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Lugging a heavy-duty chainsaw to the top of the tree is a bad idea. Not only is it physically taxing, but you’ll often find that maneuvering such a bulky tool around while harnessed or balancing on a branch is dangerous or clunky. It’s difficult to make precise cuts with such a chainsaw.

Top handle chainsaws, however, are a perfect choice for cutting branches on a tree or for doing general sawing maintenance for small-to-medium-sized lumber and branches. These saws are perfect for commercial cutting and for storm cleanup or firewood preparation.

Best Top Handle Chainsaws

Finding the best top handle chainsaw can be tricky without doing the right research beforehand. We put this guide together and did the research so you don’t have to. We’ll show you the best top handle chainsaws online so you can get started on your next job ASAP. Let’s get started!

#8. Makita XCU02PT LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Chain Saw Kit – Our Top Pick

Makita

30 Second Overview

  • Bar and Chain Length: 12 Inches
  • Power: 18 V
  • Gas or Battery: Battery
  • Weight: 12.3 lbs
  • Our Rating:

In Depth Review

The Makita XCU02PT is a fantastic top handle chainsaw that can deliver a chain speed of 1,650 FPM. This is thanks to the twin 18 V lithium-ion batteries included in the chainsaw’s design. These batteries provide excellent power performance and a long lifespan without needing to be changed frequently.

The chainsaw only has a relatively low noise level of about 87 dba, or A-weighted decibels. This low noise level makes it one of the best top handle chainsaws for use in crowded treetops or for longer working shifts where you’ll be sawing for hours on end.

There’s a 12-inch guide bar that allows for decent reach, and the saw offers the ability to adjust the chain of the chainsaw without having to open up your toolbox. It’s an incredibly easy chainsaw to adjust and maintain overall. Simply utilize the controls on the side of the chainsaw to adjust the chain’s tension to your liking.

Pros
  • Easy to adjust
  • Comfortable to use from the low noise level
  • Great battery life span
  • Charges very quickly
Cons
  • Not durable enough for bigger trees

#7. Tanaka TCS33EDTP Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine – Best for Home Use

Tanaka

30 Second Overview

  • Bar and Chain Length: 14 Inches
  • Power: 1.6 Horsepower
  • Gas or Battery: Gas
  • Weight: 12.4 lbs
  • Our Rating:

In Depth Review

The Tanaka TCS33EDTP top handle chainsaw has a 14-inch top handle, providing you with plenty of room to control the tool as you use it to cut down tree branches or wood of variable thicknesses. It features a half throttle choke plus a purge primer bulb; these tools make it incredibly easy to start-up and warm-up, even if the chainsaw hasn’t been run for some time.

The chainsaw uses a sprocket nose bar for easier handling, as you’ll be able to control the chainsaw at full power and make more precise cuts without straining too much. The chainsaw also features an automatic gear-driven boiler, so chainsaw operation is smooth and steady. The chain should be oiled consistently no matter what.

Even better, this chainsaw comes with several warranties: a seven-year consumer warranty or a two-year commercial warranty depending on why you’re purchasing it. This is one of the best top handle chainsaws for home use due to the long warranty included with the purchase. It provides excellent value for money and will let you keep the chainsaw in tip-top condition for many years to come.

Pros
  • Comes with several excellent warranties
  • Handling is superb
  • Easy to control for more precise cuts
Cons
  • Difficult to initially assemble

#6. Craftsman V20 Cordless Chainsaw, 20-Inch (CMCCS620M1) – Best Battery Runtime

Craftsman

30 Second Overview

  • Bar and Chain Length: 12 Inches
  • Power: 20 V
  • Gas or Battery: Battery
  • Weight: 14.11 lbs
  • Our Rating:

In Depth Review

The Craftsman V20 Cordless Chainsaw is a phenomenal top handle chainsaw model that utilizes a high-capacity 4.0 Ah battery pack. This gives it an extended run time relative to other battery-powered chainsaws, although it’s not nearly as long-running as gas-powered tools.

The one-handed chainsaw has an automatic oiling feature that makes for minimal maintenance requirements and ensures that the chain will continue to run for long stretches of time. The chainsaw is also an incredibly compact model already. With a blade length of only 12 inches, this top handle chainsaw is particularly adept for slicing and dicing in close quarters or in thick woodland areas.

The chainsaw further features a bubble level tool integrated into the grip. This is perfect for making sure that your cuts are precise and level without having to compromise your stability. Add to that an excellent three-year limited warranty and an included charger that’s lightweight and easy to place in your tool belt, and you got an excellent portable top handle chainsaw that beginners and experts alike will make good use of.

Pros
  • Very easy to handle in tight quarters
  • Excellent battery life for a non-gas-powered chainsaw
  • Contains bubble level for precise cutting
  • Maintenance periods are low due to auto oiling
Cons
  • Battery life still can’t compare to a gas-powered chainsaw

#5. New Echo Top Handle Chain Saw CS-355T – Best for Beginners

Echo Top

30 Second Overview

  • Bar and Chain Length: 16 Inches
  • Power: 400W
  • Gas or Battery: 1.3 Horsepower
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Our Rating:

In Depth Review

The New Echo Top Handle Chainsaw is a tool that has a lot of interesting design choices to make it worth your while. It features an ergonomic handle that makes it easy to wield the chainsaw for long periods of time without straining your hand, plus an integrated choke on/off switch within your thumb’s reach. Starting at the chainsaw and keeping it running is, therefore, easier than with several other top handle chainsaws.

This chainsaw uses a professional-grade two-stroke engine and a reduced effort starting system. The resulting engine performance is typically smooth and consistent, without much lurching or stopping. There’s an automatic oiling system integrated with the chain to improve cutting performance and precision overall.

The top handle chainsaw also has several features to reduce the impact of daily wear and tear on the tool’s inner mechanisms. It has a rear-mounted air filter to reduce debris’ impact on the interior of the motor, plus an engine air pre-cleaner that protects the engine even further. As a result, you shouldn’t need to perform frequent maintenance with this chainsaw, and you will generally have great results no matter your working environment for the quality of the ambient air.

Pros
  • Very easy to maintain
  • Has a great handle for comfort
  • Easy to start and run for long stretches
Cons
  • A little heavy overall

#4. DeWalt DCCS620P1 XR Brushless Cordless Chainsaw Kit – Best Compact Design

DeWalt

30 Second Overview

  • Bar and Chain Length: 12 Inches
  • Power: 30 V
  • Gas or Battery: Battery
  • Weight: 8.8 lbs
  • Our Rating:

In Depth Review

The DeWalt DCCS620P1 top handle chainsaw is a cordless model with a high-efficiency brushless motor. This maximizes its available run time and ensures that the motor will have a great lifespan, so you get a lot of bang for your buck once you purchase the chainsaw. It features a 12-inch blade and bar, and you can adjust the bar tightening with a knob located near the handle.

This tool-free tensioning capability means that it’s incredibly easy to adjust this chainsaw for your current needs and utilize it for a variety of wood cutting work. It’s fairly lightweight and compact, and it only weighs 8.8 pounds. This combined with the blade length means that it’s an ideal tool for cutting down small to medium-sized trees or cutting smaller -sized stock wood rather than massive trunks.

Still, the compact design makes this top handle chainsaw easy to maneuver with in tight quarters and easy to use for the entirety of its battery’s charge. Your hand won’t get tired very easily thanks to the ergonomic handle and the saw’s light weight. With the 20 V battery, you should be able to get a half-hour to an hour of consistent sawing before you need to recharge.

Pros
  • Very easy to handle and carry
  • Features an excellent motor with decent run time and speed
  • Easy to adjust the tension and bar attributes without tools
Cons
  • Sometimes leaks blade oil when not in use

#3. Hitachi CS33EDTP 2-Streoke Gas Powered Top Handle Chain Saw – Best Budget Pick

Hitachi

30 Second Overview

  • Bar and Chain Length: 14 Inches
  • Power: 1.6 Horsepower
  • Gas or Battery: Gas
  • Weight: 12.4 lbs
  • Our Rating:

In Depth Review

The Hitachi CS33EDTP 2-Stroke top handle chainsaw has a 14-inch blade with an advanced anti-vibration system integrated along its length and up to the handle. That means that this saw has reduced muscle fatigue and improves the comfort of the user over the long term. You’ll be able to comfortably use this handle saw even at its maximum power without straining too hard.

The engine runs at 1.6 hp and is a low emission model that reduces environmental impact and makes working with it easier on your lungs. As a gas-powered saw, you’ll be able to use this tool for hard-core work over long stretches of time so long as you have gas to put into its tank.

The saw features a number of excellent advantages that provide great value for money. It features a side axis chain tensioner that lets you adjust the tension on the chain without any tools in just moments. There’s also a half throttle choke and a purge primer bulb that lets you easily start the saw from a cold state. There’s a lanyard ring as well, so you can attach this saw to your harness and climb a tall tree to slice off thinner branches at your leisure. Overall, this versatile saw it perfect for both commercial sawing work and for property pruning and shaping.

Pros
  • Features adjustment controls without the need for tools
  • Anti-vibration system improves user comfort
  • Gas engine is low emission and commercial grade for power
  • Easy to start up from a cold state
Cons
  • Plastic hook isn’t very durable, might break if jerked

#2. Yosoo 900W Gasoline Chainsaw – Best for Precision Work

Yosoo

30 Second Overview

  • Bar and Chain Length: 16 Inches
  • Power: 60 V/30 Wh
  • Gas or Battery: Battery
  • Weight: 18.7 lbs
  • Our Rating:

In Depth Review

The Yosoo Handle Chainsaw as a 900 W motor and a 12-inch chain blade that is ideal for cutting down trees of medium size and diameter. The motor is powerful enough to chop through thicker stock wood but the handle length makes it a great choice for precision work without giving it quite the length required for large-scale commercial sawing.

Even so, this chainsaw is still well worth a look. It has a comfortable ergonomic handle and then anti-vibration design that will reduce the fatigue your hand and arm muscles experience as you use the saw overall long-term. It also features tool-less chain tensioning controls near the handle, so you can always maximize the cutting abilities of the chain.

The cord retainer design feature works well to prevent the power from accidentally being interrupted in the middle of a cut. All in all, this is one of the best top handle chainsaws. It’s incredibly affordable and offers a lot to anyone who wants a great tool to maintain their property or help with storm cleanup. It’s particularly suitable for cutting up fallen trees into more manageable chunks for disposal or burning.

Pros
  • Very ergonomic handle
  • Features anti-vibration system to improve user comfort
  • Has tool-less chain adjustment controls
  • Doesn’t lose power unexpectedly
Cons
  • Starter rope is very fragile, may snap

#1. Craftsman V60 Cordless Chainsaw (CMCCS660E1) – Best for Experienced Homeowners

Craftsman

30 Second Overview

  • Bar and Chain Length: 7.5mph
  • Power: 400W
  • Gas or Battery: 23 x 7 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 240lbs
  • Our Rating:

In Depth Review

The Craftsman CMCCS660E1 cordless top handle chainsaw has a 60 V brushless motor. It runs on a high-performance 2.5 Ah battery pack that provides it with a decent runtime before it needs to be recharged. It also features an automatic oiling system that will keep your blade and chain running smoothly without having to apply oil manually.

There’s also an integrated bubble level tool near the handle to let you make precision saw cuts without having to use a separate device. Furthermore, there are tensioning controls located near the handle to let you adjust the tension of the chain without tools.

With a 16-inch bar and chain, this is one of the best top handle chainsaws all around and an ideal cordless model for taking into the woods on your property and getting rid of small to medium-sized lumber. It’s not quite powerful enough for long-lasting enough to handle thicker trees, but it’s perfect for general property maintenance or firewood preparation. It weighs less than 20 pounds, so carrying it around uneven terrain isn’t too difficult, either.

Pros
  • Comes with tool-less chain adjustment controls
  • Has a bubble level
  • Good battery runtime
  • Automatic oiling for the bar and chain
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with bar oil already, have to use your own

Conclusion

All in all, the Matika XCU02PT Top Handle Chainsaw is a easily the best chainsaw for arborists. Not only does it have the power to cut down most branches you’ll encounter, but it also features a low noise level and no emissions, so you’ll be comfortable as you work. The Tanaka TCS33EDTP Top Handle Chainsaw is another great pick if you are after something more affordable but don’t want to compromise on quality too much.

Whichever saw you pick, we hope this guide has been helpful. Thanks for reading!

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