You must be thinking, “What can possibly be done with a small limbing chainsaw?”
Dear readers, there are endless opportunities when using a small limbing chainsaw. You could easily use one for removing upper limbs when climbing high up a ladder and get off the lower limbs of the trees easily as well, in your home gardens or around your property.
Talking from an entirely different perspective, these chainsaws could also be used to make delightful crowns on your shrubs for engaging and attracting children towards gardening.
In this article, we’re going to consider the most appropriate saws to be used in limbing circumstances. However, keep in mind that the type of chainsaws we’re talking about today will not be fit for tackling large trees in forests or woods, so expect likewise from them!
Best Chainsaws For Limbing Reviews 2021
So here we have it, five great chainsaws, perfect for small limbing tasks, with a detailed and true description of the features and specifications.
1. ECHO CS-271T 12 Inch Chainsaw – Perfect for Medium duty Jobs
ECHO CS271T is a heavy-duty gasoline-powered chain saw designed for pruning, limbing, and clearing trees. The saw is unique in it that although it is offered with a 12 inches bar, it can also house the longer 14-inch bar to further enhance the cutting capacity.
It has a throttle lock button to keep the saw running at a consistent speed during cutting. It is powered by a 2 stroke gasoline engine with a capacity of 26.9 cc equipped with the patented I-30™ smart start system. This boosts the engine startup with a quick start, especially in a colder environment.
Weighing at around 11 pounds, this saw features a top grip handle to comfortably slice through the wood. The chain can be easily adjusted through side access in a toolless manner. The saw is rich in safety measures as it is designed with an inertia-driven braking system to readily stop the chain.
The fuel efficiency is ensured by the G-Force Engine air-purification system which centrifugally removes the sawdust from the air before letting it into the saw engine.
The vibrations originating from cutting are mitigated by the use of an anti-vibration system specially designed by ECHO. It also has the exceptional ability to semi-automatically lubricate the chain with oil.
2. BLACK+DECKER LCS1020B Cordless Chainsaw – Premium Brand Reputation
Black & Decker’s LCS1020B is a battery-operated chain saw designed for light to medium-duty cutting. It is powered by 20 Volt Max Lithium-Ion batteries to rotate the 10 inches chain to efficiently cut through the branches, limb, and trees.
Although you can easily cut trees with an average size of around 6 inches with this saw depending on the nature of wood, this saw can only be used for medium-duty cutting. The saw is supplied with the 10 inches premium Oregon bar and chain designed to reduce kickbacks.
The chain tension can easily be adjusted in a toolless manner. The battery life for this saw is not very impressive but can be enough for an average casual homeowner looking for pruning or limbing their backyard.
Weighing only 7.6 pounds, several sections of this chain saw are made out of plastic similar to the other Black & Decker tools which are well known for their performance over the years. The saw is accredited for padded handle along with low noise and vibration during the cutting.
It also features an automatic chain oiling system that lubricated the bar as well as the chain to avoid burning the cut surface. The semi-transparent window is provided to let the user check oil levels quickly and easily.
3. Makita XCU02Z Chain Saw – Ideal for Limbing
Makita is a brand of choice for many when it comes to saws. Makita’s XCU02Z is a battery-operated chain saw equipped with a brushless motor attached via a direct drive mechanism to the chain. This gives it the capabilities of a gasoline-powered chain saw with the ease of a cordless one.
It is powered by two lithium-ion batteries with an 18 Volt Max to rotate the chain to almost 4000 feet per minute (FPM). It uses the universal Makita battery packs which can be alternated between other Makita products. It also features a variable speed control within the trigger which can adjust the speed anything in between 0 to 3940 FPM.
Although it features a 12-inch guide bar, this saw can easily accommodate a 14-inch guide bar. The patented Makita’s Rapid Optimum Charger Technology can communicate with the microchip inside the battery pack and actively optimizes current, voltage, and working/charging time.
It is designed with Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) which comprises a built-in lock-off lever to prevent any accidental chain engagement and auto power-off features which shuts-off the saw after a certain time interval.
The saw is offered with several advanced features like tool-less chain tension adjustment, electric brakes, a front handguard, and an adjustable chain lubrication system. Weighing only 11.5 pounds, this saw has an incredibly low noise level and with the help of a rubberized soft grip, it is very good for long usage sessions.
4. Sun Joe SWJ599E 14-inch Chainsaw – Tree Limb Cutting Master
Sun Joe’s SWJ599E is a corded electric chain saw specifically designed for tree-limbing as the name suggests. This versatile chain saw is powered by a 9 amperes electric motor to rotate a 14 inches chain to cut logs of almost similar size.
The 14-inch guide bar is designed with chain brakes and a buck grip along with an anti-kickback design. A safety switch is provided to protect from any accidental startups while a quick start-up system is designed to make it up and running with the push of a button.
It is supplied with an automatic chain lubricator which sprinkles oil on the chain and the guide bar to avoid surface burning. The saw doesn’t emit any harmful fumes during usage and is also a relief for ears as it is practically noiseless.
The easy-to-maintain design of the chain saw is robust and allows for safety and convenience before and after cutting. The tool-free tensioning mechanisms help you readily and easily adjust the chain tension.
Its semi-transparent/translucent oil tank gives away the level of oil inside it to help you keep track of everything. With a low vibration mechanism, this saw is ideal for pruning and limbing work.
5. WORX WG305 Chainsaw – Compact Design with High Maneuverability
The last on our list is WG305.1 from WORX. This compact corded electric chain saw run by a powerful 8 ampere brushed motor is designed to cater to the needs of casual users and homeowners alike. Its small size and medium-duty power make it ideal for limbing, pruning, and log clean-up.
The powerful motor rotates the 14 inches chain at almost 1700 feet per minute (FPM) giving it a high cutting capacity of almost 12 inches in a single pass for softwood. The guide bar and chain are designed to reduce the kickback and provide a smooth cutting operation.
The sprocket nose design is fairly common so that you can easily find a replacement of any broken parts should the need arise. The corded electric motor is very easy to start regardless of the weather but the usage is limited by the length of the cord. The inherent safety requires the safety lock to be pressed before operating the trigger.
It features a tool-less chain tension adjustment system that can be used to quickly and easily prepare your saw for use. Lacking the automatic lubricating feature may not be an issue for a pro, but for a novice user, it would be tough to divide attention between cutting and keeping the chain lubricated.
Weighing around 7 pounds, this compact lightweight chain saw is offered with a rear handle, front, and rear handguards, and bumper spikes which act as a secondary safety measure during cutting. It also features a manual chain and bars lubricating system with a transparent window for checking oil levels.
The Buying Guide Of Limbing Chainsaw
Whether you are a homeowner or a farmer, at some point you have to tackle the long overdue tree limbing. And we can help you choose just the right tool for that. The following guide is designed to help you pick the best chain saw for your limbing requirements.
- Power Source
We have covered this topic previously in our buying guide for chain saws but to give you an overview, chain saws can be powered by three different sources.
The most commonly found chain saws are corded electric versions powered by an AC electric outlet. These saws are relatively lighter with ample power. However, their maneuverability is restricted to the length of cord and/or extension cable and there these saws are not very suitable for off-site jobs.
Maneuverability can be compensated either by battery-operated chain saws which are relatively underpowered or the most powerful of all, gasoline-powered chain saws. Gasoline chain saws are the epitome of power and maneuverability but are heavy and it might be an overkill if your only requirement is pruning and limbing.
- Weight, Bar Length, and Chainsaw Size
As chain saws are handheld tools, it is very important to consider their weight when looking for one. The lightest are usually corded electric which do not bear the weight of power source with them and the gasoline-powered ones are the heaviest.
If you have a tilt towards the heavyweights, do consider your skill level and physical strength to avoid any accident from kickback. The other important factor is the bar length and consequently, the overall size of the chain saw. Bar length basically defines the cutting capacity of a chain saw.
However, you should keep in mind that a larger bar length means a more powerful and thus heavier chain saw; and you might need to consider your cutting requirements before settling for the appropriate power.
- Grip and Vibration Dampening Mechanism
Since the chain saws are power tools, they produce enough vibrations and for long usage in a single go, keeping the heavyweight in the air can be challenging. Here comes the role of a good handle design and a soft grip. The ergonomically designed handles keep your hand at a comfortable angle during cutting and help you against fatigue.
In addition to the good handle with a comfy grip, you also have to rely on some sort of anti-vibration mechanism to reduce the intense vibrations arising from the power tool. Of course, if you only require the chain saw for casual limbing once in a blue moon, you can ignore these features.
- Fuel-Efficiency & air-injection system of Gasoline chain saws
Out of the three types of chain saws, the gasoline-powered chain saws are very inefficient in terms of fuel economy. Some of the modern versions are however equipped with advanced high-tech engines to reduce this inefficiency.
On a smaller scale, the efficiency of the gasoline engine can also be improved by funneling clean air to burn the gasoline. This is mainly done by installing a filter, which can get chocked by the sawdust and debris.
Several updated gasoline chain saws thus have a peculiar air-injection system installed that removes the sawdust and chips from the air before entering the filter.
- Safety Considerations
Safety is one of the most important considerations for a power tool such as a chain saw which is inherently dangerous. Modern chain saws are designed with several safety features like inertia-activated chain brakes, anti-kickback chain design, and blade guard.
Also, the users are advised to use secondary safety measures such as non-slip boots and gloves, safety goggles or face shields, etc.
- Additional features
In addition to the key features mentioned above, chain saws might have some additional things on them. These additives may not have a direct impact on the cutting ability of the saw, yet these can facilitate your cutting experience to make it smooth and comfortable.
These include toolless chain tension adjustment, automatic chain oiling mechanism, ease of starting, and LED lights.
For purchasing a chain saw for your tree limbing project, it is always good to think about possible usage requirements and your budget before opting for the best possible choice.
What Could a Small Chainsaw Be Used For?
You’re probably still reading this because you’re planning on cutting down some trees or shrubs. But did you know that a small chainsaw is capable of doing so much more?
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do with these little handy power tools:
1. Limb Pruning
Small chainsaws are ideal for tasks like cutting limbs from small trees. The reality is that you shouldn’t use a large chainsaw for this job because it makes it more dangerous (and they’re way too heavy).
2. Trimming Bushes
Hedge clippers and electric trimmers can only go so far when it comes to trimming bushes. Especially if you’re cutting thicker branches. A small chainsaw will easily cut through bushes and will also speed up your job.
3. Felling a Tree
The technical word for chopping down a tree is “felling.” Since lightweight chainsaws are easier to carry at low heights, they’re are ideal for felling smaller diameter trees.
4. Logs Cutting
After felling a tree, you can cut it up into manageable logs using a small chainsaw. The same can be said for cleaning up after trees that have accidentally fallen down in your yard.
One of the most common reasons for owning a lightweight chainsaw is that it makes splitting firewood a breeze. Small chainsaws relieve you of the aches and pains you endure when chopping wood down with an ax.
Getting to the end of this article, you must have learned that the best smallest chainsaws also come in a variety of types. You’re not just jammed into buying a small gas-operated chainsaw, but you can also choose from an electric or battery-driven kind.
Remember, this article is focused only on smaller limbing chainsaws in the market in terms of both size and power, perfect for arborists and homeowners alike.
However, if you want to limb larger trees or rip logs there are plenty of other powerful options available in the market, or you can read our previous reviews on chain saws to make a learned decision.
So choose wisely from the top 5 chainsaws according to your limbing needs and requirements.