Best Arborist Chainsaw – Reviews & Buying Guide

Arborist Chainsaw

Chainsaw is not a regular tool for regular people and not everyone uses a chainsaw to hack up logs for firewood. So, for those of you who are arborist and need the best chainsaw for pruning, shaping or removing trees, you might think you need something different than those who are felling and bucking trees.

Well, you’re somewhat right. You certainly won’t require as much power, but you still need some juice from your tool. Really, what you’re looking for is a balance. To find the right arborist chainsaw for your projects, you have to look at a variety of factors. Keep reading for a look at the features, specifications, and power that make for the best chainsaws for arborists.

What is an Arborist Chainsaw

An arborist chainsaw is a top handle chainsaw which is engineered for optimal balance and maneuverability while being light and powerful, allowing you the flexibility to work from any angle when you’re up in trees.

5 Best Top Handle Chainsaw Reviews

#1. Makita XCU06Z 


There is a growing demand for cordless alternatives to gas-powered outdoor power equipment. Makita is meeting demand with an expanding line of cordless OPE, including the 18V Brushless 10” Top Handle Chain Saw. It is the optimal solution for cutting and trimming, and the compact top-handle design makes it ideal for the professional tree care industry. 

Here are its features:

  1. Torque Boost Mode: Users have the ability to engage Torque Boost Mode for faster cutting through tougher wood. By holding down the power button for a few seconds, Torque Boost Mode is engaged for 30-seconds. After this, it automatically returns to normal mode.

  2. Chain speed (4,720 FPM): The XCU06Z has a variable speed trigger and high chain speed for increased cutting speed, with torque boost mode for cutting dense material. With it, the cutting speed will be enhanced making the user to perform the task as quickly as possible.

  3. Compact and Lightweight Design: The XCU06Z adapts compact top handle design and weighs only 7.2lbs with a battery which makes it highly suitable for the professional tree care industry.

  4. Efficient Brushless Motor: Like DEWALT DCCS620P1, It also has the brushless motor with a direct drive which impacts greatly on the power efficiency of this beast.

  5. Automatic Chain Lubrication: It comes with adjustable automatic chain lubrication with the large oil reservoir and also large oil filling port with view window allows the operator to easily add and check bar oil level.

What We Like

  • Low noise level and zero emissions for operator comfort
  • Electric brake for maximum productivity
  • Built-in lock-off lever helps prevent the chain from accidentally engaging
  • Super efficient and lightweight

What We don’t Like

  • Tends to jump a little while cutting

#2. Echo CS-355T 


The New Echo CS-355T is a handy tool for most pruning and other cutting tasks around the home. There is no doubt that its working reputation is something to be appreciated. This powerful saw could be your next daily machine. 

Let's look at its numerous features:

  1. Easy to start: It comes with the digital ignition system that ensures you never have to struggle to pull cords. The integrated choke and the fast-idle feature with trigger release also help to make this an easy-to-start chainsaw.

  2. Powerful Engine: It has 35.8cc professional-grade, 2-stroke engine available in 14" and 16" bar lengths.

  3. Compact and Lightweight Design: The saw is balanced and not as heavy as the competition and that's great when you have it hanging from your saddle all day.

  4. Ergonomic Anti-vibe Handle: It is comfortable enough and it is also easy to control even for extended periods as it comes with an ergonomic anti-vibe handle which also has a palm rest.

What We Like

  • Highly powerful engine that lets you work for hours
  • Easy to start by the grace of a digital ignition system
  • Ergonomic and anti-vibe handle for better grip
  • Lightweight and compact design

What We don’t Like

  • Quite a noisy chainsaw

#3. Tanaka TCS33EDTP 


This little saw is a monster. It comes with Pure Fire Engine aiming at the commercial users for pruning, shaping and hobby work. Its quality-to-price ratio is among the most favorable on the market. It has become everyday use chainsaw for most of its users. In my opinion, this is by far the best arborist chainsaw manufactured by Tanaka

Let’s have a look at the features:

  1. Tanaka's Pure Fire engine: It is an innovative two-stroke engine, that produces ultra-low emissions without the need for special or additional internal moving parts. Now Tanaka has the right to brag about the engine because of the efficiency and compactness of it.

  2. Quick and Convenient Chain Adjustment: The sprocket nose bar with Oregon chain provides added control for easier cuts. The TCS33EDTP/12 is also simple to operate with an automatic gear-driven oiler and a side access chain tensioning providing quick and convenient chain adjustment

  3. Easy Start and Anti-vibration System: The TCS33EDTP/12 comes with a half throttle choke with purge primer bulb for easy start and warm up, easy access to rear air filter, anti-vibration system for user comfort

What We Like

  • Powerful performance with less fuel consumption
  • Built-in lanyard ring for easy climbing
  • This model features low kick-back
  • Outstanding power-to-weight ratio reducing fatigue and resulting in higher productivity
  • The hand grip is easy to hold, and it doesn’t slip even under wet conditions

What We don’t Like

  • Seems slightly heavy for a top handle saw (11.9lb)
  • Doesn’t do well with particularly large pieces of wood

#4. Dewalt DCCS620P1


The DCCS620P1 adds versatility to your cordless system and can handle tough jobs. From quality to efficiency DEWALT DCCS620P1 is one of the best models. It rarely disappoints and frustrates the carvers. With it, you don't have to worry about it. In fact, it will satisfy and meet all your carving needs. 

Here are the features associated with it:

  1. Efficient Brushless Motor: It has the brushless motor that contributes much to its efficiency. This means that the motor is able to maximize run time as well as motor life. This makes the machine to work perfect and produce outstanding work.

  2. Compact lightweight design: This chainsaw is just 8.8 lbs. This makes it among the lightweight models you can buy. This weight is vital in ensuring maximum user control. Moreover, it a good choice for taking care of small trees and also branches that are hanging on the way.

  3. Low kick back 12-inch Oregon Chain and Bar: Kick back is not a big problem for carvers with DEWALT compact cordless chainsaw. When you have tough outdoor and construction jobs, this product will handle it easily..

  4. Chain speed: It has a solid, powerful chainsaw that will impress you. You can't miss seeing its working capabilities. Its chain speed is 25.2 ft/s. This makes it an ideal tool for wood carving. You can cut any piece of wood quickly without using more effort.

What We Like

  • Quiet operation - suits your ear
  • Super Lightweight ensures your comfort
  • Low kickback bar makes it less acceptable to accidents
  • Tool-free tension adjustment
  • High-efficiency brushless motor
  • Good safety mechanisms

What We don’t Like

  • Oil cap is too tight to open
  • Somewhat hefty price in comparison to some other models

#5. Echo CS-271T


If you own a home or small garden you probably do not need a super powerful chain saw with all the extra features since you will likely only use it a few times a year. If this sounds like you then we recommend the Echo CS-271T! This saw is extremely good for lightweight climbing and in-tree use. 

Let’s have a look at its features:

  1. Incredible Torque and Throttle Response: Echo CS-271T has a massive torque and throttle response.it’s 26.9cc displacement engine delivers incredible power considering the size.

  2. Anti-vibration handle: It also features an anti-vibration handle which makes it really comfortable to use. It keeps your hands from feeling the effects after hours of sawing.

  3. Compact and Lightweight Design: The saw weighs around 10lb only. Considering the fact that it is gas powered, the compact top handle design really wins the race of being lightweight.

What We Like

  • Anti-vibration handle for palm-rest that lets you work continuously for hours
  • Automatic Oiler
  • Shorter chain length
  • It has an inertia chain brake for additional safety

What We don’t Like

  • Finishing a large project may take a while due to the smaller chain and less powerful engine.

Final Verdict


All the best top handle chainsaw mentioned above works great and also well rated by its user. All of them meets the requirement for any arboristic work. Most of them are relatively lightweight, efficient and affordable. Most of them have all the required security features. However, if I have to choose between these well-engineered products, I would go for Makita XCU06Z 18V 10” chainsaw. Yes, the 18V cordless machine with a brushless motor powered by 18V batteries and with best security measures wins the war. I highly recommend you go for it.

Best Chainsaw Bar Oil is the most important things for chainsaw. Of course you have to learn about it.

Charles Trantham
 

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