If you work in an industry that requires heavy-duty cutting, or you if you are a homeowner who enjoys taking on projects yourself, there’s no doubt that you are going to want to have a chainsaw in your arsenal of tools.
These tools are designed to cut through wood at a rapid rate and require minimal physical effort. That’s because the tool does most of the hard work. Chainsaws are excellent tools for cutting down trees, pruning and trimming the branches on trees and shrubs, cutting logs to create firewood, sawing lumber, and so much more.
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If you are thinking about purchasing a chainsaw, you have two basic options: corded and cordless. Both types feature the same basic components, which include:
- A chain, which contains cutting teeth on the outside and drive links on the inside, which attach the chain to the guide bar and make it possible for the chain to be moved by the motor.
- A guide bar; a steel bar on which the chain wraps around. It guides the chain while the chainsaw is being used.
- A chain catcher, an element that protects the user from being injured by the chain.
- A clutch, which allows the user to control the speed of the chainsaw.
- A chain brake, the component that immediately stops the chain if the saw should experience kickback.
- A flywheel, which both controls the speed of the saw and cools the engine to avoid overheating.
While both corded and cordless chainsaws feature many of the same elements, there is one major difference between them: How they are powered.
Corded chainsaws are powered by electricity. They feature an electric cord, which plugs into an extension cord, which plugs into a power outlet. Once the tool is plugged in, you’ll have access to a constant supply of power.
Gas powered chainsaws are powered by gasoline (as the name suggests), while cordless electric chainsaws are powered by a battery. This might seem like a big deal, but it really makes a big difference. While both types of saws have their benefits, if you’re looking for a tool that’s lighter, easier to handle and maintain, and doesn’t create a deafening roar and noxious fumes, than a cordless battery operated chainsaw may be a better option for you. This is especially true if you aren’t planning on tackling huge jobs, like sawing down large trees. If you are planning on doing heavy-duty jobs, such as sawing down large trees, a gas powered cordless chainsaw is the better choice. That’s because they offer more power than both corded electric and cordless battery operated chainsaws.
If you are thinking about purchasing a chainsaw, it’s important that you have a full understanding of this powertool so that you can determine if it really is the right pick for you. In this buyer’s guide, we shed some valuable light on cordless chainsaws, including their pros and cons, what they can be used for, features to consider, and our top picks for the best battery powered chainsaws on the market. So, if you’re on the market for a cordless saw, keep on reading to learn more.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Using a Cordless Chainsaw
If you’re considering using a cordless chainsaw, it’s a wise idea to familiarize yourself with both the benefits and disadvantages that are associated with this type of power tool before you decide to purchase one. In this section, we highlight five advantages and five disadvantages that are associated with a battery powered chainsaw.
We’ll start by focusing on the benefits of working with a battery powered chainsaw. Below, you’ll find five major advantages that you’ll enjoy when you work with this type of tool:
- No power cord. Without a doubt, one of the biggest benefits of using a cordless chainsaw is the fact that it does not have a cord. A power cord can easily become tangled while you’re using the tool, which can detract from the ease of use. Add to that the fact that the power cord can easily become unplugged while you’re using the tool, and a corded electric chainsaw isn’t exactly the easiest tool to work with. Additionally, the power cord can become a serious hazard. There’s a chance that you could trip over it while you are sawing, and there’s also a risk of sawing through it. If either happens, you could be in danger of sustaining a serious injury. If you want the safest option, a cordless battery powered chainsaw is a better choice than a cordless gasoline powered saw.
- They can be used anywhere. Since there’s no cord, a cordless chainsaw can be used anywhere. If you are using a battery powered chainsaw, as long as the battery is charged up, you can use it wherever you want to. With a gas powered saw, as long as the fuel tank is full, you can also use it anywhere. Since they are so portable, you can use them in the far reaches of your yard, in the woods, or any other location where you would not have easy access to an electric power supply.
- They’re more powerful. Another big perk of using cordless chainsaws is that they offer more power than cored chainsaws. Corded electric chainsaws draw their power from a power outlet, and there’s only so much power that a power outlet can supply. That’s because the outlet is attached to another structure that is supplying electricity to other elements. With a cordless chainsaw, the only thing that is being powered is the tool itself, which translates to more power. Cordless battery powered chainsaws are more powerful than corded electric chainsaws; however, cordless gas powered saws are even more powerful than battery powered saws. The reason is simple: Gas produces more power than even the most powerful battery can.
- Cordless battery powered chainsaws do not produce a smell. If you’re thinking about purchasing a cordless battery operated chainsaw, the major benefit is that they don’t produce any odor. However, it should be noted that gas-powered chainsaws do produce an odor, and that odor is due to the gasoline that is used to power them. If you want to avoid the smell, you should opt for a cordless battery operated chainsaw over a cordless gas powered chainsaw.
- They’re more durable. Both, cordless battery operated and cordless gasoline powered chainsaws are more durable than corded electric chainsaws. Generally, their parts are made of higher quality materials, such as metal and durable plastics. Corded electric chainsaws are often made of lightweight plastic, which is a plus when it comes to the weight of the tool; however, it’s not really beneficial in regard to the durability of the tool. If you want your chainsaw to be able to withstand excessive wear and tear and last a long time, then a cordless model is a better option than corded.
While there are several notable advantages of using a cordless electric chainsaw, there are some downsides, too. It’s important to be aware of these disadvantages so that you can ensure you are purchasing the best power tool for your needs. Five cons of a cordless chainsaw include:
- They can run out of power. If you are planning on purchasing a cordless battery operated chainsaw, the major downside is that they need to be recharged. The charge on the battery will only last for a certain amount of time (usually between 2 and 4 hours), and once the charge runs out, you will have to charge up the battery before you can use the chainsaw again. With a cordless gas powered chainsaw, you need to make sure that it is fueled up in order to use it. Once you run out of fuel, you need to fill the tank. With either type of cordless chainsaw, running out of power can be a major disadvantage.
- Gas powered cordless chainsaws produce an odor. While cordless gas powered chainsaws are more powerful than corded electric and cordless electric chainsaws, a major downside is that they produce a very pungent odor. The scent of the gasoline can be quiet overpowering. In fact, if you use the tool for a prolonged period of time, there is a chance that you could actually become lightheaded and sick to your stomach because of the odor that it produces. If you want to avoid the smell, a cordless battery operated chainsaw is a better option.
- The replacement batteries are expensive. To prolong the amount of time you have to work with a cordless electric chainsaw, you can purchase additional replacement batteries. By doing so, you can always have a battery charged up and ready to go when the battery you are currently using dies. However, the disadvantage of this is the fact that replacement batteries tend to cost a pretty penny.
- The batteries don’t last forever. Even if you don’t plan on purchasing an additional battery for your cordless electric chainsaw, it’s important to note that their batteries don’t last forever. Eventually, they will not be able to accept a charge. When that happens, you’ll be forced to purchase a replacement battery or an entirely new chainsaw. Either option will end up setting you back a bit.
- Cordless gasoline-powered saws require fuel. Obviously, if you are going to use a cordless gasoline powered chainsaw, you have to constantly refuel the machine. Filling up the gas tank can be a messy task, and it can also be costly. Given the fact that fuel prices are constantly rising, this type of cordless chainsaw is not the most cost-effective option. If you are looking for a budget-friendly tool, a corded electric chainsaw is a better choice.
Any type of power tool is an investment, especially a chainsaw. As such, you want to ensure that you are purchasing one that not only meets your needs, but you also want to be confident that you are spending your money wisely. A battery operated electric chainsaw is a great option for light- to medium-duty jobs, such as sawing down trees that have a thin or medium thickness and cutting logs for firewood; generally up to 12 inches, though some models can saw through thicker wood. They can also be used to trim, prune, and shape trees and shrubs. If you need more power, a gas powered cordless chainsaw is the best type of saw available. They can take on the heaviest of jobs, such as sawing through dense trees and various other types of lumber.
Cordless battery operated and cordless gas powered chainsaws are ideal tools for homeowners, landscapers, and contractors. If you do any type of cutting, a cordless chainsaw is something that you are definitely going to have in your toolbox.
If a cordless electric or gasoline powered chainsaw is a tool that will meet your needs and you are interested in buying, you will find that there are a lot of different options on the market. With so many choices, it can be hard to pick one that will meet your specific needs.
In order to help you choose the best battery operated and gasoline-powered cordless chainsaw, we have put together a list of the five best products currently available. To create this list, we searched the market, tested out several cordless saws, and spoke to professional tradesmen that use these tools on a regular basis. After conducting extensive research, we determined that the following cordless chainsaws are the best of the best.
Greenworks 16-Inch 40 Volt Cordless Chainsaw
If you are looking for a power tool that offers the capabilities that a chainsaw provides, but you do not intend on doing heavy duty work, then the Greenworks 16 Inch 40 Volt Cordless Chainsaw 4.0 AH Battery 20312 is an option worth considering. For a battery powered saw, this one packs a lot of punch in a compact package.
This saw is powered by a very powerful and highly efficient G-MAX 40 Volt battery, making it good for light to medium cutting jobs, such as pruning and sawing down saplings or medium sized trees. Since it is battery powered, you don’t have to worry about constantly filling it up with gas, and you also don’t have to deal with any odor. Furthermore, the battery power means that it’s a lot quieter to run than a gas powered saw.
The Greenworks 40 Volt chainsaw is equipped with a 16-inch bar and chain from Oregon. It also boasts bucking spikes that are made of very durable metal, which provides better stability while sawing. This saw also does not require any tools to tension the chain, as it features an automatic chain tensioning system. Simply turn a knob and the chain will automatically adjust to the right tension.
This battery powered chainsaw has a brushless motor. Brushless motors reduce torque, noise, and vibration, as well as extend the life of the battery and the entire tool, making this saw highly efficient. The cutting range of this Greenworks saw is an estimated 100 cuts per charge and the 4.0 AH battery recharges in about 120 minutes. The GMAX 40 volt lithium ion battery works with a variety of other Greenworks tools, so you have the option of sharing the battery with other Greenworks tools that you may own.
- Brushless motor
- Reduced kickback chain
- 16 inch Oregon bar and chain
- Automatic chain tensioning system
- Automatic oiling system, complete with see-through oil tank
- Push start button
- Lightweight design
- The battery is compatible with 25 other Greenworks power tools
- Quiet operation
- Minimal noise
- It doesn’t offer as much power as a gas powered cordless chainsaw
- The charge may not be long enough for some users
- It takes a while for the battery to recharge
You can read our review of the Greenworks 20312 Cordless chainsaw right here.
- 16 inch Oregon bar and chain that can cut wood up to 30 inches in diameter (though lower diameters are recommended)
- Brushless motor for increased efficiency and reduced vibration
- Chain brake
- Automatic chain tensioning system
- 40 volt 4.0 AH battery included
Black and Decker LCS1020 Chainsaw
The Black and Decker LCS1020 20 Volt Max Lithium-Ion Chainsaw is another great power tool for those smaller jobs around the house or the yard. It can also be used by professional landscapers as an accessory tool for cleanups after cutting down larger trees, as well as big patches of brush. It can also be used by professional contractors for sawing through large pieces of lumber and various other jobs.
One of the biggest benefits of this chainsaw is that it is very compact and lightweight in size, yet it offers quite a powerful punch. This chainsaw is easy to move around and control, which is exactly why it is such a great for small jobs, like trimming those awkward stray branches from trees and pruning bushes that are situated within close proximity to a structure.
The Black and Decker LCS1020 features an Oregon low kickback bar and chain, which is 10 inches in size. High-grade steel teeth surround the blade and can cut through a variety of materials with ease. To make it even easier – and more comfortable – to use, this Black and Decker chainsaw is designed with a wraparound bale handle. The tool-less tensioning system for the blade makes adjusting the tension a breeze; simply turn the knob and the chain will automatically be adjusted to the perfect fit. Thanks to the self-lubricating system, you don’t have to worry about dealing with extensive maintenance, either.
This chainsaw gets its power from a 20 volt Max lithium ion battery. While it’s not the most powerful battery on the market, it certainly offers enough juice to get those smaller jobs done. And, since it’s a Max battery, it retains its charge for as much as five times the length of time as other batteries do. To use this chainsaw, just make sure that the battery is charged, press the start button, and then you’re ready to go!
- 20 volt Max Lithium-ion battery retains its charge for a long period of time.
- The lightweight and compact design make it very easy to maneuver.
- The low kickback Oregon bar and chain safeguards the user from the potential dangers of kickbacks.
- The durable steel teeth make fast, yet smooth cuts.
- The tool-less tensioning system makes adjusting the tension on this chainsaw a breeze.
- It also boasts an automatic oiling system that keeps the bar and chain lubricated.
- It doesn’t have the power to take on heavy-duty jobs, like cutting down large trees or sawing through dense pieces of wood.
- Some people have stated that the oil plug loosens, which results in oil leaks.
- The charge time may seem long to some users
You can read our review of the Black & Decker LCS1020 Chainsaw right here.
- 7.2-pound weight
- Compact profile
- 10 inch reduced kickback bar and chain from Oregon
- An automatic chain tensioning system
- A self-lubricating chain and bar system
- A 20-volt MAX lithium ion battery
DeWalt DCCS620B Cordless Chainsaw
DeWalt is one of the most trusted names in the power tool industry, and their DCCS620B 29 Volt Max XR Compact 12 Inch Cordless Chainsaw certainly lives up to their reputation. This battery powered chainsaw is another tool that is a great choice as an accessory to a larger, more powerful chainsaw, as it can be used to saw through brush or the remnants of trees that have been taken down. It is also suitable for smaller, light-duty jobs, such as pruning hedges or trimming thin wayward branches from trees.
The low kickback Oregon bar and chain is made by Oregon and it made of materials that are intended for industrial and outdoor cutting applications. The steel teeth can easily cut through various types of materials, such as tree limbs, branches, and construction lumber. It also features a brushless motor, which reduces torque and slows down vibration, improving the efficiency of the tool and extending the life of the motor. The speed of the chain is an estimated 25.2 feet per second.
The tool-less tensioning system and bar tightening knob, as well as the automatic oiling system, make for easy maintenance. When the tension on the chain needs to be adjusted all you have to do is turn the tightening knob and it will automatically adjust. For lubrication, just check to make sure that there’s enough oil in the oil reservoir and the bar and chain will automatically be oiled.
Weighing in at just 8.8 pounds and featuring a low profile, this cordless battery powered chainsaw from DeWalt is comfortable to use and easy to operate. It is important to note, however, that this is sold as a “bare tool” item; in other words, it only comes with the chainsaw, not the battery. You will have to purchase the 20-volt battery that it needs to operate separately.
- Lightweight design
- Compact profile
- Enough power to handle light to medium tasks
- A low kickback Oregon chain and bar
- A self-lubricating system
- An automatic chain tensioning system
- Quiet operation
- Highly efficient
- It’s sold as a “bare tool” item, which means that you need to purchase the battery separately
- It isn’t as powerful as other battery powered cordless chainsaws
- Some users have reported that it goes through chain oil rather quickly
You can read our review of the Dewalt DCCS620 B Chainsaw right here.
- 8.8 pounds
- Powered by a 20-volt lithium ion battery (the battery is not included, however)
- Automatic bar and chain oiling system
- Automatic chain tensioning system
- 12 inch Oregon bar and chain
Husqvarna 455 Rancher Gas-Powered Chainsaw
The first gasoline-powered cordless chainsaw on our list is the Husqvarna 455 Rancher 20 Inch 55-1/2 cc 2-Stroke Gas-Powered Chainsaw – and boy, is it powerful! It features a 55.5 cc engine and it’s outfitted with a 20-inch bar, so you know that you will be able to take on just about any type of job with this chainsaw! It’s ideal for virtually every application and for every type of worker, from homeowners who enjoy undertaking DIY projects to farmers, to ranchers, and more! In addition, to be outstandingly powerful, this chainsaw also boasts excellent safety features. The anti-vibration technology, for example, protects you from feeling the profound vibration that usually occurs with chainsaws that offer this type of power.
This Husqvarna gasoline powered chainsaw is designed with an x-torq engine technology, which drastically reduced the amount of fuel that it goes through; in fact, it reduces the fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent! This technology also minimizes the emissions by up to 60 percent and reduces the vibration. The speed of the chain is an impressive 65.6 feet and the maximum power speed it a staggering 9000 rpm. This gas powered cordless chainsaw is CARB compliant and boasts an anti-kickback chain. The fuel tank holds up to 15 ounces of gas, so you will have plenty of fuel to get you through any big jobs that you are working on before you have to reload.
- CARB compliant; Designed to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent and reduce exhaust emissions by as much as 75 percent.
- A cutting speed of 9,000 rpm that can cut through just about anything that you are trying to cut through.
- An X-torq engine offers 55.5 cc and 3.49 horsepower
- 2 stroke air cooled engine for maximum, so it allows for optimal power to weight ratio
- Some users have reported that the fuel tank is a bit small for the size and power of the chainsaw
- Loud operation
- Though it is designed to reduce emissions, it does still put out exhaust and odor.
You can read our review of the Husqvarna 455 Rancher Chainsaw right here.
- 13 pounds (without cutting gear)
- A 15 fluid ounce fuel tank
- CARB Compliant
- X-Torq 55.5 CC 3.49 horsepower 2-stroke air cooled engine
- Inertia powered chain brake
- Low vibration dampening system
- Centrifugal air cleaning system
- 3 piece crankshaft
- Felling marks
- Ergonomic handle
Xtremepower US Gasoline Chainsaw
Xtremepower may not be the best-known name in the power tool industry, but that doesn’t mean that they make subpar products. In fact, this little-known company has received outstanding reviews for the line of power tools they manufacturer, including their 22 Inch 2.4 horsepower 45 CC gasoline chainsaw.
This gasoline powered chainsaw boasts several impressive features that make it a top of the line power tool. To start with, it is outfitted with a 2.4 horsepower EcoBoost engine, which not only gives this saw a tremendous amount of power, but it also ensures that it uses fuel as efficiently as possible and also reduces its emissions of CO2. You’ll be able to get through all of your jobs with ease, from pruning to felling firewood to sawing down large trees. The anti-kickback chain and bar offers improved safety. It also increases the comfort of using the tool. This saw also boasts a clean engine air-intake that keeps dust from getting inside the engine.
- Highly efficient engine
- Reduced CO2 emissions
- Powerful enough to handle a wide variety of tasks
- Easy to adjust
- Comfortable to use
- Relatively lightweight
- Some users have reported issues with the exhaust
- Some reviewers stated that they experienced trouble starting it
You can read our review of the Xtremepower 45cc Chainsaw right here.
- An anti-kickback chain
- Anti-vibration design
- Mechanical chain brake
- EcoBoost engine
- A clean air intake system
- Approved for use by the EPA
- 16 pounds
- Cutting length of 22 inches
Remington RM4216 Rebel Gas Chainsaw
The last on our list of the best cordless chainsaws is the gas-powered Remington RM4216. Featuring a 42 CC 2-cycle gas-powered engine, this cordless chainsaw has plenty of power to get you through all of your heavy duty cutting jobs. It also boasts a 16-inch bar that is tipped with sprockets, as well as a reduced kickback chain to increase the safety of operation. With innovative QuickStart operation, you will be able to pull this gas-powered chainsaw to a start with ease.
This Remington chainsaw features a self-lubricating system, which automatically lubricates the chain and bar. High-quality materials are used throughout, such as a die-cast chassis and comfort wrap handles for ease of operation.
- Powerful 42 cc engine
- Reduced emission
- 16-inch bar that is covered with sprockets
- Automatic oiling system
- Comfort grip handles
- QuickStart technology
- Some users report that it operates loudly
- There may be issues with the air filter clogging
You can read our review of the Remington RM4216 Gas Powered Chainsaw right here.[amazon box=”B0177VULZI”]
Features to Consider
When purchasing a cordless chainsaw, you want to ensure that you choose an option that will suit your specific needs. Here’s a look at some important features that you should take into consideration before you commit to a cordless electric or gas powered chainsaw:
- Battery type. If you are going for a battery operated cordless chainsaw, the type of battery the tool uses is a very important factor. The larger the battery, the more power the tool will have, and the longer the charge will hold. A lithium-ion extended power battery is a great option, such as MAX lithium ion.
- Battery runtime. Running out of power while you’re in the midst of a project is a real bummer. Make sure that the cordless battery operated chainsaw features a battery that has a long runtime to avoid getting stuck without a charge.
- Vibration. As the saw makes cuts, it’s going to vibrate. The less vibration the better, as it creates a safer cutting environment. Look for a cordless chainsaw that features components that reduce the vibration.
- Cuts per charge. You should also consider how many cuts per battery charge your cordless battery operated chainsaw will get. The fewer cuts, the more you’ll have to charge it; however, the more cuts it gets, the more work you’ll be able to get done on a single charge.
- Engine power. For a gas-powered chainsaw, the power of the engine is important. Check out the hP and the CC of the engine; the higher these are, the more powerful the chainsaw will be.
- Power type. Of course, you should also determine if the engine is powered by a battery or gasoline. Generally, gas-powered engines are more powerful; however, battery-powered engines are quieter and do not emit fumes.
- Mobility. Will you be able to easily transport the tool around? If you need to transport it from job site to job site, you’ll want a saw that has a compact profile.
- Weight. Weight plays a big part in mobility, as well as ease of use. Obviously, the heavier the tool is, the harder it will be to use.
- Tool-less chain tensioning. For the ultimate in convenience, look for a cordless chainsaw that features an automatic chain tensioning system. It will save you from having to dig out tools to tighten the chain.
- Automatic oil. The chain and bar need to be lubricated in order prevent friction, extend the life of the tool, and improve the safety of operation. With an automatic oiling system, you won’t have to oil the chain and bar yourself.
- Oil checker. You’ll be able to easily see how much oil is in the oil reservoir if the tool features a transparent oil reservoir.
- Brushless motor. A brushless motor improves the efficiency of the tool, reduces the torque, improves the safety, and extends the life of the chainsaw.
- Low kickback bar and chains. Kickback can be dangerous. Look for a chainsaw that has a low kickback bar and chain.
- Safety mechanisms. Look for additional safety features, such as an automatic chain brake, to ensure maximum safety.
- Electronic protection system. With this mechanism, the engine on your chainsaw will be protected from overheating, which will improve the safety of the tool and extend the safety.
Cordless Chainsaws vs Corded Chainsaws
There are two types of chainsaws: cordless and corded. Cordless chainsaws, as the name suggest, do not feature cords; instead, they are powered by a battery or gasoline. A corded chainsaw is powered by electricity.
The biggest disadvantage of a corded chainsaw is – obviously – the cord. You run the risk of tripping over it, you can cut through it, and it limits your mobility. However, with a corded chainsaw, you always have a power source. With a cordless chainsaw, you can work wherever you want to and you don’t have to worry about the tripping hazard; but, the battery does need to be charged or the fuel needs to be refilled.
Alteration Types of Chainsaws
In addition to cordless chainsaws, there are also corded (or electric powered) and gasoline chainsaws. Corded chainsaws, as mentioned, are powered by electricity. The power cord has to be plugged into an electrical outlet in order to power the tool. As the name suggests, a gas-powered saw is powered by gasoline. The fuel container must be filled for the tool to operate.
In this section, we highlight some of the most frequently asked questions regarding cordless chainsaws.
Q: Which type of battery is best to use for cordless chainsaws?
A: An extended-life lithium-ion battery is ideal for a cordless battery operated chainsaw, as it will make more cuts between charges, and the charges last longer.
Q: What’s the difference between Battery Cordless Chainsaw and Gasoline Cordless Chainsaw?
A: The primary difference between these two types of saws is how they are powered. As the names suggests, battery cordless chainsaws are powered by batteries, while gasoline cordless chainsaws are powered by gas. While both are easy to transport, the battery cordless chainsaw is lighter weight; however, the gas cordless chainsaw tends to be more powerful.
Q: What are the benefits of using a battery cordless chainsaw?
A: The main benefits include reduced noise, no emissions, and a lightweight design.
Q: What are the benefits of using a gasoline cordless chainsaw?
A: The primary benefit of this type of chainsaw is the amount of power it puts out.
Q: Are cordless chainsaws powerful enough to cut down trees?
A: It depends on the type and the power. Generally, any gas-powered saw will be able to take down a tree; however, cordless battery saws are usually only capable of taking down small to medium-sized trees.