10 Best Cheap Chainsaw [ 2021 Edition ]

To buy the ideal and best cheap chainsaw for your cutting and gardening work, it is necessary to take into account a series of factors that will help you choose the most useful model, so we have prepared a brief guide where you will find these essential aspects, and then you. We present an option that you can evaluate and consider to make the decision.

The resistance level of the apparatus is the main element because the idea is to have a chainsaw that lasts for a good time and that resists the use with quite solid or substantial materials so that the dimensions of the blade are also essential to choose, knowing that depending on the method you intend to give it you can select a larger or smaller one.

On the other hand, you should consider the manipulation of the device, which you can evaluate in two aspects, the first is the weight of the invention, taking into account that if it is cumbersome you can have problems when charging it, especially if you expect to use it for long hours, and in secondly, the ergonomics that it has, which is manifested in its grip structure, which can allow it to be held with one or two hands, according to the design.

You also have to check which are the safety mechanisms that the device implements, such as a mode of deactivation in case of blows, or some protection mechanism in case the chain is released or leaves the gear.

Then, it is advisable to consult how the way of placing is or changing the chain, because in some cases, it may require the use of an alternative tool, which implies that it can be more complicated compared to other models that have an automatic lever.

Then look at more specific elements such as protection and cable length, and any other particular function. Here is a product that has been recommended by buyers in the comparison of cheap chainsaws, which we invite you to evaluate to see if it suits your needs.

Einhell 4501710

Main advantage

It has a high power of 1800 W that gives it a reasonably optimal performance level, achieving that the cutting processes are completed quickly and in the manner expected by the user.

Main disadvantage

Users mention that not having the instruction manual written in Spanish, it can be a problem to understand some aspects of its handling and maintenance. Hence it will be necessary to translate it from some other language you know.

Verdict: 9.7 / 10

This robust chainsaw with 1800 watts of power and 350 mm arm. It has an efficient operation that will allow you to get rid of stems, logs, or any branch of trees.

Main features explained

Power and arm

It is an Einhell chainsaw that has an efficient operation, which favors the cutting of different objects and materials, thanks to the fact that it is equipped with a high power that reaches 1800 W, which gives it the necessary robustness when cutting, making them entirely accurate, and at the same time helps to make the process quick and hassle-free.

On the other hand, it is necessary to highlight the extended arm that it has, which gives it a suitable depth range to make cuts in materials with a lot of volume, all this thanks to the fact that the arm is 350 mm in length so that they can be cut comfortably large logs, sturdy branches, or various stems and shrubs.

Security system

Remember that when working with this type of equipment of high power and scope, any security measure can be of great importance to prevent any kind of accidents or inconveniences. Hence this model was configured with some necessary safety measures, such as a mode of immediate arrest at the time of receiving some type of blow to the arm, which avoids accidents and, at the same time, prevents the deterioration of the device.

Similarly, if you are working and for some reason, the chain is released from the shaft, the equipment will stop automatically, so this is another critical safety function that will keep you safe from the inconvenience and also protect the equipment. For them, customers have valued this model very positively.

Shift and cable

At the time of placing or changing the chain, many users always mention that it is a bit difficult to do since it is necessary to resort to the use of other alternative tools, which complicates it a bit more. To avoid this type of discomfort, this model incorporates a unique lever, which facilitates the process of chain change and allows it to be completed efficiently and quickly.

On the other hand, the cable has a simple protection mode, since it incorporates an anti traction flange and minimizes any vibration that can be generated when using the device at its maximum power and serves as a protector against premature wear, which can occur when exposed the cable completely.


Chainsaw test – for loggers or hobbyists – comparison of the best chainsaws 2020

Chainsaws are not only important for forestry workers. Garden owners and anyone who wants to saw their own firewood can also benefit from these useful tools. But chainsaw is not just chainsaw. We tested different models. Our guide provides information about all important facts about chainsaws and also provides information about test winners.


What is a chainsaw?

A chainsaw , often referred to as a chainsaw , is a cutter with a sharp chain. The chainsaw is powered by a petrol or electric motor or a battery.

The chainsaw is primarily used to shred wood. As a standard design , the hand-held chainsaw has established in the market, but there are also special designs on the market.

In addition to the standard design, there are also special designs on the market. This includes:


  • the concrete chainsaw
  • the mining chainsaw
  • the joinery chainsaw
  • the two-man chain saw
  • the hacksaw
  • the pruner
  • the rescue saw
  • the top handle chainsaw
  • Hot saws

Concrete chainsaws

Concrete chain saws are usually operated hydraulically and are water-cooled. They are used for the vibration-free cutting of concrete debris (e.g. after an earthquake). This form of chainsaw is also used in construction, sculpture and restoration. It usually has a chain with diamonds.

Mining chainsaws

Mining chainsaws are operated with compressed air due to the risk of explosion and are also used on ships.

Joinery chainsaws

The joinery chainsaw is a chainsaw with a support that enables carpentry work to be carried out precisely. It is usually equipped with special chains that produce high-quality cut surfaces.

Two-man chainsaw

The name already says it: in addition to the saw guide, an assistant is needed for the end of the saw rail for the two-man chain saw. This type of construction is the so-called grandfather of the chainsaws available today.

The high weight and also the size (rail with a length of up to two meters) required operation by two people. Such saws are still used in the jungle regions of South America and Africa. In Europe, they have now become historical collector’s items.


With a hacksaw , the chain is guided over the trunk in a hanger. It is used as an electric saw in sawmills or as a petrol saw in the forest.


The pruner is a small chain saw that is equipped with a long telescopic handle and is used to cut high branches.

Rescue saws

Rescue saws are specially equipped saws for fire brigades and THW. They have a reinforced curb chain and an adjustable depth stop. The reinforced chain also enables metals to be cut.

Top handle chainsaws

Top-handle chainsaws , formerly also known as single -handed chainsaws , are comparatively small special -purpose chainsaws in which the throttle grip, which is otherwise located at the rear, is attached to the top of the saw. This results in a more compact design. According to the accident prevention regulations, operation with one hand is prohibited, even if it were entirely possible.

This is because, in an emergency, the chainsaw safety devices will no longer respond. In cramped conditions (e.g. scaffolding, work baskets) top handle chainsaws do a good job .

One-handed operation is only permitted in special cases as part of tree care . Tree climbers must have completed special training for this. A top handle saw may only be used on the floor with two hands.

Hot saws

In Hot Saws there are special chainsaws that in competitions used (eg. As Stihl Timber Sports).


How is the chainsaw constructed?

The chain saw is a unit consisting of a saw blade, motor and holding device. The construction of petrol, electric and battery saws are the same. The petrol or electric motor or the battery are located inside the housing . With the help of an integrated starter (usually a pull start) is the engine started. On the housing itself there are also the handles that control the movement of the chainsaw .

On the front side of the housing is the saw blade (also known as a rail or a sword ), on the edges of which a groove is machined on which the saw chain runs. The so-called deflection star is located in the front tip of the chain.

 There are saw teeth with very sharp edges on the outer side of the saw chain . The chain is driven by a centrifugal clutch at the rear rail end.

Saw chains are available in various pitches and cutting geometries, which are geared to the respective cutting performance and cutting quality .

Chainsaws are also available for different materials , so that even metals and gas concrete blocks can be sawn. A corresponding motor power is also necessary for such chainsaw models .

Depending on the model provide certain technical constructions that a simple start the chain saw – especially after a long service life – is possible.

These include :

  • ISI-Start or ElastoStart (Stihl) – In the starter handle (Stihl) or in the winding spool of the reversing starter (Echo) there is a rubber element or a spring for damping force peaks in the starter rope.
  • Primer – The primer is a plastic ball that can be used to manually pump fuel into the carburetor.
  • One push start – The chainsaw can be started by pretensioning a spring via the normal reversing start and triggering it at the push of a button.
  • ZIP easy start system – When starting, a part of the compressed mixture can escape from the cylinder by pressing a decompression valve, which reduces the pulling force on the starter rope.
  • Automatic start (Stihl) – The manufacturer Stihl had a chain saw for a while that had an automatically controlled starter flap. Due to the lack of market acceptance and complex structure, the product was withdrawn from the market.

How does a chainsaw work?

As our chainsaw test from 2020 showed, there are chainsaws with petrol or electric motors and batteries. While models with electric motor and battery , a smaller weight have and are small and portable, that is performance models with gasoline engine significantly better.

But no matter whether gasoline or electric motor or battery: the principle of operation of every chainsaw is the same.

After starting the saw with a pull starter , the chain runs around the rail, making the cuts. The tension of the chain can be adjusted individually. The deflection star at the front end of the sword ensures that the friction is reduced.

Due to the centrifugal clutch , the chain of the saw only starts moving at a higher speed while it is idling. The metal teeth on the outside of the saw chain cut the wood alternately horizontally and vertically, which significantly reduces the effort required during the sawing process.

Advantages of the different chainsaw models

Depending on the Power have Chainsaw different advantages.

Advantages of a chainsaw with a petrol engine

  • very good performance
  • long operating time
  • suitable for sawing large diameter wood
  • Not location-bound

Advantages of a chainsaw with an electric motor

  • light weight
  • handy and small
  • environmentally friendly
  • continuous work possible

Advantages of a chainsaw with a battery

  • quiet
  • small and handy
  • enables flexible working
  • environmentally friendly

Areas of application of the chainsaw

The areas of application of chainsaws are very diverse.

For application :

  • in forestry and tree care
  • in private areas (e.g. cutting firewood)
  • during construction work
  • for technical assistance
  • in the art field
  • at competitions

Chainsaws in forestry and tree care

Chainsaws are used in forestry when felling and delimbing trees. First, a notch is cut to determine the direction of the tree’s fall.

A felling cut is made on the opposite side. A wedge is then placed in this to cut down the tree. In tree care, the chainsaw is used for branch shedding and trimming.

Chainsaws in the private sector

In the private sector , chainsaws are mainly used to cut firewood and firewood .

Chainsaws for construction work

Chainsaws are used as joinery saws especially in the carpentry industry.

Chainsaws for technical assistance

Fire departments or the Technical Relief Service (THW) use chainsaws for technical assistance.

Chainsaws in the arts

Chainsaws are a very popular tool for making sculptures , especially for wood and ice sculptors .

Chainsaws at competitions

Every year, forestry competitions are held in which athletes from all over the world compete and simulate the cutting and felling of trees with a chainsaw and ax. StihlTimbersports are well known here .


Types of chainsaws

In chain saws , a division is made according to the driving force in:

  • Chainsaws with a petrol engine
  • Chainsaws with an electric motor
  • Chainsaws with batteries

Chainsaws with a petrol engine

Chainsaws with a petrol engine usually have a two-stroke engine and are operated with a petrol-oil mixture. The oil also lubricates the engine, protecting it from corrosion. The manufacturer’s instructions should be followed when preparing the mixture.

Gasoline chainsaws have high performance with low consumption. The fuel tank makes the device a bit heavier, but the chainsaw with a petrol engine can be used very flexibly. No power source is required to start the engine. That is why the gasoline chain saw is preferred in forests.

Chainsaws with an electric motor

Chainsaws with an electric motor require access to an electrical outlet because they are operated via a cable. To automatically disconnect the circuit, a chainsaw with an electric motor must be connected to an FI socket (residual current circuit breaker).

Very good performances can also be achieved with an electric chainsaw , but the performance is stated in watts, there are devices from 1,000 to 1,800 watts on the market. Devices with a higher output are also available and are used primarily in the professional sector. They are significantly lighter than gasoline chain saws.

Chainsaws with batteries

The chainsaw with battery is an electric chainsaw, but it works without a cable. A charged battery is required to start the engine. Due to the running time, a chainsaw with a battery can often only be used for light work. Otherwise, the structure and functionality are the same as for chainsaws with petrol or electric motors.

Chainsaws with rechargeable batteries are comparable in their freedom of movement to a petrol chainsaw and can therefore also be used in the forest. Like an electric chainsaw, it is lightweight and is also environmentally friendly.

So we tested the different models

In our chainsaw test , we took a closer look at various features . We put our chainsaw test winners through their paces. The decisive factors for us were:

  • Performance
  • Sword length
  • Range
  • Design and appearance
  • Warranty and services from the manufacturer
  • Noise and exhaust emissions
  • safety

Power of the chainsaw

There are models with different power levels for each drive type on the market . Chainsaws with a petrol engine are of course much more powerful in their final performance. The lower performance of electric or battery-operated chainsaws makes cutting performance more difficult, particularly when working intensively.

Sword length of the chainsaw

Depending on the model, chainsaws with sword lengths between 30 and 75 cm can be found on the market . The length of the sword should not be confused with the cutting length. The sword itself is still a bit in the engine compartment.

For the length of cut, you should therefore subtract about five to seven centimeters from the length of the sword. The sword length should always be selected according to individual needs and the area of application.


In our test, we also took a closer look at the range. Because of the petrol engine, this is of course unlimited for petrol chain saws. The electric saw, however, is dependent on a power supply, which is why work in the forest is not possible with it. Chainsaws with batteries currently usually have a running time of around 20 to 30 minutes, so longer work is not possible.

Design and appearance

Of course, a chainsaw should also look good and look like a high-quality device. Particular attention should be paid to the processing and the material. An ergonomic chainsaw contributes to a comfortable posture and endurance at work. Comfort and handling are also crucial.

Warranty and services from the manufacturer

The guarantee conditions and services of the manufacturer also play an important role in the purchase. For example, some manufacturers provide a guarantee on the engine for special services, such as customer and repair service, which is also offered on Sundays and public holidays.

Noise and exhaust emissions

There are clear differences in noise and exhaust emissions between chainsaws with petrol engines and electric or battery-operated chainsaws. Devices with an electric motor or battery are not only much quieter, they also do not produce any exhaust gases and are therefore also environmentally friendly.


When buying a chainsaw , the safety aspect is of particular importance . For example, a saw should be equipped with certain safety options in order to avoid injuries to the user. A kickback brake, an automatic chain brake and tree claws are now not only a must, but are usually part of the standard equipment.


What needs to be considered when buying a chainsaw?

 Due to the large selection of chainsaws, there are of course significant differences in quality. The decisive factor for the purchase is the purpose that the chainsaw should serve.

In general, buyers should pay attention to some features . Above all, these should concern security .

It is best to keep buyers away from devices that do not have a non- return brake and no automatic chain brake .

In order to avoid circulatory disorders , vibration damping is also useful. Buyers should also value ergonomic handles for a secure hold of the chainsaw.

Leading manufacturer of chainsaws

At the market possibilities are manufacturers of chainsaws established. These are:

  • Robert Bosch

In 1886, Robert Bosch founded the successful company specializing in electrical engineering and precision engineering in Stuttgart. The products made Bosch successful and also the market leader for the supply of parts to automobile manufacturers. Bosch specialized in motor technology, which has been researched down to the smallest detail. Bosch was also able to establish itself in industrial safety technology, in the area of household appliances and in the area of power tools.

In Germany alone there are 80 of Bosch’s 260 locations, which are distributed worldwide. The non-profit “ Robert Bosch Foundation GmbH ” invests a lot in further development, in education and research as well as in culture, humanitarian aid and international understanding.

Bosch tools are of high quality and are always state of the art. Robert Bosch placed great emphasis on high-quality products.

Of course, Bosch also has chainsaws – for every requirement. There are models with power levels up to 1,900 watts, but also less powerful devices. The long lifespan of the chainsaws and tools from Bosch is a special factor, even with small devices, buyers can see the robust design. All chainsaws from Bosch have a kickback brake, switch-on lock and vibration protection. As a rule, other positive properties are built in to make work easier.

  • Dolmar
  • Dolmar has been in existence since 1927, making it the oldest manufacturer of petrol chain saws. Far from all power grids, on a mountain in Thuringia, Dolmar presented its first chainsaw, thereby proving that good performance can be achieved with gasoline chainsaws. So this model became a bestseller. However, with a weight of 58 kg, it is no longer comparable to today’s chainsaws. It wasn’t until 1953 that a chainsaw weighing 15 g was developed, which could only be operated by one person. Nowadays, however, a chainsaw only weighs between five and eight kilograms.
  • In 1991 there was a merger with the manufacturer Makita from Japan, which is why some Dolmar and Makita devices have no differences in their construction. Devices with less power are available for private use, but professionals can also find chainsaws with an output of 1,800 watts at Dolmar. Dolmar offers both gas-powered and electric chainsaws with easy handling and many safety aspects as well as a happy start button for less effort when starting the device. There is a suitable chain saw for every application, the strongest model has a sword length of 74 cm and a power output of 4.9 kilowatts.
  • Echo
  • More than 500 dealers currently carry Echo’s high-quality devices . The company’s offer includes all possible devices that are needed in the garden. From scarifiers to foliage disposal devices, there is every device in the range. Chainsaws, of course. Echo is one of the manufacturers of high-performance chainsaws with vibration damping and good safety technology. The chainsaws include a wide variety of models for every requirement – small, limited models are available, as are medium-sized compact saws and powerful and extremely robust heavy-duty saws for professionals.


Professionals, do-it-yourselfers and even housewives – everyone knows the Einhell company , which was founded in 1964 in Landau (on the Isar) by Josef Thannhuber. The first products in the range belonged to electrical switching technology. Thanks to the high quality products, the company quickly made a name for itself on the market and even went public in the 1980s. In the meantime, Einhell has become an important brand in German home improvement stores and specialty stores – across Europe.

Of course, Einhell remains true to its principle of producing high-quality products, even with chainsaws. Einhell offers saws with outputs between 1.8 and 2.2 kilowatts per hour and impresses with its low volume. Regardless of whether you are a professional or a handyman – Einhell is the brand of choice.



The company Husqvarna is from Sweden. In addition to sewing machines, hunting weapons and motorcycles, Husqvarna has also had chainsaws in its range since 1959.

The first chainsaw that Husqvarna launched on the market was particularly impressive with its very low weight. In addition to felling trees, it also enabled them to be delimbed, but due to strong vibrations, the user was disturbed by blood circulation. However, Husqvarna worked quickly on this problem and launched a vibration-dampening chainsaw in 1969. Further developments such as the chain brake followed. Chainsaws from Husqvarna are now very quiet and have many safety features that other manufacturers often have to pay extra for.



In 1946, Bob McCulloch founded the company of the same name, McCulloch , which stands for quality and professionalism in the field of chainsaws. The first chainsaw with a petrol engine launched by McCulloch in 1946 weighed just 22 kg, leaving the much heavier models of other manufacturers in the shade. The performance of 5 HP also made the competition look old. For the company, however, this did not mean resting on its laurels – innovations and ingenious inventions were built into the devices. McCulloch produced the first chain saw with a balanced crankshaft, and the first electronic ignition also came from McCulloch.

McCulloch chainsaws impress with simplicity, above-average hold and a wide range of accessories. From more powerful to weaker models, there is something for everyone in the McCulloch range.



The American manufacturer Oregon has been producing chainsaws and saw chains since 1947 . There are currently ten chainsaws in the Oregon range, the saw chains are used by around 50 percent of other chainsaw manufacturers. Oregon stands for highest quality and excellent cutting performance as well as narrow cutting notches.

All ten Oregon models are suitable for everyday use. You can choose from powerful and weaker models, there is something for every requirement in the product range. Oregon relies on constant development when it comes to the function of the chainsaw.



The German manufacturer Solo from Sindelfingen has been producing chainsaws for every requirement since 1948. From powerful petrol and electric chainsaws to economical battery models, customers will find the right device for their individual needs at Solo. The company can shine with great functions such as the immediate start system, vibration damping and automatic chain shutdown. All models are very light at 4.2 to 5.3 kg and are suitable for both hobby and professional use.


Founded in 1926, Stihl is one of the oldest chainsaw manufacturers. The company now employs 9,800 people worldwide and is known for the reliability, technology, performance and ergonomics of its high-quality equipment. Both professionals and hobby gardeners will find what they are looking for at Stihl. Models with an output of 6.5 kilowatts per hour and a sword length of up to 75 cm are available, but also less powerful devices with shorter heavy lengths.

As a manufacturer, Stihl is not only unbeatable when it comes to high-quality products. Customer service is also very good, a customer hotline is available for all questions and problems and almost every spare part for Stihl devices can be found at specialist dealers.



Gardena is a company from Ulm, which was founded in 1961 and has been a subsidiary of the Swedish Husqvarna Group since 2007. After the introduction of the now very successful GARDENA System in 1968, the company was able to quickly climb the ladder of success. The company, which is actually known for garden tools, also offers chainsaws with an electric motor in its range.

Gardena is now one of the preferred garden brands all over the world that help the passionate gardener take care of his garden. The brand stands for high-quality products throughout Europe and is represented in over 80 countries worldwide.



Makita is a global company from Japan that has its own sales office in Germany. The company, founded in 1915, has more than 1,000 machines and corresponding accessories in its range. The company employs around 14,800 people worldwide and is one of the market leaders for hand-held power tools.

Makita produces its tools in a total of ten production facilities in Japan, China, the USA, Germany, Great Britain, Romania, Thailand and Brazil). Makita has been represented in Germany since 1977 and now sells around 700 products from its entire range.

Tonino Lamborghini

The Tonino Lamborghini label was founded in Italy in 1981 and does not only stand for perfume and watches. Tonino Lamborghini is a lifestyle experience brand that has developed a range of luxurious design products. The Italian company’s portfolio also includes high-quality garden tools and thus chainsaws.



Internet or specialist trade – where should a chainsaw be bought?

Chainsaws are at retailers, in hardware stores and occasionally in advertising a food discounter at very reasonable prices. Especially in the specialist trade and also in the hardware store , the customer definitely receives advice, but the devices are usually somewhat more expensive and there is less choice.

Even in the Internet are chain saws available and here is usually slightly cheaper, as cost-increasing transport distances disappear.

There are many reasons for ordering online:


  • bigger selection
  • than in specialist shops or hardware stores
  • numerous test reports on the Internet for almost all available products (including user reviews)
  • low prices (price advantage on the Internet between 30 and 70 percent)
  • same service and guarantee services as in specialist shops

History of the chainsaw

The history of the chainsaw already to the year 1830 back when the doctor Bernhard Heine from Würzburg a hand-operated chain saw for cutting bone used. The pure manual work used until around 1900 was then replaced with the first sawing machines .

 The first two-man machines were developed around the 1920s . However, these were heavy and could be operated with great effort. They were mainly used to cut the trunks of trees that had already been felled. Although these devices were very heavy, they made the work of the forest workers considerably easier.

The “Sector” logging machine was the first tested and used chain saw in the forestry industry that was operated with petrol. It wasn’t until 1927 that the first chainsaw went into production. Emil Lerp, the founder of Domar and an engineer, presented a chainsaw that was light at the time on Mount Dolmar and weighed “only” 58 kg and was operated by gasoline.

However, due to its weight, it had to be operated by two people and could only be used for vertical cuts. Nevertheless, the machine went into production with the name “Type A”. In 1926 ,Stihl built the first electric chain saw that was used on cutting sites.

Over the course of the years, chain saws were developed that had a rail that could be swiveled by 90 degrees . Not only was it possible to cut wood lying down (vertical cuts), but trees could also be felled in a horizontal cut. From 1952 , the one-man petrol chain saw DOLMAR CP was produced, which had such a swiveling rail. To save the mechanically complex swiveling device of the rail, chain saws were later built, which had a carburetor that can be swiveled by 90 degrees (eg the “Faun” from WERUS in the DDR).

It was not until the end of the 1950s that chain saws could be produced, which were suitable for absolutely location-independent operation and could only be operated by one man. This was made possible by the membrane carburetor developed for aircraft construction .

The DOLMAR CF (1957), the REX from Solo (1958) and the CONTRA from Stihl (1959) were the first models of this type to be built in Europe. Thanks to the one-man chain saw , productivity in the harvesting of wood was significantly increased. In the meantime, more and more new technologies are being used in the production of chainsaws.

Numbers, data and facts about the chainsaw

Already about 5,000 BC The old Teutons used saws in the 3rd century BC . Here, small notches were made in flint, and the tool was then used to try to saw. The resulting teeth in the shape of a crescent moon were very sharp and sawing was also successful . To what extent, however, wood was also processed with this, researchers cannot yet assess.

When the metal was later discovered, the saw was further developed. Saws are now made of bronze. And they were not only used to process wood. Even opponents could be well distributed so why the saws as weapon found use.

 Around 750 BC Chr. Was then iron as a material for the production of saws used. At that time, the saw was mainly used by craftsmen as well as doctors and medical professionals. Until about the 8th century , the history of the saw can no longer be properly understood, only then is there again some evidence of use by craftsmen.

What the saw was used but exactly is up to the 16 . Century not fully understood. So far it is not known whether the saw was also used for forest and felling work at this time.

Until about 18 . Century also looked at Leonardo da Vinci so, draft saw teeth to create. The designs show that the saws worked pulling and pushing at the same time. From about the 18 . Century saw the first circular saw for processing wood.

The main stations of the chainsaw

  • 1926 : Invention of the first electric chain saw by the Stihl company
  • 1927 : Invention of the first petrol-powered chainsaw by the Dolmar company
  • 1950 : Development of the first chain saw that could also be operated in a one-man operation
  • 1964 : Invention of the anti-vibration system to dampen vibrations and prevent circulatory disorders in the user
  • 1972 : Invention of the chain brake
  • 1982 : Development of the automatic chain brake
  • 1989 : Installation of the catalyst in chainsaws
  • 1991 : Start of the use of an automatic start

Chainsaws that still had to be operated by two men used to weigh around 60 kg. Only much later were lighter chainsaws with a weight of about 12 kg placed on the market. However, these too were still too heavy for permanent use.

The chainsaws available today are much easier to handle because they weigh around four to five kilograms and are significantly lighter . This also makes hobby gardeners’ work on wood much easier.

The chainsaw and environmental protection

In connection with the environmental protection mainly play petrol chainsaws a role. Many manufacturers already offer electric chain saws, which of course are much more environmentally friendly.

But especially for jobs where high performance is required, only the gasoline chain saw is usually suitable.

Compared to four-stroke engines , however, the commercially available two-stroke engines have significantly higher exhaust gas values , because a significant part of the fuel is released into the environment unburned .

The load is therefore very high both for the environment and for the saw operator , which is why a benzene-free special fuel has been developed for chainsaws . It is post-refined alkylate gasoline , which produces 90 percent less pollutants than standard gasoline . However, this fuel is also much more expensive than petrol .

 Yet there are chainsaws with cleaner four-stroke engines in development since the engine itself is built much more complex and much more difficult for the same power output as a two-stroke engine is.

The lubricant (saw chain oil), which is usually thrown off while working and thus adheres to the sawdust , is a burden on the environment. For this reason, so-called bio – chain oil (eg based on rapeseed oil ) has been used for some time even mandatory because it is biodegradable at short notice.

An adjustable oil pump is also installed in modern chainsaws , which means that the lubricant can be adapted exactly to the length of the rail . In modern models, the oil pump is driven via the centrifugal clutch , so that unnecessary losses and contamination during idling are avoided.

Facts about environmental protection

  • The chainsaw manufacturer Dolmar is already working on the market launch of a series-ready four-stroke engine for chainsaws.
  • Komatsu Zenoah, a manufacturer from Japan, developed a flushing master motor. The concept was marketed under the name “Strato charged Engine”.
  • An engine was developed by the Italian manufacturer EMAK , which has diaphragm-controlled direct injection. It is already available on the market and is the only motor of this type.
  • The manufacturer Stihl launched a catalytic converter in 1988 , which significantly reduces the pollutants in the exhaust gases. It is a metal catalyst from Emitec, which is coated with platinum. Many other companies are now also installing catalysts in motor devices such as leaf blowers. So far, however, there is no obligation for the user to use a chainsaw with a catalyst. As a rule, it is also an additional equipment that causes additional costs. However, since the catalytic converter also contributes to ergonomics and the odor nuisance is significantly minimized, users should definitely reconsider their environmental awareness and best buy a model with a catalytic converter.
  • With the introduction of the Euro V stage from January 2019 , compliance with the statutory exhaust gas limits is also mandatory for devices with small engines with an output of less than 19 kW. Of course, these devices also include chainsaws, leaf blowers and lawnmowers. How high the exact values will be, which has to be observed, has not yet been determined.

Safety when working with chainsaws


When using a chainsaw , some precautions should be taken. Basically, the chainsaw should be checked for external damage before starting work . This is particularly important for chainsaws with an electric motor, in which a defective cable must be properly repaired by a specialist before use .

The clippings must also be checked for foreign bodies beforehand. To avoid the risk of kickback , nails and similar foreign bodies should be removed before processing. It is also important to stand securely while working , and the chainsaw must not be used above the shoulder .

Protective measures for working with the chainsaw

A certain amount of protective equipment should be worn when working with a chainsaw . This typically consists of the following items of clothing:

  • helmet
  • Safety shoes
  • Gloves
  • Cut protection pants
  • Protective jacket

ear protection

In Germany – as in other countries – the so-called PPE forest and similar regulations apply , which contain regulations for personal protective equipment .

Safety rules when operating a chainsaw

The following rules should be observed when working with a chainsaw:


Adjusting the chainsaw

  • Before starting work, the saw chain must be tensioned correctly. It is also important to set the idle speed correctly, which prevents the saw chain from running at idle speed and prevents the engine from stalling due to the speed being too low.

Starting the chainsaw

  • The chainsaw is placed on the floor and the chain brake is engaged. To start, the chainsaw is pressed firmly onto the floor with the left hand on the front handle and with the right foot in the rear handle. Then the starter rope is pulled with the right hand. An alternative procedure can also be used for light chain saws: The chain brake is inserted and the saw is firmly clamped between the knee or thigh. The grip tube is then held with the left hand and the starter rope is pulled with the right hand.

Holding the chainsaw

  • The chainsaw must always be operated with both hands when working. The left hand grips the front handle. All chainsaws available on the market are designed for right-handed users, unfortunately there are no models for left-handed users.

Use of the chain brake

  • The chain brake must be applied after each cut, which can be achieved with a short forward turn of the left wrist after a vertical cut. The position for the next cut is only changed afterwards. To release the chain brake, the sword is now placed on the trunk and the brake lever is pulled to the handlebar with the left hand. In this way, serious injuries can be avoided if you fall on the chain saw.


Avoid the kickback effect

  • To avoid the kickback effect, the chain saw must be guided so that accidental contact cannot occur. The cut must also be followed correctly.


Keep the danger area clear

  • Users must absolutely avoid standing with their head, body or legs in the area behind the chainsaw. In this way, when a chain breaks, it can be avoided that it hits the machine operator.
  • Maintaining the working height
  • Working with chainsaws above the shoulders is prohibited. At this height, the force is no longer sufficient to guide the chainsaw safely. Of course, this also applies to small and very small devices.



Technical accident protection

Modern chainsaws are equipped with certain safety devices to reduce the risk of accidents :

  • Centrifugal clutch

The centrifugal clutch helps to ensure that the chain is only driven above a certain engine speed. The chain is therefore basically idle when idling. The centrifugal clutch also prevents the engine from stalling unnecessarily in the event of overloading or when the chain brake slips.


  • Chain brake

The front hand guard, which is located in front of the handlebar, serves as the trigger for the chain brake. It is connected to the clutch bell via a mechanism. This mechanism consists of toggle levers, springs and a brake band. When the saw rebounds or the chain brake is triggered by the front hand guard, the chain comes to a standstill in a split second. Additional devices make it possible for the chain brake to be triggered as soon as the throttle control is released. Since the braking power of the chain brake is higher than the engine power, braking is also possible with an engine running at full throttle.


  • Claw stop

With the claw stop, the engine block can be easily attached to the wood when sawing with an incoming chain. As a result, the saw can only swing out in an uncontrolled manner, and the leverage also exerts a certain pressure on the saw chain.


  • Chain catch bolt

If the chain breaks, the chain catch bolt reduces the risk of the chain turning over under the engine block to the user.


  • Hand protection

The rear hand guard protects the hand against branches from below. This also provides protection against the rough surface of the trunk and a broken chain.

  • Throttle lock

The accelerator lock is located on the top of the rear handle. The actual throttle lever can be found on the underside. The throttle control is locked and therefore cannot be moved if the throttle control lock is not pressed. In this case, the engine is only idling and the chain is not running. The throttle trigger lock thus prevents accidental throttle application (e.g. through branches) and improper handling.


  • Vibration damper

With the early chainsaw models, the vibrations often caused disturbances in the blood circulation in forest workers, the result was permanent numbness of the fingers and the resulting white finger disease. This was also recognized as an occupational disease. In modern devices, anti-vibration elements absorb the transmission of vibrations to the saw guide.


  • Handle heating

Some suppliers offer chainsaws with heated handles in their range. This means that the chainsaw can be operated easily and, above all, safely even at extremely low temperatures. The safety of the saw operator is also increased by the handle heating.


UVV – accident prevention regulations

 According to the general provisions of the accident prevention regulations , the use of chainsaws with internal combustion engines in Germany in the sense of the “Regulations for Safety and Health Protection (VSG)” in the commercial sector as well as in state forests in different federal states may only be demonstrated with a certain “suitability” or a corresponding one Proof of expertise provided.

Colloquially, this is the chainsaw driving license , which also applies to German fire departments. The training is carried out at forestry offices, forest work schools or private course providers. There are special courses and trainers for fire departments and the technical relief organization.

If the training takes place as part of a manual or forestry vocational training or further education, the acceptance is carried out by a representative of the professional associations or a corresponding representative .

Even private users can complete such a course if they feel unsafe to use the chainsaw . For hobby foresters, the “driving license for the chainsaw ” is now even mandatory, whether it is also necessary for gardening can be requested from the responsible course providers.

A course for private individuals costs around 100 euros depending on the region and provider ; as part of the training or further training , the chainsaw driving license is usually paid by instructors.


Care and maintenance of a chainsaw

Good care and maintenance is the be-all and end-all if a chainsaw is to function without problems for as long as possible. For this, daily, weekly and also long-term maintenance intervals as well as different maintenance intervals must be observed.

If you do not carry out the care and maintenance appropriately, you may risk massive damage to your chainsaw .

Daily care and maintenance

Along with cleaning the saw, daily maintenance is also carried out – always after each use of the saw. Possible damage can usually be recognized and repaired during cleaning . Checking the safety devices is part of daily maintenance. These include:

  • The chain catch bolt

The chain catch bolt

It protects the underside of the housing and the rear handle hand from a cracked or cracked saw chain. The chain then wraps around the chain catch bolt and loses its speed. The bolt must be replaced immediately if damaged or lost.


Rear hand protection

The rear handle hand is also protected with the rear hand guard against injuries from branches or a broken or broken chain and other obstacles.

Front hand protection

The front hand guard performs two important functions – on the one hand, it protects the front grip hand from injuries and, on the other hand, it triggers the chain brake when the chain saw recoils.


 The chain brake

Thanks to the chain brake, the saw chain comes to a standstill in the event of a kickback. In order to check the functionality of the chain brake, it must be triggered when it is at rest, which means that its blocking is checked manually. If the chain brake cannot be moved at all or only with difficulty, or if the chain can be pulled over the sword despite the chain brake being activated, a repair should be carried out immediately by a specialist workshop.

The throttle lock

The throttle cannot be operated without the throttle lock being pressed. The accelerator lock ensures that the rear handle is fully gripped. It also prevents accidental accelerating. If the accelerator lock is defective, it must be replaced immediately by a specialist.

There are other safety devices that need to be checked. However, the safety devices mentioned are relevant when it comes to daily care and maintenance .


The cleaning

After checking the safety of the chainsaw, cleaning is carried out. In order for the engine to remain efficient , there must be an adequate supply of cleaned air. This flows through the air filter. This can be cleaned if the locking of the filter cover is removed.

Depending on the manufacturer and model, this is mounted on the saw housing with different fastening variants (e.g. clips, screws). As soon as the filter cover is opened, coarse dirt particles are removed. This prevents them from entering the open carburetor. After pre-cleaning , the filter is removed and – if it consists of two halves – opened to remove the dirt particles from the inside.

 As a rule, the dirt is wood dust and oil residues . For the cleaning of plastic filters , and filters made of felt or similar materials, the cleaning is recommended with a gentle wash liquor of water and detergent. If necessary, plastic filters can also be cleaned with compressed air .

After cleaning, the air filter is dried. It is important that it is completely dry so that no water gets into the carburetor. Certain models have a pre-filter for collecting larger dirt particles , which is cleaned according to the same scheme.

Before the air filter cover is finally installed, the setting for summer or winter operation must be checked. If the temperatures are below ten degrees, a chainsaw must be operated in the winter setting .


Check the cutting set

The dirt on the housing of the chainsaw attached, can be personalized with a soft cloth quite well to remove. However, since oil and fuel residues in particular can damage the plastic parts , they must be removed regularly. Damage to the saw housing can also be quickly identified. But not only the housing should be checked for damage . The cutting set – i.e. sword and saw chain – must also be checked regularly.

To assess the condition of the cutting set, it is necessary to unscrew the sword . For this purpose, two nuts, which are on the sprocket cover in most models, are loosened with the combination wrench. Before this, the chain tensioning bolt must be completely relaxed so that the cutting set can be separated from the motor unit without any problems . If there is dirt under or on the sprocket cover, it can be removed with a rough brush or a brush .

A dull chain should be sharpened or replaced .

If there are cracks or breakouts in the sword , an exchange must take place. But even a sword without obvious damage has to be serviced regularly. The bottom of the rail groove must be cleaned regularly so that the chain is always adequately lubricated .

 The mandrel of a depth gauge is well suited for this; it can also be used to check the minimum groove depth . This is six millimeters at every point of the sword . As soon as the value falls below this minimum, the risk of damage to the drive links of the chain is increased.

The risk of the chain jumping off the sword also increases . If the sword has a deflection star, the groove must be cleaned from the star back so that the dirt does not get into the deflection star . Furthermore, the oil inlet holes in the sword must always be kept clear to ensure reliable oil flow .

If the sword is reassembled, it should be turned. This ensures even wear . As a rule, the sword on the lower side is more worn, since the underside of the sword is sawed much more frequently in the direction of the incoming chain .

Weekly care and maintenance

If the chainsaw is used very frequently when processing softwood , the housing is excessively soiled with resin. The problem can often only be solved with stubborn dirt with a resin solvent . Commercial margarine can also be used for smaller resin stains because resin is fat-soluble. The margarine is simply applied to the resin stain and wiped off with a soft cloth after a short exposure time .

 To avoid overheating of the engine should the cooling fins of the cylinder to be cleaned regularly. It is usually sufficient if the spaces between the cooling fins are cleaned with a brush . However, if they are glued with resin, resin solvent must be used for removal. By regularly cleaning one can burn the dirt can be prevented.

Saw chains are one of the wearing parts of a chainsaw. In order to prevent excessive wear, the sword should be deburred at regular intervals.

After several hours of cutting time it comes to the running surfaces of the sword in the formation of a ridge of sharp metal edges. A coarse flat file is best for deburring .

The sword is clamped in a vice . First the burr is removed from the top of the treads, then the flanks of the treads are machined.

The webs must not be touched, otherwise they will wear out faster. Before a chain is tensioned on the freshly deburred sword , all metal chips should be removed.

Once the sword is unscrewed, the wear of the drive pinion on the motor should be checked in the same breath . Clear entry marks require a change of the pinion in order to avoid damage to the saw chain . Manufacturers describe entry marks as “clear” if they are more than one millimeter deep.



Long-term care and maintenance

According to most of the manufacturer’s instructions , spark plugs must be replaced after about 100 hours of sawing to prevent the plug from suddenly failing.

 In addition, an unused spark plug helps ensure that the fuel is burned optimally. The following data are important for the purchase : length of the thread, diameter of the thread, heat value. It makes sense to simply take the old spark plug with you.

Once a year, the fuel and oil tanks should be flushed out with petrol to remove the dirt particles . The contaminated fuel must be disposed of properly by a specialist dealer or a petrol station .

A regular check is also necessary for the fuel filter in the tank. The filter of the fuel suction head is carefully pulled out of the fuel tank using a wire hook. If the filter is clogged, it must be replaced.

A heavily soiled lubricant filter in the oil tank must also be replaced. If there is less contamination , cleaning the filter with petroleum ether is often sufficient.

FAQ – Questions and answers about the chainsaw

How much does a good chainsaw cost?

There are now simple chainsaws with both a petrol and electric motor and also with a battery. Even manufacturers like Stihl now have models with prices under 100 euros. However, in order to enjoy the saw for longer, high-quality models should be used. Here the prices are between 300 and 600 euros. Chainsaws for professionals with special equipment cost up to four digits.

Which gasoline is necessary for gasoline chainsaws?

For gasoline-powered chainsaws, gasoline with an octane number of at least 90 RON (90 percent isooctane) should be used if possible. Unleaded petrol is important if the chain saw is operated with an exhaust gas catalytic converter, otherwise the catalytic converter may have a reduced effect or, in the worst case, damage the catalytic converter. From a health perspective and for the environment, unleaded petrol should also be used. A mixture of petrol and motor oil according to the manufacturer’s instructions should be used to operate chainsaws with a two-stroke engine.

Who should repair a chainsaw?

In general, repairs to a chainsaw should not be carried out yourself. Otherwise, the safety functions may no longer fully function. It is therefore necessary to return a defective chainsaw to the manufacturer for repair or to have the repair carried out by a specialist. If there is still a guarantee, the repairs will be carried out free of charge. After the warranty expires, the customer must pay for the repair.


Which oil should be used for a chainsaw?

At best, a high-quality two-stroke engine oil should be used to ensure a long life of the chainsaw. Oil with the label “TC”, which is designed for high-performance engines, is ideally suited for this . In order not to make any mistakes when mixing, it makes sense to use ready-made gasoline-oil mixtures.

For self-mixing, the mixing ratios 1:25 or 1:50 (one part oil and 25 or 50 parts gasoline) should be observed. If fully synthetic mixtures are purchased, they are usually free of toxins and therefore ecologically harmless.

How is a chainsaw properly sharpened?

If the chainsaw no longer delivers the desired results, it is probably blunt and needs to be sharpened. To do this, the saw and rail are clamped in a vice , so that the hands are both free for sharpening. Before arming it is necessary to activate the chain brake. This will secure the chain. Owners of a chainsaw should use a filing gauge as an aid because the chain’s incisors are filed at three different angles (sharpening, chest and roof angles). You can sharpen yourself if you have a round file and a filing gauge that is tailored to the chain type. Otherwise, sharpening can also be done at a specialist dealer.

How do you cut straight with a chainsaw?

An oblique cut is very common if the saw chain is only sharp on one side. In this case, the chainsaw will pull to the side that still has sharp teeth. A side can become dull, for example, if it has been used to strip a nail. A run-out rail groove (slot in the rail in which the chain moves) can also cause crooked sawing, because the width of the groove is increased with each opened chain. This is why a new rail often has to be bought after about five to six chains to ensure a straight cut.

What should all be listed in the operating instructions for a chainsaw?

In general, the operating instructions should be as clear as possible and at best contain the following information:

  • safety instructions
  • Information on assembly and settings
  • Information about chain tension, chain brake and lubrication
  • Advice on kickback (clamping, turning kickback)
  • Advice on starting and stopping the chainsaw
  • Information on the necessary protective equipment

What are the reasons for using a chainsaw?

For private use, a good price-performance ratio and the long service life play a decisive role in the purchase of a chainsaw that can also be used to saw firewood in no time.

In the commercial sector, location independence and fast work are particularly important.

Can gasoline chainsaws be operated with E10 fuel?

This question can not be answered generally. You can find out in the operating instructions or ask the manufacturer whether a petrol-powered chainsaw can be operated with E10 fuel. If use is possible, it should always be noted that storage of the fuel can change. Storage over a period of up to 30 days is considered harmless if the fuel is stored for a longer period of time (regardless of whether in the tank of the device or in a petrol can), deposits can occur in the carburetor. The result is malfunctions. To prevent deposits and the resulting malfunctions, a gasoline stabilizer should be added to the E10 fuel. The exact mixing ratio is indicated on the stabilizer tank.

What to do if the petrol chain saw engine does not start?

If the engine does not start with a petrol chain saw, this is usually due to the fuel supply or the spark plug. Therefore, the correct position of the spark plug connector on the spark plug should first be checked. The on / off switch, which must be set to ON, is also important. In addition, it must be checked whether gasoline reaches the spark plug. If this arrives at the spark plug and the plug works, the only option left is that the engine is flooded. If the problem persists, it is advisable to contact a professional to resolve the problem.

Useful accessories for the chainsaw

Those who have rarely or never worked with a chainsaw will be amazed by the wide range of accessories available for such a device on the market.

Accessories are primarily used for care and maintenance, but also to simplify and optimize the individual work steps.

Typical accessories for replacement chains include:

  • Replacement chains
  • Service kits
  • Sharpeners
  • Transport boxes / bags
  • Jerrycan
  • Sawhorse
  • Combination key
  • Air compressor
  • Special cleaner

Accessories make work easier

Matching accessories for the chainsaw help to make working with the device significantly easier. Care and maintenance are of course much easier to do if the right accessories are at hand.

Replacement chains – most important accessories

The saw chain is the most important accessory for using a chainsaw. A replacement chain must not only have the right size, but also reliable quality. Saw chains differ in the chain pitch and in the number of drive links.

Combination key – indispensable for petrol chainsaws

The combination or spark plug wrench is an important accessory, especially for chainsaws with a petrol engine and can also be useful for electric chain saws without a tool-free chain tensioner. Combination keys are used in many different ways and are available in different versions.

Air compressor for cleaning

The cleaning of a chainsaw is made considerably easier with the help of an air compressor. The compressed air ensures that chips and other residues are easily removed, even in places that cannot be reached with a brush.

Special cleaner against stubborn dirt

Stubborn dirt such as resin residues and oil can be removed very easily with the help of a special cleaner. This can also be used for cleaning protective clothing.

Sharp cut thanks to sharpening accessories

A blunt chainsaw needs to be sharpened. To save money, this can also be done with a suitable round file. A special sharpening device is also recommended and usually pays off after a short time.


Alternatives to the chainsaw

Chainsaws are among the tools that pose a high risk of accidents . It is irrelevant whether it is a chainsaw with a petrol or electric motor or with a battery : Statistics from health insurance companies and accident carriers have shown that accidents with chainsaws have increased significantly in recent years.

While in the commercial sector it mostly comes from disregarding certain safety rules and regulations, in the private sector there is often a lack of experience in the correct use of the chainsaw.

By using alternative tools , the risk of accidents can be minimized.

The alternatives for the chainsaw include electric foxtail saws and cordless saber saws .

Cordless saber saws

A cordless saber saw is a form of hand-held electric saw for flexible cutting of materials such as wood, plastic and metal. In principle, it is a special form of the electric foxtail.

Cordless saber saws consist of an impact-resistant and dustproof housing in which the battery-operated electric motor is located. It also has a saber-like sword that has many small saw teeth. A cordless saber saw works similar to a jigsaw, so it works in a vertical orientation.

Greater depths of cut are possible with the cordless saber saw , it can be used in a variety of ways and can even be used as a garden tool. However, it is not suitable for cutting curves because it does not work very precisely.

For cordless saber saws, either universal saw blades or specially manufactured saw blades can be used for the use of certain materials.

Electric foxtail

Electric foxtails have – in contrast to the cordless saber saw – a very stiff saw blade with a special thickness and width. They are mainly used for general woodwork. With a corresponding saw blade, different materials can also be processed here.

Depending on the material and size of the workpiece to be machined, other types of saw are also suitable as an alternative to a chainsaw. Typical alternatives during bench saws (e.g. table saws) or even commercially available hand saws without a motor as the drive.

Further links & sources


STIHL chainsaws and chainsaws – powerful saws for every need

A chainsaw for every task


chainsaws – that’s the best way to do chainsaws – what is the right direction of the chain?

Oil chainsaw – can rapeseed oil work?

Chainsaw: Oil pump gummed up

Saw chains: What are the differences? Store the

chain saw correctly and empty the fuel system.

STIHL garden tip:

Use the chain saw to work with the chain saw


Leave a Comment