7 BEST Professional Logging Chainsaws: STIHL, Husqvarna, ECHO

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What chainsaw do loggers use?

Once a month I go into a nearby prison to meet up with and support prisoners. The last time I went in, I ended up speaking with a man who had been a professional logger all his life. Ironically, years earlier he had even cleared large trees to make way for that very prison to be built!

Anyway, we spent the best part of an hour just talking about his life at the end of a saw. He had been felling trees for decades and was a true chainsaw expert. Not only was he an expert logger, but he’d also done a lot of milling and chainsaw carving.

The last question I asked him was, ‘What was your favorite chainsaw?’ and ‘What is the best logging chainsaw?’.

What do you think his answer was?

Best Logging Chainsaw

Stihl Pro Chainsaws

  • Stihl's top chainsaws for loggers, arborists, and forestry workers
  • Powerful professional chainsaws that are realiable and dependable
  • Will run all day everyday for commercial use
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Husqvarna XP Chainsaws

  • XP saws are Husky's professional logging chainsaws
  • Powerful, durable, innovative machines for felling
  • Lower and higher powered chainsaws for every pro application
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Professional ECHO Chainsaws

  • CS-7310 is suitable for logging applications
  • Takes up to 36" bar
  • They also make great top handle arborist chainsaws
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This lifelong forestry worker told me his favorite saw for logging was… no preference!

I was expecting him to tell me that Stihl was the best brand, but he said “As long as the saw has a sharp chain” he’d go to work with it.

Don’t get me wrong, he did say Stihl and Husqvarna were good saws, but he also said he’d used Echo saws quite a bit and that they were good too.

The point was that there isn’t just one good saw for logging work. There is a range of saws that can go all day and have the power to get the job done.

best professional bucking chainsaws
Some of the pro saws I’ve been trying out lately

Ultimately, there are some chainsaw brands and types that are much better than others. 

You don’t want to go out felling trees with a battery-powered chainsaw, of course.

However, you just need to use some common sense as to which would be best for your particular application.

Some people don’t even really need a powerful professional chainsaw, but they just like them. My friend has an MS440 Magnum, for example, though he rarely uses it. He just likes to have a big chainsaw.

Here is some more information about each of these brands and their top-end chainsaws.

1. Stihl 500i Loggers Chainsaw

loggers chainsaw

The Stihl 500i is a good full-time logging chainsaw.

It is one of Stihl’s top-of-the-line professional chainsaws designed especially for the logging industry and professional tree workers.

It can be purchased with anything from a 16-inch bar to a 32-inch bar, but much larger bars can be bought and fitted separately.

The power-to-weight ratio is very good. When I tried it out I was surprised by how light it was (see my Stihl 500i review here). It certainly looks heavier than it really is.

The 500i is special because it is the world’s first chain saw with electronically controlled fuel injection. This basically just means it’s a higher-performance machine that works more efficiently.

Sensors measure air pressure and internal and external temperature to provide optimum fuel quantity and ignition timing.

Some specs and features include:

  • STIHL 2-MIX engine – saves fuel and reduces emissions
  • HD2 filter with radial seal – prevents intake of fine dust particles
  • Decompression valve – for easier starts
  • STIHL ElastoStart – for smooth even starting
  • Side-mounted chain tensioning – easier and safer chain tightening
  • STIHL anti-vibration system – for smoother easier use
  • New oil pump system – perfectly delivers chain bar oil to longer bars
  • Power-to-weight ratio – the most power delivered for such a low-weight
  • Sensor-controlled fuel metering – for optimum fuel delivery
  • Plunge guide – for better control when plunging

2. Professional Stihl Chainsaws

Stihl MS 880 MAGNUM logging chainsaw

Besides the 500i, there are many other Stihl chainsaws suitable for logging.

Stihl saws are great for so many reasons.

Parts are usually easy to find, especially for late-model saws – some vintage models can be harder – and Stihl stores are everywhere so it’s easy to drop them off for service and repairs.

On top of this, there are large Stihl communities where you can get advice on a range of chainsaw and chainsaw business topics and find like-minded people who just love saws.

Some recommended pro-Stihl models include:

  • Stihl MS 360, 361, or 362
  • Stihl MS 440 or 441
  • Stihl MS 460, 461, or 462
  • Stihl MS 660 or 661 
  • Stihl MS 880 or 881

The MS 880 Magnum (pictured above) is the most powerful logging chainsaw but it might be more than most people need or want.

It’s for felling and bucking large-diameter trees and is one of Stihl’s biggest chainsaws. The lower-spec models are excellent as well.

Many in the logging and chainsaw community think that if you don’t have a Stihl, you don’t have a chainsaw.

The MS 880 features:

  • Most power of any STIHL professional chainsaw
  • Great power-to-weight ratio
  • Precision-balanced with excellent handling and reliability
  • 23% increase in engine power over the likes of the heavy-duty MS 660
  • Takes guide bars up to 59 inches in length (and can be purchased with them this large)
  • Available with or without wrap-around handles

3. Husqvarna XP Chainsaws

professional logging chainsaws

Rather than selecting a single saw here, most of the Husqvarna XP chainsaws are suitable for professional and commercial use.

The XP series is Husqvarnas’s professional range of chainsaws, and they range in price from $529.99 for the 543 XP (43cc) all the way to $1,849.99+ for the 3120 XP (118cc).

Not only do loggers and professional tree workers use these saws, but they’re also perfect for those who want a good saw for firewood, farm work, and that sort of thing.

They are popular saws among arborists, farmers, chainsaw millers, and other forestry workers.

The Husqvarna 3120 XP (pictured above) is the company’s largest chainsaw and one of the most powerful in the world. It’s designed for professional logging, milling, and stumpwork.

It can be used effectively with up to a 6-foot bar (72 inches).

XP stands for Extra Performance:

  • Greater horsepower
  • Better power-to-weight ratio
  • Faster acceleration
  • Higher RPM
  • Special power band optimized for skilled users

Other XP chainsaws include:

4. Echo CS-7310P Logging Chainsaw

best chainsaw for logging

Echo is another chainsaw brand that is suitable for heavy-duty use.

The brand is Japanese-owned, but many ECHO products, including their chainsaws, are made in America from foreign and domestic parts and components (at least, many of those Echo products sold in the US).

The CS-7310P Chainsaw (pictured above) is one of ECHO’s most powerful chainsaws in North America. It has everything that arborists and loggers need to take down trees.

The CS-7310P is said to be suitable for both felling and firewood processing.

It’s powerful, durable, and able to run for long periods.

Features include:

  • a 73.5 cc commercial-grade engine
  • decompression valve for easier starting
  • better air cleaner system than other models
  • 3-point spring vibration reduction system
  • optional settings for winter use

The Echo CS-800P is another powerful saw from this company that can take up to a 36″ guide bar.

The CS-800P has an 80.7 cc professional-grade engine, so it’s a little more powerful than the CS-7310P.

The Echo CS-2511T is one of the best top-handle chainsaws – it’s said to be one of the lightest gas chainsaws out there.

5. Shindaiwa Chainsaws

commercial shindaiwa chainsaw


Shindaiwa is a lesser-known chainsaw brand but they also make powerful pro chainsaws.

While they might not be suitable for full-time logging work, I do know of some guys with firewood businesses who wouldn’t use anything else.

The saws are easy to work on, parts are readily available, and they run well for lighter commercial work.

The saw pictured above is the Shindaiwa 600SX that comes with a 27-inch bar (can also be bought with 24″ or 20″). It’s a 60cc saw that weighs 13.6 lbs.

Like ECHO, this is a Japanese-made chainsaw and it comes with all of the features you’d expect in a mid-range pro saw. Decomp valve, pro-grade engine, dual bumper spikes, and so on.

Other Shindaiwa saws include:

  • Shindaiwa 492 – 50.2 cc saw
  • Shindaiwa 591 – a cheaper 60 cc saw
  • And the Shindaiwa 402S – 40.2 cc saw

6. Makita Gas Chainsaws

makita gas chainsaws


Makita has a range of strong, large gas chainsaws, though it’s possible they’re going to stop making them soon.

Currently, their most powerful saw, which would be good for logging work, is the EA7900PRZ. It’s a 79 cc 5.9 hp saw with large bucking spikes, easy starting, and a decent anti-vibration system.

They have many gas/petrol chainsaws that are powerful and considered professional, and many at the less-powerful end of the scale as well. 

The main downside to buying one is that parts, support, and community are harder to find compared to the major logging chainsaw brands like Stihl and Husqvarna.

However, when comparing prices between Makita and Stihl, the former is a good chunk cheaper (though definitely not as good). See our Makita chainsaw reviews to learn more.

Other Makita saws:

  • Makita 20″ 61 cc Chainsaw
  • Makita 20″ 56 cc Chainsaw
  • Makita 18″ 50 cc Chainsaw

7. Holzfforma Clone Chainsaws


Holzfforma saws are not great for logging every day, but for those wanting a cheap but powerful saw, these are them.

Holzfforma makes clone copy chainsaws based on popular Stihl and Husqvarna saws – in fact, the parts are interchangeable. 

They are not the same quality, and the performance is not as good, which is why you’ll pay less the half the price of the real thing.

People like these saws for applications that are hard on saws, like milling, when they don’t want to use their best large chainsaw. Better to wear out a cheap saw than the one you’ve spent a fortune on.

These saws are also good for heavy firewood duty, short logging stints, and land clearing.

See our Holzfforma Chainsaw reviews for all the info.

Farmertec Holzfforma examples:

  • G888 – Stihl MS880 clone
  • G070 – Stihl 070 clone
  • G660 – Stihl MS660 clone
  • G372XP – Husqvarna 372XP clone
  • G272XP – Husqvarna 272XP clone

Professional Loggers Chainsaws

best large big powerful chainsaws
There’s nothing cooler than a large pro chainsaw

As it is with most things, the more you spend the better your saw will be.

The best professional saw for you will depend on the type of work you’re going to be doing. A professional logger will want a high-end Stihl saw. A local firewood business would be good with a top-end Husqvarna XP.

Check out this video from the Guilty of Treeson YouTube channel which has a ton of great advice.

While we’ve mentioned a number of other chainsaw brands here, it’s safe to say the majority of loggers use Stihl saws, and the rest use Husqvarna.

These two brands have the best reputation for quality, hardworking, powerful chainsaws for professional use. Andreas Stihl even invented the chainsaw for logging!

They have been put to the test on millions of trees over the decades, and have come out on top, though we would recommend going with either of these chainsaw companies.

I personally own saws from both brands and don’t necessarily prefer Stihl over Husky saws. It would depend on pricing and availability on the day as to which saw I would buy.

Commercial Use Chainsaws

Any well-made powerful chainsaw will be good for professional work as a logger, arborist, or other tree workers.

Here are some other good chainsaws for hard work:

Weigh up what you will be using the saw for:

  • What are you using it for? Are you a logger, a farmer, or a small home user?
  • What will be the greatest diameter trees you will be cutting? Under or over 36″ can make a difference as to which you will choose.
  • How often will the saw be used? If you have one huge tree to cut down, you don’t necessarily need the absolute best chainsaw.
  • What is your budget? Obviously, you can’t spend more than you have. It might simply be a case of getting the best saw for your money.

Answering these questions should help you to decide what is the best logging chainsaw for you.

Lastly, if you’re only doing work close to home, consider these best homeowner chainsaws which include battery saws. Personally, I prefer gas chainsaws any day, but electric does sometimes have its place (just not very often, right?)!


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25 thoughts on “7 BEST Professional Logging Chainsaws: STIHL, Husqvarna, ECHO”

  1. I’m a logger and I’ll only use Husky XP saws. Most of my mates will only use stihl but I just prefer Husqvarna.

  2. Can you buy the Stihl 500i online other than on ebay? They mostly only have used Stihl chainsaws but if prefer new.

  3. Most people don’t need the 500i. A 261 or 362 stihl. 550xp or 562xp Husqvarna will do 95% of what an average person needs to do. Other bonus is these saws are half the price of a 500i. If you’ve got” little man’s syndrome”, then a 462 stihl or 572xp Husky would be the in between.

  4. I grew up with Jonsered’s. Knowing that their the “same but different” from Huskys I bought probably one of the last real Jonny’s, a CS 2260. I’ve used just about all the major brands and even some of the smaller ones. Stihl makes really good stuff, but your gonna pay for it. I guess my next new saw will have to be a Husky XP series…

  5. i have owned both husky and stihl both are amazing and long lived i just recently got a 500i the old 660 full wrap is starting to get heavy lol the 500i seems to pull almost as well and is much lighter
    that said there is days i still prefer the old 365 husky for blocking they are super light and scream like no stihl ever did

  6. I am cutting 400 acres of hardwood(beech) in 2024, what would everyone recommend for my professional saws, ive owned and run both of these saws ,the 266 xp and the 048 stihl in the past. need to buy multiple saws for my business. Thank you for the advice

    • If big trees, and a 24″ bar,
      the Husqvarna 372xp, and 572xp would be my choice.
      If 28″-36″ in big timbers. The Husqvarna 385xp, 390xp, 395xp, 585xp, 592xp! All very good saws,and in my opinion the best manufacturer of saws…


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