A Woodcutter’s Guide to the Best Cordless Chainsaws

Man using cordless chainsaw to cut timberWhen looking for the best cordless chainsaw, what is it that you actually need?

  • You want a battery powered chainsaw to cut through wood like a hot knife through butter.
  • You want a chainsaw that is simple to start, easy to operate and cheap to maintain.
  • And you also need a chainsaw that is reliable, lightweight, compact, and quiet.

That’s a lot to consider, which is why you need to spend some time researching the available models. With this woodcutter’s guide to the best cordless chainsaws, you don’t have to waste time researching and comparing different cordless electric chainsaw models yourself.

All you have to do is spend the next 10-15 minutes reading this short and sweet guide, which will enable you to select the best battery powered chainsaw, whatever your needs. We have compiled this guide in consultation with experienced handymen, so that you may quickly and confidently select the best battery chainsaw money can buy. Let’s begin!


Considerations for selecting the best cordless chainsaw

To begin with, cordless chainsaws do not have the power of a gas powered chainsaw. You should probably get a gas saw if you want to slice through concrete or seasoned hardwood.

On the plus side, cordless electric chainsaws are lightweight and quieter. You can easily start them with the push of a button and don’t need to yank back on a string, like when starting a gas chainsaw. You also don’t have to inhale the fumes, as battery powered chainsaws are emission free and healthier for the environment.

You should consider the task at hand before you can select the cordless chainsaw that is best suited for the job. Although all chainsaws are designed to cut through tree trunks, cordless chainsaws might not be your best choice if you want to clear a thicket of oaks or other hardwood trees.

On the other hand, the easy to carry, lightweight cordless chainsaws are ideal for pruning tree branches in your backyard or other domestic jobs.


Chainsaw battery type and power

Cordless chainsaws come with an electric motor that is powered by a rechargeable battery. The battery voltage can range from 36 volts to 72 volts on most of the high-end cordless chainsaws. However, battery voltage does not determine the power output of the electric chainsaw.

Latest cordless chainsaws are powered by Lithium ion batteries, with ampere-hour ratings varying between 2.0 and 5.0 ampere-hours for most of the models.


Chainsaw motors

The latest models of cordless chainsaws come with brushless motors with computer chip controls. These motors can freely convert volts into amperes depending upon the needed current levels. They can also balance the current output with heat management to increase the life of the battery.

Once again, the voltage rating of the electric motor has little to do with the power output of the chainsaw, but not to worry. The best cordless chainsaws that we have tested and shortlisted for you are adequately powered. They won’t disappoint you.


Cutting speed & runtime

As you’d expect, the best battery chainsaws should offer a balance of cutting speed and battery life. Most of the cordless chainsaws considered for this article report a work life of about 6 to 12 minutes while cutting wood diameters of about 7.25 inches. With that being said, this runtime may be sufficient to complete your backyard improvement tasks.


Battery charging time

Obviously, you don’t want a battery operated chainsaw that dies on you in the middle of the task and takes a long time to recharge. Battery recharging times can vary widely across different wireless chainsaws.

For example, Kobalt cordless chainsaw has a 30 minutes recharge time for its 2.0 Ah battery pack, whereas Oregon 4.0 Ah battery powered chainsaw can take up to 4 hours to recharge.


Best battery chainsaw features

As competition has heated up during the past several years, manufacturers have improved their battery chainsaw models by adding a variety of modern features. The best battery chainsaw brands boast some or all of the following features:

Cordless Chainsaw Triggers: Though the switches and triggers on different models of cordless chainsaws differ in form, their function is the same— to start the chainsaw while ensuring safety against inadvertent operation. Chainsaw safety standards demand that the trigger should require two distinct and dissimilar actions to start moving the chain.

Cordless Chainsaw Safety Features: The best chainsaws come with mechanical or electronic trigger locks. Mechanical lockouts prevent accidental operations. The two-step lockouts are not difficult to unlock, but may be tricky to slide when you’re working in odd positions.

Electronic cordless chainsaws can be started with a single press when they are powered on. Some of them like Kobalt and Greenland Digi Pro have an auto power off feature that cuts the power when the saw is not operated for some time (60 second and 16 seconds, respectively).

Many top-rated chainsaws have an LED light indicator that comes on when the chainsaw is powered on. The top contenders on this list also feature a safety alarm that starts beeping when you apply the brake lever. The Echo saw has an optional tip guard to provide added safety.


Ease of operation

Perhaps one of the most important factors for selecting the best battery-powered chainsaw is the ease of use. Although the comfort or feel of a chainsaw can be subjective, experienced operators can tell the difference.

A chainsaw that is a little heavy in the front makes it easy to make vertical cuts, whereas a back heavy saw can be difficult to balance during vertical sawing. For sideways cutting, it should be easy to apply force to the front and rear handles and the trigger should be easy to access.


Chainsaw weight

The top-rated battery chainsaws that we surveyed have a dry weight ranging from approximately 12 to 14.5 pounds. The weight largely depends upon the ampere-hours rating of the battery and the length of the bar.


Best battery powered chainsaw brands

The cordless chainsaw brands that came out on top include Greenworks, Kobalt, Oregon, Dewalt, Ego, Echo, Earthwise, and Redback. Each of these brands manufactures several models of battery operated electric chainsaws, so it can be a little confusing to select the best one. Here’s a brief look at the best performing chainsaw models and their main features.


1. Greenworks Pro Cordless Chainsaw 60 V Max

The 16-inch Greenworks Pro chainsaw (Model CS60L210) comes with a high efficiency brushless motor and a 2 Ah battery. It has a 4-year limited warranty for parts and a 2-year battery warranty. Weighing 12.2 pounds with battery, this is an entry level chainsaw at an affordable price. It is the perfect choice for you if all you need to do is maintain your backyard or cut through some thin lumber.


2. Kobalt Battery Powered Chainsaw 80V Max

Kobalt cordless chainsaw boasts an 80-volt 2 Ah battery with a charging time of just 30 minutes. It has an impressive 18-inch bar. The chainsaw has a limited warranty of 5 years and the battery is guaranteed for 3 years. The dimensions and features might lure you to buy this battery powered chainsaw. However, it is a heavy chainsaw weighing at 14.4 pounds with battery. It may also not be the most efficient cordless chainsaw on our list.


3. Oregon PowerNow Cordless Chainsaw 40 V Max

A 16-inch bar length, a 40-volt battery and a weight of 12 pounds might make this Oregon chainsaw look like the 40-V model from Greenhouse Pro. However, the battery on this baby is rated 4 Ah. It also comes with many added features such as instant start, a PowerSharp system that sharpens the saw, and a tool-less chain tightening system.

4. DewaltFlexVolt Cordless Chainsaw 60V Max

The Dewalt cordless chainsaw boasts a tool-free chain tightening system with a low kickback 16-inch Oregon chain. Equipped with a chain brake, auto oiling system, and 3.0 Ah 60-V battery, this chainsaw is designed for property owners and contractors who need to clear the worksite. DwaltFlexVolt 16-V chainsaw was a top performer during the test we conducted. However, it comes with plastic ridges instead of steel bucking spikes, which might raise some questions about its durability.


5. Ego Power+ Cordless Chainsaw 56V Max

A high efficiency brushless motor, a 5.0 Ah 56-V battery, and a low price make this Ego cordless chainsaw deliver value for money. It scored a great runtime and came out as a solid performer during the tests we conducted. This is one of the best battery powered chainsaws in its category and is perfect for almost all lumbering jobs around the house, farmhouse or landscaping worksite.


6. Echo Cordless Chainsaw 58V Max

The Echo chainsaw sports the features and performance that you expect from the best battery powered chainsaws. A wrap-around handle and inertia chain brake make Echo one of the easiest to operate and carry chainsaws available in its category. Though slightly heavier than the Ego cordless chainsaw, the Echo more than compensates for less than a pound of extra weight when it comes to cutting speed.


7. RedBack Cordless Chainsaw 120V Max

EarthWorks battery-powered chainsaw has a massive 120V battery and claims an approximate runtime of 55 working minutes. It has an oversized trigger for easy operation when wearing gloves and an impressive 2000 RPM chain speed. An 18-inch bar length, a tool-less chain tightening system, and powerful motor won’t let you down in the middle of a cut. You can not only cut limbs but fell trees as well with this beauty. It’s definitely one of the best cordless chainsaws in its class.


In conclusion

Of course, there are many other electric cordless chainsaws that you can find in the market. If you want to buy a chainsaw outside this list, always consider the RPM, ampere-hour rating, battery charging time, weight, safety and add-on features, length and brand of the chain, and yes, the price before you buy. Do not forget to read the best cordless chainsaw reviews for the models you shortlist. Spending some time at this stage can save you tons of frustration that you will face when working with a cheap and underpowered cordless chainsaw.