The Best Electric Chainsaw (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

Electric Chainsaw Review GuideAn electric chainsaw is an essential part of the toolkit for anyone who likes to maintain their own property. They are safer and less expensive to run than gas-powered chainsaws, and the right ones don’t skimp on quality. If you know where to look, then you can find a quality electric chainsaw at a good price.

Having a good one can really change how you do landscaping and yardwork, and everyone knows that they are also a lot of fun to use. In this buyer’s guide, I will run down some of my favorite electric chainsaws, talk about what features are most important, and make recommendations about which ones are best for different people.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Electric Chainsaws of 2016

What are the main types?

The primary distinction among electric chainsaws is between corded and cordless models. The major tradeoff is power against flexibility. Chainsaws with a cord tend to be more powerful, able to cut through bigger logs and work for a longer period of time. On the flip side, cordless ones can go anywhere- you don’t need to be tethered to an outlet. That can make a big difference.

The cordless models are usually powered by rechargeable batteries. The best model to buy depends on the shape of your yard, where your outlets are, and how thick the logs you intend to cut will be.

What are the advantages?

Electric chainsaws are usually cheaper than gas-powered ones. Furthermore, paying for gas is more expensive than electricity. The reason to own a chainsaw in the first place is to deal with thick logs and branches faster and more easily than a manual tool like an axe or saw.

Chainsaws can simplify tasks like trimming and felling trees, which are important for some people’s yards. This is not just a matter of beauty- there are safety reasons to trim trees, such as to keep branches away from power lines. Chainsaws are useful for trimming hedges as well.

What are the contenders for the best electric chainsaw?

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw, 3.5 HP 14.5 Amp – The WG303.1 corded chainsaw has a strong engine, automatic lubrication of the chain with an interior reservoir, and safety features like a kickback bar. It currently sells for $95.99. The blade is 16 inches long and the chainsaw weighs about 11 pounds.

Earthwise CS30016 16-Inch 12 amp Electric Chain Saw – The CS30016 currently sells for a little cheaper, at $61.94, but it normally lists for $426. Like the WG303.1, it has a 16 inch chain. The engine is 12 amps. It, too, is corded. The CS30016 has similar features to the WG303.1, like automatic oiling and tool-free tightening. The chainsaw has special green markings on the safe places for you to touch, which I love. Dealing with chainsaws should always be done carefully, and Earthwise took that seriously when they designed this electric model. It weights 12 pounds.

Black & Decker LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 10-Inch – The LCS1020 is the only cordless chainsaw on this list. It has a 10 inch blade and a very ergonomic handle design. The battery can hold a charge for up to a year, and it lasts for about 150 cuts. I have found that this varies based on the thickness of the cut you need to make. This model has the automatic oiling and safety features that the others do. It is significantly lighter at about 7 pounds.

What To Look For

There are four main features that you should keep in mind when you are in the market for an electric chainsaw. First of all, I am going to ignore safety features. Most chainsaws have about the same safety features, so they usually don’t vary enough to make a difference when you are making your choice. So, with that out of the way, the first important feature is price.

You need to have a chainsaw that fits your budget and provides you with good value. Most people don’t use their chainsaws that often, so you don’t want to spend more money than you need to for a good one.

The second important feature is convenience. This encompasses weight, blade length, and similar aspects of the chainsaw. Having a chainsaw that is easy to use makes a big difference to how much it helps you.

The third feature is power. Chainsaws need to have the power to cut through thick logs and branches, simple as that.

The fourth feature is durability. This takes into account how long a chainsaw will last, how much maintenance and cleaning it needs, and how long it maintains its quality. That affects how much value it provides to you, the customer, over its lifetime.

Price

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw, 3.5 HP 14.5 Amp
The Worx has a list price of $99.99, but it is currently selling for $95.99 on Amazon. That is quite a fair deal for what the chainsaw provides in terms of features. The Worx really delivers in terms of value- it has a powerful motor and a good design, so it has the quality of an electric chainsaw that costs a lot more than a hundred bucks.

Earthwise CS30016 16-Inch 12 amp Electric Chain Saw
The Earthwise lists for $426, but it is currently available for just $61.94. That is a pretty absurd discount. The quality of the machine definitely reflects the original high price: it has a slightly weaker motor than the Worx, but the overall design is safer and easier to handle. I will discuss this chainsaw in more detail later on, but for now, it suffices to say that it really packs a lot into the package for the price.

Black & Decker LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 10-Inch
The Black and Decker lists for $129 but currently sells for $117.36. It is a little odd that it has the highest asking price but the second lowest list price, but that’s because it’s a cordless- it is a bit of an odd man out in this group. The battery and blade are both of high quality, and the design is ergonomic and light, so it scores points for being good value on that front. The cordless aspect of it will vary depending on your yard and what trees you have, but I personally love to keep this chainsaw as a backup or when I want to get a smaller job done fast. The price point is perfect for that role.

Convenience

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw, 3.5 HP 14.5 Amp
The Worx is pretty good for convenience as far as corded models go. It has a powerful motor, but it is a bit on the heavy side. The blade is a nice, long 16 inches. It can handle just about anything within its tether range, so if you have good coverage for outlets in your yard, then this will do very well for you. It might be a little too heavy to lift above your head for some jobs, but it should be fine for short tasks. You can use a ladder to get even in height with the target branch to make it easier to hold.

Earthwise CS30016 16-Inch 12 amp Electric Chain Saw
The Earthwise is somewhat heavier than the Worx, and it has a weaker engine. On the other hand, the design of the handle is much more comfortable to hold, and the green color-coded safe grip areas are useful for a quick visual cue. The safety tip on the end makes it a harder to fit the chainsaw into tight spaces. Overall, it is probably the least easy to use of these three options, especially taking into account the weaker motor.

Black & Decker LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 10-Inch
The convenience of this chainsaw is directly related to the size of your yard. If you have a huge yard without outlet coverage, then this is by far the most useful chainsaw for you. Otherwise, it might not be the best. It is quite light and on the small side, so it is good for precision work or quick jobs. It isn’t just being freed from the tether that makes a cordless chainsaw good- it’s also the fact that you don’t need to wind everything up at the end of the work. The main downside is the need to keep the battery charged, but I rarely run out the battery and need to recharge it before I finish.

Power

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw, 3.5 HP 14.5 Amp
The Worx has the largest engine of the three chainsaws I am concentrating on in this guide. It is, by extension, the most powerful chainsaw. That isn’t quite as attractive as it seems, because it also has a longer blade- the bigger engine is necessary to drive the chain around the 16 inch length of the saw. In this case, the Worx still comes off better, because it ties for the longest blade length. Just keep in mind that the power is good, but not as good as it would be with a shorter blade.

Earthwise CS30016 16-Inch 12 amp Electric Chain Saw
The Earthwise has the same length of the saw as the Worx and weighs a little more, but it has less power. That is somewhat irritating, because it isn’t clear what this added weight is really giving you- if the engine isn’t heavier, then what is? Regardless, the Earthwise’s power is not its strong point. It will still be strong enough to handle most tasks that you give to it, and because it is a corded chainsaw, you don’t need to worry about it running out of gas or charge. Some branches might just take a little longer- it is not so weak that it will be unable to cut through a branch or log.

Black & Decker LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 10-Inch
As a cordless model, the Black and Decker is automatically on a lower tier for power. It is definitely weaker than the other two. However, the fact that it is both lighter and smaller gives it a more well-defined role as a portable and easy to use chainsaw. The Black and Decker works for someone without many thick branches or logs. While the power level of this chainsaw is lower than the others, it has a good power to weight ratio.

Durability

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw, 3.5 HP 14.5 Amp
The Worx is a pretty tough chainsaw. It has a self-oiling mechanism and a body that is resistant to scratches and incidental bumps. TO keep it running its best, it is probably a good idea to replace the chain with one from a different brand- I found that the default chain wasn’t as good as a replacement I found at a hardware store. Of course, this means you are spending more money, so it is a tradeoff.

Earthwise CS30016 16-Inch 12 amp Electric Chain Saw
The Earthwise has similar construction to the Worx. It has the same oiling mechanism and toolless chain tensioning equipment, a similar weight, and the plastic in the body is of the same quality. However, the chain that comes with the saw is of a better quality. That means you don’t need to put as much maintenance into the saw. It should last as long as you need it- this saw really provides good value.

Black & Decker LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 10-Inch
As a cordless saw, the Black and Decker naturally has a slightly larger risk of malfunction because of the extra complication of the battery. I have never had any issues with mine, but you should be aware that it is a potential problem spot. Other than that, this is a very nice little saw- the light weight makes it harder to accidentally drop or dent it, and for the same reason, even if you do drop it, it won’t suffer much damage.

Our Electric Chainsaw Reviews

Best Cheap Electric Chainsaw: WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw, 3.5 HP 14.5 Amp

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw 3.5 HP 14.5 AmpPros:

The Worx is my pick for the best electric chainsaw if you are shopping on a budget. It provides good value at a great price. If you haven’t used an electric chainsaw before or you aren’t sure what you want, the Worx has plenty of power and a long cord, so it is versatile enough at the price to get a lot of jobs done.

Cons:

The Worx does have a problem with the included chain. Some people don’t experience it, but if you find that the chainsaw isn’t performing the way you expected, try replacing the chain. You should see improvement right away. It’s still a decent deal, but this is a notable drawback.

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Best Value: Earthwise CS30016 16-Inch 12 amp Electric Chain Saw

Earthwise CS30016 16-Inch 12 amp Electric Chain SawPros:

The main reason the Earthwise is in this slot is the absurd discount. There’s a reason it lists for almost five hundred dollars- it is an excellent saw, safe and powerful. It provides by far the best deal on this list. Grab it while you can.

Cons:

The weight is kind of annoying: there’s no good reason for it to weigh this much, and it is harder to carry and use overhead as a result. This isn’t a dealbreaker, but for long sessions, it is tiring to use it.

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Overall Best Electric Chainsaw: Black & Decker LCS1020 20V Max Lithium Ion Chainsaw, 10-Inch

Black & Decker LCS1020 10-Inch 20V Max Lithium IonPros:

I just can’t get over the cordless benefits. Not only is this a very well-made saw with a useful niche as a light alternative to the larger models, it comes at a very nice price. Let me put it this way: even if you have a corded model already, I would recommend buying this saw for how easy it is to pull it out for fast jobs.

Cons:
The light nature of this saw will be a turnoff if you don’t have many small shrubs or bushes. This saw is best for trimming and upkeep, so if you need a saw for big jobs, it won’t help you.

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These three saws are all good deals and are quite cheap compared to other models, so you will get your money’s worth on all of them.