Are you looking for the best chainsaw in the market? If yes, you should take a look at our top ten best chainsaws under 300/400 in the market. These chainsaws offer you exceptional power and versatility in their functionality.
A chainsaw is a saw blade in the form of a chain with sharp cutting edges made of hardened steel alloy material; most chainsaws come with 30 teeth and above. This chain is attached to either a gasoline engine or an electric motor, so as the engine turns, so does the chain.
Unlike regular miter and table saws, chainsaws are more complex in design with intricate safety and engineering features. That's why the price tag on the chainsaw is much higher than that on regular saws.
We came up with a list of 10 best chainsaws under $300/$400 to make your search easier, plus we included a complete buying guide to help you make a better decision.
10 Best Chainsaws under 300 and 400
Best Chainsaws under 400
Makita UC4051A Corded Electric Chainsaw - Best Chainsaw for the Money
Why we like it: The motor comes with a current limiter which prevents it from burning out when it's overloaded by reducing the current.
This chainsaw is corded and the 15 Amps motor rotates the chain blade at speeds of 2900 feet per minute, at these speeds the chainsaw blade can cut through most materials with ease.
One advantage of using Makita chainsaws is the low kickback, you'll never experience any kickback when using this chainsaw. It is because of the semi-chisel chain design which stays sharp throughout the cutting process. One thing to note is that the semi-chisel chain design is best for making crosscuts on wood and not planking.
You can cut materials up to 15" in diameter which makes this chainsaw great for medium to large cutting projects. Plus the ergonomic design and the rubberized grip makes this chainsaw great for using it for long periods.
The automatic oiling feature ensures that the blade is lubricated at all times. One setback in the lubrication system is the hole in the bar which fits right into the oil hole, and the dust from the blade clogs this oil hole making the blade to run dry during the cutting process.
The tool-free tensioning adjustment enables you to adjust the chain blade to prevent it from slipping or snapping causing injuries. Also, the chain brake feature helps stop the chain blade during emergencies.
- The current limiter prevents motor damage from excess heat
- There is zero emissions from this chainsaw making it eco-friendly
- The ergonomic design and rubberized handles make this chainsaw comfortable to use
- It produces less noise during operation
- The oil viewer window allows you to check the bar oil levels
- It's a corded chainsaw which means you are limited to the cord length.
2. Milwaukee M18 2727-21 HD FUEL Chainsaw - Best Chainsaw for DIY Tasks
Why we like it: The dual studs near the chain bar helps improve the bar and chain retention, reducing instances of chain slipping and snapping.
The brushless motor is powered by a 12Ah battery, one advantage is that this motor is more efficient and it runs cooler, making it best for running the chainsaw for longer hours.
You can cut materials 22" in diameter with this chainsaw, plus it's lightweight therefore easy to control, and this feature helps make accurate cuts on wood and other materials. The manufacturer claims that it can make up to 150 cuts per charge, which is correct because the chainsaw can reach full speeds under one second thanks to the M18 FUEL technology.
Most reviewers complained about the chain stretching, we think this issue is normal as any chain stretches during the first couple of hours. If the chain risks slipping or snapping, use the adjuster to correct the tension. Another issue is the oil reservoir, it needs to be 20% larger because the worm-gear drive is a bit thirsty for its size. It is important to note that the chain oil can limit your cutting performance just like the battery life.
Lastly, the 16" bar gives you a wider reach when cutting small trees or trimming branches in your yard.
The chain brake stops the rotating chain brake in a matter of seconds, preventing injuries during an emergency.
- You get a longer reach using the 16" bar
- The brushless motor is both efficient and powerful and it runs cooler with time
- The automatic oiler keeps the chain lubricated at all times during the cutting process
- You can cut trees up to 22" in diameter
- It needs a larger oil reservoir due to the large worm gear drive
3. Makita XCU03PT1 Cordless Chainsaw - Best small Chainsaw
Why we like it: The unique outer rotor direct drive system gives you a higher efficiency similar to a gas-powered chainsaw. It gives you a higher cutting efficiency per charge.
The brushless motor is powered by two 18V batteries and it features a direct drive feature for a higher power efficiency when making the cuts. The inclusion of an on-off LED switch indicates if the motor is on or off. Another good feature is the Automatic off feature if the cutting process is delayed and it helps prolong the battery life.
In terms of the cutting performance, you get about 45 minutes of battery runtime depending on the intensity of the cuts. Plus you can cut materials up to 20" in diameter making this chainsaw best for small to medium cutting projects.
This chainsaw is lightweight and compact in design, plus it offers you a comfortable grip to prevent hand fatigue if you work for longer hours. Also, the 14" bar gives you enough reach when cutting or trimming branches.
One setback is the automatic shut-off timer which deactivates the motor after four seconds, you have to continuously press the trigger to keep the motor on and this feature reduces the overall battery life. Makita should increase the time to about 60 seconds.
Another thing is that this chainsaw stalls often when cutting harder materials like hardwood due to a low-end torque power, to minimize this issue, you have to rev the motor up continuously to get more power.
The included safety button ensures that you don't engage the chainsaw by mistake causing injuries. Plus the rubberized grip ensures that you don't get muscle strain or arm fatigue when using the chainsaw for long hours.
- Due to its small and lightweight design, you get less kickback during the cutting process
- The rubberized grip gives you total control of the chainsaw and also comfort
- The variable speed trigger gives you control of the cutting performance
- You get about 45 minutes battery runtime from a single charge
- It is best for small to medium cutting tasks
- The automatic shut-off timer should be extended to 60 seconds from the current 2-3 seconds
4. Poulan Pro Gas Chainsaw - Best Small Gas-Powered Chainsaw
Why we like it:
We liked the oxy power engine technology that comes with this chainsaw which gives you more power for any task using 20% less fuel while limiting the engine emissions by 70%.
Since it is a gas-powered chainsaw, it comes with a 50cc engine which provides enough torque for your cutting needs. Plus the DuraLife engine boasts of chromium-plated cylinders which increase the lifespan of the engine by withstanding wear and tear. Also, the engine starts effortlessly because it comes with an effortless pull starting system.
The special anti-vibration handle helps absorb the engine vibrations when the chainsaw is in use and helps prevent medical conditions like hand-arm vibration syndrome which is lethal.
The included scrench tool on the chainsaw's body is for tightening and loosening the chain blade, to prevent it from slipping or snapping. If properly tensioned, this low profile chain cuts through hardwood easily by drawing large chips from it without bogging down. The chain extends a bit after about 4 uses, but that is normal with any chainsaw model.
The automatic oiler ensures that the chain blade is lubricated at all times minimizing chain breakages. It's a nice feature as you don't have to worry about oiling the chain blade yourself.
In terms of the cutting performance, you can cut wider and thicker materials since this chainsaw is gas-powered. The only issue that will limit the cutting process is the gas quantity. Another thing is the air filter, you need to clean it often because the sawdust clogs this filter, and a clogged filter kills the engine.
This chainsaw comes with an inertia driven chainsaw which senses a blade resistance before triggering the chain brake. This feature helps prevent the chain blade from injuring your hand.
- This chainsaw comes with a protective case to secure the chainsaw unlike most models
- The engine starts easily because of the soft-start pulling system
- The oxy power technology reduces engine emissions and uses less fuel
- It is lightweight and compact for ease of carrying around and also for making accurate cuts
- The special anti-vibration arms absorb any vibration during the cutting process
- The engine is loud at full choke. So, it might not be the best for residential use
5. EGO CS1604 Cordless Chainsaw - Best Cheap Chainsaw
Why we like it: One feature that stands out in this chainsaw is the oversized trigger which gives you more grip variation in controlling the cutting performance.
It comes with a 5Ah battery which controls the brushless motor, and it can rotate the chain blade at speeds of 6800 revolutions per minute. This type of motor gives you a higher efficiency per charge.
The 16" bar gives you wider and longer reach when trimming your yard or even cutting down small trees. It can give you 90 cuts per charge which is good for a chainsaw this size. Plus you can cut materials up to 6" in diameter easily with this chainsaw. We were able to cut 8" of hardwood in under 6 seconds and it shows you how powerful this chainsaw is when cutting wood.
However it needs improvement in the following areas, one is the tension adjuster which is difficult to grasp when wearing gloves. Secondly, the bucking spikes should be made of metal instead of the plastic ridges.
The chain kickback brake disengages the chain blade preventing hand injuries to the user.
- The wider trigger gives you more grip variation when controlling the throttle
- There is an oil inspection window to view the oil level
- The chainsaw is lightweight and good for making accurate cuts on materials
- It comes with an all-weather resistant construction for maximum durability
- The bucking spikes should be made of metal
Best Chainsaws under $300
6. EGO Power + CS1600 Cordless Chainsaw, It's a Bare Tool - Best Chainsaw for Firewood
Why we like it: This chainsaw has a unique battery design to balance the tool during use; the battery is placed in a side-loading position underneath the handle. This position gives you a better balance when moving the saw back and forth when cutting wood as it offsets the weight of the motor
This chainsaw comes with a 2 Ah 56V battery which gives you enough power and runtime for your cutting needs. The motor is efficient because it's brushless, and this brushless motor is the newest trend in most new models because it lacks brushes and also runs cooler.
At first glance, we noticed that the EGO Chainsaw lacks a power button; instead, you have to press the lock-off button before squeezing the trigger to activate the chainsaw. We think this model would be convenient if it came with a power switch.
Another great feature is the thin kerfs on the saw blade, the kerfs measure 0.043" in width. This width gives it a low cutting resistance which makes this chainsaw best for cutting thick materials and this feature also lengthens the battery runtime. You can cut trees up to 24' in diameter with this chainsaw.
The general rule of thumb is that the longer the bar, the more your reach. This chainsaw comes with a bar length of 16", and with this length, you can reach most branches and twigs in your yard if you intend to use the saw for pruning.
Your safety is paramount when using power tools and the EGO chainsaw comes with a kickback brake in case of an emergency. Since the chain blade rotates at speeds of 6300 revolutions per minute, this kickback brake is a great safety feature.
- You can cut trees up to 24" in diameter
- The thin kerfs offer a low cutting resistance which increases the battery runtime
- The blades are made of hardened steel alloy for strength and durability
- The side-loading position of the battery balances the chainsaw during the cutting process
- It is cordless, meaning you are not limited in the cutting distance
- The oil sprout is too narrow; you have to use a funnel when adding oil
7. Makita XCU06Z Cordless Chainsaw - Best Chainsaw for Homeowner
Why we like it: This chainsaw appears balanced since the batteries are in the middle section, plus the D-shaped handle improves the grip making it suitable for felling and trimming small trees.
The brushless motor is powered by two 18V batteries, which means you have a total of 36V. One advantage of using a brushless motor is its efficiency which gives you a higher work rate per charge. This motor can rotate the blade at speeds of 4000 revolutions per minute.
Makita comes with a 14' bar which gives you a good reach when trimming and cutting small trees. The blades have a maximum cutting diameter of 12" on both hardwood and softwood.
Another great feature is the metal bucking spikes, which makes this chainsaw great for cutting through tougher materials. If the bucking spikes are made of plastic, then the bucking action won't be smooth.
Also, during operation, you don't have to blip the throttle constantly to prevent the motor from going to sleep. This motor stays on for about 30 seconds before automatically turning off to save the charge.
We found the battery life reasonable since it lasts for about 30 minutes depending on the work rate at hand. One thing to note, don't push it hard into the material when cutting as it would stall, let the chainsaw do the cutting.
The front guard doubles up as a chain brake during emergencies. There are some concerns that the chain often comes off the guide bar, all you need to do is to either loosen or tighten the chain so that this issue doesn't compromise your safety.
- It comes with a battery LED Indicator which shows you the battery level
- The chainsaw requires little maintenance
- If you don't use the chainsaw for 30 seconds, it automatically shuts off to save the charge
- The brushless motor is efficient giving you more work rate per charge
- There is a view window for you to check the oil level
- Sometimes the chain comes off the guide bar; you need to tighten the chain
8. Milwaukee 2727-20 Chainsaw - Best Chainsaw for Beginners
Why we like it: This is a cordless chainsaw from Milwaukee, and they claim this chainsaw is powerful and faster than a 40cc gasoline chainsaw.
The brushless motor is powered by a 12Ah battery for longer run times and efficiency and this motor can rotate the chainsaw blade at speeds of 6600 revolutions per minute.
One convenient feature in this chainsaw is the inclusion of a scrench underneath the saw compartment, this scrench is used for chain tensioning when the chain blade is too loose or when changing the blade. This inclusion ensures that you can always change the blade anytime or anywhere.
Another good feature on this chainsaw is the clearest window for viewing the oil level, plus it doesn't leak even when stored for long periods. Also, the oil cap comes with an insert string to ensure it doesn't get lost when off.
In terms of the cutting performance, the 16-inch blade and Oregon bar can cut through 8" of material with ease. Plus the trigger is variable so that you can increase the blade speed when cutting through harder and thicker materials.
It comes with a bar lock so that you don't accidentally press the trigger, and this safety feature prevents injuries.
- The handlebar comes with an over-mold for more grip
- There is a see-through window in the oil chamber for viewing the oil level
- The 16" Oregon bar is long enough for you to reach twigs and branches when trimming or felling small trees
- The 12 Amp battery gives you more run time and work rate
- It comes with a variable speed trigger for you to control the power
- A bit pricey when compared to similar models
9. Ryobi RY40511 Cordless Chainsaw - Best Chainsaw for Beginners
Why we like it: In front of the hand, guard is a handle that allows you to cut wood and other materials at an angle, making this chainsaw great for small to medium cutting projects.
This brushless motor is powered by a 40V 1.5 Amps battery which produces torque of up to 1.7nm which makes it good for small cutting projects.
The blade comes with thin kerfs measuring about 0.05" and they improve the cutting performance by reducing the cutting resistance. Another issue is the chain tensioning, Ryobi installed a side-mounted tensioner to prevent the chain from slipping or snapping causing injuries. We think it is a great addition considering this chainsaw has a speed of 23 meters per second.
The battery run time is about 15 minutes, but it depends on the intensity of the cut and the type of wood. You can cut materials with a maximum thickness of 7-8". If you have medium or large cutting projects, you need to purchase an additional battery to lengthen your cutting time.
Lastly, the 14" bar and chain is long enough for you to reach and cut down branches if you plan on using the chainsaw for pruning.
The lockout switch is a great addition to the chainsaw's design as it prevents injuries during accidental start-ups. Also, your hand is safe during the cutting process as the handguard keeps off flying debris from the chain, and also prevents any chain contact.
- The scrench tool allows you to replace or remove the chain blade easily
- The front handle makes this chainsaw best for cutting wood at angles
- The automatic lubrication system keeps the saw lubricated at all times
- The brushless motor can produce 1.7nm of torque which is enough for small to medium cutting projects
- You can cut materials with a diameter of 7-8 inches
- The battery runtime of 15 minutes is low, you need to purchase an additional battery
10. Toro Powerplex 51880 Cordless Chainsaw - Best Chainsaw for Farm Use
Why we like it: We liked the metal bucking teeth which offers you both strength and durability when compared to those made of plastic.
It comes with a 40V Lithium-ion battery which powers the brushless motor, and this battery charges quickly to fasten your cutting projects. The good thing about Toro power tools is that they use the same battery design across all their power tools.
It comes with a 14" bar which gives you enough reach during the cutting process, whether you are trimming branches or felling small trees. This chainsaw can cut through 6" of materials with ease, and you get about an hour of use, but it depends on the usage and also the intensity of the cut. The manufacturer claims you can get up to 40 cuts per single charge which is true.
Another great feature is the tool-free tensioning controls near the handguard, you can adjust the tension of the blade using these adjustments at your fingertips while working. Plus the auto oiler keeps the chain blade lubricated at all times during the cutting process.
The handguard protects your hand from chain contact and also from any flying debris from the chain blade during the cutting process.
- The brushless motor is reliable and efficient for a higher work done per single charge
- You get about an hour of battery runtime depending on the intensity of the cut
- The handguard protects your hands from chain contact
- It comes with an easy start push button for convenience when starting the chainsaw
- It is lightweight and easy to carry around
- It lacks a lock-out button that prevents accidental start-ups
Best Chainsaw Under 300 / 400 Complete Buying Guide with FAQs
We came up with a few features that you should seriously consider before committing to buy a chainsaw.
Gas or electric
There are three types of chainsaws, electric (corded), battery-operated, and gas-powered chainsaws. Each of these chainsaw types have their strengths and weaknesses.
These chainsaws can handle more work and are more powerful than the other two types of chainsaws. The only problem is that they are noisy and they require more maintenance.
Electric (Corded) chainsaw:
They require little maintenance and are quieter during operations. The only problem is that they are limited to the cord length in terms of the cutting distance.
They are easy to run, require little or no maintenance and you have the mobility. The only problem is that they are less powerful than the other two chainsaw types.
A good chainsaw should come with a simple to press push start button for convenience, as a harder pull-start design can be frustrating. Also, go for chainsaws with a LED light indicator which shows if the motor is on or off.
If the chainsaw runs dry, the chain blade might break easily. That's why we recommend chainsaws with an automatic oiler so that you don't have to worry about oiling the chainsaw yourself. A lubricated chain cuts more efficiently with minimal kickbacks.
Most models we reviewed come with tool-less blade tensioning systems which reduces the time and effort required to open the chain bar before removing the chain blade. If the chain blade is not tensioned properly, it may snap or slip resulting in injuries. Here is a short video on how you can tension the blade on your chainsaw.
Go for chain blades made of tougher materials like hardened steel alloy and tungsten carbide for more wear resistance and durability. You don't have to worry about replacing or sharpening the chain blade often.
One good safety feature is the chain brake, which stops the blade immediately it senses a higher cutting resistance. A good chain brake should be inertia driven as it prevents the blade from snapping and cutting your hands.
Another helpful feature is the handguard which prevents your hand from any chain contact during the cutting process. Also, a good chainsaw should come with a safety switch which prevents accidental start-ups which may result in hand injuries.
A good chainsaw should come with handles that are comfortable and ergonomic in design for a stress-free cutting process. Some models come with special anti-vibration handles that prevent medical problems like the hand-arm syndrome. It helps prevent hand fatigue when using the saw for longer hours.
The motor should be brushless for more efficiency per charge, also these motors require little maintenance as they run cooler with time. Here is how a brushless motor works.
Also, the motor should be separated from the blade by a worm gear drive to prevent the blade from bogging it down, plus it also increases the torque.
You should opt for a chainsaw with a longer bar length as it gives you a wider and longer reach in terms of the cutting length. A bar length of 14" is good for trimming and felling small trees. The longer the bar length, the more the reach.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chainsaws
What causes a chainsaw blade to stretch?
The main culprit, in this case, is the oiler if the oil trickling on the blade is not enough, then friction causes the chainsaw to stretch out as it rubs on the guide during the cutting process. Also, a loose sprocket may cause the chain to stretch out, you may consider replacing the sprocket.
Are there electric chainsaws for heavy-duty tasks?
No, the most appropriate chainsaw for this task will be the gas-powered chainsaws. They offer unlimited cutting power which is not limited by either the cord length or the battery life. Electric chainsaws are great for small to medium cutting tasks like trimming and felling small trees.
What is "Kickback"?
When the guide bar gets obstructed by a solid object, the blade gets stuck and this reaction force is known as kickback. If you are not careful, you might lose control of the chainsaw which could have fatal consequences. The only solution is to go for chainsaws with inertia driven chain brakes which help avert this problem.
Another fault that increases the instances of kickback is dull blades, your chain needs to be sharpened every 3 hours when doing heavy-duty tasks. You can easily notice that your chainsaw produces a lot of sawdust or it takes more time to cut through a material.
But, you must know how to properly operate a chainsaw to be on the safe side. And, you must also maintain it as recommended, including cleaning it, to get the most out of it while also improving its durability.
How to use a chainsaw safely, Video
The best chainsaw blade in our opinion is Makita UC4051A Corded Electric Chainsaw which offers you more cutting power than battery-powered chainsaws, and it comes with a semi-chisel blade design which remains sharp even when carrying out heavy-duty cutting tasks.
Plus, this chain design reduces the instances of kickback. Also, it comes with thin kerfs, 0.05" in diameter in addition to 56 links that improve the cutting performance of this chainsaw. The only setback is that you are limited to the cord length, but you can purchase a longer cord for that purpose.
We hope this Best Chainsaw under 300 / 400 review and buying guide was helpful in your search for the best chainsaw for your cutting needs. Visit our blog for more info on power tools and feel free to share your experiences with us.