As I write this, it’s hard to believe we’ve been using battery-powered chainsaws for more than a decade already. In that time, they’ve become primary tools for many folks with higher power levels and 18-inch bars now commonplace. With that kind of performance available, we wanted to see if there’s still a place for smaller models such as the Skil 12-inch battery chainsaw.
Skil 12-Inch Battery Chainsaw | The Case For A Small Chainsaw
The very first thing we noticed when we picked up this saw is how lightweight it is. Bare, it’s 5.7 pounds and a 4.0Ah battery lifts it to 7.3 pounds. Considering a high-performance model such as EGO’s 18-inch chainsaw can be 10 pounds or more, the lighter weight is a bit of a relief.
Going along with that lower weight is a smaller overall form factor. Skil sticks with a standard rear-handle design, so it’s not quite as compact as a top-handle chainsaw. However, the 12-inch bar combined with the need to make room for a much smaller 20V battery keeps the saw compact. That makes it easier to control and less intimidating to use, which is really helpful if you only use your chainsaw occasionally.
Lightweight and compact doesn’t mean that the Skil 12-inch battery chainsaw is incapable of handling your tree care needs, though. The chain is an Oregon 0.043-inch gauge, 3/8-inch pitch, which is the same as the standard chain on most cordless saws.
Skil’s brushless motor drives the chain up to 1555 feet per minute (7.9 meters per second) and makes surprisingly quick work of branches up to 10 inches considering it runs on the same batter as other PWRCore 20 power tools.
With a 12-inch bar, the saw is capable of cutting up to 24 inches by working around a branch or tree. It’s definitely a slower process that we prefer a stronger saw for and you’ll run the battery down, but it can be done. Based on our experience, branches up to 10 inches are in the saw’s wheelhouse, even hardwood such as oak.
Give that a thought for just a second—how often do you need to cut branches in over 10 inches?
Even for us living in Hurricane Alley, most of our tree maintenance is well within that range. Typically, it’s only when a tree comes down that homeowners in our area need a higher performance saw.
It’s different if you’re maintaining bigger properties, such as a large estate or ranch. For that, you need something more along the lines of a farm and ranch saw. Of course, professional tree care crews need a full suite of sizes. For the rest of us, a 12-inch chainsaw is more useful than you may realize.
Pro Tip: Keep your chain sharp and replace it when necessary for the best performance.
Skil 12-Inch Battery Chainsaw Design
You need to adjust the chain tension over the course of using the saw and Skil makes it easy. Just loosen the large dial (you don’t have to take it all the way off) and then either tighten or loosen the chain with the red wheel. Once you have it set, tighten the large dial back down and get back to work. No tools, no stress.
Some of the smaller chainsaws use a manual oiling system, but Skil keeps an automatic oiler on this model. Just fill up the 200ml translucent reservoir and get to work.
There’s an inertia brake that stops the chain if your front hand pushes forward while you’re cutting. Make sure it’s pulled back toward you if you pull the trigger and it doesn’t turn on.
With the PWRCore 20 OPE line, Skil includes an Easy Storage Hook on the back of the tool and a bracket to hang it on. Just secure the bracket with two screws into the wall and you have a hanging solution that’s much easier than using a keyhole.
If you add more brackets as you expand your collection, they are designed in a way that lets you daisy chain them into one another.
- Bar sheath included
- IPX4 ingress rating
- Plastic bucking spikes
- Compatible with all Skil PWRCore 20 batteries
Skil 12-Inch Battery Chainsaw Price
With a 4.0Ah battery, charger, and storage bracket, Skil’s 12-inch chainsaw runs $159.99. Compared to competing models from Ryobi or Craftsman, the price is $10 – $20 less expensive.
The Bottom Line
Skil’s PWRCore 20 12-inch chainsaw is a great fit you’re looking for a lightweight, easy-to-use saw with a ton of built-in value. For most homeowners, it can handle everything you need to keep your yard looking great.
Of course, you can cut faster with a high-performance chainsaw. If that’s what you’re after, check out what Skil’s PWRCore 40 or EGO’s 56V lines have to offer.
Check out Skil’s entire line of outdoor power equipment here.
Skil 12-Inch Battery Chainsaw Specifications
- Model: Skil CS4562B-10
- Power Source: Skil PWRCore 20 battery
- Bar Size: 12 inches
- Chain: 0.043-inch gauge, 3/8-inch pitch
- Weight: 5.7 pounds bare, 7.3 pounds with 4.0Ah battery
- Warranty: 3 years
- Price: $159.99