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electric chainsaw review - including cordless chainsaws and comparisons to gas chainsaws

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Published on Nov 27, 2014

http://permies.com

Emily Aaston, Lumberjill (as opposed to lumberjack) reviews two gas chainsaws and five electric chainsaws, including two corded saws and three cordless saws. She also touches on felling trees with a crosscut saw and an ax.

Emily has dropped trees for over ten years for the national parks service before setting up shop at Wheaton Labs. She has used Stih and Husqvarna (Husky) chainsaws.

Using electric chainsaws have their problems. The idea is not to be perfect, but to find something that could be "better".

Emily starts with a Stihl 170 - to compare to the electric saws. She points out that gas saws have been optimized a lot over the decades, while electric saws are still pretty new to the scene. It is reliable, has good balance, needs gasoline mixed with oil and sometimes starting can be tricky.

The electric chainsaws are from Remington, Makita, Greenworks and Oregon.

The Remington electric chainsaw cost about $65. It has a plastic sprocket and plastic chain tensioning housing. The oiling device tends to put too much oil on the chain, thus wasting bar and chain lube/oil. It will even drain oil when the saw is not in use. No kickback safety. The power is pretty good, but when those extension cords add up, the power is reduced. Emily feels she spends too much time troubleshooting the Remington.

The Makita electric chainsaw costs about $250. It has a metal sprocket, but plastic housing. The plastic chain tensioner needs frequent adjustment. Emily mentions that it has an awkward feel. A bit of a surprise is that Emily thinks the Makita is less powerful than the Remington.

The Makita cordless chainsaw costs about $370. One great feature is that the 18 volt battery packs work for all sorts of makita tools. And the battery packs are quick to charge. Unfortunately, the charge does not last a long time. Not much power. Weird weight distribution that ends up making your wrist tired.

The greenworks cordless electric chainsaw uses a 40 volt battery pack and costs about $220. The weight is well balanced. The battery takes about an hour to charge and you can get about 40 minutes of use per charge. It has a reasonable amount of power. It does poorly with binding or tension. Sometimes the bar and chain oiler does not oil enough.

The Oregon cordless electric chainsaw was a gift to us. It came to us brans spanking new from ebay. The Oregon saw is well made. Lots of metal components instead of plastic. The bar and chain oiler works well. Good weight balance. The 40 volt battery takes a couple of hours to charge - a bit long. Running time is about 20 minutes per charge. This chainsaw has a self sharpening chain, which is really cool in a lot of ways, but, it turns out, REALLY expensive! The chain is very different from regular chain - and the saw has a sharpening stone built in. It takes only a couple of seconds to sharpen the chain and requires no skill whatsoever. Seems to made of better components and will probably last longer than any of the other electric chainsaws.

Emily makes a comparison between all of the saws on how long it would take to drop a 12 inch tree.
freaky big stihl chainsaw: under a minute
stihl 170: 2 minutes
remington: 4 or 5 minutes
makita corded: 8 minutes
makita cordless: more than 10 minutes
greenworks cordless: 3 or 4 minutes
oregon cordless: 3 or 4 minutes
crosscut saw: 7 minutes with two people, including peeling the bark from the tree
ax: 12 to 15 minutes

We finish the video with a quick demonstration of dropping a tree with the Oregon cordless chainsaw. You get a pretty good idea of how quiet it is.

Video editing by Raleigh Latham http://elementalecosystems.com/index.... - thanks Raleigh!

Trailing music is by Jimmy Pardo http://permies.com/t/30796/Jimmy-Pard...

You can find all sorts of chainsaw discussion at our woodland care forum
http://www.permies.com/forums/f-25/wo...

relevant threads at permies:
http://permies.com/t/28750/solar-chai...
http://permies.com/t/6557/sharpening-...
http://permies.com/t/33212/electric-c...
http://permies.com/t/40208/Cordless-c...

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