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Last updated on March 31st, 2021
Heavy-duty garden work, including cutting firewood and trimming branches, often requires you to use a chainsaw. Electric chainsaws, both corded and cordless models, give you convenience as well as enough power for all but the biggest tasks. We review the best cordless and battery chainsaws on the market and list the pros and cons of each model, along with a description of their features. Our Buyer’s Guide takes you through the considerations to think about in your purchase decision.
Our Best Pick of electric chainsaws is the Ryobi OCS1830 18V 30 cm Bar ONE+ Cordless Brushless Chainsaw. This is the fastest and lightest cordless chainsaw we review and is a strong competitor for any corded model.
Our Runner-up is the Makita UC3541A Electric Chainsaw. This model has a shorter blade than most chainsaws so is best for those who cut up smaller logs, perhaps for burning in their log burner.
Quick Comparison Table
Our top 6 best electric chainsaws, corded and cordless models
- Ryobi OCS1830 18 V 30 cm Bar ONE+ Cordless Brushless Chainsaw – OUR BEST PICK
- Makita UC3541A 240V Electric Chainsaw – OUR RUNNER-UP
- Black Decker CS2040-GB Chainsaw
- Bosch AKE 40-19 S Electric Chainsaw
- Black Decker 36 V Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw
- Makita DUC302Z Cordless 36V Li-Ion Chainsaw
Affordable Cordless Pick
Plenty of power, easy to use, battery and charger included
Read next: Best weedkiller for killing tree stumps
We have also reviewed the best chainsaws including some excellent petrol chainsaws.
TOP 6 ELECTRIC CHAINSAW REVIEWS
1. Ryobi OCS1830 18V 30cm Bar ONE+ Cordless Brushless Chainsaw
The Ryobi OCS1830 Bar ONE+ Cordless Chainsaw comes in at an impressive performance level when you consider it’s powered by one 18V battery. The other cordless models we review use a combination of batteries to 36V. However, even with just 18V, this Ryobi model is faster than the other models.
This impressive performance is helped by the brushless motor which also increases the length of the service life of your chainsaw. It also adds to the run time of the unit so you get more out of each battery charge.
Ryobi has fitted this model with an Oregon bar and chain which is made of high-grade material. The steel claws have the ability to hold firmly onto the piece of wood that you are cutting. This way, you can be sure that once you have set the chainsaw in place that it will hold with minimal kickback.
If you are in search of a good chainsaw to leave a neat pile of logs, you can rely on this chainsaw. The 30cm blade is long enough to give you adequate coverage when cutting through even medium size logs. The electrical and mechanical chain brake is a welcome feature that takes your safety to heart. Cutting at 10m/s, this model is the fastest cordless chainsaw in this review so the performance is closer to that of cordless and petrol models which is where many cordless chainsaws fail.
Once you are done working with the chainsaw, you use the blade cover to protect it. Blade covers keep the blade from getting damaged when not in use and protect anyone from injuring themselves on the sharp blade. The mechanical and electrical brake will stop the chainsaw in its tracks when you need to which is a very important feature as many chainsaw users will know.
The inclusive blade is automatically lubricated to facilitate seamless movements so there no need to keep stopping and oiling the chain manually. A well-oiled chain is an asset and saves you a lot of time and frustration with blunt blades.
This Ryobi chainsaw which we reviewed was just the “bare” unit and part of the Ryobi ONE+ series of power tools. This means that it doesn’t come with a battery or a charger. However, it can use the battery and charger from any other tool in the ONE+ range. If you’re a Ryobi fan already, you probably already have the needed power for this unit; if you’re not, you have to buy the battery and charger separately but you can easily do this at the same time as ordering the battery, in fact, Amazon make this very easy as they also recommend the battery and charger to buy.
- Cordless chainsaw powered by a high-performance 18V ONE+ Ryobi battery that you may already have.
- Ergonomic design and includes anti-vibration mechanisms and surround handle for easier handling at all angles.
- Standard 30cm Oregon bar and chain for most garden cutting tasks.
- Features automatic lubrication so you just worry about keeping the oil tank topped up.
- Features tool-less chain and bar tensioning and a blade sheath to protect the blade.
- Well balanced and operates at a speed of 10m/s for precise cutting performance.
- The mechanical and electrical chain brake is a welcome safety feature.
- Weighs only 3.2kg.
- Two-year warranty for extra peace of mind.
- Battery and charger not included so if you don’t already have Ryobi 18v cordless tools you need to buy the separately.
The Ryobi OCS1830 Cordless Chainsaw is an excellent chainsaw for small to medium work and is the best cordless model we reviewed. It’s also the fastest and lightest battery model and is well-balanced, which makes it comfortable to use. As part of the ONE+ series of power tools, you can use a battery and charger from any other tool in the range for this chainsaw. Otherwise, that’s an extra expense but even with the extra cost for the battery and charger, I think it still offers excellent value for money.
We’ve made the Ryobi OCS1830 18V ONE+ Cordless Chainsaw our Best pick of Electric Chainsaws. We like its power and features for a cordless chainsaw as well as its convenience and quality.
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2. Makita UC3541A 35cm Electric Chainsaw
The Makita UC3541A 240V Electric Chainsaw is a corded chainsaw in this review. It has a 1800W motor which provides the blade with its speed of 14.5m/s which is ideal for cutting through smaller logs. It cannot be expected to take down large mature trees as it lacks the power and chain size.
This power is efficient for avid DIY enthusiasts to engage in several wood related crafts or cutting firewood from smaller logs. The blade is just 35cm which is perfect for small jobs, and this combined with the lightweight design ensures it’s easy to use.
To make sure that you do not get tired too easily when operating it, the chainsaw comes with adequate soft grip and balance. This balance is intended to relax your muscles equally as you cut through the wood. When a chainsaw is unbalanced, you will feel the effects since one group of your muscles will be complaining more than the rest. The ergonomic design and balance are a plus when looking for a credible chainsaw to buy.
This unit is made of durable material. The chips and breaks that other models experience will not appear on this model and the construct is compact and strong.
When the chainsaw runs out of oil, you can easily refill the machine. The design allows for easy refilling and gauge so you can keep an eye on the oil level. To make matters even simpler for you, like most modern models, the blade is automatically lubricated.
When cutting, extra features, including the metal spike bumper, have been designed to provide you with more support. These features grip the material you are cutting through for stability and help reduce the risk of log moving when being cut. Kickback is also reduced.
All these small things contribute to the Makita UC3541A 240V Electric Chainsaw being a dependable chainsaw for light projects.
- Corded chainsaw features an 1800W motor that provides maximum performance.
- Has an easy to use keyless tension mechanism.
- Ergonomically designed for comfortable handling to save strain on your muscles.
- Blade length of 35cm for easy handling of small logs for your wood burner.
- Includes extra support features and a kickback brake for safety
- It comes with automatic lubrication and at-a-glance oil checking gauge to save you time.
- The tension adjustment mechanism is plastic, so don’t over tighten.
The Makita UC3541A 240V Electric Chainsaw provides you with basic chainsaw functions and is more suited for sawing small logs. The blade length is shorter than some of the brands in this review that gives it less power than some other brands. If you have smaller logs to cut then this model would be ideal; if not then we would lean to investing in the Black + Decker model which is within the same price range.
The Makita UC3541A 240V Electric Chainsaw is the Runner-up in our review. It’s affordable and is a good product for those who are somewhat fearful of the power of larger chainsaws or who just need a basic model for cutting logs into firewood.
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3. BLACK + DECKER CS2040-GB Chainsaw
The Black + Decker CS2040-GB Chainsaw is an easy to use chainsaw with more than enough power for domestic use. It is designed to handle small to medium-sized jobs and the weight is well balanced so that you do not put unnecessary strain on your back. And it’s a very affordable model that fits most budgets.
To handle the vibrations that emanate from the motor running, Black + Decker have installed low vibration mechanisms and handles to ensure it’s comfortable to use even over longer periods of time. These features are included to act as safety features as well as comfort.
The motor on this corded chainsaw is 2000 watts. The power produced is enough to cut through all types of wood with ease, making it especially ideal for cutting tree stumps into logs before splitting them. The blade is sharp and supple enough to withstand the stress of even the toughest trees. In addition, the 40cm blade is long enough to cut through the various thickness of the wood.
The blade comes with a cover that protects it from damage when it is not in use. Proper storage of these tools is important to avoid accidents.
To ensure the best cutting performance, this chainsaw automatically lubricates itself. You can check if the levels of lubricant are sufficient through the gauge display that is provided. This makes it handy when you have no time to start guessing. The hours you would have spent making certain that your chainsaw was well oiled can be directed to other ventures.
The speed on the Black Decker CS2040-GB Chainsaw runs at 12.5m/s which is sufficient speed to get through all your basic jobs. One of the most important features is the chain break which instantly stops the chain in 0.15-seconds to avoid injury.
- A corded chainsaw that runs on a 2000W high torque motor for maximum performance.
- Low kickback chain that operates at a maximum speed of 12.5m/s.
- Replacing the chains is made simple thanks to the tool-less tension mechanism.
- The 40cm blade length is supported by its automatic oiling system so you don’t have to worry about that.
- It comes with a blade sheath and a chain brake system that instantly stops the blade in 0.15 seconds to avoid injury to the operator.
- The weight of the chainsaw is evenly balanced and the low vibration mechanisms also help with the handling and control.
- Lack of replacement parts numbers in the instruction manual but they can be downloaded online.
The Black Decker CS2040-GB Chainsaw is up there with the very best models and really is an impressive piece of kit. Its speed of 12.5 m/s is not the fastest but it still seems to cut through logs with no problem. It comes at a very affordable price and has enough cutting power for most of the usual domestic garden tasks.
This model has a 40cm chain but Black + Decker also sell a 45cm blade model for a little more.
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4. Bosch AKE 40-19 S Electric Chainsaw
The Bosch AKE 40-19 S Electric Chainsaw is a strong chainsaw. It can serve you well if you put it to the right purpose and maintain it regularly. The 1900W motor provides sufficient power to tend to small branches and logs but it is not built for bulk operations.
The blade is 40cm and gives you enough reach to work through various diameters of materials. For ease of use, this unit has a keyless tension system. You adjust the tension without the need for tools.
The speed on this model only goes up to 12m/s. This is enough to cover basic cutting functions. As with most chainsaws today, the blade is self-lubricating, so you only have to remember to keep the oil chamber filled.
Safety features including mechanical and kickback brakes are installed. When you hit a, usually unexpected, object, these brakes are fast enough to stop instantly.
- Corded chainsaw with high-performance motor with 1900W power.
- Durable Oregon blade length of 40cm handles mid-size branches and logs with ease
- Features the Bosch SDS system for easy tension adjustment.
- Rapid kickback brakes and self-lubrication mechanisms for safety and convenience.
- Ergonomically designed and balanced for comfort while working.
- A two-year warranty backs up the claims to its high quality.
- Tool-less chain tensioning mechanism sometimes comes loose.
The Bosch AKE 40-19 S Electric Chainsaw, at 1900w, is definitely a bit higher powered than some of our other models. This is a popular chainsaw with a mid-size blade and speed for some of the more serious cutting tasks in your garden. The two-year warranty can be increased to three years by registering online. This backs up the manufacturer’s claims to a high-quality product.
If your wood cutting needs run to more than creating firewood but not as far as felling trees, the Bosch AKE 40-19 S Electric Chainsaw is a good choice.
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5. BLACK + DECKER 36V Lithium-Ion Chainsaw
The Black Decker 36 V Lithium-Ion Chainsaw, is a very impressive cordless chainsaw. It utilises lithium-Ion batteries (included) which provide compact energy to feed its speed of 5m/s. This model makes up to 560 x 3.5cm cuts from just one charge. The Lithium-ion batteries in this model recharge in only 90 minutes from flat, and offer a longer running time in return.
The 30cm blade is made of durable material so as to withstand the pressure of slicing through the compact grain of wood. It is also automatically lubricated so that it can move as expected. a quick glance at the oil reservoir window lets you know if the unit is running low on oil. Even though the blade may seem a bit on the short side, at 30cm, the manufacturer says that this model is able to handle mid-size to large jobs, including felling trees.
To make sure that the chain stays in place as you saw away, the Black Decker 36 V Lithium-Ion Chainsaw has a good tension system that’s easy to adjust without tools. Just turn the dial to lessen or increase the tension. This model cuts at 3m/s which is quite slow for any chainsaw.
We cannot have chainsaws going off on their own. This is why the developers of the Black Decker Chainsaw installed a lock-off mechanism. The lock-off mechanism needs you to turn on two different mechanisms to turn the device on. This is insurance that without the actual presence of an able adult, the machine will not start.
Another safety feature is the anti-kickback chain which helps you avoid any mishaps if you unexpectedly hit something that doesn’t respond to the blade.
The chainsaw also features an ergonomic design to make sure that you are comfortable while handling this piece of machinery. The primary handle has a non-slip grip covering and there’s a separate secondary handle to give you the best balance of the unit.
- Cordless chainsaw, powered by 36V – 2Ah Lithium-Ion batteries (included) for maximum output.
- Designed for heavy-duty cutting such as logging, felling trees, pruning and preparing firewood before splitting.
- Includes a low-kickback chain for precise cutting and your safety.
- Patented tool-less tension system that’s easy to use.
- Automatized lubrication machine with a gauge that you can easily read.
- The ergonomic design and the weight is balanced for better control and comfort.
- Lock-off mechanism to make sure the chainsaw is inactive until in use.
- Weighs 3.8kg.
- Shorter chain than similar corded models.
- Cuts at a relatively slow 5m/s.
The Black Decker 36 V Lithium-Ion Chainsaw is a cordless chainsaw that is perfect for lighter home use as well heavier jobs such as felling trees. Its speed is quite low compared to the corded chainsaws in this review. That being said, this does not seem to have hindered the cutting performance. In fact, the slower chain speed probably helps prolong the battery life and actually increase the potential output.
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6. Makita DUC302Z Cordless 36 V Li-ion Chainsaw
The Makita DUC302Z Cordless 36V Li-Ion Chainsaw is another cordless chainsaw in this review. This model is faster (8.3m/s) and lighter (3.6kg) than many other cordless chainsaws. However, with an 800w power output from the motor, the manufacturer recommends that this unit be used by trained tree surgeons only. This is a serious chainsaw that only professionals should use.
The Makita DUC302Z Cordless model has all the safety features you expect from a chainsaw of this magnitude. There’s an electric chain brake for stopping the chain in regular use along with a kickback brake that stops the machine automatically if the blade unexpectedly encounters something that resists being cut. The blade is automatically lubricated so it doesn’t run dry, and there’s a window to easily view the oil level left in the oil tank so that doesn’t run out. There’s also an easily seen battery charge warning lamp that lets you know how much running power you have left. In fact, the chainsaw automatically stops when the charge falls below a certain level.
The blade is 30cm which is enough for most general tasks in the garden and is a common size for cordless chainsaws.
The extra weight of the batteries is balanced out well in the design of this model’s frame. The handle is ergonomically designed to put as little strain on your muscles as possible and the soft-grip handle makes it comfortable to hold.
- Cordless chainsaw with 2 x 18V Lithium-Ion batteries which give you a combined 36v (batteries not included).
- Well balanced and ergonomically designed for easy handling.
- Safety features include a kick-back brake that shuts off the chainsaw immediately you hit something hard.
- Cuts at a respectable 8m/s.
- It has a battery level warning light to tell you when to recharge.
- Comes with a keyless tension adjustment system and peep window to check the oil levels easily.
- Batteries and charger not included.
- Not recommended for domestic use.
The Makita DUC302Z Cordless 36 V Li-Ion Chainsaw is in the middle of the cordless chainsaws we review for speed. It is light and well designed with high performance and a running time of around an hour. However, this chainsaw is not recommended for domestic use due to its 800w power output.
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Electric Chainsaw Buyer’s Guide
Before you buy an electric chainsaw, you need to know about some basic options you have. We identify the main ones here, starting with your first choice – corded (electric) or cordless (battery).
Corded vs cordless chainsaws
Having decided to buy an electric chainsaw over a petrol-powered one (see our FAQ section for the benefits of each of these), you then have to make a further choice.
A corded chainsaw is one that uses electricity, usually from an outside power outlet. These types of electric chainsaws are generally more powerful than their cordless counterparts. They are often much cheaper, making them the first choice for most people. They’re also lighter in weight as they don’t have the weight of a battery pack on their structure.
They are, however, limited when it comes to reaching areas that are distant. You can reach as far as the length of the power cord lets you plus the lengths of any (outside) extension cords you hook up to it. In addition, a corded chainsaw is only useful as long as you have a constant power supply or even access to electricity at all.
Cordless types of electric chainsaw use batteries to power them. This makes you as mobile as you want to be. Most chainsaws of this sort use a combination of Lithium-ion batteries to 36V, though our Best Pick uses one Ryobi 18V battery. You do need to remember to recharge the battery after use or keep a spare battery already charged up and ready to go.
The disadvantage of using these cordless chainsaws is that they weigh considerably more than their corded counterparts. The reason behind the extra weight is the batteries on the chainsaw structure. Another limitation is that cordless saws have a limited running time. This means that you have to carry extra, pre-charged battery packs around for extended work periods.
Be sure to check the running time of your particular batteries and how long it takes to recharge them. Running times vary from one hour to several hours, but recharge time can be anywhere from 90 minutes to several hours.
Cordless chainsaws have the reputation of having less power and therefore being able to do less work than corded models. However, our Best Pick, the Ryobi OCS1830 18 V 30 cm Bar ONE+ Cordless Brushless Chainsaw, has power and a fast speed. So don’t assume that cordless models can’t handle the tough jobs.
When it comes to handling the chainsaw, weight plays a crucial part. And not just the weight of the chainsaw itself, but the size of the task and the dimensions of the wood you want the chainsaw to handle. And not just that, but the balance of the chainsaw structure as well. All of this, plus what you think you can handle, come together in helping you decide how large a chainsaw to buy.
Be honest about all this and select the most appropriate chainsaw for you. Don’t be drawn in by the thought of having all that power at your fingertips if you don’t really need it. Remember that the cordless chainsaws are heavier than their corded counterparts. Heavier chainsaws need a lot of strength and stability to operate.
When it comes to chainsaws, the size refers to the chain bar and not the length of the chain. Most electric chainsaws are smaller than their petrol counterparts. The length of the blades of most of the models we review here is 30cm. Commercial saws have longer and heavier chain bars. Whether you need them for pruning or cutting down trees, the chainsaw size will differ.
The size of the blade determines how large a diameter of wood you can cut. It also limits how far into a tree or bush you can reach. With electric chainsaws, your size choices are somewhat limited. Just remember that the longer the blade, the more difficult it is to manoeuver.
Electric chainsaws have few maintenance requirements. You need to keep them clean and the blades sharpened. Some chainsaws have self-sharpening blades, but not the models we review. Placing a blade cover (sometimes included in your purchase) on the blade in between uses keeps the blade sharp and stops people from nicking themselves on the sharp edges.
Also keep the oil tank filled, though as most electric chainsaws have self-lubricating blades, that’s one maintenance task that’s not on your list.
As always, we emphasise safety. Safety is paramount when operating the chainsaw so that you and the chainsaw remain in one piece.
For safety features, manufacturers include a safety chain to make sure that kickback doesn’t occur when the blade hits something hard. Kickback is when the blade rebounds towards you out of control.
Another thing to consider is the brakes. The brakes are installed to make sure that the chainsaw remains inactive when it is not in use. Look for electric and mechanical brakes for the best coverage.
To protect yourself from debris and accidental injury, use protective gear. Your hands, head, eyes, ears and other parts of your body needs to be protected. Also, look for chainsaws with anti-shock handles and anti-vibration systems that reduce the shakes and tremors that reach your body from the vibrations of the chainsaw.
What are the benefits of electric over petrol chainsaws?
Here, briefly, are the advantages and disadvantages of electric (corded and cordless) and petrol chainsaws.
Lightweight; compact; quieter; no direct pollution; no mess; button start; easy to use; mobile (cordless).
Less powerful than petrol; tied to the electricity supply (corded); need to charge battery and charger (cordless); limited cutting time (cordless); short blades.
Powerful; mobile; heavy-duty work; longer blades available; longer working time.
Heavier; noisy; messy; needs regular (even daily) maintenance; more expensive; polluting.
What’s a pole electric chainsaw?
A pole chainsaw is exactly that – it’s a small chainsaw mounted on a pole. It can be either petrol or electric powered. Its purpose is to allow you to reach up and prune or remove small limbs of trees or high hedges and bushes safely This saves you having to find a tripod ladder and balance on it with your regular chainsaw.
Some pole saws have telescopic or extendable poles to make them even longer. In this way, you can have just the right length without reaching up in an unsafe way.
Many of the wood cutting tasks in your garden require the power of a chainsaw. Electric chainsaws provide the power you need without the messiness of petrol models – of having to deal with fuel and oil and perform regular maintenance. Choose a corded model that needs you to be within extension cord length of an outdoor power outlet or a cordless model that requires you to remember to charge the battery. While electric chainsaws may not have quite the top-end power of petrol models, they are more than enough for small, mid and even some larger garden tasks.
The Ryobi OCS1830 18 V 30 cm Bar ONE+ Cordless Brushless Chainsaw is our selection for Best Pick in our review. This is a lightweight and fast running cordless chainsaw that meets most needs of the domestic gardener. Plus it takes the battery and charger of any Ryobi ONE+ power tool you may already have.
Our Runner-up is the Makita UC3541A 240V Electric Chainsaw. This is a corded chainsaw that is a good choice for those who only cut up smaller logs, perhaps for use in their fire pit.
Last update on 2021-04-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API