Best Top Handle Chainsaws for 2021 - Top 3 Chainsaws Guide

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If you live in the countryside or need wood for your fireplace in the winter, a good quality chainsaw can make your life much easier.

A chainsaw can also be of use in the spring if storms  break off limbs from your trees. 

Let's take a look at the top 3 chainsaws and see how they compare.

1. Echo CS-271T 12 Inch Chainsaw

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The first on the list is the Echo CS-271T 12 Inch Chainsaw that offers power at a low weight, making it easy to use  when climbing up in trees to cut off branches.  It's an easy, one-pull start, and a smooth-running engine allows a quality day's worth of work from a small chainsaw.

A neat top handle allows you to use it with one hand, giving you lots of flexibility and reach. Alternatively, you have a second handle for when you need both hands to saw down a larger branch or trunk.

This little 12-Inch has been called a powerhouse and many customers are very pleased with its power and abilities.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Anti-vibration handle
  • Lightweight at 10.65 pounds
  • Easy to use with only one hand
  • 12-inch bar
  • Gas powered
  • Easy, one-pull start

Reasons Not to Buy:

  • Pricey
  • If it's your only chainsaw, it may not be big enough to cut through larger trees and branches

2.  Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Top Handle

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The Husqvarna brand is known for offering quality and durable products, just like this medium-size, top-handled chainsaw.  This gas-powered chainsaw is lightweight for easy one-hand use, leaving your other hand free to hold onto the tree limb while you saw. 

This product will make quick work of cutting off limbs from smaller trees to clear the way.  A side chain adjustment allows you to quickly tighten the chain while working on the job, making for a smooth and proper cut.

Unlike other saws, the anti-vibration feature allows you to use the Husqvarna for a long time without exhausting your fingers.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Top handle saw so you have the option of using one or two hands
  • Anti-vibration technology
  • Lightweight at 7.5 pounds
  • Easy to start
  • Side chain adjustment to tighten chain tension
  • Rope attachment to hoist up into the trees
  • Offers reduced exhaust emissions
  • Lower fuel consumption
  • Well balanced design for easier use

Reasons Not to Buy:

  • Slow start in really cold weather
  • Fuel tank empties in about 30 minutes
  • Power seems to bog down when pressure is applied

3. Makita 14 Inch Top Handle Chainsaw

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This battery powered chainsaw is the best of both worlds: powerful enough to saw through small branches and  lightweight enough to be hoisted up into trees. It even offers a variable speed trigger so you can control the speed of your cut. 

The Makita uses two 18-volt lithium Ion batteries and offers a brushless motor which is super easy to start. With an automatic chain oiler and electronic chain brake, this little saw requires very little maintenance and is ready to go as soon as you pop in your batteries.

Reasons to Buy:

  • Easy start with 2 newly charged batteries
  • Offers quality cutting power on smaller branches and pruning jobs
  • Batteries interchange with most Makita Power tool batteries
  • Little to no maintenance on this battery saw
  • Reduced noise when in operation
  • No exhaust fumes to worry about
  • Automatic chain oiler
  • Electronic chain brake
  • No exhaust fumes
  • Electronic chain brake
  • No spark plugs
  • No engine oil to change

Reasons Not to Buy:

  • Not as powerful as a gas-powered chainsaw
  • You'll need to keep extra batteries charged and ready
  • Not for larger trees or limbs

Chainsaw Safety Tips

When using a chainsaw, always keep safety in mind.  Knowing how sharp the chain is and how fast it turns, it's easy to slip and cut yourself. It can happen to you before you know it, with potentially life-changing consequences. That's why it's essential to stick to the following safety guidance:

  • If alone, always let someone know where you are
  • Always have your cell phone on you so you can call for help
  • Always wear safety goggles and a visor
  • Wear a forestry jacket
  • Wear protective pants or chaps
  • Wear nonslip protective boots
  • Wear heavy-duty gloves

Buyer’s Guide: Finding The Best Chainsaw

When finding the best chainsaw, the most important question that you need to ask yourself is: what are you going to be using it for?  

If it's for home use and you don't have lots of big trees on your property, then a  battery-powered, top-handle chainsaw would work just fine.  These do not have the ability to cut larger trees.  They work well for trimming and pruning, and are simple to carry when you have to climb a tree or walk while carrying a saw.  

Most are lightweight and easy to use, making them a good choice, even for a beginner that needs to cut smaller brush and limbs.  

If you're working on a longer job and pruning and trimming a larger area of brush or trees, it's wise to always keep additional batteries charged and ready.  That being said, these saws require very little maintenance and have no engine oil, gasoline, spark plugs or anything like that to keep up with.

Gas powered top handle chainsaws offer more power and cutting ability than their battery-powered cousins.  

With these saws, the handle is designed so that you hold the saw with one hand and use the other to move the brush or limb.  Most of them come with a second handle so that you can also use two hands on your saw, which is safer and gives you more control.

What Are The Best Top Handle Chainsaws?

Choosing the right top-handled chainsaw won't be the same for everyone, but it does need to be the right decision for you.

The saws with anti-vibration features are always a good choice.  This helps to protect your muscles from the fatigue of the constant vibration from the chainsaw and allows you to run your saw for a longer period of time.

Many people prefer battery-operated saws over gas-powered ones.  This reduces the amount of maintenance and upkeep on your saw and offers them the ability to insert the battery and start their saw.

Consider also that saws are available in many different sizes. The bigger the saw, the longer the bar and chain, giving you more power to cut down a larger tree or to cut off a longer limb. 

On the other hand, larger saws tend to be heavier and more expensive. That's why it's important to know what you're planning to cut, since only larger trees will justify the extra weight and cost of a larger saw.

Whichever saw you buy, always read your instruction manual to ensure that you make your saw last a long time and keep it running smoothly.

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