Whether you need to chop firewood, fell trees, or clear bushes, a quality chainsaw can make every task streamlined and efficient. There are numerous brands offering quality chainsaws, but not all of them help you save money. After 139 hours of research, we came up with five best chainsaws under $300. Among all the products we tested, the Husqvarna 435E outperformed all other chainsaws. We also wrote a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you find the best chainsaw in the budget of a shoestring.
Best Chainsaws Under $300
1. Husqvarna 435EII16 – Best Gas Chainsaw Under $300
- 435E II chainsaw with the new x-cut chain and x-force chainsaw Bar is a lightweight and efficient all-round chainsaw,...
- 40. 9cc 16 inch gas chainsaw with guide bar and chain. Maximum power speed - 9000 rpm. Fuel tank volume - 0.78 US pint....
- 2 cycle engine with inertia activated chain brake for safety while operating
Husqvarna 435E is the most preferred gas chainsaw by Husqvarna. There are countless reasons for which this chainsaw ranks on the top in the market. As soon as we held it in our hands, we felt an excellent balance and weight.
We were able to start using the chainsaw right out of the box. We noticed a great blend of performance and usability in this gas chainsaw. We highly recommend it for both professionals and homeowners.
Being an improvised version of Husqvarna 240, this model has a more massive motor that makes it ideal for heavy-duty applications. Moreover, this model also increased engine power slightly. We clearly saw the difference in cutting between both the saws.
Additionally, we observed the cuts to be really smooth, and they look professional and clean. Like other Husqvarna chainsaws, this gas-powered model also integrates X-TORQ technology that makes it very efficient in terms of fuel consumption.
The fumes’ emission was also significantly less, and we didn’t have to deal with smoke blowing over our faces. We absolutely love the guide bar of this chainsaw, and people using this chainsaw seem to agree with us on this verdict.
It has an extremely solid construction that isn’t going to break or bend even if you apply immense pressure on it. Moreover, it also acts as a subtle foundation for the chain to spin with a fantastic speed of up to 9000 RPM.
Furthermore, we were also able to remove the guide bar and swap it with a customized one. We noticed that it accepts a minimum of 13-inch and a maximum of 18-inch guide bars depending on your requirements.
Overall, the Husqvarna 435EII16 is an exceptionally user-friendly, comfortable, and heavy-duty chainsaw in the market. Its 18-inch guide bar provides an extra versatility that makes it perfect for landowners, semi-professionals, and professionals.
2. DEWALT Max XR – Best Battery Chainsaw Under $300
- Cordless chainsaw comes with low kick back 12-inch bar and chain for construction and outdoor cutting applications
- Compact, lightweight design (just 9 lbs. with battery) of the battery chainsaw for maximum user control
- High-efficiency brushless motor of the battery powered chainsaw maximizes runtime and motor life
DEWALT claims their Max XR brushless chainsaw to be a professional-grade Li-ion powered tool at an unbelievable price range. We were eager to throw a couple of tests on it and see how it performs in the wild.
However, we didn’t have a good first impression of this chainsaw. The moment we held it in our hands, we didn’t find the design to be lightweight, and it simply didn’t feel like a quality tool. Moreover, the knobs were also somewhat flimsy.
But the handles of this battery chainsaw were pretty comfortable and had a good grip. This made the chainsaw very stable and easy to use. Before starting running it, we had to tighten the chain using its built-in chain tensioning mechanism.
We must admit that the tensioning mechanism felt very durable and had a great construction. Although we noticed a difficulty in sliding the sheath, we noticed that it does a great job keeping everything in place.
We also decided to charge this battery chainsaw fully before running it. We found the LED indicator to be really helpful for gaining insights about the battery status. This chainsaw contains a few other indicators, such as a bar oil reservoir indicator that ensures an optimal oil value in the saw.
We also loved how easy was the setup procedure of this chainsaw. We just had to fill the oil reservoir, place the battery, tighten the chain using the tensioner unless we heard a click sound, and the next second, the saw was ready to cut.
While testing it against a variety of wood, we noticed that the overall operation was very quiet. Unlike other chainsaws, it doesn’t make much noise while working. This makes it ideal for jobs that require an indication of crack and pop sounds from trees.
We also liked how the safety switch prevents you from starting the chainsaw accidentally without actually becoming an obstacle in your work. We had to turn off the safety switch before we could pull the throttle trigger.
All in all, the DEWALT 20V Max XR is a great combination of power and efficiency. With the capability of handling lighter, smaller, larger, and tougher jobs, it is certainly one of the best chainsaws under $300 in the market.
3. Greenworks Pro – Best Cordless Chainsaw Under $300
- SUPERIOR CUTTING PERFORMANCE: Incredible power and performance, get up to 150 cuts on 4x4 lumber with 2Ah battery...
- BRUSHLESS MOTOR: Advanced brushless motor technology delivers major torque, power, and life. 9X quieter and 5X less...
- 18-INCH BAR AND CHAIN: Perfect for homeowners and prosumers that need to take down large branches, stumps, and trees....
Cordless chainsaws were our least preferred option for heavy-duty work. However, as soon as we got our hands on Greenworks Pro cordless chainsaw, our perception changed towards it. Cordless chainsaws are making a good statement in the market with numerous technological advancements.
The first thing that impressed us was the inertia-activated chain brake system of this cordless chainsaw. It is designed ergonomically and covers your hand completely to avoid accidents in case of a chain break. Moreover, it’s positioned in a way to not interfere in your work.
We were also amazed by the control mechanism of this cordless chainsaw. It is very easy to use and positioned very well. To start cutting, you don’t need any additional mode selector or on/off button. Instead, just pull the chain break, pull the safety catch lever, and hit the trigger.
When we started cutting with it, we experienced a great performance with this saw. It has a great cutting power, and when combined with body-weight, it could easily chew up the whole tree. However, we just applied a small amount of pressure, and it still provided fast and smooth cuts.
If you’ve shopped for a cordless chainsaw earlier, you may know that they usually consist of a plastic knob for chain tensioning mechanism. However, unlike other saws, the Greenworks Pro includes a traditional side-mounted chain tensioning system.
We prefer such kind of mechanism because it makes chain tensioning more personalized. Moreover, we have noticed that the accuracy level is higher in traditional chain-tensioning systems than that of rotating knobs.
We must also admit that the vibrations were very low in the Greenworks Pro cordless chainsaw. Considering long-term use, this saw will certainly result in less user fatigue. Furthermore, the speed of this saw will surely amaze you if you haven’t used a cordless chainsaw before.
In a nutshell, the Greenworks Pro Cordless Chainsaw is a great option for homeowners who need a chainsaw to clean up downed trees and yard bush. Therefore, if you’re looking for a decent chainsaw with amazing capacity, the Greenworks Pro Cordless Chainsaw is a great choice.
4. Echo CS-400 Gas Chainsaw
When shopping for chainsaws, people tend to have a biased opinion about known names in the industry. With that said, various less-known brands such as Echo are left behind regardless of their exceptional capabilities.
Although there’s nothing special about the Echo CS-400 gas chainsaw design, its performance makes it ideal for both homeowners and professionals. On the contrary, the design was, in fact, simple and didn’t have excessive body molding that makes it hard to access controls of a saw.
So, the overall design of the Echo CS-400 is highly practical and provides easy access to controls. This comes handy when you need to clean or maintain your chainsaw. It provides easy access to major components such as kick guard and T-wrench.
After getting our hands on it, we felt a great balance of this tool. The tool felt very solid, and it was suspended right from our finger. Furthermore, even after having an 18-inch bar, the tool didn’t tip forward or backward.
We also lobed the starting mechanism of the Echo CS-400 gas chainsaw. It features an i-30 starter system that claims to reduce the efforts you need to start the chainsaw by 30%. And it certainly lives upon its words as we were able to get the saw up and running in just two pulls.
However, we didn’t like the noise created by its throttle. When kept idle, it makes a noise of around 82dB SPL. But when it cranks up, the noise levels can go up to 107dB SPL that is sufficient to trigger hearing damage with time.
We tested this gas chainsaw on a variety of projects. Starting off with a palm tree, the saw performed really well, like what we were expecting from a new chainsaw. In no time, we were able to quarte the stump and proceed with further cuts.
In conclusion, the Echo CS-400 caters to your required sustainability and durability really well. Moreover, it achieves all this in a highly cost-effective package. That’s why we consider this as one of the best chainsaws under $300.
5. Blue Max 8901 2-in-1 Combination Chainsaw
- 45 cc high performance blue max engine, 35-percent higher performance than alternative brands
- 30-percent more chain teeth reduces cutting time; anti vibe handle; center balanced.25:1 fuel mixture
- Quick start (cdi) ignition system; automatic oiler
Whether you need a chainsaw for the home workshop or professional use, the lesser-known brand Blue Max promises some great options for you. We were really eager to know if it actually lives upon what it promises or not.
The chainsaw includes a 45CC motor, which, according to us, is great at such a price range. However, to power up such a powerful motor, this saw consumes a great amount of fuel. The fuel tank is also small and needs to be refilled very often.
But we didn’t have any beef with the performance of this saw. It is called a 2-in-1 chainsaw because it allows you to shift between 14-inch and 20-inch bar based on your requirements. Personally, we found it to be really handy to switch between different bar lengths.
We also noticed that the kickbacks were noticeably low in this gas chainsaw. In context with the amount of power it generates, we were expecting a lot of accidental injuries, but fortunately, it didn’t happen.
Although the saw couldn’t be compared with other larger gas-operated chainsaws, it certainly works better than various well-known battery-operated chainsaw brands. We are confident that it’s more than enough for most of your domestic jobs.
Overall, the Blue Max gas chainsaw is an excellent tool in case you’re looking for a chainsaw to get smaller jobs done around your home. With the ability to switch over the bar length, you can get pretty much everything done with this saw.
Buying Guide – How To Choose The Best Chainsaws Under $300
There are many reputed companies that provide chainsaws in a budget. However, not all of them are worth the money you’re spending. So, let’s see what you need to consider to purchase the best chainsaws under $300:
1. Chainsaw size and weight
The most important factor when purchasing a chainsaw is its size and weight. The weight of a chainsaw depends upon the length of the chain bar. Moreover, the right chain bar size depends on the size of the logs you’re planning to cut.
Typically, you need to ensure that you get a guide bar about 1-2 inches larger than the diameter of the log you wish to cut. Once you’ve got an idea of your required guide bar length, compare the overall weight of different models, and note the difference.
Now, if you’re planning to use the chainsaw for fine work such as carving, you need to find a lightweight model. Even a few pounds can make a great difference in your work’s efficiency after a certain amount of time.
If you’re planning to make cuts at certain angles, you must look for a chainsaw with an ergonomic design to easily tackle small jobs. For heavy-duty jobs, there’s no harm in choosing a heavy chainsaw. Just make sure you take appropriate breaks while working.
We analyzed countless models of chainsaws. However, none of them could even match the efficiency and ease of use of the Husqvarna 435EII16 gas chainsaw. It has exceptional handling with low-vibrations and easy-to-use configuration.
2. Start-up features
Talk to any chainsaw expert for a while, and they’ll all agree with the struggle of the start-up that made their lives miserable. A chainsaw that starts with a single pull is like a dream come true for many woodworkers.
With that said, electric chainsaws are very easy to start and reliable. There’s no hassle of pulling in electric chainsaws. As long as you’ve got your saw plugged-in to a power outlet, you just need to pressure the throttle, and the saw will be up and running right away. One similar option is from Husqvarna.
Nowadays, even gas chainsaws are coming up with innovations to make start-up easier. Therefore, you should always look for spring to assist pull-start while buying a chainsaw. This feature reduces the force required to kick the engine.
Moreover, it would be best if you also considered looking at choke control in a chainsaw. This feature prevents the engine from flooding when you pull the start cord too hard. Some brands don’t specify what start-up mechanism they’re using, so just ensure that your saw includes one.
In terms of start-up, we believe that the DEWALT Max XR Battery Chainsaw is the most prominent of all. We didn’t encounter any start-up problem even once in this saw. It allows you to save a lot of time while working on an important project.
3. Guide bar
The guide bar also referred to as a chain bar, is the metal component that emerges from your chainsaw’s body. Once the engine pulls the chain over the sprocket, the guide bar assists the cutting teeth on the chain and provides rigid support when cutting wood.
The guide bar’s appropriate size depends on the size of trees or logs you’re planning to cut. Moreover, you need to ensure that the guide bar has top-notch quality because it takes a lot of force and pressure when cutting.
Almost every chainsaw brand provides quality guide bars, but still, some are better than others. We found the guide bar of Greenworks Pro Cordless Chainsaw to be the most rigid. The company seems to have focused more on the core parts of their product.
4. Engine power
The power of your engine directly impacts the cutting capabilities of your chainsaw. It determines the speed of your chain and the resistance it can bear. Your engine’s power also depends on the type of job you need to get done and the size of the guide bar of your chainsaw.
Therefore, if you’re planning to do bigger jobs, you need a more powerful engine with a larger guide bar and vice versa. For example, if you want to cut through a massive oak tree, you need to pair up a 45CC engine with a 20-inch guide bar.
Gas chainsaws include a great variety of engine sizes to fit all your requirements. Their power is measured in terms of CC (cubic centimeters) that indicates the air displacement of your engine with each cycle of the cylinder.
For light-duty work, an engine size between 24CC and 34CC is more than enough. The chainsaws with this engine size have a bar length of 10-14 inches. They’re ideal for taking down small trees of 14 inches or less diameter and limbs of trees.
Medium-duty work calls for a chainsaw with an engine size ranging between 34Cc and 46CC. Their bar length falls between 14 and 18 inches. They’re commonly preferred by homeowners looking for domestic tasks such as cutting hardwood logs and firewood. Also see our article on where the chainsaw are manufactured.
On the other hand, if you want to tackle heavy-duty work, you need to have an engine size greater than 46CC. The length of the guide bar for such chainsaws can range between 18-24 inches. They’re usually preferred by professionals looking to cut hardwood knots and take down huge trees.
When running a variety of chainsaws under different tests, we found the Echo CS-400 Gas Chainsaw to have the most powerful engine. We are confident that this chainsaw can fulfill all your domestic and professional requirements.
As chainsaws get expensive without getting what you really pay for, it calls for the need of cost-efficient chainsaws that help you complete your woodworking tasks quickly and efficiently. To help leap, our reviews and buyer’s guide will help you pick the best chainsaws under $300. After all, making a decision is all about understanding your needs, knowing the product, and determining your willingness to spend.