In such tough economic times, you want to save money wherever you can. And spending $1000 plus on a chainsaw probably isn’t the way to go. Luckily, there are a ton of chainsaw options in the under $500 and $600 market.
However, just because you are looking to save a few bucks doesn’t mean you should compromise on quality. So which is the best chainsaw under 500? To answer this question, we tested a wide variety of chainsaws at this price point and narrowed it down to eight.
Quick Comparison Of Our Top Picks
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Reviews Of The Best Chainsaws Under 500 and 600 Dollars
ECHO 20 in. Timber Wolf 59.8 cc Gas Chainsaw
The Echo 20 inch Timber wolf 59.8 cc gas chainsaw features a simple design with excellent value. As its name suggests, it boasts a 59.8 cc engine.
One thing we loved about this chainsaw was its simplistic design. For a gas-powered chainsaw, it is easy to use. All the essential parts can be accessed easily as well. For instance, the filter can be accessed by unscrewing a single nut at the back.
When it comes to performance, it does not disappoint. It uses a 20-inch chain and bar bigger than the chains of most chainsaws in this price tag. This larger chain paired with the large engine means it has no trouble slicing through thicker logs of wood.
Given its size, it is likely to have plenty of vibrations. However, you will never notice this as it features a pretty handy anti-vibration handle. Thus you can use it to cut logs for longer periods.
Husqvarna T435: BestTop Handle Saw
Designed for foresters, arborists, and professionals, top handle chainsaws are usually lightweight and easy to use. And one of the best top-handled chainsaws under 700 is the Husqvarna T435.
This mid-sized top handle chainsaw is gas-powered, so you can expect plenty of oomph from its 36 cc 2 .2.HP x-torq engine. With its beefier motor, it will cut through a 12-inch piece of wood in a single pass.
In terms of weight, this is one of the more lightweight gas chainsaws out there. Without the chain and bar, it weighs 7.5 pounds. Speaking of chain and bar, it uses a 12-inch bar but can als use a 14-inch bar.
Being a top handle chainsaw, it is easy to use and features a soft insert on the handle for better handling. Additionally, it comes with a LowVib system that minimizes vibrations allowing you to use it for longer.
We had several cordless options to choose from, but ultimately we had to go with the Makita XCU0PT1. So what made us choose this as our best cordless chainsaw?
Well, for one, this unit has a variable speed trigger. This means you can adjust the chain cutting speed from 0 to 3,940 FPM. This allows you to adjust the chainsaw to suit different cutting applications.
As already stated, this is a cordless model and is powered by two 18V lithium-ion batteries. These two combine to churn out an impressive 36v of power. Paired with a 16-inch chain and bar, it is capable of cutting medium-sized logs.
It uses a brushless motor, which translates to efficiency. Also, to make it easier to use, Makita included a tool-less chain adjustment.
New Echo CS-355T: Top Handle Chain Saw
Another top-handle chainsaw is the New Echo CS-355T. It may not have the brand reputation of its Husqvarna competitor, but it is a great chainsaw.
It is a gas-powered chainsaw with a 35.8cc 2-stroke engine. It is capable of cutting through medium-sized logs of about 12 inches in a single pass.
While gas-powered chainsaws are notorious for being difficult to use, not this one, it has an easy-to-start ignition system. More importantly, it has an automatic clutch-driven oiling system.
The handle has an ergonomic design with a contours design to fit the shape of your hand. This gives you a comfortable grip on the handle. You can use it with either a 14 inch or a 16-inch chain and bar.
Husqvarna 16 Inch 435e II
One of the most dependable budget chainsaws is the Husqvarna 435e II gas chainsaw. The latter performed better than most other chainsaws in its price range.
It uses a 2-cycle 40.9 cc engine that outputs enough power to slice through a 15-inch diameter piece of wood. It also handled pretty well on denser timber compared to other similarly priced chainsaws.
While it does require 2 to 3 pulls before it starts, it is still designed to be easy to use. And evidence of this can be found in its automatic oiler. There is also a side-mounted chain tensioning system that is easy to access.
Attached to the engine housing are a 16-inch chain and bar. The chain has a maximum power speed of 9000 RPM.
Husqvarna 445EII1645 Gas Chainsaw
The Husqvarna 445EII645 gas chainsaw is a rather large chainsaw for its price. However, it does incorporate all the features we have come to love about Husqvarna chainsaws.
Starting with the x-torq engine. The latter is one of the most fuel-efficient chainsaw engines around. In addition to this, there is an air injection system that helps keep the chainsaw clean insides.
Surprisingly this is an easy-to-start gas-powered chainsaw thanks to its Smartstart technology. There is also a snap-lock cylinder cover. What this means is that it is easy to access the spark plugs for cleaning.
The fuel level is visible, meaning you can know when the chainsaw needs a refill. While we found it to be a bit heavy, at 11 pounds, it is still manageable for most people.
Greenworks Pro 80V 16 inch Brushless Chainsaw
When you think about cordless chainsaws, an 18-inch chain and bar probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. And to be fair, not many cordless chainsaws have an 18-inch chain and bar. So the Greenworks Pro 80V brushless chainsaw is a rarity we were happy to test.
Built to be a success of the Greenworks 40V brushless chainsaw, this unit features an 18-inch chain and bar and an electronic chain brake. At the front of the chain, you get real metal and aggressive bucking spikes.
All these are features that we associate more with gas-powered chainsaws, not cordless units. Thus the Greenworks Pro offers plenty of cutting power without losing its portability and simplicity.
Speaking of simplicity, you also get an automatic oiler to simplify the chain oiling process. Keeping with the gas-powered chainsaw theme, this chainsaw’s handle is made of metal, not plastic. And overall, this chainsaw feels more like a rugged gas-powered chainsaw.
Makita XCU09PT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless chainsaw
The Makita XCU09PT is a cordless chainsaw that can match the performance of most gas-powered chainsaws. To be more specific, it can match the performance of a 30 cc gas-powered chainsaw.
Powering this cordless chainsaw are two 18V batteries with a combined output of 36V. Attached to the motorhead is a 16-inch chain and bar. This is sufficient to cut through medium-sized logs.
It features a variable speed trigger. You can adjust the speed from 0 to 3940 FPM to suit your cutting needs with the trigger. There is also the torque boost mode that helps power it through thicker wood.
To preserve battery life, this unit has an automatic power-off function. The chainsaw is shut off after 60 seconds if not being used. There is also a built-in lock level that prevents chains from accidentally engaging.
Things To Consider Before Getting Chainsaw Under 500
How do you know if a chainsaw is the best chainsaw for 500? There are several things to look at. Also, there are several factors to consider before buying a chainsaw. These are;
Do you need a chainsaw?
Using a chainsaw is the fastest way of cutting logs or trimming trees. However, not everyone needs a chainsaw. If you own a large yard with plenty of trees or have a fireplace and need wood, frequently, a chainsaw will be a valuable tool to have.
While a chainsaw can slice through wood, not all cutting tasks require a chainsaw. Pruning small trees and hedges can be done with clippers, pruning shears, or even a smaller saw.
Horsepower applies to gas-powered chainsaws and dictates what tasks you can perform with a chainsaw. For pruning, a 30 to 40 cc gas-powered chainsaw will be sufficient. A cordless chainsaw with a 30v and above battery will be enough for all kinds of tasks from pruning to limbing.
The Best chainsaw under 500 will most likely be used for pruning, clearing small trees, chopping firewood, and limbing. A 30 t0 40 cc gas-powered chainsaw or a 30 to 40v cordless chainsaw will be sufficient for all these tasks.
Corded vs. cordless vs. gas powered
Chainsaws are usually classified into corded, cordless, and gas-powered. The latter is usually the most powerful and is predominantly used by professionals such as lumberjacks. On the other hand, cordless models are battery-powered and are the most portable.
Corded is electric-powered and are lightweight but are not as portable as gas-powered and cordless. For trimming tree branches high up a tree, a cordless model will be a better choice. But if you want the power to slice through thicker logs of wood, go for a gas-powered chainsaw.
The design of the chainsaw is as important as its performance. Arborists predominantly use top-handle chainsaws for trimming trees. The reason is they are easier to maneuver and more ergonomic.
The handle grip is another important part. The design of the handle will influence how easy it is to hold the chainsaw for long. A padded handle will be ideal for minimizing vibrations.
The length of the chainsaws bar will be instrumental in determining what size of wood you can cut. A longer bar length means you can cut larger pieces of wood. However, a longer bar length means more skills are required to operate.
For medium-duty work, a 14 to 20-inch bar length is ideal. This bar length is easy enough to maneuver for most people.
The chain speed also influences how well a chainsaw can slice through wood. Higher speeds translate to an ability to cut through wood quicker. At the under 500 price point, a variable chain speed is recommended.
This allows you to set the chain speed that works best for you, depending on the task at hand.
How much fuel a chainsaw can hold impacts how long it can go before requiring a refill. A fuel gauge helps you monitor the fuel levels of your chainsaw. This is a useful feature to have as you do not want to run out of fuel in the middle of a project.
A lightweight chainsaw will be easier to handle and will also be more portable. Typically cordless chainsaws weigh less than gas-powered. For a medium-sized chainsaw, a weight of less than 10 pounds is manageable for most.
A chainsaw’s weight does not include the chain and bar and is only for the motor or engine head. Therefore the weight will increase when the chain and bar are added.
An automatic oiler is a feature mostly found in cordless models. However, some lighter gas-powered chainsaws also have the same feature. An auto oiler makes your work easier by lubricating the chain without your input.
To get the best value for your money, consider a chainsaw with additional features. This can include a self-sharpening feature, a chain brake, or even a handguard. Some models will also come with a carrying case.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which brand of chainsaw should you select?
Several brands dominate the chainsaw market. In our view, though, the two most prominent in this budget market are Husqvarna and Makita.
What is a chainsaw choke?
The choke is a plate that regulates the flow of air into the engine. It can be opened and closed.
What safety gear do I need when using a chainsaw?
When using a chainsaw, you will need a helmet and a visor or goggles to protect your eyes from flying wood chips. You also need ear defenders to protect your ears. Protective trousers and jackets are also recommended.
How much power can I expect?
This depends on the type of chainsaw you opt for. Most gas-powered chainsaws in this price point will provide about 2.5 HP. For cordless models, you can expect 36 volts of power.
What unique features should I expect?
Most chainsaws in this price point will have an automatic oiler and a tool-less chain adjustment system. These are two features unique to this price point and are usually not available in larger and pricier models.
What chainsaw size is best for home use?
You need a chainsaw with a bar and chain length of 14 to 20 inches for home use. This site will be easy to handle and will slice through most medium-sized woods.
What chainsaw should I select for wood artwork?
For artistic purposes, a smaller chainsaw is recommended. Ideally, you need one with a 14 or 16-inch chain and bar maximum. A 12-inch one will be useful for making more intricate designs.
Who Should Consider A Chainsaw Under $500?
Ideally, a chainsaw under 500 will come in handy when you need to chop wood for the fireplace or have a yard with trees that need trimming. It can also be useful to anyone who plans on cutting down small trees on their property.
What Chainsaw Type Is Best For Under This Price Range?
The best chainsaw type would have to be a gas-powered chainsaw. Gas-powered chainsaws offer power and torque to cut through larger logs. Also, most gas-powered chainsaws in the under 500 market are easier to use and handle than their pricier counterparts.
What Can You Expect From A $500 Or Below Chainsaw?
Chainsaws in this price tag are usually easy to use. Thus you can expect ease of use with such features as automatic oilers and easy-to-access spark plugs and filters. You can also expect the ability to cut through medium-sized logs of wood, such as 12 inches in diameter.
There is no one fits all chainsaw, and each person will choose a chainsaw based on their needs and preferences. However, from our analysis, we feel the ECHO 20 in. Timber Wolf 59.8 cc Gas is the best chainsaw under 500.
It is powerful without being overly bulky. Also, it is incredibly easy to use and has a large enough chain and bar to cut through thicker logs than most of its competitors.