Collage of various chainsaws with a backdrop of trees, symbolizing the best chainsaw choices for arborists

Branching Out with Precision: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Chainsaw for Arborist Excellence

Selecting the right chainsaw is crucial for arborists, who rely on this tool for efficient and safe tree care. With a myriad of options available, understanding the key features that make a chainsaw suitable for professional arboriculture is essential. Power, weight, durability, and ease of use are factors that influence an arborist’s choice. This article aims to guide professionals in finding a chainsaw that meets their specific needs in tree maintenance and care.

This page contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a commission at no cost to you.

I. Introduction

A. Importance of Choosing the Right Chainsaw

For arborists, selecting the right chainsaw is essential for ensuring efficiency, safety, and effectiveness in their demanding profession. The right chainsaw enhances the precision and speed of tree care tasks, from delicate pruning to robust tree felling. A well-suited chainsaw ensures clean cuts, minimizes physical strain, and upholds the highest safety standards, ultimately affecting the quality of arboricultural work.

B. Criteria for Selecting a Chainsaw for Arborists

Choosing the most appropriate chainsaw for arborist work involves considering several key factors. These include the chainsaw’s power, size, weight, and functionality. The power of the chainsaw determines its ability to handle various tree sizes and wood types, while size and weight influence maneuverability and control, particularly when working at heights or in tight spaces. Functionality encompasses aspects such as power source (battery, electric, or gas), safety features, and ease of maintenance. Each factor is critical in ensuring that the chainsaw aligns with the specific needs of professional arborists.

II. Overview of Top Chainsaws for Arborists

A. Makita XCU08PT

  • Features and Benefits
    The Makita XCU08PT stands out for its cordless design, powered by dual 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries. It offers the performance equivalent to a 30cc gas chainsaw without the emissions, noise, and maintenance associated with gas models. Key features include a variable speed trigger, high chain speed, torque boost mode, ergonomic design, and adjustable automatic chain lubrication, making it a top choice for environmentally conscious arborists.
  • User Experiences
    Users often praise the Makita XCU08PT for its ease of use, highlighting the cordless design and efficient brushless motor. It is popular for delivering gas-like power without the hassle of fuel, particularly in residential or noise-sensitive environments.

B. Husqvarna 120 Mark II 14-inch Chainsaw, 38.2-cc 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chainsaw

  • Specifications and Key Features
    The Husqvarna 120 Mark II is a compact, versatile chainsaw with a 38.2cc engine and a 14-inch bar. It is ideal for homeowners or light-duty professional work and features X-Torq engine technology for reduced emissions and fuel consumption and LowVib technology for minimized vibration.
  • Practical Applications
    The Husqvarna 120 Mark II is well-suited for light cutting, pruning, and hobby work, offering agility and precision for tasks requiring careful handling.

C. Echo CS-355T

  • Unique Attributes and Efficiency
    The Echo CS-355T is a top-handled gas chainsaw known for its power and efficiency. Designed specifically for professional arborists, it features a powerful engine, ergonomic design, and a compact build, making it ideal for tree climbing and aerial work.
  • Customer Service and Support
    Echo is renowned for its reliable customer service and support. Users often commend the brand for its commitment to quality and responsiveness, ensuring that the CS-355T remains a dependable tool in the arborist’s arsenal.

III. Detailed Analysis of Each Chainsaw

A. Makita XCU08PT

  • Design and Ergonomics
    The Makita XCU08PT is designed for comfort and efficiency. Its lightweight and compact nature, combined with the cordless feature, allows for easy maneuverability, particularly in tight spaces or when working at heights.
  • Environmental Impact and Performance
    As a battery-powered chainsaw, the Makita XCU08PT has a lower environmental impact than gas-powered chainsaws. It has. It has zero direct emissions and is quieter, making it a sustainable choice for urban and residential areas.

B. Husqvarna 120 Mark II 14-inch Chainsaw, 38.2-cc 2-Cycle Gas Powered Chainsaw

  • Engine Performance and Emissions
    The Husqvarna 120 Mark II’s 38.2-cc engine balances power and efficiency. Its X-Torq technology reduces fuel consumption and emissions while maintaining robust performance, making it a responsible choice for environmentally conscious users.
  • Safety Features and User Comfort
    Safety is paramount in arboriculture, and the Husqvarna 120 Mark II addresses this with features like an inertia-activated chain brake for kickback protection and LowVib technology for reduced vibration, enhancing comfort and control during use.

C. Echo CS-355T

  • Power-to-Weight Ratio and Maneuverability
    The Echo CS-355T excels in its power-to-weight ratio, providing high power in a compact and lightweight design. This balance is particularly beneficial for arborists who require a powerful chainsaw that is easy to handle during climbing and precision work.
  • Starting Mechanism and Maintenance
    The Echo CS-355T features an efficient starting mechanism, reducing the effort required to start the chainsaw. Its maintenance needs, while more demanding than electric models, are straightforward, ensuring long-term performance with regular care.

IV. Comparing Battery, Electric, and Gas Chainsaws

A. Advantages and Disadvantages

Battery-powered chainsaws like the Makita XCU08PT offer cordless convenience and lower emissions but may lack the power of gas models for heavy-duty work. Electric chainsaws are easy to maintain and suitable for light tasks but are limited by cord length. Gas chainsaws, such as the Echo CS-355T, provide high power and mobility but require more maintenance and produce more noise and emissions.

B. Situational Suitability

The suitability of a chainsaw depends on the specific tasks and working conditions. Battery-powered chainsaws are ideal for urban and noise-sensitive areas, electric chainsaws for small-scale, occasional use, and gas chainsaws for heavy-duty tasks where power and autonomy are critical.

C. Environmental Considerations

Environmental impact is an increasingly important factor in choosing a chainsaw. Battery-powered and electric chainsaws have a smaller carbon footprint compared to gas chainsaws, making them more sustainable choices for environmentally conscious arborists.

V. Additional Considerations in Chainsaw Selection

A. Chain and Bar Length

The chain and bar length affect the chainsaw’s cutting capacity. Arborists must balance the need for cutting capacity with maneuverability and safety, choosing a length that suits the tasks at hand.

B. Noise Levels and Vibration

Noise and vibration are important considerations that impact user comfort and health. Lower noise levels are essential for residential areas, while reduced vibration minimizes fatigue and long-term health risks from prolonged use.

C. Maintenance and Durability

Regular maintenance, including chain sharpening, engine checks, and cleaning, is crucial for the long-term performance and reliability of chainsaws. This ensures they remain safe and efficient for professional use, extending their lifespan.


Q: What should I consider when choosing a chainsaw for arborist work?

A: Key factors include the chainsaw’s power source (battery, electric, or gas), weight, balance, ease of use, safety features, and the specific tasks you’ll be performing.

Q: Are battery-powered chainsaws suitable for professional arborist use?

A: Yes, modern battery-powered chainsaws are increasingly powerful and efficient, suitable for many arborist tasks, although they may only sometimes match the power of gas chainsaws for heavy-duty work.

Q: How important is the weight of a chainsaw for an arborist?

A: Very important. A lightweight chainsaw reduces fatigue and is easier to maneuver, particularly when working at heights or in tight spaces.

Q: What safety features should I look for in an arborist chainsaw?

A: To enhance safety and comfort, look for features like a chain brake, anti-vibration technology, ergonomic handles, and a well-balanced design.

Q: How do I maintain a chainsaw for arborist work?

A: Regular maintenance includes cleaning, sharpening the chain, checking for wear and tear, ensuring proper chain tension, and periodically checking the health of the engine (for gas chainsaws).

Q: Can electric chainsaws be used for heavy tree cutting?

A: While electric chainsaws are improving, they may still be less powerful than gas models for very heavy cutting. They are, however, excellent for many pruning and medium-duty tasks.

Q: Is a top-handle or rear-handle chainsaw better for arborist work?

A: Due to their compact size and maneuverability, top-handle chainsaws are generally preferred for tree climbing and aerial work. Rear-handle chainsaws are more suited for groundwork.

VII. Conclusion

A. Best Offer

After careful analysis and comparison, the Makita XCU08PT emerges as the recommended product for arborists. This chainsaw stands out for its innovative cordless design, providing the convenience and lower environmental impact of a battery-powered tool without sacrificing the power and performance necessary for professional arboriculture. Its user-friendly features, such as the variable speed trigger, high chain speed, and torque boost mode, combined with ergonomic design and safety considerations, make it an excellent choice for a wide range of tree care tasks.

B. The Alternative

As an alternative, the Echo CS-355T is a strong contender, particularly for those who prefer gas-powered chainsaws. It offers a robust power-to-weight ratio, making it ideal for demanding tasks that require both power and maneuverability. Its top-handled design is specifically tailored for tree climbing and aerial work, where control and ease of use are paramount. While it requires more maintenance than the Makita XCU08PT, its reliability, efficiency, and powerful performance make the Echo CS-355T a valuable tool for professional arborists who need a dependable and high-performing chainsaw for more intensive tree care operations.

VIII. Suggested Readings

Before entering the world of chainsaws and arboriculture, it’s beneficial to expand your knowledge with some insightful reading. These books offer a deep dive into the science, practice, and art of tree care and chainsaw use. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting, these books provide valuable information and techniques that can enhance your skills and understanding of the field.

  • “Applied Tree Biology” by A. D. Hirons & P. A. Thomas – An in-depth look into tree physiology and its practical applications in arboriculture.
  • “A New Tree Biology and Dictionary” by A. L. Shigo – A comprehensive resource on tree biology, offering valuable insights for tree care professionals.
  • “Modern Arboriculture” by A. L. Shigo – Focuses on contemporary practices in tree care and management.
  • “The Tree Climber’s Companion: A Reference And Training Manual For Professional Tree Climbers” by Jeff Jepson – A practical guide for professional tree climbers covering essential techniques and safety practices.
  • “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees” by Tony Russell, Catherine Cutler, and Martin Walters – Offers a visual and descriptive exploration of tree species worldwide​​​​.

Immersing yourself in these books will not only enhance your technical knowledge but also deepen your appreciation for the intricate world of trees and the vital role of arborists. Happy reading!

Similar Posts