The Best Electric Chainsaws in 2018
Electric chainsaws, both corded and cordless, are becoming increasingly more popular options for consumers. Electric chainsaws are more cost-effective than gas-powered chainsaws, require little or no maintenance, are easier to start, and are far quieter and more ergonomic. They utilize electric motors, which frees the consumer from breathing noxious fumes as they work. They are meant to be used for small to medium tree cutting tasks and are not recommended for cutting down large trees.
Today we are reviewing 8 electric chainsaws that we feel rank among the best available in the marketplace. Please read on to discover which particular corded or cordless electric chainsaw is the perfect choice for you.
Top Rated Electric Chainsaws
- Side-mounted chain tensioner for easy access
- 20-Inch Bar. Power output: 3.62 hp
- Quick release air filter to facilitate cleaning and replacement of air filter
- Forged 3-piece crankshaft for maximum durability for the toughest applications
- Low Kick Back 16" Oregon Bar and Chain for construction and outdoor cutting applications
- Tool-Free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob for proper bar clamping force
- Auto-Oiling for continuous lubrication. Quarter-turn oil cap for quick oil re-fills
- Chain brake for kick back protection
- 40V MAX Lithium Ion Battery for longer runtime and overall life
- 12" premium bar and chain
- Automatic oiling system
- Tool-free chain tensioning for quick and easy chain adjustments. 40V MAX* 2.0Ah Battery provides...
5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4.5 out of 5
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
3.5 out of 5
Sun Joe SWJ701E
3 out of 5
Our star ratings are based upon features, reliability, safety, ease of use and price. Your needs may be different.
HOW WE RATED THE CHAINSAWS
We have carried out considerable research on electric chainsaws to provide you with helpful reviews to aid your purchasing decision. We examined the particular merits of each chainsaw, their pros, and cons, any unique features, what warranties they are covered by, and which are easier to use, etc.
Please read on to discover which corded chainsaw is best for you. We utilize a star system for our ratings, with 5 stars being the highest possible rating given. We hope that our analysis of these 8 electric chainsaws will be useful to you.
All of the electric chainsaws reviewed here today vary in manufacturer warranties. All buyers should consider the warranty of a product carefully before purchase.
Makita products come with a one-year warranty and a 30-day return policy. WORX products carry a 3-year manufacturer's warranty. Oregon products are backed by a 1-year professional warranty and a 2-year consumer warranty. Remington and Homelite products have a 2-year limited warranty, and Black & Decker and Sun Joe products have a full 2-year home use warranty. GreenWorks products have a 4-year limited warranty.
Corded electric chainsaws are limited in the power they provide because home electrical sockets are generally manufactured to accommodate 15 amps. This is the primary reason why the majority of corded electric chainsaws are only suited for light-duty cutting. It's essential to buy the correct extension cord to get maximum power out of your chainsaw. For 10-gauge 7-12 amps use a 100 ft. extension cord. For 12 gauge 7-12 amps use a 50 ft. extension cord. There are a few exceptions out there like our number one choice, the Makita UC4051A, which matches the power of smaller gas chainsaws.
Many users of gas-powered chainsaws will need to get used to the decrease in cutting power of electric chainsaws. If you don't need to cut down large trees, then an electric saw is just fine for cutting smaller limbs and trees, trimming, pruning, and cutting up firewood logs. For smoother cutting, it is necessary to lubricate the chain which will prevent wear and tear. The exception to this rule is our top choice, the Makita UC4051A. It has a 15 amp proprietary motor which gives it exceptional cutting power for an electric chainsaw.
NOISE & VIBRATION
Electric chainsaws overall produce less noise and fewer vibrations than gas operated chainsaws. Did you know that a gas chainsaw can generate over 100 decibels of noise, which is louder than a jet taking off, and is equal to the noise level generated by a large rock concert? An electric chainsaw is more comfortable and convenient to work with. Operators will not develop HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome) caused by operating gas chainsaws for a long period. Finally, a growing number of communities have strict rules regarding noise levels, which is why many people have made the switch from gas to electrically powered machines.
Operators of electric chainsaws must follow a few basic safety tips:
- Wear heavy duty clothing, gloves, and boots, and hold the saw firmly using both hands
- Press the saw firmly against the wood while holding the throttle lockout and squeezing the throttle
- While cutting, press the chain-oil bulb every 30 seconds to reduce friction and oil the chain
- Never touch the saw’s upper tip to any object since that will cause rotational kickback
- Never pinch the chain, since that can cause linear kickback where the saw can push back at you at full speed
- Make sure to read the owner's manual before operating any chainsaw
EASE OF USE
In comparison to gas powered chainsaws, electric chainsaws are easier to maintain, more lightweight and easier to use, and simpler to start. Startup is achieved by simply pushing a button. The lighter weight of electric chainsaws requires an operator to use less strength, which reduces overall fatigue. Electric saws also require much less maintenance because you won't have to deal with a complex gas motor.
HOW TO PICK THE BEST ELECTRIC CHAINSAW FOR YOU
Here are a few tips on picking the right corded electric chainsaw for you:
Depending on your needs, you might want to purchase a cordless electric chainsaw. Cordless saws are lightweight, low maintenance, provide unlimited mobility, and are powered by state-of-the-art rechargeable batteries.
WHAT WILL YOU BE CUTTING?
It's important to know before purchasing your electric chainsaw whether you need a saw for light use, medium use, or heavy use. Light use for cutting shrubs and small trees requires a chainsaw with a 6-14” long cutting bar. Medium use for cutting logs, branches, or trees requires a 16-18” long cutting bar. Heavy use for cutting down thicker and wider trees will require a 20” cutting bar.
If you use a lighter weight chainsaw to cut down thicker tree trunks, it may get damaged. Make sure to read your manual to find out if your electric chainsaw can be used to cut down thicker trees.
HAVE YOU EVER USED A CHAINSAW BEFORE?
If you've never used a chainsaw before, it's a good idea to start off with an electric saw because it will be safer and easier to handle. Prepare for work by putting on a hard hat or helmet, safety gloves, and safety goggles, and make sure to read the user's manual before you do anything. Next, fill the blade reservoir with SAE 30-weight-oil or whatever your manual recommends. Plug the power cord into the power outlet. Face the chainsaw blade away from you, engage its safety switch and pull the trigger. Choose a smaller tree to practice on. Once you're used to cutting small trees, you can move on to larger trees. Make sure the saw doesn't run out of oil, use common sense, and enjoy yourself!
HOW MUCH POWER DO YOU NEED?
If the trees and branches that you plan to cut are a maximum of 6” thick, you will be able to do the job with an output of 9 amps. However, if you are planning to take down trees or branches that are 20” thick or more, you will need at least a heavy duty 15 amp chainsaw to do the job right.
Getting the right extension cord for your corded chainsaw is important. A 16 gauge 50-foot cord may be sufficient for a lighter chainsaw with 12 amps, but a heavier machine will need at least a 12 or 10 gauge cord for safety reasons.
GUIDE BAR LENGTH
A guide bar is the protrusion shaped like a log that houses the chain of the chainsaw. Guide bars usually range in size between 6” and 32”. A guide bar length of 12”-14” will be sufficient for projects up to and including small-sized trees. For projects including medium-sized trees and limb trimming, the guide bar should be 16”-20” long. Cutting firewood requires a 16” guide bar.
HOW OFTEN WILL YOU USE THE CHAINSAW
Before purchasing a new electric chainsaw, it's important to take into consideration how often you will be using the saw. If you have many trees to cut or a very large property and plan to be using a chainsaw on a daily basis, then our recommendation would be to buy a gas-powered chainsaw. If you are a homeowner who has smaller trees to cut or prune or only plans to use the chainsaw to clean up after storms, then an electric chainsaw would be the right choice for you. Electric chainsaws are also lighter in weight, easier to operate, more ergonomic, and produce significantly less noise.
PROS & CONS VS. GAS AND CORDLESS
There is two types of electric chainsaws - corded and cordless battery-powered. Each type has its particular advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we will compare the pros and cons of electric chainsaws versus gas chainsaws.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEAP AND EXPENSIVE MODELS
When shopping for a good electric chainsaw, it's necessary to notice the differences between cheaper and more expensive models. Here is a list detailing some of the differences:
BEST SELLING & TOP RATED BRANDS
HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY?
The 8 electric chainsaws reviewed here today range in price from around $50 to $250. At the lowest end of our price scale is the Greenworks 20222 14” 9 Amp Chainsaw, which received a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. This extremely low-cost saw features a 9 amp electric motor, a 14” bar, and an auto-oiler, and has garnered a number of positive reviews online. Our highest priced chainsaw is the Makita UC4051A 16” 14.5 Amp, is our editor’s choice for all-around best electric chainsaw. This machine is the Lexus of chainsaws, features all the bells and whistles, and is highly praised by the vast majority of its reviewers.
If you are looking for the best overall chainsaw in the marketplace, check out this page.
After a thorough and comprehensive review of many electric chainsaws available online, our editor's choice is the Makita UC4051A 14.5 Amp 16” Electric Chain Saw. This chainsaw has the same amount of cutting power usually found only in gas chainsaws of the same size. It has a powerful 15 amp motor, high-quality components, and superior overall engineering. It features a built-in current limiter, a 16” guide bar, a chain speed of 2900 FPM, an oil tank capacity of 6.8 ounces, and a net weight of 12.3 pounds. This corded chainsaw is lighter than a gas chainsaw, it's cheaper to operate, it doesn't emit gas fumes, and it’s very quiet. All in all, this chainsaw is a top of the line product, and richly deserves our rating of 5 stars.