Table of Contents
- EGO 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw CS1800
- Greenworks Pro 80V 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw GCS80420
- BLACK + DECKER LCS1240 40-Volt Cordless
- Makita XCU08PT 14-inch Cordless Chainsaw
- WORX WG304.1 Chainsaw with 18-inch bar (corded)
- Oregon CS300
- BLACK+DECKER Electric Chainsaw CS1518
- Makita UC4051A 16-Inch Electric Chain Saw
- Earthwise CS33016 Corded Electric Chainsaw
Whatever kind of chainsaw you’re looking for, be it for minor pruning or to fell a mighty tree, electric chainsaws are where it’s at.
Though quiet, lightweight, and unassuming, the 2021 crop of cordless battery-powered chainsaws meet and even exceed the performance of gas-powered chainsaws all the way up to 18-inch models. This means you can enjoy less noise, less fuss, and zero fumes and be up and running with an easy-to-use chainsaw in mere minutes. And, as an added bonus, you can use electric chainsaws in much colder temperatures than those that rely on internal combustion!
Little known fact: The electric chainsaw was invented in 1926, before gas-powered chainsaws!
Below, you’ll find our rankings for the best electric chainsaws. We believe every model on this list is a smart buy. Learn about our methodology here.
Note that the best choice for your situation might not be the model we ranked the highest, so pay attention to the differentiating features between them instead of taking our rankings at face value.
Highlights: Outstanding performance, handy LED light for storm clear-up, tool-free chain tensioning, and great value!
|Model||EGO 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw CS1800|
|Battery Type||Ego 56 V / 5 Ah arc lithium technology|
|Weight||13.01 lbs. (with battery)|
|Warranty||5 years for the chainsaw; 3 years for the battery|
New to the electric chainsaw market in 2020, the Ego 18-inch battery-powered chainsaw (CS1800) has upped the bar and already won over many an electric chainsaw sceptic. Ego’s 16-inch chainsaw was already a great choice, but this 18-inch model does more than add a couple of inches, and it only costs $50 more, making it more affordable than many much less powerful and efficient chainsaws. With superior cutting power, lightning fast chain speed, and metal bucking spikes, the CS1800 makes cuts quick and easy and is the ideal replacement for most gas-powered chainsaws.
The CS1800 has tool-free chain tensioning and bar access, a handy red bar to show when the brake is engaged, and practically no maintenance needed, making it a great choice for chainsaw afficionados and anyone new to chainsaws.
The metal bucking spikes also make for greater control at the start of a cut, and this chainsaw can handle harder woods and bigger cuts with ease. To reduce chain chatter, start your cut near the housing (i.e. close to the body of the chainsaw), so the bucking spikes can get a grip and guide you into the cut. I especially like that the CS1800 features metal bucking spikes which are more eco-friendly and durable compared to the typical plastic spikes on most chainsaws.
The CS1800 has a 56V brushless motor providing up to 11,000 RPM, making it a heck of a lot more powerful than most 40 cc gas-powered chainsaws. And, because its so quiet, you can actually hear the chain running super-fast along the bar. For the most efficient cutting, you’ll want to keep the revs high, meaning it’s best not to put too much extra weight behind your cut. Instead, let the blade slide through the cut like a knife through butter. The max cut width is 20 inches.
The Ego CS1800 is available as the bare tool, with a 5 Ah battery, or with a battery and charger. With efficient cutting, this chainsaw can zip through a lot of logs before you need to recharge or switch out for a fresh battery. And, if you followed our advice and got an Ego electric lawnmower, you’ll already have a compatible battery, so you could save yourself some money by buying the bare tool. That said, the combo chainsaw and battery is a good way to get a spare battery at a great price.
The Ego CS1800 has a novel chain tensioning system that is almost entirely automatic. To use, turn the dial (which is large and easy to grip even with gloves on) clockwise to make the chain tighter and anti-clockwise (widdershins!) to create slack. If you need to remove the bar and chain, you just keep turning the dial anti-clockwise until it comes off and you can access the inner body of the chainsaw.
If you’re looking for a chainsaw that will work during storms and blackouts for easy clear-up of fallen branches and trees, the Ego CS1800 is for you. In addition to offering great battery time and power, the CS1800 has a very helpful LED light right over the bar. This means you can turn the light on and have light shining right over the bar to highlight your cut without throwing too much shade either side. Handy for when you need to get a tree off your roof, car, or out of the road and can’t find your headlamp!
The Ego CS1800 offers 280 Watt hours thanks to its 5 Ah battery, compared to 144 Watt hours for the slightly more expensive Greenworks 18-inch chainsaw with a 2 Ah battery and 80V platform. The Ego also outperforms most other models for energy efficiency and battery performance.
Why I like the Ego line of electric chainsaws
One other reason Ego make my list of eco-friendly chainsaws and lawn mowers is their adoption of green power sources for their research and development facilities and industrial park. In 2004, the company installed a 7,500 square foot Green Roof system on their R&D facility, with savings of around 1.5 gallons of gas per square foot each year. The roof of their Green Power Industrial Park also features a 2-megawatt photovoltaic power station. This ‘Blue Roof’ generates, year-on-year, the equivalent power from burning 755 tons of coal. This cuts sulfur dioxide emissions by 50 tons and carbon dioxide emissions by 1677 tons annually.
In addition, the Ego Green Power Industrial Park utilizes ground-source heating, air-conditioning and water-storage technologies. They estimate that their ground source heating system alone saves 1 million kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of 378 tons of coal. It also cuts sulfur dioxide emissions by around 25 tons and carbon dioxide emissions by 839 tons each year.
Ego hasn’t been in business quite as long as Stihl or Black & Decker, but they’re an innovative company with global reach. Established in 1993, they have long been invested in cordless electric technology and are now one of the world’s largest manufacturers of tools.
Highlights: Impressive power and compatible across the Greenworks range, this 18-inch chainsaw is quiet, low vibration, and almost matches the Ego for performance.
|Model||Greenworks Pro 80V 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw GCS80420|
|Battery Type||2 Ah / 80 V|
If you already have a Greenworks lawnmower or their other yard equipment with a battery, get a Greenworks cordless chainsaw. Compatible with the whole G-Max range, this chainsaw offers 30% more torque with up to 70% less vibration, meaning more power with less boneshaking. The brushless motor also means greater efficiency and longevity, and this model features an electric chain brake, auto-tensioning, and automatic oiler with a view window to quickly check oil levels.
There’s not much room for improvement with the Greenworks as this beast is impressive! That said, the Ego just pips it on battery life and cutting power. Happily, the Greenworks system allows for rapid 30 minute charging for the standard 80 V 2 Ah battery, meaning you can keep switching batteries out for longer cutting sessions.
The Greenworks claims to offer around 150 cuts per charge but is likely closer to 100 based on customer reviews. Power-wise, it is equivalent to a 45cc gas engine. It has steel bucking spikes and a durable metal wrap around handle and feels good and sturdy without being excessively heavy.
One noteworthy issue with this chainsaw is that the oil reservoir cap is prone to cross-threading, leading to oil leaks and/or the cap popping off during use. Here’s hoping Greenworks look at this and offer a more robust cap on new builds.
Greenworks also have a 10-inch model that weighs under 8 lbs., in case you’re looking for a super light and nimble chainsaw for smaller jobs around the garden (View Price on Amazon).
The Greenworks PRO charger takes just 30 minutes to fully charge a 2 Ah battery and around 75 minutes to charge a fully discharged 4 Ah battery. It has a useful diagnostic LED fuel indicator so you can see the current charge in the battery. This rapid charger was Energy Star rated (the program has now been discontinued), has a compact design, and can be stored on a shelf or mounted on the wall. It is compatible with battery models GBA80200 and GBA400, but, and this is a big annoyance across the industry, this charger only works with Greenworks PRO 80 V batteries. It won’t work with other brands’ 80 V batteries. The same is true of the Ego Power batteries, though, so this isn’t an annoyance unique to Greenworks.
If you buy a Greenworks PRO chainsaw or other tool without the battery and charger, you can purchase their PRO 80V Lithium Ion Single Port Rapid Battery Charger GCH8040 for $100 or less (View Price on Amazon). This charger has a built-in fan to enable rapid charge time without overheating.
Greenworks was founded in 2007 and quickly became an industry leader for electric power tools. So much so that they are now partly owned by tool giant Stihl. They opened an American headquarters in North Carolina in 2016, but their main office is in Sweden. As for their approach to corporate social responsibility (CSR), I can’t find any information on this side of the business. Instead, the focus seems to be on making high quality electric power tools that are durable and energy efficient. I’ve reached out to the company for comment and will provide updates if/when I hear back from Greenworks.
Highlights: Lightweight, ergonomic, fast and efficient, from a company with a great CSR record and a reputation for quality. Very affordable too!
|Model||BLACK + DECKER LCS1240 40-Volt Cordless|
|Battery Type||2Ah / 40 V|
|Weight||8 lbs. (10.4 lbs. with chain and bar)|
The Black and Decker LCS1240 is a highly affordable, 12-inch, 40 Volt battery-powered chainsaw with an automatic oiling system, tool-free chain tensioning, and a top-quality low-kickback Oregon bar and chain. The ergonomic fully wraparound handle makes for easy and comfortable operation, and this one is super lightweight at just 8 lbs. without the chain and bar and 10.4 lbs. with.
The 40 V battery holds charge for up to 18 months, making this a great choice if your chainsaw really is for emergencies only. There’s also a convenient indicator light to show charge remaining, and a single charge can easily zip through 60 4×4 pine cuts.
Stanley Black & Decker certifications and credentials
Stanley Black & Decker, the parent company of Black & Decker, are part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) as of 2018 and have been a feature of the DJSI North America for eight years in a row. If you invest your money in eco-friendly funds, chances are some of it is invested in Black & Decker stock.
The DJSI series is a gold standard for corporate sustainability, recognizing the top 10% of companies in each industry. It is the first global index to track those companies leading the sustainability charge and a great way of seeing which companies make products worth your consideration.
To be included in the index, a company has to meet certain material Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors on a Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA). This includes more than 600 criteria, including corporate governance, supply chain management, climate strategies, operational eco-efficiency, human capital development, and labor practices.
Why do Black & Decker make it onto these indexes? Well, in part because of the company’s newly updated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy, which is in alignment with the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. This CSR includes mandates to ‘involve with purpose,’ ’empower workers,’ and ‘create a more sustainable world.’ Indeed, by 2030 the company plans to be carbon positive in its global operations. Not just carbon neutral, Stanley Black & Decker want to capture more carbon that it emits. They also want to reduce Absolute Scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 100 percent by 2030, using a 2015 base year, and reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions 35 percent by 2030, using a 2017 base year.
In addition, the company aims to achieve zero waste to landfill and sustainable water use across their operations by 2030. Learn more about the company’s CSR strategy here.
Oh, and one more thing. Stanley Black & Decker also claim publicly that their products do not contain any of the toxic chemicals on the Candidate list of Substances of Very High Concern as laid out by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
Highlights: Low-maintenance, easy to use, quiet and powerful cordless chainsaw from a company with a reputation for durability and performance.
|Model||Makita XCU08PT 14-inch Cordless Chainsaw|
|Weight||10.2 lbs. (with battery) / 7.4 lbs. (without battery)|
The Makita XCU08PT Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw is a lightweight, top handle, 14-inch chainsaw with a brushless motor and powerful performance as well as some excellent safety features. The lock-off lever automatically stops the blade from engaging when you don’t want it to, and the relatively short blade makes for nimble cutting of branches and trees up to around 14 inches in diameter.
While the Makita chainsaw itself is pretty darned awesome, the charger could be better and the battery time (about 90 4×4 pine cuts) is a bit less than the Greenworks and Ego, even though this chainsaw is less powerful and smaller. It is a bit better, battery-wise compared to the Black and Decker of the same size though. My advice is to get two batteries and have both fully charged and ready to go if you anticipate a long cutting session. That way, you can cycle the batteries to extend cutting time.
The Makita has a low 14-inch kickback Oregon Bar and chain, tool-free chain tensioning, and is great for anyone looking to keep a standard sized garden under control. For professional landscapers, arborists, or anyone with bigger trees or a lot of stuff to cut, the Ego or Greenworks are better choices for around the same price.
Overall, the Makita is a great choice if you have the budget and prioritize exceptional build quality. Otherwise, you can get the same power and efficiency for a lot less with Ego, Greenworks, Worx, Black and Decker and others.
Highlights: Offers comfort and easy maneuverability for most homeowners, plus it requires little maintenance.
|Model||WORX WG304.1 Chainsaw with 18-inch bar (corded)|
The Worx WG304.1 chainsaw is built to last and offers comfort and easy maneuverability for most homeowners. It is easy to set up and use, requires little maintenance, has a tool-free chain replacement feature, is lightweight, and looks great!
The 304.1 features a powerful 15 Amp motor and an 18-inch bar, so you can use it for cutting firewood, trimming trees, clearing brush, and more. And, thanks to an auto-tensioning system, you don’t have to put much thought into keeping the bar and chain snug when getting through a lot of cuts all at once. There’s also an ergonomic full-wrap front handle and a rear handle with rubber grip.
Another nice thing about the Worx, though, is that the built-in oil reservoir has a window level indicator and automatic oil lubrication. However, the one main downside with the Worx WG304.1 is that it seems to be at risk of oil leakage when stored. This means it’s best to drain any leftover oil after use and refill before use, which could be a bit of a pain if you’re switching to an electric chainsaw to avoid the fussiness of gas-powered chainsaws.
The 304.1 has garnered a solid reputation for being an affordable workhorse and great value. It doesn’t have a self-sharpening system like the Oregon CS300, though, so if you’re looking for the hands-down easiest chainsaw to use and maintain, the Oregon is your best bet.
Worx also make the corded 303.1 16-inch chainsaw and other corded and cordless models.
Highlights: With the ability to self-sharpen in just 3 seconds with the pull of a cord, the Oregon makes chainsaw care super simple.
|Battery||4 A / 40 V|
|Weight||12.0 lbs. (with battery)|
Looking for the ultimate low-maintenance chainsaw? The Oregon CS300 is just the ticket. With a tool-free chain tensioner, auto-oiling system, and the ability to self-sharpen in just 3 seconds with the pull of a cord, the Oregon makes chainsaw care super simple.
This chainsaw also offers quick battery recharging (just 140 minutes for a full charge), a 3-year warranty, and overload protection. It weighs a couple of pounds more than most of the others on this list, but it’s still easy to maneuver and ergonomically designed.
If you want a corded option with self-sharpening, check out the Oregon CS1500 (View Price on Amazon).
Highlights: Easy to operate, affordable, and made by a company with good Corporate Social Responsibility.
|Model||BLACK+DECKER Electric Chainsaw CS1518|
The BLACK+DECKER Electric Chainsaw CS1518 is a 15 Amp, 18-inch efficient cutting machine that is easy to operate, affordable, and made by a company with good Corporate Social Responsibility. This is one of the best designed and safest chainsaws around, although this model doesn’t have a cord cage, which would make it even safer. Without the cord cage, the chainsaw is liable to get pulled out of any extension cord, so be aware of your cord while using it.
The CS1518 has an automatic oiling system that helps lubricate the bar and chain on demand, as well as tool-free chain tensioning, making this an easy chainsaw if you hate maintenance. The chain brake feature is great for safety as it stops the chain whenever it senses something it shouldn’t cut.
Highlights: The automatic chain oiler makes for simple maintenance and tool-free chain tensioning makes it easy to stay tuned up.
|Model||Makita UC4051A 16-Inch Electric Chain Saw|
|Battery||14.5 A / 110 V|
To make sure your motor doesn’t burn out, the Makita has a built-in current limiter. To support productivity and safety, there’s also an electric chain brake to stop the chain when it touches something it shouldn’t. An automatic chain oiler makes for simple maintenance and tool-free chain tensioning makes it easy to stay tuned up. The ergonomic rubberized handles and large trigger switch make for easy maneuverability and operation, and this chainsaw cuts smooth and fast, making it a good choice for trimming and limbing up to a diameter of 16 or so inches.
As with any corded model, you’ll have to manage the cord, which can limit where and how you can use the chainsaw. This one does have a cord cage though, which is nice to see, as well as an instant electric start, large trigger switch with a soft start, and tool-free chain adjustments. The oil reservoir has a convenient view window, so you can quickly check levels before using.
There are also metal bucking spikes, making this helpful for getting a grip on awkward cuts. It is a bit expensive compared to similarly or more powerful models though (it’s about twice the price of the Oregon CS1500 for instance, but you do get what you pay for).
Highlights: Tool-free tensioning, a rubberized handle, and easy push start make for simple, low-maintenance cutting.
|Model||Earthwise CS33016 Corded Electric Chainsaw|
Known for their eco-friendly garden tools, Earthwise now boast a range of corded and cordless electric chainsaws and other outdoor tools. The CS30116 is a corded 16-inch chainsaw with an Oregon bar and chain, and a powerful 12 Amp electric motor. Tool-free tensioning, a rubberized handle, and easy push start make for simple, low-maintenance cutting.
Earthwise is a brand name from American Lawnmower, the makers of real reel mowers, who never gave into market pressures to sell gas-powered lawn and garden tools. Instead, they stuck to their principles and waited until battery and corded technology was available to make eco-friendly power tools.
If none of the chainsaws above make the cut for you, consider these excellent options, especially if you already have other compatible tools and batteries from the same company:
BLACK+DECKER 10-inch 20 V (cordless) (View Price on Amazon):
- Very affordable, ultra-compact and lightweight at just 7.2 lbs.
- 2 Ah battery is a workhorse thanks to great design
- Ideal for pruning and most suburban tasks
- Auto-oiler and tool-free chain tensioning
- 2-year warranty
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw Kit, 5-Ah Battery, 12-Inch (DCCS620P1) (cordless) (View Price on Amazon):
- Battery-powered and from a well-respected company
- Brushless motor for longer life
- Automatically stops to save power between cuts
- Quiet, lightweight (8.8 lbs.!), and has auto-oiling for convenience
Sun Joe SWJ701E corded Electric Chainsaw (View Price on Amazon):
- Corded, 14 Ah chainsaw with easy operation
- Kickback brake and ergonomic handle for safety and comfort
- Tool-free chain tensioning
- Lightweight (9.7 lbs.) and large (18-inch bar)
- Affordable but powerful chainsaw from an up and coming company
Snapper 82V (SXDCS82) (View Price on Amazon):
- A less well-known but very sturdy and efficient chainsaw
- Up to 160 cuts on one charge
- 18-inch bar and chain
- 82 Volt battery by Briggs & Stratton