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Farmers and ranchers make sure of a variety of tools in their day-to-day work, and a crucial piece of equipment is a high-quality chainsaw.
However, there are so many chainsaws on the market suited to different needs that it’s crucial to ensure you invest in the right tool for the jobs you’re performing on your farm.
For example, the EGO Power+ CS1804 chainsaw offers an impressive 18-inch bar and chain and produces plenty of power for a battery-operated tool. On the other hand, the gas-powered STIHL Wood Boss MS 251 might be your best bet on the safety front.
If you’re wondering which might be the best chainsaw for farm work, you’ll be doing in 2023; our guide will help you understand the pros and cons of what we consider the top five choices on the market this year.
Keep reading to figure out how to make the right decision.
STIHL Farm Boss MS 271
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STIHL Wood Boss MS 251
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Best Value For Money
DEWALT 20V Farm Chainsaw
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EGO Power+ CS1804 Farm Chainsaw
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Craftsman S185 Farm Chainsaw
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The Best Chainsaws For Farmers of 2023
Table of Contents
The type of chainsaw you choose will depend heavily on the kind of work you’ll need it for and your priorities and specific needs. Not sure what you’re looking for exactly?
Here are the best chainsaw options for farm use and everything you need to know about them.
This powerhouse of a gas chainsaw by STIHL is the successor of the MS 270 and has been voted our best overall option for a good reason.
The STIHL Farm Boss MS 271 is an improved version of the MS 270 because it has the same highly efficient engine but with 20% more running time to spend more time working on each task you have for the day.
This chainsaw is loaded with technology and features to make your jobs easier – such as an anti-vibration system, simplified fuel and oil caps, a pre-separation filtration system, and more.
The tool is designed for efficiency: the air filtration system will ensure that the air filter lasts far longer without needing replacement, and STIHL has cut exhaust emissions in half when comparing this piece of equipment to the MS 270, making it more eco-friendly too.
While the Farm Boss MS 271 is relatively heavy, weighing 12 lbs, STIHL had comfort in their minds when designing it to counter this weight. The front handle is ergonomically angled and has a secure grip, and the starting handle is simple to use.
This tool is renowned for being easy to start, easy to use, and easy to maintain too. Removing, replacing, and cleaning various equipment parts has been made simple through smart design and convenient placement of parts.
The MS 271 is durable and reliable, too, and will last even the hardest-working farmers for seasons to come.
While workers are often reluctant to invest in this chainsaw due to how heavy it is, they typically find that it’s worth the extra weight because of how powerful it is. The engine’s potency helps increase the speed of your work and shortens the usage time, so this is perfect for even larger jobs.
However, as with any equipment, it’s essential to be aware of potential challenges and problems and how to deal with them.
Another STIHL product on our list is the Wood Boss MS 251 gas chainsaw, our editor’s choice for a great farming chainsaw.
Much like the Farm Boss MS 271, this equipment also boasts reduced gas emissions compared to earlier models and 20% fuel savings, making it better for the environment and your pocket.
The MS 251 is a smaller, leaner, and much lighter piece of equipment. This makes it easy to hold and carry for more extended periods. Paired with the ergonomic design, this makes for a swift and comfortable job.
Aside from being lightweight and easy to use, this chainsaw is also seriously powerful despite its size. It’s been known to quickly cut through thicker and sturdier trees, making the job look easy and keeping the cuts clean.
Even though it’s got the necessary power for bigger jobs, this chainsaw is best suited to lighter work on the farm. It’s lightweight and easy to pick up. This is a perfect tool for smaller jobs.
Unfortunately, you may find that it takes a few tries to get the pull mechanism to work smoothly, but once it runs, you’ll be thrilled with how well it performs.
Another vital consideration that STIHL made when designing this chainsaw is safety. The front handle is designed for an easy and secure grip without worrying about your hand slipping.
A front-hand guard is also specially designed to reduce the risk of injury while using the machine. The design of the chainsaw is smooth and clean, so there’s no chance of your clothes snagging on anything, either. This is important because chainsaw safety is a significant concern.
Overall, this safe, light, and powerful tool should be a staple on a farm.
The first battery chainsaw on our list is a DEWALT 20V MAX XR DCC620P1 12-inch chainsaw, which was selected as the best value for money in 2023.
The gas-free operation removes the potential for common challenges such as cold starts, fuel emissions, carburetor issues, and all the maintenance involved in gas-powered tools.
Of course, a battery-powered chainsaw will come with its challenges, such as the expense of buying the correct battery. Fortunately, the DEWALT MAX XR is sold as a kit that includes the ideal battery and charger for a great price.
This cordless chainsaw is commonly used for construction. Still, it is a fantastic option for any outdoor and farming work due to its high-efficiency brushless motor and sturdy 12-inch Oregon bar and chain.
The bar and chain design ensure minimal kickback, with an added chain brake to provide extra kickback protection. This adds immensely to the comfort and safety of the product.
You’ll get up to 90 cuts per charge on 4×4 pressure-treated wood if you use the recommended 20V Max 5Ah battery, which is perfect for all smaller farm-related projects. You’ve ensured prolonged runtime and a long service life too.
This is yet another lightweight chainsaw that has excellent user control and comfort levels. It weighs just 9 lbs, including the battery, which is extremely light for such a powerful tool. You’ll be able to carry it around easily outdoors and work for extended periods.
The lightweight is only one of its star features. The MAX XR DCCS620P1 offers tool-free chain tensioning and a bar tightening knob to ensure proper bar clamping force.
It starts easily with a push button, provides excellent power for the size and price, and is a great option for smaller farm jobs.
The best-selling chainsaw on our list of machines is the EGO Power+ CS1804 18-inch battery chainsaw. Not only does this chainsaw look good, but it performs like a monster too.
With the equivalent power of a 45CC gas chainsaw, this battery-powered tool offers the power and performance you need but with half of the noise and none of the fuel emissions. It’s more environmentally friendly and easier to work with this way.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to specifically purchase an EGO Power+ 56V ARC Lithium battery to work with your chainsaw. However, when working with this battery, you’ll get a whopping 300 clean and efficient cuts on a 4×4!
The massive 18-inch bar and chain offer a much wider cut and allow for larger jobs to be handled by this tool on the farm – bigger branches, stumps, and tall trees can be taken down and cut to size with ease.
One notable and unique feature of the EGO Power+ chainsaw is its bright LED lights illuminating your work area. This allows you to work safely, even in poorly lit areas or at night.
Finally, this chainsaw is durable and long-lasting and has excellent features and immense power. You’ll be able to use it for many seasons without hassle or too much maintenance.
The final contender is the budget option, which is a Craftsman S185 gas chainsaw. It features a 42CC engine with decent power for your price.
The 18-inch bar is also designed for a minimal kickback, making it comfortable to use. It cuts cleanly through even tougher wood, although more durable tools are on the market.
However, it is famous for its ease of use. The Craftsman S185 uses Easy Start technology for a quick and simple pull-start to run your equipment in no time. It’s also comfortable to hold and use for prolonged periods.
The full-wrap aluminum handle is cushioned for comfort, and the tool uses a 3-point anti-vibration system to maintain balance and provide a comfortable operation.
The design is improved even further by additional useful features like the automatic oiler, chain brake, and easy air filter and spark plug access to maintain and clean your equipment easily.
The low kickback and easy maintenance make this option not only budget-friendly but also appealing for various other reasons.
Bucking spikes add greater control for more demanding jobs, and the automatic oiler keeps your bar and chain in good condition without any effort.
As a bonus, this chainsaw is also sold with a heavy-duty carrying case that you can store your equipment in to protect it when you’re not using it and transport it around your site with ease.
Because it is the most affordable option, this chainsaw does not typically last as long as some of its competitors. Despite this, it works exceptionally well during its lifespan and can be used to complete even some heavy-duty jobs, thanks to its power and 18-inch bar and chain.
How to Choose a Farming Chainsaw
The best chainsaw depends on what you intend to use it for. The tasks that are most commonly performed on a farm should serve as a guideline for the type of chainsaw you should purchase.
If you need help deciding, make sure to consider these factors while shopping for a chainsaw for farm use.
Naturally, if you’re doing bigger jobs and cutting through more challenging wood on your farm, you will want to invest in a more powerful machine.
Opting for a chainsaw with more power will benefit you in your day-to-day tasks by allowing you to complete heavier jobs in a shorter time.
If power is what you’re after, then choosing either the STIHL Farm Boss MS 271 or Wood Boss MS 251 would be your best decision. These STIHL gas chainsaws are both speedy and powerful and will allow you to get through tough farm work, especially since they’re specifically designed for outdoor farm use.
2. Source of Power
Another thing to consider is where the chainsaw gets its power. Choosing between a gas-powered, a battery-powered, and a corded chainsaw is a big decision.
A corded chainsaw is logistically not the best choice for any farm setting, especially if you need to do off-site farm work. Opting for a battery or gas-powered chainsaw is the way to go, which is why these are the options we provided.
Typically, a battery-powered model is better suited to small farms and lighter work. The DEWALT 20V MAX XR DCC620P1 battery chainsaw is a great example.
However, if you’re looking for a chainsaw that can support you in more demanding jobs, gas-powered is likely a better option. They share the portable nature of the battery chainsaw but are generally much more powerful. The STIHL Farm Boss proves this point!
3. Size and Weight
A comfortable chainsaw is more important than you might expect. Performing tough, heavy jobs is hard work, and having to do it with a robust and heavy chainsaw can make it even harder.
The more powerful, gasoline-powered chainsaws required for these demanding jobs are typically heavier by nature. However, specific models have been cleverly designed for a more comfortable carry.
For example, the STIHL Wood Boss MS 251 is far lighter than the Farm Boss MS 271, even though they are both gas-powered chainsaws. However, if you’re looking for a lighter option, the DEWALT 20V MAX XR DCC620P1 battery chainsaw weighs only 9 lbs and will provide you with that experience.
Working on a farm means you’re always at risk of injury, and it’s important to minimize those risk factors wherever possible.
Opting for a chainsaw with added-in safety features is a great bonus. For example, the LED light on the EGO Power+ CS1804 can increase visibility and act as a safety measure.
The STIHL Wood Boss MS 251 also offers safety features like the front hand guard and the easy and secure grips that have been put in place to reduce the risk of injury.
Remember that your skill levels should also be considered when purchasing a chainsaw. Some of these options may be dangerous to work with if you are inexperienced. Make sure that you’re comfortable with any farm tools you use.
Overall, each of these choices could be the best chainsaw for farm use, depending on your needs.
Our best overall option, the STIHL Farm Boss MS 271, offers the most power and is perfect for seriously tough jobs on any farm, and will last a long time, despite being a heavy piece of equipment.
However, if you’re looking for a lighter piece of equipment for smaller jobs, opt for a budget-friendly choice like the Craftsman S185 18 in. 42 cc Gas Chainsaw will be enough for your needs.
Finally, always make sure to use the equipment correctly, keep it well-maintained, and use protective gear when operating a chainsaw to avoid injuring yourself or anyone around you.