When it comes to tackling demanding outdoor tasks, a petrol chainsaw stands out as a formidable tool, delivering raw power and unmatched cutting ability. To help you navigate the myriad options available, we’ve compiled a list of the five best petrol chainsaws that combine reliability, performance, and durability.

UK Petrol Chainsaw Reviews

1. Husqvarna 455 Rancher

Powerful and Versatile

The Husqvarna 455 Rancher secures its spot as one of the best petrol chainsaws on the market. Powered by a robust 55.5cc engine, this chainsaw effortlessly handles heavy-duty cutting tasks. Its 20-inch bar length ensures versatility, allowing it to tackle both small branches and larger logs with ease. Designed for durability, the 455 Rancher incorporates Husqvarna’s X-Torq technology, which enhances fuel efficiency and reduces emissions.

Key Features:

  • Engine Displacement: 55.5cc
  • Bar Length: 20 inches
  • X-Torq technology for fuel efficiency
  • LowVib anti-vibration system for user comfort

2. STIHL MS 271 Farm Boss

Reliable Workhorse

The STIHL MS 271 Farm Boss is a reliable workhorse renowned for its durability and cutting performance. Equipped with a powerful 50.2cc engine, this chainsaw is well-suited for both homeowners and professionals. The Farm Boss features a practical side-access chain tensioner, making adjustments quick and straightforward. With a 20-inch guide bar, it’s an ideal choice for a wide range of applications, from pruning to felling.

Key Features:

  • Engine Displacement: 50.2cc
  • Bar Length: 20 inches
  • Easy-to-use side-access chain tensioner
  • QuickStop Super chain brake for added safety

3. Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf

Built for Tough Jobs

For those seeking a petrol chainsaw built to handle tough jobs, the Echo CS-590 Timber Wolf is a compelling choice. Boasting a robust 59.8cc engine, this chainsaw delivers exceptional power. The professional-grade 20-inch bar and chain ensure efficiency in cutting through thick logs. The decompression valve facilitates easy starting, while the G-Force Engine Air Pre-Cleaner extends the engine’s life by reducing air filter maintenance.

Key Features:

  • Engine Displacement: 59.8cc
  • Bar Length: 20 inches
  • Decompression valve for easy starting
  • G-Force Engine Air Pre-Cleaner for reduced maintenance

4. Makita EA7900P45E

Precision and Performance

Makita’s EA7900P45E stands out for its combination of precision and performance. The 78.5cc engine provides ample power for demanding cutting tasks, and the 18-inch bar ensures versatility. Featuring easy-to-use tool-less chain tensioning, the Makita chainsaw allows for quick adjustments on the go. The spring-assisted starter and mechanical chain brake contribute to user convenience and safety.

Key Features:

  • Engine Displacement: 78.5cc
  • Bar Length: 18 inches
  • Easy-to-use tool-less chain tensioning
  • Spring-assisted starter for effortless starting

5. Poulan Pro PR5020

Affordable Powerhouse

The Poulan Pro PR5020 earns its spot as an affordable powerhouse in the world of petrol chainsaws. Powered by a 50cc engine, this chainsaw is designed for reliability and ease of use. The 20-inch bar ensures versatility in handling various cutting tasks. Featuring the OxyPower engine technology, the PR5020 delivers more power while consuming less fuel, making it an efficient and cost-effective choice.

Key Features:

  • Engine Displacement: 50cc
  • Bar Length: 20 inches
  • OxyPower engine technology for enhanced efficiency
  • Effortless Pull Starting System for quick ignition

Testing for Excellence: Assessing Petrol Chainsaws

Tested by: Iain Pay

In the pursuit of discovering the finest petrol chainsaws, I conducted a thorough evaluation of a diverse range of chainsaw models. My assessment covered key dimensions, ranging from the ease of assembly to power and performance, ensuring a comprehensive analysis of each chainsaw’s strengths and weaknesses. Here is an overview of my testing methodology:

1. Assembly Ease:

  • Duration and Clarity: I measured assembly ease by assessing the time required to put together each chainsaw and the comprehensibility of the accompanying instructions. Petrol chainsaws that could be assembled in under 10 minutes, accompanied by clear instructions and necessary tools, received the highest ratings. Models with intricate or counterintuitive assembly processes were rated lower.

2. Design:

  • Ergonomics: A well-designed petrol chainsaw prioritizes ergonomics, offering users a handle and grip that ensure comfort during operation. Models featuring anti-vibration or cushioned handles earned top marks for enhancing user comfort during prolonged use. Weight distribution, crucial for maneuverability and control, influenced ratings, with higher marks for models that considered and executed balanced designs.

3. Performance:

  • Run Time and Cutting Ability: Performance evaluation involved testing run time and the chainsaw’s cutting efficiency across wood of varying thickness. Chainsaws demonstrating a continuous 3-hour run time and effectively cutting through thick, mature tree trunks received the highest ratings for superior performance.

4. Power:

  • Adequate Power: To effectively cut through trees of different sizes, chainsaws require ample power. Models boasting 3.5 horsepower and above were rated highest, as anything less was deemed insufficient for diverse tasks. Matching power to bar length was crucial, resulting in better ratings for models with a bar length exceeding 40 cm and featuring a 66 cc 2-stroke engine, indicating versatility across various tasks.

5. Ease of Use:

  • User-Friendly Controls: Chainsaws with intuitively designed, well-labeled controls and switches received favorable ease-of-use ratings. Lightweight designs, weighing 5 kg or less, earned the highest ratings for optimal comfort during extended use. Petrol chainsaws incorporating tool-less chain tensioning mechanisms, clear oil level indicators, low vibration, and effortless battery attachment and detachment received superior ratings for user convenience.

6. Safety:

  • Comprehensive Safety Features: Safety took precedence in my evaluation. Chainsaws equipped with a comprehensive array of safety features, including chain brakes, kickback brakes, automatic chain-oiling systems, and protective caps on the chainsaw tip, were awarded top marks. Additional safety elements such as throttle locks, safety interlocking systems, hand guards, and chain catchers were positively rated.

7. Value for Money:

  • Balanced Assessment: The value-for-money assessment involved comparing each chainsaw’s design, performance, power, safety, and ease of assembly and use against its price point. Chainsaws offering a superior combination of features at a reasonable price received the highest ratings for exceptional value.

By employing this detailed testing methodology, I aimed to provide users with a comprehensive and insightful guide to choosing the best petrol chainsaw that aligns with their specific needs and expectations.

A Guide to Choosing the Right Petrol Chainsaw: Tips and Considerations

Tips for Buying a Petrol Chainsaw:

When venturing into the realm of petrol chainsaws, understanding your needs is key. Here are some tips to guide you in making an informed purchase:

  1. Choosing the Right Size:

    • For smaller trunks and logs under 64 cm (25”), opt for a chainsaw with a 36 cm (14”) bar and a 40 cc motor. This size is suitable for most average home users.
    • Medium-intensity tasks, cutting logs up to approximately 80 cm (32”), benefit from a 50 cc motor.
    • For professional or heavy-duty forestry work, a 50 cm (20”) bar is necessary, capable of cutting through wood up to 102 cm (40”) in diameter. Keep in mind that such powerful chainsaws (7 – 9 kg) require adequate upper body strength.
  2. Weight Consideration:

    • If mobility is a concern, especially when moving up and down ladders, aim for a chainsaw closer to 5 kg.
    • Look for a chain-tension dial on the side for convenient adjustments, enhancing user experience compared to front-positioned models.
  3. Comfort and Safety Features:

    • Prioritize ergonomic soft-grip handles for enhanced comfort during operation.
    • Ensure the chainsaw is equipped with a chain safety brake, anti-kickback safety brake, and anti-vibration technology for added protection.
  4. Top Pick Recommendation:

    • After rigorous testing, the Hyundai 62cc Petrol Chainsaw stands out, equipped with a 66 cc 2-stroke petrol engine and a 50 cm (20”) bar. It excels in handling tasks around the farm.

How to Choose the Best Petrol Chainsaw

A petrol chainsaw is a powerful tool, and choosing the right one involves considering various factors. Here’s a buyer’s guide to help you navigate the selection process:

Benefits of a Petrol Chainsaw:

  • Unrestricted Mobility: Unlike mains-powered machines, petrol chainsaws offer freedom of movement in the garden.
  • No Cord Worries: With no risk of slicing through a cord, petrol chainsaws provide hassle-free operation until the fuel runs out.
  • Power and Speed: Petrol models outshine other types in power and speed, making them ideal for heavy-duty tasks.
  • Extended Use: With a longer runtime compared to battery-powered counterparts, petrol chainsaws are suitable for prolonged tasks.
  • Durability: Designed for longevity, properly maintained petrol chainsaws offer durability over time.

Selecting the Right Bar Length:

  • The bar length determines the size of the log or branch that can be cut in one movement. Longer bars are more efficient for larger pieces of wood.
  • Petrol chainsaws typically have longer bars (up to 40 cm), but consider your experience level as longer bars may be harder to control for beginners.

Chain Speed and Tensioning:

  • Petrol models usually boast higher chain speeds (up to 20 m/s) than corded and cordless chainsaw alternatives.
  • Chain tensioning mechanisms vary, with some models featuring a tool, while others offer a dial on the side for tool-free adjustments.

Weight and Ergonomics:

  • Petrol chainsaws are generally heavier, but accessories like a shoulder strap can ease the load during operation.
  • Opt for a comfortable, grippy handle with anti-vibration features to minimize discomfort during use.

Fitness to Operate:

  • Operating a petrol chainsaw requires physical and mental fitness. Ensure you are mobile, alert, possess good vision, balance, and a strong grip.

Operating Your Chainsaw Safely:

  • Protective clothing, including trousers, ear defenders, and a helmet, is essential.
  • Maintain balance and avoid stretching while operating. Kickback can be avoided by handling the chainsaw correctly.
  • Regular maintenance, including checking the brake, oil levels, and keeping the chain sharp with a sharpener, ensures safe operation.

Petrol Chainsaw FAQs:

  • Licence Requirement: In the UK, no license is needed for non-professional operators, but a training course to prove awareness of safety protocols is necessary.
  • Comparison with Electric Chainsaws: Petrol chainsaws offer unmatched power and durability, ideal for substantial tasks. Electric chainsaws are lighter and suitable for less demanding jobs.

In conclusion, a petrol chainsaw is a robust tool, and choosing the right one involves assessing your specific requirements, ensuring safety, and understanding the benefits and considerations unique to this powerful machinery.

Final Thoughts

Investing in a petrol chainsaw opens the door to unparalleled cutting power and versatility. Whether you’re a professional arborist or a homeowner with demanding outdoor projects, the right petrol chainsaw can make all the difference. Consider your specific needs, such as engine power, bar length, and additional features, to find the perfect match for your cutting requirements. With any of these top five petrol chainsaws, you’ll be equipped to tackle even the toughest tasks with confidence and efficiency.

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