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For the avid wood carver, arborist, orchardist, or humble homeowner with a backyard to maintain, having the right equipment is essential to perfecting your craft.
Clean, precise cuts are imperative to your work, and you must ensure you have the perfect tools to achieve this. It’s fortunate that today, there are countless varieties available on the market, but this makes it tough to choose the one that’s perfect for you.
Among our top choices are the stylish and high-value EGO Power+ CS1400 which offers 56V of power and an almost noiseless performance, as well as the budget-friendly choice of the Black+Decker Electric Chainsaw, which is our only corded selection.
But which carving chainsaws are best suited to whom? And which one do we believe to be the ultimate choice? Please keep reading to find out our expert recommendations.
STIHL MSA 140 Carving Chainsaw
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STIHL MSA 120 Carving Chainsaw
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Best Value For Money
EGO Power+ CS1400 Carving Chainsaw
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Milwaukee M18 Carving Chainsaw
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Black+Decker Carving Chainsaw
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The Best Carving Chainsaws of 2023
Table of Contents
If you’re ready to find out about the best carving chainsaws we’ve reviewed, here they are:
Our best overall carving chainsaw is none other than a STIHL product – the MSA 140 C-B 12-inch chainsaw. This powerful carving chainsaw is quiet, long-lasting, and massively popular for its speed and durability.
This chainsaw is marketed as the ideal choice for conscientious homeowners or those who need to use the equipment in their quiet suburban neighborhood because of its low noise level.
It’s a super lightweight option at only 9 lbs, which is also compact, making it perfect for small jobs at home or for the more awkward and demanding cuts that a wood carver will have to face from time to time.
This chainsaw is well-specced with a 12-inch bar and 36-volt AK battery system with a high-torque brushless motor lasting up to 45 minutes. Its power allows for quick and easy maneuvering and clean cuts to ensure your job always looks tidy.
You also can purchase just the tool itself or opt for the entire kit, which includes the battery and charger, based on your own needs and what you might already have at home.
The ease of use makes this chainsaw one of the most popular options. It’s perfect for a beginner since it’s simple to start and get working.
However, it’s also recommended by experienced carvers who know the ins and outs of how the equipment should behave.
The only trouble you might have with this product is the chain, which has been noted to need replacing quite frequently. It’s also not comparable to a gas saw with a slightly higher chain speed, but this is to be expected when you’re not using gas!
Finally, this STIHL chainsaw has become slightly infamous for using an excessive amount of bar oil – but these issues are minor, efficiently worked around, and typically worth the bit of trouble when considering all the plus points awarded to this handy little piece of equipment.
Overall, the STIHL MSA 140 C-B 12-inch 36V Battery Chainsaw is the best carving chainsaw for those who need a lightweight, compact, and precise piece of equipment that doesn’t bother the neighbors.
Despite the 25% reduction in cutting performance from the MSA 140 C-B, this model still packs a punch of power, and it is ideal for cutting firewood or pruning your trees in your backyard, just like its successor.
The chainsaw is very similar in size and comes in slightly lighter at 8.4 lbs (or 3.8 kg), which means that it’s also easy and comfortable to work with and carry around.
It comes with the exclusive ¼-inch STIHL Picco saw chain, custom designed for use on STIHL battery-powered chainsaws. It is also available as a kit, including a battery, charger, or tool.
Another benefit of the MSA 120 C-B (and the MSA 140 C-B) is that it produces little to no exhaust emissions, making it an eco-friendly and clean piece of equipment that won’t have you choking up during your jobs.
Comfort is another major pull factor for these tools – the rubber texture makes grip easy and comfortable, and its lightweight and compact size makes it comfortable and easy to manage for users of all levels of ability.
One drawback is that this chainsaw has been noted as slightly frustrating to maintain due to the chain being tough to remove and its frequent need for sharpening. But otherwise, this piece of equipment is perfect for beginners doing light-duty work and seeking convenience and ease.
If you’re looking for great value for money in your endeavors, consider opting for the EGO Power+ CS1400 14-inch. This chainsaw features a high-efficiency brushless motor that delivers 6800 RPM for a powerful punch.
In terms of specifications, this chainsaw is sold without the battery and charger, so these are items that you would need to purchase separately. Still, aside from that, it offers 56V power (the equivalent of a 30CC gas chainsaw) and a 14-inch bar for a larger maximum cutting diameter.
Not only that, but this chainsaw looks good and functions very efficiently for its relatively low price.
EGO recommends that you power your chainsaw with a 56V 2.5Ah ARC Lithium battery (to be bought separately), which will give you up to 100 cuts on a 4×4 and keep you working for a significant time of around 40 minutes.
The fact that the tool is battery-powered and cordless makes it that much easier and more comfortable to use in various contexts, from working in your backyard to construction projects in your home garage.
The Power+ CS1400 is also known for being a quiet piece of equipment, and its battery-operated means that it doesn’t produce all the fumes and other emissions associated with a standard gas chainsaw. This makes it a great, clean, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly option for those concerned about noise and air pollution.
The battery also means that this chainsaw does not have the same typical problems as a gas chainsaw, such as the problems associated with the Echo CS590.
Something you might find trouble with is the challenging setup of this piece of equipment. Reloading the line can be a hassle, and you’ll need to replace the chain frequently. However, that aside, this chainsaw is a great, high-value option for small jobs at home!
Our bestseller is the Milwaukee M18 FUEL 14-inch battery chainsaw. This tool is hugely popular for its speed and serious spec for a great price.
The brushless motor allows for speed under even heavier loads and excellent performance under various circumstances. The classic Milwaukee black and red combo also look as great as it performs, giving you a tool that’s efficient, powerful, and durable, but stylish too, and a great visual addition to your garage.
The systems used by the M18 FUEL protect it from overloading, overheating, and over-discharging, which is an excellent feature to consider.
It’s also easy to use with a simple trigger to get it running – no idle adjustment or issues with getting the chainsaw started. This ease of use makes it another excellent choice for a less-experienced user.
The product runs exceptionally well and is an excellent option for quickly cutting trees and trimming your yard since it cuts neatly and easily through even the thickest branches. It does a great job of prepping your firewood, too – light jobs are ideal for equipment like this.
The M18 FUEL also includes an automatic oiler for proper chain lubrication and increased productivity and a dual-stud for improved bar and chain retention. These extra features only add more to the easy usability of this product, simplifying the process entirely.
You should note that battery life has been noted as an issue when pairing the tool with anything other than the recommended M18 Redlithium High Output HD 12.0 battery, which is also sold separately from the device itself.
This battery might be more on expensive time, but opting for lesser options will likely result in needing to rechange more frequently than you’d like!
Of course, purchasing the battery (which is essential) will add to the overall cost of the chainsaw, so this is another aspect to consider if you’re on a tighter budget.
Our final contender is a corded option. Are you looking to get some backyard cleanup work done but don’t want to spend much money? That’s where the affordable Black+ Decker 14-inch Electric Chainsaw comes in.
With its 14-inch bar, this chainsaw will allow you to cut easily and precisely through branches and logs up to twelve inches in thickness for the lowest possible price, which is significantly lower than the other recommendations on this list.
This highly affordable purchase will include the BECS600 chainsaw, a bar cover, a wrench, a bar, and a chain – everything you need to get going.
A benefit of this option is that you won’t need to purchase a separate battery to get working on whatever jobs you have waiting for you.
This chainsaw is the most affordable out of all of our options and also happens to outscore the rest in terms of its chain that stays firmly put with bolt lock tensioning – keeping everything in place for ease of use and safety too, which should be a top priority when working with equipment like this.
Unfortunately, this chainsaw isn’t a cordless option like its competitors, so you’ll need to plug it in and manage the cord. This limits your range and can make it more complicated and messy to set up.
You won’t simply be able to grab it and start it up anywhere in your yard, and you might need a lengthy extension cord. However, it uses an 8-amp motor and offers a lot of power despite its unsuspectingly small size and price.
While the cord might be a drawback for some people, the fact that it doesn’t use a battery helps to keep the price lower, making this tool more affordable. Further, it implies that the chainsaw is extra light and comfortable to use, which might be a bonus, depending on your needs and preferences.
The Black+Decker uses an automatic oiling system for extra smooth operation, which takes another task off your hands. As our budget option, the Black+Decker 14-inch Electric Chainsaw packs quite a punch and delivers on all the light-duty work you might need – no need to spend extra!
How to Choose a Carving Chainsaw
When picking out a chainsaw, you must consider what you’ll be using it for and consider your needs. You’ll want to keep this expensive piece of equipment for at least a few years, so making the right decision is imperative.
The ideal carving chainsaw for you will depend on your factors, but it should include at least one of the following characteristics:
1. Sufficient Power
Naturally, you want to make sure you pick a powerful chainsaw for the jobs you’re purchasing it for.
If you’re shopping for a carving chainsaw, one could assume you need the tool for smaller, lightweight household jobs or wood carving projects.
In this case, any of the above chainsaws should do the trick. The STIHL MSA 140 C-B 12 in. 36 V Battery Chainsaw and the EGO Power+ CS1400 14 in. 56 V Battery Chainsaw offers higher power outputs and might be a better option for more intense work.
Having sufficient power will allow you to get through the tasks you have on your plate – the whole reason you’re purchasing a chainsaw. Make sure that you purchase something that will get the job done well!
For someone who wishes to use their chainsaw at home, keep their yard maintained, and chop wood for the fire from time to time, you want to be working with something other than a big piece of equipment.
Opting for a lighter, more comfortable chainsaw is important for this reason. The STIHL MSA 120 C-B 12-inch 36 V Chainsaw is one of the most lightweight options on the market, weighing in at 8.4 lbs (3.4kgs), and also offers a comfortable rubber grip to add to that comfort factor.
A compact and lightweight chainsaw will make it easier to get the job done quickly and efficiently while simultaneously allowing you to work longer if needed since the equipment won’t be too heavy and straining.
3. Durable and Long-Lasting
Finally, ensure you’re shopping for a long-lasting product. This consideration is two-fold: first, you want to ensure that the product runs long enough to finish the job you’re working on. A long-lasting battery, in this case, is what’s important.
The STIHL MSA 140 C-B is one of your best options, with around 45 minutes of working time before you’ll need to recharge the battery, and it’s also considered just as durable as the more powerful STIHL 362.
However, the Black+Decker electric chainsaw doesn’t rely on a battery and can run for far longer, despite the drawback of a cord.
Secondly, a chainsaw is a long-term investment and a piece of equipment you will most likely want to use for years to come.
With that in mind, you want to ensure you’re buying a product that will stand the test of time and serve you for a while.
One of these choices will definitely fit the bill if you’re looking for the best carving chainsaw of 2023.