While gas powered chainsaws are the choice for hardcore lumberjacks, not everyone who buys a chainsaw is used to carrying 50 pounds of hardwood logs on his back, and working 15 hours a day, all week. Maybe you just need a handy, efficient machine to chop through a few logs or branches at home, or cut through some thinner softwood trees. Yes, corded chainsaws have the advantage when it comes to power and guide rail size, but today’s high-end cordless models can actually match up to the performance of the much heavier and bigger corded models.
If you get an electric chainsaw with a brushless motor, you may even get nearly as much power as a mediocre gas-powered chainsaw. Looking for the best battery powered chainsaw for home use? Then take a look at these top 4 lithium Ion chainsaws and choose the one that fits YOUR needs, take into account your experience with chainsaw usage and also factor in the type of wood that you’ll be cutting.
GreenWorks 16-Inch Cordless Chainsaw
Boasting a 40 V brushless motor, and 16″ guide bars, the G-MAX can slice through up to 9″ of hardwood with ease, and provides as many as 100 cuts on a single charge, thanks to the incredibly high capacity Li-Ion battery. The brushless motor utilized in this chainsaw is claimed to have a reduced vibration rate, and the chain brake is a welcome addition for users of all experience levels, as it allows the chainsaw to come to a complete halt in a fraction of a second if any mishap occurs. With the 16″ guide bar, you should be able to cut through 9-10 inches of hardwood, and 14 inches of softwood, and at an incredibly fast rate.
The combination of a brushless motor and Li-Ion battery, allows you to cut faster and longer, due to reduced energy loss in the form of vibrations (up to 70% less vibration compared to a brushed motor), and the high energy density of these lithium ion cells. The kickback is quite low, and makes the chainsaw much more stable in your hands even while cutting through hard or rough patches of wood or bark. It is especially great for amateur users who haven’t used a chainsaw before, since the chain brake and reduced kickback allow even novices to operate this beast like a seasoned user with just a couple hours of practice.
STAR BUDGET PICK
Black+Decker Lithium Ion 10 in. Chainsaw
In case you’re looking to get a small, easy to use cordless electric chainsaw for cutting up a few branches or wooden poles, then it is hard to beat the LCS1020 in terms of sheer performance-to-price. It has a 20 V motor, and while that may seem underwhelming to most lumberjacks, the truth is that you barely need more than 20 V of motor power unless you’re planning on chopping trees and thick logs on a daily basis. This is one of those handy little 10″ chainsaws that you can carry around with you wherever you go, since it is so compact and lightweight.
The reduced motor power does not affect your cutting speed as long you’re cutting only branches and smaller logs, or thin poles/ planks. In fact, the reduced energy consumption actually puts this chainsaw at an advantage in terms of increased battery life (in comparison to more powerful cordless models). The brushless motor allows for 30% extra torque when compared to a 20 V brushed motor, and the motor lasts much longer too (up to 80% extra lifetime). Well, the company’s claims may not be accurate to the dot, but it is a known fact that brushless motors run quieter, cooler, and longer than their brushed counterparts, and also produce more torque.
Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Chain Saw
The Makita XCU02Z is a unique cordless model since it uses two, rather than one battery. The 36 V brushless motor feeds off 2 separate 18 V Li-Ion batteries, meaning that you can easily attach any 18 V lithium battery from your other cordless tools, and the chainsaw will work just fine. No more need to halt for a recharge in the middle of work. This is an extremely ergonomically designed chainsaw, and is incredibly easy to operate, thanks to the low weight (only 10.1 lbs), and the rubberized soft grip handles.
The guide bar is 12″ long, and strikes a fine balance between portability and performance. One of the really cool features of this chainsaw, apart from the dual-battery design, is the tool-less chain adjustment option. This allows for much more convenient maintenance and chain tension adjustment. The motor is incredibly powerful, and spins the chain at 1650 rpm, yet it generates only 89 dB-A of noise.
EGO Power+ Cordless Chain Saw
When your chainsaw motor spins at 6300 rpm, and it is housed in a tough weather-resistant casing, there is not really much to say about it, other than the fact that is really awesome. Couple this motor with a superb 14″ Oregon bar and chain, and you get one of the most amazing cordless chainsaws ever made. Don’t forget that it too, comes with a chain brake and kickback damping system for added ease of handling, and extra safety for users of all skill levels (because accidents don’t consider your lumberjack skills before happening).
The chain tensioning knob is a welcome addition, as it allows you to easily tighten the chain without having to pull out a screwdriver and wrench from the toolkit. It is extremely light, at just 8.3 lbs (without the battery), and carries a 5-year limited warranty on the frame and other mechanical parts, along with a 3-year warranty on the battery pack and charger.
Choosing the Best Battery Powered Chainsaw for Home Use
There are some major factors that come into play while choosing a good cordless chainsaw. The first thing you must ask yourself is – “what will I be cutting with this chainsaw?”. If the answer is thin softwood trees and branches, then any budget cordless chainsaw with a compact 10″ guide rail should suffice. In fact, never go for a chainsaw with more than 14″ of guide rail if you’re a beginner to lumberjack work, or any form of wood cutting. Smaller guide rails (10″ to 12″) are the easiest to handle, and you should be able to cut up to 9” of softwood with them.
If you’re looking to cut through hardwoods however, try to get a cordless model with some extra muscle. How powerful a cordless model is, can be decided by taking a look at its motors voltage rating, and the battery discharge rate. A motor with a minimum of 30-36 V of input rating is needed to chop through thicker, harder wood. In terms of batteries, this is the order in which you should select them – Lithium Ion (best), Nickel Metal Hydride (good), and Nickel Cadmium (last option).
Try to get a chainsaw with a good self-oiling chain design and built-in chain tensioning system so you don’t have to pull out your toolkit every time you need to fasten the chain. Self-lubrication is essential to keep the chain from snapping or jamming every few months. Low kickback and brushless motors are the other two things that must be considered, since both of these features optimize your overall cutting efficiency, increase cutting speed, and make the chainsaw easier to maintain as well as operate. Brushless motors are built without any springs or brushes inside, which is why they run cooler, are more energy efficient (less energy loss due to heat and friction from the brushes), and spin faster (more muscle for cutting trees).