Are you looking for chainsaws that arborists can use? Top handle chainsaws are best when working in the garden as they have great rear handle movement and are lightweight. You can use them on treetops without it weighing you down.

You can handle the top chainsaws with one hand making them suitable for competent climbers. Since arborists work on the top-most parts of the tree, they need these eccentric tools with incredible balance.

It would be wise to train before handling the top handle chainsaws to avoid accidents as you would be handling the tools at some height. Even if you choose the best top handle saw in the market, you should use safety equipment when handling the tools.

If you are looking for a chainsaw that will give you the power and durability needed for any job, take a look at the best top handle chainsaws available. We have compiled a list of our nine favorites and provided them with ratings so you know which one is right for your needs.

Top 9 Top Handle Chainsaws Comparison Table

ImageNamePower SourceEngineRating (1-5)
1. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 12-Inch Top Handle Chain SawGas Powered32.2cc4.4
2. Echo Chain Saw, Gas, 12 in. BarGas Powered26.9cc4.7
3. Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Top Handle SawGas Powered35cc4.7
4. DEWALT DCCS620P1 20V MAX XR Chainsaw KitBattery PoweredN/A4.6
5. PINKWAY 2-Cycle Top Handle ChainsawGas Powered26cc4.3
6. COOCHEER 58CC 20 Inch Gas ChainsawsGas Powered58cc4.3
7. CRAFTSMAN 42cc-16 S165 Full Crank 2-Cycle Gas ChainsawGas Powered42cc4.6
8. DEREAL Pro Gas ChainsawGas Powered62cc4.3
9. Makita XCU06T 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 10" Top Handle Chain Saw KitBattery PoweredN/A4.8

What to Consider When Buying a Top Handle Chainsaw

Arborist Saw Safety

Your safety comes first when operating any equipment, and you should check the safety of the top handle chainsaw. You should look at the chain beak mechanism and ensure it uses the best mechanism quality.

For instance, the dual chain brake design would be best as it adds a lot of strength needed when handling the saws.

Ensure the lanyard has extra strength, which makes it possible to fasten to your harness firmly. The fixing should not break when the line snags onto a branch, ensuring the crew on the ground are safe working near the tree base.

Comfortable Chainsaw

When using the handle saw for professional purposes, you would need it for an extended period during the day. If the chainsaw is uncomfortable, it leads to fatigue and, in some cases, might be risky to the arborist.

The chainsaw should provide a comfortable, firm grip which is critical for the operation. It should have features such as adjustable palm rest, which contours your hand. When the chainsaw is ergonomic, it ensures safe operation and promotes better body joint movements, preventing muscle stiffness and joint issues.

The chainsaw should not be too heavy as heavy saws can make your arms outstretched. Muscle fatigue can be an issue, especially when working on treetops and preventing you from using the machine for longer periods.

Saw Maneuverability

The tip chainsaw should be easy to use on treetops with minimum space, and moving around can be complicated. It would be best to move around comfortably with the saw to allow precise cuts, leading to better gardening outcomes.

You should go for compact chainsaw designs that do not inhibit free movement. You should strike an equilibrium when choosing between bar length and compact design as these factors affect the saw maneuverability.

Energy Efficient Chainsaws

The chainsaws should have a high fuel economy, reducing the cost of production. You should not spend so much energy when trimming your garden trees. Unique X-Torq chainsaws engines which reduce emission by 75% can reduce the fuel costs by 20%.

Therefore, it would be wise to consider the engine and the energy consumption when buying commercial and DIY chainsaws.

You can opt for an auto-tuning engine that compensates for the air filter with a fuel mix. They are good with altitude and will offer maximum performance in any weather conditions.

Chainsaws Fitted With Air Injection

The air injection reduces wear which elongates the chainsaw lifespan. They are good for filter mechanisms and make your work easier when trimming your trees. Air injections are good as it makes the handle chainsaw buoyant and lightweight when climbing trees.

Top 5 Best Top Handle Chainsaw Reviews

1. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 12-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw

The Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 32.2cc 12-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw is one of the best woodcutters built for DIY projects and commercial purposes. It makes tree shaping, pruning, and cutting easy, and you should get it when considering shaping the garden trees by yourself.

It has a 32.2 cc and 2-stroke commercial-grade pure fire engine which produces clean and powerful energy for tree shaping. It is the best top handle chainsaw with the best fire engine, using 2-stroke ultra-low emissions without more internal moving parts.

The fitted sprocket nose bar offers more control, an Oregon chain that provides more control for easy cutting.

It offers a simple operation with an automatic gear-driven oiler and chain tensioning, which offers convenient adjustment. It has a purge primer bulb which is easy to start and warm when using the top handle chainsaw in chilly weather.

The air filter uses anti-vibration technology which ensures the user’s comfort, and the lanyard ring offers easy climbing due to its outstanding power-to-weight ratio. The saw is highly ergonomic and reduces users’ fatigue when shaping a tree resulting in high productivity.

Since the top handle chainsaw is of professional grade, it might be used to cut through wood, metal concrete and can be used for drilling and fastening.

The company believes in high-quality craftsmanship and thus believes in thorough research and production of powerful tools. Tanaka offers 7-year consumer, 2-year commercial, and 1-year rental warranties, showing their confidence in the machines.

  • It is compact and easily portable
  • Starts quickly
  • Less fuel consumption
  • Has an auto-greasing and effortless tension adjustment system
  • The machine is commercial-grade and can be used for DIY projects
  • It can over-oil itself
  • The chain might come off after using it for a long period

2. Echo Chain Saw, Gas, 12 in. Bar

The Echo Chain Saw is lightweight and is better for DIY projects. It weighs about 11.0 pounds making it easy to carry around and is lightweight for high tree-climbing pruning. It is the best top handle chainsaw with a light design and produces a powerful 26.9cc 2-stroke professional cut.

It is better for cutting wooden materials due to its light-duty attributes. The chainsaw has a 12-inch bar chain system which offers enough cutting edge for the woodwork. It offers the best bar and chain length, which ensures its parts run smoothly.

It has an automatic clutch-driven oiler that uses less oil to lubricate the moving parts. You can easily start this top handle chainsaw with a simple pull due to its i-30TM, which needs less effort.

You can easily adjust the tension on the chain using the side access chain tensioner, taking away the tensioning hassle. The chainsaw uses a G-Force air pre-cleaner which ensures the engine runs smoothly due to clean air supply.

Its inertia-type chain brake ensures safety when handling the saw, and you don’t have to worry about hazards when shaping your garden.

  • The chainsaw has handles which vibrations from cutting
  • It is lightweight and has high portability
  • The chain brake is safe
  • Uses less fuel
  • It is easy to use
  • It is not suitable for heavy-duty

3. Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Top Handle Saw

The Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Top Handle Saw has a powerful 35cc gas-powered engine that can easily cut through any wooden material. The engine has low emissions and would not cause environmental concerns.

It delivers impressive power with the adjustable pump, which puts you in control of the flow depending on the weather and application of the machine. It reduces oil wastage, thus saving on running the saw.

The chain tension adjustability reduces chain tension with its efficient features. Thus, it makes it possible to easily work on the tree tops without worrying about the complexity of the chain system.

The chainsaw’s cool feature works to protect the engine’s longevity. It has a centrifugal air injection which removes dust particles into the chainsaw when trimming the tree. It protects your handle from debris through clean air injection.

It offers user safety with an inertia-activated chain brake. It also has Husqvarna’s technology which reduces vibrations on the handle, reducing arm fatigue.

  • The chainsaw has low exhaust emission
  • Air injection cleaning system which protects the engine
  • Low vibrations reduce user fatigue
  • Has an easy-adjust oil and fuel consumption
  • Sometimes it might fuel leakage issues
  • Manipulating the chain is the difficulty

4. DEWALT DCCS620P1 20V MAX XR Chainsaw Kit

The DEWALT DCCS620P1 20V MAX XR Chainsaw Kit uses a 20V battery which has high efficient power with a magnificent brushless motor that delivers power to the chain, which does the cutting.

A brushless system runs longer and is more durable, serving you for an extended time. It has a free-chain tension adjuster, which works excellently without any tool. You would not need a tool to adjust the tension on the chain as it comes with a tension-free chain.

It is suitable for gardening since the top handle chainsaw is portable and is cordless and lightweight. This amazing motor generates a high chain speed per second to cut the wood materials easily.

  • Has durable, powerful brushless motor
  • It has a tool-free chain tension which is effective
  • It runs for long hours
  • It is lightweight and compact
  • It is comfortable when in use
  • You might have difficulty cutting bigger materials
  • Can leak oil
  • The tightening mechanism can flex easily

5. PINKWAY 2-Cycle Top Handle Chainsaw

The PINKWAY 2-Cycle Top Handle Chainsaw is an essential gardening tool for cutting both live and dead branches quickly without straining your body. Its quickstart technology pulls the chain with just a couple of turns, minimizing frustrating situations in which you have to sit with your legs splayed wide apart until the engine starts up.

The powerful 2 stroke gasoline engine delivers strong power to the steel bar and low-kickback chain, while its durable design ensures stability and durability whether you are pruning shrubs or harvesting firewood.

It comes with 10-inch and 12-inch 2pcs chains so you can use the right size for every job. Installation is a snap because these safety devices help stop it from accidentally being switched on when it shouldn’t be while balance and maneuverability make this saw easy to work with too.

It has ergonomic design which saves you from pushing the machine with your arm muscles when sawing in a horizontal position.

The air cleaner system prolongs its usable life while keeping your bar oiled for when it’s time to go to work. It also comes fitted with a safety device that will keep it from accidentally turning on in your workshop when not in use.

  • It is good quality
  • It has an easy to start pull rope
  • It comes with a screwdriver wrench storage
  • Carburetor is easy to adjust with the included screwdriver
  • It can take awhile for the oil pump to pick up oil

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Top Handle Chainsaws Used For?

The top handle chainsaw is a type of chainsaw that places the top handgrip on the top of the machine rather than on the bottom. It’s an alternate design to the traditional chainsaw that many people use in their everyday life.

The top handle chainsaw is used to cut wood, fell small trees, pry roots, and cut limbs up to 2 inches in diameter.

Which Is Better, A Top Handle or A Rear Handle Chainsaw?

A top handle is better for gardening as it is possible to work on treetops with little space for movement. It is portable and some come with cordless power sources making them suitable for tree pruning and trimming.

When Should You Use a Top Handle on a Chainsaw?

The chainsaw is used for pruning work when standing on the ground. It ensures high-quality pruning and is safer than the rear handle saw. It might not be useful for cutting wood and other materials on the ground

What is the Advantage of a Top Handle Chainsaw?

The top handle chainsaw provides comfortable grips, making it easier to work in the garden, as the user has maximum control of the tool. They are easy to move around, helping maneuverability at work.

The chainsaws also feature strong safety features like belt eyelet and strop attachment, ensuring user safety in the garden. The air injection also reduces wear on the device and promotes dust filtering.

What is the Best Top Handle Chainsaw Brands?

Although you can find several good top-handle saws, Tanaka TCS33EDTP and Echo Chainsaws are among the best chainsaws in the market.

How to Hold a Top Handle Chainsaw When Starting?

You can use the left hand to handle the chainsaw, such that you place it on top of the front handle, and the right knee should be near the rear of the top handle. However, you should hold the starter with the right hand.

Is it Illegal to Use a Top Handle Chainsaw on the ground?

Although it is not illegal to use the top handle chainsaws on the ground, they are only suitable for off-the-ground operations.

Are Top Handle Chainsaws Dangerous?

The top chainsaws are not dangerous. However, you should be careful using them as they are sharp and powerful.


Gardening can be a challenge when you don’t have the right tools, and the top handle chainsaw is among the gardening tools which can make your work easier. Top handle chainsaws are used to prune, trim trees and work on other gardening needs above the ground.

The best top handle chainsaw should be portable with a cordless power source, and you should choose one which makes it possible to maneuver the small spaces. Good luck finding a suitable top handle chainsaw that can meet your gardening needs.