Whether you are cutting your own firewood or you are pruning trees in your yard, a chainsaw is valuable tool to have on hand. A mechanical saw that is easy to transport and contains a set of durable teeth that are attached to a rotating chain, an electric chainsaw is a powerful tool. With the right chainsaw, you can cut through the thickest tree trunk with absolute ease.
There is an array of options when it comes to electric chainsaws, so when it comes to buying one, you may find that you are a bit overwhelmed or lost. To help make your quest for finding the best electric chainsaw for your specific needs, we have assembled this handy buyer’s guide, which will provide you with all of the information you need to know to purchase the best electric chainsaw.
Types of Electric Chainsaws
There are three main types of electric chainsaws:
- Jagged jaw
Standard Electric Chainsaw
A standard electric chainsaw is outfitted with a front and back handle, which can be used to easily transport the tool, makes it much easier to grip, and makes it much more comfortable to use. These handles are situated on the motor housing and the cutting bar is attached to the front of the motor housing.
Pole Electric Chainsaw
Also known as pole saws, this tool features an extension pole that a saw is mounted to, which allows you to work in on high elevations, such as trimming tree limbs.
Jagged Jaw Electric Chainsaw
A jagged jaw electric chainsaw is comprised of a set of jaws that are located around a resized cutting bar. The design provides increased chain protection and aides in grinding down the materials you will be working with. Some jagged jaw electric chainsaw models act as a scissor, clamping down on the material to break them up. This type of electric chainsaw is great for cutting and pruning.
Electric Chainsaw Considerations
In order to ensure that you purchase the best electric chainsaw for your cutting needs, there are certain factors that you are going to want to take into consideration. These factors include the size, the length of the cord and the power of the tool, among other things. Here’s a look at some of the most important factors we think you should consider when choosing an electric chainsaw.
What You’ll be Cutting
What are you going to be using your electric chainsaw to cut? This is one of the most important factors to take into consideration before you purchase this tool. Are you going to be using it to cut down trees, or are you going to be using it to prune hedges and tree limbs? If the former is your goal, a standard electric chainsaw will be your best bet, as it will provide you with the power and the leverage you need to get the job done. An electric chainsaw is also easier to control while you are pushing it through a thicker material. If you are going to be trimming high tree limbs, however, a pole electric chainsaw is a better option, as it will give you the length that is needed to reach tall heights without having to stand on a ladder.
Power is another important factor to consider when choosing an electric chainsaw. You want it to be powerful enough to handle the job; however, if it is too powerful, you may have a difficult time controlling it and the cutting job may become sloppy.
Typically, the size of the electric chainsaw is related to the power that the tool offers. A smaller, compact chainsaw may be a good option for small pruning jobs, but it may not be able to handle cutting down a tree. On the other hand, a larger chainsaw will provide you with the power you need to cut into a tree trunk, but it can be bulky and heavy, which can make it difficult to control.
The Cord Length
The length of the cord is another important consideration. Obviously, if you are choosing an electric chainsaw over a battery powered or gas powered model, you know that you are going to need to have access to an electrical outlet. The length of the cord will play a big part in your mobility when you are using this tool. The longer the cord, the more freedom you will have to move.
Ease of Use
You want your electric chainsaw to be as easy to use as possible. The last thing you want is to find that you are having a difficult time starting it, or worse, stopping it. Make sure that the controls are easily accessible and that they are simple to operate.
You obviously want to purchase an electric chainsaw that you can rely on to get the job done. The best electric chainsaws are highly reliable, offer you the power you need when you need it, and, with regular maintenance, have a long life expectancy.
Another factor that you are going to want to take into consideration before you purchase an electric chainsaw is the price. These tools vary significantly in price. Typically, the larger it is, the more power it offers and the more features if boasts, the more expensive it is going to be. Make sure that you know how much you can comfortably afford to spend so that you don’t end up overextending your budget when you start shopping.
Electric Chainsaw Features
Electric chainsaws can be outfitted with a number of features. These features are intended to enhance your experience, making it easier and more comfortable to use. However, if you don’t need certain features, you may find that they make the tool more cumbersome, which can make it more difficult to operate. Additionally, features tend to drive up the price, so if you don’t need certain features, you certainly don’t want to pay for them.
While gas powered chainsaws rev up after they are started, electric chainsaws jolt to full power when they are turned on. This sudden jolt to full power can be very unsettling and can make you lose your grip. If you want to avoid being jolted, look for an electric chainsaw that offers a soft start. This feature allows the motor to slowly build up power, which allows you to adjust to the power of the tool with greater ease.
Automatic Bar Oiling
Because chainsaws create constant friction between metal parts, they need to be lubricated on a constant basis to ensure that they run smoothly, that their parts aren’t damaged and that their chains don’t break. While you can manually lubricate your electric chainsaw, you will always have to be on top of it. If you forget to lubricate the tool, you could end up doing serious damage. Not to mention the fact that lubricating the tool can be a time consuming task. If you don’t want to worry about lubricating your electric chainsaw yourself, look for one that features an automatic bar oiler, which will automatically lubricate the chainsaw so you don’t have to worry about it.
Slip Clutches and Current Limiters
When using an electric chainsaw, there is a chance that it can get overloaded or stuck, which can lead to a dangerous situation. A current limiter will cut off the power to the chainsaw should it get overloaded or stuck. A slip clutch will also provide protection, as it will disengage the power to the chain in the event that it gets stuck.
Each time you use your chainsaw, the chain loosens a bit from the bar. You can retighten the chain, but doing so requires the use of manual tools, and you may have to stop to tighten the chain while you’re in the middle of a task. To save you time and aggravation, look for an electric chainsaw that features toolless tensioning. With this feature, all you have to do is turn a dial next to the bar to tighten a loose chain.
This is a very important safety features that you are going to want to be on the lookout for. Kickbacks can be extremely dangerous, and to make sure that you are properly protect, you want to purchase an electric chainsaw that features chain catchers, anti-kickback chains and chain brakes. Chain catchers are metal shields that prevent chains that have broken or derailed from flying back. Chain brakes provide protection when changing the position of your chainsaw. An anti-kickback chain prevents kickback from happening should the chain catch.
If you want to ensure your satisfaction, look for an electric chainsaw that features a warranty. Should you, for any reason, be unsatisfied with your electric chainsaw, or if something happens to the chainsaw during the term of the warranty, you will be able to have it replaced by the manufacturer. A warranty can certainly provide you with added peace of mind.
Best Electric Chainsaw Brands
On our quest to find the best electric chainsaw, we found that there were countless options to choose from, which we understand can make a consumer a bit overwhelmed. In order to make the process of choosing a great brand, we did all the work for you. We tested electric chainsaws from several different companies, compared reviews and found out all of the pertinent information. After comparing all of this information, we determined that the following brands are the best of the best.
A China-based company that manufactures power tools, WORX has been creating electric chainsaws since 2004, and they create some of the highest quality products we found. The company is strongly committed to innovation and is devoted to research and development, which allows them to create exceptional and reliable products.
For more than a century, Makita, a Japanese company, has been developing and manufacturing commercial and consumer grade power tools. They have a strong focus on power, reliability and efficiency, and that allows them to create some of the most high powered, reliable and versatile electric chainsaws on the market.
Oregon Power Now
Oregon Power Now is a lesser known developer of power tools, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t high quality. In fact, the electric chainsaws that Oregon Power Now produces yielded better results than some of the most well known names.
This company is also lesser known than some of the other big name power tool manufacturers out there, but they, too, produce some of the most exceptional electric chainsaws we tested. In fact, we found that their electric chainsaws superseded some of the most well known names in the power tool manufacturing industry. We also liked that their electric chainsaws come in a wide range of prices and boast a variety of features.
Sources: Chainsaw Expert