Not everyone has the greatest experiences with gas-powered chainsaws as they take a lot of work to keep in good running order and can often be a pain to start. Gas chainsaws can be too heavy for people of a slighter build to handle. They may not be a suitable tool for most suburban home dwellers because of the noise they make and the exhaust emissions they give off.
Electric Chainsaws, on the other hand, are lighter, easier to manage and don’t require as much upkeep. They are Eco-Friendly for the most part, and they don’t wake the neighbors when you are using one on a Saturday morning.
Before we look into the best rated electric chainsaws, we need to explain the two basic types to choose from, which are; “Corded” and the “Cordless” or battery powered. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages which we will explain further in this article, as well as benefits over the gas-powered chainsaw for today’s electric world as we shift off petroleum to electricity.
Just want to know our Top Picks for The best Electric Chainsaw?
Our Top Picks for Corded Electric Chainsaws
- BLACK+DECKER CS1518 18-Inch 15 Amp…. Read More
- Sun Joe SWJ701E 18-Inch 14 Amp…. Read More
- Earthwise CS30016 16-Inch 12 amp…. Read More
- OREGON CS1500 18 – Inch Self-Sha…. Read More
Our Top Picks for Cordless (Battery) Electric Chainsaws
- GreenWorks 20312 G-MAX 40V 16 Inch…. Read More
- BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 40V 12 Inch…. Read More
- OREGON CS300 Self-Sharpening…. Read More
What can Electric Chainsaws be Used For?
Electric chainsaws at this stage of the game will not take down a large redwood or even a full-grown oak, but they are excellent for limbing trees, clearing brush and cutting a cord or two of firewood. They can also carve a downed tree after a storm. They are also a landscaper’s friend as they go anywhere the work is and doesn’t disturb anyone when they are doing their job.
In short, they are made for small to medium sized work, and in that realm, they do a good job. For any piece of timber bigger than 12″ in diameter and up you might want to break out your gas powered chainsaw. However, many electric chainsaws claim that they can cut wood with diameters up to 15-17 inches, for models with larger bar length, so its worth having a think about what are the biggest logs you want to cut.
How good are Electric Chainsaws?
The reliability of corded and cordless chainsaws are on par with their gas-powered brethren. Even the giant gas chainsaws are becoming more plastic than metal, and if you buy a reputable brand, you get the same quality and safety features. Remember these are chainsaws and you should take the same safety precautions with PPE (Personal Protective Gear), Kickback, and not working overhead.
These chains saws do need chain oiling to prevent a disastrous meltdown and destruction of the chainsaw with collateral damage more than likely.
So, buy a brand you trust, wear the right gear, take care of your chainsaw and you will get the same or better result you would expect from a gas chainsaw.
Advantages of Electric Chainsaws
- Low carbon footprint
- Low noise – up to four times quited when cutting and silent between cuts (gas chainsaws still make noise when in idle)
- Less maintenance
- No need to buy gas or oil, saves you $$ and is better for the environment
- Lighter in weight which makes them easier to handle
- Easier to operate
- Easier to start
- Do virtually the same amount of work as similar sized gas chainsaws
What electric chainsaws shouldn’t be used for
- Large trees and limbs
- Near downed power lines
- In the rain or flooded areas (Cordless chainsaws might work depending on conditions)
- Overhead cutting
- Working around wiring and power lines
- Jobs where you are going to be working long hours without a power source for charging batteries or plugging in the saw.
Cordless vs. Corded Electric Chainsaws
Ease of Use
Both types of electric chainsaws are going to be great around the yard in terms of being lightweight (cordless models tend to be 1 or 2 lbs heavier on average than corded chainsaws due to the battery pack) and easy to start, however a cordless chainsaw is always going to be easier to maneuver. The fact that you always have to have an electrical cable following you around will get annoying at some point, but its a trade off for power and cutting time. Corded chainsaws require an outlet or generator and a long enough cord to reach it. Running multiple extension cords is not recommended. If possible always use a single cord that can reach the work area.
Cordless chainsaws do not have the endurance that corded chainsaws do, batteries cannot supply the same current at the same voltage as mains for an extended period. This being said there is still some pretty powerful cordless saws out there now that can compete with the chain speeds of corded electric saws.
There is a significant difference in price between battery operated and corded electrics chainsaws. As you would expect, cordless battery saws are more expensive, you are paying for the freedom to move about as you please and mobility. A big part of this price difference is thus the battery pack and charger that often comes with the saw. If you already have a suite of cordless products from a specific brand like Makita, the batteries are typically cross-compatible across the tool range which can help you save some cash.
What is the Right Extension Cord to Use with an Electric Chainsaw?
If you have just purchased or are thinking about purchasing a corded Electric Chainsaw, you are going to need an extension cord to get any work done.
The most crucial feature to understand in order to get the right extension cord is th AMP (Amperage) rating of your saw. An AMP or AMPs tell you how much current the device draws . For example if you have a 14.5 AMP Chainsaw like the Makita UC3551A a then you will need a 14.5 AMP or higher extension cord. The other feature of the cord will be the gauge of the cord, this is essentially the thickness of the electrical wires used in the cord, the lower the gauge the thicker the wires and thus more current it can carry. The gauge becomes very important when you want to start using longer cords also. the longer your cord is the higher gauge you will need (lower number gauge ie, 8 instead of 10).
It is not hard to select the right extension cord for the work you will do with your electric chainsaw, but very important to get it right. Consequences of selecting the wrong cord can be damaging your saw, overheating cable and possibly electrical shock. Most all electric chainsaws will have the recommended extension cord to use for the specific model in the user manual.
Best Electric Chainsaw (Corded)
#1 BLACK+DECKER CS1518 18 – Inch 15 Amp Electric Chainsaw
Our top pick in this category goes to the Black + Decker CS1518. It is a very well priced machine with plenty of power! Kickback is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to you while using a chainsaw. B&D knows this, and they have installed a chain brake system as well as an Oregon low kickback chain bar. Add to that a self-oiling chain and a 15 Amp drive motor you have one of the best, corded electric chainsaws on the market today.
Breeze through your cutting chores of saplings, tree limbs, and doing a cord of firewood is a snap. Made light, this electric chainsaw is easy to use for almost anyone and has a comfortable well designed handle.
- 18″ Oregon Chain bar
- Auto-oiling system
- Chain Brake
- 15 Amp drive motor
- Tool-less chain tensioner
What Customers Say
People who bought this electric chainsaw on Amazon have given it a 4.1 of out 5 star rating with over 116 reviews! One of the comments often mentioned in these reviews was the ease at which the saw could be assembled and then operated. Other customers were impressed at the low noise level of the saw which made it perfect for home use. While most people only have good things to say about this saw, there were a few concerns regarding the effectiveness of the self oiling for the chain when it got very cold, however no complaints about it in the heat.
For work that’s within a hundred feet or so of an outlet this is a great little chainsaw. It will do landscaping like nobody’s business and take on a tree with a 10″ trunk. B+D are a reliable brand and the saw comes with a decent warranty.
#2 Sun Joe SWJ701E 18 – Inch 14 Amp Electric Chain Saw
This saw got our #2 pick because of its excellent lightweight design, being the lightest 18 inch electric chainsaw around this is a really easy tool to work with and if that isn’t enticing enough it is one of the cheapest on the market in this category! When you want firewood, cut up a log or two, and clear away obscuring limbs this is the chainsaw. The 18″ Oregon bar has the length to handle most work you will ever have to deal with in maintaining your yard’s trees, shrubbery and for brush clearing. To protect you while you work you have a large hand guard with a built-in chain brake stops the chain in the event of Kickback. The rear and front handles are shaped to fit your hand, and you won’t have to worry about fatigue while you are cutting a cord of wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.
- 18″ chain bar
- Self-lubricating chain
- Handguard that has a built-in chain brake that protects against kickback
- Lightweight and easy to use
What Customers Say
People who bought this electric chainsaw on Amazon have given it a 4 of out 5 star rating with over 180 reviews! Common positive feedback about this saw was as you may have guessed the benefit of the low weight making sawing for an extended period manageable. Some customers mentioned that the user manual wasn’t quite as detailed or as clear as they would have liked, but due to the easy to operate nature of the saw this hasn’t stopped anyone cutting wood.
Out of all the corded electrics, this is this writer’s favorite as it has the power and the safety features that is essential to a good electric chainsaw with its chain brake, and low Kickback Oregon bar and chain. So, out of the electrics that use a cord, this is the number two on the list.
#3 Earthwise CS30116 16 – Inch Electric Chainsaw
The Earthwise CS30116 is a recent upgrade of the previous model the CS30016, while keeping the same car length and motor, this new improved model has an updated chain bar from Oregon, the Double Guard 91 Bar. This new and improved bar from Oregon is perfect for small lightweight chainsaws as it has a smaller nose radius that reduces kickback energy. THe other great feature about this bar is the fact that you can flip the bar over if you are getting uneven wear from the chain very easily. Apart from the bar this saw has a great 12 amps of power to drive it, you have a corded chainsaw that is an excellent add-on to your yard and garden array of lawn care and land management tools. The saw lets you adjust its chain tension without having to resort to a screwdriver or wrench. The chain tensioning dial has also been made even easier to use on the new model than its predecessor! Also, the chain is self-oiling, and that makes limbing easier and saves wear on the teeth of the chain. To check the chain lubricating oil level. A side mounted frosted window keeps you appraised of when to add more. The chainsaw is light and easy to maneuver in tight spaces to get a close cut near the trunk of a tree.
- New 16″ Oregon Double Guard 91 Chain bar
- Tool-less chain tensioner
- Large oil reservoir with translucent view window
- 12 Amp drive motor
What Customers Say
Those who bought this electric chainsaw on Amazon have given it a massive 4.7 of out 5 star rating with over 55 reviews already, it seems like Earthwise have done all the right this with this new model ! Many who bought this saw were impressed that it was preassembled, ready to go out of the box. Others noted the ease of tensioning the chain was impressive. One other common theme was that purchasers should be aware that the saw doesn’t come with chain oil in the package so you should buy some when you purchase so you are ready to get cutting!
This is the one if you want a corded electric chainsaw. It has it all in one package, and the safety features are “First Class.” Combine that with a 16″ blade, it is sized just right for backyard, landscaping, and the other chore you want a chainsaw for. It is light, maneuverable, and it makes an excellent addition to your set of Backyard tools and garden accessories.
#4 OREGON CS1500 18 – Inch Self-Sharpening Electric ChainSaw
Out # 4 pick for best rated electric chain saw is the Oregon CS1500. When you want real power in an electric chainsaw Oregon has just the thing with its 18″ cutting bar gives you the right amount of cutting length to handle most work you’ll find in your around or a piece of property you own. You can trim branches, cut limbs with it, and even cut down small to medium sized trees as well. The standout feature for this electric chainsaw however is the self sharpening feature, which isn’t very common among chainsaws but saves you a mountain of time trying to sharpen by hand!
This chainsaw is the perfect tool for someone who lives in a place where your neighbors are only a stone’s throw away. A great chainsaw for cutting firewood and doing work out among saplings, which seem to spring up without warning. What’s even better is that it is self-sharpening, this
- 18″ chain bar
- Tool-less tensioning
- Low maintenance
- Translucent Oil window
- Backed by a 1-year Professional and 2-year Consumer Warranty from Oregon
What Customers Say
This saw received a 4.1 out of 5 star rating from customers with over 133 reviews, with 59% of people giving the saw a full 5 stars. Most of the customers seemed impressed by the power the saw had to offer and the safety features. Some people did note that it sometimes used quite a bit of oil for the chain to stay lubricated so it was important to have oil on hand when cutting a large amount of wood.
A good chainsaw that meets all the requirements for safety and durability, it has the power and the reach that comes with an 18″ bar. This chainsaw is made to handle larger work that only occurs for those who have a property with trees with bigger sized trunks. Life is made a lot easier with the self sharpening mechanism.
Best Cordless (Battery) Electric Chainsaw
#1 GreenWorks 20312 G-MAX 40V 16 Inch Cordless Chainsaw
Your get everything you need for battery powered excitement in this chainsaw. Charger, battery, scabbard, and carry bag. It has a brushless motor, which means it requires almost no maintenance and it is virtually silent and without any vibration. Brushless motors will typically last a lot longer than a standard electric motor which is great to see in this model. This motor provides 30% more torque, and it will do 100 cuts on a single charge. With its design features, a low kickback chain bar as well as a chain brake for added safety when cutting a stubborn tree limb.
You can take down small to medium sized trees with its 16″ bar, and the Li-Ion battery makes it compatible with the entire line of GreenWorks products.
- 16″ chain bar
- Low-Kickback features and a chain brake
- Low Vibration
- 30% more cutting power with a high torque 40 Volt brushless drive motor
- 4AH Li-Ion Battery
- Scabbard and Carry Bag included
What Customers Say
People who bought this electric chainsaw on Amazon have given it an outstanding 4.5 of out 5 star rating with over 544 reviews! Lots of positive feedback about this saw, many customers where impressed at the power this little unit delivered as well as the excellent battery life that meant the saw could be used longer without have to stop work.
This is the one cordless chainsaw you need to have in your tool shed or garage it has everything you need in a battery operated chainsaw and is a great quality product for a decent price, which is why its our top pick. Just remember that this one only comes with one battery, so you may want to purchase a second one to enable you to stay cutting longer. The GMAX battery fits in almost all of the GreenWorks tools and so if you already have other Greenworks gear this is the saw for you. This is a chainsaw that goes where you need it and makes short work of any small / medium cutting job you have.
#2 BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 12 Inch 40V Battery Chainsaw
Our # 2 Pick is the Black and Decker LCS1240, well priced, being the cheapest model we reviewed while still a great quality small saw., Black and Decker has made a name for themselves in the Battery power tool industry and even with a market dominated by the “Big Boys,” Husky and STIHL, they still manage to carve a niche for themselves with their 12″ Lithium-Ion 40 volt model cordless chainsaw. Making use of the best in chainsaw technology they have incorporated an Oregon bar, automatic oiling, and tool free chain tensioning and raised it to a new level of excellence. So, if you have brush around your property to remove brush and wood to cut this is the battery driven workhorse you want in your hands.
- 12″ Chain bar perfect for small saplings, firewood, and small cutting chores
- Tool-free tensioning
- Chain is self-oiling
- Low Kickback Chain bar
- 40V Li-Ion Battery
What Customers Say
With over 400 reviews this model managed to receive a 4.5 star rating from customers that purchased it on Amazon! Many were impressed with the maneuverability of the saw, cutting at odd angles and getting into tight spots, this was a great tool. It was noted that it had plenty of power for a small saw but did tend to go through the chain oil, so make sure you have some near by to refill the automatic oiler if you are planning on cutting for a while.
If you have multiple B&D portables, already adding this chainsaw to your stable of power tools only makes sense. While we like the GreenWorks over the B&D because of its size and extras, B&D has the advantage when it comes to those small jobs in difficult places where its 12″ chain bar gives it a distinct edge. It is also a brand that everyone is comfortable with and as we said before and we will repeat it, again you cannot go wrong with B&D.
#3 OREGON CS300 16″ Cordless
Our #3 pick is the OREGON CS300, more expensive than our #1 and #2 but its not without reason. This saw boasts a powerful brushless motor as well as a self sharpening system! The CS300 is a great all rounder battery operated saw that will make light work of any small to medium sized jobs around the yard. Oregon claim that this new model offers users 40% more cutting power and torque than its predecessor.
- 16″ Oregon Double Guard 91 Bar
- Self-Sharpening technology
- 2.4Ah, 4Ah and a massive 6Ah battery options available
- Tool-less chain tensioning
- Great Warranty
What Customers Say
Most customers were very impressed with the self-sharpening chain system, saving them a lot of time. One thing people noted though is that you do need to use the Oregon chain specified in order for this to work. Many commented that the chainsaw is very quiet and has low vibration which made it easy to use.
This is a more expensive saw but you get a very hassle free experience, easy to tension the chain, easy to sharpen and easy to start. Whether you are a landscaper or someone who just needs to cut a few cords of firewood then this is a great saw for you.
Other Top Rated Electric Chainsaws
See our reviews on other electric chainsaws:
In our electric chainsaw reviews, we found the Makita chainsaws to be the best of the top rated electric chainsaws out there. To be the best, you have to have endurance, be lightweight, and quality that beats out all the rest.
When you are looking for an electric chainsaw Makita’s electric and cordless electric chainsaws scored the highest with the customers and this writer. GreenWorks came in second in the Cordless category and Remington in the corded category as a best Low-Priced entry on the list.
However, if you have made your choice for the best electric chainsaw that is your prerogative as you may be using different criteria that fits your needs best or which chainsaw brand you like the best.
In any case, you have seen that both Corded and Cordless electric chainsaws offer some great options and you might just be edging to retiring your gas-fueled chainsaw for an electric after today’s article.