7 Best Budget Chainsaw to Buy in 2022

A chainsaw is probably one of the most versatile tools you can use for woodworking. So do you need entire weaponry of these? Or do you need to invest a fortune? Now you can choose the best budget chainsaw that does most jobs reasonably well.

Top Pick
BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Chainsaw,...
Runner Up
Sun Joe SWJ803E 10 inch 8.0 Amp Electric...
Premium Pick
Greenworks 40V 12-Inch Cordless...
Takes no tools to adjust
Reasonable price
Batteries compatible across Greenworks devices
Premium Pick
Greenworks 40V 12-Inch Cordless...
Batteries compatible across Greenworks devices

You may take a risk with an unknown vendor or search among products by established brands. Versatility also enhances the abilities of most tools when it comes to accessories. And while the one by Black+Decker seems the obvious leader in multiple respects, other models can win you as well.

Top 7 Best Budget Chainsaws Reviewed

  1. Black+Decker LCS1020B (10”)— Our Top Pick
  2. Sun Joe SWJ803E (10”)— Runner Up
  3. Greenworks 20262 (12”)— Premium Pick
  4. Worx WG303.1 (16”)
  5. Oregon CS1400 (16”)
  6. Black+Decker CS1518 (18”)
  7. Craftsman CMECS600 (16”)

1. BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Cordless Chainsaw: Top Pick

It’s a chainsaw by one of the most celebrated manufacturers (since 1910, but now it has merged with Stanley Works, carrying on its traditions independently). Black+Decker has a unique experience with tools and remains popular. As for this chainsaw, it’s a basic one that doesn’t contest for being the longest, yet it gets most jobs done.

It’s a rather compact one with a 10″ blade. The 20V engine is capable of 3.5 HP, powered by a Li-Ion battery which provides up to 35-45 minutes for intensive work. What many appreciate the most is low kickback, partly because of sheer size and elaborate engineering jobs. The tension adjustment system is built-in and requires no tools. You can easily add oil to keep the bar and the chain lubricated. The double handle provides comfort and safety.

Optionally, it comes with a leaf collection bin and an extra battery. It takes about 2 hours to charge the battery, so you may need another. Still, if you buy this saw for use in your household, you may be good with one—especially given its price under $90.

  • Ease of use: 9.0
  • Maneuverability: 9.2
  • Light weight: 9.2
  • Performance: 8.2
Positives:
  • Lightweight
  • Takes no tools to adjust
  • Low kickback
  • Affordable
  • Many purchase options
Could be better:
  • Not for felling big trees
  • You may need an extra battery for a longer session

2. Sun Joe SWJ803E 10 inch 8.0 Amp: Runner Up

Though Sun Joe is a subbrand of a Chinese brand Snow Joe, its presence on the American market implies a certain level of certification and customer support, along with lower price and comparable quality. This is the 10″ pole chainsaw in a rather unusual shape that allows you to reach high branches and remote corners.

This saw on a long telescopic pole (5.8 to 8.8 feet) is well fit for cutting high (but not thick) branches. You can adjust the angle of the head with the bar from 0° to 30°, so the horizontal branch is cut from above. It’s also easy to clean problem spots on the ground where branches form knots too hard to reach.

The chainsaw is corded, but it’s not too much of a drawback: a battery would have made it heavier and harder to operate. The 8-amp engine performs well when corded but would drain a battery too soon. It would have been great to have the head detached from the pole and used as a standalone chainsaw, but, alas, no. Still, the price above $100 is a great choice.

  • Ease of use: 8.8
  • Maneuverability: 8.6
  • Light weight: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.2
Positives:
  • Pole construction
  • A powerful engine
  • Easy adjustments
  • Lightweight
  • Reasonable price
Could be better:
  • Non-detachable from the pole
  • Corded only

3. Greenworks 40V 12” Cordless Chainsaw: Premium Pick

Greenworks, which originated in China, has established its good reputation quite well; this chainsaw is a good example. It’s a bit bigger than one by Black+Decker; its bar is 12″ long, and the motor is as powerful as 40V. Yet its weight is only 6 lbs., which makes it an extremely comfortable pick for most household works as long as thick trees aren’t felled.

Onboard, it has tool-less tuning, automatic oiling, easy chain tension adjustment, and a battery capacity to power the chainsaw for up to 65 cuts. It depends on the thickness of the branch, the work intensity, and many other factors. But it can well last for an hour or more when charged.

Don’t get disappointed by its being seemingly slower than it should. Of course, this is still a household tool rather than a professional one, but it’s great for keeping your yard and garden. The batteries are compatible with other equipment by Greenworks, say, a lawnmower.

  • Ease of use: 9.0
  • Maneuverability: 9.2
  • Light weight: 9.2
  • Performance: 8.8
Positives:
  • Good performance
  • Decent protection
  • A powerful motor
  • No-tool adjustments
  • Batteries compatible across Greenworks devices
Could be better:
  • Still a household tool
  • Comes without oil

4. WORX WG303.1 14.5 Amp 16″: Cord Means Power

Worx by Positec is another Chinese tool brand well represented in North America, granting a certain quality and support level. If you like it simple and feel good with a relatively new manufacturer, this one is worth a shot: affordable, simple, and rather big for handling thicker branches.

The tool has several great features, like an auto-tensioning mechanism, a quick stop, and an automatic oiling system. As for ergonomics, it has an ergonomic anti-slip handle. While the protective screen is absent (which is okay for this size), there is a metal spike bumper instead, preventing kickback and enabling the saw to grip the wood better.

It is powered by a 14.5Amp motor, providing enough force, but the low-kickback system makes it operable. Logically, a corded chainsaw combines force and maneuverability, so this one will require a 15A extension cord.
The tool is under $70, one of the most affordable on our list. You can also buy it with extra oil, making it ready to work after unpacking. This may be the one if you’re looking for the best cheapest chainsaw.

  • Ease of use: 8.8
  • Maneuverability: 8.6
  • Light weight: 8.4
  • Performance: 8.6
Positives:
  • Quite powerful
  • 16” bar
  • Everything ergonomic
  • Low kickback
  • Very affordable
Could be better:
  • Corded (if it matters for you)
  • The tension needs frequent adjusting

5. Oregon CS1400 15 Amp: Affordable Chainsaw for Any Budget

Oregon Tool has been around since 1947 and built its reputation by making affordable quality tools; this 16″ chainsaw is no exception.

Its motor is a bit more potent at 15A, but the vibration level and kickback are lower due to crafty construction. It also has better protection and an over-mold handle with an anti-slip coating. The tool has lots of features that make using it easier, including automatic oiling, quick start, emergency stop, and tension adjustment knob.

Everyone will appreciate a low noise level during cutting and between cuts. Partly it can be attributed to the engine and the body, partly to the premium-class chain it comes with. This chain was designed for professional use and complies with safety requirements better than expected.

You have to work hard to make this one heat up. Even if you cut thicker branches and logs, up to 14″ or even thicker than its bar length, it doesn’t generate too much heat when properly oiled. Given its price of over $100, there’s nothing else to wish for (except maybe a built-in chain sharpener).

  • Ease of use: 9.6
  • Maneuverability: 9.0
  • Lightweight: 8.8
  • Performance: 9.1
Positives:
  • Great performance
  • Comes with a premium-class chain
  • Simple setup
  • Very quiet
Could be better:
  • A more expensive one
  • Poor compatibility with accessories

6. Black & Decker CS1518: Best Value From This Brand

If you want a bigger one by Black+Decker, here comes this 18″ one. It’s also running a 15A motor, and it’s also corded. But this is the only thing to limit your maneuverability, even with this long one. It’s designed to make easy cuts at virtually any angle, including making cuts from below.

It has everything a modern electric chainsaw needs: tool-free tension adjusting, chain break, automatic oiling, and a translucent window, so you see when it’s time to add more oil. The low kickback design is precious with this size. This one is not subject to overheating unless you sweat it hard.

Its size and weight make it well controllable due to convenient handles. It also vibrates rather strongly, like an 18″ tool is supposed to. Its price is surprisingly just about $65. It may come with a leaf collection bin, a replacement chain, safety glasses, or gloves. And yet the quality is what you might expect from the brand.

  • Ease of use: 9.0
  • Maneuverability: 8.6
  • Lightweight: 8.2
  • Performance: 9.3
Positives:
  • Very powerful
  • Easy to maintain
  • Various kits
  • Low oil consumption
  • Very affordable
Could be better:
  • The bar seems rather thin
  • You may not need such a big one

7. Craftsman CMECS600: No Need to Prime

And here is another one by a brand owned by Stanley Black+Decker. You might expect true American quality here, and yes, here it is. It’s another 16″ corded chainsaw that differs from its counterparts reviewed earlier by its 12A motor. This model seems weaker than the rest but indeed performs surprisingly well. Being corded, it can handle trunks and branches thicker than the bar length.

An auto-oiling system and a window to see the oil level are great. So is the built-in tensioning tool, which makes adjusting easy, and the relatively weaker motor results in low kickback and vibration.

There is no need to prime the saw before using it. With Craftsman CMECS600, you can start right after unpacking. Alas, assembling it is not easy, because the manual doesn’t cover it as fully as we’d like. Also, ensure your oil cap is put on correctly to avoid chain jumping off. Given its price of under $90, it’s a good cheap chainsaw that does its job really well.

  • Ease of use: 8.8
  • Maneuverability: 9.0
  • Lightweight: 8.8
  • Performance: 8.7
Positives:
  • Powerful enough
  • Low kickback and vibration
  • Automatized well
  • Very affordable
  • No need to prime
Could be better:
  • Tricky to assemble
  • The chain may jump off unless oiled well

Buyer’s Guide

Chainsaw Worx WG303.1 (16”)

After reading all these reviews, you may still remain uncertain about the best budget chainsaw. The best value is the balance between the price and the abilities, but which ones do you really need? Here is a brief guide to help you understand which chainsaw is the best for you.

What to look for when picking a chainsaw:

Electric chainsaws are mostly home devices where you can pull an extension cord right around the nearest socket. The ones I reviewed here are great for your yard or garden near the house; otherwise, if you work away from home or do harder, longer tasks, you’ll need a gas saw.

So, what you wish from such a tool may relate to any chainsaw or just an electric one. Here are the primary concerns for you to consider before buying.

Bar length

It is a primary concern, given that every tree or branch you’re about to cut has a specific diameter. The thicker they are, the longer bar they need to take down. The bar length often defines other saw properties (weight, maneuverability, power source, etc.).

Safety and protection

All these chainsaws come with anti-slip handles and extra protection screens at the bar. Still, none of them eliminates the need for glasses and gloves to protect your eyes and hands. You better try it with your own hands, though, to make sure it’s comfortable for you.

Chainsaw parts

Major manufacturers provide various replacements and accessories, from bars and chains (sometimes interchangeable across types, sometimes identical to yours). They also supply oil to be compatible with your chainsaw. Some models are compatible with accessories by other vendors, especially if they are, in fact, subsidiaries of the same company (like Craftsman and Black+Decker).

Types of chainsaw motors

However, you should be concerned about these if you choose a gas-powered chainsaw. Among electric models, there are no big differences beyond pure power.

Design

It is not about the looks only, but comfort as well. In addition, these tools should catch your eye to be easily found and not left outdoors. So the color matters. Orange or red is preferable, but Greenworks is okay with its trademark bright green as well.

Weight

Again, no matter how attractive the tool looks on Amazon, you better try lifting it up to decide whether you’ll feel comfortable using it. Still, even the heaviest electric chainsaws are significantly lighter than gas models.

Price

Nowadays, you can find an affordable chainsaw for under $100, but some are even cheaper. But don’t just search for the lowest price regardless of the rest.

Special chainsaw properties

These may include:

  • Design and ergonomics. The only common advice is to do the choosing with your hands.
  • Need for priming. Usually, you need to prime a chainsaw by running it for some minutes before the first actual use (it’s rather common with gas-powered saws, but electric models may also need this procedure for proper oiling and making sure it functions). Some models, though, bypass this stage.
  • Oil tank window. Alas, not all the models have it. But this feature lets you see whether you need to refill the tank with oil.
  • Pole. It is a must if you have to trim branches high but want to avoid ladders. Poled models are not as popular, but they are a must for certain tasks. Among the reviewed ones, there is only one with a pole.

Choosing the Best Value Chainsaw: Buying Guide

Chainsaw Oregon CS1400 (16”)

Even though any value product is a compromise, you can choose what’s important for you and what is not so much. So, what should you look for in a budget chainsaw? Here is something to think about.

What can you expect from a budget chainsaw?

A budget chainsaw is suitable for a specific range of tasks that usually involve household work. Trimming your garden, removing dry or misplaced branches, felling, and processing not-so-big trees, and cutting them can be done with a budget chainsaw. These models have certain limitations:

  • As they are electric, you need a socket nearby and a durable, powerful extension cord that can handle the power necessary for this tool. A battery-powered one won’t provide much work time unless you have replacement batteries (that still require charging).
  • These saws are not powerful enough to fell or process huge trees. Probably, you’re not searching for such a job.
  • They are weather-sensitive. You better refrain from using electric equipment outdoors if it’s raining or snowing.

What type of cheap chainsaw can you get?

Usually, it’s an inexpensive electric chainsaw. Smaller models (10-12″) are battery-powered, while bigger ones are corded. The performance of the best ones still holds up well compared to gas models or more expensive electric ones.

If the tool is sold in the U.S., it complies with safety regulations. Also, you can expect a decent manual, though some manufacturers fail this job. They are all optimized for American power standards and equipped with chargers or plugs compatible with outlets.

FAQ

Chainsaw Greenworks 20262 (12”)

There are always questions about tools like modern chainsaws, given how advanced they have grown in recent decades.

What is the best inexpensive chainsaw?

It may be either a small (10-12”) battery-operated chainsaw or a bigger corded one. These types are the best value and suitable for everyday home and garden operations.

How much is a good chainsaw?

You may find ones under $70, though decent models are slightly above $100. Still, if you opt for a corded one, you will need a compatible extension cord which may cost nearly as much as the saw itself.

What is the best small chainsaw to buy?

Other things being equal, search among models by established manufacturers. Chinese companies make rather decent ones in this segment for a lower price, but there are ones like our top pick by Black+Decker that don’t cost an arm and a leg (unless you neglect safety).

Is a battery-powered one better than corded?

If you use it for small works, then maybe it is. But if you intend to cut trees or branches thicker than 10″, you will need a bigger one, mainly corded, if you want to avoid gas completely.

Take Your Chainsaw

The right pick mostly depends on the kind of work you need. If you buy an inappropriate tool, its value is zeroed by the wrong choice. So, I’d recommend you take a walk around your property or working site and then return with a clearer view. And while Black+Decker LCS1020B is the one for most situations, you may find a different one better suitable.

Best budget chainsaw — comparison table

The ModelEase of useManeuverabilityLight weightPerformance
Black+Decker LCS1020B (10”)9.09.29.28.2
Sun Joe SWJ803E (10”)8.88.67.08.2
Greenworks 20262 (12”)9.09.29.28.8
Worx WG303.1 (16”)8.88.68.48.6
Oregon CS1400 (16”)9.69.08.89.1
Black+Decker CS1518 (18”)9.08.68.29.3
Craftsman CMECS600 (16”)8.89.08.88.7

This table can help you choose the best; some cannot be compared directly simply because of their size and bar length, so choose carefully.

What do you pay attention to when picking a chainsaw? What model do you like the best? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Sean Chapman

Sean Chapman

My ultimate goal is to provide insights that will help you effectively determine whether this or that tool or product suits your needs/budget or not. I test out home improvement tools at work on a daily basis and enjoy sharing my knowledge with D.I.Y-ers who have similar questions to the ones I used to have. I realize how important choosing the right tools is, that’s why my approach to every review I publish is very responsible.

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