The power and freedom of a gas-operated chainsaw often influences people to purchase a saw that they just don't need. Gas powered saws can be heavy, high maintenance and expensive nightmares for people who only occasionally use saws for light work.
For these reasons many people just don't need the expense or power of a gas chainsaw. If you mainly use saws around the house you need to reconsider your purchase to include a good electric chainsaw first.
Good and bad points you need to remember are:
- Electric saws have less power and will increase you sawing time
- Electrics are not designed to cut and buck large trees
- Electrics are tethered to a 100 foot power cord
- Electrics are lighter in weight and safer
- Electrics take much less maintenance and are cheaper in price
- Electrics are perfect for small trees and "pruning/trim" work
I suggest you take a look at a pictorial feature I've done on using an electric chainsaw. I review a new Remington electric chainsaw, explain the major features and provide some information on using and maintaining the saw: Using an Electric Chain Saw
This "best" review is based on company reliability, user popularity and opinions expressed on my About Forestry Forum. Any and all of these chainsaws will make a great purchase. I've tried to include both moderately priced and top-of-the-line saws and their company web sites.
It would be remiss if I did not mention safety. Just because you have less power in an electric versus a gas saw doesn't mean you be casual about its use. Treat it with respect. An electric chainsaw should be considered dangerous and you would benefit by reviewing my chainsaw safety interview with Carl Smith.
Best Moderately Priced
Remington Electric Chainsaws- Some people consider Remington as manufacturing the best mid-priced saw on the market. I agree that these saws are great when properly maintained and stored Suggested retail price range on all models - $50 to $120.
WORX Electric Chainsaws- A relative newcomer to the saw market, WORX electric saws get good ratings and include tool-free chain removal and an auto-oiler as standard features. Suggested retail price range on all models - $80 to $140.
Craftsman Electric Chainsaws- These saws have a long history for adequate performance with the reliability of Sears service centers. Suggested retail price range on all models - $50 to $120.
Makita Electric Chainsaws - A bit pricey but one of the most powerful electric chainsaws you can purchase with great Internet ratings. Suggested retail price range on all models - $150 to $300.
Milwaukee Electric Chainsaws - Many claims are made that this is the best electric chainsaw made. A Milwaukee electric chainsaw is certainly one of the most expensive. Suggested retail price range on all models - $280 to $520.
Makita Cordless Chainsaw - Very dependable battery operated chainsaw for the freedom from an electric cord. Limits cutting jobs due to the short 5" to 7" blades but an alternative to corded saws. Suggested retail price range on all models - $210 to $350.