Best 40cc Chainsaws – 2020 Round-up

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Are you unsure what chainsaw you need to do some work around the garden? One of these 40cc chainsaws is sure to fit the bill.

Not only are these optimal for a variety of household projects, but they also transition well into tougher cutting jobs, where the engine power and bar size allow it.

However, given the market saturation with this engine displacement category, there are some important things to understand about these chainsaws before buying one.

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best 40cc chainsaws:

  1. Husqvarna 440e II
  2. Echo CS-400
  3. Tanaka TCS40EA18

Comparison of the Best 40cc Chainsaws

Product

Our Rating

​Price

Husqvarna 440e II

  • Designed for lower fuel consumption and emission levels
  • 16" guide bar and chain
  • Features a tool-less chain tensioner

Echo CS-400

  • Great power for thick cuts, while being lightweight
  • 18" guide bar and chain
  • Perfect for limbing and around-the-house projects

Tanaka TCS40EA18

  • Best for the Money
  • 18" guide bar and chain
  • 50% pull force required to start with S-Start technology

Poulan Pro PR4016

  • Best Poulan 40cc Chainsaw
  • 16" guide bar and chain
  • Anti-vibration design and user-friendly Effortless Pull Starting (EPS) mechanics

What Bar Size is Ideal on a 40cc Chainsaw?

40cc chainsaws are often considered the middle ground between light-duty commercial chainsaws and heavy-duty chainsaws.

Light-duty chainsaws typically have engine displacements between 30 and 45cc, while heavy-duty chainsaws are often in the 40 to 50cc range. Because of this, you can fit a variety of blades on this type of chainsaw. You may be able to use a blade as small as 14” and one as large as 20”. 

But there’s no ideal size for all chainsaws with this engine displacement. The general consensus is that bars between 16” and 18” should handle all the work you throw at a 40cc chainsaw.

Can You Really Find a 40cc Chainsaw That’s Affordable?

You can find anything these days at an affordable price, including chainsaws. 40cc chainsaws are no exception. Although it’s tempting to save some money on your purchase, keep in mind that something cheap will likely have plenty of trade-offs.

Most budget chainsaws tend to be made from cheaper materials. While the engines may be fine, they won’t be as durable. Or as fuel efficient as others, for that matter. No one’s saying that you can’t get the job done with anything short of a premium quality 40cc chainsaw. But, don’t compromise too much on quality either, if you want to make a long-lasting investment.

Review of the Best 40cc Chainsaws

To paint a better picture of what a 40cc chainsaw can do for you and what separates some models from others, here are six of the best options from some of the top manufacturers in this field. You’ll find both consumer and prosumer-grade choices, just in case you’re looking for something with extra kick.

​Best Overall:
​Husqvarna 440e II

PROS

  • 2.4HP engine for optimal light and medium-duty cutting power
  • Air Injection system to prevent debris from getting into the air filter
  • Husqvarna LowVib system reduces vibrations and improves ease of use
  • SmartStart technology minimizes startup accident risks and improves user safety

CONS

  • The chainsaw comes without the X-Force bar and without any oil, which incurs additional costs on your part

Our Review

Designed around Husqvarna’s X-Cut chain and X-Force bars, the 440e II is a powerhouse for garden work, cutting firewood, and even trimming smaller trees. It features a two-cycle engine and a reliable inertia chain brake. It also has a side-mounted tension adjustment system, automatic oil pump, as well a multiple other safety features.

The chainsaw handles really well, and it’s also beginner-friendly. The reduced vibrations, the smooth chain action, as well as the quick-release filter and SmartStart technology all work together to allow amateur homeowners to do hard work under safe conditions.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Compared to many other similar chainsaws in both engine displacement and price, the Husqvarna 440e II stands out because of its high horsepower rating and larger fuel tank.

The 440e II boasts 2.4HP, just above what you’d expect for the size. The extra fuel capacity doesn’t make the chainsaw considerably heavier. In fact, it just makes it a better choice for bigger projects.

​Runner-up:
​Echo CS-400

PROS

  • Five-year warranty for quality assurance
  • Lighter than many 40cc chainsaws, when fully assembled
  • Has an automatic adjustable oiler to match cutting conditions
  • Toolless access air filter for quick servicing and optimum operation

CONS

  • Considerably louder than similar models in this category
  • A bit more expensive overall, even though it comes complete with bar and chain

Our Review

Although slightly pricier than some alternatives, the Echo CS-400 does come as a complete 40cc chainsaw, with both bar and chain included. The 18” bar size will allow you to tackle some more challenging trees and log cutting.

The two-stroke engine is reliable and provides plenty of speed and decent power. What’s also nice is that this model also comes with good quality engine oil to get you started right away. Another great thing is the lighter overall weight.

You may have some difficulty starting the engine at first, but it does get easier thanks to the I-30 startup system.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The Echo CS-440 is a versatile tool that can be used for anything from decking to felling small trees. Its main highlight is that it adheres to a higher standard of quality than most of its competition. From build quality, to balance, to long-term reliability, it scores very high marks.

​Best for the Money:
​Tanaka TCS40EA18

PROS

  • Powerful 2.4HP engine for quick cuts
  • Bar and chain included for added value
  • D-handle ensures an ergonomic design
  • Reduced kickback, compact design that makes it safer to use

CONS

  • Can overheat during prolonged use

Our Review

The Tanaka TCS40EA18 is a 40cc chainsaw that has a 2.4hp motor. It’s an interesting alternative to high-end models with the same engine displacement. This chainsaw features an S-Start system, which promises a pull force reduction of 50% on startup. It also features a side chain tensioner and can fit an 18-inch bar in order to tackle thicker logs and trees.

Although powerful enough for most household work, the chainsaw is perhaps not as long-lasting as others on this list. It’s not the best choice if you plan on pushing it to its limits every time. But, it does excellent work on light-duty to medium-duty tasks such as cutting firewood, felling small trees, and cutting down small branches.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Despite not being made from high-end materials, the Tanaka TCS40EA18 still stands out, thanks in part to its great balance and ergonomic design. Of course, the low-emissions engine, as well as overall value for money, make strong arguments too. It’s perhaps a better choice for less experienced homeowners than pricier models.

​Best Poulan 40cc Chainsaw:
Poulan Pro PR4016

PROS

  • ​On-board scrench for the tensioning tool
  • ​Low-emission engine with improved fuel efficiency
  • ​Spring-assistant startup system for more reliable starts
  • ​Comfortable to handle and with outstanding vibration damping features

CONS

  • ​May overheat a bit faster than others in this category
  • ​On the heavier side compared to chainsaws similar in size

Our Review

From the outside, the Poulan Pro PR4016 looks like any other 40cc, two-stroke engine chainsaw that uses a 16” bar. That said, it has more going for it than this. Its design is all about ergonomics and improving the user’s safety and comfort.

It boasts an impressive anti-vibration system, an automatic oiler, a high-end filtering system, and even onboard storage. It’s been designed as a tool for the consummate professional always on the move. But it also acts as a go-to cutting tool for most homeowners that do anything short of cutting down 20” diameter or higher trees.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

One of the build-defining features is the OxyPower technology, which is only featured on Poulan power tools. This improves engine performance while also reducing fuel consumption. At the same time, it makes this a better choice for people who prefer engines with lower emissions.

​Best Craftsman 40cc Chainsaw:
​Craftsman CMXGSAMY426S

PROS

  • Very powerful 46cc engine
  • Great anti-vibration system
  • Good overall comfort and ergonomics
  • Improved balance and good startup safety features
  • Can accommodate a 20” bar for thicker logs and trees

CONS

  • A bit larger than most 40cc chainsaws
  • Slightly higher price tag may not appeal to those looking to tackle light-duty work

Our Review

The Craftsman CMXGSAMY426S’s engine stands at 46cc’s and thus provides additional torque and cutting power. The chainsaw is still relatively comfortable to use due to its lighter weight and can still be used for tree limbing, cutting, and trimming jobs.

It also comes with all the prosumer-type features you would expect such as an inertia-activated brake, ergonomic handle, automatic oiling system, and so on. You may also appreciate the modest maintenance requirements and ease of use when it comes to accessing the spark plug, or the filter.

As a bonus, a carry case is also included with this model that can help you take the chainsaw between jobs, or store it safely in your workshop.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

One of the best things about this model is the level of control. Though it comes with a 20” bar, the design allows for very low kickback and vibrations. Combined with the optimal balance and comfortable handle, the unit should be a breeze to handle, despite its larger size.

​Best Ryobi 40cc Chainsaw:
Ryobi RY3714

PROS

  • Ideal size for climbing
  • Consistent startup times
  • Quiet operation, compared to most
  • Lightweight and very easy to handle
  • Accommodates both 14” and 16” bars equally well

CONS

  • No bar oil included with the standard package
  • Very limited in its capabilities due to smaller engine size and bar length

Our Review

The Ryobi RY3714 chainsaw may only come with a 37cc engine but it’s still in the same category as the others on this list. What it lacks in power, it makes up for in versatility.

When used with bars between 14” and 16”, the RY3714 operates at maximum efficiency. It’s also worth pointing out that this is one of the quietest models in the 40cc chainsaw category. And, it will easily handle trees up to 9” in diameter, maybe even thicker. But not in a single pass.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The fact that it was designed for smaller bar sizes makes it a much more suitable choice for any homeowner that doesn’t have to tackle difficult tree felling or log cutting projects in the near future. It’s a small, but powerful chainsaw, ideal for cutting firewood and doing some light trimming around the garden.

Quick Take: Best​ 40cc Chainsaws

In summary, below are the best 40cc chainsaws:

  1. Husqvarna 440e II
  2. Echo CS-400
  3. Tanaka TCS40EA18

Pros and Cons of 40cc Chainsaws

Curious about the pros and cons of these models? Here's what you need to know:

Pros

Here are the main pros:

Overall Versatility

Equipped with smaller engines and having a lighter overall weight, 40cc chainsaws are designed to handle groundwork and aerial work. Although smaller and less potent than 60cc chainsaws, a good 40cc model can pack plenty of torque. Also, given the right bar size, it can handle even some horizontal log cutting on the ground.

Pro #2: Convenience

A 40cc chainsaw can tackle many projects, professional or otherwise. It’s also one of the best types of saws that you can take with you on the road. Its smaller size and weight make it easier to pack and travel with, in between different jobs.

Pro #3: Fuel Efficiency

When compared to larger, heavy-duty or professional-grade chainsaws, 40cc models are much more fuel-efficient. Therefore, they’re less costly to run. Provided of course, that you use them for appropriate projects and don’t push the engine over its limits.

Cons

Here are the cons:

Slower in Some Tasks

Obviously using a 40cc chainsaw over more powerful engines will add more time to various cutting tasks. Things such as cutting firewood will go smoothly. But felling some larger trees and cutting large logs will take longer as you might not be able to always get it done in a single pass.

Not For Heavy-Duty Work

Although a 40cc engine can pack a lot of cutting power, it’s worth mentioning that such an engine is not designed to handle heavy-duty work continuously. You’ll have to pause a lot more when cutting thick logs, in order to avoid overheating the engine.

Conclusion

A 40cc chainsaw may not be the most powerful cutting tool you keep in your workshop. That said, it’s by far the most versatile due to the variety of bar sizes it can accommodate and the superior handling capabilities. Thanks to a smaller engine, better balance, and lighter weight, a 40cc chainsaw will make short work of light-duty and medium-duty tasks while being more fuel-efficient and cheaper overall..

People Also Ask

Of course, seeing the specs won’t explain a lot for everyone. That’s why other people also ask some very specific questions regarding 40cc chainsaws. To further your understating of these chainsaws and the role they play, here are the answers to two of the most commonly asked questions.

How Big of a Tree Will a 40cc Chainsaw Cut?

You won’t be able to cut large oak trees, spruce, or other hardwood trees that have diameters of 30 inches or more. However, you can still cut smaller trees, provided that you use the right bar length. Assuming that you’ll most likely be using up to a 16” bar on your 40cc chainsaw, you could cut trees up to 20” in diameter. Though, not all of them will be in one pass.

How Many Horsepower Is a 40cc Chainsaw?

Generally speaking, 1hp equals anywhere between 14 and 17cc, depending of course on the engine’s performance, tuning, and so on. Therefore, most 40cc chainsaws should have anywhere between 2.3 to 2.8HP. Some may have even better engines and could hit the 3HP rating.