Mini chainsaws are shorter, more portable saws intended for the same purpose as gas saws: phenomenal cutting results. After carefully testing 8 supreme units, I’ve found the WORKPRO 6.3” Mini Chainsaw to be the ultimate mini chainsaw.
Living on 9 acres of mostly wooded land, I’ve used several regular-sized and mini chainsaws for over two decades. My tools tackle brush, small trees, and occasionally logs for making rubberwood furniture. After testing hundreds of chainsaws over the years, I can confidently recommend the top players for nearly every sawing application.
Mini chainsaws are better suited for home and small-scale projects, so I tested each saw in home applications like clearing brush, taming bushes, and limbing and felling small trees. By stressing each mini chainsaw to its maximum, I have hands-on knowledge of all my recommendations.
The Best Mini Chainsaw For Every Project
|What I Like
|What I Didn’t Like
|WORKPRO 6.3” Mini Chainsaw
|Best Overall Chainsaw
|– Compact size makes it a good one-handed saw
– The motor is powerful for its size
– The chain’s thin kerf cut easily
– It comes with 2 rechargeable batteries
– The tool barely vibrates
– It fits comfortably in the hand
|– It doesn’t have an automatic oiler
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|O-CONN 4-inch Cordless Mini Chainsaw
|Best Heavy-duty Chainsaw
|– It has a large capacity battery that charges fast and lasts for hours
– The handle has an anti-skid design for a better grip
– It has a sharp and resistant chain
– The handle efficiently minimizes vibrations
|– It leaked some oil during storage
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|Saker Mini Chainsaw
|Best Bang for The Buck
|– Its small size provides extra flexibility and maneuverability
– The thin kerf made razor-sharp cuts rapidly
– It came with three chains and two batteries
– It has a chain brake
|– The safety button gets stuck on locks the trigger sometimes
– The oil can is too small
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|BEI & HONG Mini Chainsaw
|Best Cordless Chainsaw
|– It is small enough to enter tight branch clusters
– It comes with an extra chain and two 2-amp batteries
– It uses standard replaceable batteries
– The battery charges fast
– It is a sturdy build and is made from premium material
|– The chain needs tightening after every 5-6 cuts
– It doesn’t have an automatic oiler
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|Tingmengte 8-inch Mini Chainsaw
|Best Lightweight Unit
|– It is light enough to use one-handed without strain
– Its thin blade makes rapid cuts effortlessly
– The battery takes 40 minutes to charge and lasts for over 90 minutes
– It comes with two batteries and spare chains
– The vibration was minimal
– It is relatively quiet
|– There’s no charging status indicator
– It doesn’t have a chain brake
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|BLACK+DECKER Alligator Corded Chainsaw
|Best for Maximum Safety
|– It is light enough to hold overhead for long sessions
– The battery lasts for 1.5 hours
– Its safety features make the tool nonthreatening
– Cleanup is a breeze
– Vibrations are minimal
|– The oil compartment is too small
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|Taranzy 6-inch Mini Cordless Chainsaw
|Best Compact Chainsaw
|– It has a feather-light with an easy-to-handle frame
– Its powerful motor makes lightning-fast cuts
– It has a comfortable grip
– It comes with a hard case packed with useful accessories
– The safety lock is strong and easy to move
– It is relatively quiet
|– It doesn’t have an automatic oiler
– The chain needs retightening every 6-7 cuts
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|Stihl GTA2 Battery-operated Mini Chainsaw
|Best for Light Duty
|– It’s lightweight frame allows me to cut for multiple sessions without strain
– The unit has overheating protection
– It is easily maneuverable
– It is compact enough to enter tight areas without digging into dirt or rocks
– It is ergonomic and easy to use
|– The usage time is around 35 minutes per charge
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How I Selected the Best Mini Chainsaw
I put 20 mini chainsaws through both hardwood and softwood tests to see how they fared and if they’d bog down or tangle in wood fibers. Each saw had a page in my rubric, where I noted its strengths and weaknesses in comparison to other mini chainsaws.
Here’s what I found:
1. WORKPRO 6.3” Mini Chainsaw – Overall Chainsaw
I initially tested this unit for bushcraft purposes (firewood), where it easily made 27 6-inch cuts in oak wood. Next was ironwood, where I doubted the saw’s performance due to the wood’s hardness, but it powered through 17 5-inch cuts. So, I got 44 cuts before the battery gave out.
Before describing my experience further, here are some reasons why this mini chainsaw tops the list:
- It came in a rugged case with essential accessories like spare chains and rechargeable batteries
- It cuts through seasoned wood without overheating or bogging down
- The battery lasted long enough to roughly process oak and ironwood trees
- Its light frame is easy to use overhead or on a ladder.
Unlike bigger models, it doesn’t have a lot of torque but when I ran the chainsaw without pushing down, it made easy work of the hardwood. The box also had extra chains and chain guides, which I didn’t need due to the chain’s quality. I’m confident that I can do 3-4 more rigorous sessions before swapping the chain.
The WORKPRO 6.3” Mini Chainsaw saw worked for 1.5 hours before I changed batteries, giving me enough time to recharge the spare while lasting long enough to finish the session.
There’s also a safety feature where the user holds the trigger down before the saw works, preventing accidental turn-ons. This sole feature allowed me to work without anxiety regarding chain contact.
A slight inconvenience is an automatic oiler’s absence, causing me to stop often to oil the chain with an old drip bottle. However, most mini chainsaws don’t have an oil compartment and rely on external oiling (further explaining the included oil bottle).
The WORKPRO 6.3” Mini Chainsaw’s lightweight frame was perfect for ladder work, and the powerful motor gives me confidence that it’ll cut any trees smaller than the bar’s length.
2. O-CONN 4-inch Cordless Mini Chainsaw – Best Heavy-duty Chainsaw
Following Hurricane Idalia’s hit, I came down to my parents’ Florida home and used this Tactright miniature chainsaw to process the fallen trees. My verdict: it demolishes 6-inch limbs and branches with a pro.
I used it to process dead trees and branches, hoping for the best since the wood was seasoned. The thin-kerfed blade sunk into the wood and chewed the diameter through in under a minute. With this new confidence, I cut and processed 3 trees without experiencing overheating or bogging down.
The battery was unexpectedly strong, and it lasted for a little over 3 hours. Due to the unit’s light build, it doesn’t require a strong hand, allowing my wife to cut up 4-inch limbs easily. Unlike heavier models, compact chainsaws sometimes recoil, but I controlled the saw by firming the grip.
I noticed that it leaked bar and chain oil on my garage floor, but I find this consistent with many chainsaws and don’t have much issue with it.
Overall, the Tactright miniature chainsaw dominates heavy-strain applications like seasoned wood and tree roots due to its high-quality build and wear-resistant chain.
3. Saker Mini Chainsaw – Best Bang for The Buck
For under $90, the Saker Mini Chainsaw is a mean, pocket-sized cutting machine for making large cuts in hardwood.
I pruned a 100-year-old oak tree on my property, cutting nearly 50 branches ranging from 1-3 inches in diameter, and still had power left. Afterward, the small build gave me the flexibility to cut tree roots around paver stones, which is impossible with my large gas-powered saw.
It came with two 20V lithium rechargeable batteries that last nearly 2 hours without heat-related pauses. But, the motor and chain chewed through the wood in seconds, eliminating my need for the spare.
You have to press the safety button and trigger to activate the saw, preventing any accidental starts. The downside of lightweight saws like this is learning how to handle them without skittering along the workpiece. However, I achieved it by resting the motor’s housing against the branch to provide support as I cut.
The oil can only contain 3mm, so I often stopped to refill it between sessions. However, I consider it a welcome tradeoff for the cost-to-value ratio of this chainsaw.
4. BEI & HONG Mini Chainsaw – Best Beginner-friendly Mini Chainsaw
The BEI & HONG Mini Chainsaw cut through everything I was processing, which ranged from 1-3-inch oak branches for firewood. After chopping nearly a truckload, my chain remained sharp and damage-free.
Using only one battery, I worked for an hour non-stop, which is a shorter lifespan than my other picks but is negligible due to the spare battery. However, I stopped at 20-minute intervals to lubricate the chain and bar because the unit doesn’t have an automatic oiler. It is slightly inconvenient to oil thrice in an hour, but still a common occurrence with mini chainsaws.
As with many chainsaws, the chain loosens as the motor heats, so I learned to tighten it after every 5 or so cuts. After making 6x 5-inch cuts, the motor shut for a few minutes as a heat protection feature, which made sense for the chainsaw’s size.
I appreciated the standard battery feature, which allowed me to use my Makita batteries as spares. I won’t need the Makita batteries soon because the included batteries are still in perfect health, but the added convenience is a bonus.
The BEI & HONG Mini Chainsaw is a game changer for small shrubbery and trees. Its rugged blow-molded case is perfect for easily transporting the saw and protecting it from falls.
5. Tingmengte 8-inch Mini Chainsaw – Best Lightweight Unit
The Tingmengte 8-inch Mini Chainsaw falls into the lightweight category, but it packed a punch as it cut 4-inch thick oak wood in 90 minutes of heavy use.
It easily tears through 4-5-inch branches, meaning it can handle most bush and tree maintenance jobs. It is also far faster than a handsaw but much easier than using a gas chainsaw for small projects.
While it cuts small branches effortlessly, I find that it works better for larger branches due to its lightweight frame. When cutting small branches with high-torque tools, the branches can bounce and cause the chainsaw to kick back. So I stuck to 4-5 inch diameters while working.
Unlike many mini chainsaws, this unit didn’t need me to simultaneously press the safety switch and hold the trigger to run the saw. This feature made the saw more flexible and ergonomic since I didn’t hold both buttons while cutting. However, it also increased the chances of accidental starts.
For negatives, the battery doesn’t have a charging status indicator to signal if it is charging. However, I’ve never experienced a charging-not-charging situation and since it had a spare, I always charge one while using the other.
6. BLACK+DECKER Alligator Cordless Chainsaw – Best for Maximum Safety
This is the second BLACK+DECKER Alligator Cordless Chainsaw I’ve used, the first being a borrowed corded version. After enjoying the efficiency and safety of that unit, purchasing a cordless unit was a no-brainer.
I started with 2-inch diameter branches and progressively cut 4-inch branches of an overgrown peach tree. The saw’s jaws allowed me to clamp and cut upper branches without causing arm strain from its weight.
It had two safety buttons on each handle that must be pressed for it to run, adding a layer of safety and preventing accidental starts. They were also situated in convenient locations, allowing me to use the saw without altering my natural grip. I sometimes unconsciously relieved the buttons, causing a slight inconvenience during my session, but it is essential to avoid accidents.
The chain sits underneath a steel sheath, so there’s no chance of contact as the chainsaw runs. It made the operation far less scary so my wife uses it while I muscle our Stihl gas saw. She calls it her “tree scissors”, and cuts through fibrous agave leaves without the saw choking in the plant’s fibers.
For negatives, the oil chamber is a small compartment at the bar’s base that can only contain a teaspoon or so of oil. An automatic self-dispensing oil would be a much more robust feature. Unlike some contenders, this unit doesn’t come with spare batteries but it didn’t take me long to find the Powerextra 20V Replacement Battery.
7. Taranzy 6-inch Mini Cordless – Best Compact Chainsaw
Cutting and limbing two small trees took 1.5 hours, and the compact Taranzy 6-inch Mini Cordless Chainsaw powered through with battery to spare.
Its sharp cutting chain rapidly tore through the 5-inch hardwood, and since the chain is narrower than a gas-powered saw, it cuts through wood rapidly and cleanly.
Like all saws, the chain elongated during use due to warming, but I fixed it in seconds by loosening the knob and tightening the Phillip’s screw with the added screwdriver. The tighter I made it, the fewer times the saw threw the chain.
The safety glasses and gloves are useful additions, but a hard plastic sleeve for the chain would have sealed the deal. This would allow me to sling the enclosed saw over my shoulder, instead of lugging the case. However, the case is useful for transporting the saw and accessories together.
The Taranzy 6-inch Mini Cordless Chainsaw cleared my doubts after sawing seasoned hardwood like a gas chainsaw, and I’m confident it’ll work wonders with green wood.
8. Stihl GTA2 Battery-operated Mini Chainsaw – Best For Light-duty ProjectsNo products found.
I have high expectations for Stihl products, and the Stihl GTA2 Battery-operated Mini Chainsaw didn’t disappoint. I used it to prune high branches with a ladder and cut dead tree roots without experiencing overheating or a power drop.
The battery lasted for 1.5 hours of continuous use, which was longer than I could hold a 6-pound tool overhead. It also didn’t bog down or emit high vibrations, preventing strain in an already stressful overhead task.
The nifty tool entered small spaces to section tree roots without hitting the adjacent dirt and rocks. The sheath guard also protected the bar’s top from brushing the wall while I worked. Plus, it protected me from the minor kickback I experienced each time the workpiece “bounced”
The Stihl GTA2 Battery-operated Mini Chainsaw slowed down every time I applied pressure because it is designed to sink into the wood as it chews, not as you press. I also observed the saw to temporarily go off when it overheats to avoid melting the hard plastic case, preventing premature damage.
What is The Overall Best Chainsaw?
After careful consideration in hardwood and softwood environments, the best mini chainsaw is the WORKPRO 6.3” Mini Chainsaw.
It uses a thin wear-resistant chain to make clean cuts through hardwood and softwood without overheating or entangling in wood fibers, and its lightweight build is perfect for shoulder-length or overhead projects.
Compared to other contenders, it maintained a nearly silent noise level ideal for home acreage. Plus, each battery lasts for 1.5 hours, which is longer than most users work before a break.
Overall, the WORKPRO 6.3” Mini Chainsaw is a compact powerhouse that can take down 8-inch trees and clear overgrowth like a hot knife through butter.
The Buyer’s Guide to Choosing The Right Chainsaw
Chainsaws derive power from their motor, which in turn depends on the power source. For instance, gas chainsaws have the most power because they derive heat energy from burning fuel.
Electrical or corded saws come next because they receive a continuous power supply from the electrical source. The endless power supply also enables corded tools to last longer without experiencing a power drop.
Battery-powered chainsaws are the least powerful because they only utilize limited energy stored in the batteries. These batteries can weaken over time due to natural causes like usage, charging cycles, and high temperatures. However, battery-powered chainsaws offer the unmatched benefit of portability if you can buy spare batteries.
A mini chainsaw’s length determines the diameter of the wood it can cut. For instance, a 4-inch unit can cut a 2-inch diameter branch in one pass and a 4-inch diameter branch from both sides. To determine your saw’s cutting capacity, subtract the chain’s length by 2.
Weight and Portability
Mini chainsaws are smaller than their gas-powered cousins, but they can still be too heavy for certain applications. For instance, the BLACK+DECKER Cordless Chainsaw weighs 6.8 pounds and is too heavy for many ladder applications, even with its safety features. So, it is vital to match your purchase with the chainsaw’s weight to avoid accidents.
Aside from weight, the length of a chainsaw can be a mismatch for many projects because it may be longer than others but weigh less due to its construction materials. When traveling with a saw, I prefer a backpack-sized unit at the cost of more weight instead of awkwardly around a long saw.
Battery Capacity and Charging Time
Chainsaw manufacturers measure battery capacity by the number of cuts made in a single charge. It may be an 18V or 20V lithium-ion battery, but the cut capacity is the most accurate way to determine its strength. Depending on the battery, you can expect to get 30-70 cuts from your mini chainsaw, bearing in mind that larger-capacity batteries take longer to charge.
Considerably quieter than 120 decibels gas saws, mini chainsaws operate between 70-80 decibels. However, sound is perceived as twice as loud with every 10 decibels, so it is vital to check the manufacturer’s guide for the sound specifications.
Like full-size units, miniature chainsaws have certain features designed to prevent accidents. Some have cut-off buttons that start the saw if you push simultaneously with the trigger, reducing the chances of accidental starts. Modern models also have guards above the bar to shield you from the blade if the saw kicks back.
If you have small trees, shrubs, and bushes to tame, choose the WORKPRO 6.3” Mini Chainsaw.
Its feather-light weight, premium build, and razor-sharp teeth take down xxx-inch trees in seconds without overheating or bogging down, making it perfect for tackling acreage. If you need a long-lasting battery and strong teeth to power through your cutting project, you should give it a try.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Thick Can a Mini Chainsaw Cut?
A mini chainsaw can cut diameters 2 inches less than its chain’s length. For instance, a 6-inch mini chainsaw will cut a 4-inch thick branch in a single pass, and an 8-inch branch from both sides. While capable, less powerful motors and dull chains will have a hard time cutting through the branch, making them essential factors to consider when buying a mini chainsaw.
What Can Mini Chainsaws Cut?
Mini chainsaws are ideal for trimming brush, shrubs, and small gardens but powerful units can also fell and limb small trees. You can use a mini chainsaw to prune high tree branches because they’re light enough for ladder work yet powerful enough to cleanly cut through wood. I use mini chainsaws to cut blocks for making artwork like hand carvings and totem poles.
Why Does My Chainsaw Slow Down When I Cut?
Applying too much pressure can cause small chainsaws to slow down due to the motor’s strength. However, they can also bog down because the chain needs sharpening, and the saw isn’t penetrating the wood quickly enough. In rare cases, the chainsaw bogs down because it is too small for the job.
Why Does My Chainsaw Chain Dull So Quickly?
Digging into the dirt is the most common reason for a dull chainsaw. However, specific chains dull faster than others due to their unique cutter profiles. For instance, semi-chisel chains stay sharp longer than full-chisel chains due to their round-cornered teeth, making them ideal for frozen, seasoned, and dirt-laden wood.
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