The 5 Best Chainsaws for Large Trees of 2024

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Farm workers, arborists, ranchers, and other forestry professionals rely heavily on their tools to get their jobs done. People in these professions often work with massive trees and need a reliable tool to be able to cut, trim, prune, and otherwise maintain these giant trees.

Picking the right chainsaw for your larger jobs is essential for your safety, and generally, making your work easier and more manageable for you is an important consideration.

The following list will help you decide on what you think is the best chainsaw for large 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.

In this list, you’ll find light, speedy, and more affordable chainsaws such as the MS 311 and rugged, powerful tools such as the MS 661 R C-M, packed with tech and a massive engine.

But which option is best for your site’s largest and most grueling jobs? Read on to see what we think.

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
Stihl MS 462

Stihl MS 462

  • Lightweight
  • Powerful enough for professional jobs
  • Good safety features
10
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Editor's Choice
Stihl MS 661

Stihl MS 661

  • Very powerful
  • Low-maintenance
  • Eco-friendly tool
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 Large Trees

Table of Contents

Stihl MS 462

Best Overall
Stihl MS 462
10/10Our Score
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful enough for professional jobs
  • Good safety features
  • Less powerful than competitors

Our choice for the best overall chainsaw for large trees is the meaty STIHL MS 462 C-M 25-inch 72.2 cc gas chainsaw. This powerful, professional-grade tool is designed for all kinds of forestry work and tree-cutting applications – considered by STIHL to be “your ideal business partner” for big jobs.

The MS 462 C-M is known for being lightweight, powerful, and having advanced technology to enhance its performance and safety.

This STIHL gas chainsaw has a 72.2 CC engine with a maximum power output of 4.4 kW. The 25-inch guide bar and 3/8-inch pitch chain make it well-suited for cutting through massive trees and logs, despite not having the biggest engine of the lot.

This chainsaw has been designed with STIHL’s M-Tronic ratio-adjustment engine management technology to optimize performance in all operating conditions.

Additionally, the chainsaw features a lightweight magnesium housing, making it comfortable and easy to carry around and work with at 13 lbs – perfect for working with a bigger tree and having to keep going for longer.

This engine management system also electronically controls ignition timing and fuel metering for better efficiency.

There are plenty of useful features for larger tree cutting on this piece of equipment. Firstly, the chainsaw is equipped with an anti-vibration system which adds to your ability to work for longer periods and improves overall comfort. 

This chainsaw features the STIHL pre-separation air filtration system, which is designed to prevent debris particles from reaching the air filter to prolong the life of the filter, extend its lifespan and create a durable, long-lasting tool.

The Quickstop chain brake is designed to stop the chain rotation abruptly if the saw kicks back with sufficient force (or this could be done manually too). This is a great safety feature to consider to protect yourself from injury.

Overall, if you are a professional looking for a high-performance, lightweight chainsaw that can cut through large trunks and logs with ease, the STIHL MS 462 C-M is definitely worth considering as the best chainsaw for large trees.

Stihl MS 661

Editor's Choice
Stihl MS 661
9.5/10Our Score
  • Very powerful
  • Low-maintenance
  • Eco-friendly tool
  • Not for beginners 

Our editor’s choice for the best chainsaw for cutting large trees is none other than the STIHL MS 661 R C-M 25 in. 91.1 cc gas chainsaw. This is yet another high-quality, professional-grade tool designed for all tree-cutting applications and is perfect for bigger jobs.

This saw boasts a powerful engine, advanced technology, and a range of safety features, making it a popular choice amongst all forestry professionals, farmers, and even homeowners.

The STIHL MS 661 R C-M is equipped with a 91.1 CC engine that delivers a maximum power output of 7.4 kW. The chainsaw also features a 25-inch guide bar and a 3/8-inch pitch chain, which is ideal for easily cutting through large trees and logs.

A great feature of this tool is that it also makes use of STIHL’s M-Tronic technology, as previously discussed, which automatically adjusts the fuel-to-air ratio based on operating conditions for optimal performance, adding to the overall speed and power.

Additionally, the chainsaw features a wrap-around handle design that provides a comfortable grip and allows for easy maneuvering.

The MS 661 R C-M has also been designed with a range of other features that make it an excellent choice for working with larger trees, branches, and logs. Firstly, the chainsaw has a decompression valve that makes it easy to start, contributing to ease of use and comfort.

It’s also been designed with the aforementioned pre-separation air filtration system that removes large particles of debris before they reach the air filter, extending the life of the filter and improving engine performance. This makes the tool more powerful as well as very simple to maintain.

The chainsaw also features a toolless fuel and oil cap that makes it easy to refill, even when wearing gloves, further adding to how easy the equipment is to work with and maintain.

The powerful engine makes it easy to cut through larger trees and logs quickly and efficiently, making it ideal for professional work or even work at home if you have an especially full backyard! Additionally, its ergonomic design reduces operator fatigue, even during long and grueling cutting sessions.

As an added bonus, the STIHL Inc. “Caring for Nature” seal identifies that this chainsaw has been designed to be more environmentally conscious, producing zero or low exhaust emissions. This is a great benefit for those who are eco-conscious in their work and life.

While the MS 661 R C-M may be slightly more expensive than other competitors on the market, its reliability, efficiency, and performance justify the cost for those who require a high-quality tool for working with large trees and thick logs.

Stihl MS 391

Best Value For Money
Stihl MS 391
9/10Our Score
  • Time-saving technology
  • Powerful motor
  • Ideal for large, heavy jobs
  • Heavy

If you’re looking for great value for money, then you might need to take a look at the STIHL MS 391 25 in. 64.1 CC gas chainsaw. This is another powerful and reliable tool by STIHL that is well-suited for various uses across the farm or ranch, including cutting down larger trees.

This tool is considered an ideal choice for both professional and home users and features a wide range of features for a reasonable price making it one of the best options on the market.

The MS 391 chainsaw is equipped with a powerful 64.1 CC engine that delivers up to 3.3 kW of power. The guide bar is also 25 inches and has a 3/8-inch pitch chain, making it perfect for cutting larger trees and logs.

As a gas-powered tool, it’s naturally more powerful than a chainsaw that uses a battery, so this is ideal for professional use and bigger jobs in a field, on a farm, or ranch – the sacrifice lies in the fact that this makes your equipment rather heavy.

However, the saw still boasts an optimized power-to-weight ratio, thanks to STIHL’s careful and meticulous designs.

This saw uses time-saving technology to boost its efficiency – this means that you won’t need to clean your air filter as often. The chainsaw also includes a side-access chain tensioner, which makes it easy to adjust the chain tension without having to remove the sprocket cover – an all-around easy-to-maintain piece of equipment.

Other tech featured in this chainsaw includes STIHL’s Intellicarb compensating carburetor and a side-access chain tensioner for improved efficiency overall.

It’s also a relatively comfortable tool to use despite its weight, thanks to the anti-vibration system. The fact that it produces fewer fuel emissions than competitors makes it another eco-friendly option by STIHL.

When it comes to the MS 391, you get what you pay for – great value. Although this piece of equipment is by no means cheap, it offers countless features and tech that make the price well worth it. This tool will last you for years and help you get through any large job with ease.

Overall, if you are looking for a reliable and powerful chainsaw that can cut through large trees and logs with ease, the STIHL MS 391 is definitely worth considering. You won’t ever need to be concerned about the engine not being powerful enough to handle your job.

Stihl MS 362

Best Seller
Stihl MS 362
9/10Our Score
  • Lightweight
  • Speedy
  • Comfortable to use
  • Bulky

The best-selling tree-cutting chainsaw is the ever-popular STIHL MS 362 C-M 25 in. 59 CC gas chainsaw which is ideal for any tree felling, bucking, de-limbing, and thinning needs for trees of all sizes.

The STIHL MS 362 C-M uses a powerful 2-cycle engine and has a 25-inch bar with a .325-inch pitch chain, making it strong and large enough for bigger and thicker trees and logs, despite having a little less power than its competitors.

The chainsaw also includes a decompression valve (or ‘deco valve) in the cylinder, which reduces the amount of force required to pull the starter rope, making it easier to start the engine and get to work.

This tool is extra lightweight and has a large fuel capacity too. This combination creates a great mix of power and fuel efficiency, making it an affordable tool to run as well. A lighter tool also makes it easier to cut neatly.

It uses the same M-Tronic engine technology as some of the other STIHL models, which reduces exhaust fumes to make it more efficient and environmentally friendly and generally provides you with a quick, reliable tool.

It also makes use of the same anti-vibration system and toolless fuel and oil cap to make it comfortable to use and easy to refill, saving time and effort, on top of how lightweight it already is.

While the MS 362 C-M might not look as sleek as its competitors, its combination of speed and light weight gives it an extra power boost that ensures it’s still a fantastic option for farm, ranch, and forestry workers.

Despite being designed for big, professional jobs, this tool is also ideal for use on smaller jobs or work in your backyard, making it multifunctional and extra useful.

It handles trimming and pruning jobs like a champ, and the fact that it’s so easy to use makes it the ideal choice for professionals and homeowners looking to take better care of their landscaping.

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

Stihl MS 311

Budget Option
Stihl MS 311
9/10Our Score
  • Lightweight
  • Very affordable
  • Looks good
  • Requires frequent chain changes

Finally, our budget-friendly option for large tree cutting is the STIHL MS 311 25-inch 59 CC gas chainsaw. Once again, this is another saw that might have a less powerful engine in terms of specs but still works like a machine.

This tool, like the MS 362 C-M, is also extra lightweight but has a large fuel capacity. This combination creates a great mix of power and fuel efficiency, further increasing its budget-friendly nature.

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

The bar is big and strong enough to handle large trees and logs, so it’s suitable for any farm or forestry work – both small and larger professional jobs. This saw is also a good fit for a homeowner looking to do some work in their backyard.

The chainsaw also includes the decompression valve, as mentioned above, which reduces the amount of force required to pull the starter rope. This adds to the machine’s comfort – it’s quick and easy to start and use, and it is light enough to hold for longer periods.

The MS 311 has a well-built and sturdy design, made to run all day and last you for years and years. The durability, paired with its sleek look, makes it a very attractive option for professionals and less-experienced users alike.

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

These features also add to how easy this equipment is to maintain and take care of. Its reliability, affordability, and long-lasting nature make it an ideal selection for anyone on a budget but in need of a rugged tool to cut bigger trees and logs in their work.

How to Choose a Chainsaw for Cutting Large Trees

If you are in the market for a chainsaw for cutting trees, there are a few key features that you should consider before making a purchase. Here are three of the most important features to keep in mind when buying a chainsaw for tree cutting:

1. Engine Power

The first and most important feature to consider when buying a chainsaw for cutting large trees is its engine power. This is usually measured in CC (cubic centimeters) and refers to the size of the engine.

The larger the engine, the more power it will produce, which translates into faster and more efficient cutting. The most powerful engine on the list is the STIHL MS 661 R C-M, with a 91.1 CC engine.

However, it is also essential to keep in mind that a more powerful engine may also be heavier and more difficult to maneuver. You need to consider how to strike a balance between power and ease of use, especially in a professional setting.

2. Bar Length

The second key feature to consider when buying a chainsaw for cutting bigger trees and logs is the bar length. The bar is the metal guide that holds the cutting chain, and the length of the bar determines the size of the trees or logs that can be cut.

For most tree-cutting applications, a bar length of at least 18 inches is recommended, but for larger trees, a longer bar may be required.

However, it is important to keep in mind that a longer bar may also make the chainsaw heavier and more difficult to maneuver as well.

Each of the chainsaws listed above takes a 25-inch bar, which should be sufficient for most larger jobs.

3. Chain Gauge

The gauge of the chain refers to the thickness of the chain, and this is another im[ortant feature when you’re looking to cut larger trees.

A thicker chain will be more durable and able to handle the stress of cutting through large trees. Look for a chainsaw with a chain gauge of at least .050 inches, like the STIHL MS 661 R C-M or the MS 462 C-M. 

In addition to these three key features, there are a number of other factors to consider when buying a chainsaw for cutting trees, including weight, price, safety, and ease of use.

It’s essential for you to carefully evaluate your needs and preferences before making a purchase and to choose a chainsaw that is well-suited to your specific tree-cutting needs. You need to be on the lookout for the best chainsaw for large trees to have all of these features and more.

5/5 - (6 votes)
( Licensed Chainsaw Professional )

Jake is a chainsaws expert with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field. He is a licensed professional by the National Chainsaw Program, which attests to his skills and expertise in the safe and efficient use of chainsaws.