There’s a good chance that at some point you might find yourself in need of a chainsaw for various home-improvement and outdoor projects – if you haven’t already. They’re both powerful and versatile and can make short work of many otherwise intimidating projects – felling trees, removing wooden fencing, trimming shrubs and hedges and more.
While your first thoughts about chainsaws may be confined to old-fashioned, gas-powered versions, you have lots of other choices powered by electricity. In fact, in recent years, electric chainsaws have improved greatly in qualities like power, maneuverability and convenience, which is leading many consumers to choose them over their gas-powered counterparts.
Whether you relish the opportunity to brandish a chainsaw or still find it a little intimidating, we’ve gathered several electric chainsaw reviews to help you get started on your research. Keep reading to find out more about how to choose the best electric chainsaw for you.
Electric Chainsaw Comparison Chart
|Brand/Model (Click Item Text to Scroll to Review)||Rating|
|1. DeWalt DCCS620P1 20V MAX Lithium-Ion XR Brushless Compact 12" Cordless Chainsaw|
Our Top Pick for 2019
|2. Makita XCU03PT 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 14" Chainsaw||9.7/10||CHECK PRICE|
|3. DeWalt DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Lithium-Ion Brushless 16" Cordless Chainsaw||9.7/10||CHECK PRICE|
|4. Greenworks 16" 40V Cordless Chainsaw||9.5/10||CHECK PRICE|
|5. EGO Power+ 14" 56V Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw||9.5/10||CHECK PRICE|
|6. Black+Decker LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion 10" Chainsaw||9.4/10||CHECK PRICE|
|7. WEN 40417 40V Max Lithium Ion Brushless 16" Chainsaw||9.2/10||CHECK PRICE|
Best Electric Chainsaw Reviews
1. DeWalt DCCS620P1 20V MAX Lithium-Ion XR Brushless Compact 12″ Cordless ChainsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This is our favorite electric chainsaw – with a high-efficiency brushless motor, this model maximizes both run time and motor life, and it’s surprisingly powerful for an electric chainsaw. In addition, it features a low kickback, 12-inch Oregon bar and chain, which allows you to use it for outdoor cutting projects and construction jobs. This chainsaw features a modern, lightweight and compact design, weighing in at under nine pounds – with this kind of design you’ll enjoy a high level of user comfort and control. Overall, it’s a great addition to your collection of power tools.
In addition, this model features tool-free chain tensioning, along with a bar tightening knob, which allows for maximized bar clamping force. Overall, it offers all the convenience of a battery-powered chainsaw, with the added bonus of more power than you’d expect from something so light.
You can use this electric chainsaw for larger jobs like doing demolition, taming rogue tree limbs and even cutting beams. And the fact that you can adjust the chain without tools makes it convenient and user-friendly to operate. And if you already own other DeWalt tools, the lithium-ion battery is interchangeable with many of them, which could ultimately save you a good deal of money down the road.
Reviewers love this chainsaw’s light weight and tool-free tensioning and comment on how easy it is to use. It also runs quietly. But – it does have a high rate of chain oil consumption according to some users, and it doesn’t come with a case.
2. Makita XCU03PT 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 14″ ChainsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This high-power electric chainsaw model features a Makita-built outer rotor BL brushless motor direct-drive system, which gives its user a level of power and efficiency that’s equal to many gas chainsaw models. In addition, this chainsaw features a variable-speed trigger, which allows you to enjoy easy operation and control. It comes with a built-in LED on/off switch that features automatic shutoff when it notices a delay, which ultimately saves your battery life. The chainsaw comes with two 18-volt LXT lithium-ion batteries that deliver both power and performance, and its lock-off lever helps keep the blade from engaging by mistake.
This model offers convenient operation and extremely easy maintenance, with a tool-less blade for easy chain adjustments and rubberized grip handles that feature ergonomic design for maximum comfort. Overall, you can generally count on Makita for solid, reliable power tools, and this one doesn’t disappoint. With the exception of major projects like tree felling, this model can handle just about any project you throw at it.
Reviewers praise the Makita XCU03PT’s smooth and easy start-up, its quiet motor and its power, which many confirm is comparable to a gas-powered model. Some users more accustomed to working with gas-powered saws express annoyance with the anti-kickback technology, while others note that the chain can jump the track too easily sometimes. But reviewers overall report being pleased with the technology and say that this chainsaw is a great value for the money.
3. DeWalt DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT 60V MAX Lithium-Ion Brushless 16″ Cordless ChainsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
The DeWalt DCCS670X1 features a low kickback, 16-inch Oregon bar and chain that allow for both construction activity and more typical outdoor cutting projects around the house. Plus, it features a chain brake for kickback protection and boasts an ergonomic and lightweight design, which makes it extremely easy to use. Weighing just over 12 pounds, it also features auto-oiling, which means continuous lubrication so that the saw keeps running smoothly for the entirety of its useful life. In addition, the saw’s quarter-turn oil cap allows for quick and easy oil refills, and the tool-free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob let you adjust for proper bar clamping force.
This chainsaw can deliver up to 70 cuts per charge when tested on six-inch by six-inch, pressure-treated pine wood. It also features a one-year limited warranty and a one-year free service contract, plus a 90-day, money-back guarantee.
Furthermore, this unit from DeWalt gets high marks for convenience, versatility and long battery life. Users love that it offers effective performance without the hassle of a gas chainsaw. Some users report that the chain can come off the track easily, but overall reviews are overwhelmingly positive and indicate that this saw is a good value for the average homeowner. As we discovered initially while writing our article on table saws, DeWalt’s customer service gets high marks for being responsive and helpful when issues arise. Other users lament the fact that this model doesn’t come with an accompanying case, and some report that the battery charging time can be extremely slow.
4. Greenworks 16″ 40V Cordless ChainsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
With a brushless motor, this chainsaw provides up to 30 percent more torque than competitors, which means you can count on the highest level cutting performance. In fact, you could almost consider it a professional-grade chainsaw. With this model, you’ll enjoy longer run time, more power and torque and a longer lifetime – the brushless motor helps reduce normal wear and tear and extend the life of your machine. And the battery can be used to power other Greenworks power tools as well.
In addition, you’ll feel as much as 70 percent less vibration while using this chainsaw, resulting in more control and comfort during use. Featuring both a low kickback chain and a chain brake for ultimate user safety, this model can help prevent accidental kickbacks. And it starts smoothly with one push of a button.
If you’re a homeowner with small- to medium-sized trees to deal with, this is a good model for handling all your limb-cutting and pruning jobs. This saw is stable and very easy to maneuver, plus it features several key safety additions like a chain brake, quick-release trigger and handguard, to protect you while you’re using it. In addition, it’s an auto-oiler and features a relatively short battery-charge time of around two hours.
Reviewers are drawn to the Greenworks model’s impressive safety features, high battery efficiency and professional-grade performance. However, some users point out that the chainsaw is often prone to oil leaks and that they have trouble with the chain slipping off from time to time.
5. EGO Power+ 14″ 56V Lithium-Ion Cordless ChainsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Featuring weather-resistant construction and a high-efficiency, 6300 RPM brushless motor, this model can handle up to 100 cuts per charge and offers ultimate safety and control. It also offers weather-resistant construction, so you can use it even in rainy or cold temperatures – and it features an auto-lubrication system that keeps all parts appropriately oiled for maximum performance. A front hand guard can protect the user from any flying debris, and a safety button protects you from any accidental starting.
The 14-inch bar and chain, along with a high-efficiency brushless motor, provide seamless and smooth cuts, and its advanced lithium battery ensures, through the latest technology, tremendous power. The battery is also compatible with other EGO Power+ products, and this saw features a chain kickback brake for added control and safety. In addition, the battery charges quickly – it can be fully charged in as little as 40 minutes.
This model boasts that it delivers the performance of a gas-powered chainsaw without the fumes, fuss and noise. It comes with a three-year limited warranty, along with customer service support.
Reviewers were impressed by the saw’s light weight, fast motor run speed, long run time and easy cleanup and storage , though some reported difficulties with the chain oiler that customer service representatives helped work out. Others reported the chain sagging on the bar, though most users report excellent customer service and overall satisfaction with the chainsaw and its value as an alternative to gas-powered versions.
6. Black+Decker LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion 10″ ChainsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
This cordless chainsaw features a 20-volt MAX lithium battery that guarantees a long life and extended individual run times. In fact, this model can stay charged up to five times longer than many of its competitors. It also features a 10-inch premium Oregon low kickback bar and chain and is compatible with 20-volt max outdoor and power tools. With its lithium ion battery, this chainsaw model is lightweight, easy to use and a good value considering its forecasted long life.
This model is great for handling light trimming jobs like preparing firewood or clearing brush, and it brings with it the reliability and confidence you’d typically associate with the trusted Black+Decker brand. This is a popular and versatile chainsaw – very simple to take care of and use for light-duty tree work. And it’s light enough that you can even bring it along on camping trips.
In fact, the LCS 1020 is just about as light as you can get, weighing in at just over seven pounds, so you won’t fatigue quickly while using it. In addition, you can easily adjust tension without tools – just turn the adjustment knob – and the chainsaw automatically lubricates itself as long as the oiling reservoir is full of oil.
Reviewers love its maneuverability, especially in tight spots, its quiet motor and how easily it handles. However, most point out that this model is best for light jobs only and requires you to check the chain tension often.
7. WEN 40417 40V Max Lithium Ion Brushless 16″ ChainsawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
The WEN 40417 comes with a two-year warranty, plus a 40-volt, 4Ah, fade-free, lithium-ion battery and charger, both of which are compatible with the entire WEB 40-volt Max series. Its brushless motor allows it to maximize both the power and the overall expected lifespan of the chainsaw, and its 16-inch Oregon chain runs as fast as 49 feet per second.
This saw boasts the power of a gas chainsaw with none of the hassle, operating at a fraction of the noise that its gas alternatives produce, plus running at highly effective speeds. Its auto-oiling system coats the guide bar and chain as you cut, which ultimately extends the life of both saw and blade. This version weighs in at roughly 12 pounds, so it’s light and easy to handle – it also includes an emergency chain brake and safety.
WEN backs this unit with a two-year warranty, plus a national network of skilled service support professionals to support you when you need it. Overall, it’s a solid, budget-friendly buy.
Reviewers love the convenience and quietness of this machine, along with the duration of the battery life, which many reviewers cite as stellar. In addition, most users say cleanup and maintenance of the saw is a breeze. Any negative comments seem to stem from using this chainsaw for projects better suited for more powerful saws, and many reviewers praise the lack of exhaust fumes typically associated with a gas-powered chainsaw.
Electric vs Gas Chainsaws
The decision between an electric versus a gas-powered chainsaw is ultimately a personal choice and depends greatly on the types of projects you plan to use your saw for. Both types of chainsaw use a motor to power the spinning of a sharp chain that can cut quickly and easily through debris, trees and even more.
Of course, there are pros and cons associated with each type of chainsaw. For example, gas-powered saws may be better for your largest, most serious and complicated jobs, while with their quieter motors and more compact bodies, electric chainsaws may be your best bet for more routine home-improvement projects. Below is a quick rundown of some of the major differences between the two types of chainsaws.
Power Source and Runtime
If you’re using an electric chainsaw with a cord, you can run it for as long as you need as long as you stay close enough to your power source. Most cords run about 100 feet or so, so if you have a larger project, you’ll need to arrange for extension cords or a generator to make sure you’re continuously connected to an outlet. Conversely, electric saws that run on battery life typically can last around an hour or so, while gas-powered versions can run until their fuel runs out and then immediately be refueled. So if, for example, you were working on a large project deep within the woods, you might have trouble with an electric version. One key pro for an electric version: most models feature a simple, one-button start, which offers an added layer of convenience.
While electric chainsaws have made great strides in recent years, they’re still far less powerful then gas-powered models. They’re great at cutting limbs or small trees, plus trimming hedges and bushes But gas-powered chainsaws are far superior when it comes to cutting through tough wood and other professional-level projects – electric chainsaws can struggle with these types of jobs.
Gas-powered chainsaws make quite a racket, often as loud as 120 dB, so without hearing protection, you’ll be flirting with hearing loss over time. Electric versions, on the other hand, run much more quietly, which can cut down on the potential for annoying your neighbors and family with your smaller home-maintenance projects.
Weight and Control
While gas-powered chainsaws are extremely powerful, that power typically comes with tremendous weight, making them cumbersome and prone to quickly causing user fatigue. In contrast, many electric chainsaws weigh in at under 10 pounds, which gives you much better control throughout the life of your project.
Corded vs Cordless Electric Chainsaws
You can find electric chainsaws in two basic types: a corded version that must plug into a power source or a battery-powered, cordless version.
The electrical cord for a corded version is likely its biggest inconvenience or disadvantage, especially when compared to gas chainsaws. Not only does the cord require you to stay in close proximity to your power source, but it also must be managed throughout the life of your job. If you don’t watch it closely, it’s easy for the cord to get in your way, trip you up, or be accidentally cut during the course of your work. Most users say they eventually get used to it and find the cord relatively easy to manage, but you’ll need to know going in that this is part of the process. And if you’re looking forward to marching deep into the woods with your chainsaw, a corded electric version likely isn’t your best choice.
However, if you’re using your chainsaw for smaller projects around the house, one advantage of a corded version is that it can run consistently for as long as you need it to, as long as it’s connected with its power source. In addition, corded electric chainsaws often deliver more power than cordless or battery-powered models. And one work-around for the issue of power is to use a portable generator so that you can plug in your saw wherever you need to – this gives you the added flexibility of being able to move your saw where the job takes you.
Cordless or battery-operated versions, on the other hand, usually are powered by rechargeable batteries – so they’re easily portable and convenient to use if you need to move away from an electrical outlet. But – batteries come with varying levels of power and continuous runtime, so they must periodically be recharged. They also feature less power than either corded versions or their gas counterparts, so they’re best relegated to smaller tasks so that the battery isn’t overtaxed.
Setting Up and Maintaining an Electric Chainsaw
Once you’ve chosen your chainsaw, it’s important to care for it appropriately in order to protect its useful life. How you store it, replace routing parts and clean the saw all are important for keeping it running at top performance. You’ll want to develop a set routine that you go through with your saw both before and after use to make sure it’s aligned/set up properly before use. Overall, electric chainsaws require much less maintenance attention than their gas-powered counterparts. You should also note that the chainsaws with tool-free guide bar chain replacement and adjustment options are the easiest to maintain over the long term. But you do need to perform some key maintenance tasks, including the following:
Oil the Chain
Doing so regularly will help keep the chain from suffering dry friction against its bar and will keep your chainsaw running more smoothly. This keeps your chain from wearing out as quickly and also improves the quality and smoothness of your cut. Any clean motor oil should do the job for you.
Clean the Chainsaw Bar
Debris and dust can gather in the bar’s groove if you don’t clean it out on a regular basis. A wire or pipe cleaner can help you with this – and if you notice that the bar is bent or damaged while you’re cleaning it, go ahead and replace the bar.
Ensure the Right Extension Cord
Your best bet is an extension cord designed for outdoor use – and if your cord becomes damaged or frayed during use, you should replace it before your next use. If you’re using a corded chainsaw, one of the most important things you can do for your safety is to maintain a fully functional extension cord.
Prepare for Proper Storage
You can winterize your chain saw before packing it away for the winter by draining the chain oil and removing both the chain and the bar. Also, soak and clean the bar and chain, and after they dry, rub them down with oil to prevent rusting while in storage. But if you notice that the chain is damaged or too worn, simply throw it out and replace it with a new one before your next use.
Best Electric Chainsaw Buyer’s Guide
If you’ve made up your mind to purchase an electric chainsaw versus a gas-powered version, you still have to narrow down the field. There’s a wide variety of electric chainsaws available, all of which feature unique selling points and attributes that you should consider. Below you’ll find a basic list of items to keep in mind as you choose which electric chainsaw is right for you.
As a side note, a couple other saw-related articles you might be interested are our best jigsaw reviews and best miter saw reviews articles, which consist of the same layout and quality as the one you’re currently reading.
When you consider that roughly 36,000 people per year are treated for chainsaw injuries, you’ll want to carefully research to make sure the chainsaw you choose has appropriate safety features to protect you from getting hurt during use. Most saws come with this kind of extra safety measure, including features to prevent injuries from unexpected kickbacks.
In addition, anti-vibration systems can reduce fatigue, which helps you work in a safer manner, and if you can find a model that includes an automatic chain stop in case of kickback, that’s even more of a safety bonus.
It’s generally a good rule of thumb to purchase the best piece of equipment your budget will allow. Cost is always an important consideration when making any power tool purchase – make sure to weigh all the pros and cons of your alternatives and pick the most reasonably priced version that includes all the essential features you need.
What kind of need do you have for a chainsaw? Major, professional-grade projects? Shrub-trimming and smaller jobs around the house? Knowing how you’ll use your saw makes a huge difference in forming your decision. Consider the saw’s cutting speed, its maneuverability and ampere, along with how they affect the chainsaw’s overall performance. For the most part, all of the saws featured here will give you the power you need for basic home projects like cutting, trimming, felling, pruning or even cutting logs into pieces for firewood.
One of the electric chainsaw’s most appealing features is its light weight, making it easier to use for longer periods of time, especially if you’re stretching to use it overhead. Your best option is to go for a model that’s as light as possible, but not so insubstantial that it compromises the machine’s stability.
Ease of Use
The chainsaw’s weight directly affects its ease of use, and you want it to be used effectively by every appropriate member of your household, so it needs to be versatile in that sense. A push-button start is another especially user-friendly feature to look for.
Summing It Up
With their recent advancements in power, versatility and convenience, electric chainsaws are often a more than sufficient option for homeowners who want to use them for simple, lightweight yard tasks. They are quiet, budget-friendly, lightweight and easy to use, which makes them appealing to a variety of consumers and homeowners who need them for a wide range of projects.
With low maintenance needs and affordable costs, electric chainsaws can easily be owned by many types of homeowners with various levels of power need. They are practical and useful on many levels, providing tremendous value to your household power tool collection.
In fact, with their many pros, electric chainsaws emerge as the perfect home solution for most homeowners – they give just enough power for light- and medium-duty jobs. If you’ve carefully read the guide and electric chainsaw reviews presented here, you’re well on your way to making an informed decision about which particular model is the best electric chainsaw for you.