13 Best Electric Chainsaws (Review) In 2021
Adrienne started her professional life as a gardener at her local parks department and went on to train at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh where she was the first female student on the prestigious and world-renowned horticultural course run by the Botanic garden. An experienced and award-winning garden writer and past editor of some of Britain’s favourite gardening magazines, Adrienne has for over 30 years, inspired gardeners with a breadth of gardening know-how plus creative and decorative ideas. One of her main aims is to make gardening accessible, even to the smallest green fingers, with her clear advice and straightforward step-by-step instructions. Adrienne loves to travel and has visited, given talks and met ordinary home gardeners in far flung places like China, South Africa, Philippines and Caribbean as well as the UK.
- The Best Electric Chainsaw
- 1. BLACK+DECKER 12" 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw
- 2. Makita 16" Tool-less Blade Electric Chainsaw
- 3. WORX 16" 14.5 Amp Powered Electric Chainsaw
- 4. Oregon 18" 15 Amp Self-Sharpening Corded Electric Chainsaw
- 5. Milwaukee Electric Tools Battery Powered Chainsaw Kit
- 6. Greenworks 14" 10.5 Amp Electric Chainsaw
- 7. BLACK+DECKER 18" 15 Amp Electric Chainsaw
- 8. CRAFTSMAN 14" 8 Amp Auto-Oiling Electric Chainsaw
- 9. Greenworks G-MAX 40V 16-" Cordless Chainsaw with Battery & Charger
- 10. WORX 18" 15 Amp Self-Oiling Electric Chainsaw
- 11. WEN 16" 12 Amp Lightweight Electric Chainsaw
- 12. Makita 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless 14" Chain Saw Kit with 4 Batteries
- 13. Husqvarna 16" Vibration-Dampening Corded Electric Chainsaw
If you are contemplating buying an electric chainsaw but haven’t decided what the best option is for you, then we are here to help you.
An electric chainsaw can be used for an array of gardening activities, from small scale pruning and trimming, right up to chopping wood and felling small trees.
And if you have previously shied away from purchasing a chainsaw due to its intimidating size and shape, you will be pleased to see there are now many more compact, lightweight models available in the electric-powered category.
Here, we look specifically at the best electric chainsaws, but if you are still not sure if this is the right machine for you, then take a look at our best gas chainsaws article. In both reviews, we consider the best chainsaws available to suit your specific needs and address frequently asked questions to help you decide.
The Best Electric Chainsaw
40 Volts MAX Lithium-Ion Battery
12″ premium bar and low kickback chain
Suitable for pruning and cutting fallen limbs
Tool-less chain tensioning
On single battery charge provides over 60 4×4 pine lumber cuts (average)
Full wrap-around handle
The Black And Decker 12 Inch Cordless model is our best electric chainsaw choice. This is best suited for pruning and cutting/chopping any fallen branches and is incredibly easy to operate.
It has an auto oiling system, so all you need to do is keep the oil levels topped up, and you can do this through the screw cap container. The container is transparent so you can easily monitor the appropriate level. The Black and Decker chainsaw also comes with tool-free chain tensioning, so you can quickly adjust this as needed when cutting.
Well-designed hand grip
Can use existing 40v battery from other Black and Decker compatible product
This chainsaw is super lightweight, and you get about one hour of cutting on a battery charge, which isn’t the best run time, but if you have other batteries from the Black and Decker range you can use these as a back-up.
Overall it is an affordable, highly efficient product that is comfortable to handle but you should be prepared to clean up the odd oil leakage.
“Tool-less” blade and chain adjustments
16-inch bar length
Rubberized grip handles
Large trigger switch for smooth start-ups
Built-in current limiter
Large oil reservoir with view window
This is a corded Makita electric chainsaw, so you will need to have an outdoor extension cord to hand before you can operate it. The 16-inch blade means it can be used for medium cutting as well as more delicate pruning and isn’t too heavy to handle.
The additional features make Makita Tool-less Blade an attractive choice for the best electric chainsaw. The built-in current limiter stops the motor from overheating, as it automatically reduces the power flowing to the motor if the saw becomes overloaded. There is also a hidden screw on the bottom of the saw which you can ‘close’ to prevent oil flow when it is not in use. This will stop any oil leaks in storage, which is a common problem with chainsaws. Just ensure you ‘open’ the screw again when you turn the machine on.
Oil adjustment screw to prevent leaking in storage
Simple to operate
The provided chain is not the sharpest
Poor anti-vibration system
This chainsaw is a reliable, powerful model, but it works even better if you invest in a sharper compatible chain. The one included is best suited for very light trimming or beginner usage.
14.5 Amp motor output
Patented auto-tension chain system
Low kickback bar and built-in chain brake
Automatic oil lubrication
Built-in oil reservoir
Blade cover included
Full wrap handle
Includes 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
The Worx WG303 is a good contender for the best-corded electric chainsaw. It has a good-sized blade and reasonably powerful motor, but the best features in this model are the safety functions.
Metal bucking spikes are included, which grip the wood to help with balance and stability when cutting. These are very useful if you are cutting thicker wood. It is also designed ergonomically and lightweight so easy to hold for lengthy periods. Additionally, there is a chain brake that automatically shuts of the saw if there is any kickback.
Auto tension adjustment
Auto oil lubrication
Blade cover included
Chain brake for safety
Bucking spikes included
Excessive oil consumption compared to other models
The tensioning system will keep the chain from over tightening, and the chain and bar lubrication is also automated. Both of these features help preserve the performance and lifetime of the chainsaw.
Includes 18″ guide bar
15amp corded model
PowerSharp chain – allows you to sharpen the chain while on the saw
instant start capability
Built-in Lubri-Tec oiling system
No assembly required; comes pre-assembled
Chain brake for added safety
This is the only electric chainsaw that comes with a built-in self-sharpening function, designed to make your gardening tasks, and maintenance of the saw, considerably easier. With the self-sharpening option, you can sharpen the chain without having to remove it from the bar, and it is done in as little as three seconds.
The Oregan Self-Sharpening Chainsaw also comes with well designed, ergonomic handle, low vibration, and is pretty low weight, all of which makes it easy to maneuver. It also comes with an automatic oiler and tool-less chain tensioner to keep it performing as expected.
Strong cutting power
Tool-less tensioning system
Several reports of the chain coming off during operation
There have been reports of the chain slipping during usage, but this doesn’t seem to be a common issue. It also has a small oil tank so you may run out of lubricant more quickly than you anticipate which could damage the chainsaw. Ensure you replenish it very regularly.
With a 15 amp motor to deliver 1800 watts it is one of the best electric chainsaw models in terms of power.
12 amp Lithium-Ion battery powered
16-inch bar and chain
Instant start and stop
Up to 150 cuts per charge
Milwaukee Powerstate brushless motor
The Milwaukee Cordless Chainsaw comes with a Powerstate brushless motor designed to generate the same power as a 40cc gas engine, so it is a good choice for heavy-duty work. It also comes with Redlink Plus, which provides protection to the battery and the tool during usage.
Although cordless, this has a surprisingly long battery life, with the manufacturers claiming it can achieve 150 cuts into 6×6 lumber in one charge. The Milwaukee includes standard features such as a chain brake, a handle with trigger and safety switches, a visible oil tank, and a second handle.
Very easy to operate
Visible oil reservoir
Not tool-less – you will need to extract the scrench with a screwdriver or similar and then use the scrench for adjustments
Loses chain tension quickly
However, this doesn’t have a tool-less function for chain tensioning, which makes it a bit more fiddly than other options. There have been several reports that the chain loses tension quite quickly, which means that you will have to alter it frequently. Not ideal when you need a screwdriver and some messing around to achieve this.
A cordless model with impressive battery power and runtime, you just have to be patient with the cord tension issues.
10.5 amp electric motor
Tool-less chain tension adjustment
Wrap around handle
Translucent oil tank
Our budget choice is Greenworks 14″ Electric Chainsaw. It is a very lightweight model, with best results when pruning and trimming.
A basic model, without some of the features of the more advanced, more expensive electric-powered chainsaws, but it performs well when light use is required. There is still an automatic oiler and no tools are required to make any adjustments to the chain.
Tool-less adjustment to the chain tension
Small cutting jobs only
The oil reservoir is difficult to see and consumes oil quickly
No chain brake
The hand grips could have been better designed, they are not the most comfortable, but they do reduce vibrations somewhat. It does, however, miss the safety feature of a chain brake, which is almost essential for less experienced users.
It has a small blade, and a low amperage so wouldn’t be suited for any more heavy-duty work.
15 Amp motor
18″ Oregon low-kickback bar and chain
Tool-free chain adjustment
Automatic oil system
Chain break feature
The Black And Decker 18″ Electric Chainsaw model is best suited for occasional use and light to medium cutting. As with other electric chainsaws, it is easy to operate with simple on and off switches that cut or start the engine instantly, once you have an extension cord attached.
It is an 18-inch model, but while manufacturers state it can cut 16-inch branches easily, it is more suited to 12 – 14-inch limbs at maximum. The chain speed is average for an electric saw of this size.
Auto oil lubrication
Low oil use
Thin bar – may not perform so well on high-density wood
Thanks to its small tip, it has low kickback and is designed to reduce friction, which makes it safer and easier to maneuver. It also has a chain auto-stop function.
This chainsaw bar is quite thin compared to other models, so it may not be the best suited for dealing with high-density wood, but it works well for light-duty work.
8 Amp motor
Bolt lock chain tension settings
If you are looking for a compact-sized, lightweight chainsaw that is easy to use in tight corners and small spaces, then CRAFTSMAN 14″ Electric Chainsaw is a great option.
This chainsaw is already assembled, has an auto oil function, and simple chain tension altering, so it is very low maintenance and easy to operate. A wrench and bar cover is also included to keep this neatly packed away. The Craftsman 14 inch is not a particularly powerful chainsaw, but then it doesn’t claim to be. Great for light-duty work.
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No assembly required
Perfect for tight spaces
Compatible with Greenworks G-MAX 40V Li-Ion system
Translucent oil tank
70% less vibration
One battery powers 25 tools
16-Inch bar and chain
100 cuts on 4 x 4 lumber per charge
This Greenworks 16 Inch Battery-Powered Chainsaw is compatible with other G-Max 40V appliances. This means that you can use the included lithium battery and charger with 25 other household tools, saving you money in the long-run. If you already have a G-Max battery and charger, there is the option to buy just the tool package of this chainsaw.
This saw is constructed with a brushless motor, designed to provides you with longer battery run-time, more torque, and more power than other electric chainsaws. Despite this, the claims of the battery lasting for 100 cuts on one charge may be a little optimistic, and there are similar machines available that have longer run time.
Compatible with other G Max tools
Battery and charger included
Long bar and chain for cordless chainsaws
Auto chain tensioning and oiler
Battery life short compared to similar models
Oil leaks in storage
The brushless feature does, however, significantly reduce vibration and maintain power to make cutting even thick limbs pretty easy going.
Unfortunately, as with so many electric chainsaws, the Greenworks does leak oil when in storage, so be careful where you put it and, if possible, don’t leave too much oil in the tank.
Overall this chainsaw has an effortless start function, auto oiling and auto chain tensioning, so it is an easy to operate option if you are not familiar with chainsaws. It also comes with a visible battery life indicator, so you won’t be caught by surprise when your battery runs out.
15.0 Amp motor
Patented auto-tension chain system
Built-in chain brake
Automatic oil lubrication
Comes fully assembled
Ergonomic full wrap handle
3-year manufacturer’s warranty
In terms of power, you absolutely get your money’s worth with this product! The Worx 18 Inch Corded Chainsaw has a powerful motor and a generous blade length, making it suitable for medium to heavier cutting activities. It is also very lightweight so great for tackling high-level trees or for use over an extended period.
The chain brake system, automatic oil lubrication, auto chain tensioning, and tool-free access really do help to make this a user-friendly power tool. There is only one concern to watch out for with this best value option, and that is the durability of the gear strips. Some reviewers have reported that after regular use these do wear out and need replacing. The 3-year warranty should help you should this issue arise.
Generous bar length
Lightweight for its size
Blade cover included
Durability of the plastic gear strips
44 feet per second rotation
Automatic oiling system
Tool-free chain changes
The WEN 4017 offers good overall value if you want a product for occasional, light-duty yard work. It comfortable cuts through 10-inch limbs, but any thicker will require quite some effort.
It is convenient and easy to use, thanks mainly to its maneuverability. As it is very lightweight, you can move around with little trouble, and the extension cord wrangler keeps it out of the way when in operation, so no need to worry about tripping over it. The WEN also has a small radius blade nose, which reduces friction and the likelihood of kickback.
Tool-free chain switching and tensioning
Extension cord wrangler
Not very robust
Only 13m/s speed
In terms of safety, it has bumper spikes, a handguard, and a safety lock to prevent any accidental starts. It’s not the most robust tool, with casing primarily made from plastic, but it is good value and performs adequately.
Makita-built Outer Rotor BL Brushless motor
Equivalent to a 32cc gas chain saw
14inch bar and chain
Variable speed trigger (0-3)
High chain speed (940 feet per minute)
Built-in lock-off lever
Auto power-off function
Two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries
Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) to provide increased dust and water resistance
Our premium choice for the best electric chainsaw is from Makita. Makita Cordless 14″ Chain Saw Kit is a well built battered powered chainsaw that is awash with features. The top features for this model include a trademarked brushless motor for increased efficiency, metal bucking spikes to help cut through tough wood, tool-free chain tightening, and powerful batteries.
It performs smoothly, is well balanced when operating, albeit a little heavy for a 14-inch saw, has a rubber hand grip and Extreme Protection Technology that will help to protect the machine from dust and water if you are using it in harsh conditions.
Two extra batteries included
Lock-off lever to prevent accident start
On/off switch a hassle to use
One additional feature of the Makita that causes a little controversy is the on/off switch and auto power-off function. This improves the safety of the machine, but you may find it frustrating when it repeatedly shuts down every time you pause mid-cutting. The restart is done just with the on/off switch, but this isn’t very easy to activate if you are wearing safety gloves.
Corded electric chainsaw
16-inch bar and chain
Air injection cleaning system
Anti-vibration dampeners absorb movement
Ergonomic 90-degree front handle
Husqvarna is known for making quality chainsaws, and this 16″ Vibration-Dampening Corded Electric Chainsaw saw is no exception. This is a well built, robust machine with a 14.5amp motor that benefits from tool-less access and minimal vibration. As it is only 12 lbs it is also comfortable to move around your garden and performance cutting above shoulder level.
In terms of improvements, this chainsaw would be better if it came with bar oil to you could use it instantly, and it would be a touch safer if it had a loop or hook to hold your extension cord, keeping it out of the way. It is also important to note that, unlike some other Husqvarna models, you cannot change the blade size on this machine.
Air injection system extends the time between filter cleanings
Quiet and powerful
No bar oil included
No hook for an extension lead
Can’t switch the blade for another size
Features To Consider With Electric Chainsaws
The bar length makes reference to the blade length of a chainsaw, and this will differ from model to model.
The bar length of home-use electric chainsaws is generally between 8 and 18inches, which is smaller than a typical gas saw. The general guide is that you should use a blade that is 2 -3 inches bigger than the diameter of the branch or tree you want to cut. So to cut an 8-inch diameter tree in one go, you should use a 10-inch bar. Bear in mind that the longer the blade is, the harder the saw will be to control, so don’t think that the longest will necessarily be the best.
We recommend only using a long blade if you are an experienced chainsaw handler – a guide bar size of over 20 inches is referred to as a ‘professional- grade’ saw.
A corded electric chainsaw comes with a power cable and will need to be plugged in (usually with the help of an extension lead) when in use.
Cordless chainsaws operate from a rechargeable battery. This gives you more freedom in moving around the garden, without worrying about tripping over a wire, but you will need to plan ahead and on occasion have a break to recharge the battery.
The run time of a battery is important to consider if you will frequently use the saw to tidy and trim large areas.
The chainsaws we have reviewed above are all electric-powered models, meaning their power source is either a rechargeable battery or a power cord.
Gas-powered chainsaws are also available, and they need to be fueled with oil and gas. If you are not sure if an electric chainsaw is right for you, then please see our gas chainsaw reviews.
The best electric chainsaw will often be lighter and more compact than gas-powered versions. They are also always recommended if you are an inexperienced chainsaw user.
Gas-powered chainsaws are more powerful, and you aren’t restricted by the cord or battery life. They are, however, more expensive and heavier to use. If you have very heavy-duty work to complete then a gas-powered chainsaw is usually recommended.
The best electric chainsaws require little maintenance beyond general cleaning and oiling, tension adjustments, and regular chain sharpening.
Gas-powered chainsaws require a lot more attention.
Firstly, wiping your saw, and the teeth of the chain after each use will remove any wood chips, leaves, or debris. These items tend to get stuck to the bar and chain, and can also cause the oil reservoir to clog, so it is essential to remove them.
You should also regularly check the chain tension to ensure it is tight but not overtight. Specific manufacturers will provide instructions on how to achieve the correct tension for your electric chainsaw.
If not included, you need to invest in some bar and chain oil, to ensure your chain doesn't burn out or bind up. All-electric chainsaws have visible reservoirs that you need to keep topped up for good maintenance.
Lastly, don't forget to sharpen the chain. This should be done every few hours of work, either by yourself or at a hardware store. If you start to see that your electric saw is producing more sawdust instead of wood chips, then it is definitely time to grab your electric chainsaw sharpener and get it sharpened.
Volts / Amp
Your chainsaws electric motor will be measured in amps or volts.
Corded chainsaws will have a motor power of 8 to 15amps (the higher the number the higher the power).
Cordless chainsaws will have a motor power of between 20 and 80 volts, and this is dependent on the battery used to fuel them. Again the higher the volts, the more powerful the chainsaw will be.
If your intention is to use the chainsaw for a long period or have some heavy-duty cutting to do, then the weight of your saw is going to be a significant factor to consider.
You need to select a saw that you can comfortably hold and that is light enough for you to maneuver around, especially if you have tall trees to tackle. The best electric chainsaws aren't necessarily the lightest, it depends on your needs, but the typical weight range is between 8lbs and 15lbs.
Electric Chainsaw FAQ
Q: Can electric chainsaws overheat?
Overheating isn’t a common problem with electric chainsaws, but it can happen. This usually occurs if there is a jam in the chain from debris, or if incorrect voltage is used to power the machine.
Q: What oil should I use on my electric chainsaw?
For electric chainsaws, you will always need to use oil to ensure the chain remains lubricated, which will help ensure a smoother operation. You can use motor oil or bar oil for this purpose, and if you are going to be using the saw in a cold climate, then it is best to opt for oil with low viscosity.
Q: How to stop an electric chainsaw overheating?
Regular maintenance of your chainsaw is essential to prevent overheating.
The blade should be sharpened regularly, to ensure that the motor is not placed under too much strain when operating. If it is not cutting cleanly or taking longer than usual to cut, then it is time to get it re-sharpened.
If your electric chainsaw is fitted with any filters, then these also need to be checked regularly to ensure no debris or dirt gets stuck, clogging up the machine.
Lastly, you should make sure that you are not attempting to cut wood that is far too big for the capacity of the machine. If you do, the blade is likely to get stuck in the tree or branch, without moving, but the motor will continue to power away. This causes overheating.