There comes a time when every homeowner realizes that they need a chainsaw. Of course, few people want to take control of a Paul Bunyan-sized cutting device just to get rid of a few storm-torn limbs. That’s precisely why the 16-inch cutter comes into play. These small power tools are perfect for pruning and felling trees.
With so many chainsaws on the market, it can be hard to choose just one. We did the heavy lifting and sorted through the muck to bring you the top five 16-inch chainsaws. These incredible tools make towering pines look like sticks of butter. They’re also vetted for their unmatched comfort and usability. Of course, we were sure to include battery-powered, gas, and electric options.
What is the Best 16-Inch Chainsaw in 2021?
What are you waiting for? Read along to discover our favorite chainsaws and get some helpful buying tips.
1. Makita UC4051A Electric Chainsaw – Best 16 inch Chainsaw (Editor’s Choice)
This small, corded chainsaw may not appeal to your inner lumberjack, but it’s a great option for pruning and other backyard tasks.
The UC4051A has a powerful 16-inch blade that is engineered to cut at high speeds without overloading. You can’t beat the convenience of electric power. Makita is a beloved Japanese manufacturer that makes gas look like a fuel of the past.
The UC4051A is also equipped with loads of safety features. A large metal bumper spike and electric chain brake limit the saw’s kickback.
Meanwhile, rubber-coated grips increase users’ comfort and safety. An oversized trigger serves as a functional starter. On top of that, an oil reservoir window lets users keep an eye on their lubricant level.
If you’re looking for a small electric chainsaw that’s easy to start and even easier to maintain, you’ll love the Makita. It’s a high-quality power tool with plenty of modern amenities. Best of all, it’s the perfect choice for backyard felling!
2. Dewalt Flexvolt – Runner-Up
If you’re a fan of American-made Dewalt power tools, you’ll want to check out the Flexvolt. This comprehensive kit comes with a 16-inch cutter and a dual-voltage lithium-ion battery.
This rechargeable power cell provides the Flexvolt with a lengthy cutting window. What’s more, it can be used to juice 60V Max and 20V Ma Dewalt tools.
Dewalt is headquartered in Towson, Maryland. The company has been making tools since the 1880s. One look at this saw tells us they know what they are doing. This saw’s bar is positively resilient. With so much power, it’s easy to let this saw take control. Of course, we recommend you save a few trees from the teeth of this land shark.
A Motor That Purrs
Don’t dismiss the benefits of a brushless motor. You’re guaranteed to have less kickback and smoother cuts. A trigger starter eliminates the need for cold, hard pulls. On top of that, the automatic oiler offers never-ending lube.
You can coast through dozens of cuts without overloading this saw’s motor. When it comes time to sharpen or replace blades, you can leave your tools behind.
The set-up is ergonomic enough to support one-handed maneuvers. If you’re settings up shop in a challenging space, you’ll want this cordless saw on your side.
3. Black and Decker CS1216 – Best 16 inch Electric Chainsaw
Be kind to your checking account by exploring Black and Decker’s budget-friendly electric chainsaw. This is a cutting device that’s geared toward user comfort and convenience.
You won’t need to waste time buying gas or charging a battery. However, you will need to invest in a quality extension cord.
Powers Through Wood
Easy adjustments and limited kickback keep this saw in the game. With the Black and Decker, you will spend less time fiddling with inner workings and more time trimming trees. Black and Decker have declined over the years. However, many consumers consider this cutter represents the companies comeback.
Black and Decker’s 2-year warranty will help put your mind at ease. At such a low price, there’s no need to fear the CS1216. If you’re shaky on a ladder, you’ll appreciate the saw’s low weight and ergonomic shape.
4. Husqvarna 440 – Best 16 inch Gas Chainsaw
Gas-Powered tools are the preferred choice of professional lumberjacks. This Husqvarna puts that preference into perspective.
As a gas-powered tool, it requires a little extra finesse. Still, it’s extremely fuel-efficient and produces limited emissions.
The E-Series saw is priced to fit within most homeowners’ budgets. Still, its cutting capacity is equivalent to that of most high-end saws. You can fell large trees and prepare towering piles of firewood with the Greenworks. You’ll never be stuck wondering when your battery is going to cut out.
This is one of our top picks for homeowners with tree-laden properties. Its cordless design makes it ideal for towering trims.
If you’re already accustomed to a gas chainsaw, then you’ll slip right under the spell of the Husqvarna.
5. Greenworks E-Series Chainsaw – Longest Lasting Battery
If you’re tired of cords and gas stations, you can stop your search at Greenwork’s battery-powered saw. This is a modern-day marvel that will help you resolve your tree and bush issues once and for all.
We love the bright lime color of this emission-free cutter. What’s more, we can not stop ravings about its long-lasting battery. The lithium-ion power source is the foundation of the Greenworks’ G-Max tool line.
As such, this tool has the potential to launch you into the world of high-powered lawn maintenance.
If you’re new to tree trimming, this is a great gateway tool. Its ergonomic shape and easy to grip handles minimize the amount of risks involved in cutting. Since there’s no electric cord, you can worry less about bad weather. Instead, you can put your focus on pruning your greenery and stockpiling wood for winter fires. If ever there were a power tool that made yard work fun, this is it.
A Battery to Beat All Batteries
We were shocked to see this 40-volt saw chew through large trees and fibrous saplings. It maintained its strength throughout several cuts. All the while, its vibration-free feel made us wonder what magic was behind this saw’s incredible horsepower.
If you’re focused on safety, you’ll be relieved to learn that the Greenworks saw has virtually no kickback. It’s also quiet and lightweight. Nevertheless, its command is incomparable. What’s more, its push-button starter enables one-handed action. Need we say more?
How to Choose Best 16-Inch Chainsaw – Buyer’s Guide
Many first-timers are intimidated by the chainsaw market. These powerful cutting devices often conjure up images of brute lumberjacks and bare forests.
In reality, they’re often used to prep firewood and trim backyard trees. Consider the size of your yard and amount of trees before settling on a specific saw.
Will you be using your chainsaw daily? Would you benefit more from a gas, battery-power, or electric device? These are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself.
Make the most of your money by picking a chainsaw that’s going to work in your favor. Don’t weigh yourself down by purchasing a cutter that’s ten-times too big.
In the section below, we explore a few key considerations you need to make before settling on a chainsaw.
Consumers have three power options, including gasoline, batteries, and electricity. There’s no clear answer to which one of these is the best. Many consumers prefer one over the other for a specific reason, such as reduced maintenance or faster start times. Always consider your personal requirements when selecting a chainsaw’s power.
Gas-powered chainsaws offer unmatched power and versatility. However, they also require intensive maintenance.
Still, they’re easier to troubleshoot. What’s more, they’re less cumbersome.
If you opt for a gas-powered chainsaw, be on the lookout for an option with a high power rating. Most manufacturers offer a power rating that is measured in cubic centimeters (cc). We recommend that you buy a chainsaw that offers a minimum of 25 cubic centimeters of power.
Electric chainsaws are only as far-reaching as their extension cords. For some consumers, the cord can be a persistent burden. Still, electric chainsaws are perfect for those who only need to perform small, precise cuts within a short range of an electrical outlet.
Many consumers prefer electric chainsaw because of their minimal maintenance requirements. For the most part, these chainsaws are ready to go right out of the box. The power of a corded chainsaw is measured in amps. Higher amperage translates to stronger cuts.
Battery-powered chainsaws have come a long way in recent years. Typically, these devices require a high-voltage lithium-ion battery. In many cases, these batteries are interchangeable with other tools. Batteries often charge slowly but offer longer run times. For example, you may be able to churn out 70 or more cuts during a single charge.
Chainsaw bars range from 6 to 36 inches. For this article, we’re going to focus on 16-inch bars.
These mid-sized devices are perfect for odd jobs and backyard cleanups. While they are traditionally used for small logs, they can master large trees in two passes.
If the vast majority of the wood you are tackling is 6 inches or smaller, opt for a 16-inch chainsaw. Of course, if you’re constantly cutting 32-inch diameter logs, you should invest in a chainsaw with a larger bar.
Overtime, chains need to be tightened, sharpened, and replaced. To do this, you will need access to your chainsaw’s tension control system. A tool-less chain pensioner will make it easier for you to make periodic adjustments.
All chainsaws require regular oiling. Many modern chainsaws boast automatic oiling systems. These systems often feature oversized oil reservoirs with clear viewing windows. These windows enable users to monitor the chainsaw’s oil reserves.
The maintenance needs vary between gas, electric, and battery chainsaws. For example, you need to replace the air filter and spark plug on gas-powered tools. On the other hand, you need to keep your lithium-ion batteries charged and in good condition.
While traditional chainsaws start with the pull of a cord, new models often feature trigger-based starters. Trigger-based starts tend to be smoother and safer.
People often find themselves operating chainsaws in uncomfortable positions.
We suggest picking a chainsaw that weighs no more than 12 pounds, as anything larger will limit your mobility.
Opt for a chainsaw with a narrow build that fits naturally between your arms. Ensure that the tool has rubberized grips to prevent it from slipping out of your hands in bad weather.
Keep in mind that most consumer-grade chainsaws have two handles. One handle is located in the back, just above the chainsaw’s trigger. The other handle looks like a floating bar. It is located above the motor and just behind the blade. The shape and angle of the handles are important to the user’s comfort and safety. As such, we recommend stepping inside a hardware store and trying out these tools for yourself. Nothing compares to this raw experience!
If you’re thinking of using a chainsaw, safety should be your top priority. One of the greatest chainsaws hazards is kickback. Kickback causes a chainsaw to reverse its direction, causing the operator to lunge backward with a fast-moving cutter in their hands.
Naturally, this is a recipe for disaster and something that needs to be avoided at all costs. To avoid kickback related injuries, always opt for a chainsaw with an automatic bar brake. Typically, these chainsaws are labeled as having low kickbacks.
You should also take the weight of the chainsaw into consideration when thinking about safety. While 10 pounds may not sound like a lot, it can be a tremendous amount of weight to carry for an extended period. In most cases, lighter chainsaws are better.
Modern chainsaws are packed with interesting features that are designed to improve users’ experiences. Many chainsaws boast anti-vibration features. These elements make chainsaws more comfortable during extended cutting sessions. Other saws have elements that reduce the amount of noise produced during cutting. What’s more, some are designed to be emission-free.
Most 16-inch chainsaws cost between $200 and $400. Keep in mind that you can save money by eliminating the need for fuel or frequent maintenance.
How to Safely Operate a Chainsaw
Now that you understand the basic anatomy of a chainsaw, it’s time to go over the basics of chainsaw safety. While many chainsaws have added safety features to improve a user’s overall experience, these features cannot prevent accidents and injuries on their own.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a chainsaw. Ensure that the chain is tight and sharp. What’s more, be sure to wear long clothing and safety equipment. Gloves, hard hats, earplugs, safety glasses, and work boots are all part of the essential chainsaw uniform. However, we also wouldn’t consider cutting without chaps.
Ensure that your cutting grounds are safe and free from hazards. Never cut around electric or utility wires. What’s more, always let your housemates know that you will be cutting.
It takes a lot of physical strength and coordination to control a chainsaw. If you lose your balance or fall victim to a kickback, you could become severely injured. As such, it’s best to have spotters nearby who can help you if something goes wrong. You can never be too careful when operating a chainsaw!
Are electric chainsaws dangerous?
All types of chainsaws will expose you to a certain amount of danger if you are not careful. Electric models, however, may be easier to handle than other bulky models, therefore, posing less threat. You should still be very careful when using the electric saws since their lightweight may lure you into falls sense of confidence. This can make you mishandle it and injure yourself.
Which chainsaw is better, 16 or 18 inches?
This is the factor that mostly depends on the type of job you plan to do with it. These two inches can make a big difference, especially when it comes to handling. Since these extra inches add more weight, you will require a more powerful motor. 16-inch type is way more compact and versatile, designed for lighter work within the household.
What features should I consider when purchasing a 16-inch chainsaw?
There are various features you should consider not only for functionality but also for safety. When you need to decide which features are important, you must know what type of cutting job you need these saws for. The power source is an essential factor. Although there are alternatives, electric 16-inch saws are still very much reliable. If you use your saw frequently, it is vital to choose the one with the low vibration as it can prevent the hand-arm vibration syndrome.
What are the main uses for 16-inch chainsaws?
These chainsaws are great user-friendly tools and can finish a variety of outdoor jobs for you. They are great for tree pruning and bush trimming and will speed up this labor process significantly. Of course, they are fantastic for tree cutting and log splitting. You will finish this job in no time with this compact, high-quality saw.
How to maintain a 16-inch chainsaw?
For high-quality performance and safe use of a 16-inch saw, it requires proper maintenance. It is vital to get top-notch production out of it. The basic care is pretty straightforward. It is vital to clean the dirt after every use. Find the sheet to cover the blade after you are finished with use to preserve the material. To ensure the safe use of the saw, always check if brake works are functioning correctly. Check if there is no delay when the chain is spinning and remove the battery and cord when you decide to store the saw. Last but not least, you should always check the on switch in case it is damaged. This is especially important if you use your saw often.
How often should I replace the saw chain?
This varies depending on how often do you use the saw and for which materials. There are a couple of indicators that will alarm you if the chain needs to be replaced. First of all, the cutting quality will start to drop. If you are not able to sharpen it and the chain starts getting loose, you will likely need a replacement. Even if you use your chainsaw often, it can last for a very long time if you maintain it correctly.
With so many 16-inch chainsaws on the market, it can be easy to get lost in a rabbit hole of online reviews. We hope our comprehensive buying guide and product picks made it easier for you to hone in on a mid-sized chainsaw that will last you a lifetime.
Our top recommendation is the Makita UC4051A. This electric power tool can cut through thick tree trunks without the need for gasoline. If you’re on a tight budget, the small yet mighty Black and Decker electric chainsaw is also a great pick.
This corded power tool offers just enough power for backyard cleanups and odd jobs. Of course, if corded power tools give you anxiety, the 16-inch Greenworks saw is a cordless cutter with the capacity to produce over 50 cuts per charge.
While finding the right saw can be a complicated process, having a personal power tool makes a world of difference. When bad weather wreaks havoc on your yard, your solution awaits you in the tool shed. There’s no need to hire an arborist when you can fell and split your own trees. What’s more, nothing caps off hard work better than a handmade fire.