The Best Arborist Chainsaw – The 3 Best + Guide

May 31, 2023

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Arborists have one of the most difficult jobs in the world. In order to maintain extreme caution they need to use high quality and precise chainsaws.

But what is the best arborist chainsaw?

Best Arborist Chainsaw - Our 3 Top Picks!

Arborists remove unwanted or dead trees and branches. This is why their chainsaws need to be powerful but lightweight and easy to move around. Ease of handling is another important factor since some projects can take hours to complete. Lastly, these chainsaws need to have the latest safety features because work accidents can occur using chainsaws in the workplace.

To help you understand better which is the best arborist chainsaw, we are going to talk about our favorite three chainsaws and highlight their features.

1. Echo Chain Saw, Gas, 14 In. Bar, 35.8CC

This top-handle chainsaw is equipped with a 35.8 cc 2 stroke engine and will take a fifty to one gas to oil mix ratio to operate. The bar length is 14 inches but it is also available in 12-inch. 

The dry weight of the chainsaw is about eight pounds which makes it lightweight and easy to move around.

Its anti-vibration handle makes it very comfortable to work with for long periods. The handle also has a multiple grip size handle.

Considering safety features, the choke switch is conveniently located on top of the handle. If you pull it all the way back, the chainsaw will turn off. It also comes with a bar cover for when you are not using the blade or transporting it.

The Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Anti-vibration handle for working long hours
  • Multiple grip size handle offers a sturdy grip

The Cons

  • Comparatively louder than other saws
  • Handle is wide and difficult to attach to all saddles
  • Does not offer the latest safety features

2. ECHO CS-271T 12 In. Chainsaw

This one also has a two-stroke engine and operates at 29.6 cc. The best part about this chainsaw is its weight. It weighs only about 9 pounds including the oil, fuel tank, and chain.

The bar length is 12 inches. This lightweight, compact chainsaw is very easy to move around. It comes with an i-30 starter, making it easy to run and operate. 

It has a great anti-vibration handle that actually curves back to the air filter all the way to the handle and provides better stability and balance to the whole unit.

The only problem was in disengaging the chain break, and the plastic side cover gets heated easily since it is made of plastic.

The Pros

  • The most lightweight chainsaw on the list
  • Powerful engine
  • Anti-vibration handle

The Cons

  • The plastic side cover gets heated quickly

3. Husqvarna T435 Top Handle Chainsaw

Now we are going to talk about our favorite pick, the Husqvarna T435. The Husqvarna is widely popular among arborists, woodworkers, and landscapers alike for good reason.

The chainsaw weighs about 7.50 lbs, which means it’s lightweight, portable, and easy to move.

On the side, there is a chain tensioning that allows you to conveniently tighten the chain on the job, and there are rope attachments that allow you to easily hoist up the saw when climbing a tree.

But the most promising thing about the T435 is the X-force bar and the X-cut chain that allows powerful yet precise cuts and enhances durability. The guide bar tip is visible thanks to the improved chain break window design.

The only downside is that it has a high kick-back start. The safety features cover for that, but you still have to be careful when starting it.

The Pros

  • Can be easily attached to ropes
  • Anti-vibration handle
  • Ergonomic handle design
  • X-cut chain allows the most precise cuts

The Cons

  • High kick back start
  • Comparatively loud

The Best Arborist Chainsaw Buyers Guide

Even if these three chainsaws don’t work for you, and you want to look for a different brand, be sure to check out for the following buying factors. 

These factors make sure your chainsaw is safe, easy, and convenient to use in any kind of workplace.

1. Chainsaw type

Depending on the user, there are basically four types of chainsaws:

Homeowner chainsaw

These are small, compact, easy to use, and are preferred for occasional landscaping around the house or small woodworking projects.

Logger chainsaw

These are bigger in size and used by rangers for firewood cutting and clean-up jobs.

Arborist chainsaw

These are designed to be portable and used for professional tree care.

2. Size

Larger chainsaws are more powerful than smaller ones. If your job is felling and cutting hardwood, then you should choose bigger chainsaws. But for arborists, you will mostly have to use smaller chainsaws since you will have to climb trees a lot of the time.

3. Bar Length

You have to choose the bar length according to your type of work. If your job is to remove small tree branches and limbs, then you will be better off with a 12 or 14-inch, but if you require felling large trees then you might need a 20-inch bar.

4. Safety features

You can never be too safe, especially if you are working with a chainsaw. For safety features look for features like ergonomic handles, chain breaks, throttle locks, and kickback guards.

How Do You Define an Arborist Chainsaw?

There are a couple of things that make a chainsaw suitable for an arborist. First, they have to be very lightweight and designed in a way so they can be used one-handed.

Second, it has to have a top handle. Arborists are required to climb tall trees, and a top handle ensures better maneuverability.

The design also allows you to use more force and cut better. Overall, arborist chainsaws have to be compact and lightweight with an ergonomic top handle.

Rear Handle vs Top Handle Chainsaw

Chainsaws can come in both the top & rear handle types. If your work requires you to stay on the ground & work on the wood, a rear handle arborist chainsaw is the perfect match for you. 

On the other hand, a top-handle chainsaw has its handle on top of the chainsaw so that you can maneuver it from the top. These chainsaws are for heightened use only. They are incredibly lightweight & also offer one-handed use. 

Things You Should Avoid

When purchasing an arborist chainsaw, make sure the weight is below 10 pounds. You will certainly be able to carry heavier chainsaws, but they will tire you out when you are working 20 feet from the ground.

Make sure the kickback is not that high, otherwise you might lose your balance while cutting. While climbing, always make sure your chainsaw is powered off and your tree climbing gears are firmly attached.

Which Chainsaw Chain is the Most Aggressive?

Chainsaw chains with high cutting speed and fully chiselled teeth are considered aggressive. In our opinion, the Husqvarna high-performance 0.05 gauge, 0.325 pitch 18-inch chain is the most aggressive chainsaw chain.

Are Chainsaws Dangerous?

Any tool that is used carelessly is dangerous. Chainsaws have a powerful blade spinning at a high speed. So of course it’s dangerous. This is why you should always use reputed chainsaws with the latest safety features. Features like kickback guards and chain breaks can significantly lower the chances of unwanted accidents.

Final Thoughts

The Husqvarna chainsaw is extremely useful for arborist works. If you want to consider something different, look out for the buying factors we mentioned above and then decide which one you think is the best arborist chainsaw to buy. 

While using the chainsaw make sure you are using all the safety equipment like helmets, vests, and gloves. The work of an arborist is complex and difficult, but the right gears can certainly make it easier. 

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