The world is changing from gas to electric. Thanks to great strides made in battery and electric motor technology, cordless electric chainsaws can now challenge gas-powered machines. This review is going to pit the Greenworks Pro 80V 18” chainsaw against some of the best cordless electric models available today.
Gas chainsaws have always been seen as the best for power and practicality. Let’s face it, corded electric chainsaws can be extremely bothersome and tend to be underpowered. Trailing a long extension cord across the yard to fell trees is not exactly fun. Now that lithium-ion batteries have evolved into a practical means of supplying power equipment with the energy they need, we can forget about the cumbersome electric cord.
Brushless electric motors have really changed the way we look at cordless chainsaws. The Greenworks Pro 80V cordless chainsaw uses basically the same technology that you’ll find in the latest Tesla cars. This is an advanced 3-phase motor supplied by a computer-controlled inverter. Cutting-edge electronic technology ensures the best power that is constantly monitored, adjusting the voltage and frequency to maximize efficiency. Brushless electric motors are also much more durable than the older technology.
While most of the electric chainsaws featured in this review utilize advanced brushless technology, some of the cheaper models will use brushed motors. These chainsaws are not quite as powerful and will generally have a smaller bar. However, for a more affordable option (if you don’t need a large powerful chainsaw), the brushed motor should be fine. Not quite as efficient, these chainsaws won’t have the same extraordinary battery runtime as their sophisticated brushless counterparts.
In the end, you need to consider your budget vs your requirements. One thing’s for sure, all the chainsaws in this review are worth their price. We’ve done the research to find electric chainsaws that really make the grade. As always, I regard good value for money as being paramount. This means that the more expensive products have to offer something really exceptional. On the other side of things, the cheaper chainsaws in this review are not junk.
The Cordless Electric Chainsaws We’ll be reviewing:
Greenworks Pro GCS80450: 80V 18” chainsaw. One of the best in its class at a great price.
DeWalt DCCS620P1: 20V MAX XR 12” chainsaw. A compact cordless chainsaw from a leading brand.
Ego Power+ CS1604: 56V 16” high-quality cordless chainsaw.
Black & Decker LCS1020B: 20V 10” chainsaw for light-duty garden work, best cordless electric chainsaw under $100.
Makita XCU06Z: 18V LXT 10” chainsaw. Ultra-durable professional-grade compact cordless chainsaw.
Now that you know what you’re in for, lets’ get down to it, the Top Power Tools review of the best cordless electric chainsaws.
Greenworks Pro GCS80450 18” Electric Chainsaw
- Get up to 150 cuts on 4×4 lumber on a single charge with a 2.0Ah battery. Battery and charger not included
- 18-inch bar and chain can be used to cut trees and limbs up to 34 inches in diameter.
- Advanced brushless motor technology delivers more torque, runtime, and extends life of the tool. Comparable to a 42CC gas chainsaw
- Guaranteed start every time. No Prime, No Choke, No Pull; comfort grip provides superior control and reduced fatigue
- Pro-style side-mounted chain tensioning for easy bar and chain maintenance
- Automatic oiler ensures chain stays lubricated for longer chain life, and the transparent oil window lets users know when to refill the reservoir
- Inertia-activated chain brake for added safety and reduced risk of injury
Many homeowners are familiar with Greenworks cordless garden tools. They are affordable and offer outstanding reliability for domestic grade power equipment. The Greenworks Pro brand is aimed at a professional market.
Greenworks Pro provides the same great value for money for tools that are of a more commercial grade standard. While primarily aimed at landscapers and contractors, the Greenworks Pro 80V, 18” cordless chainsaw is a fantastic tool for homeowners wanting a larger more powerful chainsaw.
The 80V brushless motor is about as powerful as it gets for a cordless electric chainsaw, comparable to a 42cc gas-powered machine. This allows the Greenworks Pro GCS80450 to accommodate the largest bar in its class. The 18” bar can easily manage trees with a diameter of around 34”. Pretty impressive for a cordless chainsaw weighing only 10-pounds (excluding battery). Power to weight ratio is of many advantages that electric chainsaws have compared to gas equivalents. The mighty 80V Greenworks Pro is probably one of the best in this regard.
The Greenworks Pro 80V battery platform is great and extremely versatile, with more than 20 high-power tools using this battery. This means one battery for all your power equipment needs, from lawnmowers to snowblowers. At 80V, electric efficiency is optimized, allowing for better battery working times than lower voltage batteries. Even the smallest battery in the Greenworks Pro 80V range (2AH) gives this chainsaw exceptional performance, approximately 150 cuts on 4 X 4 pressure treated lumber. Using the 5AH 80V Greenworks Pro battery you can more than double the amount of cuts from a single battery.
Emphasizing the more industrial-grade nature of this beast, the Greenworks Pro GCS80450 has pretty robust attributes. Steel bucking spikes and metal wraparound front handle are evidence of this. The metal handle is rubber-clad to make it more comfortable to use and is in close proximity to the chainguard/electric brake. It’s pretty easy to flip the brake forward in an emergency. Though, the low-kickback bar and chain will help prevent this from being necessary a lot of the time.
Meeting the expectations for a high-spec level, the Greenworks Pro 18” cordless chainsaw is equipped with automatic chain lubrication. The oil reservoir is large enough with a pretty large filler for spill-free oil top-ups. It is also translucent, making it easy to check the oil level at a glance.
I have to say, I’m suitably impressed with the Greenworks Pro GCS80450, 80V, 18” cordless electric chainsaw. Despite being a pretty tough machine, it is lightweight and easy to use. There is a general feeling of quality about this chainsaw and the 4-year warranty does a lot to reinforce this opinion.
- Low kickback 12 in. bar and chain for construction and outdoor cutting applications
- Compact, lightweight design (just 9 lbs. with battery) for maximum user control
- High-efficiency brushless motor maximizes runtime and motor life
- Up to 90 cuts per charge on 4×4 pressure treated wood (using a 20V MAX* 5Ah battery)
- Tool-free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob for proper bar clamping force
Despite being less powerful than the DeWalt 60V DCCS670X1, the DCCS620P1 is vastly more popular. It is one of the best-selling cordless chainsaws across the board. I guess the DeWalt 20v MAX XR has garnered a massive following over the years. I’m one of those who absolutely love this tool range for its great power and extensive range of versatile cordless tools.
There can be no comparison between the 12”, 20V DeWalt chainsaw and the huge Greenworks Pro 80V, 18 model. The DeWalt chainsaw is a compact, nimble tool with an incredible weight of only 9-pounds including the battery. This little chainsaw is the perfect size for contractors requiring a chainsaw for construction work. Little wonder that the DeWalt DCCS620P1 is a huge hit with contractors and homeowners alike. The 12” bar is large enough for the tasks that chainsaw is commonly used.
Like all DeWalt tools, quality engineering and robust materials abound. Okay, this chainsaw has plastic bucking teeth, in contrast to the Greenworks Pro model (reviewed above). For its purpose, I think this is fine. It has a chunky front handle and chain brake, with a really comfortable rear handle. The weight balance is also sublime. I’ve found this to be one of the easiest and most comfortable chainsaws to use.
The DeWalt DCCS620P1 has all the convenience that we’ve come to expect from modern chainsaws. A large knob allows for easy, tool-free chain tensioning. It has automatic chain oiling, and the low-kickback Oregon bar is a real pleasure.
The DeWalt 20V XR brushless motor is one of the best for durability and excellent efficiency, providing up to 90 cuts on 4 X 4 pressure treated lumber, using the DeWalt 20V MAX 5AH battery. This may not seem too impressive when we compare it to the Greenworks Pro 80V 18” cordless chainsaw. Tough, we need to be realistic, the Greenworks battery is 80V which is four times higher than the 20V DeWalt battery.
One of the biggest advantages of using the DeWalt 20V MAX battery platform is the unbeatable selection of tools to choose from. There are over 200 tools that use this battery. This is another reason why it is so popular with contractors who use a large variety of cordless tools. One type of battery and charger can be used for every tool you’ll ever need.
I may be a little biased toward the DeWalt DCCS620P1 as I’m a long-time and devoted fan of DeWalt cordless power tools. Though I’m not alone in my admiration for this incredible little machine. Sales figures back me up on this. No other cordless chainsaw has sold as many units as this one. That should count for something. There is no doubting the DeWalt reputation for ultimate quality and superb service. Their 3-year warranty, with 90-day money back guarantee, and 1-year free service plan has become almost legendary in the power tool world.
Ego Power+ CS1604
- Speed: 6800 RPM
- Chain Kickback Brake
- Chain Tension Adjustment
- Water Resistant Construction (ipx4)
- Guide Bar Length: 16 in.
- Double Guard Bar and Narrow-Kerf Sprocket Nose
- Low Kickback Chain Design (complies with ANSIB175.1)
EGO has rapidly risen to the upper echelons of battery-powered equipment. The recently upgraded EGO Power-Plus CS1604 promises a lot more than its predecessor. With a 16” low-kickback bar and extremely powerful 56V brushless motor, it is a close competitor to the Greenworks Pro GCS80450, 80V, 18” cordless electric chainsaw in terms of power and capacity.
The EGO Power+ 16” chainsaw has a really good 6,800 RPM which, combined with a lot of torque, makes light work of cutting through fairly large logs in record time. The plastic bucking teeth may not look all that robust, but they work very well.
Top features can compete with any of the best chainsaws. You have the luxury of a toolless chain tensioning knob, automatic lubrication, and a safety brake. A large filler and viewing window make it easy to ensure that you always have enough oil in the reservoir.
The handles are well-positioned for great balance and are very comfortable. Although this is a fairly large chainsaw, weighing 18-pounds, it is remarkably easy to use. The large trigger switch is another great advantage. The saw is designed to work hard in tough conditions, with an IPX4 water resistance certification.
One can’t help but be greatly impressed with the EGO Power+ CS1604 16”, 56V, cordless chainsaw. The brand has risen from obscurity to become a highly respected player in the industry. Quality assurance comes in the form of a wonderful 5-year warranty.
Black & Decker LCS1020B
- 10″ Bar and chain designed for smooth and fast cuts
- Tool-free chain tensioning for fast and easy adjustments
- 8″ Cut capacity for a wide range of cuts
- Oiling system for lubrication of bar and chain
- Works with the powerful 20V MAX* Lithium-Ion battery
Most of the chainsaws in this review are mid to higher-priced models. That’s great if you’re looking for a more accomplished machine that can handle tough daily work and you require a larger cutting capacity.
The Black & Decker LCS1020B 20V, 10” chainsaw is certainly no match to the brutish Greenworks Pro 80V, 18” cordless chainsaw. It is a cheaper, smaller machine for the homeowner who wants an affordable, good quality chainsaw for cutting firewood and trimming branches from overgrown trees.
When it comes down to dollars and cents, it doesn’t make sense buying a large commercial grade chainsaw when you only do light-duty work around the yard. The Black and Decker 10” really fills this niche perfectly. The brand is respected as one of the best for good quality tools used for general DIY and work around the home.
With its regular 20V electric motor, the Black & Decker is not a particularly powerful machine. It can’t compare to the brushless motor used for the Greenworks (and other) chainsaws in this review. It really doesn’t have to. The 10” bar is not exactly intended to cut down Redwoods that have been standing for centuries. It is perfectly adequate for most construction work and cutting trees or branches up to about 16” in diameter.
Despite being a relatively cheap cordless chainsaw, the Black & Decker LCS1020B displays a good level of specifications and features. The Oregon bar and chain are of good quality, and it has tool-free chain tensioning, along with automatic chain lubrication. The Black & Decker 20V chainsaw has the obligatory chain brake for safety.
The handles are large and comfortable. The back handle is designed to provide a solid base for standing the machine upright when you place it on the ground. The filler for the chain oil is conveniently placed for easy filling and the reservoir has a viewing window.
The Black & Decker LCS1020B is a practical and affordable cordless chainsaw that will have most home users more than satisfied. It is compact, lightweight, and easy to use. The Brand is certainly well-known and the 2-year warranty really good for a tool in this class.
- Compact top handle design
- Makita-built Outer Rotor BL™ Brushless Motor direct-drive system provides power equivalent to a 22cc gas chain saw
- Up to 175 cuts in 2×2 cedar with 18V LXT® 5.0Ah battery
- Torque boost mode for cutting dense material
- Captured bar nut and lateral chain tensioning for convenient operation and maintenance
- Adjustable automatic chain lubrication with large oil reservoir
- Large oil filling port with view window allows the operator to easily add and check the bar oil level
- Built-in L.E.D. on/off switch with auto power-off function; automatically shuts the saw off after 60 seconds for extended battery life
- Rubberized soft grip top handle
- Equipped with Star Protection Computer Controls™ to protect against overloading, over-discharging, and over-heating
- Features Extreme Protection Technology (XPT™) which is engineered to provide increased dust and water resistance in harsh job site conditions
Whilst not cheap, the Makita XCU06Z is the most affordable Makita cordless chainsaw. Since Makita is renowned for manufacturing just about the toughest tools in the world, this little bombshell can be seen as remarkably good value for money. Even at a more affordable price, this 10” Makita chainsaw is not short of high-end features.
The only luxury that you forgo, when compared to most other modern chainsaws, is the absence of a tool-free chain tensioner. Yes, you have to go old-school with this baby and haul out a wrench when you want to adjust the chain tension.
For the rest, the Makita XCU06Z has the cool stuff that we’ve come to expect, like automatic chain lubrication. The reservoir is conveniently large, with a viewing window, and large filler. A really nice additional feature is the bright LED light which makes it easier, and safer, to use the chainsaw in poor light conditions.
The handles are great. The compact rear handle is mounted at the top of the saw, which can be advantageous for cutting branches and pruning. The rubberized side handle is delightfully comfortable. It has a large safety switch on the top handle which is perfectly designed for ease of operation. With a natural grip on the handle, the palm of your hand engages the safety switch without any hassle.
Makita is one of the leaders in brushless motor technology and this 18V cordless chainsaw is one of the most efficient you’ll find. It can achieve a pretty astounding 175 cuts (2 X 2 cedar) from a single 5AH battery. The Makita 18V LXT battery has earned a reputation for being robust, outlasting most others and delivering excellent performance. This is due, in part, to the Star Protection Computer Controls which ensures that battery charges rapidly, without overheating or overcharging. It also provides the best discharge without over discharging or overheating.
More legendary Makita technology is their Extreme Protection Technology (XPT). A machine like a chainsaw is expected to work in demanding conditions. Dust is always an issue and water can be just as hazardous when working outdoors. Makita XPT prevents dust and water from causing wear or damaging the vital components inside the machine. In my opinion, this is one of the most remarkable things about Makita tools.
At a pretty good price for a super-tough, reliable cordless chainsaw, the Makita XCU06Z is really great value. Few brands have attained the same reputation for building such dependable and durable power equipment. Their 3-year warranty and dealership service is up there with the best of them.