7 BEST Small and Mini Chainsaw Reviews: Handheld, Pruning, And Tiny Chainsaws

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Mini chainsaws like the Milwaukee M12 2527-21 are ideal tools for working on light-duty lumberjack projects.

They usually have a chain bar measuring less than 10 inches long and is enough for chopping narrow logs and pruning branches.

On the other hand, small chainsaws are slightly larger, with chain bars measuring 10 – 16 inches long.

Though heavier, they are stronger than mini saws and are perfect for climbing trees for professional pruning. Arborists find them particularly useful for their work.

But which are the best small and mini chainsaws?

Best Mini Chainsaws

Milwaukee M12 Chainsaw

  • Our pick for best mini chainsaw for pruning
  • A powerful and popular 6 inch chainsaw
  • Battery powered - 12v
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Torryza Mini Chainsaw

  • Best cheap mini chainsaw
  • Won't last as long or work as well, but will get the job done
  • Battery powered 4 inch bar
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KIMO Handheld Mini Chainsaw

  • A bestselling handheld mini saw
  • Very cheap; weighs 3.1 lbs
  • Battery and 6-inch blade
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DEWALT Battery Chainsaw

  • Best small chainsaw for around the home
  • Great quality DEWALT - interchangable batteries with other tools
  • Battery chainsaw - 12 inch bar
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Makita Top Handle Chainsaw

  • A small 10" top handle saw
  • Extremely light and powerful
  • Battery chainsaw with interchangable batteries
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Husqvarna 120 Mark II

  • Best small gas powered chainsaw
  • Quality Husqvarna - 38cc chainsaw
  • Comes with 16 inch bar
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Echo CS-271T Chainsaw

  • 12" gas top handle chainsaw
  • Lower powered 26cc engine
  • Great for work up trees, pruning and limbing
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For those just wanting to know our top picks, there they are!

First, determine do you need a mini pruning chainsaw, a small chainsaw that can be used for light tasks, or something that might be good also for more demanding tasks.

The small and mini chainsaws that I personally own and use are:

You can click through to see my images and videos of these different small pruning saws.

I use my mini chainsaws almost every day, and I’m not even kidding.

We have about 2 acres of shrubs and small trees that I am constantly pruning and trimming whenever the sun’s out!

Most small chainsaws are electric which is generally perfect for cutting back shrubs, bushes, and small branches. But you’ll need to consider whether you want a battery-powered or gas chainsaw.

1. Milwaukee M12 – Best Mini Chainsaw

small chainsaw review

  • Chain Bar Length: 6 inches
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Weight: 4.1 pounds

Milwaukee’s M12 2527-21 is the ultimate mini electric chainsaw due to its ergonomic, high performance, and durable design.

With its compact and lightweight 4.1-pound construction, the saw gives you better control, access, and maneuverability in hard-to-reach areas, such as when landscaping.

Under the hood is a PowerState brushless motor that delivers enough power to cut through hardwood. RedLink Plus intelligence keeps the motor and battery in communication to give you unmatched performance and productivity.

As a result, the tool cuts 3-inch hardwoods up to 120 times on a full charge.

In addition to that, the saw features a variable speed trigger with instant throttle response for better control and cutting performance.

An automatic oiler keeps the chain lubricated to maximize durability and productivity. It has a translucent oil reservoir for easy monitoring of the fluid level so that you keep your tool oiled at all times.

However, some users complain of a short-lived battery, but you can solve this by buying more to interchange as you work.

The Stihl GTA 26 is another premium small handheld chainsaw.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Powerful and efficient brushless motor
  • RedLink Plus intelligence
  • Variable speed trigger with instant throttle response

Cons:

  • Short-lived battery

Find out more in our Milwaukee chainsaw review which covers their pole saw and the M18 chainsaw as well.


2. Torryza Mini Chainsaw – Best Cheap Tiny Chainsaw

cheap mini chainsaw for sale

  • Chain Bar Length: 4 inches
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Weight: 3.7 pounds

If you are on a tight budget, this chainsaw is the best option to consider due to its affordability. Aside from that, the tool is the smallest chainsaw in our review because it has a 4-inch chain bar.

Overall, the tool measures only 12.9 inches long, which improves maneuverability when pruning orchards, cutting bamboo, trimming yards, etc.

Such a short size makes it a highly portable chainsaw too. On top of that, the tool weighs only 3.7 pounds, making it one of the best lightweight chainsaws.

With the compact and lightweight construction comes a one-hand design for easy operation. The handle has a soft, anti-slip surface that gives you a grippy and comfortable hold over the tool when in use.

An efficient pure copper motor runs the chain around the bar, and it features overload protection to safeguard its circuitry. The battery has a few safety features as well, like over-current and over-temperature protection to maximize durability.

The only issue is that the package does not include a chain cover for safe storage and transportation.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Soft, anti-slip handle
  • Multiple battery/motor protection features

Cons:

  • Chain cover not inclusive

3. DeWalt DCCS620B – Best Small Electric Chainsaw

best small electric chainsaw

  • Chain Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Weight: 9 pounds

As one of the best small electric chainsaws, the DCCS620B delivers up to 90 cuts on pressure-treated 4×4 wood using a fully charged 20V, 5Ah battery.

Several factors make this kind of performance possible. First of all, it has a durable and efficient brushless motor that maximizes runtime by consuming less power. There is also the low kickback bar and chain, which enhance productivity.

Altogether, the tool is perfect for construction work (demolition, cutting beams, etc.) and outdoor cutting.

A tool-free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob makes it easy to optimize the bar clamping force for every cut, and if there is a kickback, a chain brake will automatically activate to stop the spinning.

Even though the battery and charger are not inclusive, the 12-inch chainsaw is part of the 20V Max tools system. Therefore, you can install a 20V battery from your other DeWalt tools.

Pros:

  • Durable and efficient brushless motor
  • Low kickback bar and chain
  • Tool-free chain tensioning & bar tightening
  • Chain brake for kickback protection

Cons:

  • Battery and charger not inclusive

We have a complete DEWALT Chainsaw review here for much more info.


4.Makita XCU06Z – Runner Up Little Chainsaw

best pruning chainsaw

  • Chain Bar Length: 10 inches
  • Power Source: Battery
  • Weight: 6.6 pounds

Makita’s XCU06Z is also a high-performance electric chainsaw because it delivers up to 175 cuts on 2×2 cedar when using an 18V, 5Ah battery. On top of that, it features a torque boost mode to cut dense material.

If you leave the chainsaw on and inactive for more than 60 seconds, an auto power-off function shuts it down automatically to conserve battery power.

Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) enhances dust and water resistance to protect the circuitry inside when working under harsh conditions.

While using the tool, a rubberized upper handle gives you a soft grip with minimal vibrations for better control. At the rear end is a climbing saddle attachment point that makes it easy to carry the tool up a tree.

On the downside, this saw does not include a battery and charger, and it requires a tool to adjust the chain’s tension.

Pros:

  • Delivers up to 175 cuts
  • Torque boost mode
  • Auto power-off function
  • Extreme Protection Technology

Cons:

  • Bare tool only
  • Requires a tool for chain tensioning

Check out the entire range of Makita Chainsaws – they have both gas, battery, and electric chainsaws.


5. Husqvarna 120 Mark II – Best Small Gas Chainsaw

best mini saw review

  • Chain Bar Length: 16 inches
  • Power Source: Gas (38.2 cc engine)
  • Weight: 10.7 pounds (excluding cutting equipment)

If your project requires more heavy-duty cutting and you need a small gas-powered chainsaw, the Mark II is the best of its kind.

It features an exclusive X-Torq 38.2 cc engine that minimizes gas consumption and exhaust emissions.

Considering it has a long 16-inch chain bar, the tool is ideal for tree pruning (thick branches), cutting firewood, light felling, and limbing.

A combination of choke/stop control enables easier starting, and it gets a boost from AirPurge, which removes air from the carburetor for faster starting.

Anti-vibration dampeners on the handle attachment points absorb vibrations from the engine to spare your hands from intense shaking during long periods of use.

You can attach an 18-inch bar to the saw if you have thicker branches/firewood to cut, but there is no cover for either size. You need to buy this component separately for safe storage and transportation.

Pros:

  • Efficient X-Torq 38.2 cc engine
  • Easy start design
  • Anti-vibration dampeners
  • Compatible with an 18-inch bar

Cons:

  • No chain bar cover

You can see the whole range of Husqvarna homeowner chainsaws here.


6. Echo CS-271T – Runner-Up Small Gas Chainsaw

mini electric chainsaw

  • Chain Bar Length: 12 inches
  • Power Source: Gas (26.9 cc engine)
  • Weight: 11 pounds

The Echo CS-271T features a slightly smaller professional-grade 2-stroke engine compared to the Mark II, but this matches its shorter 12-inch chain bar length.

As a top-handle pruning chainsaw, it is more compact and recommended for use by arborists/tree service professionals.

A lanyard clip at the rear end enables you to attach the saw to your belt for easier climbing when pruning multiple trees.

Once you get to the trees, the tool features an i-30 starting system that makes it easy to start the engine and get right to work.

When running, a throttle lock prevents accidental acceleration for safety purposes, and if the chain loosens, there is a side access tool-free chain tensioner for quick adjustments.

However, a few users complained of starting problems, but these are isolated cases.

The Stihl MS 200T is another excellent small, lightweight, top handle saw.

Pros:

  • Professional-grade 2-stroke engine
  • Lanyard clip
  • Throttle lock
  • Tool-free chain tensioner

Cons:

  • Might have starting issues

Read our ECHO CS-2511T review to learn more about the lightest gas chainsaw out there.


7. Husqvarna 450R – Best Alternative To A Small Chainsaw

best small gas chainsaw review

  • Chain Bar Length: 18 inches
  • Power Source: Gas (50.2 cc engine)
  • Weight: 14 pounds

With an 18-inch chain bar and a large 50.2 cc gas engine, the 450R is not a mini/small chainsaw. It is a large and powerful tool for heavy-duty cutting that is the perfect alternative to the best small chainsaws.

Although the 3.2 HP engine is relatively big, it is a super-efficient X-Torq motor that minimizes fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. However, it creates more vibrations, but a LowVib anti-vibration system reduces shaking on the handles for comfortable use.

The tool uses spring assist and quick spark injection to get the motor running in a flash. After use, a quick-release air filter makes it easy to clean out the dust or replace the component if worn out.

However, these features and size make the tool relatively heavy and quite expensive, but it is worth the money.

Pros:

  • Powerful and efficient X-Torq gas engine
  • LowVib anti-vibration system
  • Easy starting system
  • Quick-release air filter

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Read our Husqvarna 460 Rancher review to learn more about this great Husky saw.


Mini and Small Chainsaw Uses

portable chainsaw

All are small, but mini/little chainsaws are tinier compared to the latter.

Therefore, they are suitable for light-duty work, such as:

  • pruning/limbing small branches
  • landscaping
  • cutting bamboo
  • trimming yards

However, with their larger engines/motors and chain bars, small chainsaws can cut thick branches.

Their top-handle design is perfect for arborists when climbing trees to prune thick branches. They can also chop small trees and cut firewood.

The lightest top handle saw is the ECHO CS-2511T.

Handheld Chainsaws Vs Small Chainsaws

Design-wise, handheld chainsaws have a single handle for one-hand use.

Since they are compact and lightweight, it is easy to handle them using a single hand. That said, some like the Milwaukee M12 2527-21 have a front and rear handle to give you a firmer grip when cutting.

On the other hand, small chainsaws have a top handle that extends to the side, enabling you to hold it using both hands. As such, you get better control and maneuverability when cutting using the slightly larger and heavier tool.

Electric Vs Gas Chainsaws

Electric chainsaws are clean to use (no gas/oil mixing) and don’t produce harmful emissions. They also have fewer mechanical parts, making them compact, lightweight, and easier to maintain.

Mini chainsaws are usually electric because they must be tiny and weigh very little.

On the downside, this electric type is not as powerful as the gas engine type. As the battery runs out, it delivers less power to the motor, minimizing its cutting power.

However, with the gas-powered chainsaw, you get on-demand optimum cutting power, making it perfect for handling large projects involving thick branches. However, such tools are heavier, noisier, messier, and emit exhaust gases.

Therefore, it all depends on the project. Some small chainsaws, such as the Husqvarna 120 Mark II, feature gas engines to help you work on more heavy-duty projects, while others like the DeWalt DCCS620B have electric motors for less intensive work.

The Risks Of Mini Chainsaws

Though they are tiny chainsaws, these tools can cause injury, which is why they should have multiple safety features.

Be sure to check your purchase for the following features:

  • Chain brake – stops the chain automatically when there is a kickback
  • Throttle lock – prevents an accidental acceleration
  • Lock lever – keeps the chain from engaging accidentally
  • Handguard
  • Chain catcher

Make sure you are using the best pair of chainsaw gloves that you can get your hands on when using these things.

I recently cut my hand using a mini chainsaw – you can see the pictures here if you really want – and I now always use my pair of VGO chainsaw gloves.

Mini Chainsaw FAQs

What is the smallest chainsaw?

When comparing small and mini chainsaws, the latter is smaller, with some having chain bars as small as 4 inches.

What is the best mini chainsaw?

It all depends on your project. If you are cutting thick branches, you need a powerful tool with a long chain bar. Otherwise, a tiny one will do.

Is a 12-inch chainsaw too small?

No. It is somewhere in the middle of the size scale when considering small and mini chainsaws. However, size is relative here because it depends on the project requirements.

What do you use a mini chainsaw for?

It is ideal for light-duty work, such as landscaping, pruning small branches (orchards), trimming yards, cutting bamboo, etc.

Are mini chainsaws pointless?

No. If your project requires a light-duty tool that is easily maneuverable among tiny tree branches, a mini chainsaw is perfect for the job.

Can you throw mini chainsaws?

No, they are not like throwing axes in this regard.

Best Small Handheld Chainsaw

In conclusion, if you are looking for the best mini chainsaw for small projects, Milwaukee’s M12 2527-21 is the ideal tool.

With its small and compact construction, the saw comes in handy when dealing with light pruning and landscaping work.

However, if you need a more powerful chainsaw for large projects, the Husqvarna 120 Mark II has an efficient, high-performance gas engine that will get the job done.

Additionally, its 16-inch chain bar is perfect for light felling, pruning thick branches, and limbing.

Lastly, if none of these options have suited what you need, check out this selection of the best battery-powered chainsaws for some more alternatives.

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2 thoughts on “7 BEST Small and Mini Chainsaw Reviews: Handheld, Pruning, And Tiny Chainsaws”

  1. Trying to get yard trimmed better . Writing down your purchase pointers before shopping. Looking for lightweight and easy maneuverability as I’m 67, female. Hopefully, can settle on one. Thanks for the reviews and buying guidelines!

    Reply

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