The 5 Best 16-Inch Chainsaws of 2024

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By Jake Hill

Chainsaws

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If you’re in the market for a new chainsaw, then choosing one to buy is no easy decision – there’s a lot to consider. You’ll need to think about what tasks you’ll need it to perform, how long you need it to last, and any other specific needs you may have.

When you’re shopping for the best 16-inch chainsaw in particular, you’re probably buying it for a certain project or type of job on your farm, job site, or backyard.

Our top five 16-inch chainsaws are pretty broad in performance and features, from the light and affordable Craftsman S165 to the rugged and powerful Toro 51851. This list contains both gas chainsaws and battery-powered options, so there’s potential perfection for all different needs.

But one fact applies to all of them – each of these chainsaws is a serious competitor and worth considering. The only questions are which is our top pick, and which is yours?

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
Milwaukee M18 16 inch

Milwaukee M18 16 inch

  • Durable and reliable
  • Comfortable despite the weight
  • Emits minimal exhaust fume
10
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Editor's Choice
Stihl MS 170 16 inch

Stihl MS 170 16 inch

  • Lightweight
  • Lots of useful features
  • Easy to maintain
9.5
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Best Value For Money
Toro 51851 16 inch

Toro 51851 16 inch

  • Affordable
  • Great power 
  • Very simple and easy to use
9
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Best Seller
EGO Power+ CS1604 16 inch

EGO Power+ CS1604 16 inch

  • Fast and powerful
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Durable product
9
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Budget Option
Craftsman S165 16 inch

Craftsman S165 16 inch

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Great safety features
9
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The 5 Best 16-Inch Chainsaws of 2023

Milwaukee M18 16 inch

Best Overall
Milwaukee M18 16 inch
10/10Our Score
  • Durable and reliable
  • Comfortable despite the weight
  • Emits minimal exhaust fume
  • The chain tends to fall off

The best overall 16-inch chainsaw is the monstrous Milwaukee M18 FUEL battery chainsaw. This machine cuts faster than a gas chainsaw and is known for delivering up to 150 cuts on a charge.

This is your best choice if you’re looking for a battery-operated machine. With a battery, you won’t need to be concerned about fuel emissions, which means that these tools are more eco-friendly, which is perfect for those who are environmentally conscious.

A high-powered piece of equipment like this has been said to be just as good, if not better, than a gas-powered equivalent, but with half of the noise and fumes, making the decision rather simple.

This chainsaw is designed with all your landscaping and maintenance needs in mind and functions great for any job on a farm site too. It has a Power State brushless motor providing speed and strength to handle even more heavy-duty jobs.

The performance of the M18 FUEL is outstanding, and the Redlink Plus intelligence feature offers protection against overload, overheating and over-discharge, making it an efficient tool to run.

The M18 FUEL can be purchased as a complete chainsaw kit, including a battery and charger. Milwaukee recommends using the M18 RedLithium High Output HD 12.0 battery, which offers an outstanding run-time and 50% more power than standard RedLithium HD packs.

This equipment is lightweight and handles well, making for a comfortable and easy job to match with its power and speed.

As a bonus, the classic Milwaukee black and red gives your chainsaw an added stylish edge and overall elevates it a step above most of its competitors as the best 16-inch chainsaw.

Stihl MS 170 16 inch

Editor's Choice
Stihl MS 170 16 inch
9.5/10Our Score
  • Lightweight
  • Lots of useful features
  • Easy to maintain
  • Best suited to smaller jobs

In the case of a gas-powered tool being more your speed, then you should look at our editor’s choice, the STIHL MS 170 16-inch 30.1CC gas chainsaw.

The MS 170 is lightweight, compact, and comfortable to use – the perfect addition to the toolshed of any homeowner. This gas chainsaw is ideal for smaller home jobs such as trimming back your yard, cutting small trees handling fallen limbs after a storm, and other general outdoor tasks.

You can also use it for chopping firewood for camping and even some larger tasks around the yard too, when needed.

It uses a simple pull-start mechanism to increase the ease of use, and the tool is incredibly easy to maintain overall. It’s renowned for being a great piece of equipment for even inexperienced chainsaw users.

Some other great features include the Intellicarb compensating carburetor. This is designed to automate the air/fuel adjustment in the machine. The carburetor will automatically use air from the clean side of the filter without you needing to make any changes manually, allowing you to work with ease.

The Ematic guide bar is another feature of this product. When used in collaboration with a STIHL Oilomatic chain, it helps to reduce your oil consumption and further lubricate the chain more effectively.

All of these, combined with the anti-vibration system and the compact size, make for a product bursting with enticing features.

One frequent issue with the MS 170 is that users often find that the carburetor needs frequent replacing. However, for homeowners only using their chainsaws from time to time, this shouldn’t pose too much of a problem.

Toro 51851 16 inch

Best Value For Money
Toro 51851 16 inch
9/10Our Score
  • Affordable
  • Great power
  • Very simple and easy to use
  • Heavy

Our value-for-money pick is the Toro 51851 16-inch 60V battery chainsaw. This piece of equipment is one of the easiest to use on the market and still gets the job done well.

The chainsaw is easy to start with a button and a pull trigger. It’s also a manageable weight, comfortable to hold and carry, and offers great control, making it ideal for less experienced users too.

Despite this, the tool is very powerful. The full 16-inch bar allows for the cutting of larger trees and branches with ease, and the battery offers up to 40 cuts through 6-inch by 6-inch branches on a single charge.

The Toro 51851 is sold as a full chainsaw kit, including the battery and charger you’ll need to run your chainsaw. This eliminates the need to purchase a battery on your own or make the decision on which type of battery to buy. You can simply make the purchase and get to work right away.

The battery makes it easy to use, fast, and quiet. Not to mention the fact that you won’t need to deal with engine exhaust fumes or the restrictions of working with a cord.

It runs on a brushless motor with RunSmart onboard intel – technology that optimizes your RMPS and torque to provide you with the right amount of power just when you need it. This also increases the efficiency of your tool.

This tool also offers pro-style chain tensioning and an automatic chain oiler which helps to eliminate the need for too much maintenance. Yes – this chainsaw is easy to use and easy to maintain too!

As an ideal option for beginners and jobs around the yard, the Toro 51851 is a great bang-for-your-buck chainsaw in 2023.

EGO Power+ CS1604 16 inch

Best Seller
EGO Power+ CS1604 16 inch
9/10Our Score
  • Fast and powerful
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Durable product
  • Difficult to set up
  • Heavy

Our bestselling 16-inch chainsaw is the EGO Power+ CS1604, a super powerful battery-operated machine.

This chainsaw is also sold as a full kit, including the EGO Power+ 5.0Ah 56V ARC Lithium battery and its charger. This is the recommended battery to use in order to achieve the promised 250 cuts on a 4×4.

The battery is also super long-lasting, allowing you to keep working for extended periods of time and get more done on your job site without needing to stop for a charge. Battery operation also allows for a quicker and easier start than a gas equivalent of this tool.

Another benefit of the battery is that you won’t be dealing with exhaust fumes or as much noise as you typically might expect.

The Power+ CS1604 offers the performance and power of a 35CC gas chainsaw but without the fumes and a reduced sound, making it an excellent choice for any bigger job you may need to do.

The cuts are smooth and efficient due to the brushless motor, which delivers 6800 RPM, allowing you to cut through hardwood, softer woods, branches, thicker tree trunks, and more.

The 16-inch bar is also reversible and is equipped for IPX4-rated weather-resistant construction. It allows easy cutting through up to 12-inch diameter trees at a ferocious speed and a neatly done job too.

The speed and power make this chainsaw incredibly easy to use. Even for beginner users, getting a task done quickly and efficiently is no trouble, which helps to make up for the fact that this is a slightly heavier model weighing in at 16 lbs.

Aside from speed, power, and ease of use, the Power+ CS1604 is also packed with features you’d want in this type of equipment. The tool-free chain tension adjustment makes it easy to manage and maintain, and the low kickback design is an added bonus for more comfort as well.

The chainsaw might be a tad tricky to set up at first, but for a consumer-grade product, it provides all the power that one might need for yard work, farm work, or even construction.

Craftsman S165 16 inch

Budget Option
Craftsman S165 16 inch
9/10Our Score
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Great safety features
  • Not well-suited to heavy work
  • Leaks oil from time to time

The Craftsman S165 42 CC gas chainsaw might be your best option if you’re looking for a cheap alternative.

This 16-inch chainsaw is the most affordable on our list by far, but it still offers great performance and steady speed. The 42 CC full-crank high-output engine provides a good amount of power to be able to get some basic yardwork done and chop your firewood neatly and quickly.

The chainsaw can also take an 18-inch bar and chain, which is ideal for bigger branches and trees you might need to work with.

This is yet another lighter and more comfortable option – weighing 12 lbs; Craftsman has also included a cushioned full handle wrap and anti-vibration system to ensure that the tool is comfortable to operate.

It’s further well-balanced and maneuverable due to its weight, size, and overall design. The Easy Start Technology makes starting the tool simple and easy – simply pull the mechanism, and you’re running.

As far as safety goes, the S165 has an inertia-activated chain brake, which stops the chain automatically to ensure your safety when using this equipment. Keep in mind that you always need to take extra precautions when using dangerous equipment, regardless of safety features.

The Craftsman has been known to be a little light on the automatic oiler, so there’s a chance you’ll have to do the job manually from time to time, and it might leak a little oil too.

For bigger, more heavy-duty jobs, this chainsaw might not be your go-to selection. However, if you’re looking for a lightweight and durable piece of machinery to keep in your tool shed, you can’t go wrong.

How to Choose the Best 16-Inch Chainsaw

When purchasing a piece of equipment like a chainsaw, there’s a lot you need to think about in order to make the right decision. The make and model you choose will depend heavily on the kind of work you’ll need the equipment for, how long you plan to use it, and other specific needs and preferences you might have.

Our reviews should give you a clear idea of what’s available, but the following list will help you understand what key characteristics you should be looking for in a 16-inch chainsaw.

1. Power Source

First of all, consider the power source of the chainsaw you’re looking at and whether it aligns with your needs, preference, and values.

People who are more environmentally conscious will often opt for a battery-powered chainsaw like the Toro 51851 because of the fact that it’s the more eco-friendly option. It doesn’t emit any gas fumes, and it’s also quieter, making it better with regard to noise pollution as well.

However, a gas-powered chainsaw like the STIHL MS 170 is typically known for being more powerful than a battery-powered competitor. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. The EGO Power+ CS1604, for example, is considered a powerful match to its gas counterparts.

As you can see, this decision is two-fold and will eventually come down to personal preference. If you have experience with gas-powered chainsaws, you might want to stick to what you know or deliberately try something new.

2. Engine and Speed

The next, and probably most important, characteristic to look out for in a chainsaw is how speedy and powerful it is.

The jobs you’re planning on using it for will help you choose just how much power you really need.

For smaller, at-home jobs in the yard, such as cleaning up after a storm, maintaining your trees, and chopping wood for the fire, won’t require ferocious power. In this case, something like the STIHL MS 170 will do the job perfectly.

However, if you’re on the lookout for something stronger to tackle farm or construction work, then you might want to look for a more powerful engine, such as the one found in the EGO Power+ CS1604.

3. Comfort

If you’re inexperienced with a chainsaw or if you know you’ll be using it often and for long periods of time, then comfort and ease of use should be a top priority for you.

Chainsaw work is already pretty demanding, and this can be made ten times worse when you’re using a heavy and uncomfortable piece of machinery.

If you know you’ll need to keep the chainsaw running for a while, or if you need it to maneuver into trickier spots and positions, then try to select a more comfort-driven tool like the Craftsman S165, which weighs a little less than competitors and also has a cushioned full handle wrap for easier grip.

4. Safety

Your physical safety should always be a top concern. Make sure that you’re familiar with the tools you’re using at all times, that you have some level of experience before picking up a new piece of equipment, and that you wear protective gear on a job site.

This is your first line of defense! Your second line of defense should be a tool that has been designed with safety in mind.

Some chainsaws (and other tools) have useful safety features that will help protect you from the various dangers associated with the job at hand.

One such tool is the Craftsman S165, which is an excellent choice for various reasons.

5. Price

Finally, you need to consider your budget and make sure you purchase a tool that’s within your means.

As our budget option, the Craftsman S165 is once again coming into play since it offers a great piece of equipment for a very low and manageable price. This is the chainsaw to go for if you have a job that needs to be done but limited funds in order to do so.

However, our value-for-money option, the Toro 51851, is perfect if you have a bigger job that needs doing, which the Craftsman just won’t handle. The Toro offers extra power and speed but for a really good price, and you’ll be getting a great piece of equipment for what you’re paying.

Final Thoughts

Any of these five options could be the perfect choice for you, depending on your specific needs and what you might want out of a tool. Use our guide to help you figure out the best 16-inch chainsaw for you, and make your purchase with no regrets.

5/5 - (6 votes)
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