Are you looking for the best chainsaw for forestry work?
Something for felling trees, stripping branches, chopping up tree trunks, clearing footpaths and nature trails?
Well you’ve come to the right place because that’s exactly what I’ll be going over in this post.
So let’s get straight into it!
|Best overall||Husqvarna 460 Rancher|
|Craftsman 41AY4216791 S165|
Husqvarna 460 Rancher – (Best Overall)
- 24 inch bar
- Gas powered engine
- Weighs 21lbs
There are a few things I love about this classic from Husqvarna that makes it the ideal choice if you’re someone like me who works a lot with very large, heavy trees. Forestry work is always tough and demands equipment that is as much up for the job as you are.
Something that works, and more importantly something that lasts. This well-put together, tough-as-iron forestry must-have is brought to us by a company with over 100 years of experience in making chainsaws.
The 460 Rancher has a large bar compared to its many smaller cousins, with a length of 24 inches. This longer length is something you need for felling work especially given that the trunk of the tree is of course its thickest point.
As a rule of thumb, the length of the bar you need for felling should surpass the width of the tree so that the tip of the bar is left free. Why? The nose part of the saw is a kickback area, and for safety you shouldn’t bury it within the tree you are cutting.
The 60.3cc engine driving the 460 Rancher gives you plenty of cutting power and some to spare. I often see this as the only point of note for saw power, but it’s also important to consider the transmission used in the saw to drive the chain.
Remember, the power from an engine must reach the chain through something, and for that your saw needs the right clutch too. Husqvarna are known to favor a large diameter, grippy clutch type that will rarely ever slip and is made to match the power output of the engine. The 460 Rancher is no different.
Even the toughest woods like oak, cherry or maple can be cut with this saw without issue.
At 21 lbs the Rancher is by no means the lightest chainsaw you will find on the market but given its power and bar size this figure is still impressive. Husqvarna have managed to reduce weight by using a polymer body, in a classic orange color of course, and a cast aluminum housing.
In a chainsaw, the concept of “lighter is better” is not always true. The weight itself helps with the cutting and gives the saws some stability. Be prepared for a little bit of hefting, however. For general use where a longer bar and more power are needed, I would give the 460 Rancher a try.
- 20 inch bar
- Gas powered
- Weighs 14.3 pounds
This chainsaw from Coocheer makes for the ideal saw if you’re a beginner in forestry work. It’s light, it’s simple, and it won’t break your budget. With automatic chain oiling, easy pull-cord start and engine throttle design it’s also simple to use. Overall, a pretty solid budget-friendly saw.
This model has a 20-inch bar that’s small enough to make it easy to carry around and get into the tightest places, but long enough for any kind of general cutting work. If you’re planning on felling trees though you might be limited to sticking with only the small to medium sized ones by the bar length.
I would choose the Coocheer 58 for everyday clearing work for which the 20-inch Oregon bar and chain combo is well suited. Something else to keep in mind here… smaller chains are cheaper and easier to replace AND give lower kick-back. A beginner’s must-have for sure.
This chainsaw is powered by a 58cc 2 stroke gas engine that puts out 3.5 HP. This is great for fast cuts if you’re clearing light to medium sized brush, cutting firewood, or working with softer woods like pines and evergreens.
The engine can do 8500 rpm (revolutions per minute) which won’t set any records but delivers enough power to the chain to get general forestry work done without breaking a sweat. If you’re looking to fell larger trees or if you’ll be working with hardwoods like oak, you might want something with a little more power though.
This chainsaw boasts a lighter weight than competitor’s saws at around 15 lbs when fully equipped. A lot of this weight saving is due to its uses of plastic parts and hollow molded handle and foregrip made from ABS polymer.
I think there’s a lot to be said about making mobility easier with this approach – less weight to carry around all day is never a bad thing – but plastic body parts are known to show their wear quickly if not looked after.
- 20 inch bar
- Gas powered
- Weighs 15 pounds
The 62 is Coocheer’s more powerful option of saw with many of the same features carried over from the 58cc model. That being said, the 62 has some body improvements and can take on tougher cutting and felling jobs with its power increase.
More die-cast aluminum parts and slightly less weight than the 58 model makes this a solid and very usable saw but is also for the budget-minded.
The Coocheer 62 has a 20-inch bar, the same as the 58 version, fitting a low-kickback chain as standard (two are supplied with the saw). While this bar length has many of the same applications in clearing brush, small to medium felling and general pruning work the added power I think is a marked improvement here.
A 20-inch chain will feel very comfortable even if you’re not used to working with chainsaws and will do most jobs around the backyard just fine.
This Coocheer model is powered by a 62cc 2 stroke engine which also gives out 3.5 HP, but the added stroke capacity will add more power. With this power and chain size combo I think you wouldn’t see any problems when dealing with smaller tree limbs or softer woods such as pine and fir.
If you’re like me and you like getting a “bang for your buck” when buying tools, the Coocheer 62cc is the saw to go for.
The Coocheer 62 weighs around 15.4 lbs. without cutting equipment (the chain and bar that is), so again a pretty light-weight model just like the 58. When fully equipped and fueled you can expect another two or three pounds on top of that.
When it comes to forestry work there is no such real thing as “light” equipment, but this model is still far easier to handle and move around with all day than most saws.
Craftsman 41AY4216791 S165
- 16 inch bar
- Gas powered
- Weighs 21.6 pounds
This chainsaw from Craftsman is the smallest and most compact of the four but with a few bonus tricks up its sleeve such as 3-point anti-vibration and manual oil flow adjustment for what you’re cutting. For me this is one of those tools that doesn’t fail to impress despite its smaller size and stature.
There’s slightly better build quality than the Coocheer models too with a durable Polymer chassis and rubber-coated foregrip.
The 16-inch bar of the Craftsman puts it in the class of general pruning and day-to-day gardening. While you wouldn’t use it for felling an oak tree, it will do well if you’re up to some light trimming, dealing with storm damage or clearing up scrub or brush. The bar fits a low-kickback chain and has a large oiling hole at the nose.
This chainsaw is driven by a 42cc 2 cycle gas engine that’s easy to get running thanks to its ‘EasyStart’ pullcord design. There’s also tool-less access to the air filter and spark plugs for easy replacement.
This is a big plus if you’re someone like me who always manages to misplace a socket or spanner and wants to be up and running again without losing work time. The 42cc power plant is plenty capable of making sure that the saw’s 16-inch chain will not get stuck no matter what type of wood you’re dealing with.
The Craftsman weighs 21.6 pounds when fully equipped which makes it a little heavy for its size, even with a polymer chassis. While you might need to do a little more hefting than with the Coocheer saws I’d point out again that weight isn’t always a downside for forestry work.
The added weight may speak to better build quality and chunkier internal components – something you’d want in a saw that’s going to last.
So those were the best chainsaws for forestry work.
Hope you found what you were looking for.