Do you want to cut branches around your house? Then you need an arborist chainsaw. There are different type of tools depending on what type of woodcutting you will do. This type of saw is also called a top handle chainsaw. Designed for tree surgeons, professionals and foresters, the are usually gas powered.
Now let’s look at the 9 best arborist chainsaw options on the market right now.
Table of Contents
- List of the 9 Best Top Handle Arborist Chainsaws
- Buying Guide for Chainsaws
- Types of Chainsaws
- How to Use a Chainsaw
List of the 9 Best Top Handle Arborist Chainsaws
1. Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Top Handle Saw
For arborists, the Husqvarna T435 is a fantastic gas-powered option because of the lightweight and slim design and anti-vibration system that reduces fatigue. It comes with a rope attachment to make it simpler to use.
This is a well-balanced model with a 35.2cc engine and 12″ bar length that allows you to cut 10″-12″ wood with ease. You can also upgrade it by installing a 14″ bar on this model to get the most of it. As for the weight, you will be surprised to find out that this one is only 7.5 pounds. This model is much simpler to operate compared to 18″ chainsaws. With X-Torq technology, the manufacturer achieved reduced fuel consumption as well as exhaust emission.
Related: Husqvarna 440e review
The chain included here is an H37 semi-chisel 3/8″ mini .050″. The chain tensioning system is located at the side that allows simple access. Next, you can adjust the oil pump to ensure proper flow according to weather or your needs. Also, the quick-release design of the air filter makes the replacement process much simpler. The fuel tank features a flip-up cap to prevent any occasional spills, and the chain brake makes it safer to use. There is a guide bar window that gives you better visibility and control. Thanks to the air purge, cold starts no longer will cause any troubles.
With the help of this tool designed for big jobs, you will be able to take care of thousands of acres in a matter of days. Many owners recommend this top-handle saw both for cutting smaller limbs and larger branches.
Related: Best chainsaw under $200 reviews
2. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 32.2cc
The Tanaka TCS33EDTP is a commercial-grade chainsaw with a 32.2cc engine that has excellent fuel efficiency. Its 12″ sprocket nose bar along with the Oregon chain offers effortless operation.
At the first glance, the unit seems to be quite small at 11.2″ x 15.4″ x 11.8″. But in reality, this is a very durable and powerful chainsaw that gives a lot of control. An automatic oiler is driven by gears, so you won’t need to keep checking the oil, and the side chain tension system is quick to reach.
The fuel tank can hold 9.9 fl. oz. of gas, and the chainsaw requires a 50:1 fuel and oil mix. If you are looking for a model that is easy to start, this one will be an ideal candidate with its half throttle choke and purge primer bulb. Its air filter is at the back to make it simpler to replace when needed, and a rope ring makes it convenient to climb with. But keep in mind that you will need to find the proper carabiner type for it. Additionally, it is covered by a 7-year consumer, 2-year commercial, and 1-year rental warranty, so you can rest assured that your investments are protected.
People who own it say that it was ideal for pruning thanks to the balanced construction. You only need to keep the chain sharp and check the unit once in a while to make it last longer. But remember that it can get quite hot, so you must protect your legs before climbing.
3. Makita XCU06Z
When it comes to portability, it’s hard to beat this model. The Makita XCU06Z is a battery-powered chainsaw with a torque boost mode that will help you when cutting through denser wood.
Apart from zero-emission, lack of vibration, and low noise, you can also benefit from longer runtime because you can get a kit that includes extra batteries. As for the power this tool offers, you will love its brushless motor. It is able to deliver the results of a 22cc engine and has a variable speed feature that allows it to achieve up to 4,720 FPM. Thanks to the 18V 5.0Ah li-ion battery, you can make up to 175 cuts per full charge. An automatic power-off function activates after 1 minute to extend the battery life.
The Makita XCU06Z weighs less than 7.5 pounds and has a 10″ bar that improves its maneuverability. An adjustable auto oiler has a large filling mouth and a view window, so you can check the level and add more oil if need be. Just like in the previous models, this one also has a side chain tensioning system. For added security, there is a built-in lock-off lever to prevent any accidents and bumper spikes that aid in control.
The attachment mount is placed at the back for convenience, and you can use any type of carabiner to hoist it. Professionals admit that this saw allows for one-hand operation and that they got more power from it when expected, given its small and lightweight size.
4. TIMBERPRO 26cc
Do you need a lightweight model? Check the TIMBERPRO 26cc that weighs only 6.4 pounds and ticks all the right boxes when it comes to reliability and performance.
With this model, you get a 10″ bar with a saw blade guard and 2 chains included. Each chain is 3/8″ with 44 links. Moreover, you will receive a carrying bag, a bottle to mix fuel, and a set of tools required to put everything together. As you can see from its name, the two-stroke engine’s displacement is 25.4cc. It is an air-cooled type that requires a fuel and oil mixture ratio of 25:1. From a single cylinder, you will get about 1.22 HP, and this should be more than enough to cut through 8″ pines.
The engine starts easily, and it won’t cause any issues if you plan on using it the whole day to trim the trees and cut some branches. The built-in tank can hold up to 8.45 oz. of fuel, and the chain oil reservoir is 5.4 oz. Furthermore, it features automatic chain lubrication and a lateral tension system that increase its ease of use and maintenance.
Starting this arborist chainsaw is a breeze, and you can even operate it with a single hand. If you aren’t cutting each day or don’t need a very powerful chainsaw, the TIMBERPRO 26cc is a great pick that also doesn’t cost much, especially when compared to famous brands. Some people added nut and bolt for lanyard attachment for extra security, and that way it could compete with professional-grade models.
5. DEWALT DCCS620P1
To maximize control and ease of use, you can try the DEWALT DCCS620P1. This battery-powered top handle chainsaw comes with a low-kickback 12″ Oregon bar and 3/8″ 0.043-gauge chain suitable for wide application.
The brushless motor is quite efficient and ensures longer operation. It also delivers 25.2 ft. per second chain speed allowing you to cut a whopping 16″ in diameter. You can find two kits here – one with a 20V Li-ion battery, and another with the tool only. Also, you will find a charger and a hand bar cover in the bundle. As for the dimensions, the unit is not that big and weighs only 9 pounds. To achieve proper results, you can tighten the bar using a knob as well as adjust the chain without any extra tools. The auto oiling system lubricates the main parts, and the oil level indicator will tell you when you need to add more. Please notice, that manufacturer recommends you to empty the oil tank whenever you are finished with your cutting tasks.
Even for thick and dense branches, the DEWALT DCCS620P1 ensures that you will get the bang for the buck! Professionals operate it with just one hand and mention that it works quieter and faster than gas-powered models. It can run for more than five hours on a single charge. As a minor drawback, the auto oiler seems to use too much lubricant. On the other hand, you can rest assured that proper results and the longer life of this chainsaw are guaranteed.
6. ECHO CS-271T
The ECHO CS-271T is another professional-grade option with a 12″ bar and a side-access chain adjustment system. Powered by a 2-stroke 26.9cc engine, it delivers a tremendous amount of torque and power to the chain.
The engine on this model boasts an air pre-cleaner which reduces the filter maintenance and increases the lifespan of the chainsaw. With the help of the purge bulb, fresh fuel is always provided to the carburetor. Next, it has an i-30 starting system for ease of use – a single pull of the cord should be more than enough in most cases. The anti-vibration handlebar reduces strain and fatigue, while an inertia-type chain brake and throttle lock ensure safety. For those who want to reduce chain oil consumption, this model will be perfect because it comes with a clutch-driven oiler. If you prefer to attach your chainsaw to the belt, the lanyard clip will come in handy. Seasoned arborists will also be happy to know that the ECHO CS-271T is protected by a 1-year commercial and 5-year customer warranty, so you can contact the manufacturer in case something goes wrong.
Its spur sprocket ensures optimal control, and the unit is more reliable and easier to handle than some of its bigger brothers. This workhorse can be used both as a backup chainsaw and as the main tool. A few users complained about its tank capacity as it holds only 8.1 oz. of gas which lasts for approximately 45 minutes. Still, this is a decent parameter given its size and power.
7. Hitachi CS33EDTP
In terms of power, the Hitachi CS33EDTP is a beast. The PureFire 32.2 cc two-stroke engine boasts 1.6 HP, and with its 14″ bar, it should cut trees up to 14″ in diameter like butter.
Thanks to the chrome-plated cylinder, the durability of the engine is unmatched. It requires a 50:1 gas/oil mix and has a 9.9 oz. fuel tank. Also, a gear-driven oiler with a 6 oz. capacity is a nice touch from the manufacturer. You can make quick adjustments because the chain tensioner is located at the side. If you ever had troubles with starting chainsaw engines, this one will cause none of them because it has a half throttle choke and purge primer bulb.
The upgraded anti-vibration system will help you avoid hand strain, and a built-in lanyard hoop is an irreplaceable assistant when it comes to tree climbing. It’s quite common to find a 7-year consumer warranty among arborist chainsaws, and this one also has it along with 2-year commercial use and 1-year rental warranty. With the chainsaw, you’ll also get a 3/8″ Oregon chain, protective cover, and scrench for simpler maintenance.
The unit received positive feedback, and most people were happy about how easy it was to start. While it might take some time to get used to it to make ideal cuts, taking it with you doesn’t require a lot of effort because it weighs only 8.4 pounds and is quite compact. As for the hot starts, it needs only a single pull, and then you can use it again.
8. Greenworks 20262
If you are looking for a durable battery-powered top handle chainsaw, the Greenworks 20262 is worth considering. As with any electric model, this one features a push-button start, and also, its 12″ bar is designed for perfect and quick cuts.
At only 6 pounds, this is one of the lightest products available on the market. Many similar options give you a choice between buying a single unit and one with the battery and charger included. This one is no different, and you can purchase it with a 40V 2.0Ah lithium battery. One full charge will give you about 75 cuts. While using the same battery for different tools is pretty convenient, you must notice that it is not compatible with some Greenworks products, so double-check that before purchasing other tools by this brand.
Both tool and battery come with a 3-year warranty, so this acts as a good indicator that you can trust the brand. The performance of this top-notch unit is also impressive – the 3/8″ chain ensures consistent cutting, and it can be adjusted without any tools. An automatic oiler with a view window makes sure that the unit operates properly. With its wrap-around handle, you can cut and trim at different angles to ensure maximum comfort.
Apart from maneuverability, the Greenworks 20262 gives you smooth operation and creates significantly less noise compared to gas-powered models. Some customers say that they were able to cut 15″ diameter trees with ease and that its lightweight construction allowed them to use it for hours.
9. BLACK+DECKER LCS1240
The BLACK+DECKER is a famous brand known for its reliable tools. Their LCS1240 model was specifically designed for pruning branches and cutting fallen limbs, and the package includes the unit with the battery and a scabbard.
A fully charged 40V 2.0Ah MAX Li-ion battery will give you up to 60 cuts, and the indicator will tell you when you need to recharge it, and the whole cycle takes about 4-5 hours. It is able to hold the charge for 1.5 years, which is quite convenient if you don’t need to use the tool during that period. Next, the 12″ low-kickback blade provides smooth operation, and at 8.3 pounds, it is quite easy to move around and reach higher branches. You can adjust the tension without any tools. There is an automatic lubrication system for bar and chain, so the unit requires only a little maintenance.
The instant-start feature is its strongest point, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The thick cuts for the BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 are a piece of cake. Moreover, you’ll definitely enjoy that it doesn’t make much noise, and there will be no fumes and mess that you usually get from gas models. The only thing to keep in mind with this product is that it requires a bit more oil than expected, so you’ll want to have some of it at hand. Also, at lower temperatures, this isn’t an issue. Apart from that, there isn’t much to complain about, so the unit won’t disappoint you.
Buying Guide for Chainsaws
If you decide to buy a professional chainsaw you will find many models. So surely you would wonder how you can choose the best one. To help you, we will tell you what are the main factors that you should consider.
When choosing a chainsaw you must be very clear about the use that you will give the tool, since depending on this you will have to select a more or less powerful model. Power is the characteristic that will tell you how efficient the tool can be in cutting different materials.
Also, depending on the type of the chainsaw, the power will vary. Electric chainsaws, for example, have a power ranging from 1600 to 2200 watts. In the case of cordless chainsaws, it is different and this can be between 18 and 36 volts. And those of gasoline can have motors that oscillate between 33 and 50 CC. These are the most powerful of the three.
Another key aspect to consider is the length of the bar and it is something that is determined by the work to be done. A model with a large bar allows you to cut larger trees, but its disadvantage is that it is more difficult to handle.
Those with a shorter bar are ideal for one-handed cutting or pruning. Being basically a hand chainsaw they are lighter and more manageable.
It is generally recommended to choose a model with a bar that is an inch or two longer than the diameters you are cutting. In addition, you should always use bar and chain kits recommended by the manufacturer, since it is important that the chainsaw remains balanced, so it does not lean forward or backward.
Pruning or cutting chainsaws are tools that carry considerable weight. However, there are models that weigh more than others. This is important to consider, since the heavier the device, the more difficult it will be to handle.
The lightest models are electric or battery-powered, while gasoline-powered chainsaws are usually the heaviest. So if you are not used to working with them, it can be a bit difficult to maneuver. Remember that the most important thing is that you can feel safe while using the tool.
Air filtering system
Another aspect to consider when choosing a model is the air filtering system. It is best to choose a chainsaw with a large air intake.
This will allow the tool to have enough air for cooling. It is also advisable to choose models that have a cartridge with rubber ends, as these prevent dirt from entering the interior of the machine.
Due to the work they do and the power they have, chainsaws produce a lot of vibrations during use.
To use this tool more comfortably, it is ideal that it has an anti-vibration system. This is achieved thanks to the distribution of different damping points on the engine of the machine. This way you can work more comfortably since you will reduce the annoying sensation of vibrations without reducing cutting effectiveness or power.
Frequency of use
It is important that when choosing a model you know in advance the frequency of use that you will give it.
If you want a chainsaw for short, occasional use, the best option may be an electric or battery-powered model. But if you need it to cut many trees or branches and frequently, you should bet on a gasoline model, since they are designed for intensive use and have greater power.
Types of Chainsaws
There are three types of chainsaw according to its power system. These can be electric, battery, or gasoline. Learn about the characteristics of each one so that you can compare and choose the one that best suits your needs.
They are chainsaws that work with an electric motor, so they must be connected to the current.
The electric saws usually carry a 35/40 CC bar and are recommended tools for making cuts in softwoods up to 8 inches in diameter. They are widely used in the home for domestic gardening work.
This model works thanks to a battery, so its autonomy depends on its duration. Check it in the manufacturer’s details before making any purchase decision.
They stand out for being less noisy, light, and easy to handle. Recommended for cutting softwoods up to 6 inches in diameter.
They are the most suitable models for pruning work in places where a lot of power is not required, but if manageability, such as at heights. However, to do work in high places, the most recommended option is the pole saws.
Gas chainsaws are the most robust and reliable model. They have higher maintenance than electric or battery ones, but they are much more powerful than these.
They are ideal for cutting thick and hardwoods or for intensive work, as they also have great autonomy.
How to Use a Chainsaw
If you don’t have much experience using chainsaws, it’s best to familiarize yourself a little before doing any work. For this, you must take into account some recommendations for its use.
You should always hold the front grip bypassing the thumb of your left hand around it. This will allow you to better control the chainsaw to counteract the possible backward movement. Also, you should stand with your feet apart so you can have a better balance. And the left foot should be a little ahead of the right.
You have to hold the chainsaw close to your body so that you reduce the stress on both your back and arms. By gluing the back of the machine to your body you will be able to better control the movements. And once the machine is turned on, you should start cutting as close as you can to the base of the guide.
If you are going to move with the chainsaw in hand, it is vital that it is stopped or turned off. To achieve this you must activate your brake or turn off the engine. Also, when working with this machine you must make sure that no one is around. The safety distance should be between 4 and 5 meters. And you must use protective elements such as safety boots, clothing that covers all your skin, helmet, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, and a mask so as not to inhale the sawdust.
So there you have it, the Husqvarna 966997203 T435 is currently the best arborist chainsaw on the market right now. After a lot of research we came back with the 9 chainsaws that will help tree surgeons and other professionals. With the buying guide you can look for different features you are interested in your product and with the last paragraph you can learn how to properly use a chainsaw.