Blackmax Chainsaw Review


Embarking on outdoor tasks with the right tools transforms challenges into manageable work, and the Blackmax Chainsaw I picked up from Walmart has proven to be such a tool. With its 16-inch bar powered by a robust 38cc two-stroke engine, this chainsaw has been a reliable companion in tackling the aftermath of storms and routine yard maintenance alike.

Blackmax Chainsaw on white a background

Unboxing and Initial Impressions

BlackMax 16-inch 2-cycle chainsaw and premium bar and chain oil on a wooden table.

Upon purchase, the inclusion of two-stroke engine oil was a thoughtful touch, ensuring that I could start the chainsaw without a hitch, adhering to the essential 50:1 mix required for optimal performance. The package’s completeness, with maintenance instructions and an adjustment tool, provided everything needed to maintain the chainsaw in top condition.

Performance in the Field

Person using a black and silver chainsaw to cut through a tree trunk.

Taking this chainsaw into the field, its performance was immediately apparent. From the first pull of the starter, the engine roared to life, ready to take on the tasks at hand. Its cutting capability was tested on trees felled by recent hurricanes, a true testament to its power and efficiency. The chainsaw cut through the wood smoothly and effortlessly, meeting and exceeding expectations for what a chainsaw should do.

Design and User Experience

Person using a BLACKHAWK 18 chainsaw to cut through fallen tree branches on a grassy area.

Its design, emphasizing user comfort and safety, made the experience even more satisfactory. The lightweight nature of the chainsaw, combined with the anti-vibe system, allowed for extended use without the discomfort typically associated with powerful tools. Safety features, such as the chain brake and tip guard, provided peace of mind during operation, knowing that risks were minimized. Additionally, the side access chain tensioning feature facilitated easy adjustments, ensuring the chainsaw was always ready for optimal performance.

Ready to Use and Versatility

Person using a chainsaw to cut through a fallen tree trunk in an outdoor setting.

The chainsaw’s fully assembled arrival meant I could dive straight into work, bypassing the often tedious setup process. This immediate readiness, coupled with the comprehensive accessories provided, including a deluxe carry case and combination wrench, rounded out a package that was not just about the chainsaw but about offering a complete cutting solution. While I opted for the 16-inch model due to availability, the knowledge that an 18-inch version exists—and that upgrading the bar and chain size in the future is an option—adds a layer of versatility to this tool. It’s reassuring to know that as my needs evolve, so too can the capabilities of my chainsaw.

Pros and Cons of Blackmax Chainsaw


  • One of the most significant advantages of the Black Max Chainsaw is its readiness straight out of the box. The fact that it comes fully assembled means I can jump right into my projects without any setup delays, which is a huge plus.
  • The 38cc engine offers more than enough power for my needs. Whether it’s clearing fallen branches after a storm or cutting firewood, this chainsaw has managed to handle everything I’ve thrown at it with ease.
  • The anti-vibe system is a game-changer, significantly reducing the fatigue I feel during extended use. It makes the chainsaw much more comfortable to handle, allowing me to work longer without discomfort.
  • I appreciate the built-in safety features like the chain brake and tip guard, which give me peace of mind knowing that I’m protected against common chainsaw injuries.


  • While the chainsaw performs well, I’ve noticed the construction feels a bit less robust than I’d hoped. The hard plastic handle, in particular, doesn’t inspire confidence and makes me worry about long-term durability.
  • On one occasion, I needed to contact customer support, and the experience left much to be desired. The slow response time has made me cautious about potential future issues that might not be resolved promptly.
  • For those not mechanically inclined, maintaining the chainsaw’s optimal performance can feel a bit daunting. Regular maintenance like chain tensioning and sharpening requires a bit of a learning curve.
  • Although marketed as lightweight, when fully fueled and oiled, the chainsaw can feel a bit heavier than expected, especially after long periods of use. The balance is generally good, but it can be tiring during extensive cutting sessions.

Maintenance of Blackmax Chainsaw

Maintaining your Black Max Chainsaw effectively requires a few straightforward steps to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Before using the chainsaw, inspect it for any signs of wear or damage, and make sure the chain is correctly tensioned and sharp. It’s also important to clean the air filter and fill the chainsaw with the right fuel mix and chain oil.

After use, clean off any debris and sawdust to keep the chainsaw in good condition. Inspecting and cleaning the chain brake is crucial for safety, and draining excess fuel can help avoid carburetor issues if the chainsaw won’t be used for an extended period.

Periodic maintenance includes replacing the spark plug, checking fuel lines and the fuel filter, lubricating the sprocket, and tightening all fasteners to prevent loosening from vibration.

For long-term storage, thoroughly clean the chainsaw, apply a protective oil coat to metal parts to prevent rust, and store it in a dry, cool place. Following these simple maintenance tasks will keep your Black Max Chainsaw ready for efficient and safe operation whenever you need it.

Testimony with the Black Max Chainsaw

Craig’s Experience

“I had high hopes for the BlackMax 16in Chainsaw, especially during its initial use where it seemed to run okay. However, my optimism quickly dissolved when the hard plastic handle cracked within just a week of use. Seeking resolution, I reached out to customer support, only to be met with silence for three weeks and counting. My advice? Regardless of the discount, it’s best to steer clear of this brand. The lack of durability and support has made this purchase one to regret.”

An Anonymous User’s Warning

“Before considering this chainsaw, ensure that your local store stocks replacement parts, as you’ll likely need them. Despite taking all precautions and even opting for the extended warranty, I’ve found myself stuck with a defective saw after just one use. The warranty proved to be more of a hassle than a help, leaving me frustrated and out of pocket. It’s been a lesson learned the hard way—this purchase was a complete waste of money.”

RJD’s Positive Take

“Having recently acquired the Black Max 16″ chainsaw, I finally had the chance to test it out on a clear day. From the get-go, the saw impressed me with its ease of assembly and startup. It efficiently handled everything from felling small trees to pruning limbs, making my yard look significantly better. The saw’s performance, ease of maintenance, and the included multi-tool for adjustments have made me a satisfied user. It’s a purchase I’d recommend to anyone in need of a reliable, easy-to-use chainsaw.”

Andrea’s Balanced View

“Following a storm, the need for a dependable chainsaw became apparent, and the Black Max Chainsaw rose to the occasion. Although starting it was initially a challenge, once running, it cut smoothly and managed the cleanup task with ease. Its manageable size and the safety tip guard are particularly beneficial for users like me, who may not have extensive chainsaw experience. It’s a tool that’s proven its worth in post-storm scenarios.”

These testimonies paint a picture of mixed experiences with the Black Max Chainsaw, from issues with durability and customer support to satisfaction with its performance and ease of use. Whether it’s a warning to potential buyers or a recommendation based on positive usage, each account offers valuable insights for those considering this chainsaw for their outdoor needs.

Conclusion and Recommendation

Acknowledging the challenges alongside the strengths provides a balanced view of the Blackmax Chainsaw. While it offers significant advantages in terms of power, user-friendly features, and design, it’s important to note that some users have reported issues related to durability and customer support. These challenges, such as concerns over the longevity of certain plastic components and the responsiveness of the customer service team, highlight areas where improvements could enhance the overall user experience. Despite these hurdles, the Blackmax Chainsaw remains a valuable tool for many, thanks to its robust performance and practicality in a variety of outdoor settings. Understanding these potential issues allows potential buyers to make an informed decision, weighing the chainsaw’s benefits against its drawbacks.


  1. Can the Blackmax Chainsaw handle both softwood and hardwood?
    Yes, the Blackmax Chainsaw, with its 38cc 2-cycle engine, is designed to cut through both softwood and hardwood efficiently. Its 16-inch bar provides ample length for tackling various tree sizes, making it a versatile tool for different types of woodcutting tasks.
  2. Is the Blackmax Chainsaw suitable for first-time users?
    Absolutely! The chainsaw comes fully assembled, which means you can start using it right out of the box without the hassle of assembly. Its design incorporates features like an anti-vibe system and a chain brake for safety, making it user-friendly and a great choice for beginners. However, it’s important for first-time users to read the operator’s manual carefully and follow safety guidelines closely.
  3. How often do I need to adjust the chain tension, and is it a complicated process?
    Chain tension should be checked and adjusted as needed before each use to ensure optimal performance and safety. The Blackmax Chainsaw features side access chain tensioning, which simplifies the adjustment process. This design allows for quick and easy adjustments without the need for specialized tools, making it convenient even for those not mechanically inclined.
  4. What makes the anti-vibe system on the Blackmax Chainsaw stand out?
    The anti-vibe system on the Blackmax Chainsaw is designed to significantly reduce vibration, thereby minimizing user fatigue during extended use. This system helps to make the chainsaw more comfortable to operate, allowing for longer work sessions with less discomfort, which is particularly beneficial for heavy-duty cutting tasks.
  5. Can I use the Blackmax Chainsaw for tree felling, or is it just for trimming and climbing?
    The Blackmax Chainsaw is capable of felling small to medium-sized trees, thanks to its powerful 38cc engine and 16-inch bar. While it excels at trimming and limbing, its design and power also make it suitable for tree felling, making it a comprehensive tool for various cutting needs.
  6. In case of a malfunction, how accessible are repair services or parts for the Blackmax Chainsaw?
    Blackmax Chainsaws are supported by a network of service centers and parts availability through various retailers, including Walmart, where the chainsaw can be purchased. For specific repair needs or parts, it’s recommended to contact the customer service department provided in the chainsaw’s operator manual for guidance and support.
  7. How does the automatic oiler function enhance the chainsaw’s performance?
    The automatic oiler continuously lubricates the bar and chain during operation, ensuring smooth cutting, reducing wear, and extending the life of these components. This feature eliminates the need for manual lubrication, allowing you to focus on your cutting tasks without interruption, enhancing both performance and convenience.
  8. What safety gear should I wear when operating the Blackmax Chainsaw?
    When operating the Blackmax Chainsaw, it’s essential to wear appropriate safety gear, including, but not limited to, safety glasses, hearing protection, gloves, sturdy boots, and chainsaw chaps or pants. This gear helps protect against flying debris, noise, and potential injuries, ensuring a safer cutting experience.
  9. Can the bar and chain be upgraded to a larger size in the future?
    Yes, the Blackmax Chainsaw offers the flexibility to upgrade to a larger bar and chain, up to 18 inches, providing additional reach and cutting capacity for larger projects. This upgrade can be easily done with compatible parts, allowing the chainsaw to grow with your cutting needs.
  10. What is the recommended maintenance routine to keep the Blackmax Chainsaw in optimal condition?
    To keep your chainsaw running smoothly, perform regular maintenance such as cleaning the air filter, checking the spark plug, lubricating the sprocket, and sharpening the chain. Additionally, ensure the fuel mix is correct and store the chainsaw properly after use. Detailed maintenance routines can be found in the operator’s manual, which is crucial for prolonging the life of your chainsaw.

We hope you found our deep dive into the Blackmax 16-Inch Chainsaw both informative and helpful! Whether you’re tackling post-storm cleanup or just keeping your yard in shape, we believe this tool can make a significant difference. Do you have any experiences or tips to share about using the Blackmax Chainsaw or another favorite tool of yours? We’d love to hear your thoughts and stories in the comments below. Let’s keep the conversation going and help each other make the best out of our outdoor tasks. Happy cutting, everyone!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


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