The 5 Best Chainsaws For Cutting Trees of 2024

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By Jake Hill

Chainsaws

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You might be hunting for a chainsaw for tree cutting for any number of reasons – farmwork, ranch jobs, forestry, arborist work, or even just for use in your backyard.

The following list will help you decide on what you think is the best chainsaw for cutting trees in 2023. STIHL is a great and reliable manufacturer of chainsaws and other tools and equipment, and we have given you the low-down on some of their top products.

The list features strong and powerful chainsaws like the STIHL MS 462 C-M, as well as light and quick tools like the MS 362 C-M.

But which of them is our top contender for cutting trees overall? Keep reading to find out.

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
Stihl MS 661

Stihl MS 661

  • Very powerful
  • Low-maintenance
  • Eco-friendly tool
10
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Editor's Choice
Stihl MS 462

Stihl MS 462

  • Lightweight
  • Powerful enough for professional jobs
  • Good safety features
9.5
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Best Value For Money
Stihl MS 391

Stihl MS 391

  • Time-saving technology
  • Powerful motor
  • Ideal for large, heavy jobs
9
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Best Seller
Stihl MS 362

Stihl MS 362

  • Lightweight
  • Speedy
  • Comfortable to use
9
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Budget Option
Stihl MS 311

Stihl MS 311

  • Lightweight
  • Very affordable
  • Looks good
9
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The 5 Best Chainsaws For Cutting Trees of 2023

Stihl MS 661

Stihl MS 661
  • Very powerful
  • Low-maintenance
  • Eco-friendly tool

Our selection for the best overall chainsaw for cutting trees is none other than the STIHL MS 661 R C-M 25 in. 91.1 cc gas chainsaw. This a professional-grade tool designed for all tree-cutting applications.

This model offers a powerful engine, advanced technology, and a range of safety features, making it a popular option amongst farmers, forestry professionals, and even homeowners.

The STIHL MS 661 R C-M has a 91.1 CC engine delivering a maximum power output of 7.4 kW. It also features a 25-inch guide bar and a 3/8-inch pitch chain, making this an ideal combination for easily cutting through large trees and logs.

This tool uses STIHL’s M-Tronic technology, an excellent feature that automatically adjusts the fuel-to-air ratio based on operating conditions for optimal performance, adding to the overall speed and power.

As an added bonus, the chainsaw features a wrap-around handle design providing a comfortable grip and allowing for easy maneuvering.

The MS 661 R C-M is also designed with a range of other features, making it an excellent choice for tree cutting. It is equipped with a decompression valve that makes it easy to start, adding to ease of use and comfort.

Additionally, it has been designed with a pre-separation air filtration system that removes large particles of debris before they reach the air filter, improving engine performance and extending the filter’s life. This feature makes the tool more powerful and easy to maintain.

The MS 661 R C-M also features a toolless fuel and oil cap, making it easy to refill, even with gloves on, further adding to the equipment’s ease of use and maintenance.

The STIHL’s powerful engine facilitates the ease of cutting through larger trees and logs quickly and efficiently, which makes it ideal for professional work or even smaller jobs at home. Furthermore, its ergonomic design helps to reduce user fatigue during long and grueling cutting sessions.

In addition, the STIHL Inc. “Caring for Nature” seal classifies this chainsaw with an environmentally conscious design, which means that it produces zero or low exhaust emissions. This excellent feature benefits those looking to balance eco-consciousness in their work and life.

Although the MS 661 R C-M may be priced a little higher than its competitors on the market, the reliability, efficiency, and performance provided justify the cost of a high-quality tool such as this one.

Stihl MS 462

Stihl MS 462
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful enough for professional jobs
  • Good safety features

Our editor’s choice is the powerful STIHL MS 462 C-M 25-inch 72.2 cc gas chainsaw. This is yet another professional-grade tool equipped for all kinds of rugged forest work and tree-cutting applications.

The MS 462 C-M stands out due to its lightweight and robust design, as well as having advanced technology to enhance its safety and performance.

This model is equipped with a 72.2 CC engine, delivering a maximum power output of 4.4 kW. It also features a  25-inch guide bar and a 3/8-inch pitch chain, making it suitable for cutting through large trees and logs, despite having lower specifications than the previous contender.

Much like the MS 661 R C-M, this chainsaw also includes STIHL’s M-Tronic ratio-adjustment technology to optimize performance in all operating conditions. Additionally, the saw features a lightweight magnesium housing, making it comfortable and easy to carry around and operate, weighing in at 13 lbs.

Furthermore, STIHL’s engine management system electronically controls the ignition timing and fuel metering, allowing for better efficiency.

There are plenty of useful features on this piece of equipment that comes in handy for tree cutting, as this saw is equipped with an anti-vibration system improving comfort and allowing you to work for extended periods.

It also features the STIHL pre-separation air filtration system to prevent debris particles from clogging the air filter prolonging the filter’s lifespan and creating a durable, long-lasting tool.

The Quickstop chain brake featured on this STIHL chainsaw is designed to stop the chain rotation abruptly if there’s any kickback with sufficient force (this can also be done manually). This is an excellent safety feature installed to protect you from any injuries.

Overall, its high-performance, lightweight design can easily cut through large trees and logs; the STIHL MS 462 C-M is worth considering for any professional.

Stihl MS 391

Stihl MS 391
  • Time-saving technology
  • Powerful motor
  • Ideal for large, heavy jobs

The STIHL MS 391 25 in. 64.1 CC gas chainsaw is a great option if you’re looking for value for money. This powerful and reliable tool by STIHL is well-suited for a range of uses, including tree cutting.

This reasonably priced chainsaw is ideal for both professional and home users and is equipped with a wide variety of features, making it one of the best options on the market.

The STIHL MS 391 chainsaw features a powerful 64.1 CC engine that delivers up to 3.3 kW of power, as well as a 25-inch guide bar and a 3/8-inch pitch chain, making it the perfect tool for cutting larger trees and logs.

Naturally, a gas-powered chainsaw is more powerful than one that uses a battery, which makes it an ideal choice for professional use and heavier jobs in a field, on a farm, or ranch – the only setback is that this makes your equipment quite heavy.

Thanks to STIHL’s careful and meticulous designs, however, this chainsaw still offers an optimized power-to-weight ratio.

The STIHL MS 391 chainsaw uses time-saving technology to boost its efficiency – meaning there’s less of a need for regular air filter cleaning. It also includes a side-access chain tensioner, making it easy to adjust the chain tension without removing the sprocket cover – an easy-to-maintain piece of equipment.

Furthermore,  this chainsaw features additional tech for improved overall efficiency, which includes the STIHL’s Intellicarb compensating carburetor and a side-access chain tensioner.

Thanks to the anti-vibration system, it’s also a comfortable tool to use despite its weight and the fact that it produces less fuel emissions than other models, making it another eco-friendly STIHL option.

Although this piece of equipment is not cheap, it comes with countless features and tech making it a good value-for-money option lasting many years.

Overall, the STIHL MS 391 is a worthy model to consider if you are looking for a reliable and powerful chainsaw that can easily cut through large trees and logs.

Stihl MS 362

Stihl MS 362
  • Lightweight
  • Speedy
  • Comfortable to use

The STIHL MS 362 C-M 25 in. 59 CC gas chainsaw is the ideal best-seller tree-cutting saw for any tree felling, bucking, de-limbing, and thinning needs.

It uses a powerful 2-cycle engine and offers a 25-inch bar with a .325-inch pitch chain, giving it enough strength for bigger and thicker trees and logs, despite having slightly less power than other competing models.

The chainsaw comes with a decompression valve (or ‘deco valve) in the cylinder, reducing the force required to pull the starter rope and making it easier to start the engine and get to work.

The STIHL MS 362 C-M is extra lightweight, making it easier to cut neatly and it has a significant fuel capacity. This provides an excellent combination of power and fuel efficiency, making it an affordable tool to run as well.

This chainsaw uses the same M-Tronic engine technology as some of the other STIHL models, reducing exhaust fumes to make it more efficient and environmentally friendly, generally providing you with a quick and reliable piece of equipment.

It also features the same anti-vibration system and toolless fuel and oil cap, making it comfortable to use and easy to refill, essentially saving time and effort, in addition to how lightweight it already is.

While it might not have the same sleek look as its competitors, the combination of lightweight and speed gives it extra power, ensuring it’s still an excellent option for farm, ranch, and forestry workers. This tool is also ideal for use on smaller jobs or works in your backyard.

The fact that it’s so easy to use makes it an ideal option for both professionals and homeowners looking to take better care of their landscaping, as it handles trimming and pruning jobs very well.

Overall, the STIHL MS 362 C-M is worth considering if you are looking for an effective and reliable chainsaw that can cut through your trees and branches with precision and ease.

Stihl MS 311

Stihl MS 311
  • Lightweight
  • Very affordable
  • Looks good

Lastly, the STIHL MS 311 25-inch 59 CC gas chainsaw is our budget-friendly option for tree-cutting saws. This is another saw that might have a less powerful engine in terms of specs but still enough power to get the job done.

Like the MS 362 C-M, this tool is extra lightweight and has a large fuel capacity. Its power and fuel efficiency provide an excellent combination, further increasing its budget-friendly nature.

With its higher fuel economy, you’ll be able to run the equipment for a longer period of time, reducing your downtime and getting your work done faster and with less fuel wastage. Its powerful 59 CC engine also delivers up to 3.1 kW of power and is considered by STIHL to be a “high-tech workhorse.”

This tool comes with a chain bar that is big and strong enough to handle large trees and logs, making it suitable for any farm or forestry work – both small and larger professional jobs. It is also a good fit for homeowners looking to do some work in their backyards.

This is another model that also includes a decompression valve, reducing the amount of force required to pull the starter rope and adding to the comfort of the machine – it’s quick and easy to start and use, along with being light enough to hold for extended periods of time.

Its well-built and sturdy design allows it to run all day and can last you for many years. Paired with its sleek look, its durability makes it a very attractive option for professionals and less-experienced users alike.

This chainsaw features all the technology STIHL is known for – the toolless fuel and oil cap, its comfortable anti-vibration system, and the side-access chain tensioner. All these features make its user experience easier, quicker, and more comfortable. 

Adding to its ease of maintenance, its reliability, affordability, and long-lasting nature make it an ideal choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly yet tough tool to work with.

How to Choose the Best Chainsaw for Cutting Trees

There are a few key features that you should consider before making a purchase for a sturdy chainsaw aimed at cutting trees. Here are three of the most important features to keep in mind when buying a suitable tool for your needs:

1. Engine Power

The primary key factor to consider when buying a chainsaw for cutting trees is its engine power, which is usually measured in CC  or cubic centimeters (referring to the size of the engine).

The bigger the engine, the more power it can produce, translating into faster and more efficient cutting. The STIHL MS 661 R C-M, equipped with a 91.1 CC engine, is the most powerful engine on our list.

It is important to remember that the more powerful an engine is, the heavier and more difficult it may be to maneuver. However, you need to consider how to maintain a balance between power and ease of use, especially in a professional setting.

2. Bar Length

Another vital factor is the bar length, as this metal guide holds the cutting chain, and the length of the bar indicates the size of the logs or trees that can be cut through.

A bar length of at least 18 inches is recommended for most tree-cutting applications; however, a longer bar may be required for larger trees. It is also important to keep in mind that a longer bar may make the chainsaw heavier, making it more challenging to maneuver.

Each chainsaw listed above takes a 25-inch bar, which should be sufficient for most significant tasks.

3. Safety Features

Finally, the most important factor to consider when buying a chainsaw for cutting trees is safety. It is important to look for safety features that can help prevent accidents, as these powerful tools can be dangerous if not used correctly.

Some common safety features to look for include anti-vibration systems that reduce operator fatigue and improve comfort during use, chain brakes that automatically stop the chain in case of kickback, and safety switches that prevent accidental startups.

Most STIHL products are designed with safety in mind, and the STIHL MS 462 C-M is particularly loaded with features for your ultimate comfort and safety during a job.

In addition to the abovementioned key features, there are several other factors to keep in mind when buying a chainsaw for cutting trees, including price, weight, and ease of use.

It’s crucial to carefully evaluate your needs and preferences before making a decision on which tool to buy to help you find a chainsaw that’s well-suited to your specific tree-cutting needs. With the right tool, you can easily and efficiently tackle even the most demanding cutting jobs.

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