The 10 Best Electric Chainsaws for Your Green Garden

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Written by Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

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Leigh Matthews, BA Hons, H.Dip. NT

Sustainability Expert

Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada's National Observer.

Updated:

Less noise, less fuss, and zero fumes. Here are our top picks for electric chainsaws that reduce emissions without skimping on performance.

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 lightweight and unassuming, the latest crop of cordless battery-powered chainsaws often outperforms gas-powered chainsaws. This means you can enjoy:

  • Less noise
  • Less fuss (very little maintenance!)
  • Zero fumes.

With an electric chainsaw, you can be up and running in mere minutes. As an added bonus, you can also use electric chainsaws in much colder temperatures than those that rely on internal combustion!

Electric chainsaws are older than ICE ones!

Think electric chainsaws are newfangled?

In 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, but the best one for you will depend on your particular needs, so check those pros and cons. Learn more about our methodology here.

Our top picks

1

EGO 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw CS1800

Highlights: Outstanding performance, handy LED light for storm clear-up, tool-free chain tensioning, and great value!

Overall Score

What we like

  • Green brand focused on sustainability
  • 16, 18, and 20-inch models available
  • Easy and intuitive to use
  • Durable metal bucking spikes allow for greater control
  • Super quiet
  • 56V brushless motor – up to 11,000 RPM
  • More powerful than most 40 cc gas-powered chainsaws
  • 18-inch weighs just 13.01 lb. with battery
  • Max cut width of 20 inches (for 18-inch model)
  • 280 Wh (5 Ah battery) vs. 144 Wh for pricier Greenworks 18-inch chainsaw
  • 5-year warranty on chainsaw
  • 3-year warranty on batteries

What could be better

  • Batteries are expensive, with a 3-5 year lifespan
  • EGO is slow to roll out replacement chains/bars available for the newer 20-inch model

EGO boasts three of the best electric chainsaws around, adding the 20-inch battery-powered chainsaw to its 18-inch and 16-inch models for 2024.

The 16-inch chainsaw was already a great choice, but the 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. The 20-inch is new and no replacement chains or blades are available until summer, so if you need a chainsaw now, go for the 18-inch.

This model offers:

  • Superior cutting power
  • Lightning fast chain speed
  • Metal bucking spikes for greater control
  • Tool-free chain tensioning and bar access
  • Handy red bar to show when the brake is engaged
  • Practically no maintenance needed.

The CS1800 makes cuts quickly and easily and is the ideal replacement for most gas-powered chainsaws. It’s a great choice for chainsaw aficionados and anyone new to chainsaws. This chainsaw can handle harder woods and bigger cuts with ease.

I especially like that the CS1800 has metal bucking spikes. These are more eco-friendly and durable than the plastic spikes on most chainsaws.

The CS1800 is 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.

With efficient cutting, this chainsaw can zip through a lot of logs before you need to recharge or switch out for a fresh battery.

The Ego CS1800 is available as the bare tool, with a 5 Ah battery, or with a battery and charger. 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.

Ingenious chain tensioning system

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. Turn the light on and it shines 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 easily outperforms most other electric chainsaws for energy efficiency and battery performance.

2

Greenworks Pro 80V 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw GCS80420

Highlights: Impressive power and compatible across the Greenworks range, this 18-inch chainsaw is quiet, low vibration, and almost matches the Ego for performance.

Overall Score

What we like

  • Just 30 minutes to fully charge 2 Ah battery (75 mins for 4 Ah)
  • Brushless motor equivalent to 45cc gas engine
  • Steel bucking spikes
  • Durable metal wrap around handle
  • Electric chain brake and auto-tensioning
  • Sturdy without being excessively heavy (just 10.8 lb.!)
  • Industry leader in electric power tools
  • Automatic oiler, view window to quickly check oil levels
  • 4-year warranty

What could be better

  • Less battery life than Ego models (2 Ah 80V model)
  • Prone to oil leaks

If you already have a Greenworks lawnmower or 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.

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. The Greenworks claims to offer around 150 cuts per charge but is likely closer to 100 based on customer reviews.

Beware the oil reservoir cap – this is prone to cross-threading, leading to oil leaks and/or the cap popping off during use!

This chainsaw has a useful diagnostic LED fuel indicator so you can see the current charge in the battery.

Greenworks’ rapid charger also has many benefits. For instance, it:

  • Was Energy Star rated (the program has now been discontinued)
  • Has a compact design
  • Can be stored on a shelf or mounted on the wall
  • Is compatible with battery models GBA80200 and GBA400 (powering most Greenworks tools).

The downside – and this is my big annoyance across the battery power tool sector – is that this charger only works with Greenworks PRO 80 V batteries. It won’t work with other brands’ 80 V batteries.

Greenworks also offers 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).

3

BLACK+DECKER 10-inch 20 V Chainsaw

Highlights: Fantastic 10-inch compact chainsaw ideal for light yard work and pruning. Powerful, quiet, lightweight, and from a more sustainable company.

Overall Score

What we like

  • 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
  • More sustainable company

What could be better

  • Can’t handle bigger cuts
  • Best for smaller jobs
  • Only a 2-year warranty

BLACK+DECKER upped its game with the 20V MAX 10-inch Battery Powered Chainsaw. This tool and battery combo has up to five times the run-time of previous iterations and plenty of power, despite its size.

If you’re a chainsaw novice, the Black & Decker is a top choice. It has a push-button start and is extremely user-friendly. The chainsaw feels nice and balanced and is really easy to maneuver, even if you’re fairly petite like me, as it weighs just 7 lb.

Sure, you can’t use this one for heavy logging, but if you just need a quick cut here and there to prune bigger shrubs, this is just the ticket.

It’s also affordable, low maintenance, and from a super sustainable company.

Stanley Black & Decker, the parent company of Black & Decker, has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) since 2018 and a feature of the DJSI North America for nine consecutive years. The DJSI series is a gold standard for corporate sustainability, recognizing the top 10% of companies in each industry based on more than 600 criteria, including:

  • Corporate governance
  • Supply chain management
  • Climate strategies
  • Operational eco-efficiency
  • Human capital development
  • Labor practices.

Key sustainability initiatives at Black & Decker include:

  • Updated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Strategy aligned with the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
    • Mandates: ‘involve with purpose,’ ’empower workers,’ and ‘create a more sustainable world’
  • Goals by 2030:
    • Carbon positive in global operations
    • 100% reduction in Absolute Scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions (base year 2015)
    • 35% reduction in Scope 3 GHG emissions (base year 2017)
    • Zero waste to landfill and sustainable water use across operations
  • Products claimed to be free from toxic chemicals on the Candidate list of Substances of Very High Concern (ECHA)
4

DeWalt XR 12-inch 20V Battery Chainsaw Kit

Highlights: Robust, easily maneuverable, lightweight but rugged 12-inch chainsaw from a company known for quality. I love my Dewalt power tools!

Overall Score

What we like

  • Affordable professional grade chainsaw
  • Long battery run-time (up to 90 cuts per charge on 4×4 pressure treated wood)
  • Brushless motor for longer life
  • Automatically stops to save power between cuts
  • Easy to maneuver and lightweight (8.8 lbs.!),
  • Auto-oiling for hassle-free lubrication
  • Low kick back 12 inch Oregon bar and chain
  • Tool-free tension adjustment and push button start
  • Well-respected power tool company
  • 3-year limited warranty

What could be better

  • Best suited to smaller cuts and light yard work
  • Some users report tricky chain tensioning adjustments

The DEWALT DCCS620P1 12-Inch Chainsaw Kit, with a 5-Ah Battery, is a top choice for smaller jobs, with cuts less than 12 inches. The smart design packs a lot of power into a small space, making for great maneuverability without sacrificing performance.

Use this compact chainsaw to:

  • Cut beams
  • Do demolition tasks
  • Take care of errant tree limbs
  • Carve a beautiful statue for your garden.

I’m a big fan of Dewalt power tools, with a battery powered drill and sander in my arsenal, along with a corded circular saw and various other gadgets. These have all served me well over many years, proving robust and tough enough for outdoor work. As such, I’ve a lot of faith in Dewalt’s chainsaw collection.

And if you already own one of the company’s 20V Max batteries, you can save by buying the bare tool for well under $200.

5

BLACK + DECKER LCS1240 40-Volt Cordless

Highlights: Lightweight, ergonomic, fast and efficient, from a company with a great CSR record and a reputation for quality. Very affordable too and a great choice for emergency use only.

Overall Score

What we like

  • Great price point
  • Trusted brand
  • The 2 Ah 40 V battery holds charge for up to 18 months
  • Light: 8 lbs. (10.4 lbs. with chain and bar)
  • Ergonomic fully wraparound handle
  • Automatic oiling system
  • Tool-free chain tensioning
  • Low-kickback Oregon bar and chain

What could be better

  • Best suited to smaller yard tasks

The Black and Decker LCS1240 chainsaw is a highly affordable, 12-inch, 40 Volt battery-powered chainsaw offering easy and comfortable manuevering and excellent power.

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.

7

Makita XCU08PT 14-inch Cordless Chainsaw

Highlights: Low-maintenance, easy to use, super safe, quiet and powerful cordless chainsaw from a company with a reputation for durability and performance. Expensive though.

Overall Score

What we like

  • Excellent build quality
  • Great safety features!
  • Brushless motor for power and longevity
  • 10.2 lbs. (with battery) / 7.4 lbs. (without battery)
  • Nimble and powerful
  • Low 14-inch kickback Oregon Bar and chain
  • Tool-free chain tensioning
  • 3-year warranty

What could be better

  • Much more expensive than similar sized models from competitors
  • Battery life shorter than Ego and Greenworks, despite smaller size
  • Charging time is slow

The Makita XCU08PT Lithium-Ion Cordless Chainsaw is a lightweight, top handle, 14-inch chainsaw offering powerful performance as well as some excellent safety features, including a lock-off lever that automatically stops the blade from engaging when you don’t want it to.

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 has a longer run-time than the similar-sized Black and Decker though.

The Makita is great for anyone looking to keep a standard sized garden under control, if you have the budget and prioritize excellent build quality. And if you’re on a tighter budget, the Black & Decker or Dewalt are good options.

For professional landscapers, arborists, or anyone with bigger trees or a lot of stuff to cut, the bigger Ego or Greenworks are better choices for around the same price as the Makita.

8

Oregon CS300

Highlights: The ultimate low-maintenance chainsaw. Can self-sharpen in just 3 seconds with the pull of a cord.

Overall Score

What we like

  • 4 Ah 40 V battery charges fully in 140 mins
  • Self-sharpening
  • Tool-free chain tensioner
  • Auto-oiling system
  • Overload protection
  • Easy to maneuver
  • 3-year warranty

What could be better

  • Not quite as robust as the Makita, Black & Decker, or Dewalt
  • Around two pounds heavier than comparable models (12 lb. with battery)

Looking for the ultimate low-maintenance chainsaw? The Oregon CS300 is just the ticket. With 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 fairly quick battery recharging (just 140 minutes for a full charge of the 4 Ah battery). Though heavier than others on this list, the Oregon is 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).

9

BLACK+DECKER Electric Chainsaw CS1518

Highlights: Easy to operate, affordable corded chainsaw, made by a company with good Corporate Social Responsibility.

Overall Score

What we like

  • Lighter than battery operated 18-inch chainsaws (just 11.9 lb.)
  • Efficient cutting machine
  • Easy to operate
  • Affordable (c$100 when on sale!)
  • Automatic oiling system
  • Tool-free chain tensioning
  • Chain-brake for safety
  • Well regarded, ethical company

What could be better

  • Just a 2-year warranty
  • Corded, so not as free-ranging as battery operated models
  • No cord cage (be careful if using an extension lead)

The BLACK+DECKER Electric Chainsaw CS1518 is a 15 Amp, 18-inch efficient cutting machine. It 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.

10

Makita UC4051A 16-Inch Electric Chain Saw

Highlights: Easy to use and maintain, with a rugged, durable build. Expensive though.

Overall Score

What we like

  • Great safety features
  • Powerful performance to cut up to 16-inch diameter
  • Current limiter to protect motor
  • Chain brake
  • Ergonomic design
  • Smooth, fast cuts
  • Automatic chain oiler for simple maintenance
  • Tool-free chain tensioning
  • Cord cage for safety
  • Instant electric start and large trigger switch with soft start
  • Oil viewing window for easy checking

What could be better

  • Short warranty (1-year)
  • Very expensive compared to other corded models
  • Heavier than similar corded models (14 lb.)

The Makita UC4051A 16-Inch Electric Chain Saw is more expensive than similar or more powerful models (it’s about twice the price of the Oregon CS1500), but you get what you pay for.

In this case, that means a ton of safety features, great performance, and a robust design. Some highlights include:

  • A built-in current limiter – so your motor doesn’t burn out
  • An electric chain brake to stop the chain when it touches something it shouldn’t
  • Ergonomic rubberized handles and large trigger switch with soft start
  • Metal (not plastic) bucking spikes – helpful for getting a grip on awkward cuts.

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.

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  1. Ms Mathews: Your review of Best Electric Chain Saws of 2021 includes a review of the Worx WG 304.1 18″ saw. But you mistakenly refer to the saw as (Cordless) in the title and several times in the review, even though, as the photograph clearly shows, the saw is CORDED, not Cordless.

    This error does not diminish the overall quality of your review, for which I thank you.

    • Yikes! Thanks for spotting that, Gerald. I’ve amended the header and such. Much appreciated that you reached out.

      Leigh

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