The 5 Best Small Gas Chainsaws of 2024

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By Jake Hill

Chainsaws

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A small gas chainsaw is an excellent tool for tackling almost any type of cutting job outside around the yard, whether big or small, including trimming trees down limbs off trees efficiently, clearing away brushwood, removing fallen trees, cleaning up logs, etc.

The best small gas chainsaws offer the best of both worlds when it comes to power and portability. Whether you are looking for light chainsaws and a powerful machine that can tackle tough jobs like the BLACK+DECKER or want something quiet and comfortable to use, like the STIHL MS 180 C-BE, we’ve got you covered.

This article will discuss the five best small gas chainsaws of 2023, including BLACK+DECKER, Craftsman S165, STIHL MS 171, STIHL MS 180 C-BE, and Craftsman S145. All five of these power tools offer plenty of power and convenience to help make your outdoor projects go smoothly, whether big or small, for even the average homeowner.

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Best Overall
BLACK+DECKER Gas Powered Chainsaw

BLACK+DECKER Gas Powered Chainsaw

  • Powerful and reliable engine
  • 16 or 14-inch bar
  • Easy to use and maintain
10
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Best Value For Money
Craftsman S165

Craftsman S165

  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • Can handle most cutting jobs.
  • Automatic chain oiler
9.5
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Editor's Choice
Stihl MS 171

Stihl MS 171

  • Low-emission engine.
  • Ergonomic design 
  • Tool-free chain tensioner 
9
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Best Seller
Stihl MS 180

Stihl MS 180

  • Lightweight 
  • Low emissions 
  • Easy start-up 
9
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Budget Option
Craftsman S145

Craftsman S145

  • Can handle tough cuts.
  • Easy to start
  • Minimal vibration levels.

9
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The 5 Best Small Gas Chainsaws of 2023

Are you looking for a small gas powerful chainsaw for homeowners but unsure where or how to start? With so many small gas chainsaws on the market, how do you ensure you choose one of the best available options?

When it comes to small gas chainsaws, there are a lot of options out there. The truth is, while some chainsaws reach exceptional standards while still staying affordable, others just don’t meet the overall quality and reliability we’re used to.

Therefore, in order to help with your search, it’s important to understand what criteria to consider when finding the right small gas chainsaw for your needs.

Let’s dive in and explore their features.

BLACK+DECKER Gas Powered Chainsaw

Best Overall
BLACK+DECKER Gas Powered Chainsaw
10/10Our Score
  • Powerful and reliable engine
  • 16 or 14-inch bar
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Heavy despite its smaller size

Our best overall pick for a small and compact gas chainsaw is none other than the BLACK+DECKER 16-inch saw. This tool has all the power to take down trees and branches in your backyard or even in more professional contexts.

With a 42 CC engine, you won’t need to work too hard to get through hardwoods and dense materials relatively easily. As a gas-powered tool, you can rest at ease and rely on the power you know your saw will be able to provide you. 

However, even with all this power, the BLACK+DECKER option is still compact and maneuverable. Depending on your needs, this saw has a 16-in bar option and a 14-in bar option, meaning you can choose to have a longer or shorter bar.

This can also help you keep your tool’s size and weight to a minimum if needed. Regardless of which size bar you choose, the design will be stable and secure with a low kickback, so you won’t need to be concerned about comfort either.

The size and design of this piece of equipment make it comfortable and easy to handle, while the spring-assisted start-up system makes it quick and simple to get up and running. 

This option also uses an automatic oiling system to help ensure consistent lubrication and increase the lifespan of your bar and chain. This, along with the tool-free chain tensioning, makes the saw low maintenance

For a small and compact gas-powered saw with a reliable engine that offers smooth, precise cuts, the BLACK+DECKER is by far the best overall choice you could make.

Craftsman S165

Best Value For Money
Craftsman S165
9.5/10Our Score
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • Can handle most cutting jobs.
  • Automatic chain oiler
  • The saw is loud and emits fumes
  • It requires regular maintenance

The Craftsman S165 small gas chainsaw is a great and reliable tool to have on hand. It is another excellent option if you’re looking for a powerful yet lightweight chainsaw.

This powerful chainsaw is powered by a 42cc engine making it an efficient choice for small-scale tasks. The tool’s small size gives it extra versatility, as you can use it in places where larger models wouldn’t be able to fit.

It has a 16″ bar and chain so that you can tackle larger jobs with ease. It also features an automatic chain oiler, so you don’t have to worry about manually lubricating your saw blades after every cut.

Also, at 12 pounds, it’s light enough to maneuver into tight spaces and small enough to store easily. The gauge is 0.05 inches, ensuring it can cut through medium-sized trees and bushes in no time.

The Craftsman S165 offers superior balance, maneuverability, and comfort due to its cushioned full wrap handle and 3-point anti-vibration system – making it the ultimate choice for operations.

Additionally, this model is equipped with a manual adjustable tensioning system so you can quickly adjust the tension on your chain without having to take apart your saw or use any tools.

If you’re looking for a small yet effective competent chainsaw, the Craftsman S165 is great for homeowners.

Stihl MS 171

Editor's Choice
Stihl MS 171
9/10Our Score
  • Low-emission engine.
  • Ergonomic design 
  • Tool-free chain tensioner 
  • More expensive options

The STIHL MS 171 is an excellent choice if you need a smaller saw for tackling light tree pruning tasks around the yard or garden.

Perfectly designed for small yard tasks such as pruning small trees and hedges, the STIHL MS 171 small gas chainsaw offers exceptional power for a great cutting experience with its 31.8 cc Engine Displacement and two cycle Engine Type.

This model has a 16″ bar and chain that offers plenty of power for cutting through wood up to 8″ in diameter with ease. It also features an anti-vibration handle that helps reduce fatigue when using this saw over extended periods of time.

This reliable, professional chainsaw is small in size yet highly efficient due to its exclusive Quick Adjust feature that allows admins to adjust the saw chain tension without using tools.

Also, this small gas chainsaw features an adjustable automatic oiler that ensures optimal saw chain lubrication and an ergonomic design with soft rubber grips for effortless operation.

With its quick-stop inertia system, this small gas chainsaw will stop delivering power instantly when you release the rear handle, ensuring utmost safety when using the product.

Additionally, this model is equipped with an air filter system that helps keep your engine running cleanly and efficiently at all times.

Stihl MS 180

Best Seller
Stihl MS 180
9/10Our Score
  • Lightweight 
  • Low emissions 
  • Easy start-up 
  • Requires regular maintenance

If you need something even smaller but still want plenty of power behind your cuts, then check out the STIHL MS 180 C-BE chainsaw. Featuring a 31.8 cc engine displacement and 2-Cycle engine, the saw provides heaps of power while still remaining small and easy to handle over an extended period.

This compact design model has a 16″ bar and chain, which makes it perfect for light tree pruning tasks such as trimming tree branches, cutting firewood into smaller pieces for easier storage and transport, or simply getting rid of tree limbs.

The Quick tension adjuster and ergonomic handle reduce the strain on your hands, making it comfortable, and helps increase efficiency when yard work needs to be done.

Plus, this model features an easy start system that eliminates the need to pull on cords multiple times before starting up your unit each time you use it — making it easier than ever to get started quickly!

The STIHL MS 180 C-BE has an Intellicarb compensating carburetor to ensure maximum engine efficiency. It takes action by quickly responding to any changes in airflow caused by restricted or partially clogged air filter conditions.

Its smart design technology allows it to automatically adjust the air/fuel ratio when necessary, guaranteeing optimal engine performance. Thus, correct RPM can be maintained no matter what outside contamination potentially pollutes the air passing through the filter.

Finally, it’s important to consider vibration levels, as the anti-vibration system in this power tool helps to reduce physical stress on your hands and arms for a smooth cutting experience with every use, as well as providing better control during operation.

All in all, the STIHL MS 180 C-BE is considered one of the lightest chainsaws and a great small gas chainsaw that will help you get any job done quickly and comfortably.

Craftsman S145

Budget Option
Craftsman S145
9/10Our Score
  • Can handle tough cuts
  • Easy to start
  • Minimal vibration levels
  • Exhaust fumes are strong

Last but not least is the Craftsman S145 chainsaw — a powerful and efficient power tool perfect for a range of outdoor activities. It has a gas-powered chainsaw that is designed for heavy-duty use.

With its lightweight design, this professional chainsaw delivers exceptional power and reliability in all conditions, making it the ideal choice for any task, from small pruning jobs to cutting down medium-sized trees.

It features a 42cc high output 2cycle engine oil, allowing users to tackle anything from construction projects to tree trimming. An immobilizer switch allows for safe operation, and adjustable oil level control prevents over-lubrication and smoke.

The durable 16-inch steel bar with a 0.05-inch gauge helps to easily cut through any material while reducing vibration levels.

The handle is fully wrapped with a die-cast aluminum shell, cushioning it for superior comfort. Coupled with the 3-point anti-vibration system, it makes this professional chainsaw perfectly balanced for maneuverability and added comfort when operating.

So you will feel secure in your grip and find the saw simple to control — resulting in a smooth finish that cuts accurately. Thanks to its ergonomic design, you won’t have much trouble with long hours at work either!

Additionally, this model features an adjustable tensioning system allowing people to quickly adjust their chain’s tension without having to take apart their saw or use any tools — making maintenance & upkeep quick & easy! 

Overall, the Craftsman S145 is an excellent heavy-duty chainsaw for those who need a powerful tool for heavy-duty cutting tasks. However, it is crucial to be aware of its drawbacks before making a purchase.

By researching each one’s features carefully, you can find exactly what will work best for your needs, whether it’s big jobs like felling larger trees or just simple backyard maintenance tasks like trimming bushes & mowing lawns!

How to Choose the Best Small Gas Chainsaw

The best small gas chainsaws of 2023 provide a combination of power, portability, and safety features that make them the ideal choice for small cutting jobs and light-duty tasks.

If you’re in the market for a small, powerful gas chainsaw, there are eight key aspects to consider before making your purchase. Whether you’re a professional or an avid do-it-yourselfer, selecting the right saw for your project is essential.

Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for these power tools.

1. Bar Length

The length of the bar determines how long of a cut you can make with each pass and how much power it takes to cut through thicker tree branches and logs.

Chainsaws come with bars that range from 8 inches to 20 inches, but most small saws have bars between 10 and 16 inches long. A longer bar will provide more cutting power but will also add to the weight of the saw.

It’s important to find a balance between power and portability when selecting your small gas chainsaw.

2. Weight

When assessing the most suitable small gas chainsaw for your cutting needs, the importance of weight cannot be overlooked.

Taking the tool’s weight into consideration is essential to ensure optimum performance with ease of motion and better management when using it for a sustained period of time.

Lightweight chainsaw models are easier to use and less tiring over extended periods, so they’re ideal if you’ll be using your chainsaw often or for longer projects.

Additionally, portability and agility determine if it can be conveniently maneuvered in cramped and awkward spaces or placed on rooftops without worry.

Choosing a light chainsaw instead of one that might be heavier could increase user comfort levels, especially when yielding from greater heights or through airy terrain.

3. Power

A competent chainsaw engine size typically ranges from 25cc to 50cc, but certain models are available in both higher and lower sizes depending on what kind of job you need to do with it.

A larger engine will provide more power but will also add weight and cost more money, so it’s important to consider what kind of work you’ll be doing with your saw before deciding on the engine size.

4. Ease Of Starting

Most modern chainsaws have fairly easy starting systems, but some may require more effort than others, depending on their design and age.

Look for models with features like auto-choke or electric start systems if you want something that requires minimal effort to get going each time you use it.

5. Fuel Capacity And Economy

Chainsaws can have high fuel consumption rates, so it’s important to make sure that yours has enough capacity for whatever job you need it for without running out too quickly.

Many modern models are designed with fuel efficiency in mind, so look for those if you want something that won’t use up all its fuel too quickly or require frequent refueling stops during extended cutting jobs.

6. Vibration Reduction System

Vibration reduction systems help reduce fatigue by absorbing shock from bumps and uneven terrain while using the saw, making them essential if you plan on using your chainsaw frequently or over long periods without breaks in between tasks.

Look for models equipped with anti-vibration handles as well as other features such as vibration-dampening technology built into their design that help reduce stress on your hands and wrists while operating them even further still during those longer cutting jobs outside.

7. Chain Brake System

Chainsaws provide a powerful tool for cutting tough materials, though their operability is complicated by their potential to cause injury in the form of kickbacks.

Comprehensive safety codes dictate that these episodes be mitigated by measures like chain brakes, devices that spring into action as soon as kickbacks appear.

By activating automatically, they help decrease the severity and extent of injuries brought on by fast changes in momentum.

In serious cases, cuts and lacerations can occur, but properly functioning chain brakes give users the speed and surety needed to protect themselves, helping them complete projects quickly and safely.

8. Safety Features

Safety features such as safety guards, chain catchers, emergency stop switches, etc., are important features that should not be overlooked when choosing a small gas-competent chainsaw because they can prevent accidents caused by improper use or malfunctioning parts during operation, especially when in use over extended periods.

These features can be found on some small gas chainsaws, so make sure to look for them when shopping around.

All these factors play a vital role in helping ensure optimal performance, reliability, comfortability, and overall satisfaction when used properly at all times. Always remember that in all cases, each chainsaw uses a specific type of chain that requires frequent application of chain oil to continue running smoothly.

5/5 - (6 votes)
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