A chainsaw is one of the useful tools one can have for those every day or once off jobs around the home, yard, farm or ranch. Nowadays, it is even easier, cleaner and cheaper with a cordless battery powered chainsaw than the popular gas chainsaw. When you already have the latter it can be easy to switch to a battery operated chainsaw but when starting out it can be a taunting task.
One might start struggling with what to look for in a cordless chainsaw let alone how to pick the best one for your needs. Here we are going to help you with the struggles you might find in selecting and using a battery powered chainsaw. The best place to start is to be aware what is out there and know the options you have.
Cordless Chainsaw Overview
If you are a homeowner, a farmer, a rancher or even if you have an axe or bow saw around the house and do occasional cutting and pruning of trees, a cordless chainsaw should be your new best friend. It goes without saying that if you have cut down a branch (or tree) with a bow saw or axe, a chainsaw will do it much quicker with less effort even.
By a cordless chainsaw we refer to an electric battery operated chainsaw (technically a gas chainsaw is also cordless, but here in context we are not referring to the gas unit).
So before we get to going into much detail into how to choose a cordless and what it is let us approach the subject matter this way;
Other Types Of Cordless Chainsaw
Apart from the standard chainsaw, that is a motor contained in a housing with handles and a protruding shaft that holds a rotating chain that does the cutting, there are other variations. These variations are specialized in some way and enable the user to do other tasks much safer and easier than using the standard tool. These are;
A polesaw is a specialized chainsaw with an extension to reach higher than shoulder level. It operates the same way as a chainsaw and there are cordless versions. In some case the standard chainsaw can just be mounted on an extension to turn it into a polesaw…
A jaw is another specialized chainsaw that is modified to have jaws like those of a crocodile. It is much safer than a cordless chainsaw except that there isn’t many of them to cover a wide range of jobs like a standard chainsaw would. But all the same, it is a delight to have…
Cordless Chainsaw Uses
A chain saw is a cutting tool, designed to cut through a material be it wood, metal, plastic, etc. A cordless chainsaw is normally adequate to cut wood type material like tree, timber, firewood, etc. A battery operated chainsaw did not have much reputation in the past because it found to be more suited to lighter duties when compared to a gas operated chainsaw. However, those days a quickly coming to an end.
A cordless chainsaw is rapidly gaining reputation and is seen to be equally capable as its gas counterpart. In some instances it is seen to surpass the strength of a gas chainsaw, not to mention the added advantages it has over the gas tool.
What is still yet to be achieved is to find battery operated chainsaws with longer bar lengths of 20 inches (50.8 cm) and more. It is used by homeowners, arborists, gardeners, landscapers, loggers, firefighters, carpenters, chainsaw artists, etc. At the moment battery chainsaw is becoming an obvious choice for a homeowner, a rancher or farmer but not yet for professionals who cut down bigger and stronger trees.
For jobs like pruning, cutting branches, making firewood and other similar jobs, a battery chainsaw seems to be a better choice more so that it is lighter, less noisy with no fumes. Better still it is safer to use than a gas chainsaw and requires less maintenance such that even a novice can own and use one with just basic knowledge of a chainsaw. As long as the safety precautions are observed, it is a lot better than a gas chainsaw.
Cordless Chainsaw Specifications Worth Knowing
There is not much to a cordless chainsaw though it is easy to make a wrong purchase because of the overwhelming options out there. So it is a good idea to have the basic knowledge about a chainsaw and specifically a battery operated chainsaw.
There are certain specifications that are worth knowing and understand in order to make a sound choice when buying and also to have basic knowledge about the tool. Often wrong choices are made due to lack of proper understanding of certain aspects of the tool and how it may be different from similar ones that use different power sources.
Purchase of a cordless chainsaw is normally based on voltage and bar size because that relates to the power of the chainsaw. However, these two are not the only specifications that affect the power of the tool let alone influence the buying decision. Yes they are important and are the first indicators but there is more to it. Let us look at other specifications worth knowing and looking at.
Chainsaw Motor Specifications
One of the first things to pay attention on a battery chainsaw is its motor. A motor tends to spell out the quality of the chainsaw because you will know whether the motor is brushed or brushless, the chain speed, sound level plus more. These attributes are attached to the motor.
Brushed Or Brushless
It is advisable to know if the motoer of the chainsaw is brushed or brushless. As technology advances, brushless motors are preferred because they are much more efficient and made to last longer than motors with a brush design.
The chain speed is the number of revolutions a chain makes around the bar guard and has a correlation with the strength of the chainsaw. Faster revolutions tend to mean faster cutting rates.
Chainsaws are noisy though battery operated ones are less noisy when compared to gas operated ones. The noise level of a cordless chainsaw is expected to be just below 100 dB and can be as low as 85dB. This is handy information if you are in a neighborhood that is close together and operating outdoors.
Cordless Chainsaw By Voltage
When buying a chainsaw, one of its features that stand out is the voltage. In layman’s terms, voltage is the force that pushes out current from the battery to drive the motor that drives the chain. The higher the value the more powerful the force is. Battery chainsaws are available at different voltage points suitable for different types of cutting depending on the intensity, work load, what is being cut and time required for cutting. Voltage is one of the specifications that need to be looked at when purchasing a battery chainsaw.
Chainsaw voltage indicates the power of the tool and also the consumer can make a judge as to what other tools are available from the same manufacturer that use the same voltage. Normally such tools use the same batteries and chargers such that a couple of batteries at that voltage and a charger are enough for a group of outdoor cordless tools.
Cordless Chainsaw By Bar Length
Like voltage, bar length is one of the specifications that need to be considered when buying a battery chainsaw. The length of the bar guard, the sheet that holds the rotating chain gives an indication of the power of the chainsaw. Further, a bar length correlates with the diameter of the length of the cross-section of the material being cut.
It is recommended and other chainsaw manufacturer manuals advise that the bar length should be 2 inches (5.08 cm) longer than the material being cut. When following this recommendation energy will be saved and time spent will be reduced. This is because what is being cut will cut in one pass instead of 2 or more passes to complete the cutting.
4 Inch Cordless Chainsaw
6 Inch Cordless Chainsaw
8 Inch Cordless Chainsaw
10 Inch Cordless Chainsaw
12 Inch Cordless Chainsaw
14 Inch Cordless Chainsaw
16 Inch Cordless Chainsaw
18 Inch Cordless Chainsaw
A battery stores charge, measured in Amperes (A), that runs the chainsaw. Innovation has evolved to the extent that the battery can be designed to emit this charge at a specific rate, measured in Amperes per hour (Ah).
So a battery has 2 major specs that give an indication of how big or strong the battery is, being, Amperage (A) and Voltage. The third parameter is the amount of current the battery can discharge in 1 hour.
Here are batteries you can find in the market today;
A battery charger is not a chainsaw part but it can be regarded as that because the chainsaw needs a battery and the battery needs to charged with a charger at some point. So when you own a cordless chainsaw or any battery operated tool, you will need to have a charger.
Chain, Its Specifications And Types
A chain of a chainsaw has two important specs you need to know being chain pitch and chain gauge. These specs are important to know because they are needed when buying a new or spare chain.Further, chains for saws are different in design material used on them depending on their intention of use.
A saw chain is made of links that are riveted together and the space between the rivets is the pitch. These spaces must correspond with the spacing of the teeth on the sprocket at the end of the bar.
Gauge indicated the thickness of the chain. It must fit the groove in the bar guard. When purchasing a new or spare chain the gauge is one of the measurements to be noted.
The material of the crankcase, the housing of the motor and other parts can be made of different materials including plastic, metal or some other synthetic material. This is important to know because it can give an indication of the expected durability of the tool.
Price is a major thing to know because it can have a direct influence on what you end up buying. So with a price expectation you can budget well in time and also know what to expect in terms of quality, brand you can afford or features to forego, etc. Cordless chainsaws vary in price depending on the make, specifications, size, features and other things that may be included. However, here is a general indication of what to expect;
Important Features Of Battery Chainsaw
Features improve comfort, safety and efficiency of a product and cordless chainsaw brands offer a range of additional features to meet specific job requirements.
Chainsaw Motor Type
A cordless chainsaw has a motor that runs the chain to enable cutting. Some battery chainsaws come equipped with brushless motors while some come with brushed motors. However, the former is most preferred because it tends to make the chain more efficient in cutting and run longer. This is because a brushless motor does not eat up or share the energy produced by the battery with the cutting bar. Available energy tends to be channeled to the cutting task instead of some of it being lost due to heating of the motor experienced with brushed ones.
It is necessary to oil the chain before, during and after use. So a cordless chainsaw must be oiled, some come with manual or automatic oiling systems.
A chain brake is a safety feature that this cordless tool must come with otherwise it will less safe to use. A chain brake is necessary to counteract kickback from the chain bar or the chain itself. Kickback is inevitable and it can only be controlled. Some chainsaws also have low kickback bar and chain.
The chainsaw needs to start before it begins operation and different manufacturers design starting mechanism in different ways but the starter must be present, however it maybe.
The chainsaw must have a handle to hold it while cutting, almost all of them come with 2 handles such that the tool can be held with two hands. There is one major handle that controls the cutting and the other that provides balance and support. The controlling handle can either be rear type of handle or top-type of handle. A choice between rear handle and top handle chainsaw depends on a number of reasons.
Every saw vibrates because of the friction or opposing force experienced while cutting. The extent of this vibration can be controlled by the design of the chainsaw. Some chainsaws come with anti vibration feature to reduce this vibration effect.
From time to time one might need to adjust the tension of the chain on the guard because as the chain cuts through it may loosen a bit. This is inevitable and when it loosens it will need to be tightened a bit with a tool like a spanner or something. So some cordless chainsaws are designed with ability to tighten the chain right on the chainsaw without the need to get a tightening tool elsewhere.
When the chain is cutting through wood, it produces saw dust which may clog the air vents that help cool down the motor or other parts that get heated during operation. Some chainsaws are designed with ability to self blow, clean the air-vents, or they are designed such that they are easily accessible.