Best Pocket Chainsaw – KXAN Austin

Which pocket chainsaw is the best?

To most people, the word “chainsaw” conjures up thoughts of rumbling engines, smoky exhaust and deafening din. However, for campers, hunters and others who need to cut wood outdoors with minimal disruption, there are clean, quiet and compact options in the form of pocket chainsaws.

The Homyall 24 Inch 33 Tooth Pocket Chainsaw lets you make short work of fallen branches and firewood without fuel, noise or fumes. It offers cutting power and convenience with an included carry pouch.

What to know before buying a pocket chainsaw

How Pocket Chainsaws Work

Unlike gasoline-powered chainsaws, with their noisy, oily motors, pocket chainsaws are hand-operated. Little more than a chain attached to two handles, they are wrapped around the wood and pulled back and forth to cleanly and efficiently saw through even the toughest trees and branches. As the name suggests, pocket chainsaws can be easily packed and carried around in a small bag or case until you need them.

What you intend to cut

Pocket chainsaws are ideal for clearing small areas for setting up camp, cutting stray branches on wooded paths, and preparing firewood. For jobs like extensive land clearing or felling thick trees, a gas-powered chainsaw is still your best option.

Advantages of the pocket chainsaw

If you spend time camping or living outdoors, you know how important it is to carefully consider the tools and supplies you bring with you. Storage space is precious and too much weight can make hiking a chore. Packing a pocket chainsaw lets you leave your heavy ax or long, bulky hacksaw at home. Lightweight, flexible, and easy to store, pocket chainsaws pack the cutting power of those less accommodating tools into a compact, space-saving device.

What to Look for in a Quality Pocket Chainsaw

Type of handle

The handles of pocket chainsaws come in the form of straps or hard plastic handles. Straps are generally preferred because they take up less space and also allow you to use a more relaxed grip if you wrap them around your wrists. Plastic handles, however, may be better if you work in cold conditions where gloves prevent you from using the straps properly. Some pocket chainsaws allow you to change straps or handles, depending on your needs.


Most pocket chainsaws have a full-size chain and handles that require you to use your whole hand. However, some particularly small models use a thin braided chain attached to handles that can only accommodate a finger or two. These small tools are best kept in emergency survival kits, as they are only used to cut the smallest branches.

Chain material and number of teeth

Choose a pocket chainsaw with a carbon or stainless steel chain. Steel stays sharp longer than cheaper alternatives. And look for a model with as many bi-directional teeth on the chain as possible. More teeth means more cutting power. Some pocket chainsaws skip two or more links between the blades, making them less efficient. Keep in mind the density of the wood you intend to cut, as chains with more teeth require more force to use.

Chain length

Consider the type of cut you intend to make and select a saw with the appropriate chain length. Logs and thick branches require a longer chain, while smaller cuts are easier to make with a shorter model. Most pocket chainsaws have 36-inch chains to accommodate a wide range of basic cutting jobs, and some also allow you to extend their length with optional cords or attachments.

Handle color

Most pocket chainsaws have bright orange handles to make them easy to spot outdoors. Hunters who want to avoid being seen may prefer natural tones or camouflage grips, but be aware that pocket chainsaws can be difficult to locate if they fall among sticks, leaves, and weeds.

Self-cleaning teeth

Some chainsaw blades can become jammed with wood and sawdust, limiting their cutting power and requiring constant cleaning to maintain their usefulness. Self-cleaning chains are designed to clear debris with every pull, making every cut count.

Storage pouch

A pocket chainsaw that includes a pouch gives you dedicated storage space. Some pouches can be attached to your belt like a holster, making it easier to transport and access your saw.

How much you can expect to spend on a pocket chainsaw

Most pocket chainsaws cost between $20 and $30. High-end models with sturdy leather handles and the highest quality materials can cost upwards of $100.

Pocket Chainsaw FAQ

Does a pocket chainsaw require maintenance?

A. Over time, it requires sharpening to maintain its sharpness. Other than that, give them an occasional inspection to ensure quality and freedom of movement, and clean them after use.

Can I use a pocket chainsaw to cut plastic or metal?

A. Pocket chainsaws are designed for cutting wood. Use a hacksaw to cut metal or plastic.

Are pocket chainsaws dangerous?

A. As with any cutting tool, use caution to avoid injury. Slipping your hand along the chain can lead to a nasty injury, although pocket chainsaws are significantly safer than hatchets or hacksaws.

What are the best pocket chainsaws to buy?

Superior Pocket Chainsaw

Homyall 24 inch 33 teeth pocket chainsaw

What do you want to know: This chainsaw includes a carrying pouch and is available in two lengths.

What you will love: Made from heat-treated industrial steel, it makes quick work of branches and logs. It is available in 24-inch chain length in orange and green or 36-inch chain in camo, with the 36-inch having half the teeth.

What you should consider: Because it has a large number of teeth, some users find it jams frequently.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pocket chainsaw for money

Razor Sharp 25.5-inch Self-Cleaning Portable Hand Saw

Razor Sharp 25.5-inch Self-Cleaning Portable Hand Saw

What do you want to know: This economical saw is inexpensive yet very durable thanks to its rust-resistant alloy steel chain.

What you will love: Available with webbing handles in black, green and orange, it is excellent for cutting small branches. It includes a sturdy carrying pouch.

What you should consider: Some users find that it easily flips over when in use, leaving the chain edge in the wrong direction and requiring repositioning.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Nordic Pocket Saw Survival Chainsaw

Nordic Pocket Saw Survival Chainsaw

What do you want to know: For those who demand the best, this premium pocket chainsaw features carbon steel construction.

What you will love: With a leather pouch, leather handles, and with each link in the chain featuring a bi-directional blade, this saw delivers on functionality and performance. Made in Sweden from carbon steel, it’s built to last a lifetime.

What you should consider: At five times the cost of other saws, it may be too expensive for those who demand less from their tools.

Or buy: Sold by Amazon

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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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