America's 4 Favorite Power Chainsaws

The Most Recommended Chainsaw Brands in the United States

Chainsaw Cut - Notch. Noah Clayton/ The Image Bank/ Getty Images

Foresters, Farmers and Forest Owners Pick Their Favorite Chainsaw

I conducted a survey several years ago to determine the popularity of chainsaw brands used by woodsmen users in the United States. I listed both dealer-supported saws and "big box" saws sold at local hardware chains. The list included boxed products to include Poulan, Craftsman, Remington, Hitachi as well as dealer-sold saws including Husqvarna, Stihl, Jonsered and Echo.

One interesting fact was undeniable that dealer-serviced saws topped the popularity list. With over 3,100 votes cast, Husqvarna was narrowly selected over Stihl as the chainsaw of choice voted on by About Forestry readers. Here are the percentages of preference and ranked by saw brand.

Husqvarna - 41%; Stihl - 40%; Jonsered - 7%; Echo - 4%; All others - 8%

As you can see, voting for a favorite saw was extremely close between the first and second place brands. Husqvarna and Stihl are by far the most popular saws in America according to this survey.

This was not a scientific survey but these saw brands were acclaimed to be the preferred saws of my readership and most, if not all models have high ratings. Also, it should be remembered that industry competition and availability of dealers change as will these rankings locally. It has become obvious to me over the years that a local branded service center increases sales.

The thing to remember here is, buying available service with a warranty guarantee is as, if not more important than the price paid for the chainsaw. A power tool will malfunction over time and you will need service and parts over the life of the saw!

As power equipment dealer Tom Bernosky says in a saw industry trade magazine,  “Always remember when buying any machine, buy from somebody who can service.

You will only hurt yourself and your business by buying something at a mart-type store. I’m not saying you can’t buy mail order, just make sure they do the service work. If they don’t, your warranty isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.”

My Latest Chainsaw Medium Power Picks

Now let me define the models I recommend for non-professional but regular chainsaw users:

"Power" models usually are heavier, have more cubic centimeters of displacement (+- 40 ccs) and usually (but not always) come standard with 16" bars.  These saws are primarily picked by resource managers, forest and landscape owners and businesses who use saws regularly but are not professional timber fellers. They will cost slightly more than smaller saws and are typically on sale from between $250 and $350 each.

I am going to leave professional models for a future discussion...

And The Winners Are...

Voted #1 - Husqvarna Saws (buy from Amazon)

Swedish company Husqvarna builds chainsaws for both the professional and casual user and is available for purchase at dealers and online. A Husky saw has excellent power-to-weight ratios but does not compromise on a slim saw body design and on lightness. Husqvarna saws are built with LowVib, Air Injection, and a Smart Start function that makes them very easy to start.

All saws have mandatory safety features and offer a variety of chainsaw for every requirement.

Recommended top bargain "power" model (buy from Amazon) - Husqvarna 440E Chainsaw

Voted #2 - Stihl Saw (sold at dealers only)

Germany's Stihl has been in the chainsaw business for over 70 years but only sell through exclusive dealerships. They have developed a slim saw form and continually develop significant advances in saw technology. The Stihl saw has anti-vibe technology for fatigue free operation and they claim to be leading manufacturer of saws worldwide. All saws have mandatory safety features and offer a variety of chainsaw for every requirement.

Recommended top bargain "power" model (Consumer Reports Listing) - Stihl MS 180C Chainsaw

Voted #3 - Jonsered Saws (buy from Amazon}

Jonsered’s from Gothenburg, Sweden and has been producing wood processing machinery since the 1880’s.

Dealerships have not been fully developed in all areas of North America but are great saws if backed up by a local dealer and are sold online.. The Jonsered actually produced the prototype for today’s modern one-man chainsaw. 

Recommended top bargain "power" model (buy from Amazon)l - Jonsered CS2238 Chainsaw

Voted #4 - Echo Saws (buy from Amazon) 

Echo is Japan's leading manufacturer of chainsaws and sells to professionals and casual private users alike. Echo is challenging the bigger companies from Germany and Scandinavia. Echo has earned a following among power saw users (including me) for giving outstanding performance and dependability.

Recommended "power" model (buy from Amazon) - Echo echo chainsaw cs 310