Small Chainsaw Review

Making Your First Purchase the Best

Small Chainsaw - Echo CS-310. Steve Nix image

Chainsaw manufacturers are using newer and lighter materials to build more powerful but durable machines. Inspired by an article in Arbor Age magazine, I ask you to consider six chainsaw brands for potential purchase. These chainsaw manufacturers were selected for their small model compactness and reviewed for use by arborists who work in an urban environment but need plenty of sawing power. These companies have smaller saws that would also be the perfect fit for a tree owner or occasional woodcutter or limb trimmer.

An important first note: Reviewer Tom Bernosky, owner of Green Thumb Power and Equipment Corporation, suggests you always remember when buying any machine to buy from a dealer who can service. Your chances go up that you may hurt yourself and your business by buying something at a mart-type store. I am not saying you can't buy mail order, just make sure there is a repair shop in your area for service work. If the saw can't be serviced locally, your warranty isn't worth the paper it's printed on.”

6 Great Companies That Make Small Chainsaws

This list represents great picks from a broad array of small chainsaws who provide excellent dealer service. Obviously, there are many others you can choose that are not on this list. But these saws are arguably the best for all but the professional woodcutter as a first saw around the yard and woodlot.

This review is based on company reliability, professional arborist popularity, and one chainsaw shop expert's opinion. Any of these chainsaws manufacturers make great first small saws for purchase. All quotes are from Arbor Age. I've tried to include links to lists of branded saws available for purchase on the Internet.

Echo Small Chainsaws - "It truly packed a wallop when it came time to do limb and trim work." - Available in 14" and 16" guide bars - Retail cost range: $190 to $300 US   Note: my personal favorite is the Echo CS 310.

Stihl Small Chainsaws- “This particular unit cuts extremely smooth and had plenty of power in reserve” - Available in 14" and 16" guide bars - Retail cost range: $180 to $250 US   ​Note: this saw is an arborist's favorite due to minimal weight, adequate power and bang for the buck.

Husqvarna Small Chainsaws- "My first impression of this was wow, what a little powerhouse." - Husqvarna saws are available in small guide bars - Retail cost range: $210 to $350 US

Craftsman Small Chainsaws - I picked this chainsaw because of its quality and service availability. A Sears Craftsman chainsaw is an economical alternative to the more expensive saws and a growing favorite!- Available in 14" and 16" guide bars - Retail cost range: $150 to $200 US

Jonsered Small Chainsaws- “Known for its reliability and durability, this little saw has that and more."- Available in 16" guide bars - Retail cost range: $250 to $300 US

Solo Small Chainsaws- “This is quite a nice saw with plenty of power.” - Available in 14" and 16" guide bars - Retail cost range: $250 to $450 US