Three Things to Consider Before You Buy an Electric Chainsaw

When purchasing an electric chainsaw, make sure the model you choose is up to the job you wish to perform. Here’s how to find the perfect matchup

Who doesn’t like playing lumberjack, even if it’s just bucking up some limbs in the yard for firewood? The new generation of electric chainsaws can make these jobs a lot easier whether you’re pruning trees or cleaning up downed limbs after a storm.

Why go electric? The reasons are simple: they’re safer, quieter, they’re less expense and they require less maintenance than gas models. They're great for hunters working in the woods who don’t want to scare deer in the area and they don’t produce noxious fumes or leave the scent of gasoline hanging around. How do you choose the right one? Considering the job you want to use the chainsaw for will help guide your decision.

For Little Jobs

worx electric chainsaw
Electric chainsaws that run off extension cords save you having to worry about battery life.WORX

If you're just going to do some simple pruning around the yard and you're not going to be dealing with any limbs thicker than a couple of inches, a simple corded model will suffice. Models in this range generally sell for less than $50 and because they run off an extension cord, you never have to worry about running out of battery power.

For Medium-size Jobs

dewalt compact cordless chainsaw
Battery powered electric chainsaws are versatile, quiet, and deliver more torque than traditional chainsaws.DeWalt

If you want to work out in the woods or on a construction site, you'll want to go cordless and you'll want to look at compact models like this that are lightweight yet offer plenty of power for cutting tree limbs and beams. Note that batteries come separately when you buy, but you can buy several so you never run out of power.

For Big Jobs

makita lithium ion brushless chainsaw
If you plan to use your chainsaw for extended periods away from a charger, get one that comes with extra batteries.Makita

Big jobs, like clearing downed trees from roads blocking access to your land or laying in a cord of firewood for the fall call for beefier cordless models that can handle larger logs. Look for models that produce at least 3000 FPM (feet per minute) yet still yield low noise levels (this model produces 100dB(A)—a little louder than a food blender).