When working off-ground, there are many things an arborist has to take into account when considering a top-handle chainsaw – visibility, weight, balance, manoeuvrability and ergonomics, to name but a few. With that in mind, this month’s Buyer’s Guide provides a snapshot of what’s available from some of the industry’s biggest brands.


Forestry Journal:

HUSQVARNA – one of the world’s leading producers of forest, park and garden products – has released the Husqvarna T540i XP, its most powerful battery-powered top-handle chainsaw to date.

Specifically designed with the arborist in mind, the Husqvarna T540i XP provides a number of key features. It is a high-performance chainsaw that’s an ideal tool for professional tree care, offering a smooth operation with a high chain speed, fitted with a BLi200X battery to provide 36 V, with an equivalent power to a 40 cc pro petrol saw, to ensure excellent cutting performance.

Developed to maximise performance in the most demanding conditions without compromise, the T540i XP has an excellent centre of gravity for great balance, low noise levels to boost productivity in noise-sensitive areas, and is weatherproof to ensure the machine is a reliable tool that can be used all year round, in all weather conditions.

The chainsaw’s hand guard design allows an unobstructed view to ensure precise cutting, a sturdy point for fastening a rope makes it easy to hoist the saw up into a tree, and the chainsaw’s battery fits into all the Husqvarna Battery 500 Series line-up range, allowing professionals to quickly switch the same battery between different product applications and keep working, boosting productivity.

With the option to download the Husqvarna Connect app for the chainsaw from the App Store or Google Play, arborists can access helpful tips, manuals and spare part recommendations. The app also provides additional information, making it easy to keep track of runtime, charging status, maintenance and service needs of the T540i XP.

For more information, please www.husqvarna.com/uk.


Forestry Journal:

THE new DCS-2500T is the first battery-powered top-handle chainsaw from ECHO. Here is an electric saw to meet the needs of the arborists and tree care professionals who use top-handle chainsaws daily for pruning and arboriculture.

Don’t let the light weight (dry weight 1.6 kg) deceive you, this machine packs professional power with exceptional acceleration. In fact, the 50 V lithium-ion battery generates power and cutting performance equivalent to ECHO’s best-selling CS-2511TES petrol chainsaw; and it does it with low vibration and without the noise and emissions, making it perfect for use in noise-sensitive areas.

Well balanced and ergonomically designed for manoeuvrability and precision, the DCS-2500T is the latest addition to ECHO’s 50 V battery series and is part of its X Series of ‘best in class’ products. The superior, dependable tools are specifically designed for professionals who rely on their tools day in and day out. Often leading in terms of power and performance, X Series products are tested in the most extreme conditions, says the manufacturer, to ensure flawless operation.

The DCS-2500T is certainly packed full of beneficial user-friendly features to complement its power and near noiseless operation. Users will find the patented Quick Draw harness ring a real boon for hooking and unhooking the chainsaw in one movement. There’s a drop-prevention lanyard hook for off-ground safety and this is a truly easy-to-operate machine with an anti-slip handle grip and patented thumb rest adding to operator comfort.

There’s a side-access chain tensioner to allow quick chain adjustments. The driving force, the brushless motor, will ensure long-lasting maintenance-free operation, while the casing has an IPX4 rating for water resistance so the chainsaw is showerproof for protection against the elements. The all-important oil adjustment is situated on the top of the saw so it’s easily adjusted, while filling is equally simple with the flip lever cap opening.

Last but not least is the internal air filter which prevents dust from entering the main board and motor.

Qualified top-handle arborists and tree surgeons looking for ultimate power with quiet, low vibration and emissions-free professional-grade performance will find ECHO’s DCS-2500T just the ticket for everyday use.

You can find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer. You can also visit www.echo-tools.co.uk or call 01844 278800 for more information.


Forestry Journal:

LEADING power tool manufacturer Makita offers an extensive range of cordless top-handle chainsaws, delivering arborists maximum choice for a variety of challenging environments. Makita takes a technology-driven approach to each of its products, designing every tool within its impressive portfolio with improved user experience in mind.

Arborists working off-ground and at height face daily challenges, so it is essential that chainsaw equipment is reliable, fit for purpose and efficient – and also offers the ability to move around site easily and safely. Makita has a full range of both petrol-powered and battery-operated models, all built for power, speed and improved runtimes. Although petrol-powered machines are incredibly effective, opting for battery-powered alternatives can offer operators a number of additional benefits.

Makita’s range of top-handle cordless chainsaws offer a quieter, more lightweight alternative. The top-handle cordless chainsaw range – which includes seven models – is more environmentally friendly and safer for the operator, as no fuel is used to power the machines. Battery-powered machines also produce lower vibration levels and noise, improving operator safety and reducing disruption to those around the site, without compromising on power performance.

Each of the top-handle cordless chainsaws in the range are powered by Makita’s innovative LXT lithium-ion battery technology. With LXT, Makita’s outdoor power range ensures that operators can experience the same great performance required by professional users.

With Makita’s lithium-ion batteries, machines such as the DUC254Z and DUC256Z benefit from industry-leading runtimes and charge times, improving on-site efficiency. Makita’s 18 V lithium-ion batteries can charge in as little as
22 minutes (for 3.0 Ah batteries), up to 55 minutes (for 6.0 Ah batteries).

Makita also manufactures 36 V chainsaws powered by two 18 V LXT batteries. This means that tools like the DUC306Z and DUC302Z utilise two batteries, which are used in series to supply energy to the tools’ powerful 36 V DC motor drive system.

Makita’s LXT batteries can be used in over 250 products, extending the application possibilities for any professional operator. With over 100 years’ experience, Makita products are renowned worldwide for their ease of use, consistent performance and high quality – and are trusted by professionals, industry-wide.

To find out more about Makita’s range of top-handle chainsaws, please visit www.makitauk.com.


STIHL offers a range of top-handle chainsaws for arboriculture work, providing class-leading power-to-weight ratio and accurate guidance, optimum handling and outstanding cutting performance for trained professionals.

MS 201 TC-M:

Forestry Journal:

Utilising a 35 cc motor, the MS 201 TC-M is Stihl’s most powerful top-handle chainsaw for professionally trained arborists. This high-performance machine boasts the best power-to-weight ratio in its class allowing professional arborists to get more done in less time. This is achieved through M-Tronic, Stihl’s fully electronic engine management system combined with 2-MIX technology, allowing the engine to perform at its peak from start-up in any condition.

Due to the high power output the saw can be paired with 12” or 14” lightweight guide bars and a full chisel 3/8 PS3 saw chain for greater cutting accuracy and increased durability; perfect for tree crown reductions and taking down trees in sections that cannot be felled. In addition, the saw features a captive nut on the sprocket cover to allow for quick changing of the chain, as well as Stihl’s innovative anti-vibration system to ensure comfortable operation over longer periods.

MSA 161 T:

Forestry Journal:

The MSA 161 T is Stihl’s lightweight cordless professional chainsaw that boasts a 40 per cent higher chain speed (16 m/s) and delivers a 15 per cent increase in engine performance than its predecessor, the MSA 160 T, making it ideal for removing deadwood, crown maintenance and light reductions. The cordless nature of the tool means that the MSA 161 T is so quiet in operation that ear defenders are not required and any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum and better communication can be made with ground workers.

Designed with easy handling in mind, the MSA 161 T utilises a low-profile ¼ P chain that delivers a precise cutting behaviour to ensure a clean and smooth cut. In addition, the MSA 161 T is designed with three different trigger combinations that can be used with the ‘trigger switch lock out’ feature, including a combination ideally suited when performing multiple cuts consecutively. These uses have been created to be convenient to operate while also ensuring user safety.

Powered by a range of 36 V AP batteries, the AP 200 battery and AL 300 charger are recommended for the MSA 161 T, which affords professionals a runtime of up to 42 minutes on a single charge whilst leaving the saw well balanced. Alternatively, when using Stihl’s AP 300 S battery, users can benefit from a 62-minute runtime.

For more information on Stihl’s range of top-handle chainsaws, please visit www.stihl.co.uk.

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £69 for 1 year - or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link: https://www.forestryjournal.co.uk/subscribe/

Thanks – and stay safe.