Table of Contents
- Best Small Gas Chainsaw Reviews 2019
- Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw – Best Seller
- Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 32.2cc 14-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine – Top Pick
- Poulan Pro PR4016 16 Inch Bar 40cc 2 Cycle Gas Chainsaw (Renewed) – Best Value
- Husqvarna 120 Mark II 16 in. Gas Chainsaws, Orange/Gray – Runner Up
- Remington RM4214 Rebel 42cc 2-Cycle 14-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw Automatic Chain Oiler-Anti Vibration System. – Also Consider
- Small Gas Chainsaw Buying Guide 2019
Best Small Gas Chainsaw Reviews 2019
When trimming branches and bushes, there are few tools more useful than a ripping gas-powered chainsaw. However, many gas-powered chainsaws are large and difficult to wield. That is why we put together a list of the 7 best small gas chainsaw reviews of 2019. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide and FAQ, so you can figure out how much beast you need. We think the Husqvarna and Tanaka are the best bet for most people, but keep reading to see our best value.
Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas Chainsaw – Best Seller
- 460 Rancher chainsaw is a robust all-round saw for jobs that need a longer Bar
- 2 cycle engine with intertia activated chain brake for safety while operating
- Orange Husqvarna chainsaw Bar cover and 2.6 ounce 2 cycle fuel Included, Bar and chain oil must be purchased Separately
Out of all the companies on our list, Husqvarna definitely has the longest history and is arguably the most respected. Since its founding in 1698 as a gunsmithing company, the brand has continued to change with the times and change the times through innovation. While Husqvarna may not strictly specialize in manufacturing chainsaws, they do focus on outdoor equipment for a wide variety of fields including farming and winter seasons.
That said, it is worth noting that even though this is definitely one of the more substantial and capable products that we reviewed, it is still squarely situated in the consumer-grade market, albeit at the precipice of commercial-grade use. Still, with more power and a number of excellent convenience features, the 460 Rancher makes plenty of sense taking the best seller position. What makes this all the more surprising, and is certainly a sign of the 460 Rancher chainsaw’s quality, if the fact that it is also one of the more expensive consumer-grade gas chainsaws too.
Easily one of the big reasons to get a gas chainsaw in the first place is because you need plenty of cutting power. However, looking for a smaller chainsaw also means that you want to make sure it is not too difficult to handle in a wide variety of situations. Trying to squeeze significant cutting power in a compact profile can be a challenge, but thankfully, the Husqvarna small chainsaw is able to do so with relative ease. First, this small gas chainsaw has, by far, the largest engine out of any product that we reviewed with a whopping 60.3 cc which is nearly 50-percent larger than the next closest competitor. As if the size of the displacement were not enough, Husqvarna also pairs their 460 Rancher small gas chainsaw with their patented X-Torq technology which allows the product to maintain great cutting power while also limiting its emissions, saving you money and staying within line of municipal emission standards.
On top of that, the 460 Rancher gas chainsaw also puts out the most horsepower at 3.62 which is largely responsible for the impressive cutting power of 3.4 nm– both of which lead our list. That said, this is definitely not a professional or heavy-duty chainsaw as the chain speed is an adequate, if unimpressive, 20 mps. While this will not necessarily present with any real issues if you are trimming branches, cutting firewood, or even felling smaller trees around the home, this should not be confused for a chainsaw made to cut down thick, full-grown trees in the forest.
When it comes to a top-tier consumer-grade small gas chainsaw, one of the more important factors to get right is the ease of use. Unlike with other types of power tools, gas chainsaws, small or otherwise, generally have a number of points of use that must be made easier if they are to actually be more convenient. Thankfully, the Husqvarna 460 Rancher small gas chainsaw does an admirable job to this end, though there are definitely some areas that could do with improvement. Specifically, the 460 Rancher small gas chainsaw requires a scrench to tighten the chain, something that must be done periodically.
On the other hand, it does at least feature an automatic oiler which does not have the leaking issue that many of its competitors do. On top of that, the Husqvarna chainsaw also makes it a point to account for the sheer power of its engine with its patented LowVib anti-vibration system, so you do not have to worry about fatigue after using the 460 Rancher chainsaw for long periods of time. Even better, while the chain tensioning must use a tool, the other areas of maintenance, like checking the air filter and SmartStart air purge making getting the Husqvarna easy to prepare and maintain over the long haul.
- Has a chain speed of 20 mps
- Has a 60.3 cc engine
- Has a LowVib anti-vibration system
- Generates 3.4 nm torque
- Has an X-Torq engine
- Is easier to maintain
- Is the most expensive small gas chainsaw reviewed
- Not truly heavy-duty
Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 32.2cc 14-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine – Top Pick
- 14-Inch top handle chain saw with 32.2cc commercial grade pure fire engine to provide a clean, powerful performance with less fuel...
- Half throttle choke with purge primer bulb for easy start and warm up
- Automatic gear-driven oiler and a side access chain tensioning providing quick and convenient chain adjustment
Tanaka is another company whose history saw it go through numerous changes in approach but more closely hews to the small gas chainsaw market in general. With over a century of experience, Tanaka first refined their metalworking techniques before moving on to specialize in small combustion engines. This focus serves them exceptionally well on our list as they produce one of the more capable small gas chainsaws that we found in a more compact package than many of their competitors.
Still, it is worth considering that the Tanaka brand is currently owned by the Metabo company, though that has not seemed to spell any major changes for Tanaka products. That said, the company is well aware of their accomplishments and prices their product accordingly, though not so much so we feel it is outside of a top pick for its general value.
While certainly not the most powerful small gas chainsaw that we reviewed, the Tanaka chainsaw definitely has plenty of cutting power to spare. This may seem a bit surprising considering it also features one of the smaller engines on our list at only 32.2 cc. It is also worth noting that the Tanaka gas chainsaw has one of the lower horsepowers we saw too at just 1.6 hp. On the other hand, this small gas chainsaw does account for this a bit with the fastest chain speed on our list at 32 mps. What this means in functional terms is that the Tanaka small gas chainsaw will not necessarily be able to handle an aggressive cut quite as well as some of the others on our list.
However, you likewise should not really have to cut aggressively with the Tanaka chainsaw due to the sawdust being driven away from the wood. Essentially, while the actual cutting power itself is a bit lower than with other chainsaws we encountered, you do not have to worry about the chainsaw bogging down because of debris either. Even better, the Tanaka gas chainsaw also uses its patented PureFire 2-stroke engine which helps you stay within emission standards without sacrificing power. It also makes maintenance less of an issue, which is definitely an area the company focused more in general.
Since the Tanaka TCS33EDTP small gas chainsaw is not quite as powerful as some of our top performers, you should expect it to make headway in other areas. In this instance, the Tanaka chainsaw offers one of the easier use functions that we found, covering most aspects from beginning to end. From a fairly broad perspective, the Tanaka chainsaw is one of the lighter products on our list which means you will not have to worry about awkward movements or fatigue over long use. To reinforce this benefit, the Tanaka gas chainsaw also comes equipped with its advanced anti-vibration system.
The ease of use with the Tanaka gas chainsaw is further exemplified with the addition of an automatic oiler. Though, it is worth noting that the automatic oiler might be a bit too good at its job with many people reporting that the Tanaka chainsaw has a tendency to leak whether in use or not. The chain tensioner is side-access, which is fairly standard for a consumer-grade chainsaw, but it does still require the use of a scrench. While that is not ideal, the Tanaka small chainsaw does at least take measures to help keep you safe with the inclusion of an Oregon sprocket nose bar that provides solid anti-kickback protection.
- Has a 32.2 cc engine
- Has an Oregon Sprocket Nose bar
- Is a lightweight small gas chainsaw
- Has an advanced anti-vibration system
- Has a Pure Fire engine
- Is easier to use
- Is a more expensive small gas chainsaw
- Has a tendency to leak oil
Poulan Pro PR4016 16 Inch Bar 40cc 2 Cycle Gas Chainsaw (Renewed) – Best Value
- Medium-duty chainsaw is ideal for cleaning up limbs and fallen timber or for firewood and tree-felling
- Features a 40cc, 2-stroke engine plus a 16-inch bar with chain
- Designed for more power with less fuel consumption and emissions
Poulan Pro may not necessarily be one of the oldest companies that we reviewed, but that does not mean that they are any less experienced. In fact, since its founding in 1944, Poulan Pro specialized in chainsaws explicitly, though they have since expanded their focus a bit to include other outdoor lawn care equipment. What is interesting is that Poulan Pro, while mostly managed in-house, is actually owned by another chainsaw giant in Husqvarna. This should provide further confidence in their products on top of that fact that they offer a full range of chainsaws for every market, including professional-grade options. On our list, we decided to focus on one of their less expensive options that still manages to put out serious cutting power.
Considering that Poulan Pro small gas chainsaw does focus more on chainsaws than anything else, it only makes sense that the company would be able to produce a powerful chainsaw for a lower price than most of its competitors. This begins with a good-sized 2-stroke 40 cc engine that is able to generate 1.55 nm of torque. This means that you will not lack for power if you have to bite into the wood a bit, though you should still take care not to be overly aggressive with your cuts. Thankfully, Poulan Pro gas chainsaw does at least make sure that you will not have to worry about the bar bogging down in sawdust as the chain speed of 27.8 mps is good for second-best on our list.
All of this power does not mean that you have to spend more on powering it up though, as the patented OxyPower engine helps consume less fuel and reduces emissions well within municipal requirements. To make things even better, the Poulan Pro small chainsaw also comes with a 16” bar which is the second-largest that we reviewed. This means that you can cut larger pieces of wood with the Poulan Pro chainsaw than you might be able to with a smaller bar.
Though the Poulan Pro small gas chainsaw offers a solid value with good cutting power at a fairly low cost, it does have to sacrifice something to get there. In this instance, the Poulan Pro chainsaw is not really the most convenient to use, though it is definitely far from difficult. That said, there is no getting around the fact that this is the heaviest small gas chainsaw on our list. This means that you will suffer from more fatigue when using the Poulan Pro gas chainsaw over a long period of time.
To make things a bit dicier, the Poulan Pro small chainsaw does come with anti-vibration handles, but it does not have a full system like some of the other products that we reviewed. That said, the Poulan Pro chainsaw has arguably the best chain brake we found with a great, target sightline which makes seeing the cut significantly easier. On top of that, the Poulan Pro small chainsaw also has an automatic oiler, though it does suffer from some of the leaking issues that other automatic oilers are noted for.
Has a 40 cc engine
Is the least expensive small gas chainsaw reviewed
Has a chain speed of 27.8 mps
Has an automatic oiler
Has an OxyPower engine
Has a great chain brake
Is the heaviest small gas chainsaw reviewed
Has a tendency to leak oil
Husqvarna 120 Mark II 16 in. Gas Chainsaws, Orange/Gray – Runner Up
- Compact, casual-use chainsaw that's designed to start up easily
- Low kickback safety features, including built-in safety break, reduces risk during operation
- Lightweight chainsaw is compact and maneuverable with excellent ergonomic comfort features
Husqvarna makes another appearance on our list, but this time it definitely focuses more on a compact size and producing a fully consumer-grade option than it does skirting that line between small and powerful. To be fair, Husqvarna is likely one of the better companies to attempt this feat with their experience and dedication to quality products. That said, the Husqvarna 120 Mark II did fall outside of our top products for a reason, though it definitely still offers a solid option for certain situations.
The Husqvarna 120 Mark II small gas chainsaw is not trying to compete with some of the larger, more powerful chainsaws on our list. In fact, if anything else, it would be more apt to suggest that the 120 Mark II gas chainsaw aims to provide the necessary amount of cutting power in as small of a form as possible. As it turns out, Husqvarna may have just accomplished such a task since the 120 Mark II small chainsaw is the lightest product that we reviewed. This will help make sure you do not suffer too much fatigue when using it for extended periods of time. In order to further reduce your user fatigue, the Husqvarna 120 Mark II gas chainsaw also comes with Husqvarna’s patented LowVib technology. Even better, it also comes with their patented Air Injection system which reduces the number of filter changes you will see over the lifespan of the tool.
Up and Down
In order to achieve such a lightweight and compact product, Husqvarna had to sacrifice some of the 120 Mark II’s power. Interestingly enough, this small gas chainsaw does not have the smallest engine we reviewed, though, at 38.2 cc, it is still on the smaller side when compared with others. That small engine still offers acceptable horsepower of 1.88, but it loses out on the chain speed. This means you will have to cut slower and more deliberately with the 120 Mark II gas chainsaw than any other product we reviewed. Thankfully, the inclusion of the patented X-Torq engine means that you will not have to worry about wasting fuel and will stay well within emission standards for municipalities.
- Is the lightest small gas chainsaw reviewed
- Is a less expensive small gas chainsaw
- Has a 38.2 cc engine
- Has a LowVib anti-vibration system
- Has an X-Torq engine
- Is easier to maintain
- Has the slowest chain speed reviewed
- Is difficult to start
Remington RM4214 Rebel 42cc 2-Cycle 14-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw Automatic Chain Oiler-Anti Vibration System. – Also Consider
- HIGH OUTPUT ENGINE WITH 14-INCH BAR & CHAIN: 42cc full crank 2 cycle engine provides greater power and less vibration. 14-Inch sprocket...
- QUICKSTART TECHNOLOGY: Designed for quicker, smoother and easier pull starts
- DURABLE DIE-CAST CHASSIS: Lightweight, compact and efficient. Engineered with pro-grade components to tame those smaller trees and tougher...
Remington does not have the same notoriety or prestige that some of its competitors do, but it has been around for nearly as long. With its founding in 1921, this nearly-century old company did not really shift into the chainsaw market until about half a century ago. Still, Remington does focus almost entirely on outdoor lawn care and landscaping equipment, so they do know what their customers are looking for. In fairness, this is actually a decent small gas chainsaw that just got edged out by others on our list.
The Remington RM4214 small gas chainsaw is a bit up and down when it comes to the specs people generally look for. The engine itself is fairly large at 42 cc which is good for the second-largest on our list. That said, Remington is a bit more tight-lipped in regards to the horsepower that engine actually generates. This is coupled with the slowest chain speed on our list at 19.5 mps which means you likely should not try to make aggressive cuts with this small gas chainsaw. On the upside, it is pretty easy to maintain with a toolless access to both the air filter and the spark plug. As if that convenience were not enough, the Rebel gas chainsaw also has an automatic oiler that is not noted for being quite as messy as some others. On the other hand, numerous people have had to customize the oiler feed to get it to work properly in the first place.
One of the first things that people looking for a “small” gas chainsaw will notice about the Remington is that it is one of the heavier options on our list. A big part of this has to do with one of the Remington chainsaw’s unique features: a die-cast metal chassis. Most small gas chainsaws opt for a plastic chassis to help reduce weight, but the Remington Rebel gas chainsaw wants to make sure that you do not have to worry about the chassis cracking or breaking. While the extra weight is surely unwanted and will increase user fatigue after extended use, the Remington gas chainsaw also comes with a 5-point anti-vibration system to help mitigate some of those concerns.
- Has a 42 cc engine
- Is a less expensive small gas chainsaw
- Has a 5-point anti-vibration system
- Is easier to maintain
- Has a die-cast chassis
- Has an ergonomic design
- Is a heavier small gas chainsaw
- Not the easiest to use
Small Gas Chainsaw Buying Guide 2019
You likely would not be looking into a gas chainsaw, regardless of its size, instead of an electric model, unless you were interested in its cutting power. It is notable that gas chainsaws are generally more powerful than their comparable electric counterparts, but nailing down how that power is actually translated through the chain can be a bit more difficult. One of the more obvious determinants in this regard is the sheer size of the engine which is given in cubic centimeters or cc. However, the total displacement does not necessarily tell you how well the drive mechanisms transfers that energy to the chain. In this regard, it can be helpful to look for horsepower, though it is actually often more appropriate to figure out the chainsaw’s torque. Still, these specs are often within points of difference from one another for comparable chainsaws.
Chain speed is a fairly important factor to consider as it will ultimately tell you how quickly the cut wood and dust can be removed. This is actually a paramount component of chainsaw functioning since sawdust that is not removed will usually bog down the cutting power to some degree and rob the chainsaw of its ability to cut as well as it otherwise might. That said, because chainsaws are manufactured by countries hailing from different regions, it can sometimes be difficult to figure out what the actual standard is. Some companies rate their chain speed in feet per second while others use the international meters per second. Thankfully, we have done the work to provide all chain speeds afforded in the international standard meters per second or mps.
Though the “gas” component of our list is noted for indicating cutting power, the “small aspect is most helpful for denoting weight. Though, it is fair to mention that just because a chainsaw is smaller in profile and frame than another, that does not necessarily mean that it weighs less. Still, the benefits of a lighter chainsaw are multiple and even extend into the realm of personal safety. Specifically, a lighter chainsaw is generally easier to handle which is especially important if the chainsaw kicks back towards you. At the most obvious, a lightweight chainsaw also has the advantage that it will cause less fatigue when used for an extended period of time.
While weight definitely fits into the mix when judging a chainsaw’s ergonomics, there are also a whole host of features that can contribute or detract from this quality as well. By far, one of the most common types of ergonomic features included on a chainsaw is anti-vibration features. A fair number of modern chainsaws actually incorporate some type of internal suspension system into them to help reduce vibrations transferred through the tool. This will reduce the amount of user fatigue experienced with prolonged use of a chainsaw and can help prevent certain longterm syndromes as well. Though, small gas chainsaws are generally not used or indicated for use on the types of jobs that would otherwise cause those more serious problems.
Why a Gas Chainsaw?
Chainsaws are powered by one of two types of energy, either gas power like those products in our list, or electric power. While electric chainsaws definitely have some distinct advantages in terms of longterm overhead, since you do not have to keep purchasing gas and oil for their motors, they also come up short in some important ways too. While electric chainsaws have been making serious strides as of late to catch up to gas chainsaws, there is no getting around the fact that gas chainsaws are still more powerful than their comparable electric counterparts.
While surface-level power can actually be pretty similar for equally classed chainsaws of either power source, it is the persistent power that electric chainsaws fail to provide to the same level that gas chainsaws do. This means that when first biting into the wood, both electric and gas chainsaws will generally be able to cut equally well. However, once you have cut deeper into the wood, gas chainsaws are generally able to maintain their cutting power much better than electric chainsaws– regardless of whether the electric chainsaw is corded or battery-powered.
Why a Small Chainsaw?
When most people think of a chainsaw, especially a gas chainsaw, their mind has a tendency to focus on the bar and the chain. That danger will often make people think that gas chainsaws are large, ripping beasts, and they can be. However, there are a wide range of different uses for a chainsaw, even if they are generally used to cut wood. The issue then comes down to what kind of wood you are cutting, though this is less about the species of wood and more about the thickness.
Basically, the large, lumberjacking chainsaws most people have a tendency to think of are only used for fairly specific purposes like industrial forestry or commercial landscaping. If you just have some branches to trim around the house, maybe a small tree or large bush to cut down, you probably do not need a monstrous chainsaw to do that job. It is also worth noting that smaller chainsaws are inherently easier to use and maneuver. This can be especially important if you are cutting in a restricted space or have difficulty with using heavy power tools over an extended period of time.
What to Look For?
Because small gas chainsaws try to skirt the line between size and power, you really cannot necessarily favor one over the other. If you simply needed a small chainsaw without much regard for its full-throttle power, you could just get an electric chainsaw. Likewise, if you simply need a chainsaw that can cut through a 3’ diameter trunk, you are not going to look for anything classified as “small.”
As such, a small gas chainsaw should probably be around 20 lbs in weight, though it can be a little bit heavier if it has proper anti-vibration systems. In terms of power, the actual cutting power of a chainsaw can be all over the place and often has as much to do with the drive and gear works a manufacturer uses as it does the engine. That said, there really is no getting around the fact that a chainsaw with a larger engine does inherently have the ability to provide more raw power than a smaller engine– though whether that raw power is effectively transferred into cutting power is another matter altogether.
In the end, the best small gas chainsaw will heavily depend on exactly how thick the vegetation you need to trim or cut is. While gas-powered chainsaws offer more power than comparable electric models, there is still a wide range of variance within this group. If you have heavier plants to cut, then the Husqvarna 460 Rancher is probably your best bet with its 60.3 cc engine that puts out 3.62 hp and cuts with 3.4 nm of torque. On the other end of the spectrum, the Husqvarna 120 Mark II is great at trimming thin branches and brush, even if it is not really suitable for felling thicker trees. The Remmington might offer the most rugged option with a decent engine and a die-cast chassis to go along with it. Our top pick, the Tanaka, may be one of the less powerful models, but it is reasonably reliable and easy to use. Finally, the Poulan Pro provides a solid amount of power at an incredibly low price, even if it is a tad unwieldy.