Updated March 2023
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
DEWALT 16" FLEXVOLT Brushless Chainsaw
16" FLEXVOLT Brushless Chainsaw
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All-around Performance
Bottom Line

Light or medium work doesn't hold this saw back from its job; earns our home improvement expert's approval.


Has tool-free chain tightening. Relatively light even when the battery is in. Charger and battery are included. Has an auto-oiling feature to keep the saw going for long periods of time.


Heavy-duty work and prolonged usage may cause some issues.

Best Bang for the Buck
DEWALT 20-Volt MAX XR Lithium-Ion Cordless Brushless Chainsaw
20-Volt MAX XR Lithium-Ion Cordless Brushless Chainsaw
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Light Work
Bottom Line

Has all the needed features of a great saw for modest-width cutting, according to our expert.


Easy to start up and stop thanks to its battery-powered design. The battery lasts a good amount of time and doesn't add a ton of weight to the saw. Easy to adjust the chain based on workload.


The battery and charger are sold separately.

DEWALT 18" 60-Volt Electric Cordless Chainsaw
18" 60-Volt Electric Cordless Chainsaw
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Bottom Line

A high-powered saw that our expert says is capable of serious work.


Despite being electric, this saw has the same power output that a gas-powered model does. Has a tooled chain system that is easy to understand. Includes a bar cover for protection after the job is done.


The battery life is quite short compared to other saws.

MAX XR Pole Saw
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Specific Use
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All the features you want in a mini saw for small vegetation, yet our expert notes it can cut through a 4 x 4.


Has a 15-foot reach. Has minimal kickback, even when the saw is fully extended. The attached limb hook makes it quite easy to remove branches without having to stop work progress.


Some users felt that the power of the saw is lacking.

DEWALT 8-Inch 20V Cordless Chainsaw
8-Inch 20V Cordless Chainsaw
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Best in Tight Spaces
Bottom Line

Buyers looking for an easy-to-use compact chainsaw will, undoubtedly, love what they find here.


A brushless, cordless chainsaw designed for professional results, even in your hedges' tightest spaces. The saw effortlessly glides through branches, even those in tight spaces. Auto-oiling keeps it well-lubricated as you use it. Great for detail work and small brushes.


Battery and charger are not included with this chainsaw.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best DeWalt chainsaws

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.

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Cordless DEWALT chainsaws are easier to use than gas models, but they’re no less dangerous and shouldn’t be taken for granted. You still need to take the same safety precautions.

Key considerations

Volts and amp hours

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.

Expert Tip
Secure long hair and any loose clothing.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

What voltage do you need?

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.

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Did you know?
There’s some confusion between 18-volt and 20-volt tools, or 36-volt and 40-volt models. The higher figure is the initial voltage at start, with no load. The lower is the voltage while working. There is no operational difference between 18- and 20-volt tools or 36- and 40-volt tools.

DEWALT chainsaw prices


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.


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.


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.

Expert Tip
Always unplug or remove batteries when servicing chainsaws.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Safety tips

  • Wear protective gear. Always wear sturdy boots, gloves (so you can maintain a good grip on your tool), hard hat with a face shield, and ear protection. DEWALT chainsaws are not as loud as gas models, but the work can still be a noisy operation.
  • Make sure you have firm, stable footing. Avoid wet grass, mud, and damp leaves.
  • Keep children and pets away. Children often want to help, but make sure they stand well back while you’re cutting. Keep pets away from the work area. It’s not just for their safety. Any distraction could cause an accident.
  • Apply the chain brake before starting. Check that the chain is properly tensioned. If it shows any signs of damage, replace it immediately.
  • Never use a chainsaw if you’re not 100% fit and alert.
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Tool-free chain tensioning on DEWALT chainsaws is quick and easy, but it isn’t automatic. It needs to be checked regularly. Have a quick look every time the battery needs changing or charging.


Q. Are brushless motors better than brush motors?

. 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.

Expert Tip
When using a corded electric chainsaw, tape extension cords together so you're not distracted by a power disruption.
BestReviews Home Improvment Expert

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:

  • If you already own a 20-volt Max DEWALT battery, it will work with 20-volt XR DEWALT chainsaws. You can put it in the XR charger, too. However, you can’t charge the XR batteries in the Max charger.
  • Other brands of 20-volt Max batteries probably won’t fit.
  • You can’t normally swap voltages around. A 20-volt Max or XR does not generate enough power for a 40-volt chainsaw. You can’t go the other way either. For example, a 40-volt battery won’t work on a 20-volt tool. The exception is the Flexvolt battery, which can be switched between compatible 20- and 60-volt tools (but, oddly, not 40-volt).
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