Do you have the urge to make like a lumberjack but don’t need a full-on gasoline-guzzling chainsaw for the wood-cutting chores around your homestead? Then check out our best electric chainsaw review to get your wood-cutting fix. Easier to use and without leaving that distinctive gasoline smell wherever you take it, the electric chainsaw will make the cut for most domestic jobs such as landscaping, trimming, sawing logs and cutting down smaller trees. Plus, they are easier to use and maintain.
OK, they may not have the forest-felling power of a gas-powered monster, but the electric chainsaw is a fantastic wood-cutting go-to for the home tool store. But with a wide choice of both corded and cordless models out there, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees when choosing the right one for you. To help you decide, we’ve looked at what we think are currently the 10 best electric chainsaws you can buy.
The Best Electric Chainsaw
The Worx electric chainsaw has a 14.5A motor and 16-inch bar offering an impressive performance when it comes to cutting and small tree felling. For less than $100, you get a machine that feels much more expensive, and it comes with a decent amount of spec so good for home use. It has an auto-tension system to prevent the chain overtightening plus a low kickbar and built-in chain brake for extra safety. Plus, there’s automatic oil lubrication and a good-sized oil reservoir to keep the action smooth. Robust and lightweight, the Worx is easy to handle, making it ideal for beginners and everyday domestic use. One of the best corded chainsaws currently out there, the Worx also easily scoops our Best Choice title. Make sure you also check our guide to the best circular saws.
16-in bar and 14.5amp motor
Patented auto-tension chain system
Low kickbar and built-in chain brake
Automatic oil lubrication
- Weight11 pounds
Delivers a consistent cutting performance
Lightweight and easy to use – great for everyday use
Comes with a three-year warranty
Corded so limited to the length of the power cable
Black+Decker solid cordless chainsaw offers a run time that’s up to five times longer, thanks to its 40V lithium ion battery. On average, this should give you at least an hour’s constant run-time of heavy-duty work. The 12-inch bar is a decent length, but is still maneuverable enough for most domestic jobs, including pruning and smaller tree felling. There’s also no need to worry about oiling, thanks to its automatic oiling system. And the wraparound bale handle will keep you secure. A well-priced battery-powered chainsaw with the B+D quality and durability you would expect. You may also like to check our guide to the best wood axes.
Rechargeable 40V MAX lithium ion battery
12-inch low kickback bar
Tool-free chain tensioning
Automatic oiling system
- Weight10.4 pounds
A good run time on each battery charge
A good weight that sits comfortably in the hand
Can guzzle the chain oil quite quickly
For fast, quiet work to eat up that wood, check out this Makita 16th inch corded lightweight chainsaw. Its motor will power the chain to an impressive 2,900 FPM to make lightwork of those logs, bushes and branches. And there’s a built-in current limiter to protect the motor from burnout when overloaded. Ongoing maintenance for periods of extended cutting is also sorted with its automatic chain oiler and large oil reservoir.
Although quite a large animal, the Makita is surprisingly light to handle, with rubberized grip handles for extra comfort. And the large trigger switch with a soft start makes it one of the best corded electric chainsaws that’s a doddle to switch on and ready to go. Be sure to also check out our list of the best band saws for more great items like this.
Automatic chain oiler for continuous cutting
Electric chain brake for maximum productivity
Fast chain speed of 2,900 FPM
Current limiter helps protect motor from damage
- Weight15.7 pounds
Fast chain speed for efficient cutting
Light, quiet and easy to clean
Oil reservoir can be a little fiddly to re-fill
If you think you’re a gas-powered chainsaw diehard and not sure if you want to change, then check out this Greenworks cordless chainsaw and you just may see electric in a whole new light. Greenworks confidently believe their cordless chainsaw is on par with gas-powered when it comes to cutting performance.
Driven by a rechargeable 40V Li-Ion system which has healthy battery life, the Greenworks also offer up to 30% more torque and 70% less vibration than a conventional gas-powered saw. For a safe, clean cutting action, there is a 16-inch bar and low kickback chain with a chain brake and automatic oiler. Weighing in at less than 11 pounds, this chainsaw fits nicely in the hand and its wraparound handle enables you to get into multiple cutting angles and positions with confidence. As a mid-priced lightweight chainsaw, you get a lot of power and performance for your money. Our handy guide to the best cordless drills features more great products like this.
Rechargeable 40V Li-Ion battery system
30% more torque for cutting performance
70% less vibration for user comfort
Chain brake and automatic oiler
- Weight10.36 pounds
Impressive power and battery life
Less noise and vibration make it easier to use
Oil reservoir can leak if not emptied before storing
The Oregon chainsaw is a battery-powered chainsaw that requires minimal maintenance, with a self-sharpening ‘PowerSharp’ system which finetunes the chain edge while on the job, with just a pull of a lever. This means for those concentrated jobs when you don’t want to stop, you can keep going without the worry of dull cutting action.
This 16-inch cordless chainsaw also has a good run-time per charge, enough Oregon say to blast through around 400 medium branches. Add in a tool-less tension system, lightweight handling and an instant start and you have one of the best cordless electric chainsaws to play with. Love this product? Check out our review of the best tool bags for our top picks.
PowerSharp system – sharpens the saw on the job
High performance brushless motor
40V Max Lithium Ion power for improved run time
Pull trigger for instant start
- Weight12 pounds
PowerSharp system means no downtime to sharpen the saw
Good battery life and impressive power
Doesn’t come fully assembled
The Dewalt carries a shorter bar – a low kickback 12-inch – meaning it’s super compact and also lightweight. But there is nothing light about the way it performs. The Dewalt can eat through branches and land clearing, giving a good saw session per single charge, thanks to 20V Lithium-Ion battery. Throw in tool-free chain tension adjustment, a brushless motor and auto-oiling system and you have a highly usable, quiet and robust rechargeable chainsaw for all your everyday cutting needs in your garden and home. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best screwdriver sets.
Low kick back 12″ Oregon Bar and chain
High efficiency brushless motor
Tool free chain tension and bar tightening knob
Automatic oiling system
- Weight8.8 pounds
The Remington Limb N Trim is the super-lightweight of our best electric chainsaws review, tipping the scales at a mere six pounds. Specifically designed to whip off small tree limps and cut back saplings, this sleek small electric chainsaw knows its job and does it well. It has a 14-inch low kickback bar and a powerful enough 8amp motor. This is a corded chainsaw so can be limited by the length of the cable, but it is sufficient to use in the garden or small holding to keep things trimmed back, neat and healthy. The Limb N Trim is also surprisingly quiet, and its trigger start means it powers up like a dream. For those small jobs, this great-priced mini is your go-to electric chainsaw. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best portable workbench.
Powerful 8-amp electric motor
14-inch low-kickback bar and chain
Compact, lightweight design is easy to use
External chain tension adjuster
- Weight6.25 pounds
Compact and lightweight but powers through small branches with ease
Great price, well designed and comes with a two-year limited warranty
No auto oiling system, uses a manual push button
Best used on small jobs, not tough enough for thicker wood
You’d be hard pushed to find fault in the performance of this Makita cordless chainsaw, when compared to standard gas-powered models. With its 14-inch bar, the Makita is a top-rated chainsaw that’s easy for the domestic user, but can step it up on more professional, heavyweight jobs.
The brushless motor drives up the chainsaw’s cutting power, while its variable speed trigger gives a flexible performance. The Makita cordless electric chainsaw is a great tool for the landscaper and home owner as well as for the professional contractor. The two 18V LXT batteries offer a decent run time per single charge and the comfort grip handle and easy to reach start trigger makes it nice to handle. Add in tool-less chain adjustment, lock-off lever and hand guard and you get a sturdy electric chainsaw that does its job. If you like DIY projects, check out our guide to the best multimeters.
14-inch bar and chain
Brushless motor direct-drive system
Variable speed trigger and high chain speed
Tool-less chain adjustment
- Weight22.3 pounds
Cutting power that’s on par with a gas-powered chainsaw
Trigger needs to be held down for the motor to run continuously
At 18 inches, the Snow Joe chainsaw has the longest bar of all the electric chainsaws in our review yet is also one of the most lightweight models. This combination makes it easy to handle and maneuver while taking small trees and chunkier branches in its stride.
As a corded electric chainsaw, it has a powerful 14-amp motor to tackle tough domestic jobs and comes with a self-lubricating oil system for a smooth and fuss-free cut. Add in a handguard and kickback brake function, ergonomic handle and push button start and this is an electric chainsaw at a good price that would be a very handy addition to your woodshed. If you are a passionate handyman, check out our best safety glasses review.
Powerful 14-amp motor tackles tough jobs
18-inch self-lubricating Oregon bar and chain
Hand guard with kickback brake function
Lightweight design with ergonomic handle
- BrandSun Joe
- Weight9.7 pounds
A good allrounder for wood, branches and smaller trees
Easy to use and lightweight to handle
Corded model so limited by the length of its cable
Oil lubricator can feed too fast, so keep an eye on oil levels
Perhaps not the most sleek-looking in our best electric chainsaw review, the Earthwise 16-inch is however surprisingly robust given its less than $100 price tag. Earthwise CS33016 Electric Chain Saw is also a good-sized tool for domestic chores, best suited to clearing brush, trimming back smaller trees and stockpiling firewood. Powered by a 12-amp motor, this corded chainsaw comes with an auto-oiling system and a clear view oil level window, so you get a smooth chainsaw action. The chain tension is really easy to adjust, and you also get a safety start button, low kickback chain and a comfortable rubber over-molded handle. All-in-all a good basic electric chainsaw to get you through your wood cutting chores. Be sure to combine this with a hearing protector from our list.
16″ Oregon Bar and chain
Powerful 12-amp motor 120/60Hz
Tool-less chain tension adjustment
Plastic bar and chain cover
- Weight9.9 pounds
A good domestic chainsaw for low-duty use
Compact size for storing and easy to use
Auto-oiling system can be a little slow to lubricate
Electric Chainsaw Buying Guide & FAQ
Features To Look For In Electric Chainsaws
Size & Weight – electric chainsaws are much more lightweight and less cumbersome than gas-powered models and so easier to use and maneuver. But the size and weight of your new electric-powered saw still also matters when it comes to your final choice. The more powerful and longer the chain bar is, the heavier and bulkier the saw. Also consider other reasons you will use the electric chainsaw as this will help you choose the size and weight of the right model. Bars between 8 and 14-in are best for trimming, pruning and light cutting. Sizes 16 to 18-in are best for small tree cutting and removing tree limbs.
Power – how powerful your electric chainsaw is will affect its cutting power so pick a model that has enough power for your job at hand. Many of the high-powered electrical saws can give the average gas-powered chainsaw a run for their money so can be really versatile tools to have. Battery-powered saws are measured in voltage and corded models are in amperage, so do check to make sure you are getting the right level of power blast from your chainsaw you need.
Ease of Use – this is a real selling point for electrical chainsaws as they are typically lighter, quieter and more maneuverable than gas-powered alternatives. Many electric models also have added extras to make it even easier to use them – look for anti-vibration features, automatic oilers and even heated handles if you are really looking for the easy, chainsawing life. With a kickback while sawing (this is when the impact of the chainsaw suddenly makes the wood move in a backward direction) a risk with any chainsaw, you can also look at features such as an anti-kickback chain.
Cordless vs Corded - with an electric chainsaw you have the choice of corded or battery powered. Both have their benefits and drawback, so we have taken a quick overview of the pros and cons to help you decide which is right for you:
Corded – while you do get a consistent power source, with no need to stop mid-job to recharge, you are limited to the length of the electric cord, making corded chainsaws unsuitable if your trees are beyond the reach of your power outlet. Plus, the long cord can be a tangle hazard in wooded or overgrown areas.
Cordless – with a cordless saw you don’t have this problem and these mobile machines can go wherever you need to go so are much more convenient to use. The main downside to a cordless is its battery life, meaning if the job at hand takes longer than a single charge, you will be stopping mid-job to re-juice. The typical charge lasts between 20 minutes and one hour, although the battery life on many models are starting to improve. Cordless models are also less suited to really heavy jobs as their power levels can be limited.
Safety Features - the risks from a chainsaw are real, so care must always be taken when working with one, electrical or not. Most electrical chainsaws come with extra safety precautions to reduce risk of injury, especially from the dreaded kickback. Anti-vibration systems can help to reduce hand fatigue while automatic chain brakes are a good idea. Also look for current limiters, variable speed settings and wrap-around hand guards.
Start – unlike the pull-cord starter on gas-powered chainsaws, starting an electric saw is a much more civilized affair! A simple push-button start is all it takes but the position and size of the starter button should be taken into consideration. The ignition should be easy to reach so you can turn the saw off mid-job and both the ignition and chain brake should be large enough to see and safely use. Some models also come with a variable speed trigger for even greater control.
Automatic Bar Oiler – this makes your life so much easier when it comes to the ongoing lubrication and maintenance of your electric chainsaw. The bar oiler automatically lubricates the bar and chain when needed as you saw, you just need to ensure the reservoir is topped up. Look for a reservoir which is easy to see and access so you will know when more is needed.
Electronic Chainsaw Maintenance & Safety
The beauty of an electronic chainsaw is it should be low maintenance and easy to use. But to keep it in fine form, you do need to look after it. Always ensure there is sufficient lubricating oil for each use and that the oil is clean and not old. Check the manual for what types of oil you may need to use if the weather is cold or the temperature has significantly dropped. Other than that, general cleaning is advisable to keep your chainsaw smooth operating and dust/debris free. This includes the chain bar; which we suggest you remove periodically (or after a particularly heavy-going cutting job) and clean before putting back in place.
Safety-wise, this should always come first, whenever you use your electric chainsaw. Make sure you are only using the saw for what it is intended and wear the necessary protective clothing to keep you safe. These should include heavy-duty clothing, gloves, boots, safety glasses and if needed, ear protectors. If you are felling a whole tree or working in an overhead environment, a hard hat is also a must. You should always take care when operating the saw. Hold it firmly with both hands, stand with your feet apart and off to the left, in case there is any kickback.
Electric Chainsaw FAQ
Q: How do Electric Chainsaws Work?
A: Electric chainsaws use either a power cord or a rechargeable battery to power its motor, that then drives the sawing chain. The chain is passed around a guide bar and the rotation pulls the chain into the wood you are cutting. The chain does need lubricating, just as a gas-powered saw, to keep the chain slick and the sawing action smooth.
Q: What can Electric Chainsaws be Used For?
A: Electric chainsaws are great for everyday use, such as trimming and pruning branches and landscape clean-ups. They can also be used to fell and split smaller trees for firewood. They are easier to handle than larger gas-powered saws but don’t have such a powerful ‘bite’ so are best suited to more domestic chores than heavy-duty or commercial needs.
Q: Do Electric Chainsaws need oil?
A: As with a gas-powered model, an electric chainsaw still needs oil lubrication for its chain and the associated chain bar. Regular oiling of the chain and bar is essential to reduce heart and friction as the chain rotates. Done correctly, lubricating the chain can extend the life of your chainsaw and reduce any wear and tear on its motor. For the best results, use the oil recommended by your chainsaw’s manufacturers to keep your electrical sawing machine in the best of cutting health.
Q: What are the benefits of choosing an electric chainsaw over a gasoline chainsaw?
A: For everyday use, the electric chainsaw is a fantastic addition to your workshop. Better for the environment and requiring minimal maintenance, electric chainsaws are light and compact and so much easier to use and carry than the more cumbersome gas-powered versions. They are also quieter, and don’t leave that distinctive smell of gas when you use them, so much more sociable when you live in a neighborhood! They also take the hassle of rip-starting the engine – a quick push of the start button and you are away. And the improving battery life of rechargeable models mean you can complete a bigger task without having to stop. However, most electric models lack the power, speed and stamina of gas-powered chainsaws when comes to cutting down larger trees and pruning big, thick branches.
Q: How to store my Electric Chainsaw?
A: In order to extend the life of your electric chainsaw for as long as possible, it is important to store your saw properly. If you can, pack your electric chainsaw away in a storage case and always store in indoors in a dry, cool place. If you are storing for an extended period of time, drain its lubricating oil and remove the bar and chain. Before packing away, soak the bar and chain in soap and water, dry thoroughly and then wipe lightly with oil before packing away.