Axes are good and useful, but they are nowhere near a chainsaw when it comes to performance and efficiency. With the best chainsaw, you will spend less time, get better results, and spend less energy on every task.
Now, chainsaws come in different price tags, but we are going to focus on the best chainsaw under 400 in this article. We are going to write comprehensive chainsaw reviews, chainsaw buying guide, and also mention the best chainsaw for the money. We hope this article will help you pick the best chainsaw for your needs.
We will start with the buying guide, then finish up with the 5 best chainsaw under 400.
Factors to consider when buying a chainsaw - Chainsaw Buying Guide
So, if you are buying a chainsaw for the first time, what do you need to know before placing that order?
Chainsaws can be very dangerous, mostly for beginners, but experts too need to handle them with care. To be safe, get to learn the proper way of handling a chainsaw then get the best chainsaw protective gear.
As you shop for the best chainsaw, you also need to look for the best chainsaw accessories. This way, your chainsaw will be ready for use as soon as it arrives, and you might even save on delivery fees, especially if they can come in the same package.
Don't be in a hurry to buy a chainsaw because this is a long term investment, and if you are using it frequently, you want it to serve you in the best way with every use. To get the best, check up the chainsaw reviews from experts like us and also chainsaw customer reviews. This way, you will get to make an informed choice.
What type of chainsaw do you need?
There are different types of chainsaws: Manual/ pocket chainsaws, corded/electric chainsaws, gas-powered chainsaws, battery-powered chainsaws, and pole chainsaws. Now, each of these types is preferred by different users as each performs differently and has a different requirement. The best way to decide the chainsaw type that will work best for you is to think about the tasks at hand and where and when you will be performing them.
What will you be using the chainsaw for?
This is a good question to reflect on before buying a chainsaw. Will you be using your chainsaw to fall trees, bucking, limbing, harvesting firewood, pruning, or cutting firebreaks? By answering this question, you will get the answer to what type of chainsaw you should get.
How often will you be using the chainsaw?
Again, this is a vital question to give a thought before buying any chainsaw. If you will be using your chainsaw frequently and for extensive periods with every use, then you need a powerful chainsaw. With a powerful chainsaw, you will get the job done quickly, and you won't use a lot of energy.
Do you want a beginner's chainsaw or an expert's chainsaw?
What's your experience with chainsaws? You might have used one several times before, but are you still at the beginners' level, or you can call yourself an expert? There is the best chainsaw for beginners and the best chainsaw for professionals or experts.
Now on to the chainsaw reviews…
5 Best Chainsaw under 400
1. Makita UC4051A Corded Electric Chainsaw - Best Chainsaw for the Money
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 make 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.
- 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
A 12Ah battery powers the brushless motor, 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, and 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 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
Two 18V batteries power the brushless motor, and it features a direct drive feature for 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 press the trigger to keep the motor on continuously, 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 Gas-Powered Chainsaw
Since it is a gas-powered chainsaw, it comes with a 50cc engine that 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, it's not good for residential use
5. EGO CS1604 Cordless Chainsaw - Best Cheap Chainsaw
It comes with a 5Ah battery that 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 all-weather resistant construction for maximum durability
- The bucking spikes should be made of metal
How to use a chainsaw safely
With the above list of the best chainsaw under 400, we hope that you will find the best chainsaw for your needs. We have also included the best chainsaw buying guide and highlighted some of the factors to consider before buying a chainsaw. Remember to follow the chainsaw safety rules. Keep safe while using a chainsaw and also learn how to use one properly.