Battery chainsaws may not be able to cut down large towering trees, but they may well be the handiest tool in your workshop when it comes to doing more moderate felling and cutting jobs around the campsite, home, or garden. I evaluated battery chainsaws based on their power, battery life, cutting ability, and ease of use. Here is the best battery chainsaw buying guide.
Table of Contents
- What to Look for When Choosing the Best Battery Chainsaw
- The Best Battery Chainsaw – Reviewed
- Best Practices to Take Care of Your Chainsaw
- Additional Questions
- Wrapping Up
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Battery Chainsaw
Most people, including DIYers, hobbyists, or professionals, base their purchase of cordless power tools on the brand and size of the battery that comes with it. While don’t get me wrong, battery power is essential; there are other factors to consider when shopping for the best battery chainsaw, including chain and guide bar length, weight, and the type of motor.
Cordless tool technology has come a long way, especially when it comes to outdoor power tools. Battery chainsaws use lithium-ion batteries, which produce more power, can be recharged within an hour, and are lighter to boot. In addition, if you have multiple lithium-ion batteries on hand, it’s easy to keep the projects going by simply rotating batteries!
When shopping for a battery-powered chainsaw, there are a few things to look out for when it comes to the battery. First, the battery’s power is rated in voltages; the higher the voltage, the more powerful the battery is.
Some battery chainsaws use multiple 18-volt batteries, while others use single 20-volt batteries. Higher quality battery chainsaws use 40-volt to even 80-volt batteries. The higher-voltage battery chainsaws with bigger batteries and bars can process more timber. They can have chain speeds nearing that of gas-powered saws and handle bigger jobs with multiple batteries. For example, downed trees whose diameters don’t exceed their bar lengths.
However, if there is a need to dispose of a fallen 80-foot oak or black walnut tree, it isn’t the right choice. While many saws will deliver near-gas chainsaw power, they didn’t deliver it for long.
I want to mention that even though runtimes will vary depending on how the chainsaw is used and the size of the chainsaw, you can expect to get about 20 to 30 minutes of intermittent use before it needs a charge. For those who already have an arsenal of cordless power tools, I recommend that you consider buying a chainsaw of the same brand to use the batteries interchangeably.
Battery chainsaws use either brushless or standard motors. Brushless motors are always more efficient because they create less friction. This will allow for a longer runtime before the battery recharges; less friction also means better motor power. A brushless chainsaw is typically about 85 to 90 percent efficient, whereas one with a brushed motor is around 75 to 80 percent efficient.
With battery-powered chainsaws, much of the power rating is based on the voltage of the battery, not its amp-hour rating. A battery’s amp-hour rating has more to do with how long the battery will run for prolonged uses, such as felling trees or cutting logs into firewood, DIYer benefits from a battery with higher amp-hour ratings in the 6-Ah or 8-Ah range. For quick jobs, a 4-Ah battery can provide plenty of runtimes.
The chainsaw’s bar is the long metal piece that guides the chain and determines its cutting capacity. A chainsaw can cut trees with a trunk 2 inches less in diameter than the guide bar’s length. Due to power limitations, battery chainsaws have bars 18 inches and shorter; for general DIY use, the sweet spot for chainsaws is 14 or 16 inches.
Smaller chainsaws are chainsaws with ten or twelve-inch bars that are most suitable for pruning. Small chainsaws are lightweight, easy to use, and useful for trimming limbs and small trees. They’re also handy at a campsite for cutting firewood.
Large chainsaw jobs, such as cutting down a mature tree, require a 16-inch, 18-inch, or longer bar to handle the trunk’s large girth. Larger bars are most helpful for felling trees and cutting firewood. However, they’re heavier and less convenient for limbing trees.
Bar oil helps keep the chain of the chainsaw running smoothly. Oiling prevents the chain from wearing out prematurely and the bar from burning from the speed of the chain. It also allows the saw to run at its top speeds for the fastest cutting. Topping off the bar oil with each battery is an easy way to remember to do this task.
The most convenient way to go is with an automatic oiler. Automatic oilers continuously lubricate the bar during use, as long as the onboard reservoir is kept full. Older options include a manual oiler and even just pouring oil over the bar by hand, but these outdated systems are not likely to be found nowadays.
The Best Battery Chainsaw – Reviewed
Here are some of the best battery-powered chainsaws you can purchase today:
Ryobi 40V HP Brushless Cordless Battery Chainsaw
Ryobi’s 18-inch-bar 40-volt battery chainsaw has everything to be a top battery chainsaw! It has an instant response trigger, superb power, and delivers top chain speed. It has a traditional two-bolt chain housing and comes with a chainsaw wrench and an onboard chainsaw wrench that stows in the handle.
Its top chain speed is excellent for larger branches and logs. Even when it was deep in more significant cuts, it powered through where many other saws would have slowed down. It has excellent runtime. Battery exchange is a snap, the saw is well-balanced, and the price and availability of other parts and supplies make this a top choice. It even has aggressive bucking spikes.
The trigger release and trigger work seamlessly. The battery delivered outstanding runtime with a terrific power-to-weight ratio. Plus, the included 40-volt rapid charger charges RYOBI 40-volt batteries four times faster than the standard charger.
- Best chain speed and power through wood fiber
- Great power-to-weight ratio
- It has fantastic additional features like an onboard wrench, storage box, and rapid charger.
- Not as powerful as gas chainsaws
EGO Power+ CS1611 56V 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
With the EGO Power+ cordless chainsaw, you should have no problem cutting firewood, tackling overgrown shrubs, and felling small trees. Its 56-volt ARC lithium battery lasts up to 2.5 hours without needing a recharge.
This chainsaw has some great features, including independent dials for fast, easy bar and chain adjustments, an automatic oiling system, a high-quality brushless motor, and a chain speed of 20 meters per second. Additionally, the metal bucking spikes help keep the log in place while you saw through it.
This is an excellent chainsaw for anyone looking to get away from the noise and smell of a gas-powered tool or the bother of a corded chainsaw. You still have plenty of power, speed, and control to tackle just about any project.
- Excellent battery
- Metal bucking spikes
Milwaukee Electric Tools 2727-21HD Chainsaw Kit
When maximum cutting power is required, a heavy-duty chainsaw is needed. The Milwaukee Electric Tools 2727-21HD Chainsaw Kit is just that! It can make up to 150 cuts on a single charge and won’t bog down when faced with a tough cut.
This chainsaw was designed with professional landscapers in mind and features Milwaukee’s cutting-edge battery technology. This saw is about as close as you can get to a gas-powered chainsaw. It has excellent balance, plenty of power and runtime, and great chain speed.
This saw provides 50 percent more power and operates 50 percent cooler than a standard 18-volt battery making this saw comparable to a 40-cc gas-powered chainsaw. All that power does come at a cost, though, weighing in at nearly 14 pounds. This is one of the heavier battery-powered chainsaws.
- Designed for professionals
- High-performance battery
- 150 cuts per battery charge
- The runtime isn’t great
Best Practices to Take Care of Your Chainsaw
Even though you’re looking to get a cheaper, budget-friendly chainsaw, that doesn’t mean you should treat it as such. Proper maintenance can elongate the chainsaw’s life; adequate care should be done to your power tools.
Practice Proper Storage
Practicing proper storage is a must; keeping your chainsaw out of direct sunlight when it’s not in use is essential. UV light can slowly damage metals and cause them to lose some of their durability. There are chainsaw bags available, so I recommend you choose a good one to keep it away from unwanted moisture and light.
Empty the Fuel Tank
You should always empty the fuel tank in the off-season or if it hasn’t been used in three months. This will keep any fuel mixture build-up from accumulating in the tank. Keep your running smoothly and easy to start by keeping the fuel tank clean.
Your chainsaw should be regularly dismantled to ensure everything is in working order. For internal cleaning, you must learn how to properly take the chainsaw apart to ensure you don’t damage any parts and give each piece a good cleaning. Also, consider applying mineral-grade oil to add a protective coating. This will prevent corrosion and add some resistance.
Here are just a few additional common questions about chainsaws.
Do I Need a Traditional Chainsaw?
Traditional chainsaws are best for those needing to do heavier work, such as cutting down entire trees and thick limbs. So yes, if you need to do more serious work. No, if you only need a chainsaw for light work.
How Do I Cut Down High Tree Branches?
If you’re using a traditional chainsaw, you will need a ladder. An easier way to get branches that are high up is to use a pole saw. They’re excellent for tricky branches.
Can a Chainsaw Overheat?
Yes, a chainsaw can overheat. The engine of a chainsaw can quickly overheat; this is especially true if dust or wood chips are blocking the system. You must keep the engine and muffler clean to keep the engine from overheating.
How Do You Maintain a Chainsaw?
Check the bar and chain levels often and ensure the chain is always sharp so that cutting is done as efficiently as possible. Also, be sure to clear all the debris after you use it.
Sharpening Your Chainsaw Chain:
Keeping the chain sharp with sharpening is essential! It will keep your chainsaw cutting as good as it did when you first got it. Luckily, sharpening the chain doesn’t require much. All you’ll need is a chainsaw sharpener.
Use a file to sharpen the blades regularly. This is not hard to do and is an essential part of maintaining your saw. This also makes every job you perform with your saw much easier.
- Put your chainsaw in a vise and keep it secured so it won’t move as you work on it.
- Activate the chain brake
- Sharpen the cutting teeth first, and use the file depth gauge on the chain so that the arrows point at the chainsaw bar nose.
- Always file at a right angle to the chainsaw rollers
- File the other cutting tooth with a smooth and even pushing stroke
- Turn the saw around so that the saw is facing the opposite direction
- Finish filing the other cutting teeth by using the same motion.
There are the best battery chainsaws! However, if we had to pick the best battery chainsaw out of the ones we listed, we would have to go with Ryobi’s 18-inch-bar 40-volt.
However, these are all great choices, so don’t be worried if this isn’t your top choice. I hope this buying guide helped you find the best battery chainsaw! Do you have a favorite battery chainsaw from this list? Do you own one of these already? If not, are you considering purchasing one now? Please feel free to comment; we would love to hear from you!
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