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Studies have found that more than 3 million chainsaws are bought in the US each year with a reported number of approximately 30,000 injuries. Most people with chainsaw-related injuries injure their hands or lower extremities and less than 10% of these injuries are to the above-shoulders area (neck and head).
While death by chainsaw is pretty rare, it is essential to choose the best electric chainsaw on the market that is best suited to the task on hand. Not buying the best chainsaw has tons of disadvantages (other than serious injuries and even death), like:
- The chain coming loose
- Leaking oil
- Not enough power
- Thin blades needing frequent sharpening
- Gravity feed oil dispenses fails
As such, we bet you’ll not want to make a purchasing or operational mistake that would cost your life or bring you other avoidable losses. That is why we’ve put together this guide on the top 5 electric chainsaws as well as a buyer’s guide so you know what to look out for.
Our Top Choice
DEWALT DCCS690M1 emerged as our top choice in this review. Even though it’s slightly more expensive than the rest, what draws me and many other users of this beast to it is its versatility.
Expect it to handle a variety of tasks with almost the same efficiency you would expect from a gas-powered chainsaw. Also, it has several unique features, like variable speed trigger and ergonomically designed handles that improve its functionality.
Table of Contents
The Best Electric Chainsaws Are
Dewalt is among the most respected brands in the sphere of chainsaws. Proof of their ingenuity is in this particular electric model, which is well-constructed with a decent weight to power ratio.
At only 12.2 pounds, that means you can use it for lighter cutting tasks, such as trimming trees and hedges, as well as heavier task such as logging and firewood making.
The ergonomic design makes it feel more comfortable in your hands. Because it’s cordless, expect to move around with it without limits.
- 16-inch Oregon bar and cutting chain that can handle heavy-duty tasks
- 4.0 AH battery that allows you up to 70 cuts per charge
- Chain break
- Bar tightening knob & tool-free chain tensioning for better bar clamping force
- Variable speed trigger
- Continuous lubrication through auto oiling
The low kickback coupled with the ergonomics of the build will probably have you falling for this machine as the user comfort level is high. That’s what most users actually love about it. Also, the fact that there is no pull start on this one comes as a relief to your shoulder socket.
- Low kickback
- Chain brake for kickback protection
- Low maintenance
- This chainsaw does not come with a case
There are very few cons about this electric chainsaw, which is a testament to its quality and user satisfaction. What’s more, the chainsaw is also quite a hit with users who are not too thrilled on pulling a cord to ignite their chainsaw.
Also worth mentioning is that the saw’s little weight coupled with the decent power create a perfect combination for both light tasks as well as those that are more demanding, like felling trees and logging.
Because of the versatility and ease of use, this Dewalt has earned every star when I rank it at 4.5 stars out of 5.0.
If pulling a cord to start your chainsaw is not exactly your cup of tea, you will love the smooth start of this Mikita model because it ignites at the touch of a large switch.
That aside, the Makita UC4051A comes equipped with a 16-inch bar and chain that delivers efficient cutting and trimming at speeds of 2900 FPM.
Most chainsaw motors burn out as a result of overload. I like that the machine’s motor features an inbuilt current limiter, which protects the motor from current overload by reducing power when the machine is overloaded.
Also interesting to note is that the oil reservoir is constructed with a view window that allows you to conveniently see how much oil you have left in the tank.
- Tool-less blade and chain adjustment
- See-through view window for oil reservoir
- 16-inch bar and chain
- Rubberized ergonomic handles
- Electric chain brake
- Increased productivity as a result of a large metal spike bar
- Inbuilt current limiter
The ergonomics on this chainsaw and how smooth it operates have been lauded by a majority of users who’ve experienced it. A few who use it once in a while, say once a year, speak of its ability to pick from where it left without any drama.
- Electric chain brake for safety as well as smooth operation
- Inbuilt current limiter that protects the motor from burnout
- Reduced emission
- Low maintenance
- Reduced risk of injury and increased productivity, thanks to the electric chain break
- Automatic chain oiler for continuous lubrication
- There have been instances where the chain come off
- Too heavy for some people
At 14 pounds, this saw might come across as heavy for some folks. But those who like a bit of weight behind their chainsaw find it fabulous. Remember, the issue of saw weight is always a question of preference.
Seemingly small details such as a view window make a difference in terms of safety. Imagine the convenience of just glancing at the reservoir and knowing whether it’s time to add oil or you are going to push a little further with what’s left.
So, it comes as no surprise when I rank this one at 4.4 stars out of 5.
Where the ingenuity of this chainsaw blows your mind and manages to set itself from the competition is the power sharp feature.
Power sharp technology allows for an inbuilt chain sharpener that can be activated by simply pulling on a lever and waiting for 3-5 seconds for the chain to go through the inbuilt sharpener. And you are back on track with a chain that is as sharp as when you first began. The word down time does not apply to this chainsaw because of this capability.
Whether you accidently hit a stone or the blade comes into contact with dirt or other damaging objects, the sharpener has the capacity to smoothen and sharpen it back to its optimal state.
- Automatic oiler with see-through window
- Automatic chain lubrication
- Instant start
- Power sharp technology
- Quiet operation
- An array of safety features, like low kickback bar, powersharp chain, throttle lock switch, bumber spikes, brakes etc.
Weighing only 12.9 pounds, the Oregon CS1500 is light enough for use in light cutting activities such as trimming trees and hedges. Yet with its high-powered motor at 15 amps combined with the 18-inch bar, it can also comfortably attend to slightly heavier tasks such as cutting thick logs and hardwoods or felling down trees. This is yet another star feature that most users seem more impressed with.
In the video below, you can watch it in action and also learn more about this amazing tool:
- Low noise
- Silent between cuts
- Easy to sharpen the chain
- Lightweight with low vibration
- Over-mold handle for comfort
- Inbuilt sharpener
- Tool-less chain tensioning system
- Chain consistently comes off, especially when doing light cutting work, like trimming and hedging trees and fences
- The electric chord can restrict your movements
- Relatively heavier than other chainsaws in its category
The ergonomics are great, with the over-mold handle offering a good grip. It is also coupled with low vibration and is lightweight. Control is easy and precise for any user, whether male or female.
Having no chord to pull for starting the motor, the trigger mechanism for instant ignition is a breeze for a smooth quick start every time. Also, the inbuilt sharpener takes the sharpening convenience to a whole new level.
All these innovations in the CS1500 has me ranking it at 4.3 stars out of 5.0.
If your need for a chainsaw is more for garden and yard works such as pruning, trimming saplings and twigs, or hedging fences, then getting a lighter saw with adequate power is the way to go. The Remington Limb N Trim Corded Electric Chain Saw is super light (at 6.25 pounds), making it very easy to wield when trimming.
The 8 amp motor powers a 14-inch chain and bar, which roar to life by simply pressing the start trigger. This is welcome news if you have issues with your rotator calf or if you just don’t fancy the pull cord options.
- Fully assembled
- Wrap-around hand guard
- Instant start at the touch of a trigger
- Push button oiler
Like most of its users, I love that there is no chance of having oil splatter all over you as this chainsaw utilizes a push button system to automatically dispense the right amount of oil to lubricate the 14-inch bar. Here’s a quick video review by a user, telling you more about the saw:
- Low kickback
- Wrap around hand guard that prevents flying debris from hitting your hand
- Lightweight, therefore, easy to wield
- Quick tensioner makes chain adjustment easy
- Relatively affordable
- Restricted to light use only, like pruning and hedge trimming
- Electric cord can inhibit free movement
- Some users don’t like the sawdust easily gather inside the saw’s adjustable chain mechanism
This is a specialized mini chainsaw built with light cutting work in mind. The fact that it is light and easy to wield yet has a fairly strong motor for this purpose makes it the perfect tool for light trimming in your property with minimal fatigue.
Putting all its benefits and minimal drawbacks into consideration, it would be fair to award it 4.2 stars out of 5.
One great advantage about a chainsaw that runs on battery is the unrestricted maneuverability. You will find this feature most suitable when felling down trees in thick forests or simply trimming your hedge.
The LCS1020 is a the best battery chainsaw that is also lightweight, at only weighs 7.2 pounds. The 20V Max lithium battery offers up to 4 times longer life than standard chainsaw batteries and powers the 10-inch bar and chain.
What’s more, the tension system is easily accessible and chain adjustments can be made without the need of any tools. In addition to that, the wrap-around bale handle provides an ergonomic grip.
A combination of all these features, together with the low vibration, enables this saw to handle well and deliver great cutting efficiency.
- 20V Max Lithium battery for longer life
- Wrap around bale ergonomic handle
- Instant trigger start
- Tool-free blade tension system
- An array of safety features, including low kickback bar and chain, front and rear handle guards, and a lock-off button.
- Oil system that lubricates chain and bar
Day after day, there are consumers who keep giving this chainsaw a thumbs up, mostly due to its portability, ease of use, and ability to take on light tasks with little to no disappointment.
Chain adjustments and tensioning are a constant need when working a chainsaw. The ease with which you can adjust the chain on this chainsaw is another feature users love.
If you are curious to see how it works and what else it offers other than all that’s discussed here, see the video below. It’s by a passionate user who went out of his way to share more about this amazing saw:
- Lightweight and easy to wield
- Less fatigue
- See-through window on oil reservoir
- Unrestricted movement as there is no electrical cord
- Ideal for close quarter cutting in confined spaces
- Low maintenance
- Good run time
- Versatile as can chop wood and trim or hedge trees and fences
- The oiler does not seem to work as expected; it’s better to keep it full to avoid any issues
A small saw such as this is great to have in households to supplement the bigger chainsaws. This is because where you can’t use the more powerful chainsaws, such as in back yard trims and lighter cutting work around the farm or ranch, this baby can help you out with trimming and cutting saplings as well as hedging fences.
I scored this chainsaw at 4.2 out of 5 stars because it is light, has good power, and offers some level of versatility in its use.
How Does an Electric Chainsaw Work?
Electric chainsaws don’t have as many parts like their gas-powered counterparts. Other than the motor, which powers the saw, the other major part is the long metal bar on which the saw blade is fixed.
When it’s turned on, the tiny gear wheels on which the bicycle-like chain runs on will begin to go around, enabling the sharp steel blades attached to the chain to tear through the object it’s aimed at.
In order for the cutting chain to remain sharp and deliver optimum performance, you’ll have to sharpen them regularly, especially if you intend to use the chainsaw frequently.
As for safety, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a manual or electric type. Both are dangerous and, therefore, proper training and attention to the process is needed. Remember to also observe the safety procedures recommended by the manufacturer.
To learn more about these electric saws work and how to use them properly, check out the video below by Remington:
What Can They Do?
As you’ll see later, electric chainsaws can handle both light and heavy-duty tasks. Lighter tasks include things like trimming branches, clipping hedges, and so on.
To fell a large tree or cut through hard timber, you’ll definitely need a tougher saw designed to take on such heavy-duty tasks. Here’s where gas-powered chainsaws thrive but they aren’t alone.
Nowadays, we have electric chainsaws comprising large tough steel bars and heavily powered motors, a combination that enables them to give their gas-powered peers a run for their money.
One limitation you’ll have to endure though is that your mobility will be limited, particularly if the saw has to be plugged into an electric outlet in order to run. However, we have the cordless models, which eliminate this drawback. They use batteries.
What Should I Consider Before Buying One?
Before you that order to your cart, here are a few things you’ll want to have in mind:
In the electric chainsaw category, the two major varieties are corded and cordless. You can tell the difference from the words. One must be plugged into an electric outlet in order to run while the other uses batteries. As for which is right for you, that will depend on the nature of tasks you intend to carry out. If there’s a lot of mobility involved, then you know which option to go with – cordless.
Range Of Work
Electric chainsaws are classified into three:
Each category is suitable for specific tasks based on their design and power. For instance, the light-duty type would be great for light tasks, like clipping edges or trimming branches. Also, they are light, more affordable, and require less expert help.
Mid-range saws can handle slightly heavier tasks such as logging, production of firewood, and other related farm work.
Just as the name suggests, the professional electric chainsaws are designed for pros, meaning they can take on much heavier duties like felling large trees. They are slightly heavier and equipped with longer bars.
You’ll notice that the extra features vary from model to model. This includes things like automatic bar oiling, chain tensioners, anti-vibration systems, soft start, and so on. So, figure out which feature you would want most, then narrow down to the chainsaws that comprise them.
Electric chainsaws have a lot going on for them that could benefit you greatly. Remember, they can run for hours when plugged in or be powered by battery when you are away from an electricity source.
Every person’s need for cutting may vary, but with some of the best electric chainsaws we have rounded up for you, you are bound to find one that is a perfect match for your cutting needs.
Innovation has certainly not left the electric chainsaw behind. Features such as motor protection from current overloads or the power sharp technology that allow a chainsaw to self-sharpen in a matter of seconds speak to the convenience and efficiency these little beasts are able to offer.
I hope you find the option that meets your needs and expectation.
Best Value – If your goal is to get the best bang for your bucks, look no further than Oregon CS1500 Self-Sharpening Electric Chainsaw. It costs relatively less than the rest but it’s feature-rich. You can effectively handle your light and moderate tasks with it. Above everything else, it features a unique self-sharpening technology, which is complemented by other features that make the saw more reliable, useful, and extremely valuable.
Best Overall – DEWALT DCCS690M1 wins as the best overall chainsaw, besides being our top choice. It’s one of the few powerful cordless chainsaws you can trust to cut down that massive tree or defiant log and at the same time trim those little branches or hedges to your satisfaction. Generally, it offers more than a new or intermediate user would find really helpful in their cutting endeavors.