2020 Buyer's Guide

GreenWorks 20312 40″ 16V Cordless Chainsaw Review

by Ollie Robinson

2020 Buyer's Guide

GreenWorks 20312 40″ 16V Cordless Chainsaw Review

by Ollie Robinson

by Ollie Robinson

Who are Greenworks?

Greenworks is a trusted brand in the repair and landscaping industries, and they’ve been in business since 2007. They specialize in battery-powered power tools that pack a lot of punch and has become to go-to tool brand for thousands of professionals and amateur DIY’ers alike. Recent company expansions have seen the product branch out – most recently in 2018, Greenworks products were made available in South Africa, with more expansion planned.

Their battery-powered tools are designed to handle even heavy professional use, and when fully charged they can make it through a heavy day of work without having to stop or worry about wires in the way of work – this is part of what makes their product so immensely popular.

The 16-inch 40V cordless chainsaw is their version of a portable chainsaw: And it works better than you might expect.

The Greenworks 16-inch 40V cordless chainsaw is a light, portable and battery-powered chainsaw that’s perfect for the amateur woodworker or the professional handyman. It’s specially designed to handle well and pack a lot more punch for its size than you might expect.

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The portable power of the Greenworks 40V chainsaw guarantees up to 150 cuts per single charge and has a weight of only 10.4 pounds – a lot lighter when compared to other chainsaws in the same range.

For wood, lumber and tree felling, this is your perfect working tool. You wouldn’t use it to cut things like steel – but you wouldn’t want to cut steel with any kind of chainsaw.  It’s fine for both soft woods like maple and even tougher, harder woods like birch. It’s also perfect for finer arts such as cutting through ice.

Product Features

The Greenworks chainsaw is possibly one of our best cordless chainsaws you’ll find on the market, but if you want to know just what features make this product an exceptional one, here’s more information about this one’s product features.  

  • Engine Size: The Greenworks 40V cordless chainsaw is a surprisingly powerful little engine for a battery powered tool, meaning it can handle both smaller and larger jobs – with as many as 150 cuts for a single charge. The engine is also made to be whisper-quiet, so you won’t hear a thing.
  • Bar Length: The Greenworks chainsaw has a brushless motor and a bar-length of 16 inches. This gives you just enough reach to do the job right – even if it means that you need to cut through a sizeable piece of wood. 
  • Kickback and Chain: This powerful model has been designed with minimum kickback during its operation, which means that you don’t have to worry about injuring yourself by accident and you can focus on the task at hand. The chain is also designed to self-lubricate so that you don’t have to stop right in the middle of a job.   
  • Safety Features: Safety matters when you’re working with chainsaws, and Greenworks understands the importance of this – it’s made with a transparent tank, minimum kickback and a safety chain break to ensure that it’s safe to use and you don’t have to worry about a potential injury.
  • Warranty: The Greenworks chainsaw (and all of their other battery-powered power tools) come with an extended warranty against manufacturing faults – and if you’re not happy with the product or it malfunctions in any way, get in touch with head office and they’ll be happy to take a look.

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Product Performance

How does the Greenworks 40V battery-powered chainsaw match up in terms of power, design and safety when compared to other, similar models used by amateurs and professionals.

  • Power: The Greenworks chainsaw and most of their other ranges of power tools are powered by a single lithium-ion battery that provides 40V of power – and this is much more power than you’d think for any battery-powered tool. If you’re putting it through exceptionally heavy use, some users have said that the battery will need to be charged more regularly – and with very heavy use for very thick wood, you might have to make use of several batteries if you’re a professional with a deadline to match.
  • Design: The Greenworks chainsaw has been designed with both professional and amateur users in mind; professionals will be impressed by the sleekness, ease-of-use, power and reach (while at the same time being whisper quiet), and amateurs will find they love the fact that this product is simple and safe to operate with more than enough power for their needs.
  • Safety: Safety matters when we’re talking about power tools, and Greenworks has gone the extra mile to ensure that their power tools are all designed to be safe for the user; in the case of the chainsaw, they’ve taken care to add a safety stop – and when not in use, you can cover your chainsaw so that nobody gets accidentally injured. There’s also a safety lock button to ensure that the chainsaw doesn’t get started by accident and lead to a nasty injury.

Pros and Cons


  1. The Greenworks 40V battery-powered chainsaw is designed to be powerful enough to handle any job, yet at the same time to be whisper quiet and have a minimum of vibration for the user – meaning that they have a decent amount of control while operating the chainsaw. It’s perfect for when you don’t want the neighbors to think the Chainsaw Massacre has just arrived in town.
  2. Many people choose to stay away from battery-powered tools because they think the battery-models might lack power – but in this case, you can handle as much as 150 cuts on a single charge. There isn’t any reduction of power when you get to the end of the 150-mark, either, and the chainsaw is powerful enough to cut through even the toughest kinds of wood – and that’s the kind of power you need. Another pro for the Greenworks chainsaw is its lightweight design: It’s only 10.36 pounds. When you’re working with a chainsaw, you don’t want it to feel heavier than what you’re sawing through – you could lose control if this happens; this design point ensures that it doesn’t happen.


  1. Time: While the Greenworks chainsaw gives you more than enough power to finish the job, it sometimes takes a little bit longer than with a comparative saw – it’s fine for some jobs (especially ones that need a finer touch) but limiting for others.
  2. Length: The length of the chainsaw (at 16 inches) is perfect for some jobs, but will be a con for some people who need to cut through especially hardy, huge trees.
  3. Storage: Remember to drain the oil out of this model before you put it away; if not, the oil can leak out and leave stains everywhere.
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Additional Chains

You can purchase and install additional chains if you have different needs.

  • The Standard Replacement Chain
  • Full-Chisel Cutter Chain
  • Low-Profile Cutters 

The Replacement Chain is the one you should choose if you’re only looking at using the chainsaw for normal, standard, every once-in-a-while jobs.

The Full-Chisel Cutter Chain is for harder, rougher jobs that need a little bit more power behind them to cut through.

Low Profile Cutter Chains are the ones you’ll use for regular maintenance, brush and twig cutting.

Final Thoughts

Greenworks puts a lot of thought into designing their power tools – it’s easy to use, quick, powerful and worth buying whether you’re a professional who does a lot of work with your tools or amateur landscaper who just needs to clean the yard and do some maintenance around the house.

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Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this product.

  1. Can you leave the chainsaw on charge?

No, it’s recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and charge the chainsaw only when the battery has run down – or once every two months.

  1. Does it come with any accessories?

Yes, it comes with a durable fabric case to protect your model against any dings or dust. It also comes with the charger and battery included, though you can pick the tool model only in your order.

  1. Can you switch batteries?

No, stick to the recommended battery for your model; the 40V battery should go with the 40V model – anything else and you might have too much or too little power for the model, and this is user-inflicted damage not covered by your warranty.

  1. How long does it take to fully charge?

The Greenworks chainsaw takes only 45 minutes to reach its full capacity charge – and it only needs to be charged once every 150 cuts or once every two months, depending on just how much you use it.

  1. Can you use anything else for chain lubricant?

When you run out of chain lubricant, it’s recommended that you only use recommended products to lubricate the chain – that is, chain lubricant. Any other products, including canola oil, can’t be guaranteed as safe for your chainsaw.

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