A cordless chain saw has a number of advantages over both its electric cousins, and traditional gas powered saws. There are some disadvantages compared to both as well, however. Let’s look at a few of the things you should know when considering a cordless saw, to determine whether it’s the best style for your needs.
If you’re looking for a small, portable, quiet chain saw, it’s hard to beat a cordless model. They’re perfect for smaller tasks like cutting small branches or pruning trees or hedges. They’re generally smaller than other types, with bars ranging from 4.5 to 10 inches. This makes them easier to maneuver in tight spots, such as around crowded branches.
While the battery adds a little bit of weight to the saw overall, there is no cord to drag around or to limit your movement, so they’re actually more effective in many cases. Cordless chain saws are also quieter than a corded electric model – usually about half as loud. While they’re quieter, it’s still a good idea to wear hearing protection when using one, not to mention eye protection.
Cordless saws have several types of batteries, some better than others. There are three main types of batteries for chain saws, or any cordless tool. NiCad or nickel cadmium, NiMH or nickel metal hydride and LiION or lithium ion. Of the three, lithium ion batteries are the most effective. They don’t have the same problems with battery memory decreasing their charge life, and they will last longer on a single charge than any of the other types. Of the three, NiCad are the worst, and it is best to avoid a chain saw that uses this type of battery.
Most major cordless tool brands, such as Black & Decker, Makita, Ryobi and Greenworks make good cordless chain saws. The prices can range anywhere from around $75 to over $300.
The Black & Decker NLP1800 chain saw, for example, is priced at approximately $117, compared to the Greenworks 22602 20 volt at $70. At the higher end of the scale are chainsaws like the Makita UC120DWD 12 volt, at roughly $217.
The size of the battery will have a bearing on how powerful the saw is, as well as the time it will last on a charge. The larger batteries are also heavier, however, so that’s something to consider when deciding which way to go. You’ll also have to spend more to replace these larger batteries if they wear out, which they will if your chain saw gets a lot of use.
A cordless chain saw will give you more freedom for smaller jobs, but while it’s not as powerful as a larger electric or gas model, don’t let yourself become complacent about safety. Follow all the same safety precautions as you would with a larger saw. Wear protective eyewear, hearing protection and gloves to protect your hands from kickbacks.
Cordless chainsaws also tend to have lower maintenance requirements than larger models, particularly gas powered saws. But it’s still a good idea to have them tuned up by a service shop if you’re not familiar with how to do it yourself. Keep the chain sharp, and ensure that all the safety features on the saw are in place and functioning properly.
With careful use and proper maintenance, a cordless chain saw will last you for years. You may need to replace certain parts that wear out, such as the chain and battery, but the saw itself can provide years of good service.