Put simply if you have a smaller yard and won’t ever need to tackle larger duty jobs you will never need anything more than a 40cc chainsaw. For small tree feeling and general yard maintenance they are perfect.
As they are smaller that means they are lighter and generally cheaper than their more powerful counterparts. If you are likely to have to tackle bigger jobs there are a host of other fantastic gas chainsaws on the market.
Pretty obvious right?
Remember though that at the very most a 40cc chainsaw will only be able to accommodate a 20 inch bar at the very most (and that is at a push). To push a longer bar it takes more power.
The long and short of it is:
If you have decided you want a 40cc chainsaw then a lot of other factors will be pre-decided as a result of that choice.
The bar length will most likely be 14 to 18 inches – remember an 18 inch bar can cut a tree 36 inches in diameter – but you have to do it in two passes.
I’ll bet you this.
You want your chainsaw to be easy to start right? This is something that not all gas chainsaws are! Some will have spring assist starting – making it much easier to get running.
Keep an eye out for vibration dampening tools which reduce the fatigue on your arms and make using a gas chainsaw a much easier, and more pleasant experience.
To see how well balanced the chainsaw is to use. All of the chainsaws in our list below are pretty light, but some will have their weight balanced more evenly and be more comfortable to use.
Other features that are worth considering are an automatic chain oiler and tool-less chain adjustment.
BEST FOR… Those looking for an easy to start chainsaw.
Engine Displacement (cc) –40.2
Weight (lbs) –10.1 (not including cutting equipment)
Bar Length (in) – 18
Fuel Capacity (fl. oz.) – 13.9
Warranty – 5 Years
PRICE GUIDE: $$
With its flawless starting system and top notch vibration dampening the Echo CS-400 earns its place amongst bigger names such as Husqvarna and Poulan Pro on this list.
So let’s go.
This has a 40cc, 2-stroke engine and an 18-inch bar. It holds 13.9 fl. Oz of fuel and weighs 10.1lbs (without the bar and chain). The chain pitch is 3/8ths of an inch.
This is HUGE:
This really is a wonderfully easy chainsaw to start. Echo have perfected their i-30 starting system – it starts like a four stroke and you can almost guarantee it will start within the first couple of pulls.
That means less time messing about getting it started and more time cutting wood for you!
It also has excellent vibration dampening. Some saws transmit vibration back up your arm so you can feel it hours later. Echo’s design means the vibration is absorbed so you don’t feel it. It makes for a really comfortable chainsaw to use.
It doesn’t stop there though:
There are some nice little details in the build – the case is high quality as is the switch gear and it has separate kill and choke switches.
I love the strong plastic frame and metal handle bar. The handle bar is coated in rubber and gives good shock isolation (as mentioned above) but you don’t lose any control over the saw.
It is quick and easy to access the air filter so it can be cleaned. The filter itself is pretty heavy duty.
For a smaller chainsaw this has plenty of power and lots of torque. Combine this with good chain speed and it slices through pines, hickory, oaks, etc, etc without a problem.
This is ergonomically really well made and feels very light to use.
It isn’t all sunshine and roses though:
I do have a couple of gripes. The bar is pretty narrow – which allows for no slack in the chain and means it does come off too easily. Also the chain oiler seems overly eager! It does leak oil somewhat.
This Echo ticks all the right boxes – power, weight, ease of starting, comfort to use and it cuts well! For a 40cc chainsaw this is hard to beat, it is a little more expensive than others on this list but you can feel that it is genuine quality.
Weight (lbs) – 9.7 (not including cutting equipment)
Bar Length (in) – 16
Fuel Capacity (fl. oz.) – 12.48
Warranty – 2 years
PRICE GUIDE: $$
If you are looking for a 40cc chainsaw that is a cut above (pun fully intended) the rest then the Husqvarna 440E is what you want.
So here we go.
This has a 40.9cc engine and a 16 inch bar. It weighs 9.7lbs (excluding cutting equipment) and is covered by a two year warranty.
Laying it bare.
This is the best all round chainsaw in my list. It is lightweight and well balanced – so there is next to no stress on the arms.
It has many of the other hallmarks of the Husqvarna brand – it is reliable and easy to start, has a good capacity reservoir for chain oil and can deal with anything up to mid-range (15 to 18 inch) trees.
You really can’t go far wrong with it
So what else:
The chain this comes with it is really good and holds it’s edge even after a fair amount of cutting through hardwoods.
It has a lovely comfortable rear handle, with a soft inlay and ergonomic trigger. Adding this to how well balanced it is and it is a dream to use.
Well built – everything from the pull rope to the forged three-piece crankshaft feels of the highest quality and you feel assured it will last.
A really power to weight ratio – this can limb, brush and block some big trees and it doesn’t bog down, handling far more than you might initially think when you pick this up.
A multitude of other pluses – tool-less chain tensioning that works, visible fuel level, inertia activated chain brake.
It is at the higher end of the price band when compared to some others on this list – but you get what you pay for! Also it does get through a fair amount of bar oil in comparison to some of its competitors.
All in all:
This is lightweight, easy to maneuver, fast cutting, built to the highest quality and, as a result, built to last. It can tackle larger jobs than most 40cc chainsaws as well.
It is more expensive, but it will last a long time and deal with any job a standard householder will need.
BEST FOR… Those looking for great value for money.
Engine Displacement (cc) – 42
Weight (lbs) – 15.7 lbs
Bar Length (in) – 14
Chain Size – 3/8th of an inch
Warranty – 2 year
PRICE GUIDE: $
If you are looking for a 40cc chainsaw that offers amazing value for money then you can’t look much further than the Remington RM2414.
So let’s take a closer look.
Aside from a budget price tag this has a 42cc engine, a 14 inch bar and chain and a two year warranty. The chain pitch is 3/8ths of an inch and it weighs 15.7lbs.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the price.
This is the cheapest of the chainsaws on my list – but it has some features that more expensive 40cc chainsaws don’t – such as an adjustable carburetor and a metal crankcase.
It has a nice die-cast chassis, a bolt on cylinder and a nice rim drive sprocket. It is an extremely high quality saw for the price.
There is more to this than a nice price tag though:
It starts quickly and easily. The process for starting from cold is multi-step, but it is outlined well in the manual and it works perfectly so you should have no problems cranking it.
It has a nice ergonomic design – it is balanced and thanks to a cushioned handle wrap it is comfortable to operate.
I love the nice clear rubber primer bulb – you can easily see whether the saw is out of gas or not before you try and start it.
It has a chain brake that works in a nice and smooth manner – stopping the chain immediately, and giving you confidence that it will work when needed.
The sprocket tipped bar and chain is low kick back and deal with 8 inch logs with no problems whatsoever.
The air filter is poor. It has a cheap rubber gasket that needs to be lined up to the most precise level to stop dirt getting in. Also I am not overly fond of the choke, it is on a rubber band (or that is what it feels like) and when you pull it out you don’t feel like it will stay out.
To sum up:
This is an unbeatable chainsaw for the price. It looks, feels and performs like a much higher grade chainsaw and is balanced and maneuverable.
BEST FOR… Those looking for something very clean running.
Engine Displacement (cc) – 42
Weight (lbs) – 13.2
Bar Length (in) – 18
Fuel Capacity (fl. oz.) 11.3
Warranty – 2 years
PRICE GUIDE: $
When it comes to clean running 40cc chainsaws it is hard to better the Poulan Pro PR4218. If you are looking to escape exhaust fumes look no further.
So let’s get busy.
This has a 42cc engine and an 18 inch bar. It weighs 13.2lbs and comes with a two year warranty. The chain pitch is 3/8ths of an inch.
Believe it or not…
This gives out no visible exhaust smoke and very little in the way of smell. The clean air technology that Poulan Pro have built into this definitely works and works well.
Thanks to this and an excellent air filter this should extend the life of the chainsaw, meaning you get great bang for your buck out of this Poulan Pro.
There is also:
It comes with an onboard scrench that is fantastic and makes adjusting the chain tensioner really easy. It stores away under the handle neatly and is simple to remove and replace.
It has several nice design features. All the covers can be taken off and put on easily, the screws in the top cover can’t come out, so there is no chance of losing them. It has an inboard clutch that makes removing the chain easy and general the fit and finish seem really good.
This thing is pretty fuel efficient – Poulan claim their patented OxyPower technology reduces fuel consumption by 20% and it seems pretty accurate.
This doesn’t use a standard recoil starting system, instead it uses a spring-assist pull cord and it works really well and is easy to start.
You get a spare chain with this and all in all it offers great value for its rather budget price tag.
Whilst this comes with a spare chain, the chains are skip-link types with less teeth than standard chains. It is worth buying a separate chain for it.
The case that comes with this is soft plastic and feels pretty cheap – it could definitely be improved.
In a nutshell:
This will cut down trees up to 16 inches in diameter and is a really good option for tree felling, firewood cutting and general tasks around home. It is great for casual use.
Best of all – if you are environmentally conscious and don’t want any noxious exhaust fumes you can’t make a better choice than this.
There are very few mechanical products that come with a better warranty than the Tanaka TCS40EA18. But there is more to this chainsaw than an amazing seven year warranty.
Let’s get this show on the road.
This has a 39.6 cc engine and an 18 inch bar. It weighs 9.9lbs (not including the cutting equipment) and comes with a 7 year warranty. The chain pitch is 0.325 inches.
The seven year consumer warranty is incredible. It is the best on the market, the world’s best even.
On top of that Tanaka is owned by Hitachi and they design and manufacture quality equipment – for instance it was they who pioneered the stratified charge two-stroke engine. Generally from my experience their tools are top quality. Their confidence of this is reflected in the warranty.
There is also much more:
I love the Tanaka Pure Fire Engine! It is powerful, gives out little in the way of emissions and always starts.
The five point anti-vibration system works really well and definitely limits user fatigue
This isn’t the lightest saw in the list, but it is incredibly well balanced and you get a fantastic power to weight ratio.
Some nice little features such as a decompression valve to make it easy to start and an adjustable oiler and primer bulb and a nice side access chain tensioner that makes it easy to adjust the chain.
The Oregon sprocket nose bar and chain really reduces the kickback – and makes the saw ultra comfortable to use.
The carb to gas tank return line is pretty short, and if you aren’t careful it can pop out of the gas tank and you might inadvertently find it leaking.
Due to the catalytic exhaust this does get pretty hot if you use it for an extended period of time – be aware.
It all adds up to this:
Quality build, reliable starting, comfortable to use and on top of that the best warranty around – this is a little pricey, but when you use it you can understand why.
Husqvarna are an established brand when it comes to chainsaws and the Husqvarna 240 maintains their excellent reputation – thanks mainly to first rate build quality.
So let’s take a closer look:
It has a 38.2cc engine and a 16 inch bar. Excluding the cutting equipment this weighs 10.3lbs and comes with a two year warranty. At maximum power it has chain speed of 53.48 fts.
Here’s the deal:
Even by Husqvarna’s high standards this is one of their more attractive models. It is constructed of metal and injection molded plastic.
Everything is neatly designed and ergonomically laid out so it is really comfortable to use. There are lots of nice features too like a throttle lock-out switch to prevent accidental start up runs and a good choke control.
There is more to like:
You get really good weight to power ratio. It weighs a little over 10.3lbs but is powerful enough that with the 16 inch bar you can slice through 20 inch wood.
Kudos to Husqvarna’s LowVib system which is designed to reduce vibration levels. It really works so you don’t come away feeling as if you have just finished a tough session in the gym after using it.
I love the marker line that runs over the top of the saw and down the recoil cover – it makes it extra easy to line up the saw and get a straight cut
The caps for the fuel tank and oil reservoir are large and easy to unscrew thanks to their large grips. They can also be popped out completely which is great if you want to completely drain the tanks.
It has a nice air filter that is made of felt and is washable
But also a warning:
The 240 can be challenging to start and may require some minor adjustments to do so.
Also it struggles to idle – sometimes if you cut a branch and then let go of the throttle it stalls. Again you will need to get a slotted screwdriver and make some manual adjustments to the carb and it should run like a dream.
Let’s rewind and:
Despite a couple of issues getting it started the Husqvarna 240 is one of the most popular 40cc chainsaws on the market and it is easy to see why. Top quality build and design and top quality performance.
Husqvarna are a top brand and this is a smart buy indeed.
Steve is a one time gardening hater turned into gardening obsessive. This was all thanks to going to University where a two year stint spent transforming the previously horrific garden of the student house he lived in left him addicted to all things horticultural! Now with a new house in tow and due to some fortunate circumstances he is free to test out a whole host of gardening equipment. Find out more about Steve or drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.