Choosing your chainsaw is one of the most important decisions a forester can make. However, finding the best model to suit your needs is no easy task, with many considerations to be made. When it comes to working on the ground, it is important to consider not only functionality and reliability, but health and safety, comfort and performance. Here, we take a look at the latest models on the market from some of the major manufacturers.


MS 261 C-M

Forestry Journal:

FOR forestry professionals looking for a high-performance chainsaw for ground-level work, the Stihl MS 261 C-M chainsaw offers an excellent power-to-weight ratio, as well as up to 20 per cent better cutting performance thanks to a series of upgrades to the bar and chain.

Designed as a forestry chainsaw, the MS 261 C-M comes fitted with Stihl’s Light 04 chainsaw bar as standard, which features a new, innovative, slim contour that weighs up to 200 g less than the previous Rollomatic E bar. Not only does this ensure forestry workers can benefit from easier manoeuvrability and improved balance, but the lighter weight also helps to reduce fatigue when cutting. As well as weighing less, the new guide bars also feature a slimmer profile and bar tip, allowing faster plunge cutting.

READ MORE: Tree work: 5 top-handle chainsaws for arborists working at height

As part of the new chainsaw upgrades, the MS 261 C-M will now come fitted with .325” RS PRO. The 1.3 mm gauge chain, which matches the 1.3 mm bar groove, offers up to 20 per cent greater cutting performance when compared to standard .325 RS saw chains. The faster cutting comes from the thickness of the cutter tooth that is reduced from 7.7 mm to 6.8 mm, meaning less wood is removed from the cut for more efficiency.

Forestry Journal:

The light and well-balanced MS 216 C-M is also designed with Stihl’s latest M-Tronic 3.0 technology, which regulates the ignition timing and fuel metering at all times so the machine is always at optimum performance. Additionally, the 2-MIX technology in the MS 261 C-M petrol chainsaw ensures up to 20 per cent less fuel consumption and up to 50 per cent lower emissions compared to the equivalent Stihl two-stroke engines without 2-MIX technology.

While the overall lightweight nature of the tool helps to reduce fatigue when working over longer periods, the MS 261 C-M also features Stihl’s anti-vibration system, which significantly reduces vibrations at the handles for comfortable use of this forestry chainsaw when working.

For more information on Stihl’s range of petrol-powered chainsaws, please visit


Forestry Journal:

MAKITA has a wealth of experience in the outdoor machinery sector and its products offer the ease of use, consistent performance and high quality that professionals need to complete jobs efficiently and safely. With a wide range of chainsaws to choose from, professionals can always find a model suited to the task at hand.


The DUC405 LXT chainsaw delivers the high output and chain speed professionals require thanks to Makita’s twin 18V LXT technology that utilises two 18V LXT batteries that work in series to supply energy to the powerful 36V DC brushless motor. The DUC405 is ideally suited to tackling larger materials due to the 400 mm bar and its ability to reach chain speeds of 20 m/s. For easy cutting and improved operator control, the DUC405 includes a metal spike bumper that firmly grips the material.

The DUC405 has variable speed control that can be activated using the trigger, enabling operators to control the speed of the chain in the same way they would use the accelerator on a petrol product.

To ensure user safety, the DUC405 features an auto-power-off function, which shuts the machine down after one minute of inactivity. The DUC405 has also been designed with captive bar nuts to prevent them from getting lost when removing the sprocket cover to replace the guide bar or chain.

Forestry Journal:

EA6100P45D (61 CC)

The EA6100P45D is ideal for professionals looking for a petrol-engine alternative. It has a 450 mm blade and a large fuel tank that allows up to 30 minutes’ continuous operation without needing to refuel. To improve fuel efficiency, the EA6100P45D includes Makita’s unique stratified air scavenging system that ensures this machine meets exhaust emission regulations.

The EA6100P45D offers easy start-up thanks to the spring-assisted recoil starter. This minimises user fatigue by significantly reducing resistance caused when the starter rope is pulled. For increased operator safety, the EA6100P45D utilises a low-vibration system whereby damper springs absorb vibration from the engine before it reaches the front and rear handles.

Makita has a wide selection of cordless and petrol-engine chainsaws available. To find out more and check out Makita’s full machinery range, visit


540I XP

Forestry Journal:

THE Husqvarna 540i XP battery chainsaw has been developed specially for professional tree care workers, featuring an optimised system to deliver the next step in battery performance and innovation.

The 540i XP chainsaw uses the Husqvarna BLi300 battery, which gives the chainsaw capabilities equivalent to professional 40 cc class petrol chainsaws, making the 540i XP ideal for tree removals and smaller felling tasks. The chainsaw boasts excellent cutting capacity to tackle thick trunks and branches, while also being fast and nimble for pruning and limbing tasks. Available with a 14” or 16” bar as standard, the 540i XP is the perfect all-round saw for tree care workers.

Thanks to its lightweight design, the 540i XP provides easy handling and has an advanced, user-friendly, bright LED interface for quick control showing battery level, eco mode, warning messages, chain brake status and connectivity status. In addition to this, the chainsaw’s balanced body provides the manoeuvrability needed for difficult cuts, and with its easy start/stop button, controlling the machine has never been easier.

READ MORE: Chainsaw case study: Stihl MSA 161 T

Other benefits of the 540i XP chainsaw include the absence of direct emissions, reduced noise, and fewer vibrations, which equals less strain on the body and the ability to work in noise-sensitive areas without disturbance. Furthermore, the 540i XP is made with premium materials and durable components, resulting in an extremely robust chainsaw. The saw is also IPX4 classified, meaning the machine can operate in challenging weather, ensuring it is a long-lasting and reliable tool that can be used all year round in all weather conditions.

With the 540i XP, operators can expect a low-maintenance chainsaw due to fewer moving parts, and the electronically controlled drive system means less downtime and a low operational cost.

For more information, please visit



ECHO has introduced a new professional chainsaw, the CS-7310SX, which is the largest in the current range and features a low-emission, premium-grade 73.5 cc engine with an output of 4.1 kW.

A heavy-duty, rear-handle chainsaw, the CS-7310SX is part of the Echo X Series, which designates it as a best-in-class product and as such it’s packed with features designed to increase the productivity of the professional user.

Echo say they have built this for the many arborists and landscapers using these types of saws regularly to fell large trees. They add that the professional-grade Echo two-stroke engine is designed and manufactured in Japan to the highest possible standards, delivering powerful cutting with low emissions and noise levels. There is no question it generates massive torque and provides exceptional cutting performance for heavy-duty felling. And yet, it is a lightweight and well-balanced saw, weighing in at only 6.8 kg (dry weight) and featuring an ergonomic and robust construction to meet the challenges of professional felling and forestry work.

Echo X Series products are often industry-leading in terms of power and performance and the CS-7310SX lives up to this reputation with a tradition of testing in the most extreme conditions to ensure flawless operation. For the professional who relies on their tools day in and day out the saw is packed with beneficial features. A magnesium starter housing more efficiently disperses heat generated by the engine and the G-Force air pre-cleaner reduces its exposure to dirt and debris. Together with the centrifugal separation dust-free system, that means less maintenance and a longer life. Starting is easy with the decompression valve, and the heavy-duty aluminium handle has a secure rubber grip offering reduced vibration in the hand. Drop prevention nuts to the side casing mean the nuts can’t be lost during maintenance. Dual bumper spikes give you better control when sawing through stumps and thicker branches, while a rotating plastic chain catcher protects the user from potential injury and prevents chain damage. Fuel level is easily monitored with the translucent fuel tank.

Weighing up the CS-7310SX, you can say it is a true professional’s saw backed by the Echo reputation for durability built up over 70 years of manufacturing. The saw comes with a two-year professional or five-year domestic warranty.

Find out more from your local authorised Echo dealer, visit or call 01844 278800 for more information.


CS 400/35 BP

Forestry Journal:

OUTDOOR maintenance expert Kärcher has extended its award-winning professional products to include a full range of battery-powered professional landscape management tools, designed to meet the needs of heavy users. The new range features a chainsaw, brush cutter, hedge trimmer, line trimmer, multi-tool, leaf blower and leaf blower backpack, and brings Kärcher’s quality, expertise and innovation to the world of professional landscape management.

The new Kärcher professional chainsaw CS 400/35 Bp is extremely powerful, with a high performance and cutting speed of 23 metres per second. The battery-operated chainsaw excels at demanding everyday work and is well-suited to forestry groundswork. Low in vibration, its robust construction can withstand even the toughest environments and its lightweight design (4 kg without the bar, chain, oil and battery) makes it easy to transport to many jobs throughout the day. The impressive bar length of 400 mm and chain gauge of 0.050” ensure precision cutting across all natural materials. The waterproof battery means you do not need to worry when you are caught in the rain when out on a job and you can carry on as normal.

All the professional landscape management products deliver high-level power and performance with the convenience and flexibility of battery power. The robust Kärcher Battery Universe platform features several innovative advances in battery technology and works across numerous Kärcher products, including the entire professional landscape management range, allowing easy transition from one product to another. 

The battery features several innovative advances in lithium-ion technology, including LC-display and real time technology, showing the user the exact running time, in minutes, depending on which product they are using it in; automatic storage mode and management; and overload protection. The two available batteries are 36V, 6 Ah or 7.5 Ah; are lightweight, between 0.93 kg and 2.083 kg: and have fast charge times of between 68 and 81 minutes. Efficient temperature management ensures that cell warming is reduced, so that the battery does not need to switch off during demanding tasks, and the battery housing is constructed from polyamide for shock resistance and extreme mechanical robustness.

To find out more about the range, please visit

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