Stihl MS 171 review

Test score

86%

Key features

  • Petrol
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verdict: A brilliant little chainsaw

This impressive Best Buy chainsaw is light and easy to use, and slices through even the hardest logs quickly and efficiently. The sawn wood has a very smooth finish. It’s quiet for a petrol chainsaw and very easy to start.

Pros
  • Cuts quickly and cleanly
  • Easy to handle
Cons
  • None

Stihl MSA 200 C-BQ review

£400.00Typical price

Test score

85%

Key features

  • Cordless
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 verdict: Excellent but expensive

This Best Buy battery-powered chainsaw is a true competitor of the petrol machines. It’s light and easy to use, and can cut through even a railway sleeper quickly and extremely smoothly. The only drawbacks are the 15-minute battery life and the rather hefty price tag.

Pros
  • Cuts exceptionally smoothly
  • Light and easy to handle
Cons
  • Short cutting time
  • Expensive

Stihl MS 181 review

Test score

84%

Key features

  • Petrol
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 verdict: A powerful all-rounder

This Best Buy petrol chainsaw cuts consistently, quickly and cleanly through all of the wood we put in its path. It is also one of the easiest petrol chainsaws to use and manoeuvre.

Pros
  • Great for limbing trees
  • Comfortable and easy to use
Cons
  • A bit pricey
  • Tiring to use after a while

Stihl MS 180 review

£180.00Typical price

Test score

80%

Key features

  • Petrol
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 verdict: Great, but vibrates a lot

Despite having a lower specification than the Stihl MS 181, the Stihl MS 180 still packs a punch. It tackles tough wood with no problems, cutting quickly and cleanly with very little effort needed. It’s compact and easy to handle – great if you’re cutting at different angles among branches.

Pros
  • Cuts quickly and cleanly
  • Easy to handle
Cons
  • Lacks the nice features of the larger MS 181

McCulloch Li 58 CS review

£260.00Typical price

Test score

75%

Key features

  • Cordless

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 verdict: Great for cutting logs

This is a powerful chainsaw that had no problem with any of the tough tests we did. It’s heavy, so can be tiring to use for pruning, but if all you want to do it cut logs for your wood burner, this is a great option.

Pros
  • A powerful chainsaw that cuts fast
Cons
  • It’s extremely heavy

Echo CS-4510ES review

£445.00Typical price

Test score

72%

Key features

  • Petrol

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 verdict: Plenty of power for all kinds of wood-cutting work

The Echo CS-4510ES petrol chainsaw had big engine capacity, a long and wide bar, and large oil and fuel tanks. It had no problems in any of the tests we put it through, whether it was cutting a 10cm-diameter log or felling a tree. It’s a heavy machine and one of the most expensive chainsaws we’ve tested, but it can cope easily with anything you might need to do in the garden.

Pros
  • Powerful
  • Cuts easily and cleanly
  • Well balanced
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Harder to manoeuvre than lighter models
  • Pricey

Stihl MSA 140 C-BQ set review

£287.00Typical price

Test score

72%

Key features

  • Cordless

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 verdict: A good, versatile chainsaw

This is undoubtedly a good cordless chainsaw. It cuts very well, coping with large and small logs, and it’s noticeably faster than its little brother, the MSA 120 C-BQ, especially when cutting larger logs. However, you will need to carefully weigh up whether it’s worth paying around £80 more for this slightly faster model.

Pros
  • Cuts well and reasonably fast while being easy to use
Cons
  • The battery takes a long time to recharge

EGO Power+ CS1400 review

£259.00Typical price

Test score

71%

Key features

  • Cordless

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 verdict: A fast, powerful chainsaw for cutting logs for a wood burner

This is a powerful, fast cordless chainsaw that had no problems racing through our tests. However, it’s large and heavy, so isn’t the best choice for pruning work and its short battery life will be a problem if you have a large stack of wood to cut.

Pros
  • Cuts fast and leaves a clean finish
Cons
  • It’s heavy and cumbersome to use for pruning

Husqvarna 120i review

£250.00Typical price

Test score

68%

Key features

  • Cordless

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 verdict: Good chainsaw for logging smaller logs and pruning

This cordless model cuts quickly and smoothly, and is easy to use. However, it stalled a few times when we were cutting through larger logs.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Got through all our tests easily
Cons
  • Occasionally stalled on larger logs

Toro 51845T Flex-Force review

£196.00Typical price

Test score

68%

Key features

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 verdict: Good at cutting but tiring to use

There’s a lot going for this cordless chainsaw. It copes well with even the thickest logs, and it’s easy to use, too. However, its size and weight will mean it’s not suitable for some, especially if you’re after a saw that’s easy to hold horizontally for pruning.

Pros
  • Strong performance on most cutting tasks
  • Easy to set up and use
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Awkward to manoeuvre
  • Noisy
  • Limited battery life

Stihl MSA 120 C-BQ review

£219.00Typical price

Test score

68%

Key features

  • Cordless

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 verdict: A great little chainsaw

This is a great little cordless chainsaw for cutting logs and pruning around the garden. It’s not particularly fast when cutting larger logs, but it’s so light and easy to use that this shouldn’t cause you a problem.

Pros
  • Cuts well
  • Very easy to use.
Cons
  • Slightly slower than other chainsaws.

Husqvarna 120 Mk II review

£150.00Typical price

Test score

67%

Key features

  • Petrol

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 verdict: Cuts well but not the fastest model

When we received it, this Husqvarna petrol chainsaw had to be taken to a dealer to have the carburetor adjusted before we could use it. Once that had been done, we found it worked well, although it lacked the power of larger models and took longer to complete the tests we put it through as a result.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Cuts cleanly
  • Manoeuverable and simple to change direction of cuts
Cons
  • Less power and slower than some petrol models
  • Noticeable vibration

Stihl MS 170 D review

£149.00Typical price

Test score

65%

Key features

  • Petrol
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 verdict: Small but good value

This great little petrol chainsaw cuts consistently, quickly and cleanly. It powered through all of the wood we put in its path, making short work of larger logs, harder wood and a railway sleeper.

Pros
  • Cuts cleanly
  • Even on hard wood
  • Manoeuverable; comprehensive instructions
Cons
  • A bit noisy for a small machine

Ryobi RCS4240B review

£220.00Typical price

Test score

65%

Key features

  • Petrol
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 verdict: Tricky to start

The Ryobi RCS4240B is a powerful chainsaw that’s comfortable to use and cuts through most logs quickly and cleanly. However, there are quite a few niggles with it. It struggles cutting through very thick logs and isn’t the easiest to start, either. But at around £100 it’s reasonable value and well worth considering if you’re on a budget.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to handle
  • Cuts reasonably well
Cons
  • Not great at starting
  • Struggles with very thick logs

Cobra CS3540VZ review

£308.00Typical price

Test score

62%

Key features

  • Cordless

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 verdict: Efficient, but heavy and cumbersome

This is an efficient cordless chainsaw and the battery runs for longer than many rival models before it needs to be recharged. However, it’s quite heavy and isn’t the fastest we have seen.

Pros
  • Long-lasting battery for a cordless chainsaw
Cons
  • Heavy

Oregon CS1500-40 review

£109.00Typical price

Test score

61%

Key features

  • Corded electric

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 verdict: Reasonably priced and reasonably good

The Oregon CS1500-40 electric chainsaw has features that make it much easier to maintain than many chainsaws. It has enough power to cut quickly on all types and sizes of wood, although it was slower at cutting through the dense wood of a railway sleeper. It leaves a reasonably tidy if slightly furry finish, but that becomes more uneven and ragged with some of the tougher tasks.

Pros
  • Powerful
  • Low maintenance
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Cutting sometimes rough and uneven
  • Need to be within reach of a power socket

Oregon CS300 review

£315.00Typical price

Test score

61%

Key features

  • Cordless

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 verdict: Useful self-sharpening gadget, but heavy

This chainsaw stands out from the crowd with its very useful chain-sharpening gadget. Otherwise it cuts well, although it isn’t the fastest in our test and is heavy, which makes it tiring to use.

Pros
  • Self-sharpening
  • Cuts most logs quickly
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Struggled to cut railway sleepers

Bosch AKE 35S review

£85.00Typical price

Test score

58%

Key features

  • Corded electric
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 verdict: OK for small jobs

This is a reasonable chainsaw – less powerful than the McCulloch CSE2040S but light and easy to handle. It doesn’t have the power for cutting through big logs and, like other corded-electric machines, it’s tricky to manoeuvre because of the large motor on the left-hand side. It doesn’t have the cutting power of a petrol chainsaw but, for under £100, it’s cheap and convenient if you only need to use it occasionally.

Pros
  • Light
  • Easy to use and inexpensive
Cons
  • Lacks the power for large jobs

McCulloch CSE2040S review

Test score

56%

Key features

  • Corded electric
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 verdict: Reasonable but not outstanding

This is a reasonable corded-electric chainsaw. It cuts cleanly through most logs, but struggles and stalls if you have to apply any pressure to the blade while making a cut. It has some nice features, such as metal bumper spikes that grip the log as you cut to keep it steady. Like all corded-electric machines, it’s cumbersome but very easy to use.

Pros
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Slow to make cuts
  • Cumbersome to handle

Ryobi One+ OCS1830 review

£239.00Typical price

Test score

56%

Key features

  • Cordless

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 verdict: Underpowered, short battery life

This cordless chainsaw would definitely benefit from a more powerful battery. It feels underpowered and is slow to cut.

Pros
  • Cuts cleanly and is easy to use
Cons
  • Short battery life
  • Slow cutting

Black & Decker GKC3630L review

£185.00Typical price

Test score

51%

Key features

  • Cordless

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 verdict: Slow cutting makes this chainsaw tiring to use

This chainsaw is underpowered, meaning it struggled to complete our tasks. It’s light and easy to move around, but so slow on all the logs we tried that it’s tiring to use.

Pros
  • This has a slightly longer battery life than some other cordless chainsaws
Cons
  • It doesn’t cut easily and is tiring to use