Best Top Handle Chainsaw For Arborists – Top 7 in 2023

Top handle chainsaws are particularly structured for the arborists. At ground level you might not be able to use them properly for cutting. In top handle chainsaws, the ergonomic handle is located at the top; so that the user might operate it with single hand when required.

Top handle chainsaws are festooned with a couple of specialized characteristics which are very helpful for professional employment. However, if a chainsaw lacks those physiognomies, it won’t result in any serious effect on the efficiency of the chainsaw. Here is a list of those specific physiognomies with brief description.

First and foremost, these chainsaws are specially designed for the arborists. They contain the handle at the top to grasp the gadget with a single handed.

Obviously, for working with single hand the loggers need an apparatus that must contain the center of gravity under the handle of the machine.

The need of using single hand is that sometimes you are required to work while holding on an object to keep your position while working at a height.

And sometimes, you are working at some awkward positions and you need to keep your balance.

Best Top Handle Chainsaw

Second, the module must be slim to keep the balance easily. Third, the center of gravity should be high, for the better equilibrium. Fourth, the chainsaw needs to be light in weight to manage the weight single handedly. Fifth, this must be compulsorily cordless; that is why they are either gas operated or battery operated devices.

Though top handle chainsaws are architecture for professional arborists, yet there is no special restriction for non-professional users as well in using these chainsaws. They only need to get a little used to the angle of the right hand. Instead of always clasping the machine with both hands, it seems a better idea to use single hand while working at some tough position.

However, if you are new, it takes only a couple of days in getting used to the handle at the top. And once you are habitual of clasping the handle at the top, you will feel that the top handle chainsaw is more comfortable in your trimming, carving wood and snipping operation.

Best Top Handle Chainsaws for Arborists

Engine Power
CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless
Battery Powered
4 HP
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Echo CS 271T
Gas Powered
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Farmertec JonCutter Chainsaw
Gas Powered
1.2 HP
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Makita XCU06Z
Battery Powered
3.2 HP
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Battery Powered
550 watt Battery
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Husqvarna T435
Gas Powered Chainsaw
2 HP
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Farmertec Holzfforma G111
Gas Powered
5.3 HP
Check Price

1. CRAFTSMAN V20 Cordless

Type: Battery Powered Chainsaw | Chain Length: 12 Inches | Engine Power: 4 HP | Weight: 9.9 Pounds

Craftsman V20 comprises of power grade components. Its ergonomic structure is awesome in handling the machine and brilliant in giving fabulous performance in all conditions.

Being light in weight and a cordless appliance, it supports you to provide the best job of arborist.

Wraparound handle bar increases your grasp and control on the chainsaw. Sophisticated hand guard and low kickback improve your safety during crafty operation.

Soft rubber covering on the handle bars does not let you feel exhaustion and hence improves your maneuverability to the ultimate level.

Bubble level is a unique trait that is rarely seen in contemporary gadgets. Either as a professional sawyer or an amateur one, you must be very keen to cut the wood at the exact angle that you have sketched in your mind. This trait helps you find the angle of the cuts and hence supports you very much in achieving the professional grade sawing. 

To run the gadget for extended time you find a lithium ion 4.0 ampere hour battery. Twelve inch compact design chain helps you cut in small niches and nooks. However, if you are confronting huge stumps with large diameter, you may select a gadget with longer bar and chain. Otherwise, for branches and twigs, twelve inch is accurate length.

Auto lubrication is another good aspect that decreases the maintenance of the implement. And hence your tension to always have a check on the oiling status of the bar and the chain releases. Secondly, it secures resilience of the machine in case of some accidental carelessness.


  • Bubble level for accurate angle of cutting
  • Auto lubrication technology
  • Tool-less chain tensioning
  • Package includes battery and charger
  • 3 years warranty


  • Not very efficient against hardwood

Personal Experience Review

Craftsman V20 gave satisfactory result in my experimental operation. I found all the equipment very assuring during my arborist measurability. For example, its tool-less tensioning system provides good assistance during an adventure at a height. Obviously, you can’t keep a screw driver and a wrench in your pocket all the time.

2. Echo CS 271T

Type: Gas Powered Chainsaw | Chain Length: 12 Inches | Engine Power: 26.9cc | Weight: 6.6 Pounds | Starting Mechanism: I-30

Echo CS-271T is Japanese model. It is festooned with all the specialized features needed to perform your operation with single hand.

Hence, the gadget is ideal for arborists as well. There is long list of ergonomic characteristics, but I discuss only salient features in brief.

Echo CS-271T is an ideal production of modern technology. First, we talk about the engine. Two-stroke, 26.9 cc professional grade engine provides you enough energy that you may collect as much timber as your stamina offers.

Automatic clutch driven lubrication technology reduces oil consumption as well as your manual job on the maintenance.

The precious chainsaw is provided with i-30 starting system. This system is found marvelous for easy start. You seldom feel the need of second pull to ignite the sophisticated engine. The engine is equipped with gravitational force air pre cleaner which removes large particles from the air before the air reaches the air filter.

Perhaps you know the job of purge bulb. Actually, it is responsible for circulation of oil in carburetor. This purge bulb is protected well to enhance the capacity of easy start. Throttle lock out and inertia based chain brake are responsible of your security during your strenuous maneuverability.

Echo CS-271T offers you another facility. The tool-less air filter covering is placed at the rear for easy approach. Chain tensioning system is located at the side of the apparatus. These time saving facilities support the sawyers to a fantastic level.


  • Compact design
  • Clutch driven auto lubrication
  • Modern i-30 starting system
  • Purge bulb with choke for easy start
  • Throttle lock out


  • No tool-less tensioning system

Personal Experience Review

I found Echo CS-271T a marvelous gadget in every respect. Its beautiful structure fulfills all the needs of aesthetics. It is light in weight and reduces your exhaustion in long spells of working. Despite of being light in weight, the performance is better than many heavier tools. The handle bars are light in weight and are covered with such a nice rubber that you will unintentionally tend to keep the paraphernalia for long.

3. Farmertec JonCutter Chainsaw

Type: Gas Powered Chainsaw | Chain Length: 10 Inches | Engine Power: 1.2 HP | Weight: 8 Pounds | Power Speed: 8500 RPM

Farmertec JonCutter is an exquisitely remarkable and exciting chainsaw. The kit is simply far more than the economical price. Top handle is specialized in providing you the finest assistance in doing various jobs of pruning, limbing, trimming and cropping at ground level or above the ground.

The first thing that amazes me is the miniature size. The machine is very small and very easy to operate with a single hand.

I will simply declare that farmertec JonCutter is an ideal machine for arborists who need to take care of the trees pruning as per their job. This miniature machine is actually the giant of performance.

With its very light weight you can easily manage to climb anywhere, at any height. Farmertec works well even if the room is little and the cranny is small. The implement offers you a tool-less approach to the air filter. You can wash the filter very easily. The apparatus is equipped with a choke that helps in easy start. You will find the gadget always ready to cut the wood.

As Farmertec is a gas powered tool, you don’t need to take tension of charging the batteries. Secondly, there is no match of gas powered chainsaws in performing a strenuous job. For safety measures Farmertec is furnished with advanced low kickback and chain brake technology. With twelve inch chain size, you can produce good output while tackling the tree limbs, growing at difficult angles.


  • Small in size
  • Light in weight
  • Easy to use single handedly
  • Specially made for arborists
  • Brisk motor with splendid speed


  • Single bar nut
  • Brake is a little stiff

Personal Experience Review

When I unpacked the box, I felt a little suspicious about the machine. However, I assembled the bar and chain. Assembling procedure was not too tough. I needed three tools to do all. All the required tools were present in the tool kit. Only one thing I found a little difficult to manage. It was the chain brake that needed a little stronger push to bring in active position.

Later period was amazing. I came into my lawn and tested its performance. It was amazing. It cut a good mass of timber in a very little time. Surely, 0.9 KW power was at its display. The 25.4cc JonCutter Prowler Puppy gave unmatched speed and the timber turned into pieces against its sharp teeth.

4. Makita XCU06Z

Type: Battery Powered Chainsaw | Chain Length: 10 Inches | Engine Power: 3.2 HP | Weight: 7.19 Pounds | Chain Speed: 4720 FPM

Makita XCU06Z is a sublime production of Makita which is one of the best popular brands all over the globe.

The handle is situated at the top which is indispensable factor for the arborists who work for tree care industries at professional level.

Top handle is very much convenient in using the chainsaw with single hand at the top of trees. It is also convenient for trimming, pruning and limbing at domestic as well as commercial level.

Furthermore, for your convenience the supreme top handle is equipped with LED switch with auto power off function.

The handle is also furnished with built-in lock off lever that helps in preventing any severe accident in case of some unintentional push on the start button. This superb machine is supplied with Makita made outer rotor brushless motor which lets the engine supply a powerful rotation that goes equivalent to 22 cc gas chainsaw.

For arborists, the next significant requirement is small chain size. With 10 inch chain size you are able to perform your arborist job quite easily. Secondly, small size is very convenient in managing the balance as well as working on tough angles. Speedy motor offers you a good speed of 4,720 rpm that cuts even the firewood conveniently.


  • Brushless motor made by Makita
  • Torque boost mode for cutting hardwood
  • Captured bar nut for safety
  • Lateral chain tensioning system
  • Built-in lock off lever
  • LED switch with auto power-off function


  • No tool-less tensioning
  • Package does not include battery

Personal Experience Review

I have already used some brands of Makita. But Makita XCU06Z remained at the top of list. Beside good performance it is equipped with robust equipment. Next, the comfort level is high and handling the machine is a fun. I like its torque boost mode that helps cut the hardwood without any sluggish expression.

Makita can be loaded with powerful lithium ion18 volt battery with 5 ampere electric current. It is up to you to select the battery as the package does not include battery.

5. DEWALT 20v DCCS620

Type: Battery Powered Chainsaw | Chain Length: 12 Inches | Battery Power: 550 watt | Weight: 8.8 Pounds

Dewalt DCCS620 is a novel construction of modern age. It compromises all the latest technology and up-to-the-minute equipment to employ the best operation of cutting, limbing, pruning, clipping and snipping.

In simple words, it is a quality chainsaw under 200 with all the best characteristics that a keen arborist demands for his professional grade employment.

Cordless Dewalt DCCS620 is a cordless gadget with a powerful 550 watts brushless motor. Top handle facilitates the logger to use the appliance with single hand.

The characteristic is further boosted by the weight that is as low as 9 pound only. Ergonomic structure promises a splendid performance as well as calm and soothing operation.

To enhance safety measures, the machine is equipped with low kickback 12 inch chain as well as inertia based chain brake. Tool-less tensioning system enables you to bring the chain and the bar at the proper tension without using any tool. The ergonomic knobs are sophisticated in design and convenient in operation.

Auto lubrication system increases the life span of the gadget as well heightens the performance. At the front side, an easily accessible window is present to check the oil level. It is there to keep you updated about the oil level. You should fill the reservoir when the oil level decreases to a significant limit. For filling, the gadget is equipped with a well located opening.

Sophisticated handle bars are covered with soft but robust rubber that excites you to put more efficient strain on the employment. After hours of working, you will find no marks of the bar on your palm.


  • 5 Ampere hour battery
  • High efficiency brushless motor
  • Up to 90 cuts per charge
  • Automatic lubrication
  • Tool-less tensioning
  • Clear window for checking oil level


  • Sometimes oil leaks from the reservoir

Personal Experience Review

As Dewalt DCCS620 is battery operated appliance, you don’t need to take tension of the electric wires or the emission of the poisonous gases. No need to pull the cords again and again to start the machine. Environment friendly gadget is most suitable for pruning and clipping. The chain is equipped with sharp blade at a proper angle to provide maximum cutting, without turning the wood into powder.

6. Husqvarna T435

Type: Gas Powered Chainsaw | Chain Length: 14 Inches | Engine Power: 2 HP | Weight: 7.5 Pounds

Husqvarna T435 has such supreme qualities and unparalleled potentials that are capable of turning your passions into love towards it.

Obviously, a user gets into a close relationship with his tools by dint of their companionship in hard toil and difficult tasks.

Husqvarna T435 is equipped with 35 cc engine and it comprises the power equivalent to 2 horse power. Being very light in weight, the robust module stands as the best tool for the arborists.

You can easily use it with single hand while working at the height, among the top most branches of the ample plants in your backyard.

Next, an exclusive and reassuring characteristic I want to mention. It is the anti-vibration system. Vibration often not only causes fatigue but also a feeling of lethargy. The vibration travels from hand to shoulder and then through the neck it moves towards your brain. Ultimately, it causes hypertension and indolence.

The X-Torque, brushless engine offers more power with less consumption of gas and reduced emission of poisonous smoke. Hence, you find the Husqvarna T435 made on the strategies of all the environmental laws thoroughly. The gadget is equipped with side mounted chain tensioning system for easy tightening of the chain and the bar.

Another quality that you seldom find in any other gadget, and which is especially helpful for the arborists, is rope attachment that is used for hoisting the chainsaw into the tree. This attachment gets significant when you are required to climb down for a while. In this situation you won’t like to carry the machine down and up again.


  • Equipped with anti-vibration system
  • Lower fuel consumption
  • Chain brake with special perforation
  • Rope attachment for hoisting the chainsaw
  • X-Torque brushless engine
  • Adjustable oil flow for lubrication


  • No tool-less chain tensioning

Personal Experience Review

I started liking Husqvarna T435 in the very first cutting trial. The performance was the same that I wanted to see. Secondly, to enhance the performance, the gadget is equipped with modern and durable compartments. Fourteen inch X-cut chainsaw and x-force bar are found magnificent in durability and sublime in performance. Chain brake is adorned with special perforation that offers you a better view of the guide bar tip during limbing.

7. Farmertec Holzfforma G111

Type: Gas Powered Chainsaw | Chain Length: 12 Inches | Engine Power: 5.3 HP | Weight: 12 Pounds

If you have good aesthetic sense, you will like to spend money on Farmertec Holzfforma G111.

It is equipped with the latest technology which provides you speed, resilience, permanence, ease in use and many more.

As an arborist I appreciate the unique clasping texture and structure which Holzfforma endures. Low kickback capacity and speed of chain create a marvelous equilibrium in performance and security.

Chain brake is another thing to enjoy, not only because of its accurate performance, but also for the ergonomic structure. The nose of the bar is quite easily visible through wide windows. The combination of blue and white is really fantastic.

Ergonomic display of power and capacity of working is the source of its popularity and demand all over the globe. The gadget is loaded with a fine, fully automatic oil pump. Automatic lubrication liberates you from the tension of checking the condition of the chain again and again.

The comfort of use increases with easily accessible air filter. This will help you keep the machine up to date and at the best working position all the time. Similarly, effortlessly reachable control lever increases the level of the safety measures. You may use it with your thumb quite comfortably.


  • Light in weight
  • Good chain speed
  • Fully automatic oil pump
  • Compatible spare parts
  • Convenient for arborists


  • Does not come assembled

Personal Experience Review

As my habit, I compared Farmertec Holzfforma G111 with its contemporary gadgets. Even though a few of them competed well but my final selection would ultimately go for Holzfforma. The reason is its unmatched performance and standardized look. The 35.2 cc engine gives good speed of 2500 rpm in idle state while the power speed goes up to 11500 rpm. This always stuns me and the output is also worth praising.


No doubt arborists’ job is very sensitive and difficult. To reduce the toughness of the task, manufacturers always make their best efforts to provide the most convenient gadgets. Top handle chainsaws are unique in structure and very supportive to the job of arborists. That is why today all the arborists choose top handle chainsaws.

The major difference you will find in the top handle chainsaws is that of weight, chain size and the grip of the machine. Somehow, beauty of the gadget also counts a lot. Most of the loggers and gardeners have a very good aesthetic sense. So, sometimes your selection goes in favor of that gadget that is superior in appearance. 

The best top handle chainsaw available in the market are well in competition in the view of the ergonomic and aesthetic features. The selection is yours. Obviously, a customer evaluates not only the features but takes a good note of the price as well. However, three of the seven above products impressed me more.  These are:

  1. Makita XCU06Z
  2. Echo CS-271T
  3. Farmertec Holzfforma G111

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )

Q1. What is the best CC for a chainsaw?

For arborists, the best suitable engine size is between 32 and 35 cc. This size provides enough speed that you need for pruning, lopping and trimming while working among the top branches of the plants.

Q2. Are top handle chainsaws safe?

At ground level, top handle chainsaws should be used only for pruning and not for cutting stumps. They are actually not made for cutting when you are in standing position on the ground.  

Q3. What is the best top handle chainsaw?

The choice of chainsaw largely depends upon the nature of the use of the chainsaw. However, considering all necessary features that must be present in a top handle chainsaw, Craftsman 20V seems a very good and complete choice to make.

Q4. What is a top-handle chainsaw, and what makes it different from other types of chainsaws?

Top-handle chainsaws can be referred to as chainsaws held by a single hand and can be used easily. While a regular chainsaw requires a tight holding with both of the hands. Top-handle chainsaws are usually used for trimming extended branches and cutting small branches of trees.

Q5. How powerful should a top-handle chainsaw be?

The power of chainsaw depends upon the nature of the wood and work you intended to complete using a specific chainsaw. If wood is soft, you don’t need a chainsaw that exerts massive power – meanwhile, if you have a big log to turn into slices, you need a power tool with greater power. In short, there is no specific power associated with top-handle chainsaw.

Q6. What should I look for while buying top-handle chainsaw?

Buying a chainsaw is not an easy task, you may need to serve hours to find a suitable one; however, I have made the choice easy for you in aforementioned list of chainsaws. By the way, when it comes to buy a chainsaw, you should consider the its power output, its weight, its price and safety features. If you are convinced about all these features, you can make a purchase.

Q7. How should I maintain my top-handle chainsaw?

Chainsaws demand huge care, and this is the only way to have the best service from your power tools. You can better maintain your top-handle chainsaw by following the given tips;

  • Clean your chainsaw thoroughly every time you use it
  • Provide its components with required lubrication
  • Keep the edges of chainsaw chain sharpened
  • Store it away from the heat and moisture

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