Table of Contents
- What is a Battery-Powered Chainsaw?
- How Do You Use a Battery-Operated Chainsaw?
- Advantages of Using a Battery-Powered Saw
- Disadvantages of Using a Battery Saw
- Top Battery-Powered Chainsaw Models
- Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 48V 16″ Cordless Chainsaw
- Greenworks G-MAX 20312 40V 16″ Brushless Cordless Chainsaw
- DeWalt FLEXVOLT DCCS670X1 60V 16″ Cordless Brushless Chainsaw
- Which Cordless Electric Chainsaw is Right for You?
Looking for the best chainsaw for your workbench can be challenging. With so many different brands and types of chainsaws on the market, how can you tell which is the leading?
Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve concluded that battery-powered chainsaws are the go-to choice for homeowners and DIYers seeking a portable, eco-friendly saw. As their name suggests, battery-operated chainsaws are cordless, which means they’re easier to work around and less likely to be hazards. Thanks to recent battery improvements, some battery-powered models are powerful enough to tackle tough jobs involving medium-sized trees.
Read on to learn more about battery-powered chainsaws and how to use them. We’ll also cover the advantages and disadvantages of battery-powered saws and the three best battery-powered saws of 2022. By the end of this guide, you’ll know which battery-operated chainsaw is best for your workbench.
What is a Battery-Powered Chainsaw?
Also known as cordless battery chainsaws, a battery-powered chainsaw is an electric chainsaw that runs on batteries.
An increasing number of DIY enthusiasts have been shifting to battery-operated tools since they are less noisy, more budget-friendly, more eco-friendly, and easier to maintain than corded electric and gas-powered equivalents. Thanks to improvements in battery technology, many battery-power chainsaws can now handle heavy tasks. Some are actually faster than gas-engine equivalents.
How Do You Use a Battery-Operated Chainsaw?
Battery-operated chainsaws are one of the easiest cordless power tools to operate. Follow these steps to start cutting.
Place Battery on the Charger
First, you need to charge your chainsaw battery. Unlike their corded cousins, battery-run chainsaws run on batteries and can’t be plugged into an outlet, so you need to make sure your battery is charged before cutting.
Verify Sufficient Charging Time
Make sure that your battery is sufficiently charged before taking it out of the charger. If you’re not sure how long it takes to fully charge your battery, look at your chainsaw’s user manual.
Have Extra Batteries for Backup
Most batteries only last for 1 or 2 hours, so make sure you have at least two or three extra batteries for backup. If you’re working on heavy-duty projects that last the whole day, bring five or six extra batteries. This will enable you to work without interruption.
Connect Battery to Chainsaw and Start
Next, connect your battery to the chainsaw and press the start button.
Use for Everything From Wood Chips to Large Tree Limbs
You can now use your battery-powered chainsaw to cut everything from wood chips and plastic to large tree limbs and firewood.
Advantages of Using a Battery-Powered Saw
As previously mentioned, there are many advantages to using a battery-powered saw, including convenience and budget. Here’s a breakdown of the main advantages of using a cordless chainsaw with batteries.
Convenience of Cordless Chainsaw With No Gas Refills
Cordless electric chainsaws offer optimal convenience and comfort. Unlike their corded electric models, they don’t need to be plugged in at all times. As such, you can position them at any angle and use them wherever you’d like. Cordless saws also allow you to make the workplace safer by:
- Reducing tripping hazards associated with cords
- Giving you more space for equipment
- Giving you more arm and legroom to work on projects
Battery-powered chainsaws are also more convenient than gas saws because they don’t need refills. Gas refills require more work than recharging batteries since you need to mix gas and oil, which also gives off a bad smell when operating.
Cleaner Energy Than a Gas-Powered Engine
Battery-powered chainsaws also run on cleaner energy than gas-powered engines. Since they run on batteries, they don’t consume fossil fuels or produce carbon emissions. They also create less noise pollution because they tend to run quieter.
Typically Less Expensive Than Gas Chainsaw
Cordless electric chainsaws are usually less expensive than their gas counterparts. As such, they’re a great option if you have a limited budget.
Lighter Weight Than Gas-Powered Chainsaw
Battery-powered chainsaws are also popular because they’re lighter and easier to carry around. On average, they only weigh around 10 to 12 pounds. In comparison, gas and corded electric saws weigh around 12 to 16 pounds.
High-Voltage Battery Despite Small Motor
Finally, battery-powered chainsaws are incredibly powerful despite their small motors. Many models feature high-voltage energy-dense batteries that provide great performance.
Disadvantages of Using a Battery Saw
Although battery-powered saws offer many advantages, they also come with some disadvantages. These include:
Less Powerful Than a Gas-Powered Saw
Battery saws are now more powerful than ever, but the most reliable and durable saws are still gas-powered. So, if you’re looking to fell trees and cut up thick pieces of wood quickly and effectively, a gas-powered saw is your best bet.
Usually Processes Less Timber
If you’re in the timber business, get a gas-powered saw. Gas chainsaws are still the industry standard for outdoor and construction work. Unlike battery-powered saws, they can quickly process timber. After all, they’re made for felling large trees, trimming large branches, and chopping large amounts of firewood.
Shorter Running Time Due to Short Battery Life
Last but not least, battery saws tend to have shorter running times. Most batteries only last up to 2 hours, so you’ll have to constantly change batteries throughout the workday. In contrast, corded electric chainsaws will run as long as they’re plugged in. Similarly, gas chainsaws will run as long as you have the proper gas supply.
Top Battery-Powered Chainsaw Models
Now that you know the advantages of battery-powered chainsaws, let’s take a look at the top three battery-operated chainsaw models of 2022.
Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 48V 16″ Cordless Chainsaw
Description and Specifications
Sleek and powerful, the Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 16-Inch 48-Volt 4.0 Cordless Chain Saw Kit is perfect for tree-trimming tasks.
Powered by the iON+ System series of 24-volt lithium-ion batteries, a self-lubricating 16″ chain and bar, and a robust 1,200-watt motor, this beast can cut cleanly through logs and branches up to 15.5″ thick. The built-in 5 fluid-ounce oiler keeps the chain and bar fully lubricated.
Tightening this tool is easy — all you have to do is tighten the chain with a twist.
This saw also comes with model safety features, including:
- A safety switch to prevent accidental starts
- Sheath for safe storage
- Handguard with a kickback brake for optimal control and safety
Every purchase of this kit comes with the following:
- A Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 16-Inch 48-Volt 4.0 Cordless Chain Saw
- Two batteries
- A charger
- A sheath
|Power Type||24V Battery|
|Extra Features||Auto-Oiler, Built-in Safety Switch, Kick Back Brake for Superior Safety|
Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of this product:
- Great for tree-trimming
- Maximum portability
- Includes two 24V, 2.0 Ah lithium-ion batteries and a charger
- Built-in auto-oiler keeps chain and bar lubricated for continuous cutting
- Tool-free tensioning
- Safety features such as an onboard safety switch, sheath, and handguard
- Powerful motor
- Auto-oiler doesn’t lubricate well
- Inefficient — around 3 hours of charging for less than 10 minutes of runtime
- Low cut time per inch
- Needs two batteries but you can only charge one at a time
Greenworks G-MAX 20312 40V 16″ Brushless Cordless Chainsaw
Description and Specifications
|Auto Chain Lubrication||None|
|Bar and Chain Size||16″|
|Gross Weight||17.4 lbs.|
|Maximum Cutting Thickness||15″|
|Best Use||Cutting wood|
The Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw is one of the toughest cordless electric chainsaws on the market. With its 16″ bar and chain, this beast can easily cut trees and logs up to 16″ in diameter.
This product has a runtime of up to 90 cuts and is compatible with Greenworks’ G-MAX 40-volt Li-ion (lithium-ion) System. This means you can use a single battery for over 60 cordless tools with high-efficiency motors, including lawnmowers, string trimmers, blowers, and much more.
This saw also boasts a formidable brushless motor that delivers up to 30% more torque for cutting and 70% less vibration. The motor is also quieter than most comparable models.
Additional features include:
- Low kickback chain and chain brake for increased user safety
- Translucent oil tank
- A 3-year tool and battery warranty
Every purchase of this chainsaw includes:
- A Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
- 16″ bar and chain
- A 40-volt lithium-ion battery
- A 40-volt charger
- An owner’s manual
|Power Type||40V Battery|
|Extra Features||TRUBRUSHLESS Motor Technology|
Here’s what customers had to say about this product:
- Great choice for homeowners and professionals
- Easy to use
- Go-to choice for small jobs
- Translucent oil tank
- Brushless motor offers 70% less vibration and 30% more torque
- Low kickback chain and chain brake for safety
- Chain keeps on coming off
- May stop working after cutting down larger trees
- Leaks oil
- Chain tightening mechanism constantly needs to be adjusted
DeWalt FLEXVOLT DCCS670X1 60V 16″ Cordless Brushless Chainsaw
Description and Specifications
Designed for heavy-duty work, the DeWalt 60-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless FLEXVOLT Brushless 16-Inch Chainsaw has a high-efficiency brushless motor to maximize motor life and runtime. It also has an auto-lubrication system for continuous cutting, a bar retention knob for enabling proper bar clamping force, and tool-free chain tensioning.
Easily the most powerful tool on this list, this baby boasts 1,250 yards of beam distance and 4,250 Lumens of TRUEVIEW high-definition output. It offers a staggering 70 cuts per charge on 6″ by 6″ pressure-treated pine wood.
Other standout features include:
- Chain brake for kickback protection
- Flood and spot mode
- Hard bar cover
- Auto-oiling for continuous lubrication
- Quarter-turn oil cap for efficient oil refills
This saw comes with a FLEXVOLT 20V/60V MAX battery that can power 60-volt and 20-volt MAX tools. Replacement bars and chains are sold separately.
|Extra Features||Automatic Chain Oiler, Chain Brake, Tool-Less Chain Tensioning|
- Great for professional and home use
- 1.5 hours of battery life
- Spot and flood mode
- Up to 70 cuts per charge on 6″ by 6″ pressure-treated pine wood
- Includes battery
- Hard bar cover
- Auto-lubrication for continuous use
- Chain brake for kickback protection
- Battery life could be longer
- Takes 3 to 4 hours to charge
- Must keep the blade straight to cut well
- Oil leaks will happen if you don’t store the saw with the oil fill cap pointing up
- May start smoking after intensive cutting
Which Cordless Electric Chainsaw is Right for You?
Cordless electric chainsaws are much more powerful than they were a few decades ago. Although gas-powered saws are still the industry standard for logging and timber production, many high-end cordless electric chainsaws can handle medium-to-heavy duty work. For instance, the DeWalt 60-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless FLEXVOLT Brushless 16-Inch Chainsaw offers 70 cuts per charge, 4,250 Lumens of TRUEVIEW high-definition output, and 1,250 yards of beam distance.
But that doesn’t mean every cordless electric chainsaw is for you. Depending on your goals, budget, and preferences, some models are better than others. Here’s a list of factors to consider before buying the best cordless electric chainsaw for your project.
Traditionally, battery-powered chainsaws used nickel-cadmium batteries. Tools using these batteries weren’t particularly powerful — performance suffered as the battery drained and charging could take up to 12 hours.
These days, the vast majority of battery-powered chainsaws use lithium-ion batteries. Larger, more energy-dense, and lighter than nickel-cadmium batteries, lithium-ion batteries can recharge in 1 to 3 hours. As such, you can get back to work quicker.
However, not every lithium-ion battery is made equal. You need to look at the following to determine each battery’s power:
- Amperage or amps (A), which is the amount of electrical current provided by the battery
- Amp-hours (Ah), which measures how many amps of power the battery can deliver in an hour
- Voltage (V), which is the amount of force pushing the current from one section of the circuit to the next
The higher the numbers for these measurements, the more powerful your saw’s battery is. Case in point: the most powerful battery-powered chainsaw in this guide, the DeWalt 60-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Cordless FLEXVOLT Brushless 16-Inch Chainsaw, runs on 60-volt lithium-ion batteries. In contrast, our other picks use 48-volt and 40-volt lithium-ion batteries.
Maximum Cutting Thickness
Next, you need to look at your tool’s maximum cutting thickness. This shows you what your chainsaw can cut. For example, the Sun Joe 24V-X2-CS16 16-Inch 48-Volt 4.0 Cordless Chain Saw Kit has a maximum cutting thickness of 15.5″, which means it can cut materials that are up to 15.5″ thick.
Some vendor sites don’t state the maximum cutting thickness for saws. If that’s the case, send the manufacturer an email.
Tool-less Chain Tensioning
Some battery-operated saws have tool-less chain tensioning, which lets you tighten the chain without a multi-tool or screwdriver. This feature is especially handy when you’re working in the woods and don’t have the time to look for a tool in your truck or toolbox.
Automatic Bar Lubrication Systems
Due to the constant friction between the chain and bar, chainsaws need to be constantly lubricated with oil. Otherwise, the saw would break.
Traditionally, lubrication was done manually. Some models, like the Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, still require manual lubrication, but others come with bar lubrication systems that automatically lubricate the bar with oil. Many DIYers prefer saws with these systems because:
- They’re convenient. Lubrication automatically happens, so you don’t need to make a lubrication schedule. You don’t even have to press any buttons!
- They’re a good fit for smaller chains and bars.
- They use the right amount of lubricant. Unlike manual lubrication, automatic lubrication always uses the right amount of oil.
You also need to consider whether your chainsaw has a brushed or brushless motor.
Brushless motors are typically quieter, more powerful, and more reliable than brushed motors. As their name suggests, brushless motors don’t use carbon brushes to transmit electricity. Instead, they use magnets to transfer energy, which means they produce less friction and more power. As such, brushless saws have higher chain speeds and more cuts per charge.
Brushless motors also require less maintenance since you don’t need to replace any brushes. In contrast, brushed motor saws often need new replacement brushes, since friction can quickly wear down the brushes.
Last but not least, you need to consider and balance your personal preferences. Read through our review again and note each model’s pros and cons. Then, make a chart of must-have versus nice-to-have features.
Here’s an example:
|Required Features||Nice-to-Have Features|
|Brushless motor||Automatic bar lubrication system|
|40-volt lithium-ion battery||Tool-less tensioning|
|Maximum cutting thickness of 15″|
Once you have your list, look at your budget.
If you have a small budget, choose a saw that checks all of your required features. If some of the features are too expensive for your budget, re-evaluate whether you really need them. If not, move them into the nice-to-have column. On the other hand, if you have a larger budget and you want some or all of the nice-to-have features, choose a saw that checks off all or most of the items on the list.
The answer depends on what you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a portable chainsaw that’s easy to control, get a cordless battery-powered chainsaw. These chainsaws are also less likely to cause trip and fall accidents or get tangled in shrub-heavy or wooded areas.
However, if you’re looking for a powerful saw that can run as long as it’s kept on, get a corded electric chainsaw. These saws can cut bigger and tougher trees and don’t require recharging, which means you can cut for as long as you want. Corded electric chainsaws also tend to be less expensive than battery-powered chainsaws.
You can make a battery-powered chainsaw last longer by maintaining it. Here are some necessary steps for safe cutting and proper care:
•Check the chain tension before you use the saw. Disconnect the battery and look at the chain. The chain shouldn’t be slack, but you should be able to pull it slightly down from the bar. Inspect the bar and chain regularly and clean as needed.
•Use a filing kit to sharpen the chain regularly. You can do this yourself if you have a filing kit.
•Measure the depth gauges every time you sharpen the chain. Reprofile if the depth isn’t right.
•Always lubricate your chain before using it. Quality lubricant brands will help your battery-powered chainsaw last longer.
If your cordless electric chainsaw isn’t working, check to see whether your battery is actually charged. Old batteries and chargers can lose power over time and may need to be replaced.
Yes, battery-powered chainsaws can be used for bigger projects like cutting down trees, as long as:
•The trees are small or medium-sized (for example, have diameters under 16″)
•You’re only cutting one to three trees per day
•You’re only sawing for 15 or 20 minutes
If you want to cut four or more trees with diameters over 16″, get a gas-powered chainsaw. Gas-powered chainsaws are still the industry standard for timber production.
That depends on what you want to do with your battery-operated chainsaw. If you just want a tool to cut woodblocks and chips, get a battery chainsaw with lower cuts per charge. On the flip side, if you want a powerful tool for producing timber and cutting down trees, get a saw with higher cuts per charge.
A typical battery-powered chainsaw lasts 5 to 10 years with proper maintenance.