Best Cordless Chainsaws Buying Guides

Best Battery Chainsaw Reviews 2020 | Best Cordless Chainsaws



Man, oh, man did we open a can of worms when we started searching and testing to determine the best battery-powered chainsaw models across a range of applications. 5 years ago, there weren’t that many and even fewer had good enough performance to warrant replacing gas saws.

Fast forward to today and cordless chainsaws meet and even exceed gas performance all the way up to 16- and 18-inch models. While they haven’t displaced farm and ranch chainsaws just yet, nearly every category that uses less than a 50cc engine has a battery equivalent that’s a solid replacement.

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Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw for Pros

Husqvarna 540i XP 40V 16-inch Chainsaw

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Pros have more options than ever before. Traditional professional brands Stihl and Husqvarna have outstanding models while cordless powerhouses such as Makita and Milwaukee have produced legitimate options themselves.

In the end, we chose Husqvarna’s 540i XP as the best cordless chainsaw for professionals. Though not as powerful as the Greenworks Commercial 82V, its balance of 40cc power and weight makes it an excellent all-rounder for cordless cutting.

We also like the option to use a standard battery pack or switch over to a battery backpack for extended cutting. That’s a feature Stihl, Greenworks Commercial, and Makita have as well.

Price: $589 bare (14-inch bar), $599 bare (16-inch bar)

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Best Cordless Chainsaw for Home Use

EGO CS1800 56V 18-inch Chainsaw

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In choosing the best battery chainsaw for home use, we didn’t want to sacrifice the power we enjoy from our professional saws. While there are a lot of options available, we tend to get the best balance of performance and weight in the 60V class.

Moving to an 18-inch bar, we put the EGO CS1800 on the top of the charts. It has excellent power and there’s plenty of runtime with available batteries up to 10.0Ah (a 5.0Ah pack comes in the kit).

In addition to its performance, EGO’s auto-tensioning system makes it super-easy to adjust the chain tension and access the bar and chain without the use of additional tools. There’s even an LED to help with post-storm cleanup when the power’s out and you can’t wait for sunrise.

Price: $389 with 5.0Ah battery and charger

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Best Battery Top Handle Chainsaw

Makita XCU08 18V X2 (36V) Top Handle Chainsaw

Best Makita Outdoor Power Equipment at GIE 2019

Top handle chainsaws are an arborist’s and lineman’s best friend. The difference in design give the saw a very different feel while you’re cutting and we generally only recommend them for experienced chainsaw users.

Our choice for the best battery top handle chainsaw is the Makita XCU08 . It’s a legitimate gas replacement that has the muscle to hang with traditional names such as Stihl and Husqvarna. The best part is that it comes in with a lower price tag.

The saw comes stock with a 14-inch bar, but you can also order the XCU09 if you want the same saw with a 16-inch bar instead.

Price: $339 bare, $449 with two 5.0Ah batteries and charger

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Best Battery Pole Saw

Stihl 36V Cordless KombiSystem with Pole Saw Attachment

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When it comes to the best battery pole saw, our favorites are all multi-head systems. We like the versatility that comes from adding more tools to give the powerhead a better value proposition and justifying its place on the trailer.

It’s tough to beat the Stihl’s Kombisystem for a cordless pole saw. When we tested multi-head systems , this is the one that felt the closest to gas power. In fact, Stihl also has a gas powerhead available if you want to switch back and forth due to ordinance or client preference. That’s a feature the Makita Couple Shaft system also has, though its gas powerhead uses 4-stroke.

The pole saw attachment has a 12-inch bar and chain, giving you a bit more capacity than the 10-inch models.

The downside is that this is an expensive system to get into, though Stihl’s dealer network is a massive benefit during and after the sale.

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Best Small Battery-Powered Chainsaw

Choosing the best small cordless chainsaw isn’t just a matter of choosing something lightweight with a 10- or 12-inch bar anymore. The introduction of battery pruners with a 4- to 6- inch bar and chain ups the ante. So we picked a couple of each for you.

DeWalt DCCS620P1 20V Max Compact Cordless Chainsaw

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DeWalt launched a line of light-duty OPE for its popular 20V Max platform as a way to give contractors the ability to clear jobsites using the batteries they already have. Those same OPE tools are great for homeowners that need occasional or limited use equipment.

The name says it all: DeWalt’s 20V Max compact cordless chainsaw features a highly-manageable 12-inch bar and chain that works with one of the deepest lines of cordless power tools available. For dedicated lawn care, you might look to the FlexVolt 60V Max line, but this saw is just right for limbing and light felling around your home.

Price: $149 bare, $229 kit with 5.0Ah battery and charger

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  • Ryobi P547 18V One+ 10-inch Chainsaw Kit: High-value kit with a 1.5Ah battery that’s appropriate for pruning and felling small trees ($99 bare tool , $129 kit )

Best Battery Pruner

Milwaukee 2527 M12 Fuel Hatchet 6-inch Pruner

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As the only current member of Milwaukee’s OPE line to use the M12 battery platform, the M12 Fuel Hatchet does a couple of things better than its limited competition.

First of all, we like that it’s a 6-inch bar and chain rather than 4-inch. Even though it’s only 2 more inches, it gets you into cutting branches you might normally turn to a heavier standard-form chainsaw for.

We also like that this model has an auto-oiler, something that’s missing on Stihl’s model.

Price: $179 bare, $249 with 4.0Ah battery and charger

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Best Value Cordless Chainsaw

Greenworks 2015402 Pro 60V 18-inch Chainsaw

Greenworks 60V Chainsaw CS60L212

With performance that rivals a 42cc gas engine and a sub-$300 kit price, the second-generation Greenworks 60V chainsaw was an easy choice as the cordless chainsaw best value.

Its 18-inch bar offers top-tier capacity from a cordless saw and you’ll get plenty of runtime from the 4.0Ah battery that comes in the kit. The regular price on this model is $299.99, but we’ve seen it recently for $269.99 direct from Greenworks.

Price: $299.99

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Best Cheap Battery Chainsaw

Hart HLCS011 40V 14-inch Chainsaw Kit

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Our value picks were based on finding the best balance of performance and price. However, we also wanted to offer some ideas if you’re on a tight budget and still want to be free of extension cords and gas engines.

Getting a quality saw for less than $200 isn’t easy, but Hart does it with style as our pick for the best cheap cordless chainsaw. It features a 14-inch bar and chain and still has a brushless motor. We like that the adjustment tool stores on board so you don’t have to remember what drawer you stuck it in.

It’s a great choice for limbing and felling smaller trees and offers some help digging out after a storm.

Price: $188 with a 4.0Ah battery and charger

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Can battery power cut it? Read our article: Why use a battery-powered chainsaw

How We Choose the Best Battery Chainsaw

Performance is King, Regardless of Voltage

Battery voltage itself doesn’t determine the power output of cordless tools like it used to. Lithium-ion cordless tools have always used electronics to regulate battery output, but with the advent of brushless motor tools, greater tweaks can be made between the battery pack and motor.

Computer chip controls within brushless motors can freely convert the voltage to prioritize the current levels needed for balancing high power output with the heat management that is so critical for lithium-ion cells.

Add to that the trend of tool companies becoming increasingly nebulous with their voltage naming conventions, and voltage numbers mean less now than ever. The tools in our tests range in voltage from 18V to 82V Max. They come equipped with anything from 2.0 to 12.0 amp-hour (Ah) packs and even more with backpack batteries.

Despite having mixed voltages and amp-hour ratings represented, we don’t handicap to find the best cordless chainsaw. All of the saws we considered reward superior performance over all other considerations. Creature comfort and accessory features add nice touches, but getting the job done quickly and confidently was our top priority.

Runtime is a Big Deal

The other side of the performance equation is runtime. The more work a tool can perform on a single battery charge, the less hassle you have by switching the pack out or waiting for it to charge.

Since many chainsaws only come with one battery pack and some chargers can literally take hours to fully charge your battery, runtime is a legitimate consideration.

If you expect to work without waiting to charge, look for saws that have rapid chargers in the kit (or at least one available). Even though you might have to pay separately to get one, it’s worth the expense.

As you’d guess, the best battery-powered chainsaw should have a good balance of cutting speed, runtime, and efficient use of its battery.

Cordless Chainsaw Testing Methods

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Shootout

Over years of testing, we’ve made many thousands of cuts through pine, cedar, oaks, and much more. These range from limbing small branches through felling 3-foot diameter trees, and digging out after hurricanes. We prefer to test chainsaws by crosscutting in green (wet) wood like their chains were designed for, not in dried construction lumber.

Runtime is important, but in the real world, it’s working time we’re most interested in. With rapid chargers available from multiple manufacturers, it’s very possible that cycling between two batteries can allow you to work virtually uninterrupted throughout your day. Anytime we can work longer than it takes to charge our second battery, it’s a win.

Of course, if you can’t take a power source with you to use the charger where you’re working, runtime and battery efficiency are a much greater priority. That’s why we prefer backpack battery options for professional use.

The combination of real-world and controlled scenario cutting really puts a saw through its paces. With the benefits of battery power, however, we didn’t risk going deaf, inhaling clouds of harmful exhaust, or bugging any neighbors with noise and fumes.

The Best Battery Powered Cordless Chainsaw Details We Look For

Triggers

With the exception of pole saws and pruning saws, most chainsaws are similar in form and share all of the same basic operational features. Where the best cordless chainsaws differ in form is primarily in their switches and triggers.

All of the saws have a UL or similar test lab certification on them, but they seem to be tested to different variations of the acceptable safety trigger standard. The current UL standard requires an electric chainsaw to have a trigger with “two separate and dissimilar actions required” to start the chain moving.

An engineer from a major chainsaw manufacturing company explained to us that this means a chainsaw should not be able to be triggered “on” with a single grabbing motion of the handle and trigger, rather the trigger lockout mechanism and the trigger require separate deliberate actions.

DeWalt Trigger Safety

In use, some of the saws in our test have more defined two-step triggers while others can be easily activated with a single grasp around their lockout button and trigger. At the end of the day, we expect our chainsaws to have a trigger mechanism that will keep us from accidentally activating the motor, and all of our recommendations meet that requirement.

Electronic Safeties

The true two-step lockouts aren’t difficult to operate in normal conditions. In odd positions, such as reaching around a tree while limbing, sometimes the mechanical lockouts can be tricky to slide.

For select cordless chainsaws, the first of two (or sometimes three) stages of starting is an electronic power button.

Some electronic switch saws can be run with a single grab once powered on. You just have to mindful of the auto timeout feature. It can be frustrating the pull the trigger on a Husqvarna, for example, to no effect when you thought the saw was ready.

Alerts and Feedback

Another feature tied in with the electronic switches is warning alerts. Small LED “ready” lights glow on the dash of two of these saws accompanied by a few chirps when you turn them on. There are also separate warning lights that indicate trouble conditions and some alert you when the brake is in the “on” position.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Trigger Safety

Ease of Adjustment

Chainsaw bars need to be adjusted nearly every time you use the saw. A new chain stretches out pretty quickly. You need to snug it up at least a few times as it breaks in.

If your chain gets tight rather suddenly, it usually means the bar is not getting oil. Don’t loosen it until you make sure the saw is oiling properly.

Pro Tip: Get into the habit of loosening your chain at the end of the day. Cold weather can cause it to tighten as it cools and damage parts.

A saw’s bar will be designed for either tool-free adjustment or will require a screwdriver-wrench combination tool called—yep, you guessed it—a scrench. Tool-free adjustment is the quickest and easiest with plastic knobs and/or dials built into the saw. They loosen the bar, move the bar forward or back to properly tension the chain, and lock the bar down tight again.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Shootout

Dual Studs vs Tool-free Adjusters

Saws with tool-free adjusters use a single stud (a.k.a. captive bolt) to attach the bar to the saw, but manual adjusting models have two mounting studs. Some old-school users view dual studs as an indication that the saw is geared toward professionals, but we don’t think that’s a hard, fast rule. Not for modest-sized saws anyway. However, the biggest and strongest chainsaws made all have dual stud bar mounts.

Pro Tip: Be sure to snug the nuts evenly because torquing down on only one can loosen the other.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Shootout

Don’t Lose Your Nuts!

Lost bar nuts are a frequent occurrence during regular use in the field. To prevent this, some saws have the added feature of captive nuts that won’t vibrate off. To keep your adjustment tool close at hand, look for models that have storage slots built into the saws.

Pro Tip: Keep a spare nut on hand as it’s not unusual to lose one in the field.

Your preferences may vary, but I can appreciate both adjustment methods. I like the speed and convenience of tool-free adjustments for my small saws. For my big saws, I feel more confident securing the business end of these powerful tools down with a wrench.

It’s not a deal-breaker either way for the saws in our test unless the mechanism itself is flawed. The best battery-powered chainsaw for you is the one that instills a sense of both confidence and convenience.

Bars and Chains

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw EGO 56V Chainsaw

Most chainsaw brands don’t try to reinvent the wheel by making their own bars and chains. Instead, they spec’d common Oregon components, though Stihl makes their own bars and chains. Most cordless chainsaws use 3/8″ pitch, 0.043″ gauge chains while a handful use 0.050″ gauge.

A Built-in Chain Sharpener?

Oregon has a special 91PS “PowerSharp” chain which works with its saw’s built-in semi-automatic sharpener. Pulling a lever atop the saw pushes a curved sharpening stone against the special chain for easy sharpening on the fly.

The aggressive, hooked teeth of the PowerSharp chain can be too brutal in some tree species, so standard Oregon 91 chain can be substituted—just don’t try to use the sharpener with it.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Oregon PowerSharp

Oiling Systems

Bar and chain oil is the lifeblood of a chainsaw as the saw cannot run without it for very long. Throughout our testing, most of the saws oiled readily, but we occasionally run across models that have issues.

If a saw oiled well out of the box, it usually just needs a good cleaning to unclog it.

Oil Visibility

Most battery-powered chainsaws have translucent windows that let you check if there’s oil in the tank, and most let you estimate the level pretty well. We’ve run into models with windows that are too small or dark to see the level, though.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Oregon 40V Max Chainsaw oil Window

Ease of Filling Matters

The ease of filling the oil reservoir is a noteworthy convenience factor when considering the best battery-powered chainsaw. We don’t like having oily fingers, so being able to fill the tank while leaving our work gloves on is our preference. Look for oil caps with lugs that are easy to turn with gloves on and/or flip-up tabs that provide an even better grip.

Greenworks Pro 60V Chainsaw oil reservoir

Be careful when filling your chainsaw. Some have a large section of the cap that goes inside the tank and displaces a surprising amount of oil when you fill it anywhere close to the top. Wiping gooey oil off a chainsaw is an annoying waste of time.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw DeWalt Oil Cap

Spills & More Spills

Another cause of spills is an oil tank with a filler neck that is too narrow. Bar and chain oil is thick and tacky. It can pour like molasses in the cold, so it easily “piles up” and overflows in a narrow neck.

While filling most chainsaws proves passable, some designs have a narrow neck or sit at an angle that makes the target even smaller.

Providing another challenge, plastic filters at the inlet of its tank can constrict the diameter.

Caps that cross-thread easily can also make the oil-fill process more of a chore.

Environmental Sidetrack: Try Biodegradable Bar and Chain Oil

The other part of this cleaner, greener, lithium-ion-powered story is you can pair your battery chainsaw with biodegradable bar and chain oil made of vegetable-based ingredients. Those barrels of useful wood waste we mentioned also contain a few gallons of oil from the saws.

PTR contributor, Michael Springer, decided to switch to bio-oils a decade ago after seeing the huge pile of sawdust he generated during a chainsaw test sit outside for years in his compost area without decomposing.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Stihl Bio Oil

Aside from having to landfill all of your petroleum-preserved sawdust, it’s just good practice to minimize your exposure to petroleum oil on your skin, clothing, and the atomized portion that you breathe in.

There are at least a couple of brands of bar and chain oil available that are biodegradable, but Stihl’s Bio Plus is a reliable, premium product. Plus, it’s easier to find than other brands of bio-oil.

Tips to Avoid Leaking or Spilling Oil

Here’s a tip—only poke a little hole in the foil sealing your quart or gallon oil bottle so you can pour a skinny stream. Or dispense your oil from a syrup bottle that has a tapered, pull-to-open tip. It works like a charm, and you can push the tip against the inside of the filler neck to stop the flow for one-handed control when your other hand is steadying the saw.

Just make sure you clean out the bottle first (you may have to eat a whole lot of pancakes).

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Syrup Bottle

Chainsaws often leak oil while sitting because daily heating and cooling shrinks and expands a plastic tank like a rudimentary pump. Some saws are messier than others.

Wherever you store your saw, put a piece of cardboard underneath it to collect any oil. You can switch it out as needed and whenever an Amazon order arrives.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Greenworks Oil Puddle

Naked? Don’t Use a Cordless Chainsaw Like This Guy!

Back on Track… Bucking Spikes

For pushing a saw through wood more efficiently, chainsaws come fitted with bucking spikes (a.k.a. bumper spikes, felling spikes, or dogs). These spikes sit against the body of the saw alongside the bar and anchor the saw in place while the bar pivots through the cut.

The spikes allow you to apply a lifting motion of the rear hand instead of pushing downward. Holding the saw tight to the wood, the motor can exert its maximum pulling power. This saves you from some of the cutting vibrations and especially the jerking common to holding a saw away from your work.

Our battery-powered saws all have some semblance of spikes. Most aren’t as long or as sharp as those on large gas saws, but actual steel spikes are becoming more common. We prefer those to the simple plastic ridges on other models.

Pro Tip: Applying leverage with spikes adds control, but go easy and listen to the pitch of the motor. You can overload battery chainsaws with too much pressure, and the weaker models stall easily.

Variable Speeds and Chain Coast-Down

Following the traditional design—perhaps blindly—of gas chainsaws that need to idle and rev, some chainsaws feature variable-speed triggers. The smoothest cutting is done at the highest chain speed, even for small limbs, so we’re not sure of the utility of this feature on electric saws.

On the other hand, a feature all chainsaws could benefit from is a coast-down brake like those we rely on with circular saws and miter saws. It’s something to look for that improves the safety factor a bit.

Ergonomic Factors

Balance

While it’s true that the comfort and feel of a tool are largely subjective, it’s also true that some designs work better than others. Most Pros and experienced homeowners can immediately tell. I believe that thoughtful design intention and execution do come through for the majority of users.

For the best battery-powered chainsaw, a balanced feel in your hands and the ability to cut straight without introducing a twisting motion to overcome are both important ergonomic factors.

Holding a saw with your left hand on the front handle in front of you should have the saw balancing fairly flat. Being a bit front heavy is okay, but a rear-heavy saw lifts the cutting end of the saw up towards you and requires more effort and vigilance to use and carry safely.

Echo 58V Chainsaw Bucking Grip Vertical Cut

Cutting Sideways

Determining a good feel for felling cuts while holding the chainsaw sideways is more about the comfort of applying force to the front and rear handles as you grasp it from the side, and also the ease of operating the trigger while sideways.

Handles

In general, chainsaws with thicker handles are more comfortable to grasp in use because their broader radiused edges serve to soften the contact with your hand. Of course, rubber handle surfaces help too, not only for padding but also for the increased grippiness they provide.

Trigger Comfort

Most cordless chainsaw triggers are large enough for two fingers to fit on them. Some have an extra-long trigger with more room to vary your grip stance for comfort. The best feeling triggers retract flush with the handle instead of leaving a raised bump your fingers have to push against.

Weight

The dry weight of the best battery chainsaws can be as low as 12 pounds to well over 15 pounds. Experience shows that a saw’s weight is less important than proper balance overall as you only feel the full weight when you’re NOT cutting.

But carrying around and positioning a heavy saw can certainly be more taxing over a long workday. The catch with these saws is that the batteries are a major part of the weight. So the stronger, longer-lasting saws with high-capacity battery packs and longer bars that we prefer end up being the heaviest.

Kitted and Available Batteries

While we do the majority of our testing with the kitted batteries, it’s worth looking at the full range a manufacturer has availble for your cordless chainsaw.

If you end up investing in the entire lineup, you’ll likely want to consider the biggest batteries you can buy for it to get all of your lawn chores done efficiently.

You might also want a lower-capacity battery to shave some weight when you don’t have a lot of work to complete.

“Current” State of Affairs

Voltage

Higher voltage means more power, right? There’s certainly an argument for that, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.

EGO 56V Battery Voltage Check

Power is measured in watts and that comes from multiplying the voltage times the current. You can make a 36V chainsaw with the same power as a 56V model. The lower voltage simply has to produce more amps (current) to get there.

That’s why you see chainsaws with 40cc gas performance at 18V, 36V, and 60V. It’s all about the combination of volts and amps.

Watt-Hours

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Battery Group Shot

Another thing that is interesting to note is the discrepancy between the amp-hour and watt-hour ratings on some of the batteries in our tests for their given voltage. Pro Tool Reviews has covered the subject of battery voltage , storage capacity, and current output many times. To review simply:

Volts x Amp Hours = Watt Hours

It’s the same basic equation we use for power, just applied to energy storage instead of output. It’s an easy way to compare the available energy of one battery to another when they have different voltages.

We’re increasingly finding that manufacturers—perhaps to simplify things for consumers—are rounding amp-hours. Some calculate their watt-hours with maximum voltage while most use nominal. Unfortunately, this makes some comparisons more challenging. adds to potential confusion.

“Nominal” Differences

When you charge a lithium-ion battery, it will reach its maximum voltage. Shortly after putting it to use, it settles into a slightly lower voltage—it’s nominal voltage. The nominal voltage is where the battery spends most of its working life and is roughly 90% of the maximum voltage.

Brands have to choose which one to display. When you see numbers such as 60V Max, that’s a battery that settles into a 54V nominal voltage. When you don’t see “Max” on the battery and packaging, you’re usually looking at a battery that is displaying its nominal volts.

We say “usually” for a reason. Some brands market their maximum voltage but don’t make it clear.

Some European countries regulate stated voltages more stringently, and it seems that it could only serve to help if the simple math all added up.

For our purposes, we put everyone on an even playing field by taking the nominal voltage and stated amp hours. It’s only a minor annoyance, however, as the more telling results are all products of our hands-on testing.

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Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Accessories

Blade Guards & Cases

While nearly every chainsaw comes with basic plastic scabbards to protect the chain while also protecting you from the chain, a few of the models go above and beyond.

We’ve seen an optional tip guard to make safe operation more foolproof. Attaching the guard makes you lose a few inches of cutting capacity and prevents any plunge cuts and other non-through cuts such as deep rips. However, casual users may feel more comfortable with the tip of the saw fully protected against kickback.

Echo 58V Chainsaw Tip Guard

Once in awhile, you can find a unique, form-fitting bag or case like this one from Greenworks. It’s helpful for storage and transportation, though you might want to use it only after you’ve drained the oil from your saw.

Greenworks 40V Max Chainsaw Bag

Buy Into a System

One other consideration for these saws is the system of battery-powered OPE to which they belong. Like other cordless tools, you can purchase some of our best battery-powered chainsaws as bare tools at significant savings over the kit. If you’re already invested in one of these systems, the overall test winner may not interest you as much as seeing how the saw from your brand performed. Though not on top, it may be good enough for your needs, considering the extra expense of a battery and charger required when switching brands .

For some of the brands, battery packs with a higher amp-hour rating are available. These can provide a boost in runtime and even improve cutting speeds. These larger batteries are sold as upgrade accessories or typically come with the lawnmower in an OPE system.

Look at the Entire Model Lineup

If you haven’t bought into a system yet and may pick up more outdoor power tools in the future, check out the entire lineup from a brand. Make sure they can fulfill your wish list before going after just the chainsaw. For many users, the saw functions as a secondary tool when compared to the hours you spend with a string trimmer or mower.

Why You Can Trust OPE Reviews

Ever check out a “review” site and you can’t tell if they actually tested the tools or if they’re just “recommending” the Amazon top sellers?

That’s not us. We only recommend what we’d actually use, even if we don’t earn a commission from it. It’s all about giving you a legitimate recommendation and our honest opinion of each product.

We’ve been in business since 2008 covering tools, writing reviews, and reporting on industry news in the construction, automotive, and lawn care industries. Our Pro reviewers work in the trades and have the skills and experience to know whether tools can perform well in the field.

Each year, we bring in and review more than 250 individual products. Our team will put our hands on hundreds of additional tools at media events and trade shows throughout the year.

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The end result is information you can trust because of the editorial, scientific, and real-world professional experience we collectively utilize each and every time we pick up and test a tool.

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