8 Best 18-inch Chainsaws 2021 – Top Picks & Reviews

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When deciding what chainsaw to buy, choosing the right size is as important as deciding whether you want a gas powered chainsaw or an electric powered one.  Suffice to say there are a lot of sizes to choose from, with smaller sizes like 10 to 16 inches suitable for work around the house, and larger sizes including and upwards of 20 inches suitable for more professional use.

But when you need something that can work great both as a homeowner’s saw while still providing decent power for professional use, you honestly can’t go for anything other than an 18-inch chainsaw. And to help you pick the one that works best for you, we’ve got a list of the top eight 18-inch chainsaws available in 2021. Take a look!

The 8 best 18-inch chainsaws you can buy in 2021

ImageProductDetails  Price
1 - Oregon CS1500 18 in. Corded Electric Chainsaw - Best overallOregon CS1500Specialty:Best Overall
Fuel type: Electric
Cordless: No
Size: 18.00 x 37.50 x 10.50 inches
Weight (lbs.): 12.6
Price: Very Expensive
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2 - Greenworks 20332 18-Inch Corded Electric Chainsaw - Best budgetGreenworks 20332Specialty:Best Budget
Fuel type: Electric
Cordless: No
Size: 33.00 x 10.25 x 8.50 inches
Weight (lbs.): 12.6
Price: Cheapest
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3 - Husqvarna 18 Inch 445e II Gas Chainsaw - Best premiumHusqvarna 445e IISpecialty: Best Premium
Fuel type:
Gas
Cordless:
N/A
Size:
20 x 10 x 12.5 inches
Weight (lbs.):
10.8
Price:
Very Expensive
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4 - Greenworks Pro GCS80420 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw- Best battery-poweredGreenworks GCS80420Specialty: Best Cordless
Fuel type: Electric
Cordless: Yes
Size: 32.4 x 9.65 x 7.56 inches
Weight (lbs.): 10.8
Price: Expensive
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5 - Echo CS-400 18 inch Gas Chainsaw - Best high-powered chainsawEcho CS-400Specialty: Best High-powered
Fuel type: Gas
Cordless: N/A
Size: 21 x 12 x 10 inches
Weight (lbs.): 10.1
Price: Very Expensive
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6 - Remington RM4618, 18 in. 42cc 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw - Best budget gas chainsawRemington RM4618Specialty: Best budget gas chainsaw
Fuel type: Gas
Cordless: N/A
Size: 34 x 12 x 12 inches
Weight (lbs.): 16.4
Price: Moderate
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7 - WORX WG304.1 18-Inch Chainsaw- Best lightweight chainsawWORX WG304.2Specialty: Best Lightweight
Fuel type: Electric
Cordless: No
Size: 20.69 x 13.19 x 10.81 inches
Weight (lbs.): 11.3 (including packaging)
Price: Cheap
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8 - BLACK+DECKER CS1518 Electric Chainsaw 18-Inch - Best for beginnersBLACK+DECKER CS1518Specialty: Best for Beginners
Fuel type: Electric
Cordless: No
Size: 20.6 x 13.6 x 8.1 inches
Weight (lbs.): 12 (including packaging)
Price: Cheap
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1. Oregon CS1500 18 inh Chainsaw – Best overall

There are a lot of features that combine to make a good chainsaw, such as a powerful motor, a durable build, and a sturdy chain and bar to name a few key ones. Then there are extra features, ones you don’t find in every product in the market, like a tool-less chain tensioning system, an automatic built-in chain sharpener for example.

But when you combine all these great features, and add the finishing touch of glowing reviews from anyone who’s ever had the good fortune of buying it, you get a product that’s truly the best in its class. And that, in summary, is just the kind of product the Oregon CS1500 is.

Pros

  • Powerful 15 Amp motor
  • Self-sharpening system
  • Low noise, silent between cuts
  • Built-in Lubritech oiling system
  • Relatively inexpensive

Cons

  • Corded, cannot be used in the wild

2. Greenworks 20332 18-Inch – Best budget

Finding a good product in the least amount of money will always be an everlasting shopper’s dilemma, and the case can’t be truer when hunting for a good 18-inch chainsaw. Most cheap chainsaws are usually of the 10-inch and 14-inch variety, meaning you’d be out of luck if you really need a budget 18-inch chainsaw. Well, you would be anyway, if it hadn’t been for the Greenworks 20332.

For the price it’s available in, it’s rather impressive how many features Greenworks still managed to squeeze into the chainsaw despite that. And while the electric motor is certainly not the most powerful we’ve ever seen, it’s still got some decent power behind it, making it capable of tackling some of the harder cutting jobs with relative ease.

Pros

  • Replacing your rip cord is a fairly complicated procedure, so we recommend you get a professional to look into it and fix it for you.

Cons

  • Not cordless, cannot be used in the wilderness

3. Husqvarna 18 Inch 445e Gas Chainsaw – Best premium

It’d be impossible for us to avoid putting in a Husqvarna product in a list that details all the best chainsaws out there. After all, in the world of chainsaws, the brand Husqvarna is practically legendary, with chainsaw enthusiasts all over the world singing praises for the chainsaws this company produces.

While Husqvarna mostly caters to the professional side of the chainsaw consumer pool, with their more popular chainsaws being 20 inches and above in size, they do have smaller chainsaws too. So, if you’re looking for a chainsaw that has a big brand name behind it, and rightly delivers on the power and performance that’s expected from it, the Husqvarna 445e II is probably your best bet.

Pros

  • Very powerful gas engine
  • Husqvarna offers great customer support
  • Quick release air filter for easy cleaning
  • Simple chain tensioning system
  • Lower fuel consumption and less emissions

Cons

  • Very expensive

4. Greenworks Pro GCS80420 18-Inch

Corded electric chainsaws are great and everything, but these products are generally useless when it comes to portability and using them in areas where you won’t have access to a mains power supply. Gas chainsaws do offer a suitable alternative, but if you REALLY want an 18-inch electric chainsaw that’s independent of external power sources, you’d be remiss if you didn’t buy the Greenworks Pro GCS80420.

While the previous Greenworks entry on this list was only a budget chainsaw and hence lacking in more impressive features, the GCS80420 goes all out with its premium build quality and design, powerful brushless motor, and a slew of other great features. And there’s absolutely no need to worry about constantly having to recharge batteries while you work; with a massive 80V battery, you’re bound to get almost all jobs done in a single charge.

Pros

  • Massive battery 80V, can provide 150 cuts on full charge
  • Battery is usable with other Greenworks power tools too
  • Powerful brushless motor
  • Tool-less chain tensioning
  • Steel bucking spikes for support

Cons

  • Expensive

5. Echo CS-400 18 inch Chainsaw

Perhaps the best way to describe the Echo CS-400 is to simply say that it’s one beast of a machine. Gas powered chainsaws are generally more powerful than their electric counterparts, but the CS-400 rivals even the Husqvarna 445e II for the title of best gas chainsaws in the 18-inch size category with the fast cuts and tough jobs that it can handle. And while the Husqvarna remains the superior product, the lower price of the Echo CS-400 makes a good case for buying it regardless.

That being said, we have to deduct points for how noisy this chainsaw is, and how it’s sometimes a little fussy to get started after being out of use for a while. But for the power and superior build quality it provides in spite of these flaws, we’d say the Echo CS-400 is still a good buy.

Pros

  • Very powerful gas engine
  • Lightweight
  • Can easily handle tough cutting jobs
  • Great value for money
  • Durable build quality

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Still more expensive than an electric chainsaw

6. Remington 18 inch Chainsaw

Hung up on the idea of owning an 18-inch gas chainsaw but the previous two entries are a just way out of your budget? Worried you’ll have to settle for an electric chainsaw, even though you really don’t want to? Well, have no fear, the Remington RM4618 is here to answer your prayers.

Even though you’re only paying about half the price of the Husqvarna 445e II, you’re still getting a load of great features on your chainsaw, including an automatic oiler system, effortless quick-start system, and even an anti-vibration system to reduce fatigue. But most important of all is 46 cc engine at the core of the chainsaw, which is aggressive enough to cut down most wood branches and logs in mere seconds.

Pros

  • Best budget 18-inch gas chainsaw
  • Automatic oiler system
  • Powerful and efficient gas engine
  • Effortless quick-start system
  • Anti-vibration to reduce fatigue

Cons

  • Heavier than other gas chainsaws
  • More expensive than electric chainsaw alternatives

7. WORX WG304.1 18-Inch

No matter how often you go to the gym, sawing wood with a chainsaw for hours on end will eventually leave you fatigued and your arms begging for respite. And while the difference of one or two pounds between two chainsaws may not seem all that significant on paper, in practice even that small difference can end up making a huge impact.

Enter the WORX WG304.1, the most lightweight 18-inch chainsaw we could find on the market. Long hours with this baby are hardly anything to worry about; using it is not going to strain you much, nor will you have to stop in the middle to recharge or refuel this corded chainsaw. And with features like an auto chain-tensioning system and a 3 years manufacturer’s warranty, you can’t help but be even more convinced to buy this stellar product.

Pros

  • Lightweight chainsaw
  • Corded, can be used for hours on end
  • Auto chain tensioning system
  • Auto lubricating system
  • 3 years manufacturer’s warranty

Cons

  • Can’t be used in the wilderness
  • Build quality leaves a lot to be desired

8. BLACK+DECKER CS1518 18-Inch

Buying your first saw but completely overwhelmed by the number of options on the market? Maybe all you need a chainsaw for is some very light work around the house, and you really don’t want to get a chainsaw that’s daunting to look at, let alone use. Well, for beginners like you, we present the BLACK+DECKER CS1518, a no-nonsense, barebones electric chainsaw, designed with consumers like you in mind.

Using the CS1518 is super uncomplicated, and even a single passing glance is enough to see why; an easy to access trigger handle, a chain brake for safety, an easily workable chain tensioning wheel, and a couple of other basic features combine to make this the most hassle-free chainsaw on this list.

Granted the CS1518 isn’t exactly your top of the line chainsaw, but when you don’t even need mind-blowing performance in the first place, a simple tool like the CS1518 will do just fine.

Pros

  • Simple and easy to use design
  • Corded can run for hours on end
  • Decent motor strength and cutting speed
  • Easy to use chain tensioning wheel
  • Automatic oiling system

Cons

  • Other chainsaws have stronger motors and more durable build

How to pick the right chainsaw size

You only need to take a quick browse through the internet to learn that chainsaws are available in quite a few sizes, ranging from as small as 6-inches all the way up to 28-inches and 32-inches in most commercially available models (there are even larger chainsaws, but we’ll address this in a bit)

But what do all these numbers mean? What features distinguishes a 14-inch saw from an 18-inch saw, and why do we even have chainsaws of variable lengths in the first place?

How chainsaw sizes are measured and what they mean

Unlike most power tools that are rated according to the engine and motors they use (the more powerful the engine/motor, the higher the rating), chainsaw sizes do not follow this norm. Instead, chainsaws are measured according to the length of the chain guide-bar they work with. So for example, an 18-inch chainsaw refers to a chainsaw that is rated to work with an 18-inch chain guide bar.

But what does the size of the guide-bar really determine anyway? After all, won’t a stronger motor be able to handle tougher jobs, regardless of the length of chain it has to run?

Well, yes, but the guide-bar is what determines the diameter of wood the saw can cut through.

As a general rule, the longer the bar on your chainsaw, the thicker the branches and logs it can be used to saw through. To be more precise actually, your chainsaw can be used to cut any type of wood that has a diameter at least 2 inches smaller than your chainsaw bar.

Ok. But could you still use a shorter bar chainsaw to cut a larger piece of wood?

Technically yes, but it is very discouraged to do so in practice, since this runs the risk of experiencing kickback. Kickback occurs when the tip of your chainsaw bar gets pinched on the wood or strikes a piece of metal lodged in the wood. The result is a powerful upward jerk that flings the chainsaw towards you, which is by no means a good thing.

Though almost all chainsaws available on the market today come with a chain-brake system that activates in the event of a kickback, the best way to keep yourself safe is to avoid kickback altogether. And the way to do that is to simply not use the tip of the bar for cutting wood, since this is the area on the area that is most easily pinched (hence named the kickback zone).

And if you’ve been paying attention, you will have realized that using a chainsaw that has a guide-bar shorter than the diameter of the wood you’re cutting through will undoubtedly result in the kickback zone coming into contact with wood. Which is why it’s best to always use a chainsaw with a longer bar than the thickness of the wood you’re cutting.

Coming full circle

All this helps you understand why the chainsaw guide-bar is used as the standard for comparing chainsaws. Since you only need more power behind your saw when you’re cutting bigger pieces of wood, and only the chainsaws with larger guide-bars are safe to use when cutting large pieces of wood, manufacturers logically attach more powerful motors on their chainsaws with increasing bar length.

But why even bother making smaller chainsaw sizes to begin with, you might ask. If the maximum diameter of wood I can cut through with my chainsaw is 2 inches smaller than the length of my bar, then shouldn’t I just buy the largest chainsaw I can get, since that’d be good for both small and large pieces of wood?

While the logic behind the above question is sound and does present a valid point, we’re afraid it’s still rather misguided. No, buying the biggest chainsaw you can find is not a good idea, and here’s why.

Why bigger isn’t always better

Before we proceed, we’ll first grant our puzzled readers the affirmation that yes, you can use a bigger chainsaw to handle both small and large sawing tasks. However, why you shouldn’t buy a large chainsaw comes down to four reasons:

  1. You don’t need it: Say you’re a homeowner, and all you’ll ever need a chainsaw for in the foreseeable future is just trimming your hedges and sawing off relatively small branches off the trees in your yard. Now you could buy a super larger chainsaw, but what good will that extra power do you when you have practically no use for it?
  • You’re not experienced enough: Unless you’re helplessly unaware of this rather obvious fact, we need not remind anyone how dangerous a chainsaw can be, even more so in the hands of an inexperienced individual. Just as you would not trust a novice driver in the seat of an F1 racecar, so too one can’t expect a novice to be able to safely handle a large and powerful chainsaw.
  • You’re too weak: Now hold on, there’s no need to get all huffy and puffy about your masculinity right now. All we’re saying is that you should be aware of your own physical limitations and how much strain you can put on your body. Larger chainsaws will always be much heavier than smaller ones, so long sawing sessions are obviously going to be more tiring on people of a weaker muscular disposition (we’re trying to be very considerate here and not call you weak again). And working a chainsaw with tired limbs is very dangerous too.
  • You’ll be spending way more than is necessary: Large chainsaws are by no means cheap, so if you’re buying something that’s too powerful for your needs, you might as well be flushing that extra cash down the drain.

So, just buy a smaller cheaper saw that suits your needs; trust us, you’ll be much better off without an unnecessarily powerful one.

Best 18 inch chainsaw

Common chainsaw sizes and the jobs they’re generally used for.

Here’s a helpful table of the commonly available sizes of chainsaws on the market and the jobs they’re best suited for.

Chainsaw lengthRecommended use
10 inches, 12 inchesLight cutting, trimming and pruning
14 inches, 16 inchesCutting down small trees and tree branches
18 inches, 20 inchesCutting down a medium sized tree, medium duty tasks
24 inches, 28 inches, 32 inches (& higher)Cutting down large trees, logging, heavy duty tasks

FAQs

Warming up your gas chainsaw by letting it run idle for a couple of seconds gives it time to properly get fired up and lubricate itself, and it also ensures that fuel and air mix in the right ratio at a constant temperature. Warming up ensures your chainsaw runs smoothly at full-throttle.

Electric chainsaws don’t need to warm up since the electric motors they use don’t have the same limitations as internal combustion engines. Electric motors have access to a 100% of their power straight from the get-go.

Gas chainsaws mostly use a 2-cycle engine that needs to be refueled with regular gasoline and recommended 2-cycle engine oil. The exact recommended ratio of gasoline to oil depends on your model (consult owner’s manual), but a typical ratio is something like 50:1.

Run-times are highly variable, since they depends on the size of the fuel tank, the efficiency of your engine, and the amount of work you do in one go. Consult your product’s manufacturer for a clearer estimate.

Chainsaw chaps are made of special ballistic fibers. When the chainsaw cuts these fibers, they immediately fly out and consequently get lodged in the chain, clogging it and slowing it down. Thus, they give you more time to react and get the chainsaw away from your legs.

When the lever is pushed forward (either intentionally or as a reaction to kickback) the chain-brake engages and stops the motor from running the chain along the guide-bar.

You can if the pieces of wood are at least 2 inches smaller in diameter (16 inches in this case). However, be sure you know the proper way to fell a tree before proceeding.

Arborist chainsaws need to be small, lightweight and uncorded. With these features in mind, some battery powered 18-inch chainsaws might work as a good arborist chainsaw. However, you’d be better off using something smaller and lighter like a 10-inch or 14-inch chainsaw.

Yes, if the chain goes through extensive wear or has been fit too tight or too loose on the bar, it can break while cutting. That’s why you should always inspect your chain before working.

Here are some troubleshooting tips you can try:

  • Check your fuel
  • Check your spark plug
  • Check if your engine is flooded and unflood it if so
  • Clean out your carburetor

There is too much fuel inside the engine, which has left no room for oxygen and hence no combustion inside the engine.

Let your engine rest for about 20 minutes or so with the engine cap open to let the excess fuel vaporize. After that, you can try starting it again.

Your carburetor can get clogged if you leave fuel too long inside your chainsaw. When the fuel eventually evaporates, it leaves behind a thick layer of some dirty substance that can clog the carburetor.

You can use a carburetor cleaner to clean your chainsaw carburetor, although it’s more advisable to let a professional handle this matter.

  • Check your batteries, or cord
  • Check if your chain brake is engaged and disengage if so
  • Check if you’ve accidentally flipped a power switch

Replacing your rip cord is a fairly complicated procedure, so we recommend you get a professional to look into it and fix it for you.

Disclaimer: There are definitely chainsaws much larger than 32 inches, with sizes as ridiculous as 5 feet and even more! However, we doubt most people would need anything longer than 32 inches and have hence omitted these sizes from the table.

In the end, who does an 18-inch chainsaw suit best?

As you can see from the table, an 18-inch chainsaw is great for when you need something for medium duty tasks. It’s not exactly your typical homeowner’s chainsaw, since an 18-inch chainsaw would suit someone who’s a little more serious about his woodworking and needs a little more oomph from his saw. That being said, an 18-inch saw is still light enough to be usable around the house, which means it’s effectively the best of both worlds.

How to use a chainsaw the right way

While picking the right chainsaw to buy isn’t something you need to sweat too much over (thanks to our very helpful buyer guides of course, wink wink), knowing how to properly use a chainsaw is a very different matter.

After all, a chainsaw is right up there among the most potentially dangerous power tools on the market, and if not used with proper care, it could result in some very serious injuries. It’s a tool powerful enough to bring down thick sturdy trees, so one can only imagine the havoc it can wreak on the comparatively frail human body.

Not to worry though, because we’re here to tell you all the essentials you need to know for safely operating a chainsaw. Of course there’s a lot we can’t cover that only proper training and experience can help you learn (and if you have access to it, we HIGHLY recommend you take it), but with these fundamental concepts down, even an average homeowner can safely operate a chainsaw.

Before anything else…. Safety

Time and time again, we hear the same asinine question: “Is it really necessary to wear protective gear when I’m using a chainsaw (or some other power tool for that matter)” And every time, we give the same tired and agonized reply: “YES GODDAMNIT!”

Let’s be very clear about something. Safety gear is not optional, not when working with power tools, and especially not when working with a chainsaw. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, accidents can always happen (which is why a truly experienced user would never even dream of working without proper safety equipment in the first place).

So before you even pick up your chainsaw for cutting, make sure you’ve at least got these mandatory safety equipment on:

  • Helmet
  • Eye protection (goggles)
  • Face protection (face shield)
  • Noise mufflers
  • Chainsaw safety jacket
  • Chainsaw chaps
  • Steel-toed work boots

And yes, all this safety equipment can be quite heavy and uncomfortable to wear. But ask yourself this: Would you rather be hot and uncomfortable outfitted in safety apparel for a few hours, or would you want to spend weeks in the hospital recovering from horrific wounds, battling for your life?

It’s not a trick question guys, the answer is VERY clear. Get safety equipment. Period.

Starting the saw

Gas chainsaws: Almost all gas chainsaws are started by pulling on a rip cord, which in turn starts the internal combustion engine and the chainsaw roars to life. However, simply pulling on the rip cord in any way you like will not do. Instead, always follow this safer procedure to start your chainsaw:

  1. Engage the chain-brake by pushing forward on the chain-brake lever.
  2. Place the chainsaw on the ground between your legs, with your legs spread apart.
  3. With your left hand firmly holding down the chainsaw on the bar, pull the rip cord repeatedly until the engine sputters to life.
  4. You may need to rev the engine to get it warmed up by squeezing on the trigger a few times.
  5. Pick up the chainsaw and carry it to where you want to use it. You should disengage the chain-brake only when you are beginning to cut your piece of wood.

Electric chainsaws: Unlike gas chainsaws, electric chainsaws require no special startup procedure. Just plug your chainsaw into the mains outlet (if it’s a corded one) and switch it on. After that, it’s just a simple matter of pulling the trigger to get the chainsaw running at full speed, no warm up required.

The correct way to cut

Hold your chainsaw firmly and properly, with your right hand on the trigger handle and the left holding up the chainsaw with the support bar. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and slowly lower your chainsaw to the point where you want to cut on the tree, making sure the chain-brake is engaged when doing so.

Once you’ve positioned your chainsaw at the right spot, disengage the chain-brake and squeeze the trigger, which will get the chain spinning around the bar. Guide the saw into the wood, applying steady pressure on the chainsaw throughout the process. You can drive your chainsaw any direction you like so long as you have proper control over it, but for beginners it’s advised to make downward cuts only.

A handy list of DON’Ts

  • Don’t use the tip of the saw to cut wood, since that can lead to kickback which can be very dangerous.
  • Don’t work with an unsharpened saw. You’d be wasting a lot of fuel and getting slower cuts.
  • Don’t work close to children, pets and other people.
  • Don’t run your saw to the point of overheating.
  • Don’t try to fell trees or saw overhead branches without proper training and knowledge.
  • Don’t keep working if you’re tired, since you could lose control of the saw much more easily.

And that’s about it. Happy sawing!

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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