Heavy-duty chainsaw ideal for construction and outdoor cutting. Makes up to 70 cuts per charge. Tool-free chain tensioning and continuous lubrication with auto-lubing feature. Chain brake offers kickback protection.
Trigger set up like DeWalt power tools, not like a chainsaw. Uses lots of oil.
12-inch Oregon bar and chain. Low kickback model. Brushless motor helps extend runtime and power. Easy start, no pull cords. Chain gauge equals 0.043 and a speed of 25.2-inch per second. Tool-free chain tensioning.
Battery is sold separately. Leaks bar oil.
Brushless motor with variable speeds. 40-volt lithium 6AH battery. Less maintenance than a gas-powered saw. Push-button start, no pull cords. Low kickback and 16-inch Oregon bar and chain brake makes for easier handling. Auto-oiling and tool-free train tensioning.
Chain comes off easily on larger jobs. Better for medium jobs. Must drain chain oil after each use.
Brushless motor. Kickback protection on Oregon bar and chain. Continuous lubrication with auto-oiling. Tool-free chain tensioning. Variable speed trigger. 40-volt and 7.5AH power. Less maintenance than a gas-powered chainsaw.
Narrow gage chain used to reduce power required is more fragile than other options.
DEWALT has an almost legendary reputation for tough, high-performance tools, and its cordless chainsaws carry on the tradition. High-quality components and attention to detail are trademarks of the brand, resulting in a range of well-balanced, user-friendly models. They’re not the cheapest cordless chainsaws on the market, but for many it’s an investment worth making.
BestReviews has taken an in-depth look at specifications and options so you have the information you need to pick the best DEWALT chainsaw for your particular needs. We’ve looked at the differences between voltage and amp hours and how they impact your choice. We’ve also answered some of the common questions people have when buying a cordless chainsaw and included some straightforward safety tips.
If you’re ready to buy, our recommendations highlight the selection available in terms of both price and performance. For a more detailed look at what distinguishes them, please check out the following DEWALT chainsaw buying guide.
For those who might not be clear about what these two figures represent, it’s probably easiest to make a comparison with cars.
Volts: The power demand of the tool, what it needs to function, is the voltage (V). For a 12-volt tool, picture a compact car. For a 120-volt tool (which actually runs two 60-volt batteries in tandem), picture an eight-cylinder sports car. DEWALT chainsaws are rated at 20, 40, or 60 volts.
Amp hours: Amp hours (Ah) are effectively the fuel. The higher the amp hours, the longer a battery will deliver the same level of performance. On a small power drill, you might have a 1.5-amp hour battery. At the other end of the scale, some of DEWALT’s garden tools have 9-amp hour batteries.
Why don’t you just go for the highest amp hours possible? There are several reasons. First, more amp hours equal more cost! A higher amp hour battery also takes longer to charge. Finally, as capacity increases, the tool gets physically bigger, so size and weight become limiting factors.
Voltage and amp hours are not related. You can have a 20-volt, 6-amp hour battery or a 60-volt, 6-amp hour battery. Cordless chainsaws are power-hungry tools, so we recommend the highest amp hours you can afford, with 4 as a minimum.
Manufacturers seldom give run times because they’re impacted by all kinds of things, but DEWALT chainsaws probably run somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes per charge (though some users claim longer). You might welcome the break, but if you want to continue working, you’ll need a spare battery.
20 volts: This DEWALT chainsaw is a lightweight, light-duty tool. It’s useful for a variety of jobs, but the 12-inch bar (the metal plate that the chain circles) indicates the limit of its capacities. In real terms, you’re looking at a maximum cut of maybe 8 or 9 inches.
40 volts: This chainsaw is a good all-rounder and is ideal for most homeowners — powerful but still manageable. This DEWALT chainsaw is fitted with a 16-inch bar. Felling trees that are a foot across is within its capabilities.
60 volts: DEWALT’s 60-volt chainsaw retains the 16-inch bar but delivers more power, so it should do the same job more quickly. If you have a lot of acreage, that could be a benefit, but in our view, this is more of a contractor tool.
DEWALT chainsaws have a couple of safety features that not all rivals share.
Chain brake: First, there’s the chain brake, a device you’ll find on gas chainsaws that stops the chain moving even if you press the trigger.
Lock-out: Second is a safety lock-out button, so the chainsaw can’t be started accidentally. As a further precaution, you need to squeeze the trigger and depress a button to make it run. It’s a one-handed operation, so it’s perfectly comfortable, but if you slip for any reason, the motor stops.
Automatic oiling and tool-free chain tensioning are common features on chainsaws, so it’s not surprising that all DEWALT models have them.
If you’re thinking about buying a range of cordless garden tools, It’s worth looking at other 40-volt DEWALT models, such as leaf blowers, hedge trimmers, and string trimmers, thus maximizing your investment in batteries.
All DEWALT chainsaws have a three-year warranty.
Work gloves: Custom Leathercraft Flex Grip Gloves
Good work gloves help prevent blisters when you’re dealing with branches and logs, and they can minimize vibration from your chainsaw. These are synthetic leather, so they’re tough, but they won’t crack or shrink in damp conditions. They have good insulation, protective padding, and Lycra stretch panels for comfort and dexterity. They’re an excellent value, too.
Hard hat: TR Industrial Safety Helmet and Earmuffs
A face shield is a must when using a chainsaw, because you never know what’s going to get thrown at you. This model incorporates earmuffs, which can be removed, and has interchangeable clear and mesh visors, making it very versatile. The helmet itself is approved to the Z89.1-2003 industrial standard.
Inexpensive: The cheapest DEWALT chainsaw is the 20-volt XR model at around $150 for a bare tool, though the battery and charger will probably double that cost.
Mid-range: At just over $200 as a bare tool, the Flexvolt 60-volt Max chainsaw is excellent value for such a powerful tool. Though, again, a battery will add $100 or so. If you’re considering such a high-performance model, you’ll probably want at least one spare battery as well.
Expensive: DEWALT’s focus seems to be on the 40-volt range, and it is arguably the best option for all but commercial users. It’s unlikely you’ll find one under $400, and by the time you’ve got a decent battery, it will be closer to $500. It is in line with competitors of similar quality, but it’s still quite an investment.
Q. Are brushless motors better than brush motors?
A. In cordless tools, yes. Brush motors are cheap, but they were developed primarily for corded electric motors. They will work in cordless tools, but they aren’t anywhere near as efficient as brushless, which will run around 30% longer with the same battery. A cordless chainsaw is quite a power-hungry tool, so having a brushless motor is a major advantage. They’re also virtually maintenance free. In DEWALT’s chainsaw range, the XR designation tells you that they are fitted with brushless motors.
Q. Do I need to buy replacement chains from DEWALT?
A. No. As long as the size is the same (check carefully), it doesn’t matter what chains you buy, and you can probably save money sourcing them from another supplier. However, do make sure you buy a high-quality alternative. Buying cheap chainsaw blades is false economy. They stretch more quickly and need more frequent sharpening.
Q. Will DEWALT Max batteries work in XR chainsaws?
A. Yes, if the voltage is the same. We need to look at this question carefully, though, because there are a few alternatives:
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