Why are top handle chainsaws more expensive

Are you an avid outdoors enthusiast or perhaps a seasoned arborist in tree care and maintenance? If so, you’ve likely come across top-handle chainsaws and wondered why they come with a heavy price tag compared to their counterparts.

The simple and precise answer to why are top handle chainsaws more expensive is that they are built for durability and performance. Top-handle chainsaws are more accurate and comfortable to grip, which translates into a more efficient and accurate cutting experience, while others are not as accurate. One of the best top-handled, affordable, and experienced user chainsaws is the DEWALT DCCS620P1, with a price tag of $299.

DEWALT DCCS620P1 Chainsaw

It comes with a powerful 20-volt lithium-ion battery, a 12-inch cutting capacity, and a comfortable grip that makes it easy to handle. The chainsaw is also lightweight and easy to transport. It also has a built-in chain brake and affordable price.

So, in this blog post, we’ll explore the fascinating world of top-handle chainsaws and shed light on the reasons behind their extra cost. Let’s take a look.

What are the benefits of a top-handle chainsaw?

Enhanced Maneuverability

One of the standout advantages of top-handle chainsaws is their superior maneuverability. Unlike traditional chainsaws that require both hands to operate, top handle models are designed with a compact and lightweight frame. This allows for effortless handling in tight spaces or when working at heights, making them ideal for tree pruning or limb removal tasks.

Improved Balance and Control

With the weight concentrated closer to your body, top-handle chainsaws offer better balance and control during operation. The ergonomic design ensures a comfortable grip and reduces fatigue, enabling you to work longer without compromising precision or safety.

Versatility in Tree Climbing

Professional arborists particularly favor top-handle chainsaws due to their suitability for tree-climbing operations. These chainsaws allow climbers to easily ascend trees while keeping the tool close at hand for efficient cutting. Their compact size also minimizes the risk of injury in an accident or during a fast move.

Efficient Cutting Performance

Don’t be fooled by their smaller size – top-handle chainsaws are some of the most efficient chainsaws on the market. Their compact design and lightweight build result in less fatigue and improved cutting performance.

Equipped with high-performance engines and quality cutting components, they easily deliver swift cuts through wood. Whether you’re tackling small limbs or larger logs, these machines provide efficient cutting performance.

Remember! When choosing a top-handle chainsaw, it’s crucial to consider factors such as engine power, guide bar length, chain speed, and durability of materials used in construction.

Why are top handle chainsaws more expensive?

1. Specialized design

One of the reasons top-handle chainsaws are more expensive than their counterparts is due to the design and features they offer. These chainsaws are specifically designed for professional arborists, who require a lightweight and maneuverable tool to tackle tree-cutting tasks at heights.

2. Specialized Construction

Top-handle chainsaws are built with high-quality materials that ensure durability and longevity. The construction of these saws is often superior, using advanced technology to create a sturdy yet lightweight frame. This ensures that professionals can rely on their equipment in demanding situations without worrying about it breaking or malfunctioning.

3. Powerful Engines

Top-handle chainsaws typically come equipped with powerful engines that provide optimal performance. These engines are designed to deliver increased power while still maintaining fuel efficiency. The added power enables users to cut through tough branches and limbs efficiently, saving time and effort.

4. Additional Safety Features

Furthermore, these specialized saws often incorporate additional safety features such as anti-vibration systems and enhanced chain brake mechanisms. These safety measures help reduce fatigue during extended use and minimize the risk of accidents or injuries.

5. Working At Heights 

In addition to the physical aspects mentioned above, another reason for the higher price tag is related to research and development costs associated with creating innovative designs specific to working at heights.

 Can you use a top-handle chainsaw on the ground?

According to guidelines, chainsaw users are advised not to use their chainsaws while standing on the ground, which can cause them to become unstable and result in an injury. Instead, chainsaw users are advised to use a stable platform such as a tree trunk or workbench to prevent injury.

For ground applications, rear-handle chainsaws should be used as they provide a more stable platform and are less likely to cause injury.

Differences between Top Handle Chainsaw vs. Rear Handle Chainsaw

It’s important to understand their differences when choosing between a top-handle chainsaw and a rear-handle chainsaw. While both types of saws serve the same purpose – cutting through wood – they have distinct features that cater to different needs.


A top-handle chainsaw is designed for one-handed operation and is commonly used by professional arborists who work at heights or in confined spaces. Its compact size and lightweight nature make maneuverability easier in such situations.

On the other hand, a rear handle chainsaw is more suitable for general-purpose use on the ground. It features a more traditional chainsaw design with a longer handle for two-handed operation. This makes cutting through large chunks of wood easier and is ideal for less experienced users or those who work in open spaces.


Another key difference between the two types of chainsaws is their price. A top handle is typically more expensive than a rear handle due to the added features and specialized construction.

Uses of Top Handle Chainsaw

 Professional arborists commonly use top-handle chainsaws to tackle tasks such as tree cutting, limb removal, and felling. They are also popular among homeowners who want an easy way to cut through large limbs and logs.

Uses of Rear Handle Chainsaw

 Homeowners and DIY enthusiasts commonly use rear-handle chainsaws for general-purpose work, such as cutting through wood, plastic, and metal. They are also helpful for cutting through obstacles such as barbed wire or electrical cables.

Are there any disadvantages to using a top-handle chainsaw?

Are there any disadvantages to using a top-handle chainsaw? While top-handle chainsaws have many benefits, it’s also important to consider their drawbacks.

1. More Expensive 

One disadvantage is that top-handle chainsaws can be more expensive than their rear handle counterparts. This is due to the additional engineering and design required for a compact, lightweight saw that still packs enough power.

 2. More Difficult to Use

 Another potential disadvantage is that top-handle chainsaws are more difficult to use than rear-handle chainsaws. Chainsaw users new to chainsaw usage may find them more difficult to operate as they require more coordination and strength.

3. Professional Use

Additionally, top-handle chainsaws are typically designed for professional use and may require specialized training or certification to operate safely. It’s crucial to understand how to properly hold and maneuver the saw to minimize the risk of accidents or injuries.
Despite these potential drawbacks, many professionals choose top-handle chainsaws for their portability, maneuverability, and ease of use in tight spaces such as tree branches or elevated work areas.

Whether a top-handle chainsaw is right depends on your specific needs and preferences.

How to choose the right top handle chainsaw for you?

When choosing the right top-handle chainsaw for you, there are a few key factors to consider.


First and foremost, think about your specific needs and preferences. Are you a professional arborist who requires a powerful tool for heavy-duty tasks? Or are you a homeowner looking for something more lightweight and user-friendly?

Next, consider the power source of the chainsaw. Top-handle chainsaws typically come in two types: gas-powered and electric.

gas-powered and electric chainsaws

Gas-powered chainsaws are typically more powerful and durable but require a fuel tank and an engine. Electric chainsaws are more convenient and easier to use, but they don’t offer the same level of power or durability.

These climbing chainsaws are suitable for a top-handle chainsaw, but electric chainsaws are typically more user-friendly and easier to operate.

 weight and size

 Another important factor to consider is the weight and size of the chainsaw. Due to their more traditional design, top-handle chainsaws are typically heavier and larger than their rear-handle counterparts. This can make them more difficult to carry and maneuver around.

Are Top-Handle Chainsaws Safer?

 Generally, the top handle is considered safer than the rear handle.  This is because they are designed with a more traditional design that is less likely to cause accidents.

Additionally, professional users typically undergo specialized training before using top-handle chainsaws.

Arborists prefer a top handle saw because it is lightweight and easy to use. It can be used for a long period without getting tiring. However, a normal saw is heavier, which means it is tiring if one has to work for a long time.

Furthermore, a top handle saw can reach out to difficult areas. Because arborists work for a long period, all these features make it suitable.


In conclusion, top-handle chainsaws are more expensive due to their design and features. They are lighter, have a better balance for easier maneuverability, and can be used in tight spaces.

Top-handle chainsaws also provide greater safety features than others, making them worth the extra cost. 

Therefore, investing in a top-handle model may be your best option if you need a high-quality chainsaw that is easy to use and provides great performance.

Another recommendation for the top handle is for beginners. They can be used safely without any prior experience. The chainsaw is Oregon CS1500 18-inch Corded Beginner Electric Chainsaw, which is a lightweight chainsaw that is easy to use.


What Chainsaw Do Most Loggers Use?

Most loggers use a top-handle chainsaw. These saws are designed for heavy-duty tasks and are more durable than other chainsaws.

Are The Top Handle And Rear Handle Chainsaws The Same?

No, the two types of chainsaws have distinct differences. Top-handle chainsaws are designed to be lightweight and ergonomic for user comfort during overhead cutting tasks.
On the other hand, rear-handle chainsaws have a more powerful engine and are designed for more excellent stability during heavier cutting tasks.

Are Top Handle Chainsaws More Dangerous Than Other Chainsaws?

 No, top-handle chainsaws are considered safer than their rear-handle counterparts. This is because top-handle chainsaws are designed with a more traditional design that is less likely to cause accidents.

Can We Call A Mini Chainsaw A Top-Handle Chainsaw?

No, mini chainsaws are not typically considered to be top-handle chainsaws. Mini chainsaws are typically designed for smaller tasks and do not have the same level of power or durability as top-handle chainsaws. A mini chainsaw is typically a smaller one designed for easier handling. Also, it is a  two-handed chainsaw, which makes it less stable.

Are Carbide Chainsaw Chains Worth It?

They depend on the individual’s needs. They require less frequent sharpening and can easily cut through hardwood. Carbide chains offer better durability and performance than other chains but are also more expensive.

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