Updated November 2018

Best Electric Chainsaws

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We analyze consumer reviews to find the best products on the web. We buy products with our own money and test them in our lab. We also interview experts and conduct independent research to pick the winners. We have affiliate partnerships so we may get a share of revenue from purchases. It’s how we fund our Research Lab and bring you better reviews and comparisons. Read more.

Best Electric Chainsaws Updated November 2018

Conclusion

Pros

Cons

Makita

UC4051A Electric
Check Price at: 1 store
Easily assembled and started this model efficiently cuts 12-14" diameter trees and branches.
Easy to put together out of the box and works the way it's supposed to. Strong consistent results.
Like many saws, this one leaks oil out of the reservoir.

Earthwise

16” 12-A Corded Electric Chainsaw
Check Price at: 1 store
Very easy and lightweight chainsaw to use, with lots of power.
Fully assembled out of the box. All you do is fill the oil reservoir, plug it in, and start cutting.
Gravity-fed self-oiling mechanism can be problematic. If the saw isn't oriented properly, the oil won't flow and your chain will be left high and dry.

Worx

16-Inch WG303.1
Check Price at: 1 store
14 Amp chainsaw with a strong motor, very little noise, and light weight.
Excellent for light tree trimming, medium log cutting, and clearing brush. Exceptional cutting power.
It uses more oil than the average chainsaw.

Greenworks

16-Inch 40V Cordless
Check Price at: 1 store
Long life-span battery-powered electric chainsaw that can be used anywhere. With a 16" bar, this is a hefty, full-powered saw.
The chain can be adjusted without the use of tools. Plus, you don't have to worry about getting tangled in power cords, and it's exceptionally quiet.
When stored with oil in the reservoir, it leaks. Either empty the oil before storing or put it in a leak-proof container.

Black & Decker

LCS1240
Check Price at: 1 store
Comes with a 12" bar, automatic oiling system, tool-free tensioning system, and a 40V 2 Amp battery that will deliver over 60 cuts on 4x4's.
Easy to disassemble for cleaning and maintenance, very lightweight, and easy to use. It can cut down 12-14" trees without any problems, and clearing undergrowth is effortless.
Consumes too much oil during operation. You'll need to buy extra to keep the chain and bar properly oiled and cleaned.

OUR PROCESS

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Chainsaws are hardcore tools for outdoor work. As such, they need to be sturdy, reliable, and able to withstand years of punishment out in the elements. Whether you’re cutting firewood, clearing a trail, or cleaning up storm damage, your chainsaw needs to work as hard as you do.

There are so many different models on the market today that it’s a full-time job sifting through all the competing claims and reviews. We’ve collected data on the five best electric chainsaws available, analyzed their performance, and prepared this report to take all the guesswork out of it for you.

Electric Chainsaw Reviews Guide

A chainsaw is a handheld power tool designed to rapidly pull a series of sharp cutters across a piece of wood. The cutters are linked together in a chain, with spacers between each cutter. The chain runs along a groove in the edge of a metal bar, or blade. As the chain runs along the bottom edge of the bar the engine is pulling it toward the operator, cutting into the wood and pulling the chainsaw down during the cutting process.

Metal sliding on metal creates tremendous friction, which in turn generates a great deal of heat. Oil is constantly needed to reduce the friction between the bar and the chain to keep them from overheating and warping. As a result, chainsaws are known for using large quantities of oil.

Chainsaws need oil in order to operate correctly, so all chainsaws have a reservoir to oil the chain as it rotates around the bar, or “blade”, as it’s sometimes called. Many chainsaws have an automatic oiling feature that emits measured amounts of oil at regular intervals. These are usually the least well-designed part of any chainsaw, which means oil leaks are endemic to these tools.

Red hand electric chainsaw on  background

When using a chainsaw exercise caution. Chainsaw safety chaps–made of rugged materials to protect your legs and groin from being cut by the chainsaw blade–are advisable anytime you're using a chainsaw.”

Types of chainsaws

There are two major types of chainsaws; gas and electric. The electric type subdivides into corded or battery-powered.

  • Gas-powered chainsaws are the ones most people are familiar with. They’re loud, heavy, and usually difficult to start. Most gas chainsaws are rated at 110 decibels (dBA). They’re louder than most fire alarms, which are usually rated around 95 dBA. The difficulty starting them is an unavoidable function of small engines.
  • Electric chainsaws are relatively easy to start compared to gas chainsaws. They’re also quieter, usually rated at 90 dBA, as explained in a 2005 special report from the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse, the latest year for which tests are available. Today’s electric chainsaws are even quieter. They do however require a very long extension cord. Anything less than 100 feet will probably be too short.
  • Electric chainsaws can also be battery-powered. Research has dramatically increased the capacity of modern batteries while mechanical improvements in the motors and uses of new low-friction materials have all combined to have a dramatic impact on battery-powered equipment. Improved battery capacity and faster re-charging times have resulted in battery-powered chainsaws that are almost indistinguishable from the same size gas-powered chainsaws of twenty years ago.

Today's electric chainsaws are stronger than the gas-powered chainsaws 20 years ago.”

Chainsaw Lingo

The bar on a chainsaw is the flat metal blade that sticks out from the engine. The chain runs around the edge of the bar, which is fastened inside the housing with one or more bolts. Also known as the blade, the length of the bar is an indicator of the size and power of the chainsaw.

A chain guard is simply a shield to protect the operator from the moving chain in case the operator’s hand or arm slips or accidentally moves toward the chain. This is especially likely when kickback occurs during cutting.

Kickback is the term for the saw bucking, or kicking, back toward the operator. During normal use, when cutting down, the movement of the chain safely pulls the chainsaw toward the wood. But occasionally you need to use the tip of the chainsaw to start a cut, or the tip accidentally comes in contact with the wood. When this happens, the downward movement of the chain forces the bar up, back toward the operator. This sometimes violent reaction, called kickback, can be very dangerous.

A chain brake is a safety mechanism that operates to stop the movement of the chain to prevent it from cutting or harming the operator. Pulling the chain brake back, gripping it when using the chainsaw, disengages the brake and lets the chains spin freely. Releasing the chain brake, or forcing it forward, engages it and stops the movement of the chain.

Torque is the amount of force that will cause an object to rotate on an axis, so the more torque, the faster the chain will spin. Obviously, a chain that moves faster will cut quicker, so torque is an extremely important measure of how much power a chainsaw has.

According to a National Institute of Health report, there are over 28,000 chainsaw accidents every year in the United States. ”

Tips for Using Chainsaws

Always cut down on the wood you’re cutting. This is the only safe method of cutting with a chainsaw. Cutting up, from beneath a branch or limb throws chips back in your face. It also exposes you to the danger of the chainsaw jumping at you when the cut is finished.

Cutting from the bottom of a large branch can also lead to “binding” as the weight of the branch forces the cut you’re making to close around the bar. Once a sufficiently large branch or log has caught the bar of your chainsaw, freeing it is difficult.

Electric chainsaws pull a lot of power and an underrated cord can melt the casing around the wire, creating a safety hazard.oil”

Electric Chainsaw Price Ranges

Corded electric chainsaws can range in price from less than $80 to around $240, while battery powered chainsaws start around $170 or $180. The difference is accounted for by the battery, charger, and additional size needed to accommodate the battery on the body of the chainsaw.

Frequently asked questions

What are the differences between chainsaw sizes?

A larger chainsaw bar requires a longer chain to wrap around it. A longer chain means more teeth on the chain to cut through wood, but each tooth gets used less often because it’s sharing the burden with the others. Very quickly you’ll see a marked increase in cutting power as the length of the bar increases.

Does a longer bar require a bigger engine?

Yes. Chains are made of steel and every increase in length is accompanied by a corresponding increase in weight. Longer bars also mean more resistance and friction to be overcome. Chainsaws use oil in an attempt to overcome friction but it’s always there and you need larger engines to handle the load as the bar gets longer.

Are chainsaws safe around children and pets?

Never. Chainsaws are designed to cut through wood. Human flesh is a lot softer than wood so they are quite dangerous to adults and children alike. Safety is the number one issue around chainsaws, and you should never allow children and pets around these tools when they’re being operated.

Can battery-powered chainsaws use batteries from other products?

Cordless yard tools typically come in families, with all the equipment from a particular manufacturer able to share batteries back and forth. Batteries can be alternated between leaf blowers, weed eaters, hedge trimmers, and other electrical yard tools. As a general rule though, batteries can’t be shared between the tools of different manufacturers.

The team that worked on this review

Kealia Reynolds
Photo Editor
Rebekah Sedaca
Writer
Kelsey Roadruck
Editor
John Morgan
Producer

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