WHEN working off-ground, there are many things an arborist has to take into account when considering a top-handle chainsaw – such as visibility, weight and ergonomics. This month’s Buyer’s Guide takes a closer look at the essential kit.

MSA 220 

Forestry Journal:

The MSA 220 T and MSA 220 TC-O are Stihl’s most powerful and durable battery-powered top-handled chainsaws, designed for tree care professionals to perform seamless crown maintenance and remove large branches.

Recommended with a lightweight 14” guide bar, both models use a PS3 full-chisel saw chain to achieve rapid, excellent-quality cuts. With the recommended AP 300 S battery, the saws deliver 2.1 kW of electrical power, which provides up to 29 minutes of working time and extensive power for cutting large branches.

The MSA 220 T and MSA 220 TC-O have adjustable oil pumps, an ergonomic trigger system and a 180° LED display, ensuring the operator always has a clear overview of key information such as the operating status of the saw and the chain brake position. The MSA 220 TC-O also has an oil sensor that alerts the user when the chain oil tank is empty, reducing potential downtime, the risk of overheating and the premature wear of the cutting attachments.


Both top-handled chainsaws are built with durability at the fore, with hard-wearing components making them suitable for use in the toughest of conditions.

Maintenance of the machine is kept simple via the MSA 220 T’s modular design, allowing housing parts to be removed and replaced with ease. Other features include a captive nut on the sprocket cover and tool-free oil tank cap as standard. 

Additionally, the MSA 220 T boasts an easy-to-clean air filter for optimum motor cooling and a long service life.


T542i XP

Forestry Journal:

ALREADY a firm favourite amongst professional arborists, the Husqvarna T542i XP is the brand’s newest top-handle battery chainsaw, and is the world’s first battery chainsaw with a clutch.

The T542i XP is designed for quick starts with a 36V battery and a centrifugal clutch that provides a kickstart at the beginning of every cut. Users can experience the fast response and sense of control; feeling the clutch engage, releasing built-up centrifugal force so that the energy kicks in right away. Other standout features include an adjustable oil pump which makes it easy to tailor chain lubrication, a hand guard which offers an unobstructed view whilst doing precise cuts, and a chain oil sensor which detects when a refuel is needed. Charge status is always clearly visible when the battery is activated via its intuitive keypad, which also reminds users if the chain brake is in the ‘on’ position.

With Husqvarna’s famous ergonomics at the forefront of the design, the T542i XP has a variety of features that aid a comfortable and efficient user experience. Key features include a belt eyelet, which enables quick and easy connection to the climbing harness, a retained bar nut function which helps minimise any losses, and an easy open flip-up tank cap. Designed with user safety in mind, the chainsaw has an automatic shutdown system which activates three minutes after being idle to reduce the risk of injuries when left unattended. The T542i XP also has a power-conserving SaveE mode that maximises runtime, reduces noise levels and preserves product battery life by lower rpm.

Husqvarna also offers another model with a heated handle, the T542i XP G.

For more information on Husqvarna and the T542i XP and T542i XPG, head to: www.husqvarna.com/uk/chainsaws


Forestry Journal:

SPECIALLY designed for professional arborists, EGO’s CSX3000 top-handled chainsaw boasts ‘best in class’ power, performance, and design, and is well-equipped to keep up with the challenges of all-day professional use.

Powered by EGO’s industry-leading 56 V ARC lithiumTM battery technology, this 30 cm cordless chainsaw benefits from long run times and rapid recharge. Users can also enjoy working with a tool with zero emissions, reduced noise, and lower vibration levels.

With no recoil start, no need to run the tool idle and no hot exhaust, the CSX3000 ensures a more comfortable and strain-free operation when compared with petrol-powered tools. Plus, it provides unrivalled power, torque, and a chain speed of 20 m/s.

When working at height, safety must be of the highest priority, which is why EGO’s unique chain-brake system reduces the risk of injury by stopping the saw’s motor in a fraction of a second if kickback occurs. While for visibility, sightlines have been added to this model to help users make more accurate cuts. Likewise, a helpful battery indicator light alerts the user when there is only 10 per cent charge remaining and the oil indicator comes on when the 200 ml oil reservoir needs refilling.

EGO’s Pro X battery holster, cable, and arborist strop (ABH3000) also make working at height easier and safer. For more information on the CSX3000, visit: www.egopowerplus.co.uk/products/chainsaws/csx3000-top-handle-chainsaw

DUC256 AND DUC306 

DUC256 (36V) Twin 18V LXT 
Forestry Journal:

THIS lightweight cordless machine is powered by two 18 V lithium-ion LXT batteries that work in series to supply energy to the powerful 36V DC brushless motor. This equates to excellent cutting performance matching that of a 30 cc class engine chainsaw. 

Its 250 mm carving bar and 20 m/s chain speed – which is approximately 45 per cent faster than current 30 cc engine models – makes cutting quick and efficient.

For extra power when cutting thick branches or harder timber, Makita has included a Torque Boost Mode, allowing the torque limit to temporarily be raised at the push of a button when more power is required. 

The chainsaw also has automatic chain lubrication and a maintenance-free brushless motor for allowing it to keep cutting smoothly and adding to its longevity. www.makitauk.com/product/duc256.html

DUC306 (36V) Twin 18V LXT 
Forestry Journal:

Powered by two 18V LXT batteries in series, this compact, low-vibration chainsaw features a 36V DC motor drive system to provide cutting power that matches a 30 cc class engine saw. Weighing just 2.8 kg (without batteries), the machine operates with a chain speed of up to 20 m/s and features variable speed control to provide the user with optimal operation. Notably, the machine also includes a Torque Boost Mode, allowing the torque limit to temporarily be raised further for faster cutting through thicker branches. 

The DUC306 features a brushless motor, which means the machine doesn’t lose energy through friction. Its automatic chain lubrication allows the user to make adjustments according to whether they are cutting hard or softwood.

The machine also features a convenient climbing ring, to attach the saw to a harness whilst working at height, and Makita has also included several other features to improve user safety. The chainsaw has a lock off button for preventing accidental startups, plus both kickback and electric brakes for further control over the machine.