If you asked some veteran woodcutters about their thoughts on the best electric chainsaw 5 years ago they would have chopped you down with terms like underpowered and short battery life. That’s because, for a lot of professionals and hobbyists, the term ‘best’ and ‘electric’ didn’t use to go hand in hand, when discussing the best electric chainsaw power tools.
They still preferred the smoke, the soot and the smell of gasoline as that petrol chainsaw engine roars to life. A decade ago, we’d have meekly thrown in the towel in such an argument.
There was no comparison to be drawn between a petrol-powered brute of a machine and an electric one which was marred by poor battery life, weak kinetic energy output, and poor build quality. It was almost a no-brainer choice. But technology has improved by leaps and bounds in the past few years.
In a Hurry? Here are the Best Electric Chainsaws
So much so, that some of the best electric chainsaws now rival gas-powered chainsaws in performance. They are cleaner, quieter, portable and more affordable.
Oh yes, almost forgot to mention that they start in the blink of an eye even after hibernating all winter. No yanking on those jammed cords until you are tired and sweaty before you have even started your cutting work.
The 10 Best Electric Chainsaws
There are now many reasons that justify why an electric chainsaw can be an equally good proposition today. This is why we created our picks of the top 10 best electric chainsaws in the market.
1. DEWALT 20V DCCS620P1 12 Inch – Best Small Electric Chainsaw
(5AH)If you were wondering whether a best electric chainsaw would be worth its salt, then here’s our review of the top 10, followed by a brief primer for first-timers looking to venture beyond gas-powered chainsaws.
It’s a battery-powered, cordless unit that makes short work of small and medium-sized trees, (including ones that are 10-12-inches in diameter) speaks volumes about its efficiency and its potential
application in a home, or small commercial setup.
More power than you’d expect
The brushless motor under the hood of the Dewalt DCCS620P1 electric chainsaw delivers consistent power output during run time.
In fact, most first-time users are surprised at how powerful this unit is.
Also, it weighs a pleasant 9 lbs. only.
Overhead cutting tasks? Check!
Pruning, remodeling, demolishing, even when you are placed precariously on a rickety ladder or on a lift, this little boy can do it all.
Moreover, the intuitive user-design makes it a breeze to handle.
It has rubberized handles that give you a solid grip. Chain tension adjustment is as easy as twisting a knob.
Some people find the 12-inch bar a little limiting. But unless you are a professional tree surgeon, a bigger (and pricier) bar is usually overkill.
This will suffice for almost 90% of the tasks around the home.
Long-lasting, quick charging battery
The DCCS620P1 is a part of the 20-Volt MAX range of power tools from Dewalt.
If you have any one of the tools in your garage, you can buy this electric chainsaw without the battery and swap it when needed.
2. BLACK+DECKER 12-Inch LCS1240 40-volt – Inexpensive Electric Chainsaw
It has a 12-inch Oregon bar, a lightweight body and is powered by a 40V Li-IO battery.
This little unit is more than capable of handling medium-sized logs no problem.
It does have a few niggles though which we will mention in a bit.
Ergonomic, Lightweight design
The Black & Decker LCS1240 has a very user-friendly design.
It weighs around 9 lbs. and the top-wrap handle allows a firm grip while the saw is functional. The vibration and the strain on your hands are negligible.
There are plastic bucking spikes that help to keep the saw stable during use.
But the blade brake, which is a standard safety feature in chainsaws at this price point is missing.
Perfect for pruning and sectioning
The LCS1240 is a compact, cordless electric chainsaw with a brushed motor at its heart which provides excellent power output, provided that you don’t expect to bring down 15-inchers with it.
It will deal with 8-10-inch-thick logs easily and it works like a charm. It might even power on while sectioning a 12-incher.
But it’d probably be a bit of a stretch.
You’d have to use those plastic bucking spikes to good effect without applying too much pressure.
Coming to the handling, it features automatic chain & bar lubrication. But you still must add chain oil manually with the oil button.
Now, depending on the task that you are at, it can mean a lot of oil.
Sadly, this one guzzles oil. But that’s just a minor inconvenience and certainly not a deal-breaker.
Also, that brushed motor can heat up a bit when it’s being worked hard for long periods.
If the motor stalls during a task, just switch off the unit and restart after a few minutes. It will fire back up in no time.
3. Greenworks 16-Inch 40V – Powerful Cordless Chainsaw
This is a very versatile unit that can be used for both, casual home use as well as professional cutting tasks.
It is powered by a 40V Lithium-Ion battery and has a brushless motor under the hood that is capable of doing some serious, heavy cutting.
Well-rounded feature list
At this price point, the Greenworks 16-inch chainsaw offers more features than any of its competitors.
For starters, it has a 16-inch long Oregon Steel bar. Even the most expensive cordless models usually have a 14-inch bar.
It features automatic oiling, while you can adjust the tension of the chain with two easily-accessible dials.
To top it off, it comes with an impressive safety-feature list.
There is a hand-guard, a chain brake and a quick-release trigger that instantly brings the unit to a stand-still.
If you are perched on the limb of a tree or on a ladder, the quick-stop function can be invaluable.
Brute cutting force
The Greenworks 16-Inch cordless chainsaw is going to surprise you with its power. It can easily cut through logs that are 12-inches thick.
And we aren’t talking about dried, softwood either.
4. BLACK+DECKER LCS1020 – Mini Electric Chainsaw
But it’s not weak by a long shot.
In fact, its compact size and lightweight design make it one of the best chainsaws for in-the-air use around the home.
Be it in-tree jobs like pruning, trimming dead or diseased branches, cutting firewood or thick shrubs, this one fits the bill perfectly.
Firm grip, safety-lock activation
Given the small footprint, the Black & Decker LCS1020 is perfect even for a senior homemaker looking to do their tasks in the yard.
It weighs just 7 lbs. and you can easily maneuver it to make a variety of cuts.
It comes with a safety-lock which must be pushed right through the wrap-around handle.
This ensures that the saw doesn’t go haywire when you are making a precise cut. Secondly, it gives you a firm grip on the handle.
It comes with a manual chain lubrication system and tool-less tension adjustment.
This means that if you find the chain losing tension, you can adjust it on-the-go without interrupting your work.
Decent Power for a small chainsaw
For handling smaller tasks, like cutting wood that is 4-8 inches in diameter, or pruning thick shrubs around the yard, the Black & Decker LCS1020 is second to none.
5. Greenworks 12 Inch 40V – Best for light Cutting
But it boasts a wide array of useful features that make it ideal for home use.
It offers 30% more torque as compared to its predecessors. At the same time, vibration on the handle is reduced by up to 70% which will be noticeable especially for long-duration users.
It is reasonably light and has a 12-inch cutting reach which makes it easy to control and maneuver.
Ergonomics at its best
Everything about the Greenworks 12-inch cordless chainsaw is aimed towards comfortable home use.
It weighs barely 6 lbs., has a sturdy plastic body with a wide, rubberized wrap-around handle and comes with a 12-inch steel chain and bar.
This makes it possible to make easy cuts at a variety of angles.
If you prefer handling a chainsaw with one hand, then this is a really good choice.
The 2.0 Ah battery offers almost 75 cuts on a single charge for normal-sized logs. This means that you should be able to get almost two hours of run time before the battery gets drained.
The saw features an automatic bar and chain lubrication system that keeps the chain lubed without the need for manual oil-changes.
The oil reservoir is translucent, so you’ll know when it’s time for a refill. No guesswork.
It doesn’t come with a chain brake, which is a little bit disappointing but it has an impressive feature list otherwise.
The Best Budget Electric Chainsaws
We don’t usually consider the price as a deciding factor while shopping for outdoor power equipment.
That’s because tools that are advertised as cheap usually come with tradeoffs that one can do without.
But a lot of homeowners won’t be keen on spending large amounts on a chainsaw, which they will only use once in a while.
That’s why we decided to create a budget-friendly list of reliable electric chainsaws.
Here’s our pick of the best budget electric chainsaws.
1. Worx 16-Inch 14.5 Amp – Best Corded Electric Chainsaw
We aren’t joking folks.
This is the Worx 14.5 Amp Corded Electric Chainsaw that boasts of a very respectable list of features like a 16-inch cutting reach, a patented automatic tension adjustment system and automatic chain lubrication.
If you are willing to overlook the ‘cord’ then this one might be a better pick than some of the cordless chainsaws that we mentioned.
Powerful 14.5 Amp Motor
Powering the Worx 16-inch Chainsaw is a 14.5 Amp motor that gives it as much power as a similar-sized gas-powered unit.
You can cut trees that are 14-inches in diameter without breaking a sweat. This translates into fast and efficient performance for light to medium-duty tasks.
It weighs 11 lbs. which is a tad more than the cordless ones. But not nearly as heavy as a gas-powered model.
The No Kick Tip
The Worx 14.5 Chainsaw features a no-tip kick.
Well, that’s a standard safety feature in most chainsaws these days. But one that we haven’t touched upon in this review yet. So we figured that it needed a mention.
This feature automatically stops the chainsaw if it detects any improper contact. This prevents a kickback and saves you from potential injury.
The only possible quibble that we have with this is that it consumes quite a lot of oil. You’d have to keep an eye on that reservoir.
Some users say that a possible workaround is to use thicker, viscosity oil.
2. Ivation Electric Chainsaw 16-Inch 15A – Powerful Corded Chainsaw
But this 16-inch electric chainsaw stands its ground against much higher priced units in terms of specifications and performance.
It provides a very powerful cutting performance and it has a bevy of useful features to boot which makes it easy to set up and handle.
Sleek Profile with a half-wraparound handle
The first thing that you’d notice is how sleek the saw looks despite featuring a 16-inch bar.
The white design is a refreshing change from the norm and there’s a half-wrap front handle along with a rubberized rear handle that gives you a firm grip.
It weighs around 11 lbs. And can easily be used for in-the-air cutting tasks as well as for extended durations of time.
The reduced kickback Double Guard 91 bar from Oregon ensures smooth and vibration-free operation most of the time. And it features an S56 low kickback Oregon chain (In case you need a replacement).
Managing chain tension is a breeze. There’s a large and prominent knob for easy adjustments.
To add to it, there is a bevy of safety features integrated into it for safe operation. There’s a safety lock which must be activated before you engage the throttle, there are metal spikes that stabilize the saw during use & there’s an emergency chain brake.
The Best Low Budget Electric Chainsaws
To be honest, there are a lot of fancy-looking gimmicks being peddled as good quality saws, in this price bracket.
But most of them overheat or start to sputter after just minutes of use.
We really had our tasks cut out finding quality chainsaws in this price bracket but after some research, we found a couple of gems.
These are the two that stood out in terms of price and performance.
1. Worx WG305.1 Electric Chainsaw – Best Low priced
The WG305.1 which Worx calls a ‘pocket-sized powerhouse’ is quite popular with homeowners looking for a lightweight chainsaw for medium cutting tasks around the home.
A 14-inch guide bar, tool-less tension adjustment & powered by an 8 Amp. Motor.
What more can one ask for at this price point?
Weighs just 7 lbs.
At 7 lbs., the WG305.1 is among the lightest chainsaws in this best electric chainsaw list. Only the Greenworks 20262 & the Remington RM1425 (coming up next) weighs less.
To add to it, it has a really compact design which makes it extremely easy to maneuver even for people with physical limitations. (Injury, disability)
Reasonably powerful saw
When you read the specifications, the 8 AMP motor might seem less than adequate. But you’d be surprised at the efficiency that this saw has.
It can cut through stock that is 8-inch thick in a single pass. And it can cut through 14-inch thick stock as well. But that will take multiple passes.
The chain speed is 8.5 meters per second. By far, not the fastest that we’ve seen. But with patience, you can work through thick, wet wood without being bogged down.
Many users have reported that the chain slips now and then, but upon further research, it turned out it was just until it gets worn in. So, you will want to keep an eye on the tension while you work, particularly with heavy, thick wood.
2. Remington RM1425 8A 14-Inch – Best For Trimming Branches
The Remington RM1425 electric chainsaw is a small C2 saw (classified for lightweight, occasional home use) that can be an ideal replacement for expensive tree-trimming estimates from professional contractors.
Have shrubs that need to be removed? Need firewood for the winter? This would be your go-to chainsaw for minor but labor-intensive cutting tasks.
It comes with a 14-inch bar, a one-touch lubrication system and a very lightweight design that can be managed by people of all ages.
More powerful than it appears to be
The RM1425 can easily tackle most types of wood that are about 8-inches in diameter.
That’s a single pass cut by the way. But many users have tested it with much thicker stock.
It is powered by an 8 Amp motor. While we wouldn’t recommend straining it too much, the chainsaw has even been put to use with wood that was 14-inches in diameter. It took a lot more time and even got a bit overheated. But it did the job.
Coming to the handling part, it is pretty easy to use the RM1425. It comes fully assembled and has front and rear handles with hand guards to protect the user from a broken chain or an accidental slip.
Manual One-touch oiling system
The RM1425 features a 14-inch, low kickback MTD bar. However, it is a non-nose sprocket styled one.
That shouldn’t be a concern though unless you intend to use this for heavy-duty work.
Chain tension adjustment is manual and you will need a flathead screwdriver to adjust it. Keep an eye on the chain tension especially in the first few runs.
The Remington RM1425 features a one-touch oil dispensing system which makes it easy to lubricate the bar and chain.
Just keep an eye on the chain oil reservoir which is positioned right in between the handguard and the handle on the front.
Press this bulb a few times and oil is released.
Now for a couple of minor flaws that we found.
The debris is expelled from the top of the bar as opposed to the bottom. This will mean you will want safety glasses on whilst operating it but you should always be wearing them with any chainsaw anyway. You will also need to clean the saw periodically to prevent damage.
Makita XCUO4PT1 36V – Best Professional Battery Powered Chainsaw
They are hands down one of the best manufacturers of power tools with perfectly engineered products that leave little room for complaints.
This 16 inch cordless chainsaw is almost there. Why the ‘almost’, you might ask. We’ll get to that in a bit.
The XCUO4PT1 is a cordless chainsaw that is part of Makita’s 36V range of tools, which means that you can swap the batteries if you own one of the other tools.
It comes with a 12-inch guide bar, 2 x 36V batteries and a bunch of safety features to prevent mishandling.
Brute force in a compact body
Let’s start with the most important aspect, the power.
The Makita XCUO4PT1 cordless electric chainsaw is extremely powerful thanks to the brushless motor direct-drive system. In fact, it’s the closest that you can get to a 32cc Gas powered chainsaw in terms of power output.
It will just slice through wet, thick, heavy wood that is 12-inches in diameter with no signs of strain on the motor.
Having said that, the manufacturer recommends this only for light and medium cutting tasks such as limbing, pruning and cutting firewood.
It weighs around 10 lbs and is reasonably easy to set up and use.
Battery life is top-notch and you should be able to get hours of runtime with a single charge.
Extreme Protection Technology
Now for the safety features which cause a hindrance in the operation. It can be a minor hindrance for occasional users. But a major annoyance for someone who intends to use this saw every day for heavy-duty tasks.
The Makita XCUO4PT1 features a power button that must be pressed, followed by a safety lock lever and lastly the throttle. The three must be activated in the above-mentioned sequence to start the saw.
Things to Consider When Buying an Electric Chainsaw
Electric chainsaws are still considered to be fairly new to the market.
To add to it, there’s a lot of misinformation being floated around by manufacturers, who interchangeably use the terms Volts (V), Amps (A) & Wattage (W) to describe power output.
This is enough to confuse a new buyer who’s never owned a chainsaw before. Or to sway them into buying a higher-priced unit than what might be required.
If you are feeling lost while shopping for the best electric chainsaw, then here are a few key variables to consider before you make the decision.
What chainsaw Do I need?
What type of wood will you be tackling? Will it be dried, diseased branches? Will it be softwood or will it be a hardwood like Maple or Oak?
What is the amount of wood you will cut in a week?
Typically, there are two factors that determine how powerful the electric chainsaw will be and whether it matches up to the tasks that you require it for.
In a cordless model, the Voltage and the horsepower (if the manufacturer mentions it) are the most critical factors that determine power.
In a corded model, it’s the Amperage and Horsepower.
Also, the longer the guide bar, the easier it becomes to cut large-diameter wood.
The caveat is that a longer bar is heavier and more difficult to handle for tasks that require precision.
A saw with a smaller bar (10-14 inches) will be easier to manage for smaller, routine cutting tasks around the garden.
Corded vs Cordless Chainsaws
How far in the yard do you intend to venture with the chainsaw in tow?
If you opt for a corded model, you’d have to be pretty close to a power socket or rig it up with an extension lead.
A cordless model offers better mobility. But you will require an additional/backup battery to extend its runtime beyond a few hours.
Once you figure out what chainsaw size and type work best for you, here are a few features to lookout for.
Ease of use: The electric chainsaw should be easy to set up (minimal assembly) and use. Look for ergonomic design, rubberized handles, and the overall footprint.
Can you handle it with one hand? How heavy is the unit? Typically, the best electric chainsaws weigh anywhere from 6 lbs. to 12 lbs. Anything more and it will put a strain on your hands, arms, and shoulders.
Automatic oiler: An integrated, automatic oiling system will keep the chain lubricated without having to manually add oil every time you use it.
Safety features: The chainsaw must have a safety lockout switch and ideally, a chain brake to manually stop the chain in case of an emergency.
Some chainsaws automatically detect improper contact and stop the chain. Low kickback bars and chains will further reduce the risk of injury.
Always wear safety goggles and a good pair of gloves when operating an electric chainsaw. Hopefully, through this article, you’ve been able to find the best electric chainsaw for you.
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