UPDATED: Oct 10, 2019.
If you find yourself cutting or chopping trees on the ground, a heavy back-end and regular chainsaw will be sufficient. However, if you often use a ladder or climb a tree to cut branches and limbs, you need to get the best top handle chainsaws.
As the name states, a top handle chainsaw is a type of saw that comes with a handle at the top to offer better maneuverability and control. These types of chainsaw often come in the form of gas-powered or battery-powered models.
They are also called the arborist chainsaws as they are often used by homeowners and arborists that work around trees.
At a Glance: Our 10 Choices for Best Top Handle Chainsaws to Feature in This Article:
- Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 12-Inch Top Handle Chainsaw (Top Pick)
- Husqvarna T435 X-Torq Gas Powered Chain Saw (Top Rated)
- DEWALT Max Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw (Editor Choice)
- Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw
- Makita Tool Only LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Handle Chainsaw
- Hitachi CS33EDTP Gas Powered Top Handle Chainsaw
- WORX WG303.1 14.5 Amp 16-Inch Electric Chainsaw
- 1 Top 7 Picks and Reviews of Top Handle Chainsaws
- 1.1 Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 32.2cc 12-Inch Top Handle Chainsaw
- 1.2 Husqvarna T435 12-Inch 35.2 cc X-Torq Gas Powered Chain Saw
- 1.3 DEWALT DCCS620P1 20V Max Lithium-Ion XR Brushless Compact 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
- 1.4 Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw
- 1.5 Makita Tool Only LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Top Handle Chainsaw
- 1.6 Hitachi CS33EDTP 2-Stroke Gas Powered Top Handle Chainsaw
- 1.7 WORX WG303.1 14.5 Amp 16-Inch Electric Chainsaw
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 Conclusion
Top 7 Picks and Reviews of Top Handle Chainsaws
Below are some of the leading top handle chainsaws on the market today.
Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 32.2cc 12-Inch Top Handle Chainsaw
Tanaka TCS33EDTP has a 12-inch top handle as well as a 32.22cc commercial quality pure fire engine that allows it to provide a powerful performance. It also provides a clean cut and will conserve fuel – making it affordable to operate.
The model boasts of half throttle choke which is accompanied by a purge prime bulb, making it start and warm up easily. Another feature of the model is the auto gear-driven oiler that ensures the chain and saw remain in top condition when operating.
The chainsaw also offers the ability of side access, meaning that you can conveniently and quickly adjust the chain. For additional control when cutting, the machine has sprocket nose bar and Oregon chain.
Buyers of this chainsaw will be glad to hear that it comes with a 1-year rental, 2 years commercial, and 7 years consumer warranty.
- 7 years warranty
- Consumes less fuel
- Automatic oiling
- Takes time to get used to the machine
Husqvarna T435 12-Inch 35.2 cc X-Torq Gas Powered Chain Saw
This chainsaw is recommended for cutting chores at elevated areas. With this saw, you can work at all places easily and is easy to use and offers great balance.
The saw comes with an X-Torq which comes in handy to save the fuel used. In addition, the emission levels of the model are reduced by X-Torq feature.
Another thing, its oil pump is easily adjustable, making it easier for the user to adjust it accordingly. You can also control the oil used depending on the weather conditions and the task ahead.
When it comes to the handle, it plays a big role in preventing vibration when cutting branches. The model also has an air purge which makes the operation of the chainsaw very smooth.
Its breaks have activated inertia which improved the safety of the machine while in use.
- It is lightweight
- Perfect for cutting trees at different angles
- Doesn’t need electricity
- Quite expensive
DEWALT DCCS620P1 20V Max Lithium-Ion XR Brushless Compact 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
What you get with the DCCS620P1 is another powerful machine from the reputable Dewalt. It is a battery-powered tool that comes with a 12-inch bar, making it a lightweight and comfortable to use a chainsaw.
The tool has an impressive power output of 20V that enables it to cut branches with ease. Actually, this tool brings a mix of power and comfort when working with it. It is the right tool for homeowners who wish to tackle a 6-10 inches diameter tree or limb.
Since it is a cordless tool, you will find joy carrying it around to the other end of your garden to cut trees. It uses a Max lithium-ion battery that lasts for hours before it needs recharging.
At only 8.8 pounds, you can also be assured that you have a lightweight model which is well-balanced. It rests well on your hand when using it to minimize fatigue.
- Sufficient for home use
- Rest comfortably on the hand
- Lightweight machine
- Cannot cut huge logs
Greenworks 16-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw
If you though DCCS620P1 was the lightest chainsaw on the market, then you haven’t seen the Greenworks 16-Inch tool. This model weighs just over 6 pounds and comes with a brushless motor that provides it with long life.
The motor also provides it with more power and more torque to allow it to handle difficult jobs with ease. Long lasting, the model also comes with a durable battery that will provide the power to work for 100 cuts.
Its brushless motor is able to provide up to 30 percent more torque for precise cutting performance. Another feature of the model is the translucent oil tank that makes it easier to see the amount of the remaining oil.
The design of the motor is able to provide about 70% less vibration to enable you to work comfortably. And its battery can power other tools.
- Low kickback and chain brake
- Long lasting battery
- Great design and construction
- The chain often breaks
Makita Tool Only LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Top Handle Chainsaw
Makita Tool Only LXT is another top of the line chainsaw that will get the work done fast and with efficiency. The tool comes with a BL brushless motor that drives the machine by proving it with power.
This ensures that you use minimal effort when cutting branches or trees, no matter the angle. Another feature of the chainsaw is the variable speed trigger that allows you to choose your desired speed level.
You can choose anything from 0-4,720 FPM to ensure that you cut at your own pace and be effective. It also has a torque boost mode that you can set when cutting dense material.
The tool also has a guide bar nut chain tensioning as well as the captured nut that makes tensioning a breeze. Lastly, the machine has a large oil reservoir and the oil is applied to the chain automatically.
- Automatic oil application
- Variable speed trigger
- A powerful machine for cutting logs
- Getting replacement parts can be an issue
Hitachi CS33EDTP 2-Stroke Gas Powered Top Handle Chainsaw
There are a lot of features that make CS33EDTPa great top handle tool but probably the top one is the power-to-weight ratio. Although it is not the lightest machine out there, it is quite easy to carry it up a tree and start trimming branches.
This has made it to be the number one choice for most homeowners and this is only made better by the power it provides. Actually, the massive power is sufficient to make hundreds of cut without needing to get down from the tree to add more fuel.
It is a 32.2cc gas-powered tool with a heavy-duty 2-stroke engine that happens to produce fewer emissions. Its convenience is further enhanced by the gear-driven oiler that automatically releases the oil when needed.
- Amazing power-to-weight ratio
- A 7 years consumer warranty
- Easy to start
- Relatively heavier
WORX WG303.1 14.5 Amp 16-Inch Electric Chainsaw
This is a corded chainsaw that is powerful enough to cut through logs with ease. One great feature of the tool is the automatic oil lubricator that keeps the system in top condition when working.
It also features patented auto-tension system that makes it easier for beginners to use the chainsaw. The model is also sturdy and reliable and will cut through different-sized branches while you are on the tree.
To add safety, the chainsaw has a low-kickback system and its operation is smooth.
- Easy to use
- Excessive use of oil
There are three main things that you should look out for in a top handle chainsaw.
You can understand the performance of a chainsaw by looking at its motor and feet per minute. With that said, the best way to know how a machine will work is to go through other users’ reviews and comments.
Hint: Go online and look out for videos of other people using the chainsaw you want to buy.
Convenience is how easy it is to check the oil and also adjusting the chain, together with other things.
Hint: Visit the sales page of chainsaws and watch out for things such as “oil filling port with view window” and “adjustable chain tensioner”.
When it comes to comfortable use, watch out for “rubber grip” and “anti-vibration”. This means that the handle will be soft in your hands and won’t cause shake.
The best top handle chainsaws can be easy to find if you know what you want. Thanks for keeping us company and watch out for more articles on chainsaws.