Best Lightweight Chainsaws 2021 – Top 6 Small Chainsaws

Sure, there’s always a need for heavier chainsaws. But more often than not, these beasts are better left to more professional outfits. For the rest of us, the best lightweight chainsaws are much more ideal for DIY projects around the house, and for small jobs at worksites. They’re easier to use and transport, plus they tend to cost less than their heavier counterparts.

Of course, this leads to a rather crucial question—which of the lightweight chainsaws are best for your needs? There are obviously too many options in the market to consider, so we’ve made it a lot easier for you by winnowing down your potential options into one nifty list.

Best Lightweight Chainsaw Comparison Table

Product Picture

Chainsaw Model

Weight

Power Source

Price

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Chainsaw, 10-Inch (LCS1020)

7.2 pounds

Battery

Husqvarna 16 Inch 440e II Gas Chainsaw

9.8 pounds

9.8 pounds

WORX WG305 Electric Chain Saw, 14-Inch

6.6 pounds

Corded Electric

Oregon CS1500 Self-Sharpening Electric Chainsaw

12.9 pounds

Corded Electric

Poulan Pro PR4016, 16 in. 40cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw

13 pounds

Gas

Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, 4AH Battery and a Charger Included 20312

10.36 pounds

Battery

Top 6 Best Lightweight Chainsaw Reviews

Here’s a quick look at the best lightweight chainsaws you can get right now:

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Chainsaw, 10-Inch (LCS1020)

While this comes with a “tool only” option, we went for the more convenient kit. That means we also got the 20V MAX Lithium Battery pack and charger for the unit.

This is your best option, too, since the battery can stay charged up to 5 times longer than other battery options. You can probably do up to 40 cuts for tree branches measuring 4 inches thick. Some of us were even able to cut down enough branches to fill 2 trailer loads. It’s even better if you have other B+D tools with their own battery packs, as you can then use those battery packs as well.

This is a terrific option for basic lawn services like cutting fallen branches and pruning the branches off your trees. It features a 10-inch bar length, and it’s pretty lightweight at merely 7.2 pounds. That means it’s much easier to maneuver, plus you can use it for a longer time before you get tired.

Maneuvering the lightweight chainsaw is a snap, thanks to the wraparound handling. You can quickly do vertical and horizontal cuts without any trouble. The chainsaw is extremely easy to control, and comfortable to hold.

The bar and chain offer quick, smooth cuts, especially with the built-in oiling system for lubrication. This oiling system has even been improved, so you also get a clear window to constantly update on your oil level. Just remember that it is a manual oiler, so you’ll need to press for the oil for every cut.

A lot of newbies love this chainsaw, and it’s a particular favorite among female users. The extremely light weight is a definite plus, as you won’t need to much strength and endurance to finish the job. You can easily make adjustments for the chain tensioning, since you won’t need tools.

It does need at least 5 hours to get a full battery charge, and you might even need 8 hours. So, you’ll need to do this overnight before you get to doing your wood cutting in the morning. Then you have to be mindful that a full charge gives you just 20 minutes of use.

Pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Can use other B+D power packs
  • Clear window to see oil level
  • Enough power for most tree branches
Cons
  • Not meant for thicker tree trunks
  • Needs overnight charging
  • Full charge gives you just 20 minutes of use
  • Manual oiling system

Husqvarna 16 Inch 440e II Gas Chainsaw

This is the 2nd-generation 440E, which comes with even more and better features than the first one. The upgraded design makes this even easier to use, while it’s also more efficient. As this is a gas chainsaw, power shouldn’t be a problem. The idling speed is 2,900 rpm, but you can boost that up to 9,000 rpm.

This is nicely lightweight at 9.8 pounds, so it’s no trouble to move around and maneuver. You’re able to cut more freely, leading to more accurate cuts. The new “X-cut” chain and bar system works very well, as it is designed specifically for cutting tree branches and even small trees.

The X-torque feature enhances the fuel efficiency of the whole chainsaw, which means lower fewer costs and longer work times for a full tank. This feature even reduces the emissions level, so it’s relatively eco-friendly compared to other gas chainsaws.

This X-torque feature even makes it a lot easier for you to start the chainsaw. While other gas chainsaws may require several pulls to get them started, with the 440E you only need a couple of pulls at the most. In most cases, a single pull will do.

For those who are irked by a manual oiling system (which requires you to push a button for a few seconds for each cut), this time the oiling system is automatic. All you really need to do is to keep the oil bar filled, and the system delivers the oil to the blade automatically. The X-torque system even minimizes the risk of the oil flooding the engine.

This automatic oiling system is extremely convenient for newbies, as beginners often think the manual oiling system is malfunctioning (when actually it’s because they’re not doing it right). Newbies will also appreciate the inertia-activated chain brake, which kicks in automatically when kickback suddenly happens.

Even experienced chainsaw users will like how easy it is to use this chainsaw. Making adjustments to the chain tension doesn’t need any tools. The quick-release filter lets you replace the air filter quickly.

Pros
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Nice safety features
  • Automatic oil delivery
  • Easy start
  • Efficient fuel system with lower emissions
  • Quick-release filter
Cons
  • A case would have been nice
  • It’s not meant for large cutting tasks

WORX WG305 Electric Chain Saw, 14-Inch

Now this may come with a 14-inch bar length (instead of just 10 inches) but it’s extremely lightweight at merely 6.6 pounds. That’s light enough for even a child to use this, not that this is meant for children to use. But if you’re small and not all that strong, then this will still be easy for you to carry and move around.

A lot of people who are buying a chainsaw for the first time can be quite annoyed at gas and battery power systems, since those will need gas refilling or battery recharging if the work goes on too long. That’s not an issue with his corded model. Just plug it in, and get to work.

The convenience continues with the instant start, which we’re all used to with our other electrical appliances. This one won’t trouble with the necessity of pulling lots of time to get the engine started. The cord is also 9 feet long, so you don’t have to stand so close to the power outlet.

The manual that comes with the purchase explains how you can adjust the chain tension here, and it’s easy. You don’t even need tools. The automatic oil delivery system also makes sure that your chain is always lubricated, and you just need to keep the oil level up. That’s also easy, as there’s a window that lets you see when it’s time to fill up the oil.

All in all, this is a favorite chainsaw for women, older people, and even older ladies. It’s so lightweight, and there’s no fuel or battery charge to worry about. You get ample power too, and you get that consistently as well. This is comfy to use for everyone, and it’s literally a “plug and play” tool.

Pros
  • Long electrical cord
  • Auto oil delivery
  • Consistent power delivery
  • Convenient oil window
  • Extremely lightweight at 6.6 pounds
  • Immediate start
  • Tool-less chain tension adjustment
Cons
  • Limited to work near power outlets
  • Not for large trees

Oregon CS1500 Self-Sharpening Electric Chainsaw

One of the more annoying problems with chainsaw maintenance is the need to sharpen the blade on a regular basis. In many cases, this is a tedious job requiring a file (usually 5/32-inch). But there’s no need for that with this self-sharpening chainsaw.

That’s because of the built-in PowerSharp Sharpening System, which won’t let you waste time dealing with a dull chain. With this system, all you really need to do is to pull a lever for about 4 seconds or so. After that, the chain is just as sharp as ever.

This is also a 15-amp chainsaw, which means you’re able to work on tougher jobs. It does help that it also comes with an 18-inch bar, which lets you cut thicker trunks and limbs than shorter bars. This can deal with just about any woodcutting task needed for any yard.

Everything’s easy here, starting with the weight at just 12.9 pounds. Given its impressive cutting capabilities, this is quite lightweight. It’s also an electrical model, giving you advantages like instant start, no emissions, and no noise at all. Your neighbors won’t complain about the noise or the noxious fumes, as there are none.

You don’t even have to worry about following the assembly instructions, because the chainsaw is already preassembled. This also comes with safety features like the chain brake.

The weight is nicely balanced, so it’s no trouble moving it around to get your vertical or horizontal cuts. The handle has been engineered for terrific comfort, and you don’t even have to deal with a lot of vibration. The oil delivery system is also automatic, with a window to tell you when you need to fill up the oil tank.

All in all, this is an extremely useful chainsaw that minimizes all the annoying things you have to deal with other models. Problems like noise, noxious fumes, delayed starts with lots of pulls, limited work capacity due to gas tank or battery chargers, complicated assembly, and the need to sharpen the saw blades are problems for other people. They won’t be your problems with the Oregon CS1500

Pros
  • Instant start
  • No assembly required
  • Silent between cuts
  • No emissions
  • Lightweight
  • Minimal vibration
  • Auto oil delivery
Cons
  • Electrical cord may pull out of the outlet easily

Poulan Pro PR4016, 16 in. 40cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw

This was designed to deal efficient with cutting tree limbs and firewood in your yard. That’s why it’s lightweight at just 13 pounds, but you still get enough cutting power with the saw and the 16-inch bar length.

This is an affordable gas-powered model, and for its price it’s terrific. Your purchase also includes the required 2-stroke oil and the nifty scrench. This scrench basically does the job of 2 wrench sockets and a screwdriver, and you’ll need it to maintain the PR4016 properly. You even have onboard storage for this.

This is probably a lot more fuel-efficient than other gas chainsaws out there, due to the fantastic Poulan Pro OxyPower tech. This technology increases the fuel efficiency, as you get more power but with 20% lower fuel consumption and even 70% less emissions.

It also helps that it features the “SuperClean” air filter system, which extends the lifespan of the air filter while it also reduces fuel consumption.

Starting the motor can be a problem with gas chainsaws, but Poulan Pro also thought about that. Their EPS (Effortless Pull Starting) system combines a spring-assist pull cord with a purge bulb that’s easy to use. That gives you a simpler start, with much fewer pulls needed.

Once you’ve started the motor, you’ll find this a joy to use. It has ample power for even medium-duty tasks. It’s comfortable to hold and move around, while the controls are easily accessible. There isn’t much vibration going through the handle, so you won’t get tired too quickly. The oil delivery system is automatic as well.

Sometimes the machine may turn itself off regularly, but you only need to adjust the carburetor to fix this. This is an easy fix, needing just a screwdriver.

More complicated is the required fuel and oil mix, but you get the directions in the manual. Basically, you need a gallon of gasoline mixed with the 2.6 ounces of the full synthetic 2-Cycle Oil that comes with the chainsaw.

You probably have low expectations from this model, especially with the price. But it starts instantly and delivers the promised performance. It will also last for quite a while, as long as you take care of it properly.

Pros
  • Extremely affordable
  • Fuel efficient
  • Comes with helpful scrench tool
  • Easy start (usually a single pull will do)
  • Enough power for medium-duty cutting tasks
  • Lightweight and easy to move around
  • Very little vibration
  • Auto oil delivery
Cons
  • Carburetor may need adjustment
  • Fuel and oil have to be mixed just right

Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, 4AH Battery and a Charger Included 20312

This kit comes with a terrific battery system, which gives you ample power. You can even do up to a hundred cuts on 4×4 lumber with a single charge, so you’re not limited to small wood cutting tasks around the yard. You get a longer operating time frame (about 80% longer), with greater power and torque (about 30% more).

Basically, the brushless motor system here gives you about the same level of performance you’d get from a gas chainsaw. It’s just that you don’t have to bother with using the right fuel, and there’s no noise and no toxic fumes to worry about. You’re not limited by the length of the electrical cord, either.

With the heavy duty 16-inch Oregon bar and chain, you can cut down thicker tree limbs than what you can deal with using other battery-powered chainsaws. It’s not all that tiring, either, as the design reduces the vibrations by 70%.

The metal bucking spikes work nicely, and you also get the chain designed for lower kickback potential. The electronic chain brake also prevents accidental kickbacks. The oil delivery system is automatic, and the translucent oil tank tells you when you need an oil refill.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Very safe to use
  • Minimized vibrations
  • Efficient battery power with greater torque
  • Auto oil delivery with translucent oil tank
  • Can last for years
Cons
  • Not for heavy-duty cutting

What’s the Right Bar Length?

The length of the bar on your chainsaw basically determines the kind of job you can do with that chainsaw. That’s why for super-lightweight chainsaws with short bars, you only use them for tree limbs.

The basic rule is that if you’re dealing with a standing tree, then your bar length has to be longer than the diameter of the tree. So, if you’re using a 16-inch bar length with your chainsaw, that means you can use it for a standing tree that’s 14-inches thick.

You get more leeway with a tree that has already fallen, then you have more leeway. You can use 2 cuts (one from each side of the tree). This time, the rule is that you can deal with a thickness double the bar length, minus a couple of inches.

So, if you have a 16-inch bar, you can deal with fallen trees up to 30 inches in diameter, using 2 cuts.

Here’s a quick and easy guide for the bar length you need:

  •   6 to 8 inches: For clearing brush and pruning tree limbs
  •   10 to 12 inches: For cutting up smaller logs and for removing tree branches
  •   14 inches and above: For splitting firewood, cutting up logs, and cutting down smaller trees

Don’t assume that a larger model can deal with smaller tasks. Using an 18-inch chainsaw may not be the best option for a bush. Usually, you want a clearance of about 2 inches or so. That means you can get an 18-inch chainsaw only if you’re going to work on wood that’s 16 inches in diameter.

Pros and Cons of Various Chainsaw Power Systems

Gas-Powered

This is the most powerful option, with the fastest cutting rates. A full tank also gets a large job done. These things are quite rugged, and repairs are often simple.

On the other hand, this is also comparatively heavy, very loud, and produces noxious fumes. You’ll have to mix the fuel and oil just right, plus the pull-cord start can be very frustrating.

Electric

This doesn’t give you as much power as the gas models, but this time there’s no time limit or fuel tank limit to worry about. You have a push button start, and you don’t have to deal with noise and toxic fumes. These are often the most affordable models, and the lightest in weight.

However, you are limited by the length of your extension cord, which you’ll have to deal with as you work. You also have to take care of the chainsaw diligently. If you need repairs, you’ll need a professional to do them.

Battery

These use rechargeable batteries. That means no noise, no emissions, and no issues with the cord length. You also get a push-button start.

On the other hand, these are generally the heaviest and most expensive among your options. You also have to deal with the long recharging time and the very short operating time frame. You don’t really get a lot of power at all, so this only works for light-duty cutting tasks. If you need repairs, you’ll also need a pro.

Conclusion

Who says chainsaws need to be heavy, cumbersome, and expensive? For most of us who needs to just deal with brush and small trees around the house, the best lightweight chainsaws offer the ideal DIY solution. These things are easy to carry and move around, and they’re inexpensive as well.

You just need to make sure that they get the job done, despite the compact size. Pick from our list, and you can be sure you get the best lightweight chainsaw you can rely on for years.

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