Our great battery-powered chainsaw shootout continues with today’s spotlight of the Greenworks 60V Chainsaw. If this is the first you’ve heard about the shootout, let me bring you up to speed: I recently made quite a bit of sawdust and hundreds of 8-inch diameter wood discs to determine how eight lithium-ion powered chainsaws stacked up against one another.
Just a few years ago I did a similar test, but there were very few chainsaws with this level of power. Now the field is full of competitors, and I spared no log in pursuit of the ranking. We actually had too many, so we cut the list down to saws you could get kitted for under $400. Greenworks was represented twice in this contest: once with its 40V G-Max Digi Pro 20312 with 4.0 Ah battery and again with this article’s focus: the 60V Pro CS60L210 with 2.0 Ah battery.
For a full exposition of my testing method, be sure to refer to the full shootout. In short, I wanted to find out everything I could about the performance so I could provide you with an accurate report. So let’s take a look around this Greenworks 60V Chainsaw before we even “fire” it up.
Some of the contestants have electronic safety mechanisms, but it’s not a standard feature quite yet. This Greenworks saw doesn’t have one, so you can pick it up and start sawing without a step in between. Convenient? Yes. Safe? Well, not as much as it could be, but it still has a mechanical safety trigger requiring separate motions to engage.
The Oregon 91 chain is skip-tooth, which saves on the cost and requires less juice from the battery, but these skip-tooth chains cut slower than traditional chains. That’s no surprise since it has half the teeth. Cutting speed and efficiency should both rise along with the number of cuts per charge even though the continuous runtime may drop with a standard chain.
The bar is held on with dual studs whose nuts require a wrench to tighten and loosen. Some of the saws in this class have a tool-free adjustment, but the benefit remains a source of contention. Some users consider the dual stud design to maintain a more secure connection despite losing some convenience. However, losing bar nuts is common and Greenworks has designed this saw with captive nuts that are tougher to lose in the field. That’s definitely a plus.
Pro Tip: Be sure to snug the nuts evenly on a dual stud chainsaw bar to ensure it’s secure.
The Greenworks 60V Chainsaw features aluminum bucking spikes for gripping the wood securely during a vertical cut. As you slightly rock the saw forward using a bucking grip, the spikes allow you to gain downward leverage. Many of the saws in this category have plastic bucking spikes – and puny ones at that – so it’s good to see the more substantial metal spikes.
I tested the saws in several ways over as many weeks to mimic how they’d perform during a consumer’s “everyday” use. After you make hundreds of cuts with many different saws, the good, bad, and ugly start to stand out. Compared to its peers, the Greenworks 60V Chainsaw rated a Fair to Good in the balance category. Both handles really feel too skinny, though. It makes the saw less secure in your hands and that’s not a good thing with any tool. Ultimately the saw earned a Good rating for felling and Fair to Good for the bucking grip.
About that Chain
The skip-tooth chain really makes the saw lag in the performance category. The decision to use it might be a price point thing, but the motor can’t overcome the chain to keep up in performance. If you already have this saw or decide to buy it, you’ll get an immediate performance improvement by simply moving to the Oregon 91 chain.
The Greenworks 60V Chainsaw has an oil cap with a lug that’s easy to turn with gloves on and what’s even better: it has a flip-up tab for a better grip. Unfortunately, that was the extent of the good part of the saw’s oil system. I experienced problems with the system as it failed to self-lubricate. Even when the tank was half-full and there weren’t any blockages, it wouldn’t pump oil onto the chain. I noticed a lot of dripping oil at the back of the bar and discovered that the oil would only pump when the tank was full which, of course, is a minority of the time! It means you have the annoying added step of frequent oil checks.
Moreover, after the Greenworks 60V Chainsaw sat idle in my shop for a while, I found a substantial oil puddle underneath it. Chainsaws are notorious for leaking oil as ambient temperatures create a pump-effect on the oil tank, but this was just too much to overlook.
This saw also earned the dubious distinction of performing the fewest number of cuts – just 29 cuts on its 2.0Ah battery. That’s not a lot of work if you’re in the middle of even a medium-sized project. You could always slide in a bigger battery, but since the saw is spec’d with the 2.0Ah, that’s the way I tested it.
The Bottom Line
Unfortunately, Greenworks 60V Max Chainsaw came in last place in our shootout. It simply underperformed compared to the other saws with its slow cutting speed and short runtime. It’s easy to blame the battery, but we looked at cut efficiency per watt hour and it’s in the bottom half there as well.
This saw will absolutely perform better with a standard Oregon 91 chain. There’s a bigger battery within this saw’s system of tools to get more runtime out of it. That won’t overcome its efficiency, but it will definitely improve the runtime.
Grip comfort and balance rate Fair to Good for bucking grip and Good for felling grip. Both front and rear handles are too skinny to be comfortable or feel secure in the hand. Additionally, the lubrication system fails to oil unless the tank is full and then it is prone to significant leaks during storage. In the end, the good features of this saw just don’t overcome the bad. It’s not a great start for the new 60V line.
Greenworks 60V Chainsaw Manufacturer’s Key Features
- Provides the power you need for up to 90 cuts on a fully charged 2.0 AH Battery (battery and charger included)
- High-efficiency brushless motor engineered to provide more power, torque, quiet operation and longer motor life
- 16-inch Bar and Chain
- Automatic oiler easily applies oil to the chain keeping it lubricated
- Chain brake halts the chain movement to prevent accidental kick back
- Cushioned over mold grip – for comfort while you work
- Convenient push button start, no messy gas
- 2.0 Ah battery and charger included
- 4-year limited tool warranty, 2-year battery warranty
Greenworks 60V Chainsaw Specifications
- Model: Greenworks Pro CS60L210 (kit)
- Voltage: 60V
- Weight with Battery: 12.20 pounds
- Kitted Battery: 2.0 Ah
- Nominal Battery Watt Hours: 108
- Chain: Oregon 91 Skip Tooth
- Bar Length: 16″
- Warranty: 4 years limited
- Price at Lowe’s: $249