevent kickbacks.

— Pros
Is a cordless electric chainsaw
Has a 40V motor
Comes with an Oregon bar
Has tool-less chain tensioning
Has a wrap-around handle
Is a lightweight chainsaw

— Cons
Is a more expensive chainsaw
Has a slower 5 m/s chain speed

– Also Consider
— Sun Joe SWJ698E 12-inch 9-Amp Electric Chain Saw with Kickback Safety Brake
https://www.amazon.com/Joe-SWJ698E-12-inch-9-Amp-Electric/dp/B00V3HHO7Q/
Sun Joe is neither one of the oldest nor one of the more well-known companies that we reviewed. In fact, Sun Joe is the warm-weather brand offshoot that was developed due to the Snow Joe snow blower’s success. Still, the company has been around for over a decade and continues to expand into new markets. It is worth noting that Sun Joe focuses exclusively on outdoor equipment and continues to innovate within its industry. In fact, Sun Joe is one of the few outdoor equipment companies that focuses primarily on the electric market, though they do offer hybrid and pneumatic options too. Arguably the best thing about the Sun Joe SWJ698E chainsaw is that it is the least expensive chainsaw that we reviewed.

Okay Specs
From first glance, the Sun Joe corded chainsaw looks like a fully capable chainsaw that comes in a corded electric model. The motor is 9-amps which is not the most powerful that we saw, but it is not exceedingly low either. Even better, the SWJ698E electric chainsaw also sports a quicker chain speed than expected at 10 m/s. While these specs are nice, they do not tell the full story as the Sun Joe SWJ698E corded chainsaw has the smallest maximum cutting thickness of 9” in diameter. On the other hand, the SWJ698E corded chainsaw is the lightest model that we reviewed coming in at just over 7 pounds. The Sun Joe electric chainsaw does at least come with a 12” Oregon bar to help prevent kickbacks.

Iff Performance
When looking for the most budget-friendly products in a given market, it is important to make sure that it can still accomplish its designed task and do so for extended for a long time. While the Sun Joe chainsaw is not necessarily noted for breaking down too quickly, neither is it noted for its great performance either. Some of the electric chainsaws we reviewed can handle splitting half-logs, but the Sun Joe corded chainsaw is squarely suited for the last cut only. On top of that, the Sun Joe electric chainsaw also suffers from a substandard chain clamping mechanism. This means that you will spend plenty of time tensioning the chain and readjusting the alignment which definitely reduces its convenience.

— Pros
Is a less expensive chainsaw
Is a lightweight chainsaw
Is a corded electric chainsaw
Has a 9-amp motor
Comes with an Oregon bar
Has a chain speed of 10 m/s

— Cons
Not the most powerful
Not the best chain bar

– Best Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood Buying Guide 2019
— Type
The type of chainsaw may not always be the most important factor. However, when choosing a chainsaw for cutting firewood, it becomes a bit more important. This is because the type of chainsaw will often impact not only the cutting power of the tool but is general use as well. Chainsaws come in three different types: cordless electric, corded electric, and gas-powered. One type is not necessarily better than the other for cutting firewood with the type of timber being cut as well as where you cut your firewood playing a big role.

— Cordless Electric – The cordless chainsaw is quickly becoming one of the favorite options for consumers due to its relative convenience. Easily one of the best qualities of the cordless electric chainsaw is that you neither need an outlet nor a fuel and oil mixture to run it. On top of that, manufacturers keep making steady advancement in battery-powered technology to the point where cordless electric chainsaws can be comparable to corded electric chainsaws in power. That said, cordless chainsaws are also often more expensive than corded models, and that price might not even include the cost of the battery or the charger. Also, cordless chainsaws will not run quite as long as corded models or even gas-powered chainsaws.

— Corded Electric – The corded electric chainsaw was the first type of electric chainsaw but has since been losing ground to the cordless models. While the corded chainsaw once held a steady advantage over their cordless cousins in terms of cutting power, that gap has shrunk considerably in the past couple of decades. When you compound the shrinking power advantage with the fact that corded chainsaws are tethered to an outlet and usually require an extension cord, they are simply a less convenient option. That said, corded chainsaws are usually the least expensive type of chainsaw and can still be relied upon to more consistently deliver better cutting power than their cordless competitors. Even better, the absence of a battery pack also allows corded chainsaws to be lighter than cordless ones which are especially useful when cutting a lot of firewood.

— Gas-Powered – While you can definitely use a gas-powered chainsaw to cut firewood, it is important to understand that you do not need a large chainsaw for this task. In fact, a larger chainsaw is arguably inconvenient and not well-suited to the task of cutting firewood given all of the ancillary tasks that you do. On the other hand, if you want to take a thick piece of timber and turn it into firewood, you will likely need to turn to a gas-powered chainsaw to do so. This is because only a gas-powered chainsaw can provide the kind of cutting power required to cut through thick pieces of timber. On the other hand, gas-powered chainsaws are also usually the most expensive type of chainsaw and will require a constant fuel and oil mixture. It is also a good idea to make sure whether or not your local municipality restricts outdoor equipment from an emissions or noise pollution perspective.

— FAQ’s
Why Use a Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood?
There really are not that many different ways that you can personally cut your own firewood. You can use an ax and cut it by hand, but this is labor-intensive and time-consuming– not to mention it usually requires a bit of practice. You can also purchase an automated log splitter, but this is a large, expensive piece of equipment best suited for cutting significant amounts of firewood. As such, a quick and easy way to cut firewood that will not take up much space is a chainsaw.
More often than not, when you get a chainsaw, you do so to either trim branches in your yard or cut down trees. If you need a chainsaw to cut down trees, you are probably going to look for a powerful gas chainsaw. On the other hand, if you just need to trim branches in your yard, you can often get a small chainsaw or even a pole saw. This puts the chainsaw for cutting firewood in a bit of a Goldilocks situation where it needs to be big and powerful enough to handle moderate timber but not so big or powerful that it can quickly get away from you.

How to Cut Firewood with a Chainsaw?
Cutting firewood with a chainsaw involves all of the same safety measures you would employ when simply using a chainsaw in any other context. However, it is important to know the differences in how you actually cut the wood to stay safe. If you are working with smaller pieces of timber, then you should make sure that you have a specialized sawhorse. Rather than get the standard sawhorse meant to hold lumber, you need to get what is called a sawbuck. After fastening the timber to the sawbuck, you can safely cut the timber into firewood with a chainsaw.
On the other hand, cutting larger pieces of timber requires a different technique altogether that will not include a sawbuck. In this instance, you can cut the timber while on the ground or fashion a wedge support from a piece of a log. If cutting the timber while it lays on the ground, make sure that you use wedges to keep the timber from moving and never cut into the ground. If you use a wedge support, you do not have to worry about cutting into the ground, but you still need to use wedges to prevent the timber from moving during the cut.

What to Look for?
Unlike a number of other circumstances, choosing a chainsaw for cutting firewood does not mean you need to look for the most powerful chainsaw. The only time you should get a really powerful chainsaw for cutting firewood is if you plan to cut thick logs. If you cut firewood from more manageable pieces of timber, a lot of power will not necessarily make much of a difference. This is especially true if the timber used is no more than 4” to 6” thick since most chainsaws can handle this thickness with relative ease. On the other hand, because you will likely be making a lot of cuts to numerous pieces of timber, you should look for a chainsaw that is convenient to use. It also helps to get a lightweight chainsaw with a compact profile since you will often be putting it down to arrange the timber.

— Conclusion
In the end, the best chainsaw for cutting firewood will really come down to how much firewood you want to cut and how thick the timber is. For thicker timber, the only real option on our list is the powerful Husqvarna 460 Rancher with its 60.3 cc engine and 20 mps chain speed. Of course, if you are working with smaller pieces of wood and looking to make quick work of the task, the DEWALT MAX XR is a good option. The WORX chainsaw provides a surprising amount of cutting power, but you will need to be careful not to overdo it. The BLACK+DECKER definitely surprises for an electric chainsaw, but it is also surprisingly expensive given the brand. Finally, the Sun Joe offers the least expensive option we found, but it cannot handle the kind of workloads the other products we reviewed can.