Best Chainsaw For Arborist: Suitable For The Kind Of Work You Do

best chainsaw for arborist

The best chainsaw for arborist is not the typical tool that homeowners use for yard work. Instead, these are fitted with unique features that make them suitable for the kind of work you do. For instance, some of them have more powerful engines that run twice as fast as conventional models.


The profession of arborist involves spending a lot of time outdoors, planting, pruning, and felling trees. Given the needs of this job, having a professional-grade chainsaw is a must.

That said, there are so many chainsaws advertised as being professional-grade. This can make finding the best chainsaw for an arborist time-consuming and tasking. Luckily, we’ve done the legwork of research for you and come up with the best reviewed tools that you can rely on.

Quick Comparison: Best Chainsaw For Arborist

What to Look for When Choosing a Chainsaw for an Arborist

Before we recommend a few chainsaws, let’s take a look at some of the things you should pay attention to when buying this piece of equipment.

Guide Bar Length

The first thing you should check when getting a chainsaw is the length of the guide bar. Typically, the longer the bar, the more powerful it is.

The bar length of most chainsaws starts at 6 inches, and it increases in intervals of 2 inches all the way up to 24 inches.

Smaller-sized chainsaws are equipped with more safety features because they’re trickier to work with. For instance, they might be designed in such a way that allows you to hold a portion of the wood you’re cutting.

However, these models are not as common as bigger chainsaws. In fact, the minimum length of a standard chainsaw is 8 inches.

If your work mainly involves pruning trees or cutting through narrow pieces of wood, a small chainsaw can get the job done. But if you’ll be working with thick trees or doing more heavy-duty tasks, you’ll need a longer guide bar, preferably one with blades that are 16 to 24 inches long.

Source of Power

Based on their sources of power, chainsaws can be classified into three main categories:

  • Gas
  • Corded electric
  • Battery-powered

When choosing between these options, consider the kind of sawing you do, how frequently you do it, and accessibility to a power outlet.


For professional use, a gas chainsaw is the most suitable because it generates a significant amount of power. But even then, you’ll want to consider all the pros and cons of this tool.

The downsides to using a gas-powered chainsaw are that it’s challenging to start compared to its electric cousins. Plus, it runs on a combination of gas and oil which you’ll have to mix every other time or purchase one that’s pre-mixed.

You’re probably wondering how long a single tank of fuel will last. Well, there’s no straightforward answer as this will depend on the size of the motor, sharpness of the chain, and how the saw is being used. But overall, a tank of gas can take you through 30 minutes to 2 hours of cutting. Besides, you can always carry an additional tank of gas to refuel when the need arises.

Another upside of this chainsaw is that it’s highly portable. You can take it to your job site and not have to worry about looking for an external power outlet or hauling an extension cable while you work.

Corded electric

This type of chainsaw is powered by electricity, and it has to be plugged in to function. So if you need to roam around as you work, you’ll need to invest in a long extension cord.

The problem with this is that you’ll always be confined to the perimeter where your cable reaches. This makes it a poor candidate for the kind of work an arborist does. However, if your job involves felling trees within a small area, then it might be a good fit.

Another point to consider is the amount of power the corded electric chainsaw produces. This is usually measured in terms of amperage or amps. The higher the amperage, the more powerful it is.


Initially, battery-driven chainsaws were somewhat of a gimmick, with the majority being an unreliable lot. But since the invention of lithium-ion batteries, these tools have improved both in power and runtime.

So even if they can’t beat the gas-powered models, they’re not so far behind that you can automatically dismiss them as an option.

The biggest perk of investing in these chainsaws is their portability. Since they run on batteries, you can simply carry a charged battery pack for replacement in case the first one runs dry. By the time the second battery runs low, you’ll have recharged the first one and swap it out.

Sure, this might not be as easy as it sounds since you’ll need to have access to electricity. But if you’re not planning to work for a long time, the two batteries might be all you need.

Ease of Use

Considering that you’ll be using this tool for several hours every day, it’s essential that you invest in a user-friendly model. That means that it shouldn’t feel too heavy, have awkwardly-positioned handles, or feel off-balance.

Such problems can take a toll on your body, not to mention, they increase the risk of injury. To avoid this, look for a chainsaw that has a weight you can handle.

It’s also vital that you get a feel of the device before rushing to make any payment. Ideally, it ought to feel centered and well-balanced. Similarly, the handles should have an ergonomic design, giving you a comfortable but steady grip.

Safety Features

You don’t have to watch a horror film to realize how dangerous these tools are. Every year, at least 36,000 people end up in the hospital because of chainsaw accidents. Thus, one of the most important aspects to check is whether the chainsaw has safety mechanisms in place.

For a gas-powered model, it should be equipped with a chain brake. This element is designed to stop the chain from spinning once it detects problems instantly. In particular, the chain brake is triggered by two things.

The first is the inertia force. In other words, if the chainsaw senses that it’s rotating too fast, it will bring the chain to a halt. This is very useful in instances where you accidentally drop the chainsaw.

The second way this system is activated is if you thrust the handle forward on top of the chainsaw. Doing so enables you to stop the chain from rotating any further.

For an electric model, the safety feature is known as an electric brake. This one works by reversing the flow of current through the chainsaw; hence, impeding the blade from rotating.

While the chain and electric brakes won’t prevent kickback entirely, they help to minimize it to a great extent. Kickback is the term used to refer to the abrupt, and unexpected forceful motion of an operating chain saw.

In addition to these brakes, low-kickback bars are other components that enhance your safety. These also work by minimizing kickback, and they’re an essential feature to get if you’re an inexperienced arborist.

5 Best Chainsaws for Arborists Reviews & Buying Guide

1. Makita EA6100PREL 18" 61 cc Chainsaw


One thing that you might struggle with when looking for a chainsaw is getting one that strikes a good balance between weight and power. If you’re experiencing this, consider buying Makita EA6100PREL.

Top Features

Powered by an impressive 61cc engine and tipping the scales at just 13.2 pounds, this chainsaw is a beauty to behold.

With such a lightweight design, you’ll be able to use it for hours without getting fatigued. Better yet, the 61cc engine generates a power output of almost 4.6HP; hence, it performs like a beast.

Also worth pointing out is its 18-inch chain bar. Even though some chainsaws have longer guide bars, the 18-inch length is ideal for cutting through medium-size wood.

For enhanced durability, the chainsaw has been fitted with a heavy-duty cartridge air filter. Some parts are also housed with magnesium to protect against high impact.


  • Powerful thanks to the 61cc engine
  • Lightweight; hence easy to work with for prolonged periods
  • The heavy-duty cartridge air filter and magnesium housing improve durability
  • Comes with a spring-assisted starter to facilitate quick and seamless starts
  • Minimal vibrations


  • Expensive

Video: MAKITA 61 cc Professional Chain Saw (EA6100PR)

2. Echo 20" CS 590 60 cc Gas Chainsaw


Have you been searching for a chainsaw suitable for heavy-duty use? Look no further than the Echo CS-590 Chainsaw.

Top Features

The most notable characteristic of the CS-590 is that a 59.88cc 2-stroke engine powers it. This provides enough power to cut through nearly all types of wood, including hardwood.

Weighing 17 pounds, this chainsaw is designed to accommodate bars from 16 inches to 27 inches in length. This way, you have a variety of choices to pick from depending on the type of wood you’re handling. However, this particular chainsaw has a 20-inch bar.

Another noteworthy feature of the CS- 590 is the decompression valve. This component works by removing pressure from the combustion chamber; hence, making it easier to pull on the cord and start the motor.

With a chainsaw as powerful as the CS 590, it must have a good number of safety features. Thankfully, it does not disappoint.

For one, it has a reduced kickback bar which minimizes the possibility and severity of kickback. It also comes with a chain catcher that protects your hand in case the chain breaks when you’re using the saw.


  • Ample power for the most demanding jobs
  • Superb cutting ability
  • Can accommodate different bar sizes; hence versatile
  • Has several safety features such as chain catcher
  • No issues starting the motor


  • It’s a bulky piece of equipment
  • Does not come with a carry case

Video: ECHO CS-590 Timberwolf - How Good Is It - Bar/Chain Install

3. Husqvarna 20" 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw


For nearly three decades, Husqvarna has been a reputable brand in the outdoor equipment space. Thus, it’s not surprising that one of their tools: the 455 Rancher Gas Chainsaw, is a top-rated model on the market.

Top Features

This chainsaw boasts a ton of features meant to make your life as an arborist so much easier. For one, its 20-inch blade cuts at lightning speed, and this allows you to get more work done within a short period.

Like every other Husqvarna chainsaw, the Rancher also uses the proprietary X-torq engine. This power source is revered for lower emissions and better fuel efficiency, giving you a refined and eco-friendly way of cutting.

The only quarrel I have with this chainsaw is its small fuel tank, which has a capacity of only 14.88 oz. This means that you’ll be forced to refuel the tank every half an hour or so.


  • Being a gas-powered model, it does not need any external power source
  • The X-torq technology minimizes emissions while providing lower consumption of fuel
  • The quick-release air filter makes it easy to clean or replace
  • Chain tensioning system is mounted on the side; thus readily accessible


  • Small fuel tank capacity

Video: Husqvarna 455 Rancher - We ask the Pro

4. DEWALT DCM575X1 XR Flexvolt Chainsaw (1x9 Ah Battery) 54V


If you swear by battery-powered equipment, the Dewalt Flexvolt Chainsaw is perfect for your needs.

Top Features

From the minute you hold this chainsaw in your hand, it’s evident that it’s going to be easy to work with. The handles are ergonomically designed with soft grip making them comfortable to hold for an extended period. Even better, the device weighs only 12.2 lbs.

Furthermore, the Flexvolt is equipped with a trigger switch that lets you regulate the amount of power coming from the brushless motor.

Another attractive feature of this chainsaw is the 16-inch guide bar. With such length, you’ll be able to cut through most tree trunks and longs in a single swoop. The best part is: the chain employs a self-lubricating mechanism meaning that you don’t have to conduct maintenance too often.

As mentioned earlier, safety is a big deal when using chainsaws. DeWalt has made your safety a priority by adding a massive chain guard. This, combined with the chain brake, protect your hands in case of a kickback during operation.

Despite all these amazing features, the real icing on the cake is DeWalt’s Flexvolt technology. Not only is Flexvolt the latest invention from DeWalt, but it’s also one of their best.

The way this works is that it ensures the battery operates in optimal condition. Plus, it drains a negligible amount of battery life, allowing you to work uninterrupted for longer.


  • Impressive power and torque for a battery-driven chainsaw
  • Has excellent ergonomic fatigue that minimizes fatigue when working for long periods
  • Easy to start
  • Tool-less auto tensioning system


  • You have to extract oil after use to avoid leakage
  • You need to be cautious when cutting small twigs.
  • This is because they can be drawn into the housing and cause the chain to be thrust from the blade.

Video: DeWalt DCM575X1 CUT 54v FLex Volt

5. Remington RM4620 Outlaw 46 cc 2-Cycle 20" Gas Powered Chainsaw


Even on a limited budget, you can get a quality chainsaw like the Remington RM4620. And though it has a couple of flaws, it has decent features that will serve you well.

Top Features

This reliable chainsaw uses a 46 cc 2-cycle engine, capable of handling average cutting tasks. But what makes its engine unique is the die-cast chassis and chrome cylinder that provide utmost durability.

The auto tensioning system, which is located on the side for easy access, keeps the chain steady during prolonged use.

Also worth pointing out is the 20-inch guide bar, which is powerful enough to cut through thick trees efficiently and quickly.


  • Reasonably-priced
  • Comes with die-cast chassis and chrome cylinder for durability
  • Ergonomic design allows for extended operation
  • Comes with a carrying case


  • Not as powerful as other gas-powered chainsaws
  • Consumes gas too quickly

Video: Remington RM4620 Chainsaw - Unboxing


Can chainsaw blades be interchanged?

Yes. With most models, it’s possible to swap out the guide bars and chains. The only condition is that they should be compatible with the machine. Simply put; the guide and chain that you use as a replacement should be able to work in that chainsaw.

Are chainsaws prone to overheating?

Yes, they are. Like any other power tool, a chainsaw can overheat, especially if it’s a gas-powered model that’s operating at very high temperatures. To prevent this, ensure you perform regular maintenance and clean your saw regularly.

Do chainsaws require lubrication?

Yes, they do. A chainsaw that’s not lubricated can cease to function correctly. Lubricating helps in three main ways. One, it helps your device to run smoothly. Two, it prevents overheating and lastly; it reduces wear and tears over time.

Can chainsaws leak oil?

Yes. Lubricating your chainsaw on a regular basis is not enough. You also need to check it for possible oil leakage. To prevent leaking, follow the instructions given at the time of purchase. Also, clean your machine properly so that you’re able to identify leaking areas and repair them in time.

Conclusion & Best Offer

In our article, the Makita EA6100PREL was our favorite chainsaw for arborists. Featuring a 61cc engine, this tool has excellent power. 

Plus, it weighs a measly 13.2 lbs. Enabling you to work for a long time without getting overly fatigued.

The Alternative

But given its price, not everyone might be able to afford. A more economical solution would be Echo CS-590, which is also quite powerful.

Echo 20" CS 590 60 cc Gas Chainsaw

A 59.88 cc engine powers this machine and it accommodates a range of guide bar sizes.