Mini chainsaws are great for powering through light-duty lumberjacking projects, like pruning branches and cutting small logs. Their rugged design and powerful motors pack a serious amount of cutting power into a small package, and offer a durability that users typically won’t find in other power saws. They’re not great for precision cuts, but if you’re looking for a tool to quickly and effectively chew through wood, one of these tools will have you covered.
Sometimes you don’t need a professional chainsaw to carry out small-scale or light-duty lumberjack projects. A mini chainsaw can perform most in-house woodcutting tasks. Although they have a tiny chain bar of 8 – 15 inches, mini chainsaw can easily tackle narrow logs and prune extending branches.
Despite the fact that they offer more convenience, not every chainsaw is the same performance-wise. While some can even cut through thick wood lugs, others have a hard time clipping offshoot. The best mini chainsaw is one that can slash through logs without compromising your efficiency, safety, or comfort.
The 7 Best Mini Chainsaws of 2023: Our Top Picks
|Best overall||Milwaukee M12 FUE HATCHEt|
|Best overall runner-up||Greenworks 24V 10″ Chainsaw|
|Editor’s pick||POTENCO Mini Chainsaw|
|Best for low prices||BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Chainsaw|
|Safest mini chainsaw||Cordless Chainsaw|
|Safest mini chainsaw runner-up||Gocheer 6-inch Cordless Electric Power Mini Chainsaw|
|Best small chainsaw||Sun Joe SWJ806E 8-Inch 8.0|
top1.Milwaukee M12 FUE HATCHEt
If “mini” is part of your Google search, then bigger isn’t always better. The purpose here is to have a manageable tool for small pruning jobs and hard-to-reach places. With the HATCHET, Milwaukee has managed to put a lot of power and features into a small, almost handheld package of just 4 pounds. Most testers and professionals agree that it’s the best performing tool in its category.
Although lightweight, the HATCHET’s 6” guide bar is actually longer than many other mini chainsaws, which are, on average, 4”. This lets the HATCHET cut larger tree limbs or even trunks without having to move the tool around too much. With 5 meters per second of chain speed, this little guy is actually more powerful than some 8” and 10” chainsaws.
It uses an M12 battery, compatible with over 50 other Milwaukee tools. This means you can buy additional batteries easily, and you won’t need to stop working because you ran out of juice. It’s worth noting, however, that some reviewers have complaints about the M12 charger’s reliability. If you have more M12 tools, upgrading to the M12 RapidCharge would be a good option.
Safety-wise, it doesn’t have a blade guard, but it does have double button activation, so it won’t turn on if you accidentally press the trigger.
Top2.Greenworks 24V 10″ Chainsaw
We’re big fans of Greenworks power equipment, and this little saw is a great example of why. Its user-friendly design makes it great for amateurs, and thanks to its 10-inch bar, packs an impressive amount of cutting power.
The thick, rubberized rear-handle, combined with the wide top handle, makes it easy to control and maneuver as you work. Another nice perk is the comprehensive user guide that comes with this saw, which not only explains how the tool works, it also shows chainsawing techniques so you can use it effectively—and, more importantly, safely.
This compact saw is packed with accessories, including a pair of work gloves to provide a nice, sturdy grip. This could be a great option for those who aren’t comfortable handling a larger saw, though its 4-inch blade is still enough to tackle serious pruning tasks.
It also comes with a backup battery, something we always appreciate, which allows you to have one charging while the other is in use. It’s also much easier to access hard-to-reach areas, where bulkier saws wouldn’t fit. An integrated light is another convenient feature, illuminating your workspace and reducing the chance of an accident.
Top4.BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Chainsaw
- Lightweight design for easy maneuverability.
- Tool-free chain tightening system for easy maintenance.
- Cordless Li-ion battery helps facilitate outdoor use without needing cord extensions.
- The oiling system lubricates the chain bar and blade, keeping the temperature in check.
- The low-capacity battery is not suitable for intensive tasks.
The Black+Decker can be a perfect addition to your outdoor power tool equipment, especially when you live in a place surrounded by woods or have an in-house workshop. This mini chainsaw features a 10-inch sharp chain bar that can easily slice through a wood log 12-inch in diameter.
Weighing slightly 7 pounds, the chainsaw is convenient to use even for beginners. The lightweight lets you carve out shapes in snip offshoots without tiring your arms or hands. Speaking of beginners, the Black+Decker chainsaw comes with a tool-free blade tension system that eliminates the need to use tools every time the chain blade gets loose.
Regardless of all, the cordless 20V Li-ion battery remains the chainsaw’s most helpful and striking feature. Once charged to the capacity, you can take it anywhere without worrying about cord extensions or gas refueling.
- Lightweight design makes it easier for kids to carry.
- Produces chainsaw-like sound.
- It is a toy.
- The pull string may break off.
STIHL has earned the reputation of advancing the first successful battery-operated chainsaws in the industry. Although a significant portion of the lineup is dedicated to heavy-duty chainsaws, STIHL mini chainsaws are a reality too.
Unlike others in the list, the STIHL battery-operated mini chainsaw is an honorary mention for young boys. Nevertheless, the 15-inch chain bar proves effective in cutting offshoots and branches of your backyard (or at least makes your little one believe so). Instead of a push start button, the chainsaw starts with a pull string inspired by a gas-based chainsaw.
Top6.Gocheer 6-inch Cordless Electric Power Mini Chainsaw
- Pure copper brushless motor delivers high power for easy cutting.
- High-capacity rechargeable batteries let you work non-stop.
- Effective heat dissipation keeps the chainsaw from heating up.
- Lightweight design with easy-grip handle for convenience.
- Additional safety lock works as a double protection mechanism.
- No blade lubrication system.
- Not made for heavy-duty cutting.
The ergonomically designed 6-inch mini portable cordless chainsaw by Gocheer can handle your DIY home projects with ease. The chainsaw harbors a high-efficiency brushless motor that delivers 550-watt horsepower, making wood blocks appear like butter. The sharp chain blade can easily cut wood logs 5.91-inch in diameter.
24V batteries back the powerful brushless motor with 2500mAh capacity. The battery can last up to 60 minutes of continuous use, so you won’t have to worry about it running out of charge mid-way. And even if you do, you’ll have a battery in reserve to rely on. Besides, the batteries can be up and running again with just 2-hours of charging.
The portable mini chainsaw weighs only 1.54 pounds allowing you to work entire 60 minutes without getting tired. This handheld chainsaw features a high grip handle with a safety lock to ensure the utmost safety of the user and give beginners a chance to practice their skills.
Top7.Sun Joe SWJ806E 8-Inch 8.0
Good handheld chainsaws are sometimes hard to find or can just cost too much to justify the expense. That doesn’t mean you need to chase your trees with a gas-powered murder weapon. The Ryobi 8” Pruning Chainsaw resembles a regular two-handed chainsaw, but it’s significantly smaller than most of its counterparts, only weighing 6 pounds.
It’s just as powerful as the Milwaukee at 5 mps of chain speed, so it will chew through 4” branches pretty fast. It’s not only powerful though. The Ryobi is designed with safety in mind. When handling such lightweight tools, accidents can happen before you even notice. This Ryobi has a guard right on the tip of the bar and chain to avoid bounce backs if you hit something hard. It also has a second handle on the top for more stability, and a chain break right in front of it in case your hand slips. Finally, while every other chainsaw needs constant oiling or has to feature an automatic oiler (which adds weight), the Ryobi works without needing oil at all.
For around $100, you get a three-year warranty and 5 mps chain speed in a small, easy to handle package. You can’t go wrong with this Ryobi to fulfill your pruning and gardening needs. However, if you need more precision, one of the handheld options above might be best, as they have better maneuverability.
What to Consider
When choosing a mini chainsaw, take the time to consider what you’ll be using it for. Most importantly, are you going to be pruning trees or bushes that would otherwise require you to get on a ladder to reach? In that case, we would definitely recommend opting for one of the options that include a pole attachment, allowing you to reach high branches while remaining safely on the ground. If you don’t want to worry about wrangling extension cords or hunting for outlets while you work, you’ll probably want to opt for a battery-powered option. If you’re short on storage space, you may want to go for an extra-compact, one-handed model.
Buyers Guide to Choose the Best Mini Chainsaw in 2023
Although we have enumerated the best mini chainsaws, you can buy eyes closed, but if you want to make the best out of your purchase, you need more than just a list and reviews. You must know what features look for, but more importantly, you should figure out your requirements first.
MINI CHAINSAW OR SMALL CHAINSAW?
Although both convey pretty much the same sense, they are considerably different from each other regarding their targeted use.
Mini chainsaws are tinier than small chainsaws and are usually meant to be operated single-handedly; thus, they are differently shaped. They contain a 5 – 10-inch-long chain blade that proves effective in landscaping, trimming yards, and pruning offshoots.
Small chainsaws are just like full-fledged and professional chainsaws but in a smaller and more compact size. Their chain bar length ranges from 10 to 16 inches. Since they are smaller variants of proper chainsaws, they are meant to be handled with both hands. Small chainsaws carry out more strenuous tasks like forming firewood and slicing lugs.
So, before you head to the market, figure out which one to buy.
ELECTRIC CHAINSAW OR GAS-POWERED CHAINSAW?
Typically, chainsaws are differentiated based on their power source; electric and gasoline-run.
Electric chainsaws are eco-friendly and safe to use since they pose no environmental threat. Moreover, less machinery is involved, which means less maintenance and hassle-free usage. As for mini chainsaws, almost all of them are powered through electricity provided either through an electric cord or rechargeable batteries.
Gas-powered chainsaws, as the name implies, are run by burning fossils fuels such as gas or diesel. Although they are detrimental towards nature, they offer a quicker, more refined, and better performance when cutting wood compared to electric ones. This is why they are mainly used for commercial and large-scale activities.
Advantages of Gasoline Chainsaw
One of the biggest advantages to having gasoline chainsaws is more power. The two-cycle engines make them much more powerful than electric alternatives. Because of their impressive power drive, chainsaws using gasoline also have longer blades, allowing them to take on thick tree trunks with ease, for example. Another advantage is they do not need to be plugged into a power source and do not leave cords trailing behind in their wake. This makes them easier to maneuver and wield than electric chainsaws in some scenarios. A gasoline-powered chainsaw is also likely powerful enough to take on any job that is found in a regular household. Average households are not likely to have trees that are too large for one person to address with a gas chainsaw, and a set of branches or bushes can be easily addressed by a such al chainsaw. If a consumer purchases a gas chainsaw, he or she can pretty much guarantee that the tool can handle any task that comes up.
Disadvantages of Gasoline Chainsaws
Individuals who are inexperienced with chainsaws or do not have the strength to operate a larger chainsaw might be overwhelmed by a large gas chainsaw. Operating a chainsaw safely and effectively takes a good deal of upper body strength and practice. A gas chainsaw may give a new user too steep a learning curve. In addition, fuelling up a gas chainsaw can be intimidating to many people. Wielding a container of gasoline and pouring it into a power tool can put individuals on edge if they are not very seasoned power tool connoisseurs. Gas chainsaws also need to be cooled down when fuelled, meaning that users need to stop in the middle of a job and wait if they run out of gas. Another disadvantage is storage. Gas chainsaws must be completely cooled down before their blade covers are put on, and they are prepped for storage. Another important step in storing a gas chainsaw is draining them of their remaining fuel and oil supplies. They also need to be stored in a cool, well-ventilated place and be placed upright so that any petrol vapors left over do not cause a spark.
Advantages of Electric Chainsaws
Electric chainsaws are much smaller and less powerful than gas chainsaws so they are much easier and less intimidating for the average consumer to operate. An electric chainsaw blade typically is no longer than 38 cm, making it a much less threatening power tool than many petrol varieties. This smaller design also makes them lighter in weight and easier to heft, allowing users to lift and use them without bringing in the big muscle. While a gas chainsaw requires a pull start, an electric chainsaw turns on with the simple flip of a switch. Electric chainsaw operators also need not worry about wrangling cans of flammable liquid as with petrol chainsaws. Electric chainsaws operate as basically as any domestic appliance: a user just plugs it into an outlet and flips it on. Also, when storing an electric chainsaw, a consumer has a much shorter series of steps to follow than with a petrol chainsaw.
Disadvantages of Electric Chainsaws
Because of its smaller structure and limited power, an electric chainsaw is not up to every job it may encounter. An electric chainsaw is a viable option for trimming branches and bushes, but it might be hard pressed to take on anything greater than a small tree or sapling. Since it comes with an attached cord, this can limit a user’s range of motion and demand the addition of an outdoor extension cable. More dramatically, it can pose the risk of a user actually cutting through the cord by accident.
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