Sometimes, a full-sized chainsaw is just too big and powerful for the jobs that homeowners need to tackle. They can be rather intimidating machines to those who don’t have much experience with one, too, so naturally, a smaller one seems more manageable.

Those of you in search of the best small chainsaw will appreciate the info we will share in our guide.

In addition to highlighting the top 10 products, we’ll also provide you with some tips that will make selecting one so much easier and share our reviews and experience with the top three chainsaws.

Who says bigger is always better?

Define “Small”

Before we get started, we wanted to mention quickly what our idea of “small” is.

Based on our experience with chainsaws, a small chainsaw is one with a bar length of 14 inches or less. Anything longer than that and it feels too much like a regularly sized chainsaw.

We’ve listed the length in our table below to help make it easier for you to compare them.

Top 10 Small Chainsaws Comparison Table

PictureNameBar LengthPriceRating (1-5)
Bar Length
Rating (1-5)
1. Makita XCU04PT1 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless (5.0Ah) 18V X2 16" Chain Saw Kit16 inches$$$$4.7
2. Black+Decker LCS1240 40V MAX Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 12" 12 inches$$4.5
3. Oregon Cordless 16-inch Self-Sharpening Chainsaw with 6.0 Ah Battery and Rapid Charger16 inches$$$$4.5
4. GreenWorks 20362 24V 10-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, 2Ah Battery and Charger Included10 inches$$4.5
5. Husqvarna 120 Mark II 16 in. Gas Chainsaw16 inches$$4.3
6. Black+Decker LCS1020 20V MAX Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 10"10 inches$$4.5
7. Poulan Pro PR4016, 16 in. 40cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw16 inches$$$4.4
8. GreenWorks 20262 G-MAX 40V 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, 2AH Battery and a Charger Included 12 inches$$4.5
9. Remington RM1645 Versa Saw 12 Amp 16-Inch Electric Chainsaw16 inches$4.2
10. Husqvarna T435 12-Inch 35.2 cc X-Torq Gas Powered Chain Saw 12 inches$$$$4.6

Consider the Power Source

Most smaller chainsaws run on a battery or with a cord, but we did find a couple of options – the Husqvarna T435 Chainsaw, the Tanaka TCS3EDTP/14 Gas Powered Chainsaw, and the Poulan P3314 2-Cycle Chainsaw – that run on gas.

What’s the difference?

  • Gas. These are usually the stinkiest and loudest chainsaws but the best option for cutting down serious timber.

They’re great for cutting firewood, too, but for smaller lawn care projects around the home, you’ll probably be better off with a battery-powered chainsaw.

  • Battery. Many love the fact that a battery-operated chainsaw is so quiet, and this is an important feature when you’re working in residential areas. There is no smoke that comes wafting up in your face, and it is still cord-free just like a gas-powered unit.

Keep in mind that you’re limited to the amount of time it will run since the battery doesn’t last forever, but if you’re out where a cord won’t reach, it is the next best alternative to gas.

  • Corded Electric. For use around the home, you should have no problem using a corded electric chainsaw. Power outlets are usually always within reach of where you need to trim, and an extension cord can help you access areas that are farther away.

The power supply is constant so that you don’t have to worry about runtime like you do with a battery operated unit.

Top 3 Best Small Chainsaw Reviews

1. Makita XCU04PT1 Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Chain Saw Kit

Type: Battery Powered

We love everything about this little chainsaw. It is comfortable to hold in the hands, has power management to avoid overloading, is easy to start with the push of a button, and in spite of its small size, performs surprisingly well for a battery-operated unit.

This little workhorse can handle small trees (as long as the 16-inch bar can near the center of the trunk, it should be fine) and has a 940 FPM (feet per minute) cutting speed. It is one of the quietest chainsaws out there. It is also lightweight – just 21.8 pounds.

When fully charged, it lasts about 30 minutes to 1 hour of constant cutting but it does depend on what you are cutting. We consider it to be the best small chainsaw on the list for most homeowners.

Keep in mind that this particular model is a kit so it comes with 4 batteries and a dual charger. No need to buy additional batteries.

  • Easy to handle
  • No gas so no starting delay
  • Lightweight
  • Includes 4 batteries
  • Be sure to carry extra batteries if you’re planning to do a lot of cutting

2. BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 Ion Chainsaw

Type: Battery Powered

Giving the Makita a run for its money is this model from Black + Decker. It weights 10.4 pounds.

The battery is much better on this one – 40 volts – and this one is a better deal overall since it costs the same as the previous model with the battery included. Not a bad deal!

They recommend this chainsaw for light pruning and cutting up fallen tree limbs, but we’ve even used it for a few smaller trees (firewood size), and it has worked great.

Inside, the unit is self-oiling, so you don’t have to worry about the bar and the chain getting too dry and the handle makes it easy and comfortable to cut in different positions/directions.

While it isn’t as quiet as the previous one, this is a little workhorse, and the included battery makes it a much better deal.

  • Unit is self-oiling
  • Easy to handle
  • Lightweight
  • Requires oil for lubrication of bar and chain

3. Oregon Cordless 16-inch Self-Sharpening Chainsaw

Type: Battery Powered

Oregon’s battery-powered chainsaw is noticeably more expensive than the other two units, but it lasts longer with 6.0 Ah included battery pack.

The engine is designed to run cleanly and on less fuel without sacrificing power. With the self-sharpening feature, this chainsaw can sharpen itself with a pull of a lever. Weighing at 12.01 pounds, it is light and quiet but powerful at the same time.

If you’re an arborist or have some wooded areas on your property that you would like to thin out, we highly recommend this model.

  • Easy to handle
  • Lightweight
  • Includes an on-board sharpener
  • Not recommended for heavy use

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Cut Wet Wood With a Chainsaw?

Yes, you can cut wet wood with a chainsaw. The moisture on the wood does not cause any issues on the chainsaw or on the cutting process. No additional effort is required even when the wood is wet.