The 5 Best Chainsaws for Tree Climbing in 2024

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By Jake Hill

Chainsaws

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Using a chainsaw in any context is precise work and can even be dangerous. That being said, using a chainsaw while climbing up in a tree to reach the highest branches can be downright intimidating!

This is why having the right equipment for the job is absolutely essential, and there’s a lot you need to think about here. The following list of the best chainsaws for climbing trees in 2023 will include tools of all types of power sources and various features to help you decide what’s best for you.

You’ll find powerful gas-powered saws like the Craftsman S145 and eco-friendly options like the EGO POWER+ CS1400. But which one do we think is the very best chainsaw for tree climbing? Keep reading to find out.

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
STIHL MSA 200

STIHL MSA 200

  • Easy to use
  • Safety features
  • Eco-friendly
10
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Editor's Choice
Milwaukee M18

Milwaukee M18

  • Ergonomic
  • Great control
  • Long-running time
9.5
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Best Value For Money
Craftsman S145

Craftsman S145

  • Lightweight
  • Powerful
  • Very easy to use
9
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Best Seller
EGO Power+ CS1400

EGO Power+ CS1400

  • Extremely light and comfortable
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Environmentally-friendly
     
9
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Budget Option
Black+Decker 14 in.

Black+Decker 14 in.

  • Lightweight
  • Speedy and powerful
  • Very affordable
9
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The 5 Best Chainsaws for Tree Climbing

STIHL MSA 200

Best Overall
STIHL MSA 200
10/10Our Score
  • Easy to use
  • Safety features
  • Eco-friendly
  • Battery is sold separately at an extra expense

It’s no surprise that our best overall chainsaw for climbing trees is a popular and powerful STIHL model. The STIHL MSA 200 C-B 14-inch battery chainsaw is a powerhouse that’s still light and compact enough to be manageable in the branches.

This chainsaw has plenty of features that make it perfect for tree climbing work, which can be extra dangerous by nature.

First of all, the fact that it runs on a battery means you don’t need to concern yourself with pulling on cords, fuel mixing, or any complicated startup processes. You can simply turn on the saw and get to work.

The battery also offers a full 45 minutes of run time, which will be the perfect amount of power for someone climbing and working up in the branches.

An interchangeable STIHL Lithium-Ion battery powers it, and the battery also means that your saw won’t emit unnecessary fuel or noise. It’s a quiet and clean machine, ideal for eco-friendly workers.

Keep in mind that the battery is sold separately from the chainsaw and will incur a separate expense.

Additionally, the MSA 200 C-B is packed with additional safety features to help keep you balanced and protect you from injury while you’re at work. These include the inertia-activated chain brake, a controlled braking device, and an easy grip.

The chain brake stops the chain from rotating within a fraction of a second, allowing you to stop the chainsaw immediately in case anything goes wrong. This will happen as soon as you release the trigger, making the process simple and quick.

The handle is fitted with a soft, rubbery texture which makes it super easy to keep your grip on the tool, and it’s comfortable to hold onto for extended periods, which is ideal when you’re working up in the trees, which can already be an uncomfortable position.

This chainsaw uses a 14-inch guide bar. This shorter length bar is ideal for working up in the trees because it allows for better balance for the user. Additionally, the ematic guide bar, when used with the long-lasting oilomatic saw chain, will provide proper lubrication and less oil consumption than conventional methods.

All-in-all, the easy startup, safety features, and specially designed comfort make this chainsaw perfect for climbing trees and trimming away branches.

Milwaukee M18

Editor's Choice
Milwaukee M18
9.5/10Our Score
  • Ergonomic
  • Great control
  • Long-running time
  • Heavy

Our editor’s choice for the best chainsaw for tree climbing is yet another battery-powered saw – a Milwaukee M18 FUEL 14-inch battery chainsaw bursting with great features to suit various jobs.

Another saw with a 14-inch bar, this tool is an excellent choice for tree climbing. It’s extremely powerful and fast, with the ability to deliver up to 150 cuts per charge. This is a professional-grade tool that’s comfortable and easy enough to use for an at-home user too.

When climbing up and cutting in the trees, having great handling and control of your tool is essential. The M18 FUEL technology allows the unit to reach full throttle in under one second, providing ultimate control and further increasing the speed of your job.

You’re also given more control through the variable trigger speed and the size of the bar. Better control is an essential trait of a chainsaw that will be used when climbing trees.

The fact that it runs on a battery like the STIHL means that, once again, this tool is more environmentally friendly, doesn’t produce gas emissions, is far less noisy, and is easy to start up and move around without worrying about a cord.

The Milwaukee runs on any M18 battery, but the brand recommends using its own M18 Redlithium High output HD12.0 battery. With this unit, you’ll get unmatched running time and power.

The chainsaw runs on a PowerState brushless motor and matches the output of a gas chainsaw of up to 40CC. This is a great amount of power for any trimming jobs up higher in the branches of a tree.

Some other additional features sported by the M18 FUEL include its automatic oiler for proper chain lubrication and the dual-stud to ensure the chain is better retained on the bar.

Overall, this is another outstanding choice for chainsaw users who plan on getting high up in the branches to get the job done.

Craftsman S145

Best Value For Money
Craftsman S145
9/10Our Score
  • Lightweight
  • Powerful
  • Very easy to use
  • Really noisy

If you’re looking for value for money in your equipment, then it’s time to take a look at this Craftsman 14-inch gas chainsaw. The Craftsman S145 42CC packs a punch for only a penny.

This tool is on the lighter side compared to the other chainsaws we have already discussed. Coming in at 12 lbs, this piece of equipment is really light, making it easier to hold, carry, and work with while you’re up in the trees.

Another great feature that adds to this is the Easy Pull Start Technology embedded in the machine. This makes starting your chainsaw much quicker and easier than other gas saws, which typically require more effort and time.

A quick and easy startup is essential when climbing up in a tree to get the job done. Another factor in this regard is comfort – and the Craftsman has got you covered.

The chainsaw has been designed for low kickback and has a 3-point anti-vibration system to make the tool more balanced, maneuverable, and comfortable to use when you’re up in the branches.

If you’re concerned about safety, it also has the safety inertia-activated chain brake, as previously discussed, which allows for a quick emergency stop if needs be. The lightweight design also makes this tool safer to use in difficult positions.

Additionally, it offers greater control because of the bucking spikes. These provide leverage for easier and more controlled sawing, allowing you to neatly and effortlessly trim the branches at the top of a tree for a clean and well-maintained look.

The 42CC full-crank high-output engine delivers full and steady power, which will also make your job much quicker to get done. The fact that it’s powered by gas means it offers more power than its battery-operated counterparts, even though this entails a few other drawbacks.

All in all, this piece of equipment has a lot to offer in terms of power and features for a very affordable price, making it a great value-for-money purchase in 2023.

EGO Power+ CS1400

Best Seller
EGO Power+ CS1400
9/10Our Score
  • Extremely light and comfortable
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Expensive battery
  • Difficult to set up

The EGO POWER+ CS1400 14-inch battery chainsaw is considered a bestseller for a reason. While this tool does cost a little more, its price is justified by the fantastic output you’ll get from the machine.

Once more, working with a battery-powered tool has pros and cons. This equipment delivers less power than a gas equivalent, but this also makes it lighter, more environmentally friendly, basically noise-free, and much easier to start up and use.

It’s a 30CC gas equivalent, which means it’s less powerful than some of its battery-powered competitors, but this lightweight tool is still strong and speedy enough to get through the branches at the top of the trees you’ll be trimming.

It’s also cordless, making it easy to maneuver up in the trees, and you don’t need to worry about mixing fuel ratios, which is vital to consider.

This chainsaw features a high-efficiency brushless motor, delivering 6800 RPM for a solid power whack to cut through hardwoods, softwoods, branches, and more. It delivers up to 100 cuts on a 4×4 with the recommended battery.

The battery that EGO recommends is none other than their own 2.5Ah ARC Lithium battery, which is available to purchase separately from the chainsaw itself. However, the tool can be powered by any EGO POWER+ 56V Lithium battery.

The bar and chain offer smooth cuts with low kickback – another essential feature when climbing trees – and a tool-free chain tensioning adjustment makes adjustments quick and easy while you’re on the job.

Another concern is comfort, especially when you’re up in the branches. At only 11.4 lbs, this chainsaw is extremely lightweight, making it comfortable to carry up in the trees.

An issue that a few users have noted is that this chainsaw can be technical and complex to set up and get running. However, it’s easy and efficient to work with once you’ve gotten through the initial setup.

Overall, the features offered by EGO on this tool make it a popular choice, especially amongst users who need to use it while climbing trees and trimming high-up branches.

Black+Decker 14 in.

Budget Option
Black+Decker 14 in.
9/10Our Score
  • Lightweight
  • Speedy and powerful
  • Very affordable
  • Not well-suited to professional work
  • Corded

Finally, we present you with an outstanding budget option, the Black+Decker 14-inch electric chainsaw. This option differs from its competitors in that it runs on electricity and therefore requires a cord, but its extreme affordability makes this a sacrifice worth making.

A corded chainsaw is not everyone’s cup of tea since you’ll need a lead to maneuver it up in the trees. However, when you’re working with a tight budget and need to get some work done, this is still an amazing option that you’ll be able to work with.

The Black+Decker offers an 8 amp motor that delivers all the swift cutting power you need for making fast cuts on branches up to 12 inches thick, which is all one needs for high-up branches.

The Black+Decker team designed this bar with bolt lock tensioning to keep the chain in place and an automatic oiling system for a premium cutting performance. These features are also great for safety and ease of use when working with this equipment.

When you purchase this kit, you’ll receive the chainsaw, the bar and chain, a bar cover for storage, and a wrench as a bonus, meaning that you won’t need to make any additional purchases, as you might with a battery-powered saw.

Despite the low price, users are always satisfied with this chainsaw. It’s ideal for smaller jobs, and the fact that it is so lightweight and compact makes it the ideal choice for trimming and pruning up the branches.

It might not be a great option for professional use, but for a homeowner who needs to do some cleanup in their yard, this is the perfect option, and you won’t be spending unnecessary money on features you don’t need.

How to Choose The Best Chainsaw for Climbing Trees?

When you’re shopping for a chainsaw for a job as specific as trimming branches at the top of trees you’ll need to climb, it’s crucial that you’re aware of the specific requirements you have.

A chainsaw needed for chopping logs on the ground, or felling massive trees, will need to have different features from a saw used when climbing up in the branches. Here are some of the most important factors to look out for when making a purchase like this.

Safety Features

Your first and foremost concern should be safety, and each of the most important features of a chainsaw for climbing trees will relate back to this factor.

Look out for a chainsaw that has been designed with safety in mind. These tools can be dangerous to use even in a safer context, such as on the ground, sawing wood, for example. It makes sense that when you’re climbing trees, you’re even more at risk.

This is why you need to look out for safety features such as the inertia-activated chain brake, as seen on the STIHL MSA 200 C-B and the Craftsman S145 42CC. Both of these saws are excellent and safe options when you’re up in the branches.

Lightweight

Another important feature when you’re up in the branches is lightweight. Carrying around a heavy chainsaw up in the trees is simply asking for trouble since you need to be able to keep your balance.

A lightweight chainsaw is essential for anyone who wants to trim branches or cut down trees while climbing. A lighter chainsaw reduces the overall weight you have to carry, which makes it easier to move around and prevents you from falling.

A lighter chainsaw is also much easier to handle when in a tight space, such as when you need to prune branches close to your body. A heavy chainsaw can cause strain on your arms and shoulders, leading to fatigue and making it harder to control the saw.

A light chainsaw also enables you to make precise cuts while you are up in the tree. This is especially important when dealing with small or delicate branches, where a heavy chainsaw can cause too much damage.

If you’re looking for the lightest options, then the Black+Decker 14-inch electric chainsaw and the Craftsman S145 42CC are both good options.

Easy to Start and Use

Finally, having a chainsaw that is easy to start up and use is crucial when it comes to climbing trees. When you are up in the tree, the last thing you want is to struggle with starting a chainsaw or trying to operate it properly.

A chainsaw that is easy to start reduces the risk of accidents that can occur when you are struggling to start the saw. It also saves time and energy, allowing you to focus on the task at hand.

Furthermore, a chainsaw that is easy to use means you can work more efficiently and effectively. It allows you to easily make precise cuts, even when in awkward positions. This can help you finish the job quickly and safely without causing damage to the tree or yourself.

Easy start technology, as seen in the Craftsman, is an excellent feature to look out for, but any battery-operated saw like the Milwaukee M18 FUEL is also ideal.

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