When it comes to chopping down lumber, you’d be hard-pressed to find a tool more valuable than the best electric chainsaw. There are several different types to choose from, some better for certain applications than others. Some are dangerous if you're not careful , and some are a rip-off, some simply cut wood better than others and that’s why it is important to do a research before purchasing one.
Although you’d think that by now most chainsaws would have evolved to have a long lifespan and be pretty durable, that is not always the case. For this reason, it’s important to consider the feedback on how different chainsaws perform in varying situations.
Here, we will delve into what you should be looking for in a chain saw to help you select not only the right one for your needs, but also the best chainsaw for your money. However, if this is for work we recommend these best professional chainsaws.
Best Electric Chainsaw Reviews
[BEST ELECTRIC CHAINSAW]
[BEST FOR THE MONEY]
[MOST RELIABLE CHAINSAW]
Take note of the fundamentals first
- To find the best chainsaw for your needs, you should take heed to star ratings and customer feedback to make sure that you’re selecting the right option.
- However, before you can accurately compare chainsaws, you need first to separate the different styles. As with any other project, if you end up using the wrong tool for the job, you will face lackluster results.
- A chainsaw can be gas-powered, electric, cordless, compressed air or hydraulic. The most expensive models will have a high power-to-weight ratio. You’ll also notice that there are consumer and professional models.
- Most buyers with basic needs of chopping down trees, or cutting larger pieces of wood for firewood will choose an electric chainsaw or a gas-powered chain saw. Therefore, these will be the two styles that we will compare.
- Before choosing between the two types of a chainsaw, it’s important to dig into the expected use to see which one will be best. Each style has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, but knowing more information about the two will help you decide which is right for you.
What Type of Chainsaw Do You Need?
Are Electric Chainsaws the Best?
Smaller & Lighter
Electric chain saws are right when you are focusing on a lighter task. If light tree trimming, pruning, and chopping are what you’re intending to do, then, an electric-powered saw might be the best choice for you.
For your hedges and bushes, read our best electric hedge trimmer reviews.
The bar (cutting edge) of a small electric chainsaw will generally range from 8 inches to about a foot and a half of an electric model. For this reason, electric models are usually lighter and require less effort to maintain.
If you need more power, don’t go for the smallest electric chainsaw just because it’s super light. For frequont light sawing, these would be a good choice.
Easier to Handle
Because it’s lighter and less powerful, an electric saw will carry less of a kickback than a gas powered model. The kickback is the jolt that you feel when the tip of the saw hits whatever it is that you’re chopping. Because an electric model will have less power, overall there is less chance of the kickback being more than an inexperienced user can handle.
An electric chain saw also requires less of a cool down period once your work is done. Often, you can just unplug it and set it aside.
Electric models are much less noisy than their gas-powered siblings. You can probably picture lumberjacks off in the woods with a gas powered chainsaw, but the electric models are what you’re more likely to see for a casual Sunday afternoon trimming job.
Continuous Power – Most Powerful Options Really Give a Kick
Electric saw models that come with a cord will give you a continuous power and you won’t have to worry about the gas running out right in the middle of your job.
However, if you choose a cordless electric chainsaw, the battery can run out of juice, so we’ll touch on cordless models in just a little while.
Some of the best electric chainsaws have cords while others don’t (cordless). A cordless chainsaw is mainly a convenience purchase. Similar to a cordless drill, it’s great for light work.
But when you need a more heavy-duty operation, you’ll want to choose a corded model (especially since you’re losing some power already by going with an electric model).
However, a cordless model is easier to maintain (and has much less odor) because you just plug it in to juice up the rechargeable battery.
The best use of an electric cordless saw is light pruning of shrubbery, clearing tall weeds, and shaping foliage. If you’re looking to chop woods, you’re better off going with a more sturdy alternative.
An electric chainsaw will almost always have less power overall than the gas powered alternatives. Power is the main reason you’d choose a gas chainsaw over an electric one.
If you go with a corded model, you’ll get a continuously powerful motor without worries about your juice or fuel running out, but you’ll have to contend with the cord throughout your job.
Besides less power, the cord is generally the biggest drawback in an electric model. You can only go as far as your cable length will travel, and if you’re not careful, you can cut the cord or fray the cord with the saw edge.
This will not only damage the saw, but also carries the risk of electric shock. However, this can be alleviated by using a cordless chainsaw, which we mention several of here.
More Powerful. A gas chainsaw uses a mix of gasoline and oil to push its two-cycle engine through the hard jobs.
The biggest strength of a gas chainsaw is its power. You can distinguish a more powerful gas engine by the larger CCs of its engine.
Fully Transportable. You can take your gas chainsaw anywhere, which is why you generally imagine the footage we talked about with a plaid-clad lumberjack in the forest.
Bringing a decent-sized gas and an oil reserve, you can already handle most of any jobs mother nature can throw at you.
Bigger Bar. The bar of a gas chainsaw can approach 3.5 feet in length. A gas model can carry the size that you’ll need to chop down large diameter trees.
Harder to Handle. The kickback from a gas chainsaw makes it harder to handle than an electric model. A powerful gas chainsaw is better suited to someone with experience.
Safety is a primary concern with any chainsaw, but most especially with a gas powered model.
More Maintenance. With a gas chainsaw, you often need to let it cool down before doing any refill. You also have to be careful where you store it because of the flammable liquids inside that could spill if handled incorrectly.
Before you put it away for safekeeping, you’ll want to drain the fluids from the chainsaw and make sure to store it in a well-ventilated area. When it comes to storage, we recommend that you read our best outdoor storage shed reviews.
Best Electric Chain Saw vs Best Gas Chain Saw
You go for electric for a consistent smooth cut that has no fumes or smoke. Keep in mind you’ll need an energy source – whether it is a plug for corded chain saws or a charging system/battery for cordless.
However, go with gas if you want raw power and may not have access to eletricity. Gas is EXTREMELY portable and thus, easy to replenish your gas chainsaw if you’re out in the woods or other areas not close to a power supply.
Which electric chain saw brand is highly recommended?
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of the different models we can finally get into the reviews and ratings. We have handpicked our top 5 brands and we’ll give you insight about why these 5 brands made our list.
In scoring the models below, we took into consideration the overall star rating from various online vendors, cutting speed, safety, ease of use and handling, weight, engine CC/amperage, and bar length availability as well as the overall electric vs gas chainsaw considerations.
[In alphabetical order] –
A brand that makes jobs both safe and easy, Greenworks chainsaws are meant for light duty use. They are extremely high rated saws, with ratings between 4 and 5 stars just about everywhere they are found.
Being electric chainsaws, the power can suffer a little, but for use around the house, GreenWorks is the way to go. Prices are generally in the low hundreds, so GreenWorks models are as friendly on your wallet as they are with the environment.
A brand that prides itself on being able to fit comfortably in many situations from light use on the farm all the way up to timber harvesting for forestry and arborists, Husqvarna makes gas alternatives that guarantee more power and better performance.
They are known not only for their power but also for their ergonomic design. You’ll regularly see Husqvarna chainsaws at around 4-star rating level. You’ll pay for the extra power and performance, but it will be worth it in the long run. Husqvarna electric chainsaws are also worth considering for their quality and reliability.
Remington electric chainsaws are both affordable and powerful, the RM5118R uses a 51cc engine that can be started even if the engine is still heated from the last use.
Remingtons are both powerful and durable but often they suffer in the area of the power to weight ratio, being more heavy than similarly powered alternatives.
STIHL electric chain saw models range from 12″ to over 36″ in bar length. Regularly rated at higher than 4 stars, it’s no wonder STIHL is the sponsor of TIMBERSPORTS games, which recently celebrated their 30th year anniversary.
The brand has a wide selection from consumer to professional models for both light and professional use. For just about every use, what you might have there is a STIHL model that will perfectly suit your needs.
For lightweight use, WORX is not only famous for their cordless lawn mower but also with their electric chainsaws, which carry a 3.5 horse power motor with an auto tension system that automatically maintains the proper amount of tension during use.
When your chain becomes worn out, worry not, WORX has a painted tool free replacement system. Know that your chainsaw is designed both for safety and comfort, with features such as a built in safety brake that will stop the chain in seconds when it detects improper contact. Models are available at under $100.
So what is the best chainsaw to buy according to our electric chainsaws reviews?
Finally, we wrap things up by picking an overall winner based on the highest scores across all of our categories. And the winner is… the mighty Makita Chainsaw XCU02Z!
Makita-built motor delivers 1,650 FPM for increased cutting speed.
Two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries (not included) deliver the power and run time for corded demands without leaving the 18V LXT platform.
Lower noise level at only 89 dB(A) and zero emissions for improved user comfort are welcomed features and so is 12″ guide bar for increased capacity.
“Tool-less” chain adjustments for convenient operation and maintenance. Includes tool only (batteries and charger not included). Refer to page 8-10 “Assembly” on instruction manual.
The Makita Chainsaw XCU02Z does a great job cutting limbs 8-10 inches thick. Since the bar is only 12 inches long, you need to have some skills regarding the cuts needed for larger pieces of wood. Overall, this chainsaw offers a ton of power and the battery will last you a good deal with moderately demanding jobs and then some.
The chain break works well so with a general few safety precautions, you'll be safely cutting limbs or boards. With such good noise reduction compared to gas units, your ears will thank you for purchasing this saw, as well!
Things We Liked
Great power and run time
12" guide bar for increased capacity
"Tool-less" chain adjustments for convenient operation
Lower noise level at only 89 dB(A)
Things We Didn't Like
More comfortable grips would be an improvement
This Makita saw is designed for heavy, continuous use. Its electric chain brake promotes productivity while requiring little to maintenance.
Since it’s electric it also has no emissions, which means less to clean up. The oil reservoir has a clear window so you can make sure it’s always greased up and the motor will be protected.
Additionally, it has a systematic overheat protection to make sure you can cut for as long as you need to. It even has ergonomic handles so that your hands won’t chafe during use.
This is NOT a pruning saw and it can easily cut down 12 inches of branches (though it can still cut bigger ones). For the branches you cut off, use the best chipper shredder to turn them into mulch for your garden.
The bar and and tension system may take a little bit of time to get used to, but once you do it becomes a cutting machine with an awesome auto oiling mechanism. You can’t go wrong with this Makita power tool.
Things We Liked
Spring assisted starter for quick and easy start
High Power to Weight Ratio
The oil reservoir has a clear window for easy monitoring of oil level
"Tool-less" filter access for convenient maintenance
Things We Didn't Like
Makita UC4051A features a powerful 1.8kW motor which is able to deliver up to 2900 RPM. This electric powertool offers sufficient power to cut through branches, bushes, and even tree limbs as well as whole trees of smaller to medium thickness.
On top of that, it’s suitable both for professionals and homeowners as it offers great power output and is easy to use.
If you’re looking for an electric chainsaw that won’t let you down in the middle of a job and will keep running even under tough conditions, Makita UC4051A is a great option.
Although it does struggle with large trees, which is the case with all electric saws, you will enjoy great portability and ample power.
The run time is not limited as this is a corded model. The quality is great, the price is fair and, most importantly, – this saw is reliable and efficient. As for the engineering, the Makita UC4051A motor has a built-in current limiter which is engineered to protect the motor from burnout. It does so by reducing power when the saw is overloaded. Another great feature is the electric chain brake for maximum productivity.
Lastly, this model has an automatic chain oiler for heavy continuous cutting, and a large oil reservoir with view window: it's super-easy to check the oil level. For your increased comfort, the Makita UC4051A has ergonomic rubberized grip handles, and a large trigger switch with soft start for smooth start-ups.
Is this unit as good as it gets when it comes to corded electric chainsaws? We do think so!
Things We Liked
The powerful 1.8kW motor delivers up to 2900 RPM
The built-in current limiter protects the motor from burnout
Automatic chain oiler enables heavy continuous cutting
Ergonomic rubberized grip handles
Things We Didn't Like
The grab guard could be even better
Maybe not every pro, but all home users will appreciate the ease-of-use afforded by EGO Power+ 14-Inch 56-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Chain Saw.
It does not require a spark plug change or special fuel stabilizers in winter. In addition, this cordless chainsaw from EGO has enough power to complete any project an average homeowner is likely to carry out with ease, quickly and hassle-free.
When it comes to starting this chainsaw, all you need to do is put the chain brake into position, press the lockout switch and pull the trigger. Bam, within a few seconds you will be up and running, that is sawing, which is not always the case gas saws.
Stopping this chainsaw is also super easy. All you need to do is release the throttle and push the chain brake handle into a forward position. Such an easy start/stop means that you don't need to turn it off: you can conveniently keep it running between cuts.
This chainsaw delivers ample power for its size thanks to the powerful 56 volt battery, which is in fact one of the most powerful in the industry. The manufacturer recommends using the saw for cutting through logs with a diameter up to 12.5 inches but it performs best with 8-10-inch thick logs.
EGO balanced the tool by placing the battery underneath the handle in a side-loading position. This offsets the weight of its brushless motor and gives you a better balance when rocking the saw forward and back to make a cut. Overall, a solid choice at a good price!
Things We Liked
Hi-efficiency brushless motor with 6300 RPM
14 in. Oregon bar and chain
Chain kickback brake for added safety and control
Things We Didn't Like
The battery not the most consistent in quality
The Sun Joe ION16CS has a maximum cut diameter of 14.8 inches, which should be more than enough for most homeowners’ trimming and cutting requirements.
It's fair to say that you should expect good performance on a little thinner limbs, though. This saw has been designed and manufactured for felling, bucking and de-limbing small and medium sized trees.
It may not be suitable for more demanding projects or some specific chores like hedge trimming or chainsaw carving.
This battery-powered portable saw is a best buy for occasional home use and would be suitable for cutting small amounts of firewood or clearing minor strong wind or storm damage.
The Sun Joe ION16CS produces a noise level of 90 dB(A), which is the equivalent of a lawn mower, by the way. At this level, you can safely operate the saw for up to two2 hours before it becomes a risk to your hearing. In addition, this lower noise level makes this chainsaw perfect for use in noise sensitive areas, such as in suburban home areas with yards,near schools, and hospitals.
As for operating the Sun Joe ION16CS, it's really easy from starting it to shutting it down. Just make sure that the chain brake/hand guard is in the off position, press a lockout button and squeeze the throttle trigger. The saw starts immediately and the lockout switch can be released. Stopping the saw is done by releasing the throttle. Again, super easy even for beginners!
Our recommendation for this unit is also based on Sun Joe reputation for making quality power tools which are reliable and built to last.
Things We Liked
40 V 4.0 Ah Eco Sharp rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Tool-less Chain Adjustment System
Powerful 600 Watt brushless motor increases battery efficiency
No pull cords, gas, tune-ups, or tangled extension cords
Things We Didn't Like
Quality replacement battery comes at a little higher price