Best Cordless Chainsaw in 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide

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An electric chainsaw is a great way to replace an axe and all the effort that comes with it if you’re looking to cut down small trees or carry out pruning duties.

The problem with electric chainsaws involves being tethered to a power point at all times so why not try a cordless chainsaw instead?

Where once these tools were woefully underpowered, you might be surprised at how technology allows you to get power on a par with a gas model but with none of the noise, fumes, or running costs.

We’ll be highlighting 5 of the leading models for you before rounding out with our usual treasure trove of handy hints.

Before our buying guide, though, we’ll walk you through the best of the best so you can see what’s at your disposal:

5 Best Cordless Chainsaw

We’ll get directly down to business with our reviews. After presenting 5 of the best choices on the market for your home and garden, we’ll walk you through how to focus on getting the most appropriate tool for your needs.

Best Cordless Chainsaw in 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide 2

Husqvarna are famous the world over for their professional chainsaws.

With the dinky 14-inch 120i, they offer up an entry level cordless ideal if you’re looking to chop up some firewood. Marketed as a casual chainsaw, this translates to a tool that’s ideal for light use at home. From pruning to cutting branches to felling small trees, you can do it all with the Husqvarna.

With a potent brushless motor serving up power comparable to older gas models, the chainsaw runs cool and battery life is extended…

If you cut at full clip, you can expect up to 40 minutes of runtime. This should be ample for most light cutting duties. With savE mode, you can push this battery life up to around 60 minutes which is class-leading for a cordless chainsaw.

Lightweight at just 6.6 pounds – that weight doesn’t factor in the chain and bar – you can wield this chainsaw for prolonged periods without fatigue setting in.

Ergonomic button controls sit up on the soft-grip handle. This chainsaw is initially tricky to use but you’ll soon get used to it.

A chain tensioning knob allows you to tension or replace your chain without reaching for your toolkit.

For a highly capable and compact all-rounder, the Husqvarna 120i is one of the finest cordless chainsaws in a crowded market. Road test one at your earliest convenience if you’re looking to get more done in less time out in the yard.

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Pros.

  • 40V battery works well with other Husqvarna tools
  • Perfect for pruning branches or cutting small tress
  • Precise and controlled cuts
  • Outstanding battery life with 40 minutes on full throttle
  • Economy mode allows you to extend impressive battery life even further

Cons.

  • Slight learning curve involved initially

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Finished in trademark acid green, this 12-inch cordless chainsaw from pocket-friendly brand Greenworks is priced to sell but is it any good?

Firstly, be aware you’ll need a battery and charger which are both sold separately. If you’re already using Greenworks cordless tools, this acts as a real money-saver. If you don’t already have a power plant, you’ll need to budget accordingly.

Cordless chainsaws were once underpowered and inadvisable. Things have changed and this battery-fueled beast kicks out all the power you need without putting you at risk of excessive kickback.

You’ll get a seamless operating experience even if you’ve never used a chainsaw before. Automatic oiling gives you one less thing to worry about and you can make adjustments to the chain or swap it out with no need for any tools.

If you’re looking to get more done in the yard while putting in less effort, consider adding this cordless beast to your arsenal this spring.

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Pros.

  • Choose from bare tool or chainsaw with battery bundled
  • Tool-free tensioning for your complete convenience
  • Automatic lubrication to extend lifespan and smoothen operation
  • 3/8-inch pitch gives you just enough power while minimizing kickback
  • Ergonomic wrap-around handle so use the chainsaw for hours in comfort

Cons.

  • Only compatible with 40V G-Max batteries

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As we hit the midpoint of our cordless chainsaw reviews, it’s time for the big guns…

Makita has a stellar reputation for producing tools worthy of the jobsite so how does this cordless kit serve in the garden at home?

In a word, admirably. Opt for a bare tool or roll with a complete kit including a pair of batteries to streamline your experience. 

You’ll get plenty of safety features baked in including auto shut-off and and a lock lever.

The 16-inch beast will make light work of thicker branches. Take care of stubborn pruning and take full advantage of the variable speed trigger to match pace to application.

Get all the benefits of a larger gas-powered chainsaw without any of the fumes or noise thanks to the stalwart Makita.

Best Cordless Chainsaw in 2020: Reviews & Buying Guide 7

Pros.

  • Comes as bare tool or as kit with pair of batteries depending on whether or not you have a battery in place
  • Kicks out the same power as a 32cc gas chainsaw
  • Automatically powers down after inactivity to preserve battery life
  • Lock-lever prevents any accidental engagement
  • High chain speed and variable speed trigger for a powerhouse performance

Cons.

  • Certainly not the cheapest option at your disposal

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Firing up the Toro is a cinch thanks to the pull-start mechanism then you can embrace the freedom of movement afforded by a cordless chainsaw.

 Roam all around even large gardens and take care of all that pruning in one session. You’ll be able to cut through 6 x 6 material as many as 40 times before you need to give your chainsaw some juice.

When you need to adjust the chain, all you need to do is twist a knob with absolutely no need for any tools.

Rich in safety features, you won’t just get the job done quickly but you can do so without risking any damage to yourself. The anti-kickback protection alone is a winning touch.

If you’re looking for a useful gardening ally in a small form factor with none of the attendant hassles of a gas-powered model, place your trust in Toro.

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Pros.

  • Make up to 40 cuts of 6 x 6 on a single charge thanks to agile T90 battery
  • No need for tools when you’re tensioning the chain
  • Super-simple pull start so no messing around when it’s time for gardening duties
  • Low kickback bar and chain so you can operate as safely as possible
  • Powerful DC brushless motor ideal for sustained use

Cons.

  • A few reported issues with battery over time

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Last in our lineup of the best cordless chainsaws is a lurid yellow offering from Ryobi, superbly simple to spot at a distance if you set your chainsaw down while you’re working.

Another bare tool, you’ll need to make provision for a battery and charger. This is idea if you already own Ryobi cordless tools but means you’ll need to dig a little deeper if you don’t.

The 14-inch chain and powerful brushless motor conspire to serve up gas-rivaling performance with none of those noxious fumes and none of that noise either. Do yourself and your neighbors a favor and leave the gasoline for commercial cutting jobs.

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Pros.

  • Automatic oiling and wrap-around handle for a user-friendly experience all the way
  • If you’re already invested into the Ryobi ecosystem, save money with this bare tool and share your battery between your tools
  • Relatively lightweight at 11 pounds all-in so take care of all your pruning without getting tired
  • 14-inch bar and chain delivers results in line with a gas-powered chainsaw
  • Outstanding price/performance ratio

Cons.

  • A few reported issues with battery over time

OK ...

OK, now we’ve finished up with our reviews, it’s time for the nitty-gritty. By the time we’re done today, you’ll know everything there is to know about buying a cordless chainsaw the easy way starting with the absolute basics…

What Is a Chainsaw?

If you’re looking to cut and prune tree branches, there’s no better solution than a chainsaw.

The engine in a chainsaw is often referred to as its power head. This drives a metal chain and is powered by a highly efficient centrifugal clutch. The chain moves around a groove found in the guide bar and runs at high speed.

As the above takes place, the razor sharp teeth are dragged right across the material.

Note: As the chain cannot be guarded, a chainsaw is arguably the most dangerous hand-held power tool to use. Follow all sensible safety precautions and operate with extreme care.

Who Needs a Chainsaw?

From landscapers and loggers to firefighters and carpenters, chainsaws have many commercial applications.

It’s also useful to have a chainsaw on hand at home if you have a yard with shrubs and trees in need of regular pruning and cutting.

What To Consider When Buying a Cordless Chainsaw

While a chainsaw might seem like quite a simple piece of kit, you should focus on the following core areas to get the most suitable tool for the job:

  • Type
  • Weight
  • Bar Length
  • Type of Handle

Type

Chainsaw come in 3 main variants:

  • Gas
  • Electric
  • Battery-Powered Cordless

Gas

You’ll find the size of gas-powered engines quoted in cc (cubic centimeters) or, less commonly, cu.in (cubic inches).

As you’d expect, the more power you get, the heavier the chainsaw will be.

If you’re considering a gas-fueled chainsaw, you should carefully consider the drawbacks rather than being sold on the benefits and ending up disappointed. These chainsaws are noisy, call for maintenance, and generate lots of fumes.

Electric

You’ll see the power of electric chainsaws expressed in terms of either amperage or amps (A).

The higher this rating, the more powerful your chainsaw will be.

While quiet and convenient, you’ll be restricted by the length of the cord. Electric chainsaws also typically lack power.

Battery-Powered Cordless

Choose any of the models we review today and you’ll end up with cordless convenience without taking too big a hit on the power front.

Power is described in terms of voltage (V) with power increasing along with voltage.

You need to make sure the model you’re considering offers sufficient runtime for your needs.

Weight

Most chainsaws weight roughly the same like-for-like. 

The saving you’ll make in weight comes by choosing to sidestep the heavier, bulkier gas-powered models in favor of electric or cordless.

Make sure you buy a chainsaw that’s not too heavy to handle or you’ll sacrifice control and put yourself in unnecessary danger.

Bar Length

Most domestic chainsaws come with bars in the 10-inch to 18-inch range.

The longer the bar, the bigger pieces of wood you can cut. Equally, long bars result in a loss of control so strike a balance appropriate to the type of jobs you have in mind.

Type of Handle

Last but certainly not least, don’t overlook the design of the handle. In many ways, this is the most crucial element of operation.

A wrap-around handle gives you much greater versatility when you’re cutting awkward, overhanging branches.

Small handles offer superb grip while some chainsaws come with supplementary handles to improve maneuverability.

What To Ask Yourself Before Buying a Chainsaw

While you might be impatient to whip out your credit card and hit the buying trail, we’d urge you to ponder the following questions before doing so…

What is your main intended use?

If you’re a regular homeowner looking to use a chainsaw for some occasional light pruning and cutting, you will be absolutely fine with an electric or cordless model. 

If, however, you intend to fell medium-sized trees or you’ll be working on heavy vegetation, you should look for a gas-powered chainsaw powered with at least a 45cc engine. Pop back next week since we’ll be looking at some more heavy-duty gas variants.

Have you ever used a chainsaw before?

If you’re looking to buy your first chainsaw, we’d advise starting small until you develop some confidence. We can’t state often enough that chainsaws are remarkably dangerous with that unprotected chain so don’t take on a model that’s too unwieldy.

Will you be cutting mainly soft wood or hard wood?

If you think you’ll be dealing with hard woods like maple, beech or oak, you’ll need a correspondingly powerful chainsaw.

For anyone who will be working exclusively with soft woods, power is not so critical.

What diameter wood do you plan to cut?

Consider the size of the wood you’re likely to be cutting. This will inform the length of guide bar that will make the best fit.

Where will you be doing most of your cutting?

If you’ll be working on land not overlooked by neighbors, a gas-powered chainsaw is likely a neat fit. Try using an electric model and you’ll be restricted either by cord length or battery life.

When your pruning is taking place in a backyard with neighboring properties, your best bet is a cordless or electric chainsaw.

Are you likely to use the chainsaw regularly?

Electric and cordless chainsaws call for almost no maintenance. These make by far the best choice if you’re only planning to use your chainsaw occasionally.

When will you be using your chainsaw most?

Will you need to work in cold conditions? If so, look for chainsaws with heated handles and heated carburetors to make that easier on yourself.

A Final Word

We hope you now have a clear picture of which cordless chainsaw would make most sense for you. You should also be able to see clearly that you won’t need to invest in a large gas-fueled chainsaw that will menace the neighbors and fill your yard with fumes.

Instead, roll with any of the cordless chainsaws we review today and you’re in safe hands.

Before you go, don’t forget to bookmark Homendgarden and come back any time you need some guidance on buying the best gear to kit out your precious home. Come back later this week for our handy guide on using a chainsaw to cut logs at home.

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