Chainsaws

10 Best Top Handle Chainsaws of 2020: Battery & Gas Powered

Best Top Handle Chainsaw

Photo: Worx

As an arborist or a woodworker, you normally need a chainsaw to effortlessly chop the wood. If most of your tasks involve getting on a ladder and cutting tree limbs and branches, then you should consider purchasing the best top handle chainsaw instead of a heavy-back end chainsaw.

A lightweight top handle chainsaw will be easier to take on a height. The ease of use, safety provisions, and highly satisfying performance are the reasons for most people to lean towards a top handle chainsaw.  

This review will help you identify the best models with their respective strengths and usability. Let’s take a look:

10 Best Top Handle Chainsaws – Review

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Husqvarna 9668997203

1. Husqvarna 9668997203 (Best Overall)

  • Anti-vib system
  • Easy to hoist the saw up
  • Lower fuel consumption
  • Side chain tensioning
Worx WG322

2. Worx WG322 (Best Budget)

  • Most affordable
  • Automatic chain tension system
  • Auto chain oil system
  • Compact & lightweight
Ego Power+ CS1400

3. Ego Power+ CS1400 (Best Battery-Powered)

  • 56V, high performance battery
  • 6300 rpm brushless motor
  • Added safety & control
  • Weather-resistant construction
Echo CS-2711

4. Echo CS-2711 (Best Gas-Powered)

  • 26.9cc engine displacement
  • Anti-vibration handle
  • 8.1 oz fuel tank capacity
Greenworks 20262

5. Greenworks 20262 (Best Lightweight)

  • Minimal weight of 6 lbs
  • Fade free power
  • Automatic oiler
  • Easy to manoeuvre
DeWalt DCCS620B

6. DeWalt DCCS620B (High Chain Speed)

  • 25.2 ft./s chain speed
  • Brushless motor
  • Lightweight & compact design
  • Maximum comfort
Black & Decker LCS1240

7. Black & Decker LCS1240 (With Battery Indicator)

  • Green LED battery indicator
  • Wrap around handle
  • Low kickback bar
  • 4 – 5 hours battery performance
Craftsman CMCCS620M1

8. Craftsman CMCCS620M1 (With Bubble Level)

  • Bubble level for precise & level cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Compact design
Tanaka TC33EDTP

9. Tanaka TC33EDTP (Versatile)

  • Used for multiple applications
  • Anti-vibration system
  • Powerful performance
  • Half throttle choke
Makita XCU02Z

10. Makita XCU02Z (Standard)

  • 89 dB(A) low noise level
  • Tool-less chain adjustment
  • Comes with an instruction manual

PRODUCT

1. Husqvarna 9668997203

(Best Overall)

Husqvarna 9668997203
  • Anti-vib system
  • Easy to hoist the saw up
  • Lower fuel consumption
  • Side chain tensioning

2. Worx WG322

(Best Budget)

Worx WG322
  • Most affordable
  • Automatic chain tension system
  • Auto chain oil system
  • Compact & lightweight

3. Ego Power+ CS1400

(Best Battery-Powered)

Ego Power+ CS1400
  • 56V, high performance battery
  • 6300 rpm brushless motor
  • Added safety & control
  • Weather-resistant construction

4. Echo CS-2711

(Best Gas-Powered)

Echo CS-2711
  • 26.9cc engine displacement
  • Anti-vibration handle
  • 8.1 oz fuel tank capacity

5. Greenworks 20262

(Best Lightweight)

Greenworks 20262
  • Minimal weight of 6 lbs
  • Fade free power
  • Automatic oiler
  • Easy to manoeuvre

6. DeWalt DCCS620B

(High Chain Speed)

DeWalt DCCS620B
  • 25.2 ft./s chain speed
  • Brushless motor
  • Lightweight & compact design
  • Maximum comfort

7. Black & Decker LCS1240

(With Battery Indicator)

Black & Decker LCS1240
  • Green LED battery indicator
  • Wrap around handle
  • Low kickback bar
  • 4 – 5 hours battery performance

8. Craftsman CMCCS620M1

(With Bubble Level)

Craftsman CMCCS620M1
  • Bubble level for precise & level cutting
  • Tool free tensioning
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Compact design

9. Tanaka TC33EDTP

(Versatile)

Tanaka TC33EDTP
  • Used for multiple applications
  • Anti-vibration system
  • Powerful performance
  • Half throttle choke

10. Makita XCU02Z

(Standard)

Makita XCU02Z
  • 89 dB(A) low noise level
  • Tool-less chain adjustment
  • Comes with an instruction manual

1. Best Overall Top Handle Chainsaw: Husqvarna 9668997203

Husqvarna 9668997203

Photo: Husqvarna

  • Power Source: Gas Powered
  • Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds

A couple of features make the Husqvarna 9668997203 the best overall product on the list, starting with the anti-vib system. Secondly, the system is designed to reduce the saw's vibration levels, making it more convenient and easier to use. You will hardly feel any fatigue in your arm while operating this tool.

Other than that, unlike many other models on the market, this one is equipped with side chain tensioning for quick and convenient chain tightening while operating the chainsaw. This feature will help a lot of users who earlier had to struggle with chain tightening. Plus, there is a rope replacement that helps in convenient hoisting up the saw while working.

The whole propaganda is to make this model as supportive as possible. That is why you also get a new and improved x-cut chain and x-force bar design for superior cutting experience.

This model is gas-powered and weighs merely 7.5-pounds. It also has low fuel consumption and reduced exhaust emission levels for environment-friendly use. The performance is simply unbeatable, but the 12-inches bar length makes it unfit for larger tree trunks. However, it is suitable for thinner branches.

Pros:

  • Does not cause hand fatigue
  • Very convenient to use
  • Low fuel consumption
  • Easy to hoist up

Cons:

  • Not recommended for thick tree trunks

2. Best Budget Top Handle Chainsaw: Worx WG322

Worx WG322

Photo: Worx

  • Power Source: 20V, Battery-Powered
  • Bar Length: 10 inches
  • Weight: 6.2 pounds

The Worx WG322 is for the people searching for the best top handle chainsaw at the most affordable price. This model is extremely compact and weighs only 6.2-pounds. This means that you can conveniently pick it up and use it on elevated grounds or tree trunks.

It is a battery-powered model with a 20V PowerShare battery. Since this is cordless, you won’t have to drag a cord along with while climbing the trees for cutting. Also, you don’t need any fuel either. The quick-charge battery takes a few hours to full charge, and you can use it for hours of trimming.

Other features include an automatic chain tension system that will ease your job to a large extent. Also, there is an auto chain oil system, helping you with the automatic oiling of the chain and keeping it in the best working condition. Plus, there is an oil level indicator that tells about the remaining oil in the chainsaw and when it requires changing.

What you may not like in this model is a super small bar length of 10-inches that won’t be able to undertake any heavy-duty cutting task.

Pros:

  • Most economical
  • Automatic chain tension and oiling
  • Oil level indicator
  • Extremely lightweight

Cons:

  • Not suitable for heavy-duty tasks

3. Best Battery Powered Top Handle Chainsaw: Ego Power+ CS1400

Ego Power+ CS1400

Photo: Ego Power+

  • Power Source: 56V, Battery-Powered
  • Bar Length: 14 inches
  • Weight: 8.3 pounds

For someone seeking the best battery-powered top handle chainsaw, the Ego Power+ CS1400 is the most considerable purchase with 56V high-performance battery. This is suitable for heavy-duty tasks due to the 14-inches bar length.

The 6300-rpm high-efficiency brushless motor delivers power to cut through hardwood, softwood, branches, and more. Also, you will experience less vibrations, longer runtime, and prolonged motor life.

One of the best features of this model is weather-resistant construction. The motor and battery are safely encapsulated with impact and weather-resistant top material. This means that you can easily use it during rain or in sunny weather.  

For added safety and control, you get the feature of chain kickback brake. This feature will help to prevent accidents due to sudden kickbacks. There is also a chain tensioning knob for easy usability.

The model comes with a 5-year warranty. The only drawback with it is that handle does not have a rubber top cover. It might cause hand fatigue.

Pros:

  • High performance motor
  • 5-year warranty
  • Weather-resistant construction
  • Less vibration

Cons:

  • Handle does not have rubber top layer

4. Best Gas-Powered Top Handle Chainsaw: Echo CS-2711

Echo CS-2711

Photo: Echo

  • Power Source: Gas-Powered
  • Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 10.65 pounds

The Echo CS-2711 is the best gas-powered top handle chainsaw with 26.9cc engine displacement. The performance of this model is very impressive. It is one of the most powerful models to undertake any kind of heavy-duty tasks.

The machine is decent in size and has a 12-inches bar length. It is constructed with plastic and metal material. However, the material is not weather-resistant. Therefore, you might have to check with the weather first before taking it outdoors.

It has an 8.1-ounce fuel tank. You won’t have to refuel the tank frequently because capacity is suitable enough to completely take care of the task.

Another great thing about this model is the anti-vibration handle that will keep your hand comfortable throughout. There is an automatic chain oiler to free you from manual oiling tasks. Overall, this is a great product, but it does create a lot of noise while operating.

Pros:

  • High engine displacement
  • Automatic chain oiler
  • Comfortable handle
  • Suitable for heavy-duty tasks

Cons:

  • Not weather-resistant
  • Creates a lot of noise

5. Best Lightweight Top Handle Chainsaw: Greenworks 20262

Greenworks 20262

Photo: Greenworks

  • Power Source: 40V, Battery-Powered
  • Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 6 pounds

People with limited hand strength will appreciate this lightest top handle chainsaw, weighing merely 6-pounds. This model is especially meant for DIYers and to target thin wood shrubs.

Due to the lightweight and compact design, this model is easy to manoeuvre. Also, the wrap-around handle will give you the freedom to use the machine in multiple angles.

There is a 3/8-inches chain pitch to deliver the capability to cut and trim the wood with minimal kickback. The automatic chain tensioning helps in delivering the highest cutting performance.

Coming to the battery, this model is equipped with a G-MAX 40V lithium-ion battery, delivering fade-free power and no memory loss after charging. The automatic oiler applies oil to the chain and bar for optimum functioning.

The only drawback is the limited speed of this model. It is a bit slower than its counterparts and thus not recommended for professionals.

Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Automatic oiler
  • Can work in multiple angles
  • No memory loss after charging

Cons:

  • Speed is a bit slow

6. Top Handle Chainsaw with High Chain Speed: DeWalt DCCS620B

DeWalt DCCS620B

Photo: DeWalt

  • Power Source: 20V, Battery-Powered
  • Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds

The performance of this model can be determined through the high chain speed of 25.2-feet/sec. This model has a tendency to work fast and complete outdoor tasks swiftly.

It contains a 20V Max XR battery with high dedication towards the work. On top of that, there is a brushless motor that maximizes the run time. Also, it causes less noise and demands less maintenance from the user.

The tool is meant for outdoor use due to its robust construction. It has a tool-free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob for appropriate bar clamping force.

This is a compact and lightweight design weighing merely 8.8-pounds. You can easily lift it and climb trees for cutting tasks. The handle is also comfortable for prolonged usage. The only drawback of this model is the lack of warranty.

Pros:

  • High chain speed
  • Brushless motor
  • Robust construction
  • Compact design

Cons:

  • Lack of warranty

7. Top Handle Chainsaw with Battery Indicator: Black & Decker LCS1240

Black & Decker LCS1240

Photo: Black & Decker

  • Power Source: 40V, Battery-Powered
  • Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 10.4 pounds

Unlike any other chainsaw, this model comes with a battery indicator. There is a green light that keeps blinking when the battery is charging, and when it’s done, the light will remain constant.

Another interesting thing you will like about this product is its large battery life that lasts for 4 – 5 hours. This way, you can use the chainsaw for bigger projects.

It has got a 12-inches Oregon low-kickback bar and chain for smoother cuts. Also, there is a tool-free tensioning for faster chain adjustment.

The automatic oiling system will help in maintaining the chainsaw and ensure its smooth working. The wrap-around handle is easy to hold and gives you better control over the tool.

This model has got various features of a good top handle chainsaw. However, the design is not weather-resistant. Plus, this model lacks in warranty.

Pros:

  • Comes with battery indicator
  • Auto oiling system
  • Chain runs smoothly
  • Comfortable handle

Cons:

  • Not weather-resistant
  • No warranty

8. Top Handle Chainsaw with Bubble Level: Craftsman CMCCS620M1

Craftsman CMCCS620M1

Photo: Craftsman

  • Power Source: 20V, Battery-Powered
  • Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 9.90 pounds

Some woodworking tasks need a lot of precision and level cutting. For such jobs, this is the most suitable product as it comes with a Bubble level mechanism to help you achieve the required expertise.

It is a fascinating product and requires minimal maintenance. This is due to the robust construction and auto oiling feature that gives helps in maintaining the bar and chain workability effectively.  Also, you get tool-free tensioning to make your job easier.

Being a compact chainsaw, you can take it to the confined spaces and use according to your need. The high-capacity 4.0Ah battery comes with extended runtime. That said, this model also comes with a 3-year warranty and a 90-day moneyback guarantee.

This is certainly one of the top-rated top handle chainsaws on the list. However, it does cause a lot of noise while operating.

Pros:

  • Suitable for precision and level cutting
  • Need minimal maintenance
  • Flexible
  • Comes with extended runtime

Cons:

  • Noisy

9. Versatile Top Handle Chainsaw: Tanaka TC33EDTP

Tanaka TC33EDTP

Photo: Tanaka

  • Power Source: Gas-Powered
  • Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 11.90 pounds

The Tanaka TC33EDTP is a versatile chainsaw for woodwork, metalwork, concrete, drilling, cutting, and fastening. It is a gas-powered chainsaw and features 32.2cc 2-stroke commercial-grade pure-fire engine for strong performance and less fuel consumption.

The engine does not require special or additional internal moving parts for extra strength. The automatic gear-driven oiler and side access chain tensioning helps with easy chain adjustment.

Furthermore, there is a half throttle choke with a purge primer bulb for quick start and warm-up. There is also an anti-vibration system to keep your arm at ease during every use.

This is a professional-grade product with excellent performance. However, it does demand a bit of maintenance and is also a bit bulky with 11.90-pounds overall weight.

Pros:

  • Can be used for various purposes
  • Extremely powerful
  • Less fuel consumption
  • Quick start and warm up

Cons:

  • Heavyweight
  • Needs some maintenance

10. Standard Top Handle Chainsaw: Makita XCU02Z

Makita XCU02Z

Photo: Makita

  • Power Source: 18V, Battery-Powered
  • Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Weight: 8.80 pounds

The Makita XCU02Z is a standard model for the hobbyists and DIYers. It is pretty compact with 12 x 10 x 11-inches dimensions and 12-inches bar length. Also, with 8.80-pounds lightweight, you can handle it easily at any height.

One of the best things about this model is the noiseless working with 89 dB(A) noise level. Also, it has zero emissions for improved user comfort.

Furthermore, there is a tool-less chain adjustment for quicker operation. Unlike other models, this one comes with a manual to help beginners get started with chainsaw operation. This is a pretty comfortable model with a rubberized handle grip.

The sad part is that speed of this machine is quite slow.

Pros:

  • Very less noise
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Tool-less chain adjustment

Cons:

  • Speed too slow

How to Buy the Best Top Handle Chainsaws

How to Buy the Best Top Handle Chainsaws

Photo: Craftsman

1. Power Source

The top handle chainsaws are available in two prime power sources:

Battery Powered

Well, the name says it all. These chainsaws are equipped with powerful batteries that you can charge and then operate the chainsaw for the deemed objective.

These saws are pretty powerful and easy-going. All this need is charging that technically costs less than its counterpart, which requires fuel for operating.

Another pro point to its kitty is the affordability. While these are also not extremely affordable but if you are on a budget, then the battery-powered chainsaw will make a viable choice.

The battery productivity can be anywhere between 18V to 56V, making the former the highest performing battery. Undeniably, the Ego Power+ CS1400 is the best battery-powered chainsaw with a 56V high-performing lithium technology battery.

Gas Powered

The gas-powered chainsaw is for the professionals who cannot compromise with the tool’s strength and its cordiality with effortless performance.

Surely, these chainsaws need fuel to operate, but once you fill the gas, it will serve with unbeatable performance. It is stronger and more responsive than battery-powered chainsaws. That is why most professionals pick gas-powered models over the battery-powered ones.

As far as the cost is concerned, you will have to spend a little extra on the tool as well as on the upkeep. However, if you are purchasing the chainsaw for professional endeavours, then the extra cost won’t bug you.

Our finest recommendation on the best gas-powered chainsaw will be the Echo CS27-11 with an 8.1-ounces gas tank capacity to serve uninterruptedly for hours.

Buying Advice

If you want an affordable option, go with the battery powered top handle chainsaw. However, if your work is more detailed and professional then a gas-powered model is an answer to your needs.

2. Bar Length

There is immense versatility in the bar length of these tools. It can be anywhere between 10 – 24 inches. The choice depends on the thickness of wood you are aiming to cut.

In your everyday work, you know the kind of wood you cut. Therefore, this shouldn’t be a tricky decision at all.

A piece of advice, one should prefer picking a larger bar size than the one you usually put in use. This increases work versatility, and you can target different types of surfaces without having to purchase a new chainsaw with a larger bar. 

3. Comfortable Use

The user’s comfort will largely depend on the grip type and the weight of the tool. Since most people use a top handle chainsaw by climbing up the trees, it is essential that they are lightweight and appropriately sized.

The weight of these saws can be as little as 5-pounds, and it can go up to 13-pounds on the higher side. According to the chainsaw’s usability, you should consider the weight. It is important to keep it as lightweight as possible, just like the Greenworks 20262 that merely weighs 6-pounds.   

The second thing to keep in check is the handle/grip of the saw. You might have to hold it for hours in order to chop the wood. That is why you should never compromise with the grip. Make sure that the handle has a rubberized grip to prevent accidents and discomfort while working.

4. Safety

A chainsaw is a motorized tool with a blade. Therefore, it will demand additional safety provisions. While the company is doing its job, your task is to search for the product that is high on safety charts.

You can start with a lightweight model as it will be easier to handle. Other than that, features you need to check are anti-kickback chain and chain brake to prevent accidents.

You are also recommended to use secondary safety gear as well, including protective gloves, safety glasses, nonslip boots, and hearing protection.

Conclusion

This top handle chainsaw review is curated so that you can make an informed decision about the product you buy. All these models are unique in their own way.

However, our best overall pick is the Husqvarna 9668997203 with an anti-vib system and various countable features that will prove helpful in the operation.

If you are on a budget, then go with the cheapest top handle chainsaw, the Worx WG322. It might have an affordable price, but the features are simply incredible.

These are some of the recommendations that will help you with cutting chores. Make sure to refer all of these before purchasing the right one.

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