One of my friends asked me what I think about battery chainsaws. He was looking to buy a new chainsaw after his old one finally kicked the bucket. And while these saws seemed convenient to use, he just wasn’t sure whether they can handle the same tasks his previous one did for years.
Are battery chainsaws any good? Yes. They are very convenient and cheap to use, and while they will never replace the bigger gas powered saws, they are a reliable alternative for smaller tasks around the house and for occasional use.
Of course, this largely depends on what tasks you are going to use it for. Different tasks require different solutions, and there is no single saw that is good for every person.
What’s the difference between battery chainsaws and other types of chainsaws?
There are three main types of chainsaws out there:
- Battery chainsaws (also knows as cordless chainsaws)
- Corded chainsaws
- Gas powered chainsaws
They all have their advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before deciding which one is best for your situation.
Advantages of battery chainsaws
If I had to sum this up in a single sentence, I’d say they have the low maintenance of corded chainsaws and the mobility of gas powered saws. Meaning, you can freely move around without messing with an extension cord or having to mix (and spend money on) fuel and oil.
Using an extension cord is always a pain, and it can really make things complicated if you have a big property. Battery chainsaws don’t have this problem.
There is also the fact that manufacturers nowadays make batteries in their different products interchangeable. Which means, for example, that you can buy a cordless chainsaw and a hedge trimmer from the same manufacturer, and use them with the same battery.
You can basically own a whole line of different cordless tools and use only one battery (as long as the batteries have the same voltage), saving a lot of money in the process. (Yes, you can buy the bare tool without a battery.) As long as you don’t want to use them at the same time, or in quick succession of course.
Also, battery chainsaws are generally less loud than gas powered saws. This isn’t as noticeable when you are cutting wood, but there is a big difference when staying idle. Not only are electric motors more quiet in general, but they will also only run while you are pressing the power button.
Speaking of which, they start with the push of a button, no need to pull cords like with 2-stroke engines.
Disadvantages of battery chainsaws
Of course, nothing comes without any downsides and cordless chainsaws aren’t an exception from this rule either.
For starters, they aren’t as powerful as the bigger gas powered chainsaws. This means you won’t be able to use them for professional foresting, or on really large logs in general.
But the biggest disadvantage if probably the battery life. Most cordless chainsaws can run for about 40 minutes – 1 hour with a single charge, depending on how much you use them. After that you will need to recharge. However, this can be worked around by owning two batteries. This way you can charge one while using the other, essentially getting rid of this downside.
So, are battery chainsaws worth it?
If you don’t need to handle big tasks and don’t plan on using your new chainsaw every day, then I’d say a cordless chainsaw is a worthwhile investment.
If you only need to split some wood near your house then a simple corded saw might be a better option. But if you have a bigger property, they are a really good option for smaller tasks like cleaning up storm damage.
How strong are battery chainsaws?
True, so far I’ve only said that they are weaker than the big gas chainsaws. But how do they compare to smaller ones?
Well, some of the new models are pretty strong actually. They can have guide bars up to 16 inches long, and the power to match. Although some of them may get a bit weaker as you deplete the battery.
Check out this video of the Greenworks 16″ 40-volt cordless chainsaw to see what you can expect:
As you can see it really has no problem cutting through medium sized branches and tree trunks. Obviously, the cutting power depends on the specific model. There are many different sizes of cordless chainsaws out there. I just felt like this one is a good example.
How much do battery chainsaws cost?
This largely depends on the manufacturer and the specific model but in my experience, the average battery chainsaw can be priced anywhere from 150$ to 300$.
You may notice that most sellers offer you an option to buy the bare tool without a battery. This is because as I’ve said earlier, these batteries are interchangeable between the manufacturer’s different products that use the same voltage.
You may also notice that in some cases the battery itself adds quite a bit of an extra to the overall price of the product. This can make them cost roughly the same as a gas powered saw of similar size. But don’t worry, you will save a lot of money in the long term by not having to buy gas to run your chainsaw. This makes cordless chainsaws a very economic option overall.
This option really shines when you have a bunch of tools that all use the same battery. You can own one battery and only purchase the bare tools that go with it. This will cut your overall costs significantly.
How long does it take to recharge the chainsaw’s battery?
This mostly depends on the size of the battery, but with today’s modern charging technology it really shouldn’t take much longer than an hour to get a full charge.
Just make sure to purchase one with a newer Lithium-ion battery (also known as Li-ion). It’s the same technology they use in phone batteries nowadays. These charge super fast, and provide an extended battery life compared to previous models.
And again, owning two batteries allows you to keep charging one while using the other, allowing for nearly endless usage.
How long does a chainsaw’s battery hold its charge?
They usually hold their charge really well for a few days. Anything more than a week and I’d charge it before using it just in case. It’s not like they will run dry, but you really don’t want them to stop working in the middle of cutting a big branch.
Again, get a chainsaw with a battery that has the newest Li-ion technology. These retain their charge much longer.
An important thing to note here is that Li-ion batteries are weak to extreme temperatures. If it’s either too hot or too cold, they’ll lose their charge faster. This usually isn’t a problem but if you leave your saw in your shed during winter or leave it laying on your lawn on a hot summer day, don’t be surprised if you have to recharge before using it again. It’s best to store your saw (or at least the battery itself) on room temperature.
People also ask
Do battery chainsaws need oil?
Yes and no. They don’t need oil to run like gas powered saws, but they still need bar oil for lubrication. If you aren’t sure, check the manual or ask your seller what kind of lubricant is best for your chainsaw.
Are cordless chainsaws waterproof?
No. Although most manufacturers do make their chainsaws water resistant to a certain extent, this only really extends to the occasional drop of water. Being an electric device, too much water can ruin them easily. Just don’t use them when it’s raining and you will be fine.
Do battery chainsaws kickback?
All chainsaws do, and these saws are no exception either. Although, since they are generally not as powerful as gas powered chainsaws the kickback is easier to control. It can be further reduced by using a low kickback chain. Ask your seller if you aren’t sure what to look for.