Greenworks has come out with a new sixteen-inch forty-volt cordless chainsaw. As far as the best electric chainsaws go, hands down, this is definitely a model that will make you stop and take notice. Cordless saws aren’t exactly known for their power, but this model is a little different. Aside from the fact that it offers a more convenient way to thin trees and shape shrubbery, it’s lightweight body combined with its feature-packed design will allow you to easily tackle any job around the yard.
Our Verdict: This cordless electric chainsaw by Greenworks features a lightweight design, a forty-volt battery, and a variety of safety features that make this model perfect for beginners. This model is powerful enough to handle branches ten inches in diameter and under. It has a runtime of thirty to forty-five minutes, depending on the task and thickness of the material. The charge time of an hour and a half is about average for a cordless saw of this size. The easy handling, built-in saw tensioning, chain brake, and automatic bar oiling feature makes this one of the safest and most user-friendly saws on the market.
Overview and Features of a Cordless Chainsaw
A beginner wants a saw that’s versatile, powerful, and easy to use. You won’t have to worry about kickback, keeping the bar oiled, or user fatigue. The price is also right, so homeowners on a tight budget can finally afford a dependable saw that can handle heavy-duty use.
The manufacturer makes safety a priority. First off, the trigger safe design will cause the saw’s blade to stop running the minute your finger leaves the trigger. Additionally, the startup couldn’t be easier. If you’ve ever used a gas-powered saw, then you know it can be a total nightmare, especially in cold weather. But this saw comes equipped with a simple push-button startup that instantly fires the saw to life in seconds.
This model runs on a forty-volt G-Max battery. This model is compatible with all battery packs by this manufacturer, which is a huge plus for buyers who own other power tools by Greenworks.
In terms of runtime, this will heavily depend on the material you’re cutting. A heavier load will require more juice and place more stress on the motor, which can quickly drain the battery.
The body of the saw is mainly made out of durable plastic and doesn’t come with many metal components, which is par for the course with lower-priced chainsaws. The plastic body may not be as durable as one made out of metal, but it does help significantly in terms of keeping the weight down. The saw’s housing is built tough, and won’t easily crack if dropped. While the saw is not as durable as one made out of stainless steel, the lightweight design is a fair tradeoff.
The handle located on the rear is coated in a thick rubber for improved grip and comfort. The saw’s throttle trigger and the power button are both located on top of the handle. The front handle is placed directly behind the handguard.
The saw’s brushless motor is highly efficient and powerful. It also runs much cooler, so you won’t have to worry about the motor overheating when you’re in the middle of a job. Additionally, this motor is quiet-running, especially when compared to a gas-power chainsaw. The motor design also helps to minimize vibration, instantly improving comfort, while reducing user fatigue. Since the motor is brushless, you can also anticipate a longer lifespan and low-maintenance needs.
Bar and Chain
This model uses a sixteen-inch steel chain and bar. Most cordless models will come with a twelve or fourteen inch bar, so this longer bar is a nice surprise and it offers the type of cutting power and efficiency that you’ll need for medium-sized jobs in the yard.
This saw also comes loaded with some great safety features that are essential for users with no prior experience with chainsaws. The safety features include a handguard that will protect your fingers from flying debris, a chain brake, and a safety trigger release that shuts the saw down instantly. The battery-saving feature will cause the saw to shut off once it’s been inactive for more than sixty seconds.
Located on the left of the powerhead is the oil reservoir, which is topped with a large white cap. The reservoir is highly accessible, so topping off the oil tank is fast and easy. The oil level indicator allows you to keep a close eye on the oil during use.
This feature will keep the bar and chain oiled and ready for the intense cutting action. Before use, make sure you top off the oil tank.
The chain tensioning feature allows you to tighten or loosen the chain via a couple of dials located on the right side of the saw. The chain cover locking knob and tension knob are all on the righthand side. Like with any model of saw you need to ensure that the chain remains properly tensioned during use. Use the large knob to tighten up the chain if you notice there’s too much slack. To do, you’ll remove the battery pack and unlock the chain cover. Turn the knob counterclockwise to loosen the chain and clockwise to tighten it.
Keep in mind that new chains will stretch after use. Because of this, check the chain regularly after, during, and before use. Beginners may not know if the saw has the correct tension. A chain that’s tensioned correctly will fit tight, with no slack under the guide bar. It’s perfectly normal for the chain to hang slightly once it’s warmed up.
This model comes with one forty volt G-Max battery and a charger. You’re looking at an average charge time of an hour and a half. Considering the lengthy charge time, you may want to pick up a couple of extra battery packs for bigger jobs in the yard.
Using this saw couldn’t be easier. All you have to do is hit the power button to power up or kill the motor instantly. Because this is a battery-powered model, the moment you take your finger off the power switch the saw will instantly go silent. You’ll find that there’s a short learning curve with this model, especially if you’ve never used a battery-powered model.
If you’ve used a gas-powered saw in the past, then you’ll be blown away by how quiet this model is. The amount of noise the saw makes is basically just the motor whining and the sound of the blade tearing up material. The tough Oregon chain and blade can slice through pretty much anything, however, avoid cutting anything over nine inches in diameter otherwise you’ll notice that the chain will begin to struggle. Cutting through thicker branches can also quickly drain the battery.
While there are lighter battery-powered models on the market, you won’t find one that’s quite as powerful. This model weighs in at a little over twelve pounds and features a compact design that makes it easy to handle and maneuver. While twelve pounds can feel more like twenty by the end of the day, the saw does make overhead work much easier.
The 4AH battery can deliver eight amps for thirty minutes, four amps for one hour, two amps for two hours, and one amp for four hours. The battery life indicator is clearly displayed on the side, so you can keep an eye on how much juice you have left.
The saw’s runtime will depend on what type of material you’re cutting. Thicker wood can use more power, draining the battery quickly. On average you’ll find that the battery offers a runtime of forty-five minutes. For heavy-duty jobs, it can have a runtime of twenty to thirty minutes.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Battery Powered Chainsaw
- Lightweight design
- Chain tensioning
- Chain brake
- Reasonable price
- Automatic chain oil
- Long charge time
Greenworks Versus DEWALT DCCS670X1 FLEXVOLT Chainsaw
The Dewalt FlexVolt offers similar features including a chain brake, tool-free chain tensioning, and low kickback. The competition also comes with a sixty-volt rechargeable battery pack and offers a comparable runtime and charging time. The Dewalt model weighs slightly less but comes with a hefty price tag, however, its high-powered performance makes it worth every penny. For homeowners on a tight budget, the competition’s steeper price tag will be a real deal-breaker.
Conclusion and Rating
If you’re on a tight budget and need the type of freedom only a battery-powered saw can provide, then take a closer look at this top-rated model. The Greenworks sixteen-inch cordless saw features the type of lightweight compact design that you need for overhead work. It’s highly maneuverable and impressively powerful for a battery-powered model.
Its larger than average bar and chain will allow you to tackle material up to nine inches in diameter, which is impressive for an electric saw. Overall, this model has what it takes to handle small to medium-sized jobs around the yard. Its variety of safety features, intuitive design, and minimal controls also make it very beginner-friendly. I gave this model a rating of five out of five stars.