The 5 Best Limbing Chainsaws of 2024

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By Jake Hill

Chainsaws

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For the professional farm worker or the humble homeowner with a backyard to maintain, having the right equipment is essential to getting the job done well.

When limbing trees, making clean, precise cuts is imperative to your work, and you need to ensure you have the perfect tools to be able to do so. It’s fortunate that today, countless varieties are available on the market, but this makes it tough to choose the one that’s perfect for you.

This is why we’ve taken the hard work out of it for you and reviewed the best limbing chainsaws for you to help you make your decision.

It’s tough to pick between our top choices since they all have something great to offer. For example, the EGO Power+ CS1804 is powerful yet environmentally friendly, while the gas-powered Troy-Bilt TB4218 is the most affordable choice by far. 

But which limbing chainsaws are best suited to whom? And which one do we believe to be the ultimate choice? Keep reading to find out our expert recommendations.

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
STIHL Farm Boss MS 271

STIHL Farm Boss MS 271

  • Durable and reliable
  • Comfortable despite the weight
  • Emits minimal exhaust fumes
10
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Best Value For Money
EGO Power+ CS1804

EGO Power+ CS1804

  • Very powerful
  • Quiet and safe to use
  • LED light to illuminate your work
9.5
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Editor's Choice
Craftsman S185

Craftsman S185

  • Lightweight
  • Great safety features
  • Comfortable design
9
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Best Seller
STIHL MS 250

STIHL MS 250

  • Lightweight
  • Lots of useful features
  • Easy to maintain
     
9
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Budget Option
Troy-Bilt TB4218

Troy-Bilt TB4218

  • Fast and powerful
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Durable product
9
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The 5 Best Limbing Chainsaws of 2023

If you’re looking for the best chainsaws for limbing purposes this year, here’s what we think is the best limbing chainsaw in various categories.

STIHL Farm Boss MS 271

Best Overall
STIHL Farm Boss MS 271
10/10Our Score
  • Durable and reliable
  • Comfortable despite the weight
  • Emits minimal exhaust fumes
  • Heavy

This powerful and rugged gas chainsaw by STIHL is our best overall option for a limbing chainsaw, and for a good reason. The STIHL Farm Boss MS 271 is known for its highly efficient engine and 20% more running time than similar STIHL models, to be able to spend more time working on limbing trees.

This chainsaw is loaded with technology and features to make your limbing easier and more comfortable – such as simplified fuel and oil caps, a pre-separation filtration system, an anti-vibration system, and more.

Designed for efficiency, the air filtration system ensures that the air filter lasts much longer without any replacement needed. The STIHL has also cut exhaust emissions in half compared to older models, making it more eco-friendly.

Although the Farm Boss MS 271 is relatively heavy, weighing 12 lbs, STIHL had comfort in mind when designing it to counter the weight. The front handle is equipped with a secure grip and is ergonomically angled, and the starting handle is also easy to work with.

Known for being easy to start, use, and maintain, this chainsaw makes removing, replacing and cleaning various parts of the equipment simple through clever design and convenient placement of parts.

Additionally, the MS 271 is durable and reliable, lasting many years, especially if you’re only using it for small limbing jobs. Though users may hesitate to purchase this saw due to its weight, you’ll find that it’s worth it when considering its power.

The engine’s potency helps increase the speed of your work, meaning that you’ll have your trees neatly maintained in no time. However, it’s essential to be aware of potential challenges and problems and how to deal with them.

EGO Power+ CS1804

Best Value For Money
EGO Power+ CS1804
9.5/10Our Score
  • Very powerful
  • Quiet and safe to use
  • LED light to illuminate your work
  • Restricted to a specific battery
  • Tends to leak oil

When it comes to battery-operated options – the EGO Power+ CS1804 18-inch battery chainsaw is our editor’s choice to consider coming with the equivalent power of a 45CC gas chainsaw.

This battery-powered tool offers all the power and performance you need but with half of the noise and none of the fuel emissions, making it more environmentally friendly and better to work with.

However, this powerful tool has its drawbacks, as it specifically requires an EGO Power+ 56V ARC Lithium battery to operate your chainsaw. The upside is it gives you a whopping 300 clean and efficient cuts on a 4×4, which is ideal for neat trimming.

It’s fitted with an 18-inch bar and long-lasting chain, offering a wider cut for bigger tree branches and allowing for larger jobs such as bigger branches, stumps, and tall trees to be handled with ease.

A unique feature of the EGO Power+ chainsaw is its bright LED lights, illuminating your work area and allowing you to work safely, even in poorly lit areas and at night, if necessary.

Lastly, along with its great features and immense power, this chainsaw is also durable and long-lasting, allowing for years of use without hassle or much maintenance needed.

Craftsman S185

Editor's Choice
Craftsman S185
9/10Our Score
  • Lightweight
  • Great safety features
  • Comfortable design
  • Shorter lifespan than some other chainsaws

Our value-for-money pick is another gas-powered saw, the Craftsman S185 gas chainsaw. Featuring a 42CC engine with excellent power makes it a great value-for-money purchase.

Although it isn’t the most durable tool on the market, it is designed with a bar that produces minimal kickback; this makes it comfortable to use for limbing, as it cleanly cuts through even tougher wood.

The Craftsman S185 uses Easy Start technology for a quick and simple pull-start to get your equipment running in no time at all, making it popular for its ease-of-use. Additionally, it’s comfortable to hold and use for prolonged periods, necessary for limbing work, usually done from the ground or a ladder.

Cushioned for comfort and safety with its full-wrap aluminum handle, the tool uses a 3-point anti-vibration system to maintain balance and comfort during use.

Additional valuable features like the automatic oiler, chain brake, and easy access to the air filter and spark plug to easily maintain and clean your equipment, further improve its design.

This chainsaw’s low kickback and easy maintenance make this option not only more cost-effective but appealing for a variety of other reasons too. Its bucking spikes add greater control for more demanding jobs like limbing and trimming, and the automatic oiler keeps your bar and chain in good condition without any effort.

As a bonus, it is also sold with a heavy-duty carrying case that you can use to store your equipment safely when you’re not using it and easily transport it around your site.

One of its drawbacks is that it doesn’t typically last as long as some of its competitors. However, it still works exceptionally well during its lifespan, and thanks to its power and 18-inch bar and chain, it can be used to complete even some heavy-duty jobs.

STIHL MS 250

Best Seller
STIHL MS 250
9/10Our Score
  • Lightweight
  • Lots of useful features
  • Easy to maintain
  • Heavy

The STIHL MS 250 18 in. 45.4CC gas chainsaw is a super powerful, versatile tool and has become a best-selling chainsaw for many users in the market.

Its robust build, advanced features, and high-performance engine make this chainsaw another top choice for both professional and amateur users who want to remove branches on their farms or at home.

Its powerful engine is one of the standout features of the MS 250. Along with its 18-inch bar, it provides users with plenty of power to cut through even the toughest pieces of wood, making it a good choice for bigger jobs on tougher trees.

Due to its fuel-efficient design, this chainsaw can be used for extended periods without worrying about running out of fuel, allowing you to easily work for longer and cheaper.

Featuring a professional-grade anti-vibration system, this reduces vibrations by up to 50%, which makes the chainsaw more comfortable to use in any context. The anti-vibration also helps reduce fatigue, further allowing you to work for extended periods without experiencing pain or discomfort.

Its easy-to-use air filtration system is another great feature to consider. Designed to be easily accessible, the air filter is easy to clean and replace, needing minimal maintenance.

The MS250’s pre-separation air filtration system helps to reduce the amount of dirt and debris that enters the filter. This extends the filter’s lifespan and improves the chainsaw’s performance for many years.

With regard to safety features, the MS 250 has been designed to be both reliable and safe for users of all abilities.

A prominent safety feature is its quick-stop chain brake. This feature stops the chain in less than a second if there’s a sudden jolt or impact, helping to prevent accidents and injuries while in use.

Overall, this chainsaw has a lot of great features for just about any job you might need it for, including removing small or large branches.

Troy-Bilt TB4218

Budget Option
Troy-Bilt TB4218
9/10Our Score
  • Fast and powerful
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Durable product
  • Not suited to larger jobs

The Troy-Bilt TB4218 18-inch 42 cc gas chainsaw may be the best option to consider if you’re looking for a budget-friendly chainsaw able to handle all of the limbing tasks on your farm or property.

Its 18-inch bar and chain make this tool perfect for cutting through small to medium-sized trees, branches, and logs. Despite the low price, this powerful chainsaw is equipped with a 42 CC engine giving it plenty of power to tackle most limbing jobs, making it an ideal choice.

Designed to be easy to use, the TB4218 comes with an ergonomic handle and a lightweight design. Weighing in at 13.5 pounds, this chainsaw is relatively easy to maneuver and use for extended periods. The handle is also made to reduce vibrations, which can typically be a significant source of fatigue and discomfort.

The TB4218’s automatic oiling system is another great feature, allowing for automatic lubrication of the chain and bar, helping to extend the life of these components and ensuring smooth operation.

With an easy-to-refill oil reservoir, you can keep the chainsaw running smoothly without a lot of extra hassle, making it quick and easy to use and maintain.

Like most chainsaws on the market, its also been designed with safety in mind, featuring an inertia-activated chain brake to recognize a sharp impact and protect you from potential injuries while in operation.

Overall, the Troy-Bilt TB4218 18-inch 42 cc gas chainsaw is an excellent, budget-friendly option for those needing a powerful and reliable chainsaw for limbing trees in any context.

How to Choose the Best Limbing Chainsaw

When choosing your own saw, it’s good to know the specifications of the different models, but you also need to be keenly aware of what you should personally be looking out for. Buying a chainsaw for heavy farmwork is different from buying a chainsaw for simple limbing purposes, and those two tasks will have different requirements.

For the sake of a limbing chainsaw, there are four specific things you should be looking for in your ideal tool. Here’s what they are:

1. Weight and Size

One of the most critical features to consider when choosing a chainsaw for limbing is its weight and size.

A lightweight and compact chainsaw is the best option for limbing, as it is easy to maneuver and control while working at heights. It also reduces fatigue, making it easier to use for extended periods.

Lighter options like the Troy-Bilt TB4218 and the EGO Power+ CS1804 should be front of mind in this regard, but remember that power and speed play a role here too. 

2. Power

The power in the engine is the next most feature to consider when choosing a chainsaw for limbing. The power of a chainsaw is determined by its engine size, measured in cubic centimeters (cc).

A chainsaw with a higher engine size will provide more power, making it easier to cut through thicker branches quicker. However, a larger engine also means a heavier chainsaw, which may not be ideal for limbing.

The STIHL Farm Boss MS 271 is the most powerful tool on this list. This makes it a heavy machine, but the speed at which it cuts through branches means you won’t have to work as long or as hard to get your limbing done.

3. Safety Features

Chainsaws are dangerous tools, and safety should be a top priority when selecting a chainsaw for limbing or any other type of work.

Look for a chainsaw with safety features such as an anti-vibration system, a chain brake, and a throttle lockout. These features help prevent accidents and protect the user from injury.

All of the chainsaws on this list feature great safety precautions, and we think that the EGO Power+ CS1804 is particularly safe due to its LED lights to help you see clearly.

4. Ergonomics

Finally, keep in mind that a chainsaw that is comfortable and easy to hold is crucial for limbing, especially if you’re going to be working from a ladder or even up in the branches.

Look for a chainsaw with ergonomic handles that provide a secure grip and reduce hand fatigue. Additionally, a chainsaw with a well-designed balance can help reduce strain on the arms and shoulders while working.

The Craftsman S185 gas chainsaw is extra comfortable with its full-wrap aluminum handle, low kickback, and 3-point anti-vibration system, so it’s a good choice in this department.

There are plenty of other important features to consider, such as the price, the bar length, the chain speed, and even maintenance. While shopping for a chainsaw, it would be best if you keep all of these in mind.

Shopping impulsively is never a good idea, and you should always do your research when investing in a tool like this.

Use this article as a guide to help you narrow down your choices based on your needs and what matters most to you in order to pick the best limbing chainsaw for your property.

5/5 - (5 votes)
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