Best Top Handle Chainsaws

Top handle chainsaws, sometimes called arborist chainsaws, have a slightly different function to rear handle chainsaws. While they can be used on the ground, top handle chainsaws have primarily been designed for use by people who work in an elevated position and therefore are not particularly suited for ground wood cutting.

A top handle chainsaw is manufactured to allow the user to work in safety and comfort in a range of awkward positions, whether climbing, on a platform or in a harness. Top handle chainsaws offer maneuverability and balance and yet are lightweight for easier handling and powerful enough to cut through wood with ease, making these flexible tools the perfect choice for anyone who does a lot of tree cutting.

Whether you are a professional tree surgeon or a homeowner who wants to carry out tree landscaping and maintenance on your land, you are probably looking for the best top handle chainsaw to suit your needs. We have created a list of the top five performing models on the market, outlining all of their main features so that you can see at a glance which one best fits the bill. Our reviews will help you to make an informed purchasing decision.


TIMBERPRO 26cc 10″ Petrol Top Handle Topping Chainsaw with 2 Chain Saw Chains & Carry Bag

This top handle chainsaw from Timberpro is gas operated, allowing for easy and convenient use when off the ground and in the woods away from your workshop. The single cylinder, two stroke engine is air cooled for a longer lifespan and better function while the saw blade has a length of 10 inches.

With two chains, this machine is lightweight, coming in at only 12 pounds, making it easy and comfortable to handle even when cutting at height. Despite its small size, this tool is powerful enough to cut through wood with ease.

This model also has an automatic chain lubrication system for optimal convenience for the user as well as an easy starting system for faster start ups in all weather conditions. This saw comes with a host of useful accessories including a blade guard, carrying mag and fuel mixing bottle. It also comes complete with a manufacturer’s two-year warranty for the purchaser’s peace of mind.


  • Lightweight operation at only 12 pounds
  • Automatic chain lubrication system
  • Comes with useful accessories supplied



  • Tricky chain brake reset mechanism
  • Gas operated so ongoing refilling costs may be an issue



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

Built for commercial use, this 14″ top handle chainsaw is ideal for all kinds of shaping, pruning and hobby work. This model features a 2 stroke 32.2 cc Pure Fire commercial grade engine which gives a powerful and clean performance while reducing fuel consumption and produces lower harmful emissions to protect the environment.

The Oregon chain and sprocket nose bar give the user improved control and an easier cutting experience, and thanks to the gear driven automatic oiler and side-access chain tensioning system which can be quickly and easily accessed, this is a very convenient choice for the user. Some of the other excellent features offered by this chainsaw is the half throttle choke which is equipped with a purge primer bulb allowing for an easier warm up and start.

Also an anti-vibration system to improve the user’s comfort and safety during use, and an inbuilt lanyard ring to make climbing easier. This model also offers easier access to the rear access filter, and thanks to the excellent power to weight ratio, user fatigue is greatly reduced.


  • Anti-vibration system for better user comfort and safety
  • Easier start up system
  • Powerful 2 stroke engine for lower emissions and better fuel consumption



  • Heavier than some of its competitors
  • Small gas tank means frequent refills



Husqvarna 966997234 35.2cc Gas 14 in. X-Torq Chainsaw

This powerful yet lightweight top handle chainsaw is perfect for use when pruning trees both on and off the ground. Its well balanced saw body design makes handling much simpler while the X-Torq engine delivers a lower rate of fuel consumption as well as lower harmful exhaust emissions for better environmental protection.

The oil pump is adjustable, enabling the user to control the oil flow dependant on the weather and application, and the air filter has a quick release system to facilitate its replacement and cleaning.

The side access to the chain tensioner is extra convenient for the user and the air filter cover is also quick release to save time. The improved low vibration design gives the user better visibility of the tip of the guide bar while the rope attachment feature gives the user a sturdy point to which they can fasten a rope for hoisting the saw into the trees. This model also features an inertia activated chain brake to reduce the chance of accidental injuries from kickback.


  • X-Torq engine for lower emissions and fuel consumption
  • Adjustable oil pump and quick release air filter
  • Low vibration design



  • Comes without a case



Makita XCU02Z 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Cordless Chain Saw (Bare Tool Only)

This battery operated top handle chainsaw allows the user all of the convenience and portability of a gas powered machine without any of the ongoing maintenance or expensive refills.

The Makita motor delivers a chain speed of 1,650 FPM ensuring rapid cutting while the 18 volt LXT Lithium ion batteries deliver performance and power as well as a much lower noise level of just 89 decibels, making this a good choice of sound levels are at a premium.

The 12 inch guide bar allows for increased capacity while the tool-less chain adjustment system makes maintenance and operation much more convenient for the user. This saw only weighs just over 10 pounds, making it easier and lighter to handle and this results in a maueuverable tool when cutting at height.

This model also features Extreme Protection Technology for better resistance to water and dust even under harsh conditions on the job site. The top handle features a rubberized soft grip for more even application of cutting pressure and this model also features instant start up for easy cutting every time.


  • Low noise levels of just 89 decibels
  • Lightweight at just over 10 lbs
  • Extreme Protection Technology for better dust and water resistance



  • Batteries must be purchased separately
  • Must wait for batteries to recharge before using again



Hitachi CS33EDTP 2-Stroke Gas Powered Top Handle Chain Saw with PureFire Engine, 14-Inch

This gas powered top handle chain saw from Hitachi features a two stroke 32.2 cc engine and is ideal for all kinds of hobby work, pruning and shaping whether by homeowners or professional users.

The 1.6 HP Pure Fire engine produces lower emission levels than some other gas powered tools and its forged steel connecting rod, chrome plated cylinder and gear driven heavy duty oiler ensures excellent reliability and cutting performance.

With an outstanding power to weight ratio, this machine ensures a lower amount of user fatigue and the integrated anti-vibration system ensures better user comfort while increasing productivity through its ease of use. This machine is also equipped with a 14″ sprocket nosed guide bar and a chain with side access tensioner for more convenient and rapid chain adjustments. There is also a purge primer bulb and half throttle choke for easier start ups in all conditions and an inbuilt lanyard ring to facilitate climbing.


  • Pure Fire engine has lower emissions
  • Anti-vibration system for improved user comfort
  • Side access chain tensioning system for convenience



  • Gas powered operation means ongoing maintenance and refills
  • Best suited to lighter duty tasks


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