Chainsaws that rely on gas can be a pain to manage. Between ensuring that the chains are well lubricated, mixing oil and gas in the tank, and dealing with emissions while operating, many homeowners and landscapers silently dread their use. However, electric chainsaws have attributes that eliminate these problems altogether. Less noise and faster startup are more.
Below are five of the best electric chainsaws found on the net, chosen for rpm, chain/bar quality, and moderate battery consumption. Check out all five, then head over to the Buyer’s Guide to get additional tips before buying. Let’s begin!
Top 5 Best Electric Chainsaws
Oregon CS300-R7 – Best for Easy Maintenance Chainsaw
The Oregon Cordless Self-Sharpening Chainsaw hums at a low rumble and never gets any higher. In fact, you might even think that it was another power tool if unable to view it during operation.
One major area of annoyance for gas-powered chainsaws is the constant rattling of the engine, as you may already know. The sound can be so severe, that hearing protection is needed by some. You won’t have to pull out your earplug when using the Oregon; neither will your neighbors.
Ready from The Start
The chain on the bar has its tension set at an acceptable level for cutting. There are no screws to acquire with the chainsaw. You can change it yourself by turning the dial on the right side. Inspect any screws to see if they’re loose before starting. After using it a few times, it’ll be time for you to sharpen. Don’t worry about removing anything, just attach a sharpener and move as instructed in the manual.
While the Oregon is more than capable of cutting through small logs, it might have trouble with anything that’s over 7 inches in diameter. However, this could depend on the density of the wood that you’re cutting. For most North American species, this should be a problem. Keep your chains well oiled and you should have minimal issues finishing to cuts that you begin. Highly recommended.
- Make little noise, either during operation or in between cuts
- The saw’s chain can be sharpened without removing it
- Requires no tools to alter the tension of the chain
- May stall when attempting to cut wood that’s thicker than 7 inches in diameter
Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16-Inch – Best for Handling Chainsaw
The Greenworks G-Max is a 16-inch Chainsaw. Looking at photos of the product, its shield may appear a bit flimsy to some but does a good job of repelling debris from your direction of cutting. Its bar is capable of cutting through most logs without putting up a struggle. Granted, you’ll want to make sure that the battery is full when doing so, but you shouldn’t have any problems.
Easy to Control
As far as power consumption, it’s recommended that you acquire more than one battery to go along with the G-Max. If not, it’s a given to you finding yourself making recharges during heavy work. So long as you have at least two, you won’t have to stop cutting in the middle of the day.
Control is great, especially when it comes to safety. If you must quickly turn off the power, it can be done with the G-Max’s quick release. It’s a trigger on the left-hand side, within reach of your fingers. The chain will stop moving almost immediately once the trigger is engaged.
When you power it up for the first time, it’s rpm might surprise you. It runs similar to a gas chainsaw, without the annoying issue associated with fuel-dependent power tools. Noise wise, it also stays at a comfortable level
- Has a quick-release mechanism that stops the chain almost immediately when the trigger is let go
- similarly handles most average-sized trunks to a gas-powered chainsaw
- Good weight distribution; not heavy to hold for a long time
- Lots of plastic parts that feel like they will need to be replaced at some point
DEWALT 20V MAX XR – Best for Durability Chainsaw
The Dewalt Max XR Chainsaw is one of the few electric chainsaws that’s equally built for home and work. If you’re a landscaper or logger, it’s certainly a great investment to use alongside your gas chainsaw. Eventually, you might end up liking it enough to completely ditch the gas.
Great at Home and Work
Having the standard red and black covering is customary for all Dewalt products, it looks just as well as it saws. Weight is approximately eight pounds, with a motor capable of moving the chain a little over 25 feet per second, about 4200 rpm. One would think that this would drain the battery fairly quickly, but power consumption is standard.
You can expect to get two hours of life when the chainsaw’s left on for that amount of time. Since the chainsaw is so light, weight distribution will be an afterthought. It’s not too heavy in the front end, allowing you to put more behind each cut.
Are there areas for improvement? Not many. Be sure to have plenty of bar oil for this unit. It runs through it pretty fast, especially when cutting through dense logs and branches. And the top for the oil might be an annoyance when you’re attempting to open it. But other than these small tidbits, there are no major areas of criticism. Give the Max XR a shot and you’ll be a happy customer.
- The weight of the chainsaw does most of the work during cutting
- Uses battery power sparingly
- Not too heavy in the front
- Has a tight oil fill cap that’s difficult to open
- Uses more bar oil than what’s necessary
EGO Power+ CS1600 – Best for Oil Efficiency Chainsaw
The 8.69-pound EGO Power-Plus CS1600 has a powerful brushless motor and great power. For anyone that needs a chainsaw with great oil efficiency, it’s definitely one to consider. Chainsaws both gas and electric and are dependent on bar oil to keep the chains running smoothly, sometimes plenty of it.
With the CS1600, you can begin your work knowing that a full tank of oil will last for more than a day. The motor also keeps the noise at a low rumble when running. In fact, most of the noise comes from the chains, not the motor at all.
Feel free to swap out the chain bar for something larger, if needed. In motion, the gauge chain moves at a fast 6800 rpm. There won’t be any issues when cutting down just about any logs here, including some trees at or less than 7 inches in diameter. You’ll need a good pair of gloves to wear with this chainsaw.
The handle can get a little slippery if you’re not using gloves with non-slip materials in the fabric. Most people won’t notice anything when holding the chainsaw since most chainsaw gloves made today are built to reduce slipping. The CS1600 is best for people that like to use oil sparingly but must cut denser-than-average logs.
- Has a large bar oil tank that doesn’t need to be filled for an entire workday
- Low chain noise that isn’t harsh on the ears; no hearing protection needed
- Compatible with shorter chain bars
- Slippery handle
Milwaukee Electric Tools 2727-21HD – Best for Heavy Duty Logging Chainsaw
Last up is the Milwaukee Electric Tools Chainsaw. The weight alone makes it suitable for heavy-duty work. A little over 20 pounds and recommended as a backup to chainsaw work that would normally be done with a two-cycle engine, it’s made to last. The tension of the blade is set to a usable level right off the bat. You probably won’t need to tune it on the first run.
As some may know, cleaning a chainsaw isn’t the easiest thing to do. Follow the instructions provided by the unit and you’ll find that cleaning everything back to the standard it was in during purchase is easy. There are no specialized tools required for this.
Strong Bar and Chain
In the middle of a cut, some beginners could make the mistake of bending the bar, which won’t happen here. As it’s running, the bar’s strength will show, keeping the chain guard in place during moments when you think it might fly off.
On the downside, some might not take too kindly to the weight. 20 pounds is pretty heavy for an electric chainsaw, whereby most of its competition is ten pounds lighter. If you’re not comfortable with carrying around heavy power tools for long periods, it’s suggested for you to go with one of the other electric chainsaws evaluated. But for the experienced or beginners confident of their handling of heavy tools, it’s a must-have.
- Blade tension is already set prior to shipment
- Easy to take apart and clean
- The bar won’t bend when stuck in cuts
- Quite heavy; weighs over 20 pounds
- The chain will likely come off when cutting through thick weeds
This comparison table lists each product’s rpm and weight. Check the brand’s description for more details on its battery (when included).
The Best Cordless Chainsaws – Buyer’s Guide
Use the info below to narrow down your search when picking from the electric chainsaws evaluated.
How Do Electric Chainsaws Work?
Electric chainsaws work similarly to those that are gas-powered, at least from the outside. Both will cut down common trees, logs, and smaller pieces of wood. But electric brands differ in their engine type. The chain link is rotated by a piston linked to a brushless engine. When attached to a power source (battery), magnets inside of the motor drive movement to the front of the motor that attaches to the bar.
There’s no need for gas to power this since all energy is received with a connected battery. The average electric chainsaw will consume a 5.0Ah battery in two-to-three hours. For 2.0Ah, it’ll be one-to-two hours. Keep in mind that this assumes you’re running the chainsaws that entire time at its highest rpm. Battery consumption for most should last a lot longer.
Why People Would Need an Electric Chainsaw
There are times when using gas-powered tools are inconvenient. A good example is work done in residential neighborhoods, particularly at certain times of the day.
Gas chainsaws typically produce around 100 decibels, sometimes a little more. Electric chainsaws usually average 20 decibels lower than gas. People with hearing problems or anyone needing to cut back on the noise level of gas engines will love electric chainsaws. But even if your work necessitates a heavy-duty chainsaw that can slice through standing trees like butter, an electric chainsaw could come in handy as an alternative.
Electric chainsaws are also great for your health, and the environment. Gas engines release harmful chemicals into the air from the exhaust, which can sometimes be difficult to avoid breathing in when cutting. With electric, the only exhaust that leaves is from the cooling fan.
People in need of a chainsaw that’s lightweight will also appreciate their brushless motor. Weight distribution is oftentimes better since things won’t be too heavy in the back, resulting in an even amount of lift and less risk of arm exhaustion.
Why you Should Consider an Electric Chainsaw
Here are some of the strongest reasons to consider getting an electric chainsaw:
- Less time Spent Cleaning – Anyone that has used a gas chainsaw can attest to them being difficult to keep in a new-like state. Because of the fumes that two-cycle engines create, they’re prone to getting very dirty on the inside very easily. Not to mention when mixing oil and gas in the fuel tank. Spills are easy to make, and the smell of gas can be nauseating for some. Electric chainsaws have none of these problems since fuel isn’t needed, and harmful fumes nonexistent.
- Easy for Startup – With a gas chainsaw, you’ll have to prime it, then pull on a string to get the engine running. It’s often not as simple as one pull, either. Three, four, or even more pulls might be necessary for a two-cycle to move. Their electric competitors start with the press of a button, or the pull of a trigger on the handle. There is no string on an electric chainsaw; don’t worry about your arms getting tired just to start up your machine.
- Easier to Store – Since there’s no gas required to use an electric chainsaw, gas leaks will never occur. Bar oil leaks aren’t commonplace as long as the chainsaw is regularly taken apart and cleaned.
- No Mixing – Gas chainsaws must be mixed for them to run properly. Failure to do this could spell trouble for the engine down the line. Getting the correct mixture of gas/oil can be tedious, and cause users to take a long time to get the chainsaw prepared before cutting. It’s another thing you won’t find on any electric motors.
Why It’s Important to Choose the Best Product
Electric chainsaws can vary based on the inclusion of battery, battery strength, rpm, and oil efficiency. Because of this, You should know what sort of work is anticipated by its use. For instance, maybe you want a chainsaw with good rpm but wish to keep the weight less than ten pounds. Sometimes, heavy-duty electric chainsaws can be tricky to find, given that most weigh around 20 pounds. But there are some models below ten that exceed 4000 rpm, which is good enough to cut a majority of logs.
You also don’t want your electric chainsaw to end up collecting dust in the garage. To make sure that it’ll be put to good use, check to see if the chainsaw is suitable for the kind of logs you’re cutting, and whether it can be replaced with easy-to-find parts. Some of this might take a bit of time to find out. A general rule of thumb is that the most popular brands, such as Dewalt, usually contain parts that are easier to find than others.
Electric Chainsaw Functions
Have you used a chainsaw before? If so, then nothing really changes with a switch over to electric. The only difference is rpm, where gas chainsaws could have a bit more power. Nevertheless, electric chainsaws can cut logs, trim bushes by pruning, or even divide a freshly-cut tree by bucking it into sections. Basically, anything that one does with gas.
The oil tank that you see on electric chainsaws is not for the engine, this is what keeps the chain properly oiled when it’s moving. When you’re cutting through logs, more oils are required for the chain guard and blades to prevent slipping off the bar. Without it, such problems will happen with frequency. Speaking of the bar, a lot of electric chainsaws have entirely replaceable bars. So if you’re not satisfied with your 10-inch bar, check to see if it’ll fit on a 16-inch.
Heavy electric chainsaws are capable of taking down trees. Of course, you should ensure that the motor has an acceptable rpm to achieve this. The lower the rpm, the higher the chances of the bar getting stuck in the middle of your work. You can settle for something a lot smaller in size and power if the chainsaw isn’t going to be large numbers of logs and tree limbs daily.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to Increase My Electric Chainsaw’s lifetime?
The chainsaw’s blades are usually the first thing that’ll need replacing. If you want to extend the time that it takes for them to go dull, remember to oil the blades before and after each session.
Just add some bar oil into the oil tank and allow the bar to coat the chain. Repeat this process when you’re finished. Furthermore, take apart the chainsaw every couple of months to clean and oil all moving parts.
Does Chainsaw rpm go down as the battery loses power?
Most electric chainsaws are built to hold their rpm until the power source is depleted. This means that your rpm won’t change when the battery is at a low point. However, there are variances in rpm on a low battery, mostly with low-quality electric brands. But a majority of them will retain power for as long as the battery is changed.
What Items Should I Buy with an Electric Chainsaw?
Look for a pair of chainsaw gloves and safety goggles. If you have very sensitive hearing, earplugs of some kind might still be needed, even while the noise level is lower than gas chainsaws. Remember, safety first!
Which electric chainsaw do you like the most? All five of them are magnificent products and would make any logger happy, either professional or at-home. Yet one chainsaw from the list contains enough useful attributes to put it in a league of its own. It is the Oregon Cordless Chainsaw, carrying a 16-inch bar with a battery included.
Performing maintenance of a chainsaw can determine how well its user will like the product, and Oregon is easy to keep in good shape. The other four are great as well, especially for anyone needing a chainsaw for either beginner or heavy-duty work. There’s one for all purposes, so choose what you like and get ready to ditch your old noisy two-cycle engine!