If you want a chainsaw without the limitations of a cord, a battery-powered model may be the answer. But how do you know which one is right for you?
We’ll take you through some of the best options on the market right now. And we’ll help you assess their different features to make the best choice.
Best Cordless Chainsaw Comparison Chart 2020
Greenworks 20312 Cordless Chainsaw
DEWALT DCCS620P1 Compact Cordless Chainsaw Kit
Greenworks 20362 Cordless Chainsaw
BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 Cordless Chainsaw
Makita XCU03PT1 Cordless Chain Saw Kit
DEWALT DCCS670X1 Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw Kit
WEN 40417 Lithium Ion Brushless Chainsaw
The Best Battery Powered Chainsaw of 2019
1. Greenworks 20312 40V Cordless Chainsaw (Our Top Recommended)
Greenworks say their cordless chainsaw gives a performance that’s comparable to gas-powered alternatives. That’s a big claim – so does it stand up to scrutiny?
The engine here is powered by a 40V lithium-ion battery. You can buy the tool and the battery together, or if you’ve already got a compatible battery, buy the tool alone. But the key to the cutting experience is in the brushless technology.
Traditional motors use carbon brushes that pass the charge from the battery to a part called the commutator. From the commutator, the charge passes to an armature, which spins and drives the motor.
In brushless motors, both the brushes and commutator are cut from the equation. Instead, the energy distribution is coordinated by an electric circuit board. And because that circuit board communicates directly with the armature, it can adjust to differences in resistance.
If you were using your chainsaw to cut through a light wood like balsa, for example, the motor would drain less power from the battery. If you then used it to lop a branch from a Douglas fir – a tougher challenge – it would adjust. Clever, right?
All that means that you’ll get up to 80% longer life from your battery and 30% more torque. That’s when compared to motors that use brushes.
That battery life is particularly helpful, as the battery weighs in at 3 pounds. You won’t want to be carrying around a spare. It charges quickly too, and holds its charge well between uses.
You’ll also find that the brushless design gives lower vibration – up to 70% lower than gas-powered chainsaws. That makes it far more comfortable to use, especially if you’re working for long periods.
And because this is electric, you won’t have to refill gas or deal with unpleasant fumes. There’s no annoying starter cord – just press a button, and you’re ready to go. And there’s even an automatic oiler to make maintenance a breeze.
The business end is a robust 16 inch Oregon bar and chain. That makes it a good choice for handling heavier duty cutting jobs. The chain brake works well, and it’s easy to adjust. It’s nice and quiet too.
So is there anything not to like?
Well, there is an issue with the bar oil. Store the chainsaw with any oil in the reservoir and you’ll find it leaking out all over the bar. The same goes for when you transport it from place to place. However careful you are, you’re likely to find some oil escapes.
We’ve also heard some complaints about the chain coming off. This can be solved by tightening it up before use, but it’s a bit fiddly to do.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
2. DEWALT DCCS620P1 20V Compact Cordless Chainsaw Kit
If you’re in the market for a saw with a shorter bar, the DCCS620P1 from DeWALT may be for you.
The 12 inch Oregon bar and chain make this a compact tool, best for lighter sawing applications. Like the Greenworks model, this uses a brushless motor for more efficient operation. It will give you the maximum runtime for your battery and extend the life of the motor.
It runs on a 20V battery, which is compatible with other tools in DeWALT’s 20VMAX range. If you’ve already got a drill or hedge trimmer, this might be the newest addition to your collection.
The 20V battery might seem low powered for a chainsaw – but don’t be put off. If you’re looking to fell full-grown trees, it won’t be the right choice. But it will slice through tough or fibrous branches up to five or six inches across with ease.
The battery will last for about 45 minutes on a single charge. That will be enough for most standard garden clean-ups. And if you want to, you can upgrade to a 60V battery. That will keep you cutting away to your heart’s content for far longer.
It runs nice and quietly, and – unlike the Greenworks saw – it’s light enough to be used one-handed. It weighs in at just under nine pounds. Anyone used to man-handling a gas-powered chainsaw will really appreciate how comfortable and easy this is to operate.
Continuing the theme of easy use, you won’t need tools to adjust the chain tension here. There’s also a bar-tightening knob to help get the right clamping force.
There’s minimal maintenance to do – just top up the oil every so often. As a rule of thumb, you’ll probably need to do it by the time you need to recharge the battery.
When it comes to downsides – well, that bar oil is a problem again. It will leak if you leave it in during storage – which, to be fair, DeWALT doesn’t recommend doing. But taking it out requires a funnel, and even with one, it’s a messy job. Storing the saw on its side, with the tension knob on top, seems to help.
The oil cap is also very tightly screwed on. You may find it difficult to remove the first time. If you do, try putting it somewhere warm for half an hour or so before trying again.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
3. Greenworks 20362 24V Cordless Chainsaw (Best for the Money)
Another chainsaw with a shorter bar, the model 20362 from Greenworks is a great option for cutting back branches.
The battery is 24V lithium-ion and 2 Amp Hours. It’s compatible with a range of tools from the G-24 system. As for battery life, it will make 35 cuts to a piece of four by four on a single charge. We reckon that’s probably about half an hour to an hour of yard work before you’ll need to recharge.
You can extend that time by buying the 4 Amp Hour battery – but beware of the cost. This admittedly economical chainsaw will roughly double in price if you do.
The weight of extra batteries means that carrying a spare around isn’t ideal. But if you’re not going to be working far from the garden shed, invest in another 2 Amp Hour battery as backup.
The motor is the traditional type, using brushes. It’s built to last, however. The chainsaw comes with a four-year warranty, while the battery is backed by a two-year guarantee.
The bar and chain here are just 10 inches, making it nice and compact. If you want to chop through hefty tree trunks though, there are better options out there.
It weighs in at just under 8 pounds, though bear in mind the battery will add a couple of pounds to the total. That makes it easy to use for most gardeners, and it can even be operated one-handed. If you’re looking for a lighter weight chainsaw, this is definitely one to add to your shortlist.
As with other chainsaws on our list, leaking oil is a problem. The best solution is to empty the oil tank before storage. We won’t deny, though, that it’s a job we hate. If you can’t face it, try storing your chainsaw on a flattened cardboard box to absorb the drips.
This isn’t designed for very hefty branches or tree trunks. If you try to cut through those, you’ll probably find the chain is thrown off. It’s easy to replace it, but you’ll have to do so repeatedly and that’s a pain.
Overall then, this is a good, economical choice for lighter use. And you won’t have to be a powerlifter to use it comfortably.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
4. BLACK+DECKER LCS1240 40V Cordless Chainsaw
The 40V battery will give you almost twice as many cuts as the Greenworks 20632. A single charge will deliver 60 cuts through a piece of four by four. There’s also a handy battery level indicator, so you can see when you’re close to needing to recharge.
Recharging isn’t the fastest. Expect to take four to five hours to fully charge a drained battery. Black+Decker do have a faster-charging alternative, but it will cost you almost half the price of the chainsaw. Getting a spare battery is a wise investment.
This will cut through moderately sized branches and tree trunks – anything up to around 8 inches thick. Keep a close eye on the tension as you work, or the chain can jump out of your cutting groove. Adjusting the tension is quick and easy to do, and you won’t need tools. Just turn a dial on the side of the chainsaw.
There’s also an automatic oiling system to keep the bar and chain lubricated during use. You’ll find this gets through a fair amount of oil at first, but it settles down after a few uses. Unfortunately, oil leakage during storage is as much an issue here as for many other chainsaws.
This isn’t the lightest chainsaw on our list – it weighs 10.4 pounds. But it does have a wrap-around handle that helps distribute that weight evenly. That makes it more comfortable to use than you might expect.
The battery is included in the package. It also comes with a scabbard to keep the chain safe when it’s not in use.
This is another chainsaw that’s part of a system of tools. Amongst the other options on offer are a leaf blower, strimmer, and hedge trimmer. They all use the same battery, so you can get more from your investment.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
5. Makita XCU03PT1 18V Cordless Chain Saw Kit (Upgrade Pick)
If you’ve got the cash to splash, this chainsaw kit from Makita may be worth a look.
It comes with no fewer than four batteries, and it uses two 18V batteries at a time. They slot into place on either side of the body to keep the weight distributed evenly.
Those batteries are lithium-ion, and they charge super-fast. These are 5 Amp Hours, and they’ll go from drained to fully charged in just 45 minutes. The charger is dual-port too, so you can charge both batteries at once. If you don’t want a long wait if you find your battery drained, this is a great choice.
There’s an LED on the power switch, so it’s easy to see. And it will automatically shut-off power if the saw isn’t used for a spell, saving the battery.
Some people have complained that it shuts off more quickly than they’d like, however. And if you’re working in gloves, pressing the power switch again can be a bit awkward.
Another feature is the built-in lock-off lever. This stops the blade from engaging by accident – an important safety feature. And there’s a front handguard too.
The motor here is brushless, providing high power and efficient operation. It’s also variable speed, and quiet too – at least, quiet for a chainsaw. Expect it to hit about 100 decibels when in use.
The performance is impressive. It’s genuinely comparable to a gas chainsaw, without any of the drawbacks of maintenance, noise, and emissions. It will handle tree trunks and thick branches. Just bear in mind that it will be a little slower than gas-powered rivals on very sturdy growth.
The chain pitch is three-eighths of an inch, and the bar is 14 inches long. That will give you a little more reach than with the most compact chainsaws. If you’re looking to fell larger trees though, you might prefer to go for a 16-inch model.
Makita has really gone to town on their range of compatible tools. There are 225 to choose from – more than enough to get plenty of use out of those 18V batteries.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
6. DEWALT DCCS670X1 60V Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw Kit
With its 16 inch bar, the DCCS670X1 is a big beast. If you’re looking for a chainsaw to handle tough cutting challenges, this could be the one for you.
The 60V 3 Amp Hour battery will give you 70 cuts on a single charge. And if you’re thinking that’s similar to the Black+Decker LCS1240, think again. The Black+Decker’s 60 cuts are to a four by four piece of timber. DeWALT’s relate to a six by six-piece of heat-treated pine.
The Oregon bar is designed to minimize kick-back, and there’s a chain brake too for added protection. You can adjust the chain tension without using tools. Just turn a dial at the side of the saw. The bar tightening knob allows you to get the right bar clamping force for the job at hand.
An automatic oiling feature will keep the chain lubricated as you cut. And the screw cap opens with a quarter-turn, so topping up the oil is quick and easy to do.
The automatic oiling does, however, make this quite a thirsty machine. On the plus side, this is one of the few models that doesn’t have a problem with leaks during storage.
At 12.2 pounds, this isn’t the lightest chainsaw on our list. That’s the price you pay for that 16-inch bar. But the weight is evenly balanced, so it’s still fairly easy to use.
And if you want an even bigger bar, the chainsaw is compatible with one up to 18 inches. You’ll have to buy that separately, however.
This one comes with a three-year warranty. You’ll also get the battery, a charger and a hard bar cover in the package.
The battery charger that’s included isn’t the speediest though. And if you want to upgrade to a fast charger, you’ll have to pay considerably more. If you’ve got other tools in DeWALT’s 60VMAX range, use one of those batteries as a back-up instead.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
7. WEN 40417 40V Lithium Ion Brushless Cordless Chainsaw
Another chainsaw offering a longer bar, the WEN 40417 is a real workhorse.
It comes with a 4 Amp Hour battery that runs it at up to 49 feet per second. This is combined with a brushless motor for maximum torque and longer life. And automatic oiling of the guide bar and chain will also help keep the blade and saw in good condition.
There’s a chain brake for safety, and a tool-free chain tensioning system. You won’t need any tools when it comes to changing the bar either. And as well as the battery, you’ll get a sheath, a charger and a two-year warranty.
This is slightly lighter than the DeWALT DCCS670X1, coming in at 12 pounds on the nose. It’s got bags of power, cutting through tree trunks up to 14 inches in diameter without breaking a sweat.
We have, though, heard one or two grumbles about the battery life. If you’re planning on working for hours at a time, you’ll definitely need a spare battery. If you’ve got other tools from WEN’s 40V Max series, you can use the batteries for those here.
And the perennial problem of oil leaks is, unfortunately, an issue here too. Place it on some sheets of cardboard or stand it in a bucket to avoid a mess in your toolshed.
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Battery Powered Chainsaw Buying guide
Still not sure which is the right chainsaw for you? Confused by bars and batteries? Never fear, we’re here to help. Our buying guide will take you through the features to look for before you make your final choice.
Check our guide on how to clean your chainsaw.
How big is the timber you’ll be cutting?
The answer to this question will determine two key features of your chainsaw: the bar length and the battery power.
The bar is the part of the saw that the chain runs around. That means that the bar length is effectively the length you’ll be able to cut through in one go.
If you want to lop slender branches to tidy up your trees, go for a chainsaw with a shorter bar. It will be lighter and easier to maneuver, and will do the job just fine. The Greenworks 20362 has the shortest bar on our list at just 10 inches. And a number of others have foot-long bars.
If, on the other hand, you’re in the market for some tree felling, look for a longer bar. The DeWALT DCCS670X1 is one of several with 16-inch bars. And if you find you need something even longer, it’s compatible with an 18-inch bar too.
Alongside the bar length, the size and density of the timber will determine how much power your saw needs. Higher battery voltages will usually give more power, but they’re not the only factor. Brushless motors will provide more torque, as well as extending the life of your saw.
Also check our guide on chainsaw won’t start.
How long will you be working for?
A key consideration when choosing a cordless chainsaw is battery life. This can vary widely.
One option to extend your working time is, of course, to buy a spare. That’s a particularly good option with chainsaws that are part of a range of compatible tools. You’ll be able to borrow those batteries and get plenty of use from them.
Bear in mind, though, that batteries can be heavy. If you’ll need to carry your spare any distance, that will be a pain. Consider investing in a battery with longer life in the first place instead.
And if you only have one battery, remember to check out the charging time. The excellent battery in the Makita chainsaw takes just 45 minutes to go from flat to fully charged. Others can take hours.
Some manufacturers also offer fast chargers. As the name suggests, these dramatically reduce charging times. Beware though – this convenience usually comes at a price.
Finally, if you want to avoid being taken by surprise by a battery running out, look for chainsaws that include battery life gauges. The LCS1240 from Black+Decker is a good example.
Also check our guide on how to sharpen a chainsaw.
How heavy is too heavy?
Using a chainsaw can be a physically demanding task. With an electric version, you won’t have to grapple with a starter cord, but there are other considerations.
The main one is the weight. As a rule of thumb, saws with longer bars will be heavier. And remember to take into account the additional weight of the battery.
Longer bars will also be more cumbersome. If you really don’t need 16 inches to trim your leylandii, make your life easier with a 10 or 12-inch version.
Heavier chainsaws will be much easier to use if the weight is distributed evenly. The Makita XCU03PT1, for example, has one battery positioned on either side of the body.
If you’re able to get to a store, the best way to test the balance is by picking up the chainsaw. And if you can’t do that, check out user reviews before you buy.
Ready to get cutting?
That brings us to the end of our review of the best battery powered chainsaws out there. We hope you’ve enjoyed it! And most importantly, we hope we’ve helped you narrow down your search.
Our top pick is the 20312 from Greenworks. Its 16-inch bar and brushless motor give excellent power and performance. And its lighter weight makes it easier to handle than other chainsaws of this size too.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll be getting far quieter operation than with a gas chainsaw. You won’t be breathing in unpleasant fumes either. And that means a far better cutting experience. Enjoy!