5 Best Small Gas Powered Chainsaws of 2020

Last update: Aug 12, 2020

Are you in need of the best small gas-powered chainsaw? Then, you’re landing in the right place.

In this article, we are going to walk you through the 5 top-notch options that our expert reviewers have tested and analyzed extensively from the market. Let’s get started!

Here are the best small gas powered chainsaws you can buy in 2020:

  • Most Durable: Husqvarna 966997203 T435
  • Fuel-Efficient: Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12
  • Best Overall: Remington RM4214
  • Lightweight: Husqvarna 120 Mark II
  • Best For Light Duty: SALEM MASTER 3816S
Top 5 Best Small Gas Powered Chainsaws
Most Durable
Husqvarna 966997203 T435
    Fuel-Efficient
    Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12
      Best Overall
      Remington RM4214
        Lightweight
        Husqvarna 120 Mark II
          Best For Light Duty
          SALEM MASTER 3816S

            12-Inch Chainsaws

            Most Durable: Husqvarna 966997203 T435

            Husqvarna 966997203 T435
            Husqvarna 966997203 T435
            9.2Outstanding
            Pros
            • Superb longevity – The perfect combination of an x-force Bar and Husqvarna new x-cut chain
            • Relieve stress and fatigue on the user – lightweight & have an anti-vib system
            • Easy to tighten chain - the side chain tensioning
            Cons
            • The gas tank is a little bit on the small side

            The Husqvarna 966997203 T435 is the most time-tested gas-powered chainsaw.

            In terms of durability, it’s hard to beat, and the perfect combination of an x-force Bar and Husqvarna new x-cut chain is key for such phenomenal performance.

            While delivering long-lasting durability, this combo gives you a superior cutting experience. It is also lightweight and has an anti-vib system to decrease vibration levels to you, therefore, eliminating hands fatigue.

            Chain tightening isn’t an issue while you’re on the job, all thanks to the side chain tensioning.

            Lastly, the improved design on the chain break window makes it easier to see the guide bar tip.

            Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Specifications

            Horsepower

            2.01HP

            Bar Size

            12"

            Weight

            7.5 pounds

            Highlight Features

            Rope attachment

            Reduced exhaust emission levels

            Lower fuel consumption

            Side chain tensioning

            Anti-vib system

            Verdict

            We love the Husqvarna 966997203 T435 for its phenomenally long-lasting durability that can last for years come of abusing.

            Fuel-Efficient: Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12

            Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12
            Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12
            9Outstanding
            Pros
            • Consume little fuel despite powerful performance - a 32.2 cc commercial grade pure fire engine
            • Easy to start, warm-up, and control - the Oregon chain, Sprocket nose bar, purge primer bulb, and half throttle choke
            Cons
            • Expensive
            • Can be hot hanging against the leg while climbing

            For the price, the Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 is very hard to beat, especially in terms of fuel efficiency.

            By using a 32.2 cc commercial grade pure fire engine, it balances perfectly between performance and fuel consumption so while running powerfully, it requires really less gas. That makes the 9.9 fl. oz. fuel tank turns out to be adequate for small tree-cutting jobs.

            Although this chainsaw is powerful, it’s full of control thanks to the Oregon chain and Sprocket nose bar, therefore, the cuts are much easier to do.

            In our humble opinion, it is quite user-friendly and definitely suitable for beginners.

            Ah, the added purge primer bulb and half throttle choke also make the unit easy to start and warm-up.

            Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 Specifications

            Horsepower

            1.6HP

            Bar Size

            12-Inch

            Weight

            11.9 pounds

            Highlight Features

            32.2cc commercial grade pure fire engine

            Sprocket nose bar with Oregon chain

            Automatic gear-driven oiler and a side access chain tensioning

            Verdict

            We found the Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 to provide a ton of value for anyone looking for fuel-efficient, powerful performance but the ease of use.

            14-inch Chainsaws

            Best Overall: Remington RM4214

            Remington RM4214
            Remington RM4214
            9Outstanding
            Pros
            • Powerful but less vibration - 42cc full crank 2-cycle engine plus 14” sprocket tipped bar
            • Long-lasting durability - die-cast chassis
            • Easy to maintain - side-mounted screw tensioning system & automatic oiler
            • Start fast and smoothly – Quickstart technology
            Cons
            • Don’t include a hard plastic case
            • Wish the air cleaner was a real foam
            • A bit heavy

            The Remington RM4214 is a renowned gas-powered chainsaw that’s also one of the bestsellers on the market.

            The unit gets plenty of compliments for its ease of use, powerful performance, and simple maintenance.

            The 42cc full crank 2-cycle engine plus 14” sprocket tipped bar is a shining point as it can cut through wood and branches effortlessly while generating less vibration. The durable die-cast chassis is also key to hold up well against tough branches.

            While working, you can quickly adjust the unit or easy access to the spark plug and filter, all thanks to the side-mounted screw tensioning system.

            Remington RM4214 Specifications

            Horsepower

            42cc

            Bar Size

            14-Inch

            Weight

            14.75 pounds

            Highlight Features

            Side-mounted screw tensioning system

            5-point anti-vibration system and a cushioned full wrap handle

            Automatic oiler

            Quickstart technology

            Verdict

            If you’re looking for the best-overall 14-inch gas-powered chainsaw, this one is most likely to get the job done without spending an arm and a leg on.

            Lightweight: Husqvarna 120 Mark II

            Husqvarna 120 Mark II
            Husqvarna 120 Mark II
            8.6Great
            Pros
            • Ultra-lightweight and comfortable – 10.7 pounds of weight & shock absorbing handle
            • Safe to use – low kickback safety features
            Cons
            • A bit tricky to get the hang of it

            Weighing just 10.7 pounds – being the lightest chainsaw in this list, the Husqvarna 120 Mark II is our top suggestion for weak hands or light-duty projects. Such as pruning, trimming, firewood cutting, and hobby work.

            The lightness also makes it easy to start up or make quick adjustments.

            What we love the most about this chainsaw are the low kickback safety features that eliminate risks and unwanted accidents during operation.

            The shock absorbers in the handle are lifesavers on long cuttings days.

            Husqvarna 120 Mark II Specifications

            Bar Size

            14 in.

            Weight

            10.7 pounds

            Highlight Features

            Low kickback safety features

            Weigh 10.7 pounds

            Verdict

            The Husqvarna 120 Mark II is not only a comfortable and functional chainsaw that you’d take to a forestry job but also excellent for small projects around the house

            Best For Light Duty: SALEM MASTER 3816S

            SALEM MASTER 3816S
            SALEM MASTER 3816S
            8.8Great
            Pros
            • Perfect for daily cutting or trimming tasks - a 1.9HP engine and ergonomic design
            • Safe and reliable to use – feature a safety switch and a quick stop chain brake
            • Comfortable and less fatigue to hold for a long time – ergonomic handle
            Cons
            • Don’t have a throttle lock
            • The pull cord is a bit stiff

            The SALEM MASTER 3816S doesn’t come with a throttle lock, which might make it a bit tricky on the first start. However, once getting through the initial time, it is easy to crank on one pull with plenty of power.

            Combining a 1.9HP engine and ergonomic design, it is perfect for light-duty daily tasks, especially pruning and trimming.

            You can use it for long-term projects if wanted because of the comfortable and stress-relieve handle.

            We do appreciate its safety construction, with an emphasis on a safety switch and a quick stop chain brake that hardly other counterparts at the same price point can do. These features help protect you from risks of accidental starts to use more securely.

            SALEM MASTER 3816S Specifications

            Horsepower

            1.9hp

            Bar Size

            14-Inch

            Weight

            14 pounds

            Highlight Features

            A safety switch

            Quick stop chain brake

            Ergonomic Design

            Verdict

            Are you in need of a small gas-powered chainsaw that’s specifically designed for light-duty projects with decent safety? The SALEM MASTER 3816S perfectly fits the bill.

            How To Choose The Best Small Gas Powered Chainsaws?

            Guide Bar Length

            This refers to the metal blade holding the chain.

            For instance, a 12-inch chainsaw features a bar measured by 12 inches long, meaning that it can cut a wood piece up to 12 inches thick. The choice of bar length depends on the types of tree cutting projects. Here are some simpler ideas to follow:

            • 6 inches to 8 inches – clear blush and prune limbs
            • 10 inches to 12 inches – cut up small tree logs and remove tree branches
            • 14 inches – split firewood, slice up logs, and cut down small trees.

            Don’t blindly go for the largest chainsaw but rather try and match the guide bar length to the general wood thickness you’ll cut. An oversized chainsaw is prone to hack away at a bush, which is not safe at all.

            Safety Features

            • The more the safety features added to a chainsaw, the better. Here are the essential options to seek for on any chainsaw:

            Anti-vibration

            • It is exactly metal springs or rubber bushings between the chain/bar/engine and the handle to reduce vibration. Without this feature, it’s quick to feel fatigue and onerous on your arms.

            Tool-free chain adjuster

            • It allows you to adjust the chain tensions without using a screwdriver or wrench. The feature is a wheel-and-crank mechanism operated manually to lock/unlock the chain bar conveniently. By making adjustments easily and quickly, it enhances safety.

            Bucking spikes

            • They allow you to pivot the chain and bar downward while cutting logs on a log stand or a sawbuck. The spike near the bar base biting into logs and serving as a fulcrum.

            Automatic chain oiler

            • This is a must-have feature in all gas-powered chainsaws. With it, you don’t have to stop and pump a plunger to oil the cutting bar when cutting, which is essential as it lets you hold firmly both hands on the tool.
            • Besides, it prevents thrown or broken chain by avoiding overheating and prematurely wearing.

            Sheath or case

            • When storing or carrying a chainsaw, getting a full cover or case for the chain and bar is important to prevent accidental cuts. Also, it avoids oil leakage from the chain efficiently.

            Trigger lockout

            • By adding this safety feature, whenever you want to engage the throttle trigger, you’ll have to press its separate palm switch beforehand.

            Chain catcher

            • It prevents the chain from getting too loose due to improper maintenance or tensioning. Besides, the chain catcher keeps a thrown chain from flying back toward you when using the saw.
            • It is located under the guide bar.

            Chain brake

            • When the chainsaw kicks back or the front handguard is pushed forward, a chain brake helps to stop it instantly.

            Which Brands Make The Best Small Gas Powered Chainsaws?

            Husqvarna

            • Husqvarna is the world’s leading brand in professional outdoor gadgets. Through their high-quality products, you can enhance your working productivities in the forest, garden, backyard, or park.

            Tanaka

            • Another reliable chainsaw brand, Tanaka is a long-standing company founded with a mission to provide the most fuel-efficient products to afford various demands, from professionals to home use.

            Remington

            • Remington was established in 1921 by Arthur Mall in Wisconsin, USA. This company specializes in building electrically and gasoline-powered saws and drills. Their reputation gains from the high dependability and quality workmanship.

            FAQs

            How long should a chainsaw last?

            10 years or more.

            Should I get a 12 or 14-inch chainsaw?

            It depends on the thickness of the tree trunk. The thicker the tree trunk, the larger the chainsaw.

            Top handle vs. rear handle?

            What makes them different from each other is the rear handle movement to the top of the chainsaw of a top handle chainsaw allows for one-handed operation if wanted. In practicality, we suggest the top handle chainsaws for professional jobs or arborists

            Is a 16-inch chainsaw big enough?

            It is big enough for splitting logs into firewood or cutting down medium trees.

            How many times can you sharpen a chainsaw blade?

            3-5 times.

            Conclusion

            Getting the best small gas-powered chainsaws isn’t about just choosing the most expensive. It’s vital to take into account each metric and find out your true needs. Hopefully, our review provides enough information needed to help you in buying the right one.

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