The Best Electric Chainsaws: Our Expert Reviews & Top Picks For You

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

Electric chainsaws are a great alternative to gas chainsaws. Even though they may not be as powerful in general, they do offer smoother operation, easier maintenance, better energy-efficiency, and a lower carbon footprint. Plus, a lot of the time, electric chainsaws are more affordable than gas chainsaws with similar properties. However, with so many options on the market, how can you know which electric chainsaw is the best choice for your needs?

To help you answer that question, we rounded up the top electric chainsaws of 2020 and reviewed them in detail. Regardless of whether you’re looking for an electric chainsaw for light trimming, or a chainsaw powerful enough to handle heavy-duty work, you’ll find exactly what you need amongst our recommendations. We didn’t discriminate between powerful and affordable – you can find both options right here.

Make sure to read our essential buying advice at the end of the article, where we’ll cover the main factors you should consider when choosing the best electric chainsaw for your preferences!

The Best Electric Chainsaws: 2020 Reviews of Our Favorites

1. BLACK+DECKER CS1518 Electric Chainsaw: Best For Most People

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“It’s great for trimming branches, but it can also cut through hardwood fairly easily.”

The BLACK+DECKER CS1518 is our top pick for most people, as it offers a great deal of value for your money. It comes with a sharp Oregon bar and chain, that’ll last you quite a while before needing to be sharpened. The BLACK+DECKER is easy to use and has features that will ensure your safety, so it’s a good choice for beginners and experienced folks alike. It’s great for trimming branches, but it can also cut through hardwood fairly easily.

Pros

The BLACK+DECKER offers excellent performance in cutting wood of different density and size. The powerful 15-amp motor and 18-inch Oregon low-kickback bar and chain will enable you to trim both branches and cut hardwood such as oak. The Oregon bar and chain are an excellent addition to the saw, as Oregon products are well known for their durability and performance, and will allow you to make great cuts.

This corded-electric chainsaw is quite easy to use. It features an automatic oiling system, so that the bar and chain will be regularly lubricated without your constant attention. Plus, the chain tensioning is tool-free, so that you can make quick and easy adjustments to the chain as you work. The user-friendly design makes the BLACK+DECKER a great choice for beginners to chainsaws.

“It features an automatic oiling system, so that the bar and chain will be regularly lubricated without your constant attention.”

The BLACK+DECKER is also easy to maintain. You can monitor the oil chamber through a clear window, so you’ll always know when you need to refill it.

This chainsaw is designed with your safety in mind. It comes with a chain brake feature, to ensure that nothing bad happens while you work.

Last but not least, the BLACK+DECKER is durable. It weighs about 12 pounds and feels quite sturdy. This chainsaw is backed by a 2-year warranty, one of the best warranties you can find in its price range.

Cons

The BLACK+DECKER goes through a lot of oil, which may be a bit of a nuisance.

2. Makita UC4051A Electric Chain Saw: Best For Heavy-Duty

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“This beast of a machine can cut through most hardwood of various thicknesses, operating smoothly throughout.”

The Makita UC4051A is as close as you can get to the power of a gas-powered chainsaw with an electric chainsaw. This beast of a machine can cut through most hardwood of various thicknesses, operating smoothly throughout. The Makita is also quite ergonomic, offering convenient use. We recommend the Makita for heavy-duty use, but keep in mind that all this power comes at a higher price.

Pros

The Makita UC4051A electric chainsaw offers the most versatile performance out of our recommendations, as it can handle the thickest and hardest of wood. It has a powerful motor and chain speed of 2900 FPM. You can use the Makita for efficient cutting and trimming of wood that’s up to about 14” without a problem. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t force it, though – if you force it, this chainsaw will shut down. On the other hand, if you just let off the trigger, the Makita will quickly reset, allowing you to resume work.

The Oregon bar and chain that come with the Makita add to the powerful performance of this chainsaw. The chain is low-kickback (like with the BLACK+DECKER), and it will remain sharp after hours of use. Combining the powerful motor with the sharp chain will allow you to work for extended periods of time without a hitch, so professionals will love this model.

“You can use the Makita for efficient cutting and trimming of wood that’s up to about 14” without a problem.”

We love how ergonomic and easy to use the Makita is. The grip handles are covered with rubber, so you won’t feel discomfort in your hands as you work. It additionally features a large trigger switch, which provides soft and smooth starts and stops. Like the BLACK+DECKER, the Makita also has a tool-less blade and chain adjustments for quick and easy operation, as well as an automatic oiler which will keep the chain well-lubricated after hours of heavy-duty work.

Maintaining the Makita is easy, too. In addition to the auto-oiler function, it features a clear window that will allow you to monitor the oil level. Plus, the Makita goes through less oil than most other chainsaws.

The Makita is quite sturdy and durable. It features a solid build and feels nicely balanced. It has a built-in current limiter which reduces the power sent to the motor if the saw is overloaded, thus protecting the motor from burnout.

Lastly, this chainsaw has an electric chain brake, which is great for both your safety and your productivity!

Cons

Keep in mind that the Makita is the heaviest electric chainsaw we reviewed, weighing about 14 pounds.

The main drawback of the Makita has to do with the oil container (it’s always about the oil container). It’s placed in a spot that’s awkward to reach, and you’ll certainly need a funnel to fill it up. Plus, the hole for the oil tank can get clogged from cutting dust, but you can fix this by adding a piece of tape over the bar preventing dust from entering it.

Lastly, for the money, we would have liked to see a warranty longer than 1 year.

3. Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim Corded Electric Chainsaw: Best On A Budget

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“This chainsaw is quite lightweight and perfectly sufficient for smaller jobs, like trimming and cutting branches and small limbs.”

The Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim is our favorite budget-friendly electric chainsaw, as it’s easy to use and backed by a great warranty. The Remington comes fully assembled and with a detailed instruction manual (which you should read!), so it’s an excellent option for sawing beginners. This chainsaw is quite lightweight and perfectly sufficient for smaller jobs, like trimming or cutting branches and small limbs.

Pros

We love how easy it is to use the Remington. To begin with, it comes fully assembled, so almost* all you really need to do is plug it in, squeeze the trigger, and set off to work. It’s the lightest option on our list, weighing just over 6 pounds, so wielding and maneuvering this chainsaw is quite easy.

“It features a low-kickback bar and a wraparound handguard on the handle, which will keep your hands safe from flying dust and debris.”

Additional user-friendly features are the push-button oiler and quick tensioner. With a single press of the push-button oiler, you can apply and disperse the perfect amount of oil to the chain for lubrication, with no mess left on your hands! The tensioner is adjusted externally, so you can set the chain’s tension quickly and easily as you work.

The Remington is quite safe to use. It features a low-kickback bar and a wraparound handguard on the handle, which will keep your hands safe from flying dust and debris.

Lastly, this chainsaw comes with an excellent 2-year warranty. You can’t find anywhere else for that sort of price!

*Note: Read the user manual before operating the chainsaw. Although it comes assembled, you need to make sure that everything is in order. Particularly, double-check that the pin attached to the chain tensioner screw is placed in the small hole in the guide bar. Otherwise, the chain may come off the bar or frequently come loose.

Cons

The Remington is not exempt from oil issues – the oil tank will leak during storage if it’s not emptied. This is specified in the user manual, as well.

Another drawback is that the plastic oil tube may break after a few years, but you can easily find replacement parts at any auto parts store.

Choosing The Best Electric Chainsaw

To help you decide which electric chainsaw is the best choice for your needs and preferences, we prepared a guide of the main factors you should keep in mind:

What Will You Use The Chainsaw For?

Whether you just need the electric chainsaw for some light trimming, or you need it for some serious work with hardwood will make all the difference in your choice.

“The BLACK+DECKER’s performance falls somewhere in the middle, as it handles some hardwood, but not as much as the Makita.”

The Remington is quite enough for light trimming, while the Makita is ideal for heavy-duty, continuous work. The BLACK+DECKER’s performance falls somewhere in the middle, as it handles some hardwood, but not as much as the Makita.

What’s Your Budget?

With great power comes a high price tag. While the Makita is the most powerful option, it costs over $200.

The Remington is a no-brainer if you’re on a low budget, as it costs well under $50. The BLACK+DECKER falls in the middle, but it’s more on the affordable side.

FAQ

Q: Can you cut down a tree with an electric chainsaw?

A: Whether you can cut down a tree with an electric chainsaw depends on the particular model in question. Some light-use chainsaws may get damaged in the process and fail to cut through the tree. However, there are heavy-duty electric chainsaws that can cut down a tree. Check the user manual to see if your chainsaw is equipped for the job!

After the tree is downed, you can use a log splitter to break it down further.

Q: Can you use electric chainsaws for pruning or trimming trees?

A: Yes, you can use them for cutting medium to large branches. If the branches are small and if they’re quite high up, something like a pole saw would work better.

Q: Are electric chainsaws more dangerous?

A: Electric chainsaws aren’t more dangerous than gas chainsaws, but any sort of chainsaw can be dangerous. Always operate carefully and with your safety in mind.

Q: Are electric chainsaws loud?

A: Electric chainsaws aren’t loud. In fact, electric chainsaws are the quietest (1).

Q: What tools are need for maintaining an electric chainsaw?

A: Not a lot of effort is required to maintain your tool. Just keep it clean and well oiled and store them in a dry place away from the sun. Chains can be sharpened with a chainsaw sharpener up to 10 times before they need to be replaced.

What’s Next?

Hopefully, our reviews and buying were useful in your search for the best electric chainsaw. At the very least, now you know what to look for! Follow the title links if you want to learn more details or read some customer reviews about our recommendations.

Make sure to see all the best chainsaws, where you can find our reviews of the models!

Conclusion

The best electric chainsaw for most people is the BLACK+DECKER CS1518 because it offers great value for your money and can be put to versatile use. You can use it for light trimming or cutting through some denser hardwood.

The BLACK+DECKER is sturdy and backed by a great 2-year warranty. It’s such a great brand that makes reciprocating saws and other types that make it to our roundups. Check them out here and here too.

Our top recommendation for heavy-duty work is the Makita UC4051A. Its sharp chain and powerful motor will allow you to work for hours without a hitch, cutting through any sort of wood with ease. The Makita is a durable and very well-built electric chainsaw, ideal for professionals.

For those on a lower budget, Remington RM1425 Limb N Trim is a good choice. While you won’t be able to do any heavy-duty work with it, it has plenty to offer for lighter cutting and trimming. It’s light, easy to use, and comes fully assembled – making it a sound option for newbies to sawing.