Petrol Chainsaw Buyer’s Guide

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Petrol Chainsaw Buyer's Guide

Maybe you have some out of control trees or hedges in your garden? Or a garden that needs a revamp? Or possibly you just wait to make it easier to maintain those trees and bushes that are residing in your garden?

Whatever your reason, powering up with a petrol chainsaw can help you to achieve a professional finish quickly and with minimal effort from you. Not just this, but with the rise of wood burning stoves and fire pits in homes, a petrol chainsaw is the perfect tool to help anyone get their firewood ready to be used! 

The main benefits of specifically using a petrol chainsaw is the power that they are able to offer, meaning that they can tackle anything you throw at them….but also anywhere….a petrol chainsaw has the massive benefit of being able to work anywhere that you want to work, as you are not reliant on a mains powersource. 

Our Petrol Chainsaw Buyer’s Guide will give you all the key information that you need to purchase the best petrol chainsaw on the market – whatever you are planning on using it for! 

What Type of Chainsaw? 

Before we go any further, the first thing that you need to consider is the type of chainsaw that you are looking to purchase, depending on the jobs that you are planning on completing. We would always recommend, if you are restricted to one chainsaw purchase, that you opt for a slightly bigger, more powerful model than you think that you will need, such as a multi-purpose chainsaw – otherwise you could find yourself struggling to complete other jobs that you find need doing! 

  • Multi-purpose chainsaw – as the same suggests, this chainsaw will be able to complete most jobs around the garden with relative ease. Able to work on branches and more powerful models will even be able to cut down smaller trees. This is the chainsaw that you need if you have a variety of jobs to complete around the garden. 
  • Felling chainsaw – These chainsaws are higher power options for if you have bigger trees (with lengths over 45cm) to cut down. The increased power does come with increased weight and size, so you tend to find them being used more for professional use, as they aren’t recommended for the smaller pruning jobs around the garden. 
  • Pruning chainsaw and pole pruner  – These two types of chainsaw are the smallest and least powerful that you will find. They are perfect for if you are just trimming back any wayward branches, bushes or shrubs that you might find in your garden. With a guide length of under 35cm, they won’t be able to tackle any bigger jobs, but they are lightweight enough to maneuver easily whilst pruning. The only real difference with a pole pruner is that it is on a pole (of course!), so perfect for reaching those higher areas of the garden. 

Only Got 5 Minutes? 

If you have a tree in your garden that is becoming rather unruly, a project you are ready to undertake or maybe you already know the value of a petrol chainsaw and are looking to upgrade – then this part of the article is for you. We have considered some of the best petrol chainsaws available on the market, and the features that you need to look for when making your purchase! 

Featured Petrol Chainsaws

Einhell GC-PC 1335 I Tc Petrol Chainsaw 1.3 Kw 33.5 cm Blade Length
Oregon high-quality rail and chain; Tool-free chain tensioning and changing; Automatic lubrication of the chain
£119.95 −17% £99.00
Hyundai HY-HYC2510 Petrol Chainsaw, 700 W
Cutting Diameter: 10"; Fuel capacity: 0.23 l; Motor power: 0.7 kw / 1.04 Hp; Weight: 3.8 kg
Husqvarna HUSQ120-14 120 II 14" 38.2cc Petrol Chainsaw
38.2cc petrol engine, 14" Bar, x-torque engine technology

Last update on 2021-01-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Why trust us?

The internet is full of review sites that claim they have bought and rigorously tested every product so they can give you the best buying advice. Tripadvisor has some fake reviews, so who can you trust?

At ToolsReview, we pick individual products, ranges or whole categories of tools and spend hours pouring over technical information, manuals and forums to find out everything you could possibly want or need to know about the products.

We bundle all that information into a buyers guide so you can make an informed decision based on your needs without doing the legwork.

We pride ourselves on being independent and objective – if we don’t like a product we’ll tell it as it is.

Petrol Chainsaw Features 

Here are some of the main features that you need to look for when purchasing a petrol chainsaw. 


The power of most petrol chainsaws is going to be substantial enough for average jobs that you will be wanting to complete in your garden. In fact, one of the main benefits of a petrol chainsaw is that it will offer you more power than an electric model, however it is still worth checking the details before purchasing. 

The power offered by your petrol chainsaw will determine the types of wood that you can work with, and the size of jobs that your petrol chainsaw is able to handle. If it is going to be used for mostly trimming back bushes and working on small trees then you may be able to opt for a model with slightly less power, otherwise you are going to need to consider the power more carefully when making your purchase. 

The power that you are looking for will usually be measured in CCs, ranging from around 35ccs up to 70ccs for most models (with some commercial models offering even higher than this. 


The speed of your petrol chainsaw determines how fast you will be able to get the job completed. The speed refers to the speed of the chain on the bar, so obviously the faster the chain can move the faster it will be able to work through the wood. This will be measured in rev/minute and there will usually be two readings to look at – the idle speed and the maximum speed. It is important to consider both of the speeds. Speeds range from around 2000rev/minute all the way up to 15000rev/minute. 

Start Options 

Most petrol chainsaws will be started using a “hand start” which means that you pull the handle with force to kickstart the engine. It is worth checking the quality of the ripcord, as these can be temperamental in many models and you will find yourself spending more time trying to get the machine to start than you will actually cutting! Auto-choke models are best for a quick and easy start! 

There are newer models available on the market however that come with a starter switch, these do tend to be more expensive but are well worth the extra cost in our opinion as they will save you a considerable amount of time and money. 

Bar Length 

The bar length is the length of the part that the chain is attached to and the part that you will be using to actually cut the branches or trees that you are working with. Obviously, the length of the bar plays a massive part in determining what size of wood you will be able to work with! You also don’t want to be cutting right down to the base of the machine, so it is always worth getting a bar length that is slightly longer than you are planning on using. 

Bar lengths for petrol chainsaws tend to range between around 35cm up to 55cm. 

NOTE: Bear in mind that the longer the bar length the harder the tool will be to balance and maneuver around tighter areas of the garden, so it is important to consider exactly where you are planning on working. 


Unfortunately, one of few downsides of petrol chainsaws is that they will be heavier than other models. This is due to the power of the engine and also the fact that you are carrying the fuel around with you as well as the machine itself! This means that it is important to compare the weights of different models that you may be considering purchasing, and also think about what you are capable of using! Quite often you will be lifting the chainsaw high up for extended periods of time, so need to consider this when you are looking at different weight options. 

We found weights varying between around 4kg and 8kg depending on the make and model. 

Sound Level 

This might not sound important – but petrol chainsaws are far from quiet machines! If you are going to be working with them for longer periods of time then your ears (and your neighbours’ ears) will be grateful for you opting for a quieter model! Some models are around 125dB – to put this into perspective, you only have to get to 150dB to have burst ear drums! 

Petrol Tank 

It is worth considering the size of petrol tank that comes with your chainsaw. A heavier tank will mean that it can be filled with more fuel, so will run for longer before it needs topping up,however a smaller tank will reduce the overall weight of the machine, making it easier to work with. A smaller tank will also usually reduce the bulk of the machine, so that you can access harder to reach areas. 

Not only this, but consider the design of the main part of the chainsaw, and how easy it is to fill with fuel. Some older models will actually tip over as you try to fill them with fuel, which risks damage, wasted fuel and is just irritating! Newer models have taken this into consideration, with easy access fuel tanks that are well positioned on the body of the machine. 

Additional Features 

Now that you know the main features to look out for when purchasing a petrol chainsaw, it is worth reading through these additional features so that you have a better idea of the products available on the market. Many of these features determine how safe it will be to work with your chainsaw, so it is important that you understand what to look for. 

  • Chain brake – safety device which will stop your petrol chainsaw if it jarrs or if you lose control (we wouldn’t recommend purchasing a chainsaw without this feature!).
  • Anti-rebound system – As the name suggests, this feature will avoid rebounds occurring by using hooks in the chain to connect with the wood. 
  • Kickback break – similar to the anti-rebound system, however this is for when the machine DOES bounce back off the wood that you are working with. A kickback break is designed to reduce this kickback towards the user to protect your face from the bar and chain. 
  • Handle type – The handle of your chainsaw may not sound important but there are many features that you can now find that will make or break your chainsaw experience! These include anti-vibration and soft grips to reduce fatigue in your hands, plus wrap around handles for safety. 
  • Quick release air filters – Makes it easier to remove dust and debris from your machine to avoid overheating and damaging any internal parts. 
  • Automatic chain tensioner – If you are a beginner to using a chainsaw then opt for a model that offers a tool-free, automatic chain tensioning, as this will avoid you tensioning the chain either too tight or too loose! 

Our Recommendations

Best Pick Petrol Chainsaw

McCulloch CS 42STE Petrol Chainsaw

McCulloch CS 42STE Petrol Chainsaw: Chainsaw with 1500 W Engine Power, 41 cm Blade Length, CCS Air Filter System (Article Number: 00096-73.208.02)
69 Reviews
McCulloch CS 42STE Petrol Chainsaw: Chainsaw with 1500 W Engine Power, 41 cm Blade Length, CCS Air Filter System (Article Number: 00096-73.208.02)
  • Reduced fuel consumption, greater performance: The robust and lightweight McCulloch chainsaw features a powerful OxyPower engine and is ideally suited to demanding sawing operations
  • Simple start: Thanks to Switch Start technology, the CS 42STE can be started in just three steps, while the Soft Start system reduces resistance – even at low temperatures
  • Vibration damping: The handle is kept separate from the engine and cutting equipment, making work easier even over longer periods of time
  • Tool-less chain tensioning: Quick and easy assembly of blade and chain without any tools
  • Scope of delivery includes: 1x McCulloch CS 42STE petrol chainsaw (Article Number: 00096-73.208.02)

Last update on 2021-01-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Best Budget Petrol Chainsaw

Einhell GC-PC 1335 I Tc Petrol Chainsaw

Einhell GC-PC 1335 I Tc Petrol Chainsaw 1.3 Kw 33.5 cm Blade Length
463 Reviews
Einhell GC-PC 1335 I Tc Petrol Chainsaw 1.3 Kw 33.5 cm Blade Length
  • Oregon high-quality rail and chain
  • Tool-free chain tensioning and changing
  • Automatic lubrication of the chain
  • Kickback protection and instant chain brake
  • Auto-choke and primer for a fast start

Last update on 2021-01-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Honorable Mentions

Hyundai HY-HYC2510 Petrol Chainsaw

Hyundai HY-HYC2510 Petrol Chainsaw, 700 W
18 Reviews
Hyundai HY-HYC2510 Petrol Chainsaw, 700 W
  • Cutting Diameter: 10"
  • Fuel capacity: 0.23 l
  • Motor power: 0.7 kw / 1.04 Hp
  • Weight: 3.8 kg
  • 2-stroke engine

Last update on 2021-01-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Makita 35cm 32cc Petrol Chainsaw

Makita EA3201S35B 35cm 32cc 2-Stroke Petrol Chainsaw
23 Reviews
Makita EA3201S35B 35cm 32cc 2-Stroke Petrol Chainsaw
  • included components: 1 x Universal wrench 1 x bar and chain and chain protection cover power source type: Gasoline Powered

Last update on 2021-01-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Husqvarna HUSQ120-14 Petrol Chainsaw

Husqvarna HUSQ120-14 120 II 14' 38.2cc Petrol Chainsaw
372 Reviews
Husqvarna HUSQ120-14 120 II 14" 38.2cc Petrol Chainsaw
  • 38.2cc petrol engine, 14" Bar, x-torque engine technology

Last update on 2021-01-17 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the purpose of different chainsaw chains? 

There are different types of chains that you can purchase for your chainsaw depending on the size and type of wood that you are going to be working with. Square profile chains are for hard woods with a larger guide lengths, semi-chisel and half-round profiles are for more general purpose use and round profiles are created for working with softwoods. Choosing the correct chain will help to increase the life of your chainsaw and determine how quickly you can complete the job. 

What warranty comes with petrol chainsaws? 

Most petrol chainsaws will have a two year warranty, however it is worth checking with each manufacturer as some offer more and less than this. Also remember to consider exactly what your warranty covers, as you won’t be covered for misuse of the tool or if the tool has not been maintained and oiled adequately. 

How often should I sharpen my chainsaw chain? 

We would recommend sharpening your chainsaw chain every few months (depending on how often you use it of course!). As a general idea, we would recommend that you re-sharpen your chain every time you refill the chainsaw with fuel. It also helps to keep the chain well oiled and dirt free if you want it to last as long as possible. 

What oil do I need for my petrol chainsaw? 

We would recommend petroleum-based bar oil for when you are using a petrol chainsaw. Many manufacturers actually make oil that is specifically designed to work with their chainsaws, so this is worth considering, however there is standard oil if you would rather. It is also a good idea to use lightweight oil in winter and heavier oil in summer.

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About Mike Jones 182 Articles
I started doing DIY around the house and it soon developed into a hobby. I look for tools and products that are genuinely useful and get the job done. I enjoy writing product reviews, researching my buyers guides and putting tools through their paces. In my downtime, I like to run and I am a bit of a Netflix documentary geek.

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