Make Tree Cutting Easier With An Electric Chainsaw

By Kate Hendricks | Lawn & Garden

Sep 09
electric chainsaw buying guide

The chainsaw is one of the most useful tools to have in your yard maintenance tool box.  However, the traditional gasoline-powered chainsaws can be quite heavy, cumbersome, messy and hard to maintain.

Fortunately, there is now another option for home owners in need of tree and branch cutting:  the electric chainsaw.

Tree Cutting Made Easy

Below we have reviewed several of the most popular and best-selling electric chainsaws currently on the market today, highlighting the advantages and drawbacks associated with each model.

We have also compiled an Electric Chainsaw Buying Guide, in which we will outline and describe some of the features and factors you should consider before buying one of these handy outdoor products.

Last update on 2018-09-18 at 20:21 / Affiliate disclaimer / Images via Amazon Product Advertising API

Makita UC4051A 16″ Electric Chain Saw

One of the easiest electric chainsaws to operate and maintain is the Makita UC4051A 16″ Electric Chainsaw boasts blade and chain adjustments that are entirely tool-less.  It is also very comfortable to operate, thanks in large part to its ergonomic design and rubberized grip handles that make the saw extremely easy to maneuver.  Unlike gasoline-powered chainsaws, which often take three or more pulls of the start cord to roar to life, the Makita chainsaw has an extra large and easy to use trigger switch with a soft-start function, which promises hassle-free starts time after time.

There are a number of great safety features on the Makita UC4051A 16″ Electric Chain Saw, including a built-in current limiter that helps protect the motor from burning out by lessening the power to that motor when the chainsaw becomes overloaded.  It is very easy to maintain the proper level of chainsaw blade oil with this model due to the large oil reservoir with a translucent view window that enables users to consistently monitor the chain bar oil level.  An electric chainsaw brake is included for increased productivity; and because the chainsaw is completely electric it produces no harmful emissions whatsoever and drastically mitigates the need for maintenance.

Pros

  • Tool-less.  With a tool-less auto tension and chain replacement system the Makita UC4051A 16″ Electric Chain Saw is very easy to operate and maintain.
  • Budget-friendly.  This Makita electric chainsaw costs much less than a traditional gasoline-powered saw.
  • Easy starts.  The large start trigger button on the Makita UC4051A 16″ Electric Chain Saw makes for hassle-free starts.

Cons

  • Poor user manual.  According to many purchasers of this product, the user’s manual is not very comprehensive.
  • Spare parts are hard to find.  Although parts rarely need to be replaced on the Makita UC4051A 16″ Electric Chain Saw, should you need a spare part you may have to shop around for a while.

 

Worx WG304.1 18-Inch Chain Saw

A powerful tool for all situations, the Worx WG304.1 18-Inch Chain Saw boasts a robust 15-amp motor with an output that steadily delivers a more powerful cutting performance to the extended 18-inch cutting bar—one of the largest bars in the industry.  The patented auto tension chain system prevents over-tightening of the chain and more consistent performance—a level of performance that allows the saw to handle years worth of work without any messy maintenance.

The Worx WG304.1 18-Inch Chain Saw features a number of crucial safety design features, such as its low kickback bar that prevents potentially tragic accidents; and a built-in chain brake with an automatic shut off feature.  The chain on the saw is lubricated continuously and automatically; and the pre-designed oil reservoir, with a transparent oil level indicator, allows users to monitor the chain lubrication and add oil as needed.

The Worx WG304.1 18-Inch Chain Saw is ready to use right out of the box and comes fully assembled.  The 3-year manufacturer’s warranty demonstrates the utmost confidence the Worx Corporation has in this chainsaw; and the included user’s manual provides step-by-step tutorials for both operation and ongoing maintenance.

Pros

  • Fully assembled.  The Worx WG304.1 18-Inch Chain Saw comes fully assembled and ready to use right out of the box.
  • Auto-lubrication.  The auto chain lubrication system on this chainsaw takes the guesswork out of the oiling process.
  • Low maintenance.  With very few moving parts and complete electric operation the Worx WG304.1 18-Inch Chain Saw can potentially last for years without any messy maintenance.

Cons

  • Kickback issues.  According to some users, the Worx WG304.1 18-Inch Chain Saw may experience kickback issues when cutting certain types of hardwood.
  • Noisy.  Although the Worx WG304.1 18-Inch Chain Saw is much quieter than traditional gasoline powered chainsaws, it is one of the noisiest of the electric models.

BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-amp 18″ Corded Chainsaw

 

The BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-amp 18″ Corded Chainsaw is an unmistakable tool, designed with the company’s classic styling and shiny black finish.  As for performance, the chainsaw boasts a powerful 15-amp motor, allowing it to tackle even the toughest of jobs.  Its 18-inch premium bar and chain enables it to easily cut logs up to 14 inches in diameter or more; and the tool-free chain tensioning feature allows users to adjust their chainsaw on the fly.

The 18-inch Oregon bar on the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-amp 18″ Corded Chainsaw has a very low kickback design to reduce unwanted accidents when using the company’s largest electric chainsaw offering.  In addition to the auto-tensioning feature, the chainsaw is equipped with a safety chain brake, an automatic chain oiler and convenient oil reservoir window, and metal buckling spikes.

Although the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-amp 18″ Corded Chainsaw is billed as a medium-duty chainsaw, it is more than powerful enough to take on tough jobs around the home.  The saw is very quiet compared to other chainsaws in this class—and much less noisy than even the quietest gasoline-powered chainsaw.  A very well balanced machine with comfort grip handles and a lighter than average weight, the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-amp 18″ Corded Chainsaw is the perfect addition to any Do-It-Yourself-er’s garage.

Pros

  • Lightweight.  The BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-amp 18″ Corded Chainsaw is a very lightweight machine and extremely well-balanced for easy maneuverability.
  • Plug-n-go start.  The easy plug-n-go start on this electric chainsaw makes it simple to start the machine and begin your work in a matter of seconds.
  • Comfortable.  The soft, rubberized handle grips on the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-amp 18″ Corded Chainsaw makes it very easy to use.

Cons

  • Chain can dull quickly.  According to some users, the chain on the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-amp 18″ Corded Chainsaw can become dulled quickly.
  • Oil leak issues.  In rare cases, the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 15-amp 18″ Corded Chainsaw can experience oil leak issues—according to some reviewers.

Electric Chainsaw Buyer’s Guide

When setting out to buy an electric chainsaw, there are several features and factors you will want to consider—factors other than price.  To assist you in selecting the perfect electric chainsaw for your situation and preferences, below we have listed some of these important considerations, which will ultimately help you make a more informed purchasing decision.

Weight and Maneuverability

Weight and maneuverability are both very important considerations when purchasing an electric chainsaw.  Many chainsaws on the market today are heavy and awkward, making them difficult to handle and maneuver.  Be sure to select a chainsaw that is lightweight enough to hold and use for a prolonged period of time, yet heavy-duty enough to handle even the toughest outdoor projects.

Guide Bar Length

Like weight and maneuverability, the length of the guide bar on your new electric chainsaw is also a very important consideration.  The general rule of safety is that the blade or guide bar should be 2” longer than the size of the wood you want to cut. Although in theory you could use a 14” blade to cut down a 28” tree using two passes, it is not recommended because it will severely affect the durability of your tool.  With electric chainsaws, the guide bar usually measures between 14 inches and 20 inches.  If the projects you intend to tackle involve branches measuring 16 inches to 18 inches in diameter, you will of course want to go with a longer guide bar.  Keep in mind, however, that the longer the guide bar is the more likely it is that you will have to contend with potentially dangerous kickbacks.

Safety Features

We definitely recommend you select a chainsaw with a bevy of safety features.  These may include a low kickback blade, automatic chain brake, and an emergency shut off function that immediately stops the chain on the blade from rotating.

Automatic Chain Tensioning

With automatic or tool-less chain tensioning you will never have to worry about maintaining the chain on your chainsaw.  This feature can save hours of time over the life of the machine.

Automatic Oiling

Oiling the chainsaw blade can be a messy, time consuming pursuit.  However, with an auto-oiling system, all you need to do is put oil into the oil reservoir and the chainsaw will do the rest of the work.  Be sure to get an oil reservoir with a transparent window so you can monitor the oil level continuously.

Easy Start Function

Most electric chainsaws now have an easy-start button or trigger that will start the motor quickly and easily.

Warranty

Last but not least is the warranty.  The average warranty for electric chainsaws is two years.  However, if you can find one that offers between a 3 and 5 year warranty, it could be an indication of the quality of that chainsaw.