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Updated January 2023
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Why trust BestReviews?
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 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
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Makita Lithium-Ion Brushless Chain Saw Kit
Makita
Lithium-Ion Brushless Chain Saw Kit
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Feature-packed
Bottom Line

The cordless Makita chainsaw operates at high-powered speeds without sacrificing comfort or safety.

Pros

Offers a variable speed trigger and toolless chain adjustment for user convenience. Improved technology resists damage from moisture and residue dust. Safety features include overload protection, a front guard, and rechargeable batteries.

Cons

More suited to house or yard maintenance than professional projects.

Best Bang for the Buck
WORX WG303.1
WORX
WG303.1
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

A popular electric chainsaw that our expert says is ideal for the homeowner and weekend warrior.

Pros

Low-cost electric chainsaw with many features found on more expensive machines. Auto-lubrication keeps the chainsaw running smoothly. Molded grip is comfortable.

Cons

A few reliability issues reported by owners (though owner maintenance could be a factor). Some difficulty sourcing spares.

Greenworks CS40L412
Greenworks
CS40L412
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Impressive Design
Bottom Line

It's a powerful tool for a battery-operated model, and it earns our expert's approval.

Pros

A cordless model with long battery life. Capable of handling up to 100 cuts or several hours of use. Lightweight. Kickback chain is a well-regarded safety feature.

Cons

Somewhat pricey and not nearly as powerful as a corded chainsaw.

BLACK+DECKER LCS1240
BLACK+DECKER
LCS1240
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Best for Beginners
Bottom Line

Our expert notes this model's low kickback, tool-free tensioner, and self-oiler.

Pros

High-quality cordless chainsaw that’s great for small/medium gardens. Automatic oiling system makes for easy maintenance. Wrap-around handle is ergonomic and easy to maneuver.

Cons

Small bar size, modest performance, moderate battery life.

Oregon CS1400
Oregon
CS1400
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Instant Start
Bottom Line

A smartly designed chainsaw with lots of built-in features; our expert says it is ideal for residential use.

Pros

Built-in Lubri-Tec oiling system reduces chain friction, and the built-in tensioning ring lets you tighten the chain without needing any additional tools.

Cons

The instructions aren't super clear, and changing the chain can be hard figure out.

HOW WE TESTED

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.

30
Models
Considered
162
Consumers
Consulted
16
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for Best electric chainsaws

The best electric chainsaws offer definite advantages over their gas-powered counterparts. They're light, quiet, better for the environment, and easy to start. Arguably, they offer a greater choice of size and power than gas-powered chainsaws, too.

However, this wide range of options can present problems. It's tough to know how to choose the best electric chainsaw for your own needs. Learning a few key details can help you choose the electric chainsaw that will power through the job at hand.

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The Stihl company is known for its gas-powered chainsaws. Andreas Stihl was the first to patent the electric chainsaw in1926.

Corded vs. cordless

Perhaps the most important decision when choosing an electric chainsaw is whether to go for a corded or cordless model.

Corded electric chainsaw pros

  • Lightweight (as little as five or six pounds)
  • No gas or oil to carry around
  • No harmful emissions
  • Can be very cheap
  • Easy to start: plug in and pull the trigger
  • Quiet enough to be used where noise could be a problem
  • Low-maintenance
  • Top models rival the cutting power of small/medium gas models

Corded electric chainsaw cons

Although some electric corded models are made of plastic, others are made of steel. High-end steel models may be more robust, but there’s a weight penalty. At eleven pounds and upward, there can be little to choose between corded, cordless, and gas.

Speaking of cords, we must also point out that they can get tangled, which is both frustrating and dangerous when you’re using a chainsaw. Because there’s a 15-amp maximum for home electrical sockets, you’re somewhat limited. Furthermore, it’s a pain to deal with an extension cord, and you cannot carry your electric corded model more than 100 feet away from the source because of current drop. (Resistance in the cable soaks up power.)

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Expert Tip
For safety, tie back long hair and wear snug-fitting clothes with no hoodie strings whenever you use a chainsaw.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert

Cordless electric chainsaw pros

  • No gas, oil, or cord to lug around
  • Easy to start: connect battery, pull trigger
  • Quiet
  • Low-maintenance
  • No harmful emissions

Cordless electric chainsaw cons

Cordless electric chainsaws tend to weigh more than their corded counterparts due to the addition of the battery. The average tool weighs 10 to 15 pounds, in fact. If you get one, you’ll be paying this weight penalty, and you’ll also probably be paying a bit more for the chainsaw itself. Cordless electrics are not as cheap as many corded models.

Furthermore, a cordless model is generally less powerful than its corded equivalent. Even if you opt for one of the most powerful (and priciest) cordless models, its run time is typically limited to 60 minutes or less. Recharge times can be long, although the best cordless electric chainsaws can recharge in as little as 30 minutes. An extra set of batteries could be helpful in this situation, but batteries are expensive.

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Testing electric chainsaws
We spent 54 hours researching 23 different electric chainsaws before choosing our top 5 favorites. We then tested our favorite in the BestReviews lab.
STAFF
BestReviews

Electric chainsaw sizes

Chainsaws are generally rated by their bar size (the metal plate the chain runs around). The question is, which size should you buy? We spoke to Luke, BestReviews’ expert landscaping and gardening consultant, for his thoughts on the matter.

The size of the chainsaw you need depends on the types of tasks you wish to complete. Luke advised us that any electric chainsaw with a bar under 12 inches would only be suitable for trimming bushes and very small tree limbs. If you’re looking to cut limbs that are several inches in diameter or firewood that won’t need splitting after you cut it, a 14-inch electric chainsaw would be a good bet.

If you want a chainsaw for “general purposes,” a 16-inch model could be suitable. This length is a practical minimum for actual tree felling. Anything larger than 18 inches, Luke said, is almost certainly gas-powered. And truth be told, most homeowners would never need an electric chainsaw with a bar larger than 18 inches.

Electric chainsaw features

With instant starting and no gas or oil to mix, an electric chainsaw is already quite a straightforward tool. But manufacturers of top-quality models offer additional features that can make your life even easier.

Automatic oiling system

While the maintenance demands of an electric chainsaw are few, it still requires regular oiling. On some models, this is achieved manually by pressing a button. However, an automatic oiling system is far superior and makes for a longer chain life.

"You’ll be wearing gloves when you use your chainsaw. For this reason, a model with plenty of room around the handles and triggers is ideal."
STAFF
BestReviews

Tool-less chain tensioner

The chain will also need to be tightened from time to time. Tool-less adjustment is faster and more convenient than completing the task by hand.

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Expert Tip
Never service a chainsaw while it's plugged in or when the battery is on board.
BestReviews Home Improvement  and DIY Expert

Current limiter

Some electric chainsaws come with current limiters that prevent you from burning out your motor if there’s a risk of overload.

Brushless motor

This type of motor is very quiet and durable.

Electric chainsaw prices

With the enormous variety of electric chainsaws available, it's difficult to put machines into accurate price ranges. The following is a rough guide based on the latest research, but it will likely change. This is particularly true for cordless chainsaw prices, as battery technology continues to improve and costs continue to drop.

  • $50 - $70 will buy you a cheap, corded electric chainsaw that can handle modest trimming tasks and occasional limbs a couple of inches in diameter.
  • $90 - $120 will get you a good, entry-level, corded all-rounder — a machine that's perfectly adequate for the average small to medium garden.
  • $120 - $200 will cover the cost of some premium cordless products and a wide range of very good corded machines.
  • $250+ will fetch you a top-rated corded chainsaw or one of the most powerful cordless versions. These tools will cope with the needs of just about every homeowner. This price range also covers the realm of high-quality gas chainsaws, so if you've got a lot of regular work to do, we recommend that you think critically about whether a gas chainsaw would be a better option for you.
Expert Tip
Store your chainsaw upright so the oil cannot leak out, which is a risk if the chainsaw is laid on its side.
BestReviews Home Improvement and DIY Expert
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Cheap electric chainsaws often come with inferior blades. Performance can be drastically improved with a better one.

Electric chainsaw safety

  • Always make sure the chain brake is on when you start your chainsaw.
  • Always wear gloves and a face shield when you use your chainsaw.
  • If you’re using a corded model, be aware of where the cord is at all times. Stop the machine immediately if the cord snags or tangles. You don't want to trip over it or cut it.
  • Make sure that the chain is properly tensioned.
  • Never work with a worn or damaged chain.
  • If your extension cord grows hot, it's not the proper amp rating, and you run the risk of burning out the motor. Consult an expert for the correct fit.

For many homeowners, an electric chainsaw is the best solution. They're less intimidating than gas models because they're quieter, lighter, and easier to use. They may lack the power of high-end gas models, but unless you're cutting trees or logs regularly, they offer the most sensible and economical solution in most cases. What's more, with such a vast array of electric chainsaws available, there should be one out there that's perfect for you.

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