The Best Open Handle Chainsaws Reviewed | Any Good To Cut Lumber?

Light and powerful, top handle chainsaws give you complete control in tight situations, allowing you to cut on top of the surface, rather than under it. Due to their maneuverability, it’s no wonder why professionals look to finding the best top handle chainsaw, rather than a rear-grip model.

With so many top-handle models to choose from, how is it possible to choose the best top-handle chainsaw for your needs?

Luckily – we’ve made this work easy for you. We’ve put together a guide of the five best top handle chainsaws – so you can find one that’s best suited for you.

Don’t have too much time on your hands to read through the guide? No problem, you can skim through our list of reviewed chainsaws below

My Recommendations

We’ve chosen the five best top-handle chainsaws in this review, as there are many models out there that claim they’re the best – only to let you down when in use.

This is why we’ve done the hard work and narrowed it down, featuring five of the best brands within the industry; so you can be safe knowing that whichever of the five you pick, quality and performance is the aim.

DEWALT DCCS620P1 Chainsaw

Getting straight into the big contenders – we have the DCCS620P1 from DeWalt. 

Not much has to be said about DeWalt’s foothold in the power tool industry, with their high-quality components and level of performance well known. But, how does their brand power stack up for their DCCS620P1 chainsaw?

Firstly, it’s a compact design. Weighing only 8.8 lbs, you’ll have complete control when in use, and an impressive chain speed of 25.2 ft per second to match. A battery-powered model,  the DCCS602P1 can be used as part of DeWalt’s 20V Max Lithium-Ion system, allowing you to exchange batteries with over 180+ tools within the system.

Tool-free tensioning means no more tricky tool fixes to adjust tension, and a bar tightening knob will give you a proper, bar clamping force.

What else is there to be found in the DCCS602P1? We’ve got the entire spec and feature range for you below:

  • Weight: 8.8 lbs
  • Dimensions: 25” x 9” x 9”
  • Auto-Oiling System
  • Oil Level Indicator
  • 12” Oregon Bar and Chain
  • Tool-less Chain Tensioning
  • Bar Tightening Knob
  • Chain speed of 25.2 ft p/s
  • Brushless Motor

What’s Included?

  • 1 x DEWALT DCCS620P1 Chainsaw

My Favorite Feature: Brushless Motor

  • Brushless motor provides enhanced performance and longevity 

You don’t want to purchase a product knowing you’re going to have to replace it within a year, right? Luckily, DeWalt is aware of this and can combat this by building a high quality efficient brushless motor.

The brushless motor will maximize run-time per charge, and will also increase the life of the motor. The brushless motor achieves this thanks to the removal of brushes in older, brushed motors – which can become damaged over time, affecting your work and damaging your chainsaw as time passes.

Remington RM4214  Chainsaw

For our second top-handle chainsaw we’re reviewing today, we have the Remington RM4214 gas chainsaw. 

Like the DeWalt DCCS620P1, the RM4214 top-handle chainsaw is a lightweight model, making it perfect for cutting without fatigue. It weighs 14.72 lbs and features some nifty add-ons, such as a tool-less function that allows for simple access to the spark plug and fitter. 

Additionally, safety features are strongly highlighted in the RM4214 design. This top-handle chainsaw features a throttle locker for accidental acceleration prevention, a chain catcher and a saw chain with low-kickback.

We’ve listed the whole spec and feature list below – let us know what you think by adding your thoughts in the comments.

  • Weight: 14.72 lbs
  • Dimensions: 8.25” x 10.78” x 11.63”
  • Fuel To Oil Ratio: 40:1
  • Fuel Tank Capacity:  22 oz.
  • Chain Oil Reservoir Capacity: 8.45 oz
  • 14” Premium Bar
  • Air Filter Cover
  • 42CC Full Crank Engine
  • Auto-Oiler System
  • QuickStart Technology
  • Low-Kickback Chain
  • Inertia Activated Chain Brake
  • Throttle Control & Lockout
  • Side-Mounted Tensioning System
  • 5-Point Anti-Vibration System

What’s Included?

  • 1 x Remington RM4214 Gas Chainsaw
  • 2 Cycle Oil
  • 2 Year Limited Warranty

My Favorite Feature: 5-Point Anti-Vibration System

  • 5-Point Anti-Vibration system is designed to spread the vibration throughout the top-handle chainsaw

Anti-Vibration systems, 3-point, 5-point – what are the differences between these terms, and how do they affect the performance and the output of your top-handle chainsaw?

Well, anti-vibration systems are designed for just that – minimizing the vibration of powerful chainsaws, so you won’t be fatigued during use.

The 5-Point Anti-Vibration System found on the RM4214 spreads the vibration of the chainsaw through five separate points of the model, meaning you won’t just feel the vibration through the top-handle, and rather throughout – giving you greater control.

What are your thoughts on this enhanced anti-vibration system added onto this top-handle chainsaw from Remington?

Husqvarna 120 Mark II Chainsaw

Weighing only 9.3 lbs, the Husqvarna 120 Mark  II is a top-handle chainsaw that can assist with tricky tasks suited for the hobbyist.

A compact unit, the 120 Mark II is fitted with an inertia-activated chain brake, which automatically senses if the chainsaw is dropped, stopping the brake immediately. Not a bad feature for safety, is it?

As well as the inertia-activated chain brake is an automatic oiler for a constant lubricated supply to keep the bar and chain working effectively. It can be difficult to start in winter periods – a point users have noted upon purchasing; yet this shouldn’t deter you from this model, as it’s also fitted with several helpful features and sports some nice specs; which you can read about below:

  • Dimensions: 15” x 9.25” x 10.7”
  • Weight: 9.3 lbs
  • 0.32-pint oil tank volume 
  • 0.59-pint fuel tank volume
  • 9000 RPM
  • Adjustable Chain Tensioning
  • Air Injection Cleaning System
  • 18” Bar
  • Choke Control
  • Air Purge
  • Inertia Activated chain brake

What’s Included?

  • 1 x Husqvarna 120 Mark II 16 Gas Chainsaw

My Favorite Feature: Ergonomically Designed

  • Compact and lightweight for complete maneuverability whilst minimizing fatigue

If you haven’t noticed a trend already within this guide – all top-handle chainsaws are lighter than other models.

This gives them greater maneuverability when in use, as their compact designs allow you to work for longer, and in tighter spaces.

The lighter weight lessens the stress upon your upper body when in use, so not only does the 120 Mark II reduce fatigue, but also increases safety when in use.

The 120 Mark II has a comfortable grip that is also water and sweat-resistant, so those warmer days working in the sun won’t pose too much of a challenge. 

Is the Husqvarna 120 Mark II a top-handle chainsaw that you can see yourself using in the future? Let us know why or why not in the comments below.

Makita XCU03Z Cordless Chainsaw

With a top speed of 3,940 FPM, the XCU03Z from Makita is powerfully efficient top-handle, cordless chainsaw.

Makita aims to match a gas-powered chainsaw in the XCU03Z model, with a direct-drive, brushless motor – a feature we look at in more depth a little further on. 

A useful feature included within this top-handle chainsaw is the addition of an L.E.D on/off switch. This is particularly useful for those who are working in dimmer environments, giving you that extra bit of safety to aid in the job.

The XCU03Z also features a variable speed trigger, providing three preset speeds that will cover any job you’re looking to tackle – as we know that one speed can’t always get the job done.

There are many things to love about the XCU03Z top-handle chainsaw. You can have a look at these below, where we’ve listed the specs and features for your convenience.

  • Weight: 10.38 lbs 
  • Dimensions: 8.9” x 21.2” x 10.6”
  • Direct Drive Brushless Motor
  • L.E.D On/Off Switch
  • Lock-Off Lever
  • Variable Speed Trigger
  • Tool-Less Chain Adjustment
  • 14” Guide Bar
  • Star Protection Computer Controls

What’s Included?

  • 1 x Makita XCU03Z Cordless Chainsaw

My Favorite Feature: Direct-Drive Brushless Motor

  • Well-designed direct-drive brushless motor increases performance and ergonomics of this top-handle chainsaw

The Makita XCU03Z features a direct drive motor, which reduces the timeframe for starting, positioned to provide an enhanced performance when it comes to the output of power. 

The motor is also brushless, so it will last longer than brushed motors found on alternative models, thanks to no physical components which can become worn and torn as time passes. This is exactly the bang for your buck that many professionals look for when it comes to their top-handle chainsaws, without compromising for power.

What do you think of the direct-drive, brushless motor found on this top-handle chainsaw? 

Leave us a comment below with your thoughts.

BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 Chainsaw

Wrapping up our guide of the five best top-handle chainsaws on the market is the LCS1020 cordless chainsaw from Black+Decker.

The LCS1020 is included within Black+Decker’s battery sharing platform, thanks to the 20 V Max Lithium-Ion battery. This will allow you to share tools and batteries within the Black+Decker brand.

The battery also provides up to 2 x longer run time than cordless chainsaw models, which is a bonus for effectiveness when it comes to what you’re looking to spend your money on.

A wrap-around bale handle will increase the comfort when you’re on the job, which is a big plus for ergonomically working. The compact design is a big focus for Black+Decker in the LCS1020, and we’ve highlighted this below in depth.

Of course, there are many other features and specs you can find on this design. These are listed below:

  • Weight: 7.2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 16.7” x 8.81” x 9.63”
  • 10” Oregon Low Kickback Bar
  • Comfortable Wrap Around Bale Handle
  • Auto-Oiling System
  • Tool-Less Blade Adjustments

What’s Included?

  • 1 x BLACK+DECKER LCS1020
  • 1 x LBXR2020
  • 1 x LCS1620

My Favorite Feature: Compact Design

  • Lightweight design is a bonus for those looking for an added boost for ergonomically working

The LCS1020 is the lightest of the five top-handle chainsaws we’ve reviewed in our guide today. This gives it an advantage over other models – particularly if you’re looking for a lightweight top-handle chainsaw that doesn’t sacrifice power for size.

A weight of 7.2 lb and product size of 16.7” x 8.81” x 9.63” will provide you with the ability to work for a longer time, without the added stress on your body. It’s supported by the 20V battery that beats alternative models runtime performance by 5 x – which is an impressive number, don’t you think?

The LCS1020 is a top-handle chainsaw that is aimed towards the hobbyist or those who are looking to add a lighter model to their garage and will provide its worth with those jobs you have at hand.

What do you think of this model? Let us know by leaving your thoughts below.

The Final Word

For our final word – we’ll cut straight through it; what’s the best top-handle chainsaw on the list, all things aside?

We can’t go past the DCCS620P1 from DeWalt. Why? Well, its brushless motor, impressive chain speed and platform-sharing ability – wrapped in the well-known signature design of DeWalt, and you have a winner with features too good to ignore.

Of course – you may be looking for another top-handle chainsaw that fits your budget, and any of the five reviewed today won’t let you down.

But I’d like to hear your thoughts. What do you think is the best top-handle chainsaw reviewed in our guide today?

Let us know in the comments below.

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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