Best 16 Inch Chainsaws of 2020 – Ultimate Review

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If you have spent any time at all perusing today’s chainsaw market, you will probably have noticed that chainsaws are separated out according to their size.

We are here to make the case that the 16 inch chainsaw is the ideal model for homeowner use and the one you should go with. Read on to learn about all the awesome things this power tool will be able to do for you.

Comparison Chart of the​ Best 16 Inch Chainsaws

Product

Our Rating

​Price

Makita XCU04Z

​Best Overall

​DeWalt DCCS670X1 Flexvolt 60V Max

​Runner-up

​Greenworks 20312 16-inch 40v Cordless Chainsaw

​Best for the Money

​Husqvarna 16 Inch 440e II Gas Chainsaw

​Best Husqvarna 16 Inch Chainsaw

​Craftsman CMCCS660E1

​Best Craftsman 16 Inch Chainsaw

What is a 16 inch Chainsaw?

16 inches does not describe the length of the overall saw, but rather the length of the bar to which you affix the chainsaw chain. 16 inches is a great size for homeowner chainsaw use. It is long enough to be able to handle some of the tougher jobs, such as large trees that may fall on your property as a result of a storm.

But, it is still short enough to be easily maneuvered and handled by someone who may not have a lot of experience working with chainsaws. It is versatile enough to accomplish a wide variety of different jobs around the workshop and the yard.

When Would a 16 inch Chainsaw Come in Handy?

Here are some of the most common applications for a 16 inch chainsaw:

Clean Cuts for Building Materials

If you are working with raw materials to build your dream backyard storage shed (just as an example), you may be dealing with some shoddy or rougher cuts. These models are the perfect size to help you level off some of those edges to make everything fit together more easily.

Firewood

16 inch chainsaws were basically designed with the act of cutting firewood in mind. These saws are the ideal length to handle any sized tree trunk (perhaps excluding California redwoods), and can help you keep your wood box stocked.

Large Branches and Downed Trees

As already mentioned, these are a great tool to have on hand for any sort of storm work. The last thing you want is a giant pile of branches mucking up your backyard space – break out the saw and get that stuff taken care of.

What Makes a Great 16 inch Chainsaw?

So how do you know a good 16-incher from the rest of the pack? Here is what to keep an eye out for:

Safety Features

A 16 inch saw is nothing to mess with – its ability to take out tough woods also means it could pretty easily take out your fingers. Find yourself a saw with safety features like an automatic brake system or additional hand guards.

Consistent Starting

Many chainsaws are powered by gasoline, meaning they need to be pull started in order to fire up the engine. There is little that is more frustrated than constantly yanking a pull cord and not hearing the engine catch. Get a saw that will consistently start up for you.

Durability

As mentioned above, these saws can handle a wide variety of different jobs – meaning you will probably want your saw to last for a long time, no matter what you throw at it. Investing in a high quality, durable chainsaw will certainly pay off better in the long run.

Quick Take: Best​ 16 Inch Chainsaws

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best 16 inch chainsaws:

  1. Makita XCU04Z
  2. ​DeWalt DCCS670X1 Flexvolt 60V Max
  3. Greenworks 20312 16-inch 40v Cordless Chainsaw

Review of the Best 16 Inch Chainsaws

Since you have a better sense of what to keep an eye out for, let’s check out some of our favorite products:

​Best Overall:
​Makita XCU04Z

PROS

  • Does not overheat easily
  • Batteries last for a long time
  • Does not produce any kickback
  • Will not require tension adjustments
  • Very well balanced, easy to make straight cuts – which also extends the life of the chain

CONS

  • If you do want to buy a second set of batteries, they are quite expensive
  • Thumb controlled tension wheel may need a little bit of WD 40 to get it moving properly

What Are People Saying?

People like the convenience aspects of this saw. If you release the handle, the saw continues to run for a minute, so you can set it down if you need to adjust what you are cutting, and then pick it back up again without needing to go through the whole process of restarting it.

What We Love About It

We appreciated one of the additional safety features on this model. If the chain begins to bind up, it automatically stalls out instead of drawing the blade (and you, as the user) closer to the cutting material, which can be a huge safety risk.

Who’s This Perfect For?

If you are sick and tired of needing to take time to clean out your saw after each and every use, say goodbye to that hassle forever! This saw does not have an air filtration system for you to ever worry about keeping clean.

Final Thoughts

This Makita saw was so impressive, we had to go with it as our first choice. Its awesome idling system, additional safety features, and lack of much of the required maintenance for other saw brands all set it apart.

​Runner-up:
​Dewalt DCCS670X1 FlexVolt 60V Max

PROS

  • Simple and straightforward to operate
  • Has a sixty volt battery with a lot of power
  • DEWALT provides great customer service
  • Automatic chain brake acts as an additional safety mechanism
  • One of the best weight to power ratios available on the market today

CONS

  • No protective outer casing
  • Battery takes a long time to fully charge
  • ​The washer connecting the sprocket to the chain is not very well made

What Are People Saying?

Users are reporting that they are quite impressed with the amount of noise produced by this saw – specifically, that it is not a lot! People say they do not feel the need to wear ear protection when operating this saw, it is so silent.

What We Love About It

We were big fans of this DEWALT’s FLEXVOLT technology. The FLEXVOLT adjusts the saw to maintain maximum cutting performance while also avoiding unnecessary drain on the battery. It is the prime example of pure efficiency and extending overall battery life.

Who’s This Perfect For?

Anyone who wants to prioritize their own safety can’t fail to be impressed by all of this saw’s safety features. It has an automatic chain brake to stop cutting if things get out of hand, and it also has an additional safety guard on the front handle to protect your hands and face from flying splinters.

Final Thoughts

This DEWALT saw is a rockstar in the 16 inch chainsaw world. If you want a saw that is safe, efficient and not wasteful, and quiet enough to no longer require you to rock those oh so flattering earmuffs – you will find this DEWALT is the perfect storm.

​Best for the Money:
​Greenworks 20312 16-inch 40v Cordless Chainsaw

PROS

  • ​Brushless motor
  • ​Has an automatic oiler
  • ​Comes with a four year warranty
  • ​Operates using a forty volt lithium ion battery
  • ​Chain brake will keep you safe in any instance of kickback

CONS

  • ​Has a tendency to skip, which will require a restart
  • ​Some users report the chain coming loose easily and requiring a lot of adjustment
  • ​Battery will only last about an hour before requiring a recharge, which will take at least two hours

What Are People Saying?

People are big fans of the vibration reduction measures Greenworks implemented when designing this model. It has a seventy percent lower vibration rate than other competitor brands, meaning it reduces consistent and unnecessary battery drainage and increases user comfort and safety.

What We Love About It

We could not believe that a Greenworks saw with a 16 inch bar was available for such a ridiculously low cost – at first, we thought it must be a knockoff. But this is the real deal, and you will not be able to find a saw at a better value!

Who’s This Perfect For?

If you are starting to get a little nervous about the impact all this sawing may be having on the planet’s overall health, this saw can help calm your nerves. It is specifically designed to be more environmentally friendly than other models, and Greenworks as a company is committed to sustainable practices.

Final Thoughts

Greenworks incorporates a lot of intentional design into this product, from its reduced overall vibration rate to its increased efficiency and sustainability. And, all that is available for a much lower price than other similar models.

Best Husqvarna 16 Inch Chainsaw​:
​​​​Husqvarna 16 Inch 440E II Gas Chainsaw

PROS

  • Has a chain brake
  • Has an automatic oiler
  • Weighs just under eleven pounds
  • Can handle both live and dead limbs
  • Husqvarna is a reliable chainsaw manufacturer that you will be able to trust, and you will easily be able to find a mechanic to fix your saw if anything ever goes wrong with it

CONS

  • Smart start starter does not work as well as advertised
  • Side mounted tensioning screw is complicated to operate
  • ​Engine takes about five minutes to become properly warmed up

What Are People Saying?

Users are stoked on how powerful this saw is. Its 40.9 cc engine is able to produce about 2.4 horsepower, which is a crazy horsepower to engine size ratio. It is tough and strong enough to cut through harder woods like oak, even up to twenty two inches in diameter.

What We Love About It

We liked the well designed air injection centrifugal air cleaning system. It is able to filter out larger particles before they reach the air filter, which will require less cleaning on your part and prevent future clogging, which could impact your saw’s functionality.

Who’s This Perfect For?

If you are sick and tired of spending money on gasoline just to keep your chainsaw up and running, you will love this Husqvarna model. It specifically implements patented X Torq technology to maximize fuel efficiency. One tank will get you about two straight hours of use.

Final Thoughts

This model is the most impressive Husqvarna saw we were able to find on the market today. With its numerous convenience and cost cutting features such as its air cleaning system and its X Torq technology, you will not find a lot to complain about.

​Best Craftsman 16 Inch Chainsaw:
​Craftsman CMCCS660E1

PROS

  • Easy to use and clean
  • Has an automatic oiler
  • ​Will not stall out on you
  • Sixty volt battery charges quickly

CONS

  • Can leak oil
  • Heavier than expected

What Are People Saying?

Recent buyers are reporting they are extremely impressed with the punch this saw packs. For a battery powered saw, they report almost no difference in performance when compared to a gas saw. This saw can chew through hard woods that are up to twenty inches in diameter!

What We Love About It

We were blown away by the warranty Craftsman provides for this product. Unlike many of its competitor brands, Craftsman is prioritizing the customer by giving a three month complete and total warranty, and an extended limited warranty for four years! You really can’t beat that.

Who’s This Perfect For?

If there is nothing you find more annoying than having a lug a heavy toolbox around to all of your work sites, say goodbye to those days forever. This Craftsman boasts a tool free tensioning system so you can do it all by hand.

Final Thoughts

Craftsman has really gone above and beyond with this CMCCS660E1 model. It is exceptionally powerful and does not require any tools in order to run properly. Plus, it has a completely amazing warranty system, so if anything goes wrong, you will feel supported. You are guaranteed to be satisfied when sawing with this Craftsman option.

Types of 16 inch Chainsaws

16 inch chainsaws are typically broken down by type depending on how they are powered.

Gasoline Powered

Gasoline saws run on what is essentially a smaller version of the engine that powers your car. The benefits of this engine are that these saws are extremely powerful – but the drawbacks are that they are loud, heavy, and not great for the environment.

Electrically Powered

Saws using electric power have a lot of the benefits of gasoline powered saws without a lot of the drawbacks. However, the one drawback they do possess is a big one: they always need to be connected to a power outlet. Get ready to drag out those extension cords.

Battery Powered

Many users see battery powered saws as the best of both worlds: they are quieter and more sustainable like electrically powered saws, while mobile and portable like gasoline powered saws. Just keep in mind that you will need to periodically take breaks to recharge the battery.

People Also Ask

Here are the most common questions we hear from people working with 16 inch chainsaws:

Where Can I Find a 16 Inch Chainsaw Chain?

Chainsaw chains are typically sold wherever chainsaws are sold, meaning you could easily find a 16 inch chain at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. The real question is what chain should you buy, and the undisputed answer is any chain from the Oregon brand. They make the best chains on the market.

Do Electric Chainsaws Need Oil?

Because electric chainsaws do not run off a gas powered motor, they will not need engine oil to keep running smoothly. However, all chainsaws, regardless of their power source, need to have their bars and chains oiled to keep them lubricated.

What Weight is Chainsaw Oil?

It depends on when you are operating your chainsaw. You should always use lighter oil in the winter months, around 10W, while in the summer and when the weather is warmer you should use a heavier oil, around 30W.

What Diameter Wood Can I Cut with My Chainsaw?

The answer to this question depends both on the length of your chainsaw’s bar and the type of wood you are cutting. Most 16 inch chainsaws can handle logs between twenty and twenty five inches in diameter, but if you are cutting old dead wood or a harder wood such as oak, you may struggle a bit.

Conclusion

16 inch chainsaws are really the ideal model option for anyone who is hoping to keep a chainsaw around for any projects that may pop up, whether that is clearing up storm damage, or rounding out some rougher cuts on building materials.

Make sure you choose a saw that is compatible with your needs, taking into account the way it is powered. We have compiled a pretty solid list of models above – we bet you will not be disappointed with any of our options.