Top Handle Chainsaw Reviews

Best Top Handle Chainsaw

If you need to cut branches around your home, while on top of the tree, then the top handle chainsaw is a great solution for you. When it comes to woodcutting, there are different types of equipment that you can use in order to make life easier on you, and one of them is the top handle chainsaw.

The top handle chainsaw is often referred to as an arborist saw and they are gas powered chainsaws that are designed for tree surgeons, foresters, and professionals.

Our Top Pick

If you’ve come to this article just wanting to find out what our Best Choice for the Best Top Handle Chainsaw then we totally understand.

Best Top Handle Chainsaws Compared

Here are all our top picks for those of you short on time, there were plenty to choose from but we narrowed it down to the ones we though had the best features.


Best Top Handle Chainsaws

In this section, I’m going to point you towards the best top handle chainsaws currently on the market.

Tanaka TCS33EDTP

Tanaka TCS33EDTP/14 32.2cc 14-Inch Top Handle Chain Saw with Pure Fire Engine

If you’re looking for a good chainsaw that is easy to start up and has a powerful engine, then the Tanaka TCS33EDTOP top handle chainsaw might just be suitable for you.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Tanaka, this is a company based in Japan that has been in the industry for quite some time now and they have a pretty good reputation in power tools, especially chainsaws.

This is a top handle chainsaw and looking at it, it is obvious that they did not neglect the safety features.

Bar and Chain

The bar and chain length is 14 inches, which isn’t too long. 14 inches is the typical length for a top handle saw.


The chainsaw weighs in at 12.41 pounds, which is a tad bit on the hefty side, but it’s not all that bad.

Gas Powered

This chainsaw is gas powered, and is strong enough for nearly every situation in the woods. The engine is a pure fire engine that doesn’t require a whole lot of energy.


  • The engine is strong and powerful
  • Easy start
  • Less fuel consumption
  • Automatic oiler
  • Quick chain adjustments


  • The chainsaw is 12.41 pounds.

This is the type of chainsaw that I would recommend to those that are looking for something powerful that will really get the job done.

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Makita XCU02PT

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

Another chainsaw that I believe deserves its spot on the list of “best top handle chainsaws” would be the Makita XCU02PT and it is great for those individuals that are looking for the best cordless chainsaw.

Two 18v Batteries

Makita actually designed this saw with two 18V batteries, which will double the user run time as well as the power. I like this feature, because my main issue with battery powered chainsaws is the fact that they don’t put out as much power as the gas powered one, but it seems that Makita took care of this.

The batteries also charge super fast, which means you spend less time charging and more time being productive.

The Motor

While the batteries are pretty impressive, it’s the motor that really impresses. This motor is capable of delivering 1650 FPM high cutting speed. Wait, it gets even better …it has zero emissions and less noise than the traditional chainsaws.


  • Quite
  • Safe
  • High speed
  • Battery lasts longer
  • Light in weight


  • May be short for some tasks

The Makita XCU02PT can be quite impressive in a variety of ways and is suitable for those that don’t care too much for gas powered saws.

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Husqvarna T435

Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Top Handle Saw, Orange

Many professionals that work with power tools know that Husqvarna is one of the top brands. If you’re looking for a good top handled chainsaw and you love everything from Husqvarna, then the Husqvarna T435 chainsaw might just be suitable for you.

X-Torq Engine

This chainsaw right here just so happens to be powered by the popular X-Torq engine. I must also mention that it has low fuel consumption, so you’ll get more work out of it without having to refuel it. The exhaust emission is also on the low side, which is a major plus.

Light in Weight

If you’re looking for a lightweight chainsaw, then this is the best one for you because it only weighs in at 7.5 pounds.

Low Vibration

When I use a chainsaw, I don’t like it when there’s a whole lot of vibration. With this particular chainsaw, vibration is not an issue.


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • X-Torq Engine – Powerful
  • Low Vibration
  • Perfect for maneuvering in tight spaces

I know this is going to sound funny, but right now, I cannot think of any cons with this chainsaw, everything about it seems great. It’s reliable, durable, and suitable for everyone, even professionals. It is available with 14” and 12” bar length.

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Why Should You Use a Top Handle Chainsaw?

Makita XCU02PT 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 12

Sure, you could choose the traditional rear handle chainsaw, which will require the operator to use both hands. Unlike the traditional rear handle chainsaw, the top handle chainsaws controls are grouped together and mounted in a single location, directly on the top handle.

While it’s not really the best idea, this means that it is possible for the user to control the chainsaw using only one hand or they can use it to work in tight areas. To make a long story short, these type of chainsaws have been designed for people cutting wood in the oddest positions.

This chainsaw is used to cut different types of woods and is different from the rear handle chainsaw due to the places it can be used.   Users that are in an elevated surface such as a stepladder or the tree may use this type of chainsaw. On the other note, a rear handle chainsaw can be used when on the ground cutting wood.

The reason behind this use nests in the design of the saw. Since the handle is located on top, the user will have more control and more options when they’re dealing with wood at awkward positions and angles.

These type of chainsaws are usually light in weight, which makes it even easier to use and they also have a tendency to offer more safety features for the user.

While the chainsaw can be used with one hand, I don’t really recommend this. Using the saw with both hands will give you more safety, and it will also give you even more control.


Choosing the Best Top Handle Chainsaw

Husqvarna 966997203 T435 Top Handle Saw, Orange

Just like any other power tool on the block, when it comes to choosing the best top handle chainsaw, knowing what you’re looking at is crucial. In this section, I’m going to go over what you should pay attention for when looking for the best top handle chainsaw …

The Safety Features

I’m a firm believer in safety first. Every modern chainsaw is going to feature a chain brake, but just because it contains a chain brake, this doesn’t mean it’s good. Take a look at the quality of the chain  brake. Some chainsaws have a dual post chain brake design, which is great because it adds a lot of strength exactly where it should be.

You should also look at the lanyard. When using the saw while climbing the saw will be fasted to the users harness. If the line were to get hung up on a tree, the fixing will need to be strong enough so that it doesn’t break.

Comfort Level

The next thing you need to look into would be the comfort level, especially if you’re a professional that will be using the saw every day for hours on end. A chainsaw that is uncomfortable, in my opinion, is a chainsaw that isn’t safe to use. It is important that you have a comfortable and secure grip so that you can properly control the saw.

So, while looking for the best top handle chainsaw, make sure you take a close look at the comfort features. For example, a chainsaw that has a palm rest that is adjustable will help with the positioning of the saw.

Another critical factor would be the weight of the chainsaw. Think about this – when you’re using a chainsaw, you have your arms stretched out. If the chainsaw is heavy, muscle fatigue can be a major issue. So here’s a little advice for you – with your next chainsaw, go for one that is light so that you can use it without muscle fatigue for longer periods of time.


The top handle chainsaw will need to be easy to maneuver and for this reason, I recommend going for a compact design, especially if you plan on using it in tight places. If you go for a bulky design, this can put a damper on the ability to use the saw.

Chainsaw Features

While looking for the best top handle chainsaw, if you’re a beginner, it’s best that you familiarize yourself with the different chainsaw features.

Guide Bar and Chain

This right here is the sole of the chainsaw. The chain runs along a guide bar and these are usually available in lengths that range from 10 to 16 inches. If you were to go for a chainsaw that has a longer bar, this means you will be able to take on a wider range of jobs.


In terms of chainsaws, you have “top handle” and “rear handle” chainsaws.  Rear handles are the most common type, while top handle chainsaws are designed to be used by professionals at an elevated height. For example, top handle chainsaws are designed to be used while in the tree hanging from a harness.

Power Source

The power source is definitely an important feature you need to think about. You can get corded, gas powered or battery powered saws. Personally, I like the gas powered chainsaws because I don’t like having to worry about batteries or cords. Plus, I feel that gas powered chainsaws have more power nesting behind them.

The Weight

As I said earlier in this guide, you need to consider the weight of the chainsaw because this is, after all, what is resting in your hands. A heavy chainsaw can cause you to get tired quickly.

The chainsaw should be light enough so that you can easily control it. The last thing you want is a chainsaw falling from your hands because you didn’t have any control over it.

Luckily, most of the top handle chainsaws are light in weight – some are as little as ten pounds. Any lighter than this could be a bad thing because you do need a certain amount of weight in power tools like this.

The Automatic Chain Oiler

Yes, the automatic chain oiler is a nice feature to have. Unfortunately, not all chainsaws come with this. When you have the chain automatically oiled, this make for less friction during cuts, smoother running, and of course less maintenance. Plus, it’s always nice not having to stop to put oil on the chain manually.

Safety Features

Again, you need to look at the safety features of the chainsaw before you make your decision. There are two main safety features – the throttle lock and the chain brake. The chain brake is important because it makes those kickbacks less dangerous.

When using a chainsaw, kickbacks have a tendency to pop up out of nowhere, so having a chain brake is crucial for the users protection.

Throttle locks are another good safety feature to have, but it isn’t a feature that you’re going to find on every single chainsaw out there. The throttle lock will prevent the trigger from accidentally being pulled. It consists of a separate trigger that you will need to press before you pull the trigger. If you don’t press it, then the trigger will remain locked.


When you’re on the market looking for a new chainsaw, specifically trying to find the best top handle chainsaw, then it is important that you take a step back and learn a bit about the different features that are available

. The top handle chainsaws that I included in this guide have been thoroughly researched and will do a great job. The one you choose is fully up to you, and if you don’t go for one on this list, just make sure you do your research on the one you do choose before you purchase it.