8 Best Electric Chain Saws

Updated: Feb. 05, 2024

Without the noise and messy mix of gas and oil, the best electric chain saws are extremely effective at most small sawing tasks.

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What to Consider When Buying an Electric Chain Saw

Although gas-powered chain saws are still preferred for heavy-duty, large-scale projects, electric chain saws are a convenient alternative for lighter-duty tasks. They’re quieter, don’t produce any harmful fumes and don’t require fuel and oil.

“Electric chain saws are generally the most cost-effective method to complete small projects close to an electric outlet/source,” says Vince Christofora, owner of Woodstock Hardware. Electric chain saws work well for pruning branches and cutting up smaller felled trees. With push-button starts, you plug in the cord or pop in the battery and you’re ready to go.

Consider these features when shopping for an electric chain saw:

  • Weight: Even just a few unnecessary pounds can turn an easy job into a frustrating and energy-sapping project. Heavier saws can be a challenge to control and maneuver safely, so it’s best to go with the lightest option in your price range. Battery-powered and corded models tend to be similar in weight, ranging from five to 15 pounds .
  • Bar length: Long chain saws might look cool. But if your job doesn’t require all that length, you’ll waste money and energy lugging around a big tool you don’t really need. In general, choose a chain saw bar length at least a couple of inches longer than the logs or branches you’re cutting. Electric chain saw bars range from six to 18 inches long. If you need longer than that, go with a gas-powered chain saw.
  • Power source: While corded chain saws provide unlimited run time, you’re limited by the length of your extension cord. Battery-powered chain saws are great for larger yards or properties, but their run time may be shorter than you need. A single battery will last around 20 to 30 minutes. For all-day projects, purchase a second battery and choose a saw with a rapid charger. If you need a chain saw with a long run time and unlimited mobility, choose a gas-powered model.
  • Power capacity: Roughly speaking, corded saws offer more power than battery-powered saws. That’s why they’re better for heavy-duty cutting tasks. This power, measured in amps, can vary from six amps in smaller saws to 15 for larger models. “One thing to remember is that the further you work from the outlet—meaning the more extension cord you need—the less power the chain saw will get. Electric “amps” decrease as you increase the length of the extension cord,” says Christofora. “Plus you will want to use a heavier gauge extension cord like a 12 or 10-gauge cord. The heavier the extension cord the less power lost.” Battery-powered chain saws use volts to indicate their power output, usually ranging from 18 to 40 volts. To ensure your cordless chain saw can handle a range of cutting tasks, go with the higher voltage option.
  • Cost: Corded chain saws tend to be much cheaper than battery-powered options, especially if you already own an extension cord. If you don’t already have an extension cord, don’t forget to factor in that cost, Christofora reminded us. A high-quality one needed to power a chain saw can cost upwards of $100 or more. If you choose a battery-powered saw from the same manufacturer as your power tools, you could purchase a much cheaper “tool only” saw and run the batteries you already own.

Safety note: Electric chain saws are extremely dangerous machines. Never attempt to operate one without thoroughly reviewing the instruction manual and watching this video.

The Best Electric Chain Saws

Dewalt Cordless Chainsaw Ecomm Via Homedepot
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Best Overall Electric Chain Saw

DeWalt 20V Max Chain Saw Kit

The compact DeWalt 20V Max Chain Saw Kit is the ideal size for lots of cutting tasks and a useful addition to your existing 20-volt DeWalt tool collection. Its rubber grip and handle provide maximum control, helpful for landscaping and jobsite demolition work.

Despite its light weight — just nine lbs. — its 20-volt battery is powerful enough to make 90 cuts per charge.

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Black Decker Corded Electric Chainsaws Cs1518 64 1000
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Best Corded Electric Chain Saw for Large Jobs

Black+Decker Electric Chain Saw CS1518

The 18-inch bar on the Black+Decker Electric Chain Saw CS1518 can handle large diameter logs. Combined with the corded power supply, it’s well-suited for cutting felled trees in your backyard. It’s also easy to maintain thanks to an automatic oiling system and a straightforward tensioning knob.

At 14 pounds, it’s on the heavier side. But if you need productivity, this extra weight could be worth it.

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Wen Corded Electric Chainsaws 4017 64 1000
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Best Low-Budget Electric Chain Saw

Wen 16-inch 12-amp Electric Chain Saw

Though the Wen 16-inch 12-amp Electric Chain Saw costs significantly less than the other saws on our list, it still has many of the benefits of higher-priced options.

Its 16-inch bar is long enough for lots of sawing and pruning jobs. An auto-oiling system takes care of lubrication. And tool-free adjustments make chain replacement easy. If any issues arise, Wen’s two-year warranty should have you covered.

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Husqvarna 535i Ecomm Via Husqvarna 001
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Best Splurge Electric Chain Saw

Husqvarna 535i XP

If price is no object and you want a precise, high-quality machine, take a look at the Husqvarna 535i XP. The keypad control panel is simple to use, and the 40-volt battery should provide enough power to easily saw through whatever you’re working with.

The 12-inch length isn’t ideal for large diameter logs. But if you’ve already got a large saw, or will only be cutting relatively small logs or branches, you won’t do much better than this superior saw.

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Sun Joe Convertible Electric Telescoping Pole Chain Saw Ecomm Via Amazon
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Best Multi-Purpose Electric Chain Saw

Sun Joe SWJ805E

The corded Sun Joe SWJ805E can be used as a standard chain saw or a pole-mounted pruning saw for light-duty tasks. With a eight-inch bar and light weight (5-1/2-lbs.), this saw is extremely easy to maneuver in your hand.

The telescoping pole can reach branches and brush up to 15 feet overhead. The included bar cover helps keep you safe from cuts and protects the chain from damage when not in use.

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Makita Chain Saw Electric Ecomm Via Amazon
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Best Overall Corded Electric Chain Saw

Makita 16-inch Corded Electric Chain Saw

The extended handle of the Makita 16-inch Corded Electric Chain Saw helps you maintain maximum control, and the rubber covering helps ensure a secure grip.

The transparent chain saw oil tank window lets you see when it’s time for a refill, and the toolless adjustment knob makes it simple to tighten or replace your chain. The convenient cord hook reduces the chance of accidental unplugging in the middle of a cut.

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Ryobi Hp Cordless Battery Chain Saw Ecomm Via Homedepot 001
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Best Battery-Powered Long-Bar Electric Chain Saw

Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 18-inch Battery Chain Saw

Featuring an 18-inch bar and a powerful 40-volt battery, the Ryobi 40V HP Brushless 18-inch Battery Chain Saw combines mobility and power. The included scabbard and scrench (a screwdriver and wrench tool) aren’t always found with electric saws. The battery is compatible with any other tools in the Ryobi 40V family.

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Milwaukee M12 Compact Hatchet Ecomm Via Homedepot 001
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Best Ultra Compact Electric Chain Saw

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet

The 12-volt Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hatchet has a six-inch bar that’s perfect for light-duty pruning jobs in awkward or tight areas. At just five pounds, it’s ideal for those who don’t feel like lugging around a heavy power tool for a small task. Plus, it features an automatic oiler and an easy-access chain tensioner, just like larger saws.

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