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Best Battery Chainsaw Reviews 2021 | Best Cordless Chainsaws

Boy, did we open a can of worms when we started searching and testing to determine the best battery-powered chainsaw models across a range of applications. Not that long ago, there weren’t that many cordless chainsaws, and even fewer had good enough performance to warrant replacing gas saws.

Fast forward to today and cordless chainsaws meet and even exceed gas performance all the way up to 16- and 18-inch models. While they haven’t displaced farm and ranch chainsaws just yet, nearly every category that uses less than a 50cc engine has a battery equivalent that’s a solid replacement.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw for Pros

Husqvarna 540i XP 40V 16-inch Chainsaw

Pros have more options than ever before. Traditional professional brands Stihl and Husqvarna have outstanding models while cordless powerhouses such as Makita and Milwaukee have produced legitimate options themselves.

In the end, we chose Husqvarna’s 540i XP as the best cordless chainsaw for professionals. Though not as powerful as the Greenworks Commercial 82V, its balance of 40cc power and weight makes it an excellent all-rounder for cordless cutting.

We also like the option to use a standard battery pack or switch over to a battery backpack for extended cutting. That’s a feature Stihl, Greenworks Commercial, and Makita have as well.

Price: $589 bare (14-inch bar), $599 bare (16-inch bar)

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Best Cordless Chainsaw for Home Use

EGO CS1800 56V 18-inch Chainsaw

In choosing the best battery chainsaw for home use, we didn’t want to sacrifice the power we enjoy from our professional saws. While there are a lot of options available, we tend to get the best balance of performance and weight in the 60V class.

Moving to an 18-inch bar, we put the EGO CS1800 on the top of the charts. It has excellent power and there’s plenty of runtime with available batteries up to 10.0Ah (a 5.0Ah pack comes in the kit).

In addition to its performance, EGO’s auto-tensioning system makes it super-easy to adjust the chain tension and access the bar and chain without the use of additional tools. There’s even an LED to help with post-storm cleanup when the power’s out and you can’t wait for sunrise.

Price: $389 with 5.0Ah battery and charger

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Best Battery Top Handle Chainsaw

Makita XCU08 18V X2 (36V) Top Handle Chainsaw

Best Makita Outdoor Power Equipment at GIE 2019

Top handle chainsaws are an arborist’s and lineman’s best friend. The differences in design give these saws a very different feel while you’re cutting and we generally only recommend them for experienced chainsaw users.

Our choice for the best battery top handle chainsaw is the Makita XCU08. It’s a legitimate gas replacement that has the muscle to hang with traditional names such as Stihl and Husqvarna. The best part is that it comes in with a lower price tag.

The saw comes stock with a 14-inch bar, but you can also order the XCU09 if you want the same saw with a 16-inch bar instead.

Price: $339 bare, $449 with two 5.0Ah batteries and charger

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Best Battery Pole Saw

Stihl 36V Cordless KombiSystem with Pole Saw Attachment

When it comes to the best battery pole saw, our favorites are all multi-head systems. We like the versatility that comes from adding more tools to give the powerhead a better value proposition and justifying its place on the trailer.

It’s tough to beat the Stihl’s Kombisystem for a cordless pole saw. When we tested multi-head systems, this is the one that felt the closest to gas power. In fact, Stihl also has a gas powerhead available if you want to switch back and forth due to ordinance or client preference. That’s a feature the Makita Couple Shaft system also has, though its gas powerhead uses 4-stroke.

The pole saw attachment has a 12-inch bar and chain, giving you a bit more capacity than the 10-inch models.

The downside is that this is an expensive system to get into, though Stihl’s dealer network is a massive benefit during and after the sale.

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Best Small Battery-Powered Chainsaw

Choosing the best small cordless chainsaw isn’t just a matter of choosing something lightweight with a 10- or 12-inch bar anymore. The introduction of battery pruners with a 4- to 6- inch bar and chain ups the ante. So we picked a couple of each for you.

DeWalt DCCS620P1 20V Max Compact Cordless Chainsaw

DeWalt launched a line of light-duty OPE for its popular 20V Max platform as a way to give contractors the ability to clear jobsites using the batteries they already have. Those same OPE tools are great for homeowners that need occasional or limited use equipment.

The name says it all: DeWalt’s 20V Max compact cordless chainsaw features a highly-manageable 12-inch bar and chain that works with one of the deepest lines of cordless power tools available. For dedicated lawn care, you might look to the FlexVolt 60V Max line, but this saw is just right for limbing and light felling around your home.

Price: $149 bare, $249 kit with 5.0Ah battery and charger

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Best Battery Pruner

Milwaukee 2527 M12 Fuel Hatchet 6-inch Pruner

As the only current member of Milwaukee’s OPE line to use the M12 battery platform, the M12 Fuel Hatchet does a couple of things better than its limited competition.

First of all, we like that it’s a 6-inch bar and chain rather than 4-inch. Even though it’s only 2 more inches, it gets you into cutting branches you might normally turn to a heavier standard-form chainsaw for.

We also like that this model has an auto-oiler, something that’s missing on Stihl’s model. Combined, this makes it the best cordless chainsaw for those looking for a truly compact pruning tool.

Price: $179 bare, $269 with 4.0Ah battery and charger

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Best Value Cordless Chainsaw

Greenworks 2015402 Pro 60V 18-inch Chainsaw

Greenworks Pro 60V 18-Inch Chainsaw Cutting Oak

With performance that rivals a 42cc gas engine and a sub-$300 kit price, the second-generation Greenworks 60V chainsaw was an easy choice as the cordless chainsaw best value.

Its 18-inch bar offers top-tier capacity from a cordless saw and you’ll get plenty of runtime from the 4.0Ah battery that comes in the kit. The regular price on this model is $299.99, but we’ve seen it recently for $259.99 at The Home Depot.

Price: $259.99

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Best Budget Battery Chainsaw

Hart HLCS011 40V 14-inch Chainsaw Kit

We also wanted to offer some ideas if you’re on a tight budget and still want to be free of extension cords and gas engines. When we look for the best cheap chainsaw, we’re looking for a kit that’s less than $200 that still has a quality build.

There aren’t many that fit our requirements, but Hart does with style. It features a 14-inch bar and chain and still has a brushless motor. We like that the adjustment tool stores on board so you don’t have to remember what drawer you stuck it in.

It’s a great choice for limbing and felling smaller trees and offers some help digging out after a storm. Not only does it have a very reachable price tag, but Hart also backs it with a 3-year warranty.

Price: $150 with a 4.0Ah battery and charger

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See Also: Can battery power cut it? Read our article: Why use a battery-powered chainsaw

How We Choose the Best Battery Chainsaw

Performance is King, Regardless of Voltage

Battery voltage itself doesn’t determine the power output of cordless tools like it used to. Lithium-ion cordless tools have always used electronics to regulate battery output, but with the advent of brushless motor tools, greater tweaks can be made between the battery pack and motor.

Computer chip controls within brushless motors can freely convert the voltage to prioritize the current levels needed for balancing high power output with the heat management that is so critical for lithium-ion cells.

Add to that the trend of tool companies becoming increasingly nebulous with their voltage naming conventions, and voltage numbers mean less now than ever. The tools in our tests range in voltage from 18V to 82V Max. They come equipped with anything from 2.0 to 12.0 amp-hour (Ah) packs and even more with backpack batteries.

Despite having mixed voltages and amp-hour ratings represented, we don’t handicap to find the best cordless chainsaw. All of the saws we considered reward superior performance over all other considerations. Creature comfort and accessory features add nice touches, but getting the job done quickly and confidently was our top priority.

Runtime is a Big Deal

The other side of the performance equation is runtime. The more work a tool can perform on a single battery charge, the less hassle you have by switching the pack out or waiting for it to charge.

Since many chainsaws only come with one battery pack and some chargers can literally take hours to fully charge your battery, runtime is a legitimate consideration.

If you expect to work without waiting to charge, look for saws that have rapid chargers in the kit (or at least one available). Even though you might have to pay separately to get one, it’s worth the expense.

As you’d guess, the best battery-powered chainsaw should have a good balance of cutting speed, runtime, and efficient use of its battery.

Cordless Chainsaw Testing Methods

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Shootout

Over years of testing, we’ve made many thousands of cuts through pine, cedar, oaks, and much more. These range from limbing small branches through felling 3-foot diameter trees, and digging out after hurricanes. We prefer to test chainsaws by crosscutting in green (wet) wood like their chains were designed for, not in dried construction lumber.

Runtime is important, but in the real world, it’s working time we’re most interested in. With rapid chargers available from multiple manufacturers, it’s very possible that cycling between two batteries can allow you to work virtually uninterrupted throughout your day. Anytime we can work longer than it takes to charge our second battery, it’s a win.

Of course, if you can’t take a power source with you to use the charger where you’re working, runtime and battery efficiency are a much greater priority. That’s why we prefer backpack battery options for professional use.

The combination of real-world and controlled scenario cutting really puts a saw through its paces. With the benefits of battery power, however, we didn’t risk going deaf, inhaling clouds of harmful exhaust, or bugging any neighbors with noise and fumes.

The Best Battery Powered Cordless Chainsaw Details We Look For


With the exception of pole saws and pruning saws, most chainsaws are similar in form and share all of the same basic operational features. Where the best cordless chainsaws differ in form is primarily in their switches and triggers.

All of the saws have a UL or similar test lab certification on them, but they seem to be tested to different variations of the acceptable safety trigger standard. The current UL standard requires an electric chainsaw to have a trigger with “two separate and dissimilar actions required” to start the chain moving.

An engineer from a major chainsaw manufacturing company explained to us that this means a chainsaw should not be able to be triggered “on” with a single grabbing motion of the handle and trigger, rather the trigger lockout mechanism and the trigger require separate deliberate actions.

DeWalt Trigger Safety

In use, some of the saws in our test have more defined two-step triggers while others can be easily activated with a single grasp around their lockout button and trigger. At the end of the day, we expect our chainsaws to have a trigger mechanism that will keep us from accidentally activating the motor, and all of our recommendations meet that requirement.

Electronic Safeties

The true two-step lockouts aren’t difficult to operate in normal conditions. In odd positions, such as reaching around a tree while limbing, sometimes the mechanical lockouts can be tricky to slide.

For select cordless chainsaws, the first of two (or sometimes three) stages of starting is an electronic power button.

Some electronic switch saws can be run with a single grab once powered on. You just have to mindful of the auto timeout feature. It can be frustrating the pull the trigger on a Husqvarna, for example, to no effect when you thought the saw was ready.

Alerts and Feedback

Another feature tied in with the electronic switches is warning alerts. Small LED “ready” lights glow on the dash of two of these saws accompanied by a few chirps when you turn them on. There are also separate warning lights that indicate trouble conditions and some alert you when the brake is in the “on” position.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Trigger Safety

Ease of Adjustment

Chainsaw bars need to be adjusted nearly every time you use the saw. A new chain stretches out pretty quickly. You need to snug it up at least a few times as it breaks in.

If your chain gets tight rather suddenly, it usually means the bar is not getting oil. Don’t loosen it until you make sure the saw is oiling properly.

Pro Tip: Get into the habit of loosening your chain at the end of the day. Cold weather can cause it to tighten as it cools and damage parts.

A saw’s bar will be designed for either tool-free adjustment or will require a screwdriver-wrench combination tool called—yep, you guessed it—a scrench. Tool-free adjustment is the quickest and easiest with plastic knobs and/or dials built into the saw. They loosen the bar, move the bar forward or back to properly tension the chain, and lock the bar down tight again.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Shootout

Dual Studs vs Tool-free Adjusters

Saws with tool-free adjusters use a single stud (a.k.a. captive bolt) to attach the bar to the saw, but manual adjusting models have two mounting studs. Some old-school users view dual studs as an indication that the saw is geared toward professionals, but we don’t think that’s a hard, fast rule. Not for modest-sized saws anyway. However, the biggest and strongest chainsaws made all have dual stud bar mounts.

Pro Tip: Be sure to snug the nuts evenly because torquing down on only one can loosen the other.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Shootout

Don’t Lose Your Nuts!

Lost bar nuts are a frequent occurrence during regular use in the field. To prevent this, some saws have the added feature of captive nuts that won’t vibrate off. To keep your adjustment tool close at hand, look for models that have storage slots built into the saws.

Pro Tip: Keep a spare nut on hand as it’s not unusual to lose one in the field.

Your preferences may vary, but I can appreciate both adjustment methods. I like the speed and convenience of tool-free adjustments for my small saws. For my big saws, I feel more confident securing the business end of these powerful tools down with a wrench.

It’s not a deal-breaker either way for the saws in our test unless the mechanism itself is flawed. The best battery-powered chainsaw for you is the one that instills a sense of both confidence and convenience.

Bars and Chains

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw EGO 56V Chainsaw

Most chainsaw brands don’t try to reinvent the wheel by making their own bars and chains. Instead, they spec’d common Oregon components, though Stihl makes their own bars and chains. Most cordless chainsaws use 3/8″ pitch, 0.043″ gauge chains while a handful use 0.050″ gauge.

A Built-in Chain Sharpener?

Oregon has a special 91PS “PowerSharp” chain which works with its saw’s built-in semi-automatic sharpener. Pulling a lever atop the saw pushes a curved sharpening stone against the special chain for easy sharpening on the fly.

The aggressive, hooked teeth of the PowerSharp chain can be too brutal in some tree species, so standard Oregon 91 chain can be substituted—just don’t try to use the sharpener with it.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Oregon PowerSharp

Oiling Systems

Bar and chain oil is the lifeblood of a chainsaw as the saw cannot run without it for very long. Throughout our testing, most of the saws oiled readily, but we occasionally run across models that have issues.

If a saw oiled well out of the box, it usually just needs a good cleaning to unclog it.

Oil Visibility

Most battery-powered chainsaws have translucent windows that let you check if there’s oil in the tank, and most let you estimate the level pretty well. We’ve run into models with windows that are too small or dark to see the level, though.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Oregon 40V Max Chainsaw oil Window

Ease of Filling Matters

The ease of filling the oil reservoir is a noteworthy convenience factor when considering the best battery-powered chainsaw. We don’t like having oily fingers, so being able to fill the tank while leaving our work gloves on is our preference. Look for oil caps with lugs that are easy to turn with gloves on and/or flip-up tabs that provide an even better grip.

Greenworks Pro 60V Chainsaw oil reservoir

Be careful when filling your chainsaw. Some have a large section of the cap that goes inside the tank and displaces a surprising amount of oil when you fill it anywhere close to the top. Wiping gooey oil off a chainsaw is an annoying waste of time.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw DeWalt Oil Cap

Spills & More Spills

Another cause of spills is an oil tank with a filler neck that is too narrow. Bar and chain oil is thick and tacky. It can pour like molasses in the cold, so it easily “piles up” and overflows in a narrow neck.

While filling most chainsaws proves passable, some designs have a narrow neck or sit at an angle that makes the target even smaller.

Providing another challenge, plastic filters at the inlet of its tank can constrict the diameter.

Caps that cross-thread easily can also make the oil-fill process more of a chore.

Environmental Sidetrack: Try Biodegradable Bar and Chain Oil

The other part of this cleaner, greener, lithium-ion-powered story is you can pair your battery chainsaw with biodegradable bar and chain oil made of vegetable-based ingredients. Those barrels of useful wood waste we mentioned also contain a few gallons of oil from the saws.

PTR contributor, Michael Springer, decided to switch to bio-oils a decade ago after seeing the huge pile of sawdust he generated during a chainsaw test sit outside for years in his compost area without decomposing.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Stihl Bio Oil

Aside from having to landfill all of your petroleum-preserved sawdust, it’s just good practice to minimize your exposure to petroleum oil on your skin, clothing, and the atomized portion that you breathe in.

There are at least a couple of brands of bar and chain oil available that are biodegradable, but Stihl’s Bio Plus is a reliable, premium product. Plus, it’s easier to find than other brands of bio-oil.

Tips to Avoid Leaking or Spilling Oil

Here’s a tip—only poke a little hole in the foil sealing your quart or gallon oil bottle so you can pour a skinny stream. Or dispense your oil from a syrup bottle that has a tapered, pull-to-open tip. It works like a charm, and you can push the tip against the inside of the filler neck to stop the flow for one-handed control when your other hand is steadying the saw.

Just make sure you clean out the bottle first (you may have to eat a whole lot of pancakes).

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Syrup Bottle

Chainsaws often leak oil while sitting because daily heating and cooling shrinks and expands a plastic tank like a rudimentary pump. Some saws are messier than others.

Wherever you store your saw, put a piece of cardboard underneath it to collect any oil. You can switch it out as needed and whenever an Amazon order arrives.

Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw Greenworks Oil Puddle

Naked? Don’t Use a Cordless Chainsaw Like This Guy!

Back on Track… Bucking Spikes

For pushing a saw through wood more efficiently, chainsaws come fitted with bucking spikes (a.k.a. bumper spikes, felling spikes, or dogs). These spikes sit against the body of the saw alongside the bar and anchor the saw in place while the bar pivots through the cut.

The spikes allow you to apply a lifting motion of the rear hand instead of pushing downward. Holding the saw tight to the wood, the motor can exert its maximum pulling power. This saves you from some of the cutting vibrations and especially the jerking common to holding a saw away from your work.

Our battery-powered saws all have some semblance of spikes. Most aren’t as long or as sharp as those on large gas saws, but actual steel spikes are becoming more common. We prefer those to the simple plastic ridges on other models.

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