Best Top Handle Chainsaw Reviews with Buying Guide

Updated On — 14th Jan, 2021

When you need to be agile with your hands while sawing trees – a sturdy, giant, and difficult-to-use chainsaw won’t make it possible. So, you’ll have to look for an alternative – something easier & much safer to use.

In that case, nothing compares to the best top handle chainsaw as the ideal machine to trim trees. The design and overall build make them the best for getting entire trees down from the top.

There’s a lot to know about them, though. And that’s what we want to show you in this article.

So, are you ready to absorb more information about these fantastic machines? Then keep reading all the info below so you can learn!

Benefits of Top Handled Chainsaw

A top-handle chainsaw makes it easy to have more control over the machine. But that comes with many other benefits. Here are a few of them:

  • Increased Maneuverability

Being easy to control, a top-handle chainsaw offers the chance to maneuver without problems. This happens because they are often small and lightweight. So, handling them becomes a piece of cake, even in the most challenging places like the top of trees and the like.

  • More Safety

While many people will think otherwise, these are actually safer than any other model out there. Just from the back that the kickback tends to be easier to manage, you can know that they won’t produce as much danger as other models.

Best Top Handle Chainsaw Reviews 2021

Now that you know a few ways in which a top-handle chainsaw can help you out – it is time to learn about some of the best options out there. With the following reviews of 5 high-quality models, you’ll have enough chance to pick the ideal one for your needs.


DeWalt is a brand that will take even the simplest model to feel like an outstanding product. And with the DCCS620P1 cordless chainsaw, you get the best in tree chainsaw.

You get the top handle design you’re looking for with a grip-oriented build. This adds extra control and reduces the kickback of the machine exponentially. Of course, in front of the handle, you get the chain stopper, a cool-looking part that makes sure you’re always safe while using.

It boasts a 12-inches Oregon bar. You can cut through most logs and branches without making much of an effort. Especially when you add the brushless motor that functions alongside a 20V MAX lithium-ion battery, you get several hours of continuous sawing.

It is also a durable machine. The brushless motor adds extra lifespan to the piece so you won’t have to worry about it. This gets even more real when you add the automatic oiling feature. It will lubricate itself after you pour some oil in the reservoir.

Along with all that you also get the tool-free chain tensioning system. You can get the bar working effectively without having to waste any of your time.

It is still a pretty small and easy to control machine. At only 8.8 pounds of weight, you won’t have to do much more than just cut the branch or trunk you want. It will take your wood-cutting practicality to a whole new level.


  • Versatile cordless design with 20v of power
  • Small and easy-to-control 12-inches bar
  • Really light design at only 8.8 pounds
  • Practical design with auto oiling


  • Awkward safety button location
  • The oil-reservoir cap is not as convenient as expected

2. Hitachi CS33EDTP

When someone talks about Hitachi, they’re talking about one of the most resilient and performance-oriented brands out there. So, as a one handed chainsaw – the CS33EDTP will never let you down.

In contrast with many models with top-handle design, this one comes with a gas-powered motor. This adds extra cutting capacity by boasting a 32.2cc of engine displacement alongside a 1.6 HP. You will get through most wood pieces like a hot knife on cream cheese.

You can find it on 14, 16 or 20 inches in length. It will work long enough to provide a decent cutting capacity. This is an Oregon bar which you can be sure will last a lifetime. Especially with the sprocket-nosed design, it gets through most operations effectively no matter the size.

This chainsaw still manages to come with an anti-vibration system. It will let you play around with the machine without having to worry much about control. This also adds extra comfort and enough handling dexterity for several hours of use without tiring.

You also get a chain adjuster on the side, so you can access it swiftly without having to waste much time. And this will also help you reach a better maintenance experience, in contrast with other more complex models.

Finally, you get smaller features such as half-throttle choke and purge primer bulb so you can get it working fast. And with the built-in lanyard ring, it will make climbing & handling even easier. Overall, this is a model you will never stop loving.


  • Decent power output at 1.6 HP and 32.2cc
  • Comes in various lengths for extra handiness
  • Comfy & reliable anti-vibration design
  • Excellent extra features for more convenience


    • May leak some oil
    • Plastic construction is not the most reliable


There are hundreds of models out there you can go for, but only a small few will offer what the Craftsman CMCCS620M1 will.

This is a 20V MAX cordless chainsaw with enough motor performance to saw thick logs, small trees, and branches with tremendous ease. You won’t have much resistance from any piece of wood with this model, and that will make you instantly adore it.

The machine also boasts a 4.0 Ah lithium-ion battery. This battery will power the machine for several hours so you can finish your wood-cutting jobs without wasting any time. You also get high consistency for more convenient operation.

It is still a small chainsaw at only 12-inches of length. This won’t let you cut the thickest trunks too easily. But its smallness will help you in the trickiest of places and pass through compact crevices on trees for better cutting precision.

As for upkeep, this machine is almost effortless. You will only need to keep the auto-oiling system with enough oil after a regular chain, and you won’t have to waste any time or effort adjusting the tension either. When it comes to maintenance, you’ll have to do the minimum to get the maximum.

As for handling and safety, this model won’t let you down either. It boasts a top-handle design for extra ergonomics and a superb chain stopper that will prevent any accident.

If you want a hugely reliable, safe, and performance-oriented chainsaw, then this one should be your first choice.


  • Versatile cordless design for extra dexterity
  • Long-lasting 20V battery for long hours of use
  • Ideal length & size for better handling
  • Low maintenance and extra comfy handle


  • Bigger price tag than expected
  • Could be more potent

04. Makita XCU02PT

For those looking for the best arborist chainsaw out there, it will be enjoyable to know the XCU02PT from Makita meets all their demands.

For those looking for the <strong>best arborist chainsaw </strong>out there, it will be enjoyable to know the XCU02PT from Makita meets all their demands.

As an electric cordless model, this chainsaw takes performance to a whole new level despite its small design. Only 12-inches in bar length will offer enough cutting capacity to get any wood-cutting job done without problems.

This happens because this model comes with two 18V LXT lithium-ion batteries that deliver enough working time for getting rid of entire trees. And they can both be connected to the machine so you can use both whenever want – so you’ll have extra convenience with this chainsaw.

It is also known for being one of the quietest chainsaws out there. At only 87 decibels, it is way quieter than most saws that are often over the 90 decibels. This will make it perfect for residential use where you don’t want to disturb your neighbors.

As for upkeep, this model demands little work. It boasts a tool-less chain tensioning system that you won’t have to do tweak too much. This will save you tons of time and effort that other models do not

You also get a battery charger with the chainsaw. This charger lets you charge both batteries at the same time so you can rest assured that they will be ready for some work after they are fully energized. Just hook them up to the machine, and you’ll have two 18V batteries prepared to be used.
When it comes to handiness, no other model will offer what the Makita XCU02PT does. And only for that, this is a magnificent model to have.


  • Dual-battery hookup design for extra durability
  • Effective bar length at 12 inches
  • Quiet and durable motor
  • Highly practical battery charger


  • Not as powerful as expected
  • May need constant chain adjustments

05. Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14

Tanaka is one of those brands that not many people know but are actually as amazing as the most popular out there. And with the TCS33EDTP/14 top-handle chainsaw, they make it clear how fantastic they really are.

You can get it as a 12 or 14-inch chainsaw that delivers exceptional performance at all times. With its 32.2cc Pure Fire motor, you can be sure it will help you cut most branches and small trunks of your house without having to make an effort.

As a gas-powered machine, you can be sure it will always perform well without leaving anything to be desired. This increases the overall reliability of the piece and makes sure you can get any of your jobs done with no setbacks.

With this model, you get a half-throttle choke with a purge primer bulb. You can turn it on swiftly, so you save the time and effort that other models do not.

Something similar happens with the oiling. This model comes with a gear-driven oiler that automates the lubrication process. And with the side-access chain tensioning system, you can also adjust the chain in no time.

As for safety and control, this model comes with a top-handle design with anti-vibration system. You get enough handling dexterity so you can enjoy several hours of use without problems. And with the sprocket-nose bar with an Oregon chain, you’ll have a decent performance for easy cutting.

In short, this models stands out for its power in small size, without leaving behind control and ease of use. If you appreciate extra handling capacity with superb results, then this is the chainsaw to go for.


      • High-powered 32.2cc engine
      • Two bar lengths for extra convenience
      • A handy set of features for ease of use
      • Offers exceptional control & dexterity


      • Small gas tank needs constant refilling
      • Heavier than other models

How to Choose the Top Handle Chainsaw One

After reading our top handle chainsaw reviews, it is time to pick the right model. But first, you’ll have to learn all about the important factors about them.

Here’s what you should know;

      • Length

This is the first thing you should consider, as depending on the length of the blade or bar, you’ll find how big the chainsaw will be.

For top-handle chainsaws that tend to be smaller than the standard model, you will find lengths that go from 10 up to 18 inches in the largest ones. Of course, the tiny options tend to be much easier to handle and more comfortable to use than the large ones.

We recommend models between 12 and 16 inches for the best performance and experience. Anything less than that range may be too small, and anything more will be too big. As you want superior handling capacity with the top-handle design, keep it easy for better results.

      • Weight

As for weight, the process is similar. You need to go for a product that weighs little, so you can control it without problems, but you also want something sturdy enough to handle most wood-cutting jobs.

Of course, you will have to consider several other things, such as the type of work you will be doing and how much weight you can carry.

Overall, however, we recommend going for models that aren’t heavier than 12 pounds. If you can get a chainsaw that’s 8 pounds – that will be a big plus. But never go out of this 8-12 range for the weight, as it will happen the same as for the length.

If you get something too light, you won’t have enough cutting capacity to meet your demands. But if it weighs too much, it will probably be hard to use and possibly blunt all the benefit from the top-handle design.

      • Power Output

Here, the process is different than the previous two factors. This happens because you will find top-handle chainsaws of varying power sources.

For example, you are likely to find electric models. These are almost always cordless as they are needed for demanding operations. Inevitably, electric means much lighter weight and better versatility. But the power output is not that much.

The power in electric chainsaws is measured in volts. For decent performance, we recommend nothing less than 10 volts if you want a satisfactory experience. Otherwise, you may be left with a product that doesn’t offer enough cutting power for your needs.

On the other hand, you’ll find gas-powered chainsaws. These are less common for top-handle designs, but they are still ideal for the same reasons. However, they tend to be way heavier and a little challenging to use when compared to electric models. The advantage is that they are way more powerful.

The power in a gas chainsaw comes in engine displacement (cc) or HP. Some models come with both measures. We recommend nothing less than 20cc and 1.5 HP for a decent gas top-handle chainsaw model.

      • Safety

Then, you’ll find out that to pick the best climbing chainsaw, you will also have to choose a safe model.

While the top handle immediately makes a chainsaw safer, there are a few other factors you have to consider to make it better.

For example, an excellent safety feature would be a chain brake. It will stop the chain from moving further if the chain loosens up while using the machine.

A low-kickback bar is another feature to go for. It will prevent the machine from bouncing whenever it touches a solid piece of wood. This adds safety because it makes the chainsaw easier to control.

And of course, you will also need a handle that’s easy to use and comfy. This will add more control but also make it safer to use. As long as you don’t get tired when using the machine, it is a great choice.

      • Ease of Use

Here, you need to think about how easy the product is to use. This means, getting a chainsaw that you can handle with ease.

For example, the starting system is a huge thing to consider. Most electric top-handle models are easy to turn on. You won’t have to do much more than just touching a button or pushing a trigger for the blade to start turning.

But for gas-powered chainsaws, the starting will be different. Here, you will probably need to pull a string and wait for the motor to do combustion. In a new model, this shouldn’t take much time. But in deficient chainsaws or old ones, this starting mechanism won’t be too pleasant to use.

The handle also makes a huge difference here. A low-vibration handle will improve your overall experience exponentially. But other designs may be a little challenging to use, despite the top-handle design.

      • Maintenance

Lastly, you’ll have to consider how effortless the machine is to maintain. This isn’t too hard, though, as you can easily find out about it by taking only two factors into account: oiling and tensioning.

For the oiling system, we recommend something with an automatic feature and a reservoir. This will keep you from continually pouring oil on the machine. And as for tensioning, we recommend a tool-free system that you just need to turn a knob for tightening.

Top Handle Chainsaw Frequently Asked Questions

Reading some reviews and learning about essential factors will give you a better idea of what chainsaw to pick. But there still may be some doubts in your head. To get them out, here are a few things you may need to know:

Q: Can I use a top-handle chainsaw on a tree?

A: Yes, that’s a common use for these chainsaws. However, it is not recommended unless the machine is in the hands of an experienced arborist or lumberjack.

Q: What kind of wood can I cut with a top-handle chainsaw?

A: Being smaller than the standard chainsaw, these are ideal for branches and tree arms not thicker than 10 inches.

Q: Is it safe to use a top-handle chainsaw with just one hand?

A: No, it is not safe in any way. But it is still possible to do by experienced lumberjacks or arborists.

Q: Should I do any upkeep to my chainsaw?

A: Yes, you should make sure the chain is always lubricated and keep the machine as clean as possible.

Q: How many years of use can I get out of a top-handle chainsaw?

A: They last the same as any other model. It depends on what type of use you give to the machine and how well you treat it. With the right care, they can last a decade without problems.

Final Words

Choosing the best top handle chainsaw won’t be easy. Especially with fantastic models like the ones in our reviews, you will have a slightly hard time picking the perfect one. But don’t worry.

As long as you take into account all of our recommendations and buying advice, you will get the product you need and want. Just focus on that, and you won’t be disappointed.


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