With our team of experts putting dozens of battery-operated chainsaws to the test, we wanted to shift our focus to the professionals. While battery-powered tools have their advantages, we understand that some professionals require the power and runtime that gas chainsaws offer. Whether you’re an arborist, tree cutter, ranger, or landscape professional, we’ve got you covered. After thorough testing and review of numerous models, we’ve narrowed down the top picks for the best professional chainsaws.
STIHL MS 271 Farmkeeper Chainsaw
The STIHL MS 271 Farmkeeper Chainsaw is a worthy successor to the beloved MS 270 chainsaw. With the coveted “BOSS” status granted by Stihl in 2015, this chainsaw boasts a pre-separation air filtration system that doubles the lifespan of the air filter. Not only does it cut emissions in half, but it also delivers improved performance. For approximately $420, you can experience the power and longevity of this chainsaw.
Best Lightweight Professional Chainsaw: Echo CS-2511T Top Handle Chainsaw
If you’re looking for a lightweight chainsaw that still packs a punch, the Echo CS-2511T Top Handle Chainsaw is the perfect choice. This small yet mighty chainsaw features a 25.4cc two-stroke engine that effortlessly cuts through wood, even oak. With its clutch-actuated oiler and oversized fuel tank opening, this chainsaw combines power and character. Retailing at around $430, it’s a reliable option for all your cutting needs.
Best Top Handle Professional Chainsaw: Husqvarna T525 Top Handle Chainsaw
Designed specifically for the full-time professional, the Husqvarna T525 Top Handle Chainsaw is the lightest pneumatic tree care saw offered by Husqvarna. Powered by a 27cc X-Torq engine, this compact chainsaw delivers impressive power. With features like an auto-return kill switch and quick-release air filter cap, it’s designed with the professional in mind. This climbing saw, retailing around $520, combines performance and accessibility.
Best 50cc Professional Chainsaw: STIHL MS 261 CM Chainsaw
The STIHL MS 261 CM Chainsaw, proudly made in the USA, provides fuel efficiency and low emissions with the addition of Steele’s M-Tronic engine management system. Designed to maintain chain speed even when the air filter is clogged, this chainsaw offers impressive efficiency. Retailing under $600, it’s a reliable choice for professionals in need of a powerful and flexible chainsaw.
Best 60cc Professional Chainsaw: Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf 60cc Chainsaw
For heavy-duty tasks like cutting tree stumps or barn beams, the Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf 60cc Chainsaw is the ideal choice. With its easy start and smooth power delivery, this chainsaw handles the toughest jobs with ease. The well-balanced design and ample torque make it a pleasure to use. Retailing around $419, it’s a reliable saw that won’t shy away from any challenge.
Best Professional Chainsaw Technology: Stihl MS 500i Chainsaw with EFI
The Stihl MS 500i Chainsaw stands out from the crowd with its powerful 79cc engine and electronic fuel injection (EFI) technology. This innovative feature enables fast acceleration and precise fuel consumption monitoring. With a power output of 6.7 hp and weighing only 13.9 lbs, this chainsaw offers an excellent power-to-weight ratio. Priced at around $1,350, it’s a long-term investment that will serve you well for years to come.
The Best Professional Chainsaw for Cutting Firewood: Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw
When it comes to cutting firewood, the Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw is in a league of its own. With its low-vibration 55cc engine, this chainsaw effortlessly cuts through firewood, making the task a breeze. The 20-inch blade is the perfect size for all types of firewood, and the chain tension can be easily adjusted without tools. Retailing at $499, it’s an excellent choice for professionals who prioritize power and value.
Best Professional Electric (Battery-Powered) Chainsaw: Husqvarna 540i XP 40V 16″ Chainsaw
Husqvarna 540i XP 40V 16″ Chainsaw
Professionals looking for a battery-operated chainsaw will find the Husqvarna 540i XP to be an excellent choice. Balancing 40cc power with a lightweight design, this chainsaw delivers on all fronts. The option to use either a standard battery pack or a long-lasting battery pack makes it a versatile tool for airless tree cutting. Retailing at $600 for the bare tool (14″ bar), it’s a reliable and efficient option for professionals.
Other professional battery-operated chainsaws we recommend:
- Stihl MSA 220 CB 36V 16″ Chainsaw: Rugged Design and More Power Backed by Stihl’s Dealer Network
- Greenworks Commercial GS181 82V 18″ Chainsaw: 50cc gas equivalent power with 18″ stock bar and chain (starting at $349)
- Makita XCU04 18V X2 (36V) 16″ Chainsaw: Smooth cuts and powerful, with a wide range of compatible OPE ($299 bare, $409 with 4 batteries and charger)
- Milwaukee 2727 M18 Fuel 16″ Chainsaw: 40cc gasoline performance with 12.0Ah power available ($329 bare, $499 with 12.0Ah battery and charger)
Best Professional Chainsaw Chains: STIHL Chainsaw Chain
When it comes to chainsaw chains, STIHL is in a league of its own. As the only chainsaw manufacturer to produce its own guide bars and chains, STIHL ensures quality and performance. With over a dozen different chain types to choose from, there’s an option for every professional. The Stihl Rapid Micro Comfort 3 chain combines low chatter, reduced kickback, smooth cutting, and low vibration. For versatility and durability, the Pico Duro chains with carbide tip technology are an excellent choice.
While we highly recommend STIHL chains, Oregon is a reputable brand that offers a wide range of bars and chains. Their SpeedCut and SpeedCut Nano chains provide quick cuts with a medium-duty saw, while the Versacut and ControlCut chains offer versatility. For powerful cuts, the PowerCut line is perfect for heavy-duty tasks.
Test Methods for Professional Chainsaws
Our team of experts has put in the hard work to bring you reliable and trustworthy recommendations. We have years of experience testing tools and products in various industries, including construction, automotive, and lawn care. Our testing methods involve real-world scenarios and controlled experiments to ensure the accuracy of our evaluations.
When evaluating professional chainsaws, we focus on several key factors. First and foremost, we assess the cutting power of the chainsaws, considering both the size of the motor and the performance in real-world cutting scenarios. To minimize bias, we match the chains of all the saws for a fair comparison.
We also take into account the ergonomics of the chainsaws, including the balance, handle comfort, trigger responsiveness, and ease of starting. The chain adjustment mechanism, oiling system, safety features, and other aspects such as bucking spikes and weight are all carefully evaluated. Finally, we consider the quality and performance of the accompanying bars and chains.
Our testing methods ensure that our recommendations are based on rigorous testing and real-world experience. You can trust that our reviews are thorough, honest, and reliable.
In conclusion, we’ve done the hard work of testing and evaluating professional chainsaws to bring you the best options on the market. Whether you’re a professional arborist, tree cutter, or landscape professional, these chainsaws will deliver the power, performance, and reliability you need. Trust our expertise and experience in the industry to guide you in making the right choice for your professional needs.