Best Top Handle Chainsaw 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Whether you’re a professional or a DIY woodworker, you might have some trees that need to be cut. Instead of calling someone else for help, you can easily acquire a top handle chainsaw to help take care of that yourself! That’s why we’ve gone through a lot of research to help you find the best top handle chainsaw for yourself along with a buyer’s guide to know how to go about the process!

Best Top Handle Chainsaw Comparison Table

Product Picture

Product Name




DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw Kit, 5-Ah Battery, 12-Inch (DCCS620P1)

Bar length: 12 Inches
Power Source Type: Cordless Electric Chainsaw
Weight: 8.80 Pounds


Makita XCU02Z 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 12" Chain Saw, Tool Only

Bar length: 12 Inches
Power Source Type: Cordless Electric Chainsaw
Weight: 8.80 Pounds


Tanaka TCS33EDTP/12 32.2cc 12-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine

Bar length: 12 Inches
Power Source Type: Gas Powered Chainsaw
Weight: 11.90 Pounds


Makita XCU02PT 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 12" Chain Saw Kit (5.0Ah),Teal

Bar length: 12 Inches
Power Source Type: Cordless Electric Chainsaw
Weight: 12.30 Pounds


Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Top Handle Saw, Orange

Bar length: 12 Inches
Power Source Type: Gas Powered Chainsaw
Weight: 7.5 Pounds


Now that you know our top 5 choices for the top arborist chainsaws, let’s dive into why they’re here. For each arborist chainsaw review, will talk about the pros and cons so that you know exactly what you’re getting with them!

5 Best Top Handle Chainsaws Reviews

Dewalt DCCS620P1, Best 12 Inch Cordless Top Handle Chainsaw

Our first product on show today is our top pick for the best top handle chainsaw out there, and it is the Dewalt DCCS620P1. Dewalt is a brand that almost everyone is familiar with, since they are one of the top brands in the woodworking tools market. Thus, you can rest assured of the good quality of build, not to mention the chainsaw’s durability. 

Apart from its impressive construction, the Dewalt DCCS620P1 also has key features that help it to the top of the rankings. It has a tool less chain tensioning mechanism which makes adjustments quick and easy to make. It also comes with a lithium-ion battery. These batteries are great for chainsaws, as they last for a long time and charge up relatively fast. This will ensure you can charge right  before you get to work, and continue working for a long time. It also helps when your top handle chainsaw is as light as possible, and the Dewalt DCCS620P1 is very lightweight and portable. 

Overall, the Dewalt DCCS620P1 is definitely the best tree trimming chainsaw out there. It can even handle other jobs around the house for you, and you’ll have a comfortable time working with it. One thing that might make you think twice about buying this chainsaw is its price, as it is a little pricier than most other chainsaws.

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Powerful saw
  • Tool less chain tensioning system
  • Battery charges fast and works for a long time
  • Is a little pricey

Makita XCU02Z, 12 Inch Cordless Top Handle Chainsaw

Our second pick for the best top handle arborist chainsaw is the Makita XCU02Z, and it is another cordless electric chainsaw! What’s great about a cordless electric chainsaw (like the first one as well), is that they start up really fast, and they’re quieter than gas powered chainsaws. They’re also very easy to use, and feature a lot of perks.

The same applies to the Makita XCU02Z, as it can ensure you have comfortable time using it. However, what about its performance? Well, it will definitely live up to the Makita brand name. It can easily handle a lot of jobs around the house for you. And just like the Dewalt chainsaw, it also comes with a tool less chain tensioning system, making quick adjustments very easy. Another great perk it has over the Dewalt is that it is much more affordable, and won’t eat at your budget.

While the Makita XCU02Z is definitely a contender for the best and cheapest top handle chainsaw, it does have a flaw that keeps it from the first spot. This top handle chainsaw comes without the batteries and charger, which is made worse because it requires two lithium batteries. However, in terms of performance and its usability, you can’t fault it!

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Powerful chainsaw
  • Quite affordable
  • Tool free chain tensioning
  • Does not come with the batteries and charger it requires

Tanaka TCS33EDTP, 12 Inch Gas Powered Top Handle Chainsaw

Our third product is the first and best top handle gas powered chainsaw on the list, and it is the Tanaka TCS33EDTP. This gas powered chainsaw features some of the most necessary features required for accomplishing arborist workloads, making it the best arborist chainsaw that is gas powered. 

The Tanaka TCS33EDTP comes with an automatic oiler that helps keep the chainsaw at an optimal level, and makes sure that it will always make the proper cuts. It also has an anti vibration system in place. Gas powered chainsaws are much more prone to being noisy and rough in terms of use. That’s why this feature really helps make the chainsaw much more ergonomic and usable. Even though it isn’t a tool less chain tensioning system, you’ll pretty much be able to make quick adjustments at any time, thanks to the side mounted system.

The Tanaka TCS33EDTP is definitely a powerful machine, and you’ll enjoy using it to help trim trees around the house. It also needs to be noted that the motor on this machine consumes a lot less fuel in terms of other gas chainsaws, making it more affordable and worthwhile in the long run. Unfortunately, it also has the drawback of being a little pricey, and being a gas chainsaw is more of a burden to use when compared to the Dewalt being cordless.

  • Powerful chainsaw
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Lightweight
  • Side mounted chain tensioning system
  • Automatic oiler
  • Efficient motor
  • Quite pricey

Makita XCU02PT, 12 Inches Cordless Top Handle Chainsaw

We have another Makita chainsaw in our list of the best top handle chainsaws. This one is the Makita XCU02PT, and it’s also a battery powered arborists chainsaw. This chainsaw also requires lithium ion batteries, and you can order it with the chainsaw. We’ve already mentioned how lithium ion batteries are the best for your chainsaw lasting the longest, and they also charge very quickly.

The Makita XCU02PT also has other features, such as the tool free chain tensioning system, which will allow you to make quick adjustments whenever you’re working. Makita has really done an impressive job in making sure you can use this chainsaw with comfort while getting your work done properly. It has a great anti vibration system which really deafens the machine, allowing you to have a peaceful work environment. This also goes for the vibrations, as you’ll not feel it as much. At the same time, this chainsaw has a powerful motor that ensures you get all the cuts you need.

The Makita XCU02PT is another success from Makita, and we definitely think this falls in the category of the best top handle chainsaw. Unfortunately, as Makita has placed a lot of effort into building this machine, it does come off as an expensive chainsaw. However, you will get your money’s worth!

  • Powerful chainsaw
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Automatic chain tensioning system
  • Low vibrations and very quiet
  • Uses lithium ion batteries
  • Quite expensive

Husqvarna 966997203 T435, 12 Inch Top Handle Gas Powered Chainsaw

The last top handle chainsaw review we have is a Husqvarna top handle chainsaw, and it is the Husqvarna 966997203 T435! Husqvarna is a very well known brand when it comes to chainsaws, and we can assure you that this product is a testament to that statement. One of the best features about this machine is that it uses less fuel and has less emissions than most other gas chainsaws. 

Other than saving you money in the long run, the Husqvarna 966997203 T435 also has a side mounted chain tensioning system, allowing you to quickly make any adjustment prior to or during any work you’re doing. This chainsaw was also designed to provide a means of comfort to the user while they are working with the chainsaw. It has a low vibration mechanism, that helps do just that! This chainsaw also comes equipped with cutting edge Husqvarna technology in its blade which makes it more powerful and allows it to deliver on your cuts!

The Husqvarna 966997203 T435 is definitely one of the best top handle chainsaws out there, and it will last you for ages, with the quality and heavy duty build it has. Unfortunately with all of these perks, this chainsaw has become expensive, which can make you doubt your choice. However, performance-wise, this chainsaw will always be worth it!

  • Powerful chainsaw
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Side mounted chain tensioning system
  • Uses less fuel and has less emissions
  • Ergonomic features benefiting the user
  • Expensive

Buyer’s Guide for Top Handle Chainsaws

Now that you know our top choices for buying the best top handle chainsaw, you should know how we choose these chainsaws. We’ll discuss the most important factors to consider when buying top handle chainsaws.


While it is important to know the brand whenever you’re buying anything, it becomes exponentially more important when you’re buying heavy woodworking tools. Chainsaws need to be built with strong materials that can last you for a long time and have good quality about them. The best way to ensure you get given a good chainsaw is by buying from a reputed brand. 

Gas Or Cordless Chainsaw

There are two types of chainsaws that come into play when you want a top handle chainsaw. Which one you end up getting depends on you, but also a lot on the benefits of buying each type. For example gas chainsaws in general have more power than cordless chainsaws, which helps in your cutting needs. However, cordless chainsaws are much easier to use, since they do not require too much maintenance and only batteries to operate for a while. 

Do your research and make sure you have the perfect idea on each type of chainsaw before you make a choice!

Safety Measures

Chainsaws can be very dangerous machines if they are not handled properly. However, most chainsaws nowadays come with the basic measures of safety that help you deal with kickback. This is the biggest problem you’ll face with chainsaws, and a low kickback bar and chain brake are the two biggest defences against this threat. Make sure any chainsaw you fancy has these features and are known to be reliable!

Ease of Use

Working with chainsaws usually stretches on for quite a bit of time no matter what work you’re doing. Thus, you need to make sure that the top handle chainsaw you want is easy to use. If you’re having to cut trees, they’ll be powerful machines. So having features here and there that benefit you, can be the difference between a good work session and a bad one. These can range from cushioned handles, to low vibration systems. Everything that is put in place to help the user is a plus point for a chainsaw. 


You’re going to have to carry around your chainsaw quite a bit if you’re trying to cut up logs or trees. In that case, portability becomes a huge factor when making your choice of chainsaw. The design and materials used in the construction of a chainsaw is what helps you know how a chainsaw will feel, and of course, the weight is key. The portability and weight of a chainsaw helps provide a means for good output, if they work in your favor. 

Length of Bar and Chain

The bar and chain length of a top handle chainsaw is very important. Yes, an arborist chainsaw helps in cutting trees, but even they differ in size. If you’re planning on cutting small trees and bushes, you don’t need one that is unnecessarily large. On the contrary, if your cutting needs require a large chainsaw, you can’t settle for a small or compact chainsaw, as you won’t get the results you want. Thus, you need to make your choice of the perfect size of chainsaw for your cutting needs. This will also end up determining how bulky your chainsaw is. A small and compact one can provide you versatility for other smaller tasks as well! Choose wisely to make sure you get the perfect one!


  • What is a top handle chainsaw used for?

    Top handle chainsaws are usually used by arborists. They are used to help cut trees or parts of trees down for multiple reasons. Normally they are used by professionals, but with proper knowledge, anyone can learn to use them. Top handle chainsaws help in providing quick movement when it comes to making precise cuts.

  • Are top handle chainsaws more dangerous?

    No, they are not. All chainsaws are basically the same, some just offer better services with different tasks. If you’ve bought a good chainsaw, it will provide you with the same protection as any other, as long as they come equipped with the proper means.

  • Can anyone buy a top handle chainsaw?

    Top handle chainsaws are just like any others, and anybody can purchase one if they want to. Since they have a very specific job, professionals end up buying them more often than any normal woodworker or DIY enthusiast. However, you’re free to get one if you desire!

The Takeaway

We hope you’ve managed to come away with the best top handle chainsaw for you! For us, it would definitely have to be the Dewalt DCCS620P1, as it takes care of most of the factors we’ve discussed. Yes, it can be a little expensive, but a brand like Dewalt will deliver! You’ll get great cuts, and the chainsaw will allow you to be comfortable while using it as well. It’s not too heavy and won’t make much noise or vibrations when you’re using it. This allows for you to get the best output. Not to mention, it can achieve the results of a gas powered chainsaw even though it is a cordless electric chainsaw! If it isn’t the Dewalt DCCS620P1, let us know what your favorite is!

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