Best Gas Chainsaw — Buyers Guide, Review, and Comparison

The absolute mother-of-all cutting machines, the gas chainsaw is the go-to tool for pros and home improvers who demand the ultimate in power. While the hardest on the pocket in the chainsaw category, these units boast the pinnacle of grunt-to-weight — effortless slicing through trees, hardwoods, and dense timbers. Sure, these handheld tools may be too hefty, noisy, and overly imposing for novice operators — but, their brawn, portability, and long-running times make them the choice of the serious tool enthusiast.

Gas Powered Chainsaw Product Comparison Table

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Husqvarna 460 Rancher
  • Bar: 24 inches
  • Output: 3.62 horsepower
  • Dimensions: 16.9 x 8.8 x 11.8 inches
  • Weight: 13.2 pounds

Features

  • Smart-start technology.
  • Inertia chain brake to reduce kickback.
  • Low vibration dampeners.

Our Rating: 4.3

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Tanaka TCS33EDTP
  • Bar: 12 inches
  • Output: 1.6 horsepower
  • Dimensions: 11.2 x 15.4 x 11.8 inches
  • Weight: 11.90 pounds

Features

  • Purge primer for easy start-up.
  • Automatic oiler.
  • Rear air filter.

Our Rating: 4.4

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Poulan Pro
  • Bar: 20 inches
  • Output: 2.8 horsepower
  • Dimensions: 16.0 x 12.0 x 11.8 inches
  • Weight: 17.0 pounds

Features

  • Handle-integrated combi tool.
  • Two-stroke engine.
  • 70 percent reduced emissions.

Our Rating: 3.9

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Husqvarna 450e
  • Bar: 18 inches
  • Output: 2.4 horsepower
  • Dimensions: 33.5 x 18 x 9 inches
  • Weight: 11.3 pounds

Features

  • Side-mounted chain tensioning.
  • Quick-release air filter.
  • Automatic chain oiler.

Our Rating: 4.5

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Husqvarna 455 Rancher
  • Bar: 20 inches
  • Output: 2.6 horsepower
  • Dimensions: 20.0 x 9.5 x 41.0 inches
  • Weight: 12.8 pounds

Features

  • 55.5 cc two-stroke engine.
  • Arrives with bar cover.
  • Easy start-up.

Our Rating: 4.5

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Troy-Bilt TB4216
  • Bar: 16 inches
  • Output: 3.5 horsepower
  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 33.25 x 10.37 inches
  • Weight: 26.04 pounds

Features

  • Metal bucking spikes.
  • Complete with engine oil.
  • Spring-assist for easy start-up.

Our Rating: 4.5

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Best Gas Chainsaw Buying Guide

Gas-powered chainsaws are probably the most popular format in the chain-cutting category. Anyone from experienced lumberjacks to DIYers love using these units — mostly due to their superior power output. 

If you’re planning on cutting large trees, thick branches, or dense timber — they’re the ultimate tool. The advantages of these machines are their immense brawn and freedom from mains cables — although they’re heavy, loud, and imposing for the uninitiated user.

Furthermore, requiring some skill to wield and demanding regular maintenance, including frequent oiling, they’re not ideal for casual users. If you’re planning on low-to-intermittent use, I’d suggest checking out an electric or battery-powered chainsaw instead.

When choosing your ideal gasoline chainsaw, consider:

  • Power output.
  • Noise level.
  • Bar length.
  • Safety.
  • Weight.
  • Maintenance frequency.

Before You Buy: How Gas Powered Chainsaws Works?


Before you decide which model to purchase, it helps if you understand the basic mechanical principles behind these tools. Once you know how a chainsaw works, it’s going to be easier to find the most suitable machine for your needs.

Fuel-Driven


As the name suggests, gas-powered machines are driven by a mixture of gasoline and oil. Most manufacturers recommend a 50:1 ratio of fuel to oil — but there are some rare exceptions. So, check out the user manual before you start mixing, or else you might jeopardize the integrity of the engine!

Most models have a tank that holds up to 1.1 pints of gas. Naturally, an additional can of fuel is a mandatory accessory for anyone planning on going to the woods with their saw.

Ignition System


As with most gasoline engines, spark plugs are responsible for the ignition. The principle is simple, once the mixture of air and fuel passes into a cylinder, it’s ignited by a spark. The most common way of causing a spark is via a pulling system or electronic mechanism.

Clutch


Chainsaws use a centrifugal clutch that engages under high speeds and disengages under lower speeds. In brief, the mechanical arms inside the clutch fly outward due to centrifugal force and lock the inner and outer parts together. As a result, the chain starts spinning at high speeds and stays motionless while the machine is idling.

How To Choose the Best Gas Powered Chain Saw 


Whether you’re buying a large or small gas chainsaw, you need a little prior research and thought. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an overpriced product that you can’t fully utilize, or is insufficient for the demands of your projects.

Here are a few things you need to think about when looking for a new chainsaw:

Power Output


The amount of power you’ll need depends on your intended use — for example, are you planning on felling mighty trees or just trimming a few small branches?

Don’t confuse the actual power output with the overall size of the product. A physically large gas chainsaw could deliver less grunt than a comparably smaller machine.

So, always check the torque and horsepower specifications — the higher these numbers, the more powerful the tool.

Noise Level


Make no mistake, gasoline chainsaws are loud machines — so always wear ear defenders during operation.

Measured in decibels, the noise output isn’t just a threat to your ear safety, but can also be a serious annoyance for your neighbors. Many higher-end units include sound dampening systems — promoting user well-being and keeping you on good terms with the people living next door.

And, if even the quietest fuel-driven saws are too loud — consider a quieter electric or battery unit instead.

Bar Size


Length is always important — whether you’re in the bedroom or getting down to some hardcore tree cutting.

The bar is the solid metal plate around which the chain rotates — the lengthier the bar, the greater the diameter of timber the chainsaw can address in a single pass.

Therefore, always ensure the bar is suitably long enough for your projects. For more detail on the size of chainsaws and how to select the perfect sized unit for your jobs, take a look at my What Size Chainsaw Do I Need? discussion.

Safety


Most modern units are packed full of safety features. Low kickback is crucial, as are anti-slip handles, high user adjustability, low vibration, and easy maintenance.

Gas powered
Gas powered

Weight


While 20 pounds may not sound overly hefty for a chainsaw — try wielding it for more than a few minutes, and you’ll discover it rapidly induces fatigue.

Gas chainsaws are heavier than electric or cordless machines — and, not only will you be holding a plethora of steel mechanical parts in your hands, but also carrying around the unit’s fuel reserves.

Therefore, consider your physical restrictions alongside the demands of your projects — heavier chainsaws tend to be more grunty, but that’s of little benefit if you can’t lift the machine.

Maintenance Frequency


Every gas model requires some level of servicing — you won’t find a maintenance-free gas-powered chainsaw. However, some mechanisms alleviate the hassles related to regular maintenance. For example, some models feature a centrifugal turbine that eliminates large debris and prevents detritus from messing up the air filter. 

Furthermore, pay attention to the position and accessibility of the oil tank. Make sure it’s easy to fill, monitor, and can be cleaned without any issues. What’s more, the ‘tool-less’ models offer the most convenience when it comes to taking a unit apart.

Our Top-Rated Gas-Driven Chainsaws


Finding the perfect gas chainsaw for your particular projects can be challenging. But, I’ve done all the hard work for you!

Whether you’re a casual DIYer, serious prosumer, or committed trade pro — there’s a gas chainsaw below suitable for your experience level and job demands:

Husqvarna 460 Rancher


Editor’s Choice

Delivering serious grunt and a generous 24-inch bar, the Husqvarna Rancher 460 is the ultimate large tree-felling chainsaw.

Featuring an XTorq 60.3cc, 3.62 horsepower motor — it boasts more than enough RPM for smooth and clean cuts. Interestingly enough, this particular motor is more economical in fuel consumption than many other Husqvarna models.

The air injection system removes large dirt particles using centrifugal force — resulting in cleaner filters and an elevated increase in engine life. Durable and trustworthy, it has low kickback due to its inertia-activated chain brake.

Vibration is reassuringly minimal — thanks to the innovative and patented LowVib Technology system. The unit weighs around 13 pounds — meaning you have to be fairly physically fit to wield it.

Economical fuel consumption is something most people are delighted by, and it’s one of the biggest selling points of this model.

Husqvarna 460 Rancher
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Tanaka TCS33EDTP


When it comes to sheer power packed in a compact chassis, this particular model is among the best available — ideal for branch cutting and pruning.

The Tanaka TCS33EDTP features a 32.2cc, 1.6 horsepower motor — delivering sufficient brawn for home garden arboriculture. Its relatively short 12-inch bar makes it ideal for tight spots and trims. 

This model features a trustworthy ignition system driven by a purge primer — providing reliability even in rough weather conditions. Furthermore, its automatic oiler system ensures the chain remains sufficiently lubricated, reducing the likelihood of kickback or jams.

The 12-inch Oregon bar comes with a chain set with a 0.375-inch pitch — offering a significant amount of cutting power. Owners of this unit love its ease of use and simplistic design. The noise levels are bearable, and the vibrations are minimal.

Tanaka TCS33EDTP12

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Poulan Pro


Straightforward to operate and at an affordable price point — the Poulan Pro is an ideal machine for the chainsaw novice or casual operator.

With great fuel consumption and minimal pollution, it’s a more eco-friendly unit than its competitors. OxyPower technology offers additional grunt, saves up to 20 percent more fuel than its competitors, and eliminates around 70 percent of emission gasses. 

User-friendliness is key — from the purge bulb ignition mechanism that features an easy start-up pull system through to the vibration-cutting hand grip. When it comes to maintenance, the only tool you need is integrated into the rear handle for easy access. 

Cutting large trees isn’t a particularly big deal for the Poulan Pro, and neither is pruning or trimming. Its 50cc, 2.8 horsepower motor delivers a pleasing amount of grunt — while the machine’s 20-inch bar allows it to pass through medium-sized trees in a single pass.

Poulan Pro
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Combining professional-grade performance combined with straightforward operation — the 450e from Husqvarna is an exceptional prosumer-level gas chainsaw.

Its 18-inch bar offers sufficient cutting diameter for most of your home and light-trade applications, while its 50 cc motor knocks out 2.4 horsepower of cutting brawn. Furthermore, boasting a side-mounted adjustment system, it’s straightforward to customize the chain tension mid-project.

Focusing on ease of use, this Husqvarna chainsaw incorporates an automatic chain oiler — ensuring the crucial cutting edge remains constantly lubricated. And, with a quick-release air filter system, you will experience little downtime replacing the engine-protecting cleaner.

Weighing just 11.3 pounds — relatively light for a high-performance gas saw — the machine is unlikely to induce fatigue on long or repetitive projects. And, boasting an inertia-activated chain brake — the unit promises safe operation, even if you’re a non-pro user.

Husqvarna 450 X-Torq

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Built to stand up to hardcore operation in the harshest of outdoor environments, the Husqvarna Rancher 455 is a heavy-duty machine for users who will not compromise.

Pushing out 2.6 horsepower from its 55.5 cc engine, this gas chainsaw is as suited to felling trees as it is slicing through dense timber. Furthermore, its 20-inch bar — encircled by a trademarked X-cut chain — provides you with welcome length for larger-diameter woods.

Incorporating Husqvarna’s respected LowVib Technology, this brawny machine cuts back on vibration, improving both your safety and operation experience. And boasting SmartStart tech, firing up the machine is effortless — allowing you to crack on immediately with your cutting job.

Side-mounted tensioning permits you to adjust chain tightness without having to take the machine apart. And, with novel air injection technology, engine life is extended by expelling dust and debris while the chainsaw is in use.

Husqvarna 455
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Featuring industry-leading three-point anti-vibration grips — the TB4216 gas chainsaw from Troy-Bilt could be the ultimate cutting machine for user comfort.

Knocking out a mighty 3.5 horsepower from its 42cc engine, this grunty unit effortlessly slices through your tree limbs and branches. And with a 16-inch bar that boasts low-kickback tech and inertia chain brake, it promises safe operation even for the novice chainsaw operator.

Its side-mounted chain tensioner combined with an automatic oiler means you’re not wasting valuable time dismantling the machine or reaching for your chain lubricant — crucial if you’re a trade user. What’s more, arriving complete with engine oil, you can fire up the machine straight after unboxing — assuming you have a can of gas in your garage.

Spring-assist permits you to power up the motor with effortless pull-starts — a welcome feature if you’re challenged in the strength department. And, with removable bucking spikes, the saw is reassuringly stable with a reduced chance of slippage.

Troy-Bilt
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Best Gas Chain Saw Conclusion


Chainsaws are the ultimate outdoor tool — as crucial to the keen gardener and home improver as the pro landscaper and trade user.

If you aren’t sure about which model to go with, take a moment and refer to our list. From the tree-felling Husqvarna 460 and pruning Tanaka TCS33EDTP through to the novice-friendly Poulan Pro and heavy-duty Husqvarna 455 — there’s a gas chainsaw for every outdoor job and experience level.

So, whether you’re a seasoned lumberjack or a weekend saw-wielding warrior — embrace the power and pure animal brawn of a gas chainsaw.

Gas Powered Chainsaws FAQs

Q: What Is a Gas Chainsaw?

A gas chainsaw is a grunty tool that incorporates a cutting chain rotating around a steel bar to cut through wood. As the name suggests, they’re powered by gasoline — as opposed to electric or battery-powered units

Q: How to Start a Gasoline Chainsaw?

Generally speaking, most gas chainsaws are started as follows: 

  • Prime the motor by repeatedly pressing the fuel bulb to pull gas into the carburetor.
  • Pull out the choke.
  • Activate the throttle lock.
  • Pull back hard on the starter cord.
Q: Do Gas-Driven Chainsaws Need Maintenance?

Yes. Gasoline-powered chainsaws need frequent maintenance to ensure longevity and promote user safety. This includes removing and cleaning the air and fuel filters, replacing spark plugs, and oiling the chain.

Q: Can I Use Any Gasoline in My Chainsaw?

Check the manufacturer’s instructions! Most chainsaws operate on a mixture of 50:1 gas and oil, but this can vary depending on the engine type. Using the wrong fuel or mix can result in motor damage.

Q: Are Gas Chainsaws Noisy?

Yes! A typical gas chainsaw will knock out somewhere between 100 to 120 decibels of noise — equal to the sound pounding out of a hard rock concert. So, always wear ear defenders when using one of these gas chainsaw machines.

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