Electric Chainsaws Tearing Up the Market

Mark D’Antonio, Zondits Staff, 1/13/22 

Next up in the Zondits series on residential outdoor equipment is the chainsaw. 

If you have had the experience of clearing debris from a bad storm, you know how indispensable a chainsaw can be. But conventional gas-powered chainsaws are notoriously loud and seriously polluting. Who can ignore that din of your neighbor using their chainsaw all morning or the smell of combusted gas and oil that seems to permeate just about everything? Fortunately, there are alternatives.  

Electric alternatives to gas-powered outdoor equipment are evolving quickly. We have entered a new era of battery driven options for power tools and equipment and chainsaws are no exception. Numerous manufacturers are producing a variety of cordless electric chainsaws that are available on the market today. Some of these saws are developed by established chainsaw manufacturers (Husqvarna, Stihl, etc.), while others are made by big-name tool developers (DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukie, Ryobi, etc.) that offer an array of tools available on proprietary battery platforms. Further, there are brands that focus primarily on developing eco-friendly cordless tools (Greenworks, Ego). There is no shortage of choices in this burgeoning market segment.  

There are several advantages to electric chainsaws. Two important characteristics are that they lower both audible and environmental pollution.  As noted in a 2021 review of electric chainsaws by Gear Junkie

“They seriously reduce emissions by using electricity instead of oil and gas. And they’re cheaper to run — most don’t need maintenance beyond an occasional chain sharpening. Electric chainsaws also eliminate carburetors, fuel lines, spark plugs, and air filters, including the cost and hassle of maintaining, cleaning, and replacing those. Because they don’t use gas, gas won’t go bad inside the saw. And some are so quiet, not only will they be less disturbing to your neighbors and wildlife, but there’s less chance they’ll impact your hearing. They’re also super easy to start. If you’re an intermittent user, that may be what convinces you to make the switch. Electric chainsaws start when you release the safety and pull the trigger with your finger. There’s no pull cord, so there’s no need to leave a saw idling so you don’t have to start it again or to keep the gas engine warm. Electric chainsaws turn on and off in a flash. And when they’re on, because they vibrate less, they’re less tiring to use.”  

The Gear Junkie article reviews several brands of saws and also provides a Buyer’s Guide that points out several things to consider when making the decision to purchase a new saw.  

Going electric with your power tool inventory has many advantages beyond environmental impacts, but how well do electric chainsaws stack up to their gas-powered ancestors? You’d be surprised; the performance quality and value of the new electric chainsaws are second to none. For an in-depth video comparison of several models that evaluates cutting performance, battery run-times, price, and other saw characteristics, check-out this excellent two-part series from Project Farm: Round 1; Round 2

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