In years past, no one at the hardware store would blame you for skipping right past battery-powered chainsaws and reaching for a trusty gas standby. Those early versions had anemic battery tech that wasn’t useful for much more than pruning. They lacked the power and runtime to compete with a gas-powered chainsaw. But this new breed packs better, more powerful batteries, smarter brushless motors that increase efficiency, and simple, quiet operation. All that with nearly zero maintenance—and no more pull-cord yanking—and it’s finally time to ditch rumbling gas saws.
Best For: Weekend Warrior
Milwaukee M18 Fuel 16-inch Chainsaw
How does this cordless chainsaw cut faster than a 40cc gas-powered one? The secret is Milwaukee’s monster HD12.0 lithium-ion battery, which packs 12 amp-hours into a chunky, 18-volt pack with enough runtime to make 150 cuts through a 6×6 beam. The smart, brushless motor yanks every bit of power from the battery more efficiently than older, brushed builds.
Best For: Aspiring Arborists
Greenworks Pro 80v Cordless 18-inch Brushless Chainsaw
If this chainsaw were a truck, it’d be an EV pickup—ready to work. With the 18-inch bar, you can fell trees wider than 2 feet. The class-leading 80-volt battery means that not even hardwoods will be an issue. Where most homeowner saws have plastic bucking spikes, the Greenworks has metal ones to get a better bite on logs as you pivot the saw through the cut.
Best For: Pruning (tree) Limbs
Stihl GTA 26 Battery Garden Pruner
This is the tool every kid wishes they had: A one-handed mini chainsaw with a 4-inch-long bar. Get into tight spots of a tree or shrub where a hand saw or loppers won’t work. The safety bar covering the chain keeps your hands clear, but it also pivots up and out of the way, letting you slice through thicker material. The 10.8-volt battery runs about 25 minutes, but the GTA 26 still has a lot of features of Stihl’s full-size saws: comfortable ergonomics and a tool-less adjustment so you can tweak the chain’s fit on the fly.
Best For: Easy Sharpening
Oregon Products CS300-R7
It only takes a few run-ins with the dirt under a log to dull your saw’s chain. And a dull chain strains the motor and can lead to dangerous bucking. While sharpening a chain is usually left to a pro, Oregon builds that upkeep into the saw. Yank back on a red tab to force a synthetic stone onto the chain, which sharpens the chain as the teeth spin by—and you watch sparks fly. The 40-volt, 6.0 amp-hour battery has enough juice to make more than 600 cuts in 2- to 3-inch diameter hardwood.
Best For: Overhead Cutting
DeWalt 20 Volt Max XR Cordless Pole Saw Kit
Leave the ladder in the garage and get at those overhead branches in the yard—or the ones hanging over onto your lawn from your neighbor’s tree—with the 15-foot reach on this cordless pole saw. The 8-inch-long bar slices through branches about 10 inches wide and when offcuts get hung up in the tree, the metal hook underneath the chain helps yank them down. The same 20-volt battery that runs the saw works in the rest of your DeWalt tools.
Best For: Storm Clearing
Ego Power+ 18-inch Chain Saw
While there are a lot of features on this 56-volt saw that make it easy to use during daylight hours—like a tool-less chain adjustment and 5.0-amp-hour battery that’ll last 300 cuts in 4×4 lumber—it’s the addition of an LED light that’ll come in handy if you’re clearing downed branches at night after a storm. During non-emergencies, you can fell 30-inch-wide trees and watch that sucker drop in all its glory.
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