Blue Max chainsaws – are they any good? Should you get one?
Whenever you’re buying a new or used chainsaw, there’s the anxiety that comes from not knowing whether you’re making the right choice or not. There are so many different brands, and then thousands of different models.
Last year, I bought a new chainsaw from the store. It was a McCulloch and it cost about the same price as a Blue Max chainsaw. The store clerk assured me it was a great choice. I took it home and started using it, and then the starter cord spring broke on the second start-up!
Needless to say, I returned it the next day and ended up buying a Husqvarna 450 instead. All that to say, I know you don’t want to buy trash! I’ve done it, and don’t want the same to happen to you.
Let’s find out more about these Blue Max chainsaws to see if they’re worth buying.
Blue Max Chainsaws
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While Blue Max may not be the most popular chainsaw brand in the market, they do produce powerful saw tools.
Don’t confuse them with the Farmertec Holzfforma chainsaws which are sometimes called ‘blue chainsaws’ and which are a similar color to Blue Max saws.
Heads up: Blue Max Chainsaws aren’t the best chainsaws in the world, but a lot of people have found them to be just what they need.
Who makes Blue Max Chainsaws?
North American Tool Industries (NATI) manufacture Blue Max Chainsaws, and they also make other brands like Professional Woodworker, Yard Dog, Egergin, and Speedway.
NATI partners with manufacturers like Home Depot, Sears, and OverStock to manufacture power tools designed for DIY enthusiasts and professionals.
The company has been manufacturing and distributing Blue Max Chainsaw for approximately fifty years.
The manufacturer originally designed their product as a logging chainsaw, but nowadays it’s seen more as a homeowner and light farm use saw.
Where are Blue Max Chainsaws made?
The Blue Max Chainsaw brand is made in China, like most other chainsaw brands.
There are very few brands that are made in the US.
Stihl chainsaws are made in Virginia Beach, as one example of a company that does manufacture chainsaws in America.
1. Blue Max 52cc Chainsaw
For small to medium workloads, this 52cc gas chainsaw will come in very handy.
This Blue Max Gas saw is the perfect example. Overall, I like the design. It is simple, and you won’t need to rob a bank to get it.
It has a decent capacity motor that supports its performance. It also has automatic oiling and a low-kickback system that ensures safety while dishing out the RPMs.
It also has Blue Max’s signature feature – the anti-vibration functionality. This functionality plays a significant role in the overall usability of this saw.
With this model, you have a powerful motor and you won’t lose out on functionality. It is a good choice for those looking for a powerful chainsaw at an affordable price.
- Robust design
- Superior power output
- Low-range kickback
- Suitable for medium-heavy workloads
- Lacks debris protection
2. Blue Max 8902 Chainsaw
The Blue Max 8902 model is one of the most well-known Blue Max Chainsaws.
It offers you value for your money while providing unique features. It is easy to use and features a protective casing with a separate chain and bar enclosed.
This gas-powered model has a 45cc engine that can run at 2,800 pm. It has a QuickStart ignition system.
With minimal pulls, you can fire up the chainsaw and get cutting. I like that you can still get the 8902 model up and running effortlessly, even in cold temperatures.
The standard bar length is 14-inches but it comes with a free 20-inch bar as well. It has a 40:1 fuel mixture requirement, and the chain has 30% more chain teeth than usual, which reduces your cutting time.
Like other Blue Max saws, it also has an anti-vibration handle that effectively reduces fatigue in your hands and arms.
This unit also has a quick-response kickback brake. You can operate this saw safely thanks to the handguard provided to keep your hands protected.
The on and off switch is on the side of the saw, allowing you to start or stop the chainsaw conveniently.
With the center balance provided by this model, you will have superior control. The automatic chain oil system will keep the saw well-lubricated, which guarantees smoother operation.
- Value for your money
- Automatic chain oil system
- Anti-vibration handle
- Can feel heavy
3. Blue Max 8901 Chainsaw
Of all Blue Max chainsaws, the 8901 model is the bestseller.
The design is robust, and it features a 45cc engine that can give you 30-35% more performance than other saws on the list.
The engine power is capable of producing the amount of horsepower to get most jobs around the home done.
It also has 30% more chain teeth than comparable chain brands, which helps lessen the cutting time significantly.
It also has an anti-vibration handle and a low kickback break that keeps you safe when using the say. You can start it up easily, thanks to the quick-start ignition.
These features make the chainsaw more user-friendly.
- Surprisingly fast cutting time
- Low kickback for better maneuvering
- Quick ignition system
- Automated oiling system
- Odd on/off switch placement
4. Blue Max 6595 Chainsaw
The 6596 chainsaw is another NATI Blue Max option powered by a 45cc engine with a 2-stroke single gas cylinder.
It’s the same engine that powers the 8901 Blue Max chainsaw. The engine can deliver a no-load chain speed up to 2800 rpm.
The bar and chain length are 18 inches. The saw features a Capacitor Discharge Ignition that will start the saw even in cold weather conditions.
It also has an anti-vibration handle that helps lower vibration when you are working. Its ergonomic design helps eliminate fatigue when you are using the saw.
When you switch off the chainsaw, inertia is activated to bring the saw to a stop. It is an important safety feature that keeps you safe from chain kickbacks.
It also features an auto-oil that automatically lubricates the saw bar when the engine is running. The oil reservoir window also helps make sure you always have oil.
- Surprisingly fast cutting time
- Low kickback for better maneuvering
- Quick ignition system
- Automated oiling system
- No plastic case provided
5. Blue Max 20160 Chainsaw
Lastly, this model has an engine displacement of about 56.5cc and a maximum speed equipment 10,500 rpm.
The idling speed of this 2-stroke engine is 2700 – 3400 rpm. The bar length is 22 inches.
It also features a low-range kickback chain brake that provides additional safety when you are handling the saw.
It has automatic chain lubrication that keeps your chain constantly lubricated when the engine is powered. The center is balanced with an anti-vibration handle that maximizes your control to minimize your fatigue.
- Chain brake
- Anti-vibration function
- Auto-chain lubrication
- Fast cutting speed
- Poorly rated
Blue Max Chainsaw Review
As you can see in this video, these saws have some flaws and weak points (or ‘bugs’), but if you are reasonably handy, you can overcome them.
When in action and working well, the saws are good. You can see that in the reviews as well. About 80% of buyers are extremely happy with their purchase and don’t have any problems.
The other 20% may have some issues and are dissatisfied (however, remember some of these issues are freight-related rather than product-related).
Do you like those odds? There are worse out there!
Blue Max Chainsaw Buying Guide
The three most important things to keep in mind if you are looking to buy a Blue Max chainsaw are:
- Price – what is your budget?
- Bar length – what size do you really need?
- Engine power – what size engine do you need?
My general advice is to buy the best chainsaw you can with your budget.
If you only have $200 to spend, don’t worry about the professional or more respected brands out there. Just get the best saw for your money.
Here’s some more info on buying the right chainsaw for YOU!
Blue max is a gas-powered chainsaw which means that instead of worrying about an electric cord, the engine size should be your primary concern.
Gas-powered saws are the most powerful, but they’re also noisy and need more maintenance.
The engine size in Blue Max saws is measured in cubic centimeters. The larger the engine in gas-powered saws, the more powerful the chainsaw.
If you need a chainsaw to fell large trees, you need an engine of about 45ccs or more. If you need a chainsaw for home use, a machine of 32 ccs or more will work.
For larger tasks, you’ll need a larger chainsaw engine – I recommend something like the Husqvarna 460 Rancher.
There are three types of chainsaws: gas, battery-powered, and electric.
The chainsaws on this list are all gas-powered, which are categorized in terms of cc or horsepower.
You can find gas-powered saws from 25-80cc. The horsepower varies depending on the type of model you are using.
Electric motors are best suited for people who want quieter, lighter, and less smelly chainsaws.
The Stihl MSA 161 T Electric chainsaw is one example. However, the run times are much lower, and the saws generally have less power than gas-powered ones.
Because these saws use chains, they can get hot during use even with lubrication.
As the Blue Max saw heats up, the chain expands. As the chain expands, it also becomes looser.
Therefore, always pay close attention to the chain tension when cutting. Tighten the chain if it looks loose. The last thing you need is for the chain to jump off the guide bar when you are working.
Some models keep a screwdriver or specific tools that you can use to tighten the chain when the need rises.
Some require automatic chain adjustment, which makes tensioning easy because you don’t need any tools.
Chainsaws need contact lubrication, especially when in use, to avoid overheating.
Lubrication helps the chain run smoothly. You should constantly monitor your chain’s lubrication levels.
Modern chainsaws feature an automatic oiling system that releases oil onto the chainsaw bar.
With such saws, oil is applied continuously, and you don’t have to do it yourself. The saw does the oiling work for you as long as the oil reservoir is full.
There are also models with adjustable oiling systems that allow you to reduce or increase the oil depending on your work.
Using chainsaws can be dangerous. Chainsaws are powerful machines, and if misused, they can cause serious injuries (or less-serious chainsaw injuries like how I cut my hand).
You must consider the safety features when buying a chainsaw, especially if you are a beginner.
One of the safety features you should ensure a chainsaw has is a chain brake. A chain brake is crucial because it helps you stop the chain from spinning if it slips off the bar or between cuts.
Some models chain brake automatically, while others have a brake built into the trigger.
When buying a chainsaw, consider the bar length.
I recommend that the chainsaw bar be about 2-3 inches longer than the width of what you are cutting.
For instance, if you are looking to cut tree limbs or trunks that are about 14 in wide, the bar length should be about 16 inches.
A chainsaw bar serves as a guide for the saw chain. Different models of Blue Max saw have varying bar lengths. They range from 12-20 inches.
A chainsaw with a shorter bar length is best suited for homeowners because it is easier to handle.
However, keep in mind that a shorter bar also reduces the chainsaw’s cutting ability since to help avoid chainsaw kickback, the bar should always be 1-2 inches longer than the object you are cutting.
If you are looking for a Blue Max Saw for average home use, consider a bar length of 12 – 20 inches.
Consider a bar length of 18 – 24 inches if you intend to handle more than average yard tasks. Professionals can buy heavy-duty saws with a bar length of between 18 – 30 inches.
How To Safely Use A Blue Max Chainsaw
Chainsaws come in handy when cutting firewood, clearing a bush, removing branches, and felling trees.
However, chainsaws have injured or killed thousands and can be very dangerous. It is crucial to make sure that you are always safe when using one.
For instance, we recommend that you dress in snugly fitting clothing like long pants, closed boots or shoes, and long sleeves when you are handling a chainsaw.
You should also invest in protective gear like work gloves, eye safety goggles, and noir-reducing earplugs or earmuffs.
You should always familiarize yourself with the saw’s instruction menu before you power the tool.
Take your skill level and limits into consideration. If you have never used a chainsaw before, don’t attempt to fell a huge tree for the first time. You should also avoid handling the chainsaw when you are ill, tired, or impaired.
When handling a chainsaw, work slowly and methodically and always keep both hands on the saw. Place your feet solidly on stable ground and stand with both feet.
Never use a saw while perched in a tree, standing on a ladder, or in any precarious spots – unless you’re a trained arborist with an appropriate saw!
We recommend standing directly in front of what you are cutting with the saw at a slight side angle. Avoid bending or leaning your body to the side, and never use your saw to cut trees or brush limbs above your head.
Always have someone else near you when you are handling a saw, along with a first-aid kit.
Blue Max Chainsaw
Blue Max Chainsaws may be relatively unknown, but these tools offer versatility and affordability to both professionals and DIY enthusiasts.
However, as with all chainsaws, if you want to get the most from these saws, look after them and do the proper maintenance.
Blue Max chainsaws are ideal options for people with a limited budget looking for decent performance. All models on this list are gas-powered and have unique features that give you value for your money.
There’s always the risk when buying a cheaper chainsaw brand that there will be faults and flaws, but most retailers have a good returns policy. Most issues can be sorted out that way.
Buying a better brand is ideal, but not always possible.
Always choose a chainsaw with quality safety features because safety is more important. If you’re new to these machines, even consider taking a chainsaw safety course online or in person.