Battery Chainsaws

How Does a Battery-Powered Chainsaw Work? (+ Review of 5 TOP Rated Picks)

Chainsaws have long been termed noisy and complex tools that need gas mixing, manual starts, cord management (electric models), and complicated maintenance problems. But thanks to technological innovations in the realm of battery-powered tools, chainsaws have become quiet, easy to manage, and operate.

What You Need to Know about Using a Chainsaw

Although battery-powered chainsaws are incredibly user-friendly, you still need to give them the respect they deserve. A chainsaw is one of the most dangerous unlicensed tools, and if not handled properly, it can cause severe injuries. A battery-powered chainsaw is an ideal tool for use in your backyard for pruning, cutting firebricks, bucking, and even felling (with heavy-duty models). All you have to do is slide in the charged battery, put in some lubrication oil, take safety precautions, and you are good to go. We will discuss the safety and usage guide in detail later in this article.

A chainsaw is one of the most valuable tools you can have around the yard. Battery-powered chainsaws are now competing with their gas and electric counterparts and are giving them quite a run for their money. Cordless chainsaws are quiet, easy to set up, super-fast while cutting, eco-friendly, and easy to maintain. They are also cheap, and you can use the batteries in other tools of the same brand. So, all in all, it is a win-win situation for you.

Battery-Powered Chainsaw Anatomy

To understand the working of a battery-powered chainsaw in detail, you must familiarize yourself with the various parts and components of the tool.

Battery: It is the fuel system on which the saw runs. The battery is inserted on the top side in most of the models.

Saw Chain: It is the part that does all the cutting. The efficacy of your tool depends on how maintained and sharp the chain is. It is also the most lethal part of the saw.

Guide Bar: It is the part where the chain moves. The guide bar and the chain must be oiled to ensure a frictionless platform.

Front Hand Guard/Chain Brake: Chain brake or front handguard is the most crucial safety feature on the chainsaw. It is used to stop the chain from moving around the guide bar. If your hand slips while using the saw, it will touch the chain brake, and the saw will stop automatically.

Oil Reservoir Cap and Oil Window: Oil reservoir cap is the entry point for the oil container. It is the place where you refill the oil. The window on the oil reservoir tells about the remaining oil.

Trigger Switch and Trigger Lock: The trigger switch is used to speed up the saw when the blade is running. The trigger lock is a safety lock. When engaged, it prevents the blade from spinning.

Rear Handle and Rear Guard: As the name implies, the rear handle and guard help the user to hold the tool securely and reduce the chances of an accident.

Side Covers: All the parts inside the tool are protected with side covers. You will need to remove the side cover for cleaning/maintenance of the internal components.

Battery Chainsaw Buying Guide

You don’t buy a tool like a chainsaw every other day. A chainsaw is a long-term investment that comes in handy for various tasks. What’s the point of having a tool which isn’t versatile, and you can’t use it for multiple jobs?

Most homeowners are unaware of all the features that impact the performance and overall life of the tool. They check the battery life and make the purchase. A lot of features other than battery runtime are also important.    

We want you to purchase the best battery-powered chainsaw according to your needs. Therefore we have created this buying guide and listed all the critical features you would like to have in your chainsaw.

Features to Consider before Buying a Battery-Powered Chainsaw

Battery: All the chainsaws come with a lithium-ion battery. When going through the battery details, there are four main things to consider.

Capacity: The battery capacity is determined by the Amp-hour rating of the battery. The larger the rating, the more powerful the battery is. So, make sure you buy a chainsaw with maximum battery capacity if you want it to work for extended hours.

Runtime: Runtime is the measure of how much longer a battery will run. The runtime will vary according to the nature of the work you are doing with a saw. Some brands mention how many cuts a chainsaw will make on a particular wood with a full battery. Here you need to consider the nature of the work and then decide how much runtime you want.

Recharging Time: It is always best to have a chainsaw with a low recharging time. Lithium-ion batteries usually take less time to recharge than their predecessors (Ni-CAD batteries). The recharging time also depends on how powerful your charger is.

Voltage: Batteries are also measured in voltages. A battery with a high voltage rating is more powerful than a low voltage battery. Chainsaw batteries have different ratings, such as 18V, 20V, 60V, or even 80V. Some saws use multiple batteries, while others use one battery.

Motor Type: Another important feature to consider is the motor type. There are two types of motor; brushless and standard. A brushless motor is better than a standard motor because it creates less friction. This, in turn, keeps the tool cool and provides a better runtime.

Oiling System: The oiling system consists of the oil reservoir, cap, and viewing window. The best arrangement would be a large reservoir with a tool-less opening mechanism and a viewing window.

Chain and Guide Bar Length: The length of the chain will decide the maximum width of the wood you can cut the saw. Chainsaws come in various sizes starting from 12, 14, 16 and go up to 18 inches. 18-inch models are rare in cordless chainsaws, but you can find a few models like the Greenworks chainsaw reviewed above.

Speed Mechanism: Some high-end models offer variable speed controls. A pressure-sensitive speed control regulates the chain speed. A variable speed chainsaw is better than a single-speed chainsaw because it allows you to work on different woods.

Handles: All chainsaws have two handles. Metallic handles are better than plastic handles because they offer more grip and stability while cutting wood. It is better to go with a rubberized handle with grip marks because it feels comfortable to hold and doesn’t tire you much after a long job.

Blade Guard: The blade guard is a crucial part of a chainsaw. Your safety depends on it. All the saws come with a blade guard. What you need to do is to make sure that it is properly working before cutting some wood.

Weight: The weight of the machine also affects its workability. If you are a homeowner and need a chainsaw for minor applications, go for a lightweight model.  

Warranty: Try to buy a battery-powered chainsaw with a maximum warranty period. The battery/charger may malfunction anytime due to exposure to water or any other issues. Hence, it is better to have an extended warranty to cover up such issues.

Safety Tips and Usage Guide for a Chainsaw

A chainsaw is one of the most dangerous tools you’ll ever handle. When working with your own gas-powered or battery-operated chainsaw, you need to ensure that all the safety precautions are taken before you get to work. Here we will discuss some safety tips and the operational guide for chainsaws.

Safety Tips

  • Make sure you go through the user manual before you start cutting with your tool.
  • Make sure you remove the battery whenever doing maintenance on the saw. Unlike a gasoline saw, a battery-powered chainsaw doesn’t require pull starting. Hence, it is best to remove the battery as mishaps can happen at any time.  
  • Never operate your tool with one hand. No matter how lightweight it is. If you are using one hand and the tool kickbacks, the automatic chain brake will not be engaged, and you can injure yourself.
  • Make sure that the chain is tightened correctly and lubricated to prevent overheating and binding.
  • You must check the oil level before starting a job and randomly check the oil level in the reservoir if you are working for extended hours.
  • A hard hat, safety goggles/face shield, hearing protection are a must.
  • You must wear heavy-duty work gloves with an enhanced grip surface, work boots with steel toes, and chains saw safety chaps to keep your legs safe.

Usage Guide

  • Keep a steady grip on the saw. Wrap your thumbs and fingers around the handles and hold the tool firmly.
  • Hold your saw close to the body when working in confined spots for better grip and balance.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Make sure you are well-balanced and be prepared to handle the kickback jerk from the saw.
  • Never operate a chainsaw with a curved back. Bend your knees when working in a low position.
  • The chain must be switched off when moving to other working positions. You must always stop the blade before placing the saw at one side and never turn on the saw when it is on the ground.
  • Keep your work partners or other people away from the saw. Maintain a safe distance of 4-6 meters.    
  • Keep your GPS active and share the location with someone responsible if you are going out for tree felling along.
  • Make sure you learn to handle the saw in the right way to avoid kickback.

Review Of the 5 Best Picks of Battery Chainsaws

When you are on the hunt for the best battery-powered chainsaw, you need to consider many factors before making the final purchase. Moreover, there are hundreds of battery-powered chainsaws available in the market, and they all claim to be the best ones. This is where we step in. We have researched and tested tens of cordless chainsaws so that you don’t have to.

We came up with 5 of the best battery-powered chainsaws from leading power tool brands. These chainsaws are the best in their respective category.

In this article, we will review the five best battery-powered chainsaws along with a buying guide to help you make the best purchase decisions. We will also cover some frequently asked questions regarding battery-powered chainsaws to ensure that all your concerns and queries are effectively answered.

Let’s redefine chainsaws!

1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw (DCCS620B)

For all the homeowners with lightweight applications, DeWalt’s DCCS620B is simply the best tool. The tool weighs only 9 pounds, making it best for beginners and people who don’t like heavy tools. It is so lightweight that you can even use it with one hand, but one must never operate a chainsaw with one hand.

Coming to other specifications of this tool, it has a 20V battery and a 12-inch Oregon guide bar and chain. There are a couple of unique features in this model that are not found in many other battery-operated chainsaws. You get a tool-less oil refilling mechanism and a tool-less chain tensioning system. The oiler is automatic and keeps the chain well lubricated. You can monitor the oil level from the translucent window in the oil reservoir. You don’t need to open the container to check the oil level.

The brushless motor provides enough power to deal with 4 x 4 plywood sheets comfortably. You can make up to 90 cuts on a 4 x4 plywood sheet with a 20V 5Ah battery. Please note that the battery and charger are not included in the tool-only deal. You will have to purchase them separately. The best thing about this tool is that it is affordable at this price range.

DeWalt has rubber-wrapped handles to ensure a safe and comfortable working experience. The trigger has a safety lock to ensure that the tool doesn’t start accidentally. You can use this tool for lightweight applications like carpentry, managing small trees and branches, or dealing with thin pieces of wood.

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw, 12-Inch (DCCS620B)

SUMMARY

DEWALT Chainsaw (DCCS620B)

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable (tool only)
  • Best for beginners and homeowners

Cons

  • Underpowered
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2. MILWAUKEE’S Electric Tools 2727-21HD Chainsaw Kit

Milwaukee is one of the leading suppliers of cordless electric tools. Its 2727-21HD is a 16-inch chainsaw engineered to deliver power and speed for cutting hardwood and softwood alike. The brand advertises its tool with taglines like power to cut hardwood, faster than gas chainsaws, and 150 cuts per charge. Is it worth all this hype? Let’s find out.

The tool makes use of a power state brushless motor that can match the power, speed, and performance of a 40CC gas engine. Its M18 fuel system delivers superior performance, and you get a throttle response in less than a second for demanding jobs. Moreover, the built-in REDLINK plus intelligence system ensures optimal tool performance, provides overload protection during heavy applications, and keeps the battery cool and working long.

The machine features a variable speed trigger for maximum control and delivers 6600 maximum RPM. The RPM is enough for cutting hardwood without any problems. The automatic oiler keeps the chain lubricated and enhances performance and cutting speed. It comes with dual stud bar retention and onboard scrench storage. All the handles and safety features have been ergonomically designed to provide a safe working experience.

MILWAUKEE’S Electric Tools 2727-21HD Chainsaw Kit

SUMMARY

MILWAUKEE’S 2727-21HD Chainsaw Kit

Pros

  • Excellent for hardwood and home use at the same time
  • Superior battery backup
  • Easy to use and maintain

Cons

  • The chainsaw maintenance tool underneath is not user-friendly
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3. Greenworks Pro 80V 18-Inch Brushless Cordless Chainsaw, GCS80420

Greenworks has outnumbered its competitors by introducing this chainsaw. 18-inch chain size is rare in cordless chainsaws, which means you can use this tool to cut wider woods and hardwoods. This feature makes the tool ideal for felling trees.

The motor in this tool is a brushless motor that provides a smooth working experience and delivers power equal to a 45cc gasoline engine. The design includes an electronic brake chain, just like you will find on a gasoline chainsaw, making the unit safe to use. The metal bucking spikes on the front give you leverage and make precise and safe cuts in the wood.

The oiler on the tool is automatic and comes with a level indicator, so you will never go cutting without enough oil for lubrication. Another best thing about this tool is that it has a metallic handle around the body and gives a solid feel when you hold it.

The 80V lithium-ion battery can deliver 100 cuts per charge, and when we say 100 cuts, we mean heavy-duty cuts. You also get an onboard battery life indicator to know how much power you have left and when you need to recharge your tool. The rubber-gripped handle and safety button ensure that you enjoy a safe woodworking experience.    

Everything about this chainsaw indicates that it is a heavy-duty model and it is not for beginners. However, if you are into some serious wood-cutting, then this is the tool for you.

Greenworks Pro 80V 18-Inch Brushless Cordless Chainsaw

SUMMARY

Greenworks Pro Chainsaw GCS80420

Pros

  • Excellent customer service
  • Heavy-duty tool
  • Super-fast battery charging

Cons

  • The runtime is not very impressive
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4. Husqvarna 14 Inch 120i Cordless Battery Powered Chainsaw

Husqvarna is also a leading power tools brand. Either you are looking for a corded or a cordless tool, Husqvarna has got you covered with its versatile and high-performing tools. The 120i cordless chainsaw is a technologically advanced, low-noise, and multipurpose machine.

One of its most interesting features is the saving mode. You can choose between normal and savE mode depending on working conditions. You can go with maximum power or maximum runtime when running out of battery. The brushless motor provides high torque to weight ratio for increased efficiency and reliability, and the tool-less chain tensioning mechanism saves time and hassle for adjusting the chain tension. The oil tank has a flip-up design for easy refilling, and you can monitor the oil level on the oil gauge.

Husqvarna has introduced a window chain brake design for better visibility while working. The 40V lithium-ion battery can be adjusted according to your work needs and offers an extended runtime. The 14-inch bar length doesn’t make too much noise. The noise level is below 101 dBA, which is very impressive compared to gas-powered chainsaws.

Overall, it is an excellent tool for dealing with medium-sized woods and managing your backyards. It is recommended for homeowners who don’t need to fell heavy trees.

Husqvarna 14 Inch 120i Cordless Battery Powered Chainsaw (Battery Included)

SUMMARY

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5. Makita XCU04PT1 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Chain Saw Kit

Makita’s cordless chainsaw is one of the best chainsaws in the market. It was released a year ago, and this tool has made quite some name for it in one year. The 16-inch electric chainsaw is powered through a brushless motor capable of providing the power of a 32cc gasoline engine at a far much lighter weight than the gasoline tool. The runtime of this chainsaw is far greater than all the other models discussed above because of its heavy-duty super-powerful 5.0Ah 18V batteries. You can make up to 380 cuts with four 18V lithium-ion batteries on a 4 x4 cedar.

The variable speed trigger and a high chain speed (3940 FPM) make it a versatile tool for various applications. The tool-less chain tensioning allows for convenient operation and maintenance. The tool comes with batteries and a dual-port rapid charger for a quick recharge. The large oil reservoir relieves you from the tension of filling oil after a few jobs. The big filling port and view window allow easy oil management. The tool will enable you to work in dark places with an ultra-bright LED.

The automatic shutdown feature turns off the saw when left unattended for extended battery life. The rubberized grip provides a comfortable grip even when working with full pressure. The tool has high built quality with protection against dust and water. It is also equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls to protect against overloading, over-charging, and over-heating.

The package includes a chain saw, a charger, four 18V lithium-ion batteries, a 16-inch saw chain, and a guide bar along with a chain cover. Makita provides a 3-year warranty on the tool, battery, and charger.

Makita XCU04PT1 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless (5.0Ah) 18V X2 16″ Chain Saw Kit

SUMMARY

Makita XCU04PT1 Cordless Chainsaw

Pros

  • It comes with 4 batteries
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Lightweight
  • Reliable and durable

Cons

  • No major issues

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FAQs

How do the battery-powered chainsaws fare against gas-powered chainsaws?

A battery-powered chainsaw may not provide you the power of a heavy-duty gas-powered chainsaw, but it will not let you down. Battery-powered chainsaws are best for homeowners and DIYers. They save you from the hassle of complex maintenance tasks, high running sounds, mixing gas and oil, and dirty carburetors.

Who makes the best battery-powered chainsaw?

All the chainsaws reviewed above are from the best brands. Overall, DeWalt, Greenworks, and Makita make the best battery-powered chainsaws.

How long will a battery-powered chainsaw last?

The batteries on a battery-powered chainsaw have a life of 4-5 years, and the tool can last for 8-10 years without any issues. The life of the tool depends on usage frequency, maintenance, and overall build quality.

What is the average price of a battery-powered chainsaw?

A battery-powered chainsaw starts from $100 (tool only) and goes up to $800. The high-end models come with accessories, storage bags, and additional batteries.

Final Word

Battery-powered chainsaws are not only easy to use but also perform very well. If you are a homeowner who deals with overgrown shrubs, firewood, or 4×4 lumbar, we recommend buying a cordless chainsaw. You will feel blessed to have the tool and will enjoy working with it.