Electric chainsaws make light work of smaller landscaping jobs such as pruning trees, clearing deadfall, and cutting firewood. On larger jobs, some rival gas models in performance. Even among the most popular electric chainsaws, though, you’ll find a variety of features and capabilities. Taking a closer look at this year’s top performers will help you find the best electric chainsaw for you.
Earthwise CS33016 Electric Chainsaw
Built for power and speed, this corded chainsaw gives the average gas-powered model a run for its money. The 12-Amp motor powers a 16-inch Oregon chain at 44 ft/s, letting the saw quickly and easily cut through hardwood logs the size of its bar. The saw maintains chain tension reliably, and rarely will the chain slip off, unlike with some more finicky models.
The gravity-fed automatic oiling system reduces leakage by pumping oil through the bar rather than applying it to the chain. Some users, however, find the system fails to supply oil consistently, leading to the need for manual oiling.
At 9.9 pounds, it’s light for a saw this powerful. The moderate weight and large loop handle fit with a rubber over-molded grip make handling the saw easy and comfortable. Set up is simple: just put on the chain, add oil, and you’re ready to go. The relatively low price makes this saw all the more appealing.
Oregon CS1500 Self-Sharpening Corded Electric Chainsaw
If you’ve got larger branches and logs to deal with, this is the electric chainsaw for you. Its 18-inch bar is one of the largest you’ll find on an electric model. The chain speed of 26 ft/s isn’t the fasted around, but the 15-Amp motor provides sufficient power for most residential jobs. The automatic oiler keeps things running smoothly while the PowerSharp feature lets you sharpen the chain within 3 seconds without removing it from the saw, helping you get through your work even faster.
The saw’s larger-than-average bar adds to its weight, bringing it to a hefty 13.2 pounds fully assembled, but the weight is well balanced. This saw tends to go through chain oil quickly, so you’ll need to monitor the oil levels. The somewhat opaque window on the oil reservoir makes that a little more difficult than on some models.
Oregon has been producing chainsaws since 1946, and to this day, the company boasts a reputation for high quality products and excellent customer service.
Makita XCU03Z 18V X2 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 14″ Chain Saw
One of the most highly rated electric chainsaws on the market, the Makita XCU03Z matches the power of a 32cc gas chainsaw, taking on logs up to 24 inches and running for two to four hours on a single battery charge. The long runtime is due in part to Makita’s efficient brushless motor direct-drive system. The variable speed trigger lets you run the saw at any speed up to an impressive 65 ft/s, giving you exceptional control over how fast you work.
The built-in lock-off lever protects you from accidents and preserves the battery. After pressing the power button to turn on the green indicator light, you’ll have 3 seconds to start using the saw before the auto power-off function shuts it down. You might need to look closely because the power button’s light becomes more difficult to see when you’re wearing gloves.
The automatic chain oiling feature is highly accurate, and the large window on the oil reservoir makes it easy to keep an eye on your oil level. For hassle-free maintenance, the chain can be removed, replaced, and adjusted without tools.
Greenworks G-MAX 12-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw (Model 20262)
This popular saw’s long-lasting lithium-ion battery delivers up to three hours of work time for trimming brush and tree limbs, cutting logs of up to 6 inches, and other small clean-up jobs. It comes fully assembled, and the 2 Ah battery and charger are included, so all you’ll need to do is charge the battery and fill the oil reservoir.
Its light weight of just 6 pounds makes it easily maneuverable while still providing stability. The wrap-around handle lets you hold the saw at precisely the angle you need. While the automatic oiler works reliably, some users find the oil tank window isn’t translucent enough, posing the risk of overfilling. The lack of a chain brake is another drawback.
This model comes with a skip chain, normally used on long bars for large softwood trees, which can cause vibration when used on smaller logs and limbs. Replacing this with a standard Oregon chain, typically used on shorter bars, can improve your results with limbing.
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Compact 12 in. Cordless Chainsaw (Model DCCS620B)
A smaller, yet still highly capable chainsaw, the DCCS620B runs on a 5 Ah battery that powers the chain at 25.2 ft/s and can get you through several hours of work cutting through wood up to 12 inches in diameter. If you need more battery time, pick up the 20V/60V FLEXVOLT battery.
At 8.8 pounds, it’s easy to carry, but the light weight gives it a tendency to bounce against smaller tree limbs. You’ll get the best results by letting the saw do the work. Too much force only slows it down. This saw is best suited to small softwoods. The low chain speed makes it slow to work through hardwoods and more likely to snag on thin branches than models with faster-moving chains.
The DCCS620B is equipped with an additional safety guard many saws lack, but it can be tricky to get the hang of at first. To activate the saw’s power switch, you’ll need to push the safety guard forward, then pull it back until it clicks into place. As a nice side benefit, this saw leaks little to no oil when stored on its left side.
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium 10-inch Chainsaw (Model No. LCS1020 )
Built for small clean-up jobs, this saw easily cuts through wood up to 10 inches in diameter and can handle 12-inch logs with the right approach. The long-lasting battery gives you around 2 hours of work time on lighter jobs such as pruning small trees and cutting brush, and around 30 minutes on tougher jobs such as cutting logs.
It’s a manageable 7.2 pounds, so it’s safe to carry up a ladder for pruning work. While you work, the large front hand guard protects you from flying chips and splinters. The two-knob chain tensioner is part of a recent re-design and quicker to use than the tensioner on the earlier Black & Decker 18v electric chainsaw.
This saw uses relatively little oil, and the manufacturer’s directions suggest using vegetable oil, so you’ll save there. The chain oiler is manual, and while this reduces leakage, it also means you’ll need to press the oil bulb before almost every cut. For the oiler to work, your finger must seal the top air hole, which is easier to accomplish with an ungloved hand.
EGO Power+ 14-inch Cordless Chainsaw (Model CS1400)
Long battery life is one of this chainsaw’s strongest selling points. EGO’s 56-Volt lithium-ion battery provides 40 percent more power than the leading 40-Volt battery. The efficient brushless motor powers the Oregon chain at 39.37 ft/s, allowing it to take on wood the size of its bar. Although the motor revs up slowly, its good low end torque means you won’t need to wait for the motor to rev up fully before you can get down to serious work.
This saw is made for pruning, clearing brush, and other light landscaping, so don’t expect it to match a gas-power saw in power or runtime. Its weight of 8.3 pounds makes it light enough to maneuver for exactly these kinds of smaller jobs.
Opening the saw for cleaning is simple, saving you time and maintenance headaches. The saw’s weather-resistant construction protects it from rust and degradation if you happen to forget it outside.
The chain oiler requires assembly, and it’s easy to get this part wrong, so pay special attention to the oiler and double-check your assembly work if you find the saw isn’t getting sufficient oil. While this chainsaw is a little on the pricey side, its ratings are reassuringly high.
Worx 14.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw
With its 16-inch blade and a respectable chain speed of 39 ft/s, this chainsaw is handy with most urban landscaping jobs, including trimming trees and removing deadfall after storms.
Worx’ patented auto-tension chain system protects the chain from over-tightening and maintains the right tension over hundreds of cuts, extending the life of both the chain and the bar. When you first start using the saw, though, you’ll need to tighten the chain several times to find the right tension.
Weighing 11 pounds, it’s as heavy as many gas models. The added weight improves stability, but makes it less maneuverable in tight spaces. The automatic lubrication and clear level indicator on the oil reservoir lets you work without having to stop frequently to oil the chain or check your oil. This model has a reputation for leaking oil more than most chainsaws, but you can reduce the risk of leakage by regularly wiping away any sawdust that accumulates between the bar and the mount to allow the oil port to seal effectively.
Sun Joe Electric Pole Chain Saw (Model SWJ800E)
Need a convenient way to prune the tall trees around your property? Sun Joe’s little 8-inch, 6.5-Amp pole chainsaw will get the job done with minimal wear on your arms. The saw’s telescoping pole extends to 8.7 feet, letting you cut limbs up to 15 feet overhead without having to drag out a ladder. The bar can handle limbs up to 7.5 inches thick.
The saw is a light 7 pounds and small enough to get into tight spots, yet even with the pole fully extended, it’s sturdy and won’t wobble. That said, it can get top-heavy, so you’ll need a firm grip, which might be difficult if you have limited upper body strength.
The automatic oiling system saves you time and effort, allowing you to work without having to bring the saw down for oiling. Just be aware that the saw can run through all the oil in its 2.7-ounce reservoir in less than half an hour of work, so watch the oil level closely.
This compact chainsaw comes at less than half the price of some standard-sized electric chainsaws, so it’s an economical choice when you’ll only be dealing with smaller jobs around the yard. The pole doesn’t detach, though, so the saw isn’t ideal for cutting fallen branches and logs.
Remington RM1035P Ranger Electric Chainsaw
If most of your sawing work involves pruning, but you also want the ability to cut up firewood now and then, consider Remington’s 10-Inch, 8-Amp 2-in-1 pole saw and chainsaw.
This saw’s telescoping shaft extends up to 10 feet, giving you a reach of a little over 15 feet overhead. The flip and lock clamps make it easy to adjust the pole’s length to quickly saw limbs at varying heights, and the anti-rotation pole design keeps the saw stable. On the downside, with a weight of 12.4 pounds, the saw can be tiring to use with the pole fully extended. When you’re ready to saw wood on the ground, just detach the saw from the pole to convert the tool into a standard chainsaw.
The push-button chain oiler pumps out just the right amount of oil every time. Watch where you store this chainsaw, though, because even the manufacturer’s guidelines note the unit might leak oil when not in use. While the motor is reliable, it benefits from being allowed to cool off between cuts. Pushing this light-duty saw too hard can result in a burned-out motor.
The best electric chainsaws offer reliability, convenience, and easy handling, but each model has its strengths and weaknesses. Whether you need a light-duty chainsaw to clean up a few overgrown limbs and shrubs or a more powerful model for taking out trees, there’s an electric chainsaw that can do the job. A little research will guide you to the model that will best meet your needs.