In the past, petrol was the only option when you were buying a chainsaw. However, today’s electric chainsaws have a lot to offer, whether you are looking for a machine you can use on your own property or as part of your commercial landscaping business.
Our buyers guide takes a look at the benefits of electric chainsaws, how to maintain them, the best electric chainsaws on the market and much more!
Why Buy an Electric Chainsaw?
There are several important benefits to using an electric chainsaw rather than a petrol one:
- Low noise – Electric chainsaws are significantly quieter than petrol ones. This allows you to work easily and more quietly in more sensitive environments where noise disturbance needs to be kept down, and it protects your ears too.
- More eco-friendly – Because they don’t use fossil fuels, electric chainsaws are a more environmentally-friendly choice that is ideal for green gardeners and businesses. They produce no emissions and no smell while running.
- Reduced kickback risk – Electric chainsaws have a number of additional safety features that reduce the risk of kickbacks, which can cause serious injury.
- Lightweight – These chainsaws are usually much lighter than petrol varieties, making them easier to operate, putting less strain on your body and reducing the risk of dropping or manoeuvring the chainsaw dangerously when tired.
- Simple to use – These chainsaws are very easy to start and operate. All you have to do is make sure the power source is charged or plugged in, check the chain and press the ON button.
There’s no mixing of fuels, risk of running out of fuel, or engine preparation needed.
- Low maintenance – These saws require a lot less maintenance than petrol chainsaws. Other than sharpening the chain and replacing it when needed, very little maintenance is needed.
Are Electric Chainsaws Any Good?
A good quality electric chainsaw is powerful, compact and lightweight. They don’t smell (no emissions), are quieter to use and easier to operate.
They’re best for home garden or professional garden services rather than tough commercial jobs, and are usually used for trimming tree limbs, cutting up logs for firewood, clearing away bush and other everyday tasks.
Different Types of Electric Chainsaw
There are two types of electric chainsaw:
- Corded – This is the older type of electric chainsaw, where you plug directly into an outlet in order to run the saw. While this does mean that you can operate the saw for any length of time without running out of fuel, it does come with range limitations (you can only go as far as your cord will allow), as well as the risk of tangling or damaging the cord.
- Cordless – This is a battery powered chainsaw, offering all the benefits of running your equipment on electricity without the drawbacks of dealing with a cord.
These chainsaws tend to be a bit heavier due to the weight of the battery, and you will need to charge and recharge the battery for longer jobs.
Should I Buy a Corded or Battery Operated Electric Chainsaw?
Both types are very powerful and effective at cutting trees, bush and firewood – which one is best depends on what you want to use it for. If your property is large or you need to do a lot of regular work with your saw, battery chainsaws give you the most range.
Although the battery needs recharging, you can always have one or two additional batteries to allow non-stop work. If you want a chainsaw for home use in a smaller property, or where you just want it for making firewood, a corded model is a good idea.
They are the lightest and as long as you have a good length cord, you can work easily within a garden.
How to Maintain an Electric Chainsaw
Electric chainsaws are low maintenance, but they aren’t totally maintenance-free. Here’s what to do:
- Clean – Wipe down the body of the chainsaw with a damp cloth after use. Clean chain using a can of compressed air and wipe any debris off carefully with a clean, soft cloth.
- Check your power supply – Check the batteries to ensure they are holding charge and undamaged. You will have to replace the batteries according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually about every 3-5 years.
Check the extension cord of corded models, making sure it is undamaged. Always use an extension cord that is rated to the machine and suitable for outdoor use if you are extending your cord.
Replace the cord if wires become exposed or the cord is damaged.
- Check oil – Oil lubricates the chain and keeps everything running smoothly. Always use the correct oil recommended by your chainsaw’s manufacturer, ensure that there is sufficient oil in the reservoir before you start working.
- Store – Store your chainsaw somewhere safe and dry after it has been cleaned. Remember to keep it far out of the reach of children, and cover it with a protective cover if it’s not in regular use.
How Long Do Electric Chainsaws Last?
If you buy a good quality saw and maintain it well, it should last you many, many years. If you buy a battery operated chainsaw, you will have to replace the batteries approximately every 3-5 years.
What to Consider When Buying an Electric Chainsaw
- Mobility – All electric chainsaws are lightweight, which makes them very portable. However, a corded model will be limited in range, so if you have a larger property or need to work further away, you will either need to extend the cord to your ideal range or use a generator.
- Purpose – While electric chainsaws are powerful, petrol chainsaws still offer the most power. If you are looking for a saw that can do light to medium work like cutting tree limbs, shaping hedges, clearing bush or cutting firewood, an electric chainsaw will work well.
If you want to remove large trees and hard, rough wood, then it’s better to consider a petrol option.
- Safety features – All chainsaws are potentially dangerous pieces of equipment that should be used with extreme care. Electric chainsaws have some good safety features including chain brakes, anti vibration technology, handguards, automatic oil lubrication, and an easily accessible stop control.
- Engine – The more powerful the engine, the easier your chainsaw will handle more challenging tasks. The motors in electric chainsaws generally range from 8-15 amps, with smaller engines more appropriate to lighter use.
- Size – The size of the saw will determine what jobs your chainsaw can handle. The basic rule is that the diameter of whatever you are cutting should not be more than twice the length of the cutting bar.
Size also impacts weight, so consider your own strength and comfort when selecting a saw.
7 Best Electric Chainsaws for 2021
A good mix of affordability and performance, the WORX cordless chainsaw is well-balanced, powerful and offers an impressively long run-time of 3-4 hours per charge.
It comes with 2 x 20-volt batteries that deliver 40 volts of power, and the brushless motor system means all that power gets put into cutting wood.
It is low vibration, comfortable to handle and easy to operate, with an automatic chain lubrication system, quick-stop chain brake and auto-tension chain system.
It also comes with a dual-port charger for quick recharging.
If you are looking for something much more compact for home use, this is a great option. Cordless for convenience and lightweight at just 700g, this is a tool you can use indoors and outdoors with just one hand.
It can easily cut through branches with a diameter of up to 15cm in just 10 seconds, and its ergonomic design makes it easy and comfortable to use.
The build quality is very good, featuring a pure copper motor, fine quality switch and high-quality chain.
With a 25cm cutting width and weighing 3.1kgs, this is one of the more powerful and heavy-duty electric chainsaws on the market.
It’s ideal for logging, preparing firewood and trimming trees, and the balanced nature of the design makes operation comfortable and control easy.
It also offers tool-free tensioning technology for convenience, a semi-automatic oil system, and safety features that prevent accidental starts.
It is very good value for money especially when you consider that the battery is included!
Another good option is the BLACK+DECKER LCS1240B, a 40-volt cordless electric chainsaw. Ideal for pruning and cutting jobs around the garden, this chainsaw is basic, fuss-free and user-friendly.
It takes 120 minutes to charge, which is quite a long time, but will hold that charge for up to 18 months, giving you about 30-40 minutes of cutting time per charge.
It’s maximum cutting capacity is 30cms according to the manufacturer
This Greenworks cordless electric chainsaw comes with a high-quality battery that takes just 60 minutes to charge and provides a decent amount of run time – enough to do approximately 60 cuts.
It’s a surprisingly powerful machine, cutting through fresh wet wood with ease thanks to a very high-quality chain and longer cutting bar.
One great feature is that it has a brushless motor, which means it runs cooler, produces more torque, is quieter and produces less vibration.
It weighs 4.45kgs, which is a little heavier than most but still very light compared to petrol chainsaws. It also has an automatic oiling system for convenience, handguard and easy chain tensioning.
It’s one of the most powerful battery chainsaws on the market, and is ideal for light, medium and heavier use.
Weighing in at just 2.7kgs, this battery-operated chainsaw is lightweight, compact and portable. It uses an 18-volt lithium-ion battery (not included) and a universal chain that is equipped with a stop hook that allows you to perform undercuts easily.
It’s simple tensioning system requires no extra tools, and the build quality is excellent. Thanks to some great safety features, it’s ideal for homeowners and landscapers, as it's powerful enough to cut through average-sized tree limbs with ease.
If you want more power in a small package, then this mini electric chainsaw is worth considering. German-engineered and built for performance, this handheld chainsaw weighs just 671g and has a cutting capacity of 65mm, ideal for pruning and DIY.
It can cut in two directions, produce plunge cuts easily, cut in a straight line precisely and is comfortable to use thanks to low vibration technology and an ergonomic design.
It’s a great alternative to manual loppers and pruning equipment.
Our Top Choice – The Best Electric Chainsaw of 2021
Among the best battery chainsaw in Australia, the WORX WG384 40V Power Share 14" Cordless Chainsaw is our top choice for 2021! It offers great value for money, with the 2 x 20-volt batteries included in the purchase.
Its brushless motor offers low vibration for comfort along with high-performance cutting and reduced wear-and-tear. Although it is not the most powerful option, it can easily handle any gardening task you put it to, cutting through branches of 20-30cm with ease.
With good build quality, a run-time of 3-4 hours per charge and an auto-lubrication system, it’s convenient, easy and comfortable to use.
Make Pruning, Cutting Firewood and Removing Bush Easy with the Best Electric Chainsaw for 2021!
While they are not as powerful as their petrol counterparts, electric chainsaws have more than enough capability for everyday light and medium garden work, including removing small trees, trimming tree limbs, and cutting firewood.
They run quietly, produce no emissions, are safer and easier to handle. A corded model is limited in range, but today’s cordless battery chainsaws are more than up to the task, giving you portability and good run time as well as power.
We hope this guide helped you find your ideal electric chainsaw!