So, you want to master your craft of woodwork or carpentry? Tuning your chainsaw with a tachometer might be one of the things that can help you take your craft to the next level.
For those of you who are new to this game, a tachometer is a device that will allow you to keep an eye on the rotational speed of your chainsaw at all times.
With the readings from a tachometer, you can calibrate and tune your chainsaw’s carburetor according to your needs. BUT, you have to get the best chainsaw tachometer you can afford unless you want an inaccurate reading.
As you can tell, the maneuverability of your chainsaw and the smoothness highly depends on its rotational speed. Keep a good chainsaw tachometer with you if you want efficiency.
10 Best Chainsaw Tachometer Reviews
In this article, we’ll go over my top 10 tachometer picks on the market that money can buy. Without delaying further, let’s get started.
1. Runleader Digital Hour Meter Tachometer
This unit from Runleader is truly a fine digital tachometer for chainsaw for the price. Not only are you getting a tachometer but an hour meter as well for keeping a record of active chainsaw time.
Installation is super easy. Wind the tachometer cable 6-7 times around the spark plug wire, and voila! You are done installing. You can mount the tachometer wherever and however you see fit.
Coming to the specifications, this one can measure up to a massive 25000 RPM of rotation speed with 10 RPM resolution. It also allows from 0 up to 99,999- hour reading. So, no complaints there. It’s plastic build, moderately weighted. But the dimensions are pretty large compared to other competitors.
There is also a countdown timer that you can use to get maintenance reminders or anything else for that matter. The meter itself is waterproof, but you do not plan to wet your chainsaw anytime soon, do you?
The meter gives a digital reading, but there is no backlit display. So it will be tricky to deal with at night.
- Great value for money
- Measuring range up to 25000 rpm
- Additional Hour-meter functionality
- IP65 Water-resistant
- Easy to use
- No backlit display
What makes this tachometer so good is the price point you are getting it at. Of course, it’s a weird tachometer, and there is no backlit display or any flashy features. But when it comes to the basic job of measuring speed, the tachometer nails it. For around 13 bucks, this is a steal.
2. DIGITEN 4 Digital Red LED Tachometer
Digiten’s LED tachometer is not your typical orthodox inductive tachometer, where you have to wrap the spark plug wire with the tach wire. This uses a hall-effect proximity switch with magnets to get the RPM reading without getting into technical details.
The tachometer itself is big, and it can be a little difficult to attach the magnet. Also, you will have to make sure that when the engine is turned on, and your chainsaw is in full motion, the magnet has to get very close to the sensor. Otherwise, the sensor may not pick up the accurate reading.
This tachometer needs an external power source which you will have to manage. It is not water-resistant. However, the display is LED, which can be helpful sometimes.
What this stands out for is accuracy. A tachometer based on hall-effect is a lot more accurate and precise than a tachometer based on induction.
There are also negatives as well. This can only read and display up to 9,999 RPM of rotatory motion, which is the average starting point for a chainsaw at full throttle. So you can only depend on this when your chainsaw is static.
- Based on Hall effect proximity sensor
- LED display
- Super Accurate
- It needs an additional power source
To sum it all up, if you want a precise experimental tachometer that will show you the reading of your chainsaw engine without pulling the throttle, this one will do the job for you.
3. GTC Ta100 Smartach Wireless Ignition Analyzer and Tachometer
In terms of sheer ability and features, one could argue that this tachometer from General Technologies Corporation is the best one on the list.
This tachometer is wireless, very mobile, and easy to use. With a straightforward interface, all you have to do is select the number of cycles and cylinders from the main menu, and you are good to go.
Take the antenna near your chainsaw and point it towards the sparkplug, and it will start picking up the reading instantly.
This one has an LCD and can read up to 20,000 RPM of angular motion. Besides reading the engine’s RPM, it can also pick up the peak spark plug voltage. We found both of these readings to be relatively accurate. It packs a 9-volt alkaline battery which will support more than 20 hours of operation time.
The downsides would be its built quality and price. The body is made of plastic and isn’t water-resistant. As for the price, this will cost you well beyond 100 bucks, making it the most expensive tachometer on the list.
- Wireless and mobile
- Can read spark plug voltage
- Reading up to 20,000 rpm
- Long battery life
- No water resistance
If you have the budget and don’t want the extra hassle of clamping a tachometer on your chainsaw, this is simply the best chainsaw tachometer you can buy.
4. Hardline Products HR-8061-2 Hour Meter/Tachometer
One of the more popular ones to feature on this list, this tachometer from Hardline stands out in almost every department.
The dimensions are compact, and it comes with a 14-inch long wire which makes the setup much easier. It has a digital LCD but no backlight in it.
This one measures up to 16000 RPM of rotatory speed with a pretty high accuracy level. One of the great features of this tachometer is that it can keep the record of the max speed in its log. And this is resettable. You also get an hour meter to keep track of your machine’s runtime.
There are other common features loaded in this gauge, like multiple service-and-maintenance reminder functions and the number of starts records. These are all customizable.
As for durability, the internal battery lasts up to 10 years. It is water-resistant and versatile enough to be used under any weather. The only single drawback would be the price. It almost hits the 40 bucks range which makes it the second most expensive one on the list.
- Compact body
- Long wire
- Loaded with features
- Long-lasting battery
- No backlit display
Overall, this device is of absolute quality with loads of features and easily claims the spot as one of the best chainsaw tachometers on this list.
5. Hipa RPM Tachometer Tach Meter
This tachometer from Hipa is excellent for professionals who know their game around the chainsaw engine.
To begin with, not only are you getting a tachometer, but a 10-piece carburetor adjustment tool kit, a carrying case, and a cleaning kit along with it.
The versatility of this toolkit is amazing as it fits STIHL, Husqvarna, Poulan, Weedeater, Echo, Homelite, Ryobi, and for what it is worth, anything else that utilizes the adjustment screws.
The dimensions are moderate enough not to be an obstacle during usage. It can measure up to 16000 RPM and comes with an hour meter as well.
When it comes to measuring speed, the accuracy is not very precise, but it gets the job done. Also, this comes with no instruction, which can make the installation trickier for first-time users.
Another thing to be concerned about is its durability. There is no on/off button, and the battery is non-replaceable like the OEM Husqvarna chainsaw tachometer with only 2 years of life. You may squeeze out some more years if you are lucky, but that doesn’t count here.
- Value for money
- Carburetor adjustment tools included
- Reading up to 16,000 RPM
- It fits chainsaws from lots of brands
- Non-replaceable battery
- Moderate accuracy
In a nutshell, if you are new to tachometers and engine maintenance, this might not be the brightest option for you. But if you are a pro, the toolset alone makes it worthy of buying.
6. Timorn Tachometer
Featuring in our list is another budget-friendly king for you to have. Timorn tachometer ticks all the boxes a beginner can wish for, and one cannot simply go wrong with it.
This piece weighing 1.76 ounces is super lightweight. It is more compact than anything else on this list. Because of its compactness, it is straightforward to mount on your chainsaw. The LCD is large enough for its dimensions and can show up to 99,999 RPM.
For the price, it offers an hour meter and keeps the measurement history intact as long as you don’t go for a factory reset. A little bit of programming is necessary before you start using it. Once it’s properly installed, you will be set up for a long time.
The measurement accuracy is not always inch-perfect, but nor do we expect it to be. It is good enough to get the job done.
This tachometer rocks a replaceable battery charged for 35000 hours of duty. And yes, this device is water-resistant.
- Compact and lightweight
- Replaceable battery with long lifetime
- Good enough accuracy
- Shows up to 99,999 RPM
- Setting it up can be tricky
To sum it up, if you are looking for a compact tachometer that has all the basics within a limited budget, this is the device you should go for
7. Neoikos Digital Tachometer Maintenance Tach Hour Meter
Neoikos digital tachometer gives you another perfect alternative to choose from in a market full of compact digital tachometers.
Whether you will use it on a 2 stroke engine or a 4 stroke engine, this will do the job for you. It is small, compact, lightweight, and very easy to use.
With an LCD, this gauge can show up to 20,000 RPM with an accuracy level within 10 RPM. It features an hour meter, and there are buttons for you to set service time reminders.
Moreover, there is the option for you to turn off the tachometer which is not very common at this price point.
This comes with a replaceable battery which will last at least 6 years before dying out if you don’t turn off the device at all. The data will be retained in the memory even if you change the battery. Also, this tach is water-resistant and suited for harsher environments.
- Value for money
- Easy to install
- Replaceable battery
- Non-backlit display
For what you get, the price is very reasonable. If you want to avoid the setup and the programming hassles of Timorn’s compact tachometer, this is a great alternative you should consider.
8. Searon Small Engine Tachometer Hour Meter
At a specific price range, most products offer more or less the same thing. It is those one or two unique features that make the real difference. And that is what Searon has done with this tach.
This tachometer should work on any type of small engine. The max RPM capacity is 20,000 RPM, and it can record the max RPM of the last period of operation.
Talking of hour meter or programmable maintenance interval time, this packs all the typical features that an inductive tach should have. But what makes it stand out from its competitors is the display.
The display is backlit, and there is a programmable option for the RED backlight alert. This gives it a significant advantage while working out in dark environments. The battery is replaceable, and data is retained after the battery change. There is also an option for turning it off.
Dimensions aren’t tiny like other mini tachs but are still small enough to mount on the chainsaw. With dust and water resistance, this becomes one of the most balanced packages that are out there.
- Easy to install
- Backlit Display
- Programmable Red Alert
- 20,000 RPM
- Replaceable battery
- A bit larger than I’d like
For a wired conductive tachometer, this device has everything a tachometer should have and more. Even though the price is a bit high, this tach is a good one to go for if you need the backlight.
9. AIMILAR Digital Engine Tach Hour Meter
Aimilar’s digital tachometer for small engines is one of the most popular ones in the market. It is small, has a bit of aesthetics and functionality, does the basics reasonably well.
This tach fits into the category of the mini tachs, some of which we have already featured on this list. It has an LCD, very lightweight to mount on any platform. There is also an option for turning the device on or off.
This comes in two versions. The standard version has a replaceable battery, and the normal version has a non-replaceable battery. For other aspects, both are pretty much the same.
The RPM range is up to 20,000 with 9,999 hours of hour capacity. It’s IP65 certified, so you don’t have to worry about water splashes or dust.
There seems to be hardly any negative except the fact that some of the standard version devices have a loose battery slot. You may have to use duct tape or something else, for that matter, to fix it.
- Easy to install
- Reads up to 20,000 RPM
- A loose battery slot can show up
Overall, this is a solid option for you if you are planning on buying a mini tach.
10. Jayron Tach Hour Meter Digital LCD Inductive Tachometer
A very well-designed, aesthetic mini tach that acts like a big one, Jayron’s inductive digital LCD tachometer does all the fundamentals and does it better than others.
The form factor is very small and easy to set up, albeit the wire is short. It’s made of plastic, and that makes it delicate. So you have to be a little careful about it.
Coming to the specifications, who would’ve thought that a mini tach can measure up to 30,000 RPM? This one certainly does, which is always a positive. You get an hour meter with a max capacity of 99,999 hours. The total hours are non-resettable.
Even though there is no option of turning it off, this comes with a built-in battery that will last for more than 5 years. And this probably is one of the very few tach meters that are IP68 rated.
- Max RPM range up to 30,000
- IP68 certified
- Battery lasts moderately long
- Small form factor
The price is very reasonable. This epoxy-sealed, waterproof, shockproof device can operate in any environment one can think of. As long as it doesn’t drop hard on the ground or get hit by something, you can comfortably rely on this as your regular chainsaw engine tester for a long time.
Things to Check Before Getting One
To determine the best digital tachometer for the chainsaw, you should look at the factors that make tachometers great.
You can end up buying a great value-for-money tachometer that would not satisfy your needs properly. Or you can also end up overspending on a device packed with functionality that is hardly of any use.
Not everything is everyone’s cup of tea. So, when you buy, you ought to know what you are looking for. Here are a couple of things you should check before purchasing a digital tachometer for your chainsaw.
Of course, this is something everyone looks out for, and rightfully so. You are looking for a tachometer to measure the engine speed of your chainsaw. And anything that can measure equal to or above the range of 14,000 RPM should do the job. But it’s always good to aim for higher because you never know, you might be using it on another machine tomorrow.
The Build Quality
Your chainsaw can be exposed to anything from dust, wooden debris to moisture. And it will have to go through a lot of vibration. And by a lot, you know exactly how much.
It is imperative to make sure that the digital tachometer for the chainsaw you are getting is a well-built one. Water resistance, build material, and dimensions are some of the things you should look out for before buying one.
Many digital tachometers for chainsaws have this feature nowadays. They have built-in memory to record things like maximum RPM or total active hours. Some of these memories are also programmed to notify you for management or servicing after a certain period.
These features can come in handy, especially when you want to observe the performance of your chainsaw over time. To sum it all up, if everything else is the same, a digital tachometer with memory is better than the one without it.
Battery Type and Battery Life
This should be another crucial factor in determining your tachometer choice. Tachometer models powered by AAA batteries are suited for use on cordless electric chainsaws. In contrast, tachometers that come with a rechargeable Lithium battery are a perfect match for the corded electric chainsaws.
It would help if you also considered the total battery life of the tachometer and whether the battery is replaceable or not. With these things in mind, you have more chances of buying the best chainsaw tachometer that suits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do you use a tachometer on a chainsaw?
There are many types of digital tachometers for chainsaws. For most digital inductive tachometers, you have to wrap the wire that is attached with the tachometer around the chainsaw engine’s spark plug lead.
Winding it around 4-5 times usually does the job, but you should read the instruction manual for better results.
- What is a good RPM for a chainsaw?
The idle speed for most chainsaws should be between 2,300 to 2,500 RPM. In comparison, the speed at full throttle should be between 10,000 and 14,000 RPM.
It’s important to look up the optimal idle and max speed of your saw before conducting this test. The engine should never run faster than the maximum speed at which it is designed to run.
- How do you use an electronic tachometer?
You have to wrap the wire that is attached to the electronic tachometer around your engine’s spark plug wire. Wind it according to the instruction manual that is given with the tachometer for best results.
You can compare your tachometer’s reading to the optimal speed of the engine to tweak and calibrate the engine properly.
- Do I need to alter my tachometer?
Some tachometers may have more wire length than you need for installing on your chainsaw. If it causes any difficulties, you can cut the excess wire to fit your needs.
- How does a digital tachometer for chainsaw operate?
A digital tachometer uses a magnetic pickup positioned near a rotating engine part, in your case, the spark plug to produce electrical pulses at a frequency proportional to the engine speed.
Circuitry in the meter converts the pulse frequency for the display of engine RPM using an analog needle or a digital readout.
The reviews should help you in deciding which tachometer to go for. When it comes to tachs, what fits you and your chainsaw is more important than what is presumably the best chainsaw tachometer.
Whichever one you purchase, make sure to read and follow the instructions and guidelines. It never hurts!