10 Best Top Handle Chainsaw-Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

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With the right top handle chainsaw, there’s just so much present these days that it’s easy to lose track of what’s important. Don’t worry, that’s where I come in.

In today’s segment, I’ll be taking you guys over the top handle chainsaws that you can choose this year. To get you started, here’s a brief comparison table highlighting the main features!

Comparison table

ImageProductDetails  Price
1 Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Top Handle SawHusqvarna T435 Top Handle Saw (Premium recommendation)Power source: Gas powered
Chain Length:
12 inch
Check Price
2 DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw KitDEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw Kit
(Best for homeowners)
Power source: Battery powered
Chain Length:
12 inch
Check Price
3 HUYOSEN PRO Gas Chainsaw 25cc 2-Stroke Arborist chainsaw Top HandleHUYOSEN PRO Gas Chainsaw
(Budget friendly pick)
Power source: Gas powered
Chain Length:
12 inch
Check Price
4 Tanaka12 inch top handle chainsawTanaka Top Handle Chain Saw
(Best for occasional use)
Power source: Gas powered
Chain Length:
12 inch
Check Price
5 ECHO CS-271T 12 In. ChainsawECHO CS-271T 12 In. Chainsaw
(Best for professional use)
Power source: Gasoline-powered
Chain Length:
12 inch
Check Price

Top 10 top handle chainsaw

I have now briefly reviewed all the models that I have mentioned in the comparison table above.

To make your decision even easier and as a summarizing note, I have also highlighted a few pros and cons with each product as a capping note.

So without further ado, here are the best 10 top handle chainsaws for 2021!

1. Husqvarna T435 Top Handle Saw (Premium recommendation)

Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Top Handle Saw

Starting off with my premium recommendation for you folks, the Husqvarna T435 Top Handle Saw is arguably the best choice for 2021 and I’d highly recommend it.

The Husqvarna is a gas-powered model that weighs as little as 7.5lbs, but packs the punch of a model twice it’s weight class. It’s fairly small in dimension, but that doesn’t mean its compromising on anything.

I’d like to take you through the best bits, and what I really like about this model.

So two main features that I really like about this chainsaw is that it’s easier to work for longer periods of time without worrying about fatigue.

The anti-vibration design makes sure of that, and of course, lower fuel consumption saves the trip back to the garage.

Another reason why I feel this model deserves the icing on the cake is that it comes with rope attachments which make it easier to hoist the saw up the tree, and the fact that new X-force bar simply provides a better cutting experience.

So keeping all that in mind, and with no cons whatsoever to report of, it’s fair to say that the Husqvarna T435 Top Handle Saw should be your go-to choice if you’re looking for the best chainsaw to get this year. And why not? It’s got everything you need!

Pros

  • High capacity battery pack
  • Bubble level for precise cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy work
  • Battery life button isn’t placed good
Check Price on Amazon

2. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw Kit (Best for homeowners)

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw Kit

Now if you’re a homeowner and need something for lawn maintenance work, it’s best to stick with brands that are reputable and can hold their own. And which better brand to trust that Dewalt?

So presenting the DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw Kit, I really think this model takes the cap when it comes to being made specifically for light use from time to time. So what makes it an attractive prospect?

Well, first off, this model gives plenty of power and run time. With one full charge, you’ll be more than equipped to get the bulk of the lawn maintenance work done.

And that’s not even all.

An underrated feature I noted which many people often look over is that it’s awfully terribly well-balanced. The weight distributes so evenly that it makes precision work a breeze.

And oh, did I mention that the batteries are compatible with all Dewalt releases?

So if you’re already using Dewalt and need an upgrade, this is a pretty handy choice to go with.

But with all the good, there’s a few bad as well. It’s not bad enough for me to scrap Dewalt off the list, but still enough to worth note. The first is that the model doesn’t have sight lines, which was a bit of a bummer.

Another was that the oil fill cap isn’t that good, and can come off as a bit wimpy. But once you’re past that point, you’re practically good to go!

Pros

  • High capacity battery pack
  • Bubble level for precise cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy work
  • Battery life button isn’t placed good
Check Price on Amazon

3. HUYOSEN PRO Gas Chainsaw (Budget friendly pick)

HUYOSEN PRO Gas Chainsaw 25cc 2-Stroke Arborist chainsaw Top Handle

If you’re in for a top handle chainsaw that gives you the performance you need for light work and don’t want to break the bank either, then the HUYOSEN PRO Gas Chainsaw is a pretty reliable choice to go with.

I mean, starting off, it’s a budget friendly pick that’s not too much on the wallet. You can comfortably get it, its accessories, and everything you’ll need without breaking a sweat.

But even though this model is priced lower than others, it still packs a good punch that’s good enough for the occasional use. Sure, you won’t really be able to work heavy-duty, but that’s not what you’re after, right?

Moving on, this model is gas powered, comes with a handguard, cushion wraps, and everything you need for a comfortable operation. But even with all that going on, the main benefit that this chainsaw has is that it’s not that loud.

However, I did note that the assembly initially could be a bit of a task. If you keep the guide next to you, it won’t be that hard. But still, it’s definitely more hectic than the other features.

Pros

  • High capacity battery pack
  • Bubble level for precise cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy work
  • Battery life button isn’t placed good
Check Price on Amazon

4. Tanaka Top Handle Chain Saw (Best for occasional use)

Tanaka12 inch top handle chainsaw

The Tanaka Top Handle Chain Saw is the best choice to go with if you want the best top handle chainsaw for the occasional use.

Yes, I’m looking at you. If you want a model for yardwork or the super-rare wood cutting, then the Tanaka is my recommendation for you.

Starting off with the main features, this model is gas-powered and weighs 11.9lbs. Sure, it’s a little on the heavier side but it also comes with the features that justify it.

For starters, I found two things pretty neat.

The first thing that I liked was that the automatic gear driven oiler makes it so much easy to keep on working and letting the machine handle the internal intricacies.

And coupled with the less fuel consumption, you’re practically saying yes to one tank and getting all your work done with it.

Lastly, owing to the design and the Sprocket nose bar, the Tanaka Top Handle Chain Saw also offers more control over each cut and will get you the precision you need. So all in all, it’s a pretty good model!

There are a few downsides, but nothing major that would make me take this feature off. Like for instance, the gas and oil caps sometimes stick, but that’s a rarity you don’t have to really worry about!

Pros

  • High capacity battery pack
  • Bubble level for precise cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy work
  • Battery life button isn’t placed good
Check Price on Amazon

5. ECHO CS-271T 12 In. Chainsaw (Best for professional use)

ECHO CS-271T 12 In. Chainsaw

For those of you looking for a  model that can help you deal with your normal stuff and have the flavor of professionalism to it, the ECHO CS-271T Chainsaw is a must-have!

This model is gas-powered, straight out of Japan’s finest, and weighs as little as 11lbs.

But what I like best about this model is that it has a pretty nice design that makes it easy to move around! And on top of that, the frame is also anti-vibrational introducing more stability in your work and cuts!

As far as operation and accessibility go, the Echo is fairly easy to use and get the hang of. However, since this model is more geared towards professional applications and serious users, I’d recommend sticking to the manual at first. The initial steps require a bit of attention to detail!

I don’t really think there’s much to say to convince you about the Echo. I mean, standing as it is, this model is fairly small.

But once you start putting it into action, you’ll see what I mean. And hey, no downsides count for something, right?

Pros

  • High capacity battery pack
  • Bubble level for precise cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy work
  • Battery life button isn’t placed good
Check Price on Amazon

6. Hitachi 2-Stroke Top Handle Chain Saw

Now here’s one model that I feel very strongly towards. There’s so many things going on for the Hitachi 2-Stroke Top Handle Chain Saw, let’s go through them one by one!

The first thing you’ll note is the aesthetic exterior. Coming in a dark green design, I found this pretty unique because it’s not everyday you find something in that shade as-is.

Mostly it’s just custom work, but with the Hitachi, I think this model carries this frame pretty well!

So starting off, the Hitatchi offers a gas powered engine that makes it fairly strong. It has 1.6HP, can easily handle hard and light work, and packs a good punch for anyone who wants to put this model to the test.

Building on top of that, the model also features a pretty anti-vibration system targeted at reducing fatigue.

It really makes it easier to get a grip as well, owing to the ergonomic frame, and makes it easier to keep working for longer durations of time.

I really like the fact that the chain is CARB compliant and is designed specifically to be ideal for use with shaping and hobby work. This means if you’re looking for something for the occasional use, this model can take the bill.

But if not, the Hitatchi still delivers with general outdoor applications if you’re looking to get serious work done. I mean, a 14 inch blade is cutout to handle the brunt of the work that you’re signing up!

Pros

  • High capacity battery pack
  • Bubble level for precise cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy work
  • Battery life button isn’t placed good
Check Price on Amazon

7. Makita XCU02Z 18V X2 Chain Saw

The Matika is another smart model that I’d definitely recommend. Okay, so this package comes in four choices. You can either get the bare tool, the kit, and the kit with either batteries or batteries and a grinder.

But enough of that, let’s talk about the real deal.

The Matika is a battery-powered model that’s fairly easy to use and boasts one benefit that is characteristic of all battery-models.

It’s very silent, the noise barely enough to wake the neighbors. If you’ve got neighbors who complain, then this is it!

On top of this, the Matika also has zero emissions making it absolutely safe for the environment and a great place to start if you’re looking to make your positive imprint.

Plus, I also feel that this makes the model more sustainable as well, since maintenance is easy and the repairs are fairly cheap.

So moving on, another good thing about this model is that it has a tool-less chain adjustment which makes it easier to keep the motor up and running, without worrying too much about getting your hands dirty.

And lastly, the Matika also has a pretty nice user manual that can help you through the setup and everything.

So concluding, I’d say this model is pretty nice. Sure, the oil tank and the charge indicators could have been better, but it’s not that bad to make all the difference.

Pros

  • High capacity battery pack
  • Bubble level for precise cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy work
  • Battery life button isn’t placed good
Check Price on Amazon

8. GLOGLOW Cordless Gas Chainsaw

The GLOGLOW Cordless Gas Chainsaw is a budget-friendly model that’s gas-powered and weighs in at 1.2kg!

Think about it. A top handle chainsaw so lightweight! You’ll rarely come across models of this sort on the market, or at least at this level of performance.

And yes, even with the Gloglow being so lightweight, it still packs a good punch of performance and is excellent for the occasional user or if you need something for the seasonal cleanup.

Now moving onto what I like about this model, the neat thing is that even though this model has a gas-powered build, it’s still designed in a sustainable manner which keeps the user safe and free from fatigue.

The handles are pretty ergonomic, and the vibration damper makes sure your wrists don’t get the worst end of the deal.

Another neat thing I liked was that the cord retainer is pretty good at preventing unintended power disconnections, making the whole operation run more seamless and efficient for all your needs.

Now I know what you might be thinking. A model so small and budget-friendly, sure there’s got to be some downsides.

And to that, I’d say no that’s because what you’re getting at such a margin makes this model the best in its category, and hey, it’d be unfair if I put it up against the top 5, right?

So with that said, if you’re looking for a lightweight top handle chainsaw, then this is it!

Pros

  • High capacity battery pack
  • Bubble level for precise cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy work
  • Battery life button isn’t placed good
Check Price on Amazon

9. New Echo Top Handle Chain Saw

It’s not everyday that you come across a top handle chainsaw that has a 16 inch blade. Well, now you have, and let’s get right into it!

So starting with the main bit, the New Echo Top Handle Chain Saw is a battery-powered solution to your chainsawing needs.

This model weighs more than most, but I think that’s warranted given the extra 4 inches you’re getting from the standard top handle chainsaw.

Another good thing about this model is that it has a fairly silent operation, and doesn’t make that much noise.

This makes it ideal for use near the house or in the garage, or even if you’re just looking for a model for the occasional use.

On top of that, the New Echo also has a nice touch to it. While this isn’t an objective merit that might warrant a place on this list,

I still think that coupled with the performance, this makes the New Echo a pretty good contender if you’re looking for something smart and functional.

However, with all the pros, there’s one minor con that someone of you might not like which I’ve already mentioned. The weight is more than the standard, but I think the saving grace is that it balances out pretty easily.

Other than that, the New Echo Top Handle Chain Saw is a pretty great choice!

Pros

  • High capacity battery pack
  • Bubble level for precise cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy work
  • Battery life button isn’t placed good
Check Price on Amazon

10. CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Chainsaw

My last but not the least pick for you, I recommend the CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Chainsaw if you want a lightweight and compact model for the occasional use or yard cleanup.

This model has two promising prospects that I think you’d like. I know I do.

The first is that it has a high capacity battery pack, which makes sure it runs fairly long. And yes, it does. You can easily use it for the entire duration of your cleanup, as far as your yard goes.

The second thing that’s nice is the bubble level which allows for precise and leveled cutting. That’s not something you normally see on a top handle chainsaw, so my surprise was definitely well found.

Overall, I think the CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Chainsaw is decent and really amps up the cutting game, so as far as my thoughts go, it’s a yes from me.

However, there’s one downside that I didn’t like about this model.

Other than not being suited for heavy work, I noted that the battery is mounted in a manner which makes it hard to access the battery life button. That’s something I’d like to see improved.

But till that happens, I still found the CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless Chainsaw a good choice, and definitely worth a top 10 feature. Enjoy!

Pros

  • High capacity battery pack
  • Bubble level for precise cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons

  • Not fit for heavy work
  • Battery life button isn’t placed good
Check Price on Amazon

Buyers guide

To get the best choice, sometimes it takes more than just knowing the main features. You need to know what you want, and I’m here to make that easier for you.

In this segment, I’ll be taking you guys over the main features that you should be on the lookout for when choosing a top handle chainsaw for yourself!

Type of chainsaw

The first thing that you should consider is the type of chainsaw you’re planning to get. Generally, there are three options available for you in the top handle chainsaw category.

I’ll be taking you through all three of them, give a brief account of what’s the defining feature so that you can better assess your options.

Gas powered chainsaw

The first option are gas powered chainsaw. While these chainsaws cut fast, smooth, and accurate, they’re also known to be incredibly noisy.

They’re also quite heavy, since they pack a pretty big motor. But that’s just the main cons, let’s go over the good as well.

One of the good things about this type of chainsaw is that they’re known for clean cuts and are a professional user’s best friend, especially since they’re more built for heavy-duty work.

And hence, it’s also natural that they’ll be requiring more maintenance and service.

On that note, gas powered chainsaw are a pretty neat choice for all-around work because they’re effective.

Electric chainsaw

Second on the list are electric chainsaws. They’re less heavy than the gas type, and due to that small compromise in engine power, they’re also slower than gas chainsaws.

However, what the electric chainsaw lacks in pure robust power, it makes up for that in terms of maneuverability and compatibility.

This makes this type a great choice for household or occasional use. The only thing that you’ll need to take care of is making sure there’s an extension nearby.

Battery powered chainsaw

Last but not the least, we have battery powered chainsaws. As the name goes, this model requires no gas and neither does it require any type of extension cord.

Once the battery is in, you’re practically good to go. The only caveat? You’ll need to recharge it before it runs out!

Generally, battery powered chainsaws are pretty versatile and can come in multiple shapes and sizes. This makes them a good choice for both small light work, and big heavy-duty work.

And another good thing is that same brands often produce interchangeable batteries, so you can bank on that as well.

Type of work

Okay, now that we’ve covered the basics, the first thing that you need to consider when choosing a top handle chainsaw is the type of work that you intend to do.

So if you’re living in an area where there’s a lot of woodland that you have to deal with, then the best choice to go with is a gas powered chainsaw. This is because along with generally being heavy-duty, gas powered chainsaw are pretty noisy as well.

You don’t want that in your neighborhood, right? Plus, the carbon monoxide emissions are also bad for tight spaces. So all in all, gas powered is a good choice for big open spaces.

However, if you’re looking at a decent sized lawn that needs attending from time to time, you can either choose between a gas chainsaw or a battery one.

The former, of course, has more power. But don’t worry, battery chainsaws make good on their end as well.

And to sum it up, corded chainsaws are a good choice if you’re working around the house and can easily manage the extension without twisting everything in a bunch.

My recommended? Inspect the area you’ll be working in and choose accordingly!

Frequency

Now another thing that’s also really important is how frequent you cut.

There’s two avenues here. There’s the person who likes staying on top of yard work and cleaning as time goes, without leaving anything for the future.

‘Anything left for tomorrow can be done today’ type of guy. And then there’s the ‘I’ll clean it up later’ guy. I’d recommend different stuff for both.

Okay, so if you’re the type of person who likes to maintain your lawn and prune and cut all the time, a battery chainsaw is a great choice for you.

This is because since you’re consistent, 40 minutes of cutting time from time to time is enough to get the job done without worrying about it.

You won’t have to worry much about recharge because by the time the battery’s out, you’ll be done. And you can just leave it on to charge and use it two weeks later.

However, if you’re the type of person who likes getting to work once every couple of months, I’d recommend a gas powered chainsaw.

Since you’ll definitely be taking more than 40 minutes to attend to the whole thing, it’s more than likely that your chainsaw will run out of fuel.

Now the main advantage that the gas powered chainsaw provides is that you can just refuel it and resume work rather than have to wait for the whole thing to start up again.

Maintenance

Lastly, and an important thing that you need to consider is the amount of time you’re willing to give to your chainsaw.

Let’s be real, chainsaws are an expensive utility to have that require maintenance and it’s more than likely that you’ll need to get them serviced from time to time. I mean, that’s the bare minimum, right?

So as far as maintenance goes, if you’re looking to skip the long lines and waiting period, then an electric chainsaw is your best bet. They’re easy to look after, easy to take care, and are ready to use on the go.

I mean, just plug them out, right? However, one small uncertainty is how long the battery will last you!

Now moving onto gas chainsaws, they sure do bring a lot to the table but the cost of keeping them functional can be a bit much for some people.

With the price of oil and gasoline, and the additional cost of replacing filters and spark plugs, you’re signing up for the whole package.

So make sure to assess the level of commitment you’re willing to put into the craft when choosing the best top handle chainsaw. You don’t want your machine to sit idle, right?

Why choose a top handle chainsaw

There are many benefits of using the best top handle chainsaw. If you’re not already convinced on why you should get one, let’s take the time out to present the complete case for you.

More compact

The first benefit, out of many, is that top handle chainsaws are more compact than traditional models while still giving you full access as far as functionality goes.

What this also means is that top handle chainsaws are lighter and smaller, making travelling and storage so much easier and more convenient for you. Gone are the days when getting from Point A to Point B was a hassle.

Top handle chainsaws mean that you can work all around the yard, wherever you are, without worrying about how to move it around!

Better for the environment

Another underrated feature that top handle chainsaws have is that they’re better for the environment. No, seriously, here’s why!

Given their small size, top handle chainsaws use less fuel while still getting the same amount of job done.

For gas powered models, this also means that you’ll be using less fossil fuels and will be contributing in reducing the overall emissions.

And on top of that, if you want to take things even a step further, the electric and corded chainsaws function on a mechanism that directly eliminates the need for fossil fuels as the primary source.

So what this practically means is that while being smart, you’re also being good for the environment in the process of looking after it. In my opinion, that’s two birds with one stone. And why not?

Allow for ethical cutting

Due to their small size and a more hands-on approach to cutting, the best top handle chainsaw will also allow you to assume full responsibility for each cut.

Since they’re generally easy to maneuver, you can be more specific in your work and won’t have to err around to get what you want.

Since ethical cutting is the only way to go these days, I think that’s something you should definitely give thought to.

On top of that, another benefit for having a top handle chainsaw is that it will remove any need whatsoever of cutting more than needed.

Since the learning curve isn’t that steep, you can master the craft quickly and get direct results without being indirectly damaging the environment.

Ergonomic grip

Here’s one of the most important things that top handle chainsaws bring to the table.

Since these chainsaws are meant to be held in a specific way, and since they’re small and are expected to be used for more than one type of work, manufacturers always make sure to have a grip that’s comfortable to work with.

You don’t want sore forearms or your wrists hurting every time you come back from the lawn, right? The top handle chainsaw will make sure that doesn’t happen!

Easier to work with

Lastly, one underrated aspect that people often take for granted is just how easy it is to work with top handle chainsaws!

Since they’re small, easy to move around, and can often be operated by one hand alone, the best top handle chainsaw for you will make getting yard work done an absolute breeze.

That’s a definite win in my books. And added to the fact that they’re easy to store, move around with, and operate on a daily basis, I don’t think there’s more to ask for that you haven’t already got!

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve compiled a brief list of the most frequented questions by users. Here are the top entries!

What is a top handle chainsaw for?

A top handle chainsaw is a sub-category that functions as a normal chainsaw but allows for movement at the rear handle to the top of the chainsaw, which you can also occasionally operate by one hand if needed.

Are top handle chainsaws dangerous?

Yes, and no. it’s not that top handle chainsaw are intrinsically more dangerous, it’s just that of all the cases reported, people just tend to be careless with them because of their smaller size.

It’s not because of the handle or the functionality, but because of a lack of care.

Can I use a chainsaw without a license?

No. buying or operating a chainsaw doesn’t require any license of sorts.

However, if you find yourself asking this question or feel a little underprepared for the journey ahead, it’s highly recommended that you get a training course before getting started yourself.

Can you use a chainsaw one handed?

Top handle chainsaw can be used one handed, but it’s not recommended to do so especially if you have poor positioning or stability, since that might result in unnecessary damage, inconsistency in work performance, or unwanted accidents.

Can you use a top handle chainsaw on the ground?

Generally, it’s only advisable to use top handle chainsaws on the ground if you’re looking to do pruning. It’ll help with the details and make the cut of a better quality.

But other than that, I’d recommend against using the top handle chainsaw on the ground!

How long is chainsaw training?

The training itself isn’t such a long process, and you’ll have a good amount of control over the operations within weeks.

It’s recommended to get a refresher course every couple of years to keep you updated with techniques and whatnot.

What size chainsaw is the best?

This honestly depends on the type of work that you intend to do. For instance, a saw with a longer bar can of course cut larger diameter woods.

But for decorative and precise work, you might need something smaller. So it comes down to what you need the chainsaw for!

Is 20 inch chainsaw too big?

For most users, yes. A 20 inch chainsaw is too big and is mostly recommended for professionals or if you have an ample amount of experience working with chainsaws.

And even as that, I’d recommend to keep the guide nearby!

How big of a tree can a 20 inch chainsaw cut?

A 20 inch chainsaw can be used for trees with diameters between 30 to 36 inches, and can either be of spruce, birch, oak, beech and hemlock.

Is 16 or 18 inch chainsaw better?

There isn’t that big of a difference between 16 or 18 inch chainsaws. I would recommend either of them if you’re looking for something for moderate use and don’t use your chainsaw day in and out.

Conclusion

Choosing the right top handle chainsaw is important if you want to boost productivity, so don’t skip the steps.

If you liked any of the models above and have feedback let us know in the comment section below!

About Albert P Emmanuel

Hi, It’s the Albert Powell Emmanuel here. You can call me APE. I am the founder of ChainsawAPE. Here, on this website, I aim to teach you all you need to know about chainsaws – yeah, those sharp, scary things that intimidate you. Well, they’re not that hard to use.

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