Best battery-powered chainsaw
When we started researching battery-powered chainsaws,
I quickly narrowed down the options to three for serious
homesteaders. I actually asked each of these manufacturers for a
review saw, with varied results --- Stihl didn't even answer my query,
Greenworks turned me down, and Oregon sent out the sample saw we've been playing with.
Since we've only had the pleasure of trying out one of the options,
this comparison is largely based on reviews from other sites, combined
with firsthand information from the Oregon saw.
to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the
RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.
Stihl makes a battery-powered saw (MSA 160 C-BQ)
that might head the pack. However, it's hard to get any solid
data on how the saw operates since Stihl only sells through their
dealers, so online reviews are scanty. The price at our local
dealer is $329.95 plus the cost
of the 36V battery (an additional $260), making this the most expensive option by far. However, one review site
felt like the Stihl saw was twice as fast and cut twice as long as the
Oregon saw, so if you want a battery chainsaw to take over all of the
work of a gas saw, this might be the right choice for you.
Oregon makes the chainsaw that looked the most enticing from Amazon reviews (CS250).
The saw costs $249 with no battery, $349 with the smallest available
battery, and $449 with the largest available battery (which is what we're using). In addition
to being in the power class (40V) that is somewhat comparable with
gas-powered chainsaws, the CS250 has the added perk of having a stone
built into the saw so you can sharpen your chain with the pull of a
lever. I suspect that this feature will prove to be especially handy since a
battery saws are very sensitive to dull chains that make the motor
work harder. Reviewers (and our own experience) suggest that one battery
will cut for about an
hour and that the saw can easily buck trees up to 9 to 12 inches in
(depending on the hardness of the wood). In a pinch you can cut
down larger trees as well --- our saw made it through a 17-inch
box-elder (a soft wood) without much trouble, but the job did require a
faster battery charge than usual. As a side note, if you cut too
aggressively, the Oregon saw will shut off to protect the motor, which we've only noticed once but which some reviewers have had trouble with.
Greenworks sells a saw (20312 DigiPro) that is cheaper but possibly less powerful than Oregon's offering. On Amazon, Greenworks' saw
costs $140 with no battery, or $267 with a battery equivalent to
The lower price seems to equate to a slightly less powerful saw (even
though the batteries are 40V just like Oregon's). On the other hand, it's hard to
say whether the possibly shorter run time and reported struggle with
bigger trees is just a result of the larger bar making people more
likely to be overambitious.
I'd love to hear from
anyone who has used these saws and can provide first-hand
information. Do you feel like your saw is able to handle
moderate-scale homesteading tasks, even if it would lose a battle
against a gas-powered chainsaw? Why did you choose the model you
ended up bringing home?