Electric Chain Saw???

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Im having a hard time justifying an electric chainsaw... not because it might not work for my use... but initial cost is more, and maybe a possibility battery type gets updated and the saw is then useless.

Since I already have Makita.. I'm looking at a 16" bar Makita.
From Home Depot:
The saw alone? $299....
A single 5ah battery? $129
The saw with 2 5ah batteries and a double charger? $409
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If I buy a single 5ah battery I pay $129..... two 4ah batteries can be had for $100
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The package which has two 5ah batteries and a double charger $109.... They love selling these tool packs.. I already have two rapid chargers (one of which I never use because I don't need more than one). They can obviously get away with selling 5ah batteries for around $50.. so why charge $129?!?!

I would still need to buy a DC charger for off grid since I have no plan to ever add an inverter to my setup.
View attachment 561315

So at minimum Im paying no less than $500 after tax......

Then, Makita is releasing a new series of tools and batteries (20v XGT) and I wonder how long the LXT will truly be around... https://www.makitatools.com/company/press-releases/2019/makita-offers-vision-of-cordless-future-with-expanded-lxt-and-new-xgt . While they say they will continue to "invest heavily" in LXT, I wonder how long before they start pushing me into XGT by stopping LXT support....

For $500 I know I can get a Stihl and be using it in 10 years without worry (with proper maintenance of course)......

Anyway, that's just where Im at with my line of thinking. It may sound like I've talked myself into a Gas saw.. but I haven't. Although the "new standard" that electric tool manufacturers like to push every few years really gets old when you want to purchase something that will last a while and have support for maintenance and repairs.
I have the same concerns but have high hopes for Stihl to do the right thing with their batteries. For example, I've heard that they released a bigger capacity battery in 2019 and that it works with the saws and chargers from 2018 and earlier. Haven't verified that though.

I've been buying Festool tools for more than 15 years and I still have them all (in this case, the battery-powered tools). The batteries last for many, many years of regular use. Festool is also famous for selling chargers that service new batteries and previous generations...in one charger.

Since Stihl is also made in Europe (I believe) and are in a similar price range & quality class, well, I have high hopes. :) Time will tell.
 

another_mike

Adventurer
I have the same concerns but have high hopes for Stihl to do the right thing with their batteries. For example, I've heard that they released a bigger capacity battery in 2019 and that it works with the saws and chargers from 2018 and earlier. Haven't verified that though.

I've been buying Festool tools for more than 15 years and I still have them all (in this case, the battery-powered tools). The batteries last for many, many years of regular use. Festool is also famous for selling chargers that service new batteries and previous generations...in one charger.

Since Stihl is also made in Europe (I believe) and are in a similar price range & quality class, well, I have high hopes. :) Time will tell.
I suppose i should clarify that when I mention buying Stihl, I’m only considering their gas saws, not electric.

according to their website, stihls gas saws are ”built” in the USA with domestic and foreign parts and components
 

shade

Well-known member
I suppose i should clarify that when I mention buying Stihl, I’m only considering their gas saws, not electric.

according to their website, stihls gas saws are ”built” in the USA with domestic and foreign parts and components
Like most, Stihl is a global company, so I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they have batteries made in China, ignition components from Taiwan, bearings from Netherlands, etc. I've been very happy with my Husqvarna saw, but I'd probably buy a Stihl today. Battery or ICE, they make excellent tools.
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
I suppose i should clarify that when I mention buying Stihl, I’m only considering their gas saws, not electric.

according to their website, stihls gas saws are ”built” in the USA with domestic and foreign parts and components
Gotcha. I double-checked and the Stihl battery saws are made in Germany (as are Festool).
 

dbhost

Member
Electrics need power. Battery electrics simply aren't there for any serious log cutting power wise, so corded would be the way to go, meaning you'd have to haul a generator, gas, extension cord etc...

Electric chain saws tend to be built to a MUCH lighter duty standard than gas, with LOTS of plastics. I have been through 2 of them and to be honest, I am DONE.

I currently have a 20" Husqvarna gasser that is in a case. I haul it in the hard box on the hitch haul along with a 5 gallon gas can and the bottle of 2 stroke oil. The other stuff in that hitch haul are things I don't want in the camping / sleeping gear area like the cans of Coleman Fuel, and port o potty. A seriously stinky potentially firey mess should I ever get rear ended...
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
Electrics need power. Battery electrics simply aren't there for any serious log cutting power wise, so corded would be the way to go, meaning you'd have to haul a generator, gas, extension cord etc...

Electric chain saws tend to be built to a MUCH lighter duty standard than gas, with LOTS of plastics. I have been through 2 of them and to be honest, I am DONE.

I currently have a 20" Husqvarna gasser that is in a case. I haul it in the hard box on the hitch haul along with a 5 gallon gas can and the bottle of 2 stroke oil. The other stuff in that hitch haul are things I don't want in the camping / sleeping gear area like the cans of Coleman Fuel, and port o potty. A seriously stinky potentially firey mess should I ever get rear ended...
Which specific saws did you have? There is a large difference between voltages and manufacturers.
 

dbhost

Member
Which specific saws did you have? There is a large difference between voltages and manufacturers.
I chucked my last electric after it broke 10 years ago. Sorry I don't recall the specific model. Pretty sure one was Poulan, and another was Remmington. I know not great, but I have seen LOTS of other saws on the market from other MFGs and the electrics I saw all seemed to be as poorly made as the ones I had...
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
I chucked my last electric after it broke 10 years ago. Sorry I don't recall the specific model. Pretty sure one was Poulan, and another was Remmington. I know not great, but I have seen LOTS of other saws on the market from other MFGs and the electrics I saw all seemed to be as poorly made as the ones I had...
I can't believe you are basing this on something as cheap and junky as a Remington saw. I have an old Remington 110v saw in the back of my office warehouse from a long time ago. It's absolute junk. Poulan is pretty low on the totem pole as well.

Battery technology and total available voltage have increased significantly in the last 10 years. The lower voltage ones are just like you remember. But I would put my 56v Echo with it's 16" bar up against any homeowner level gas saw and it would do well. Now, obviously they aren't built for real hard use in the woods. They are designed for occasional use around the house or camping. They are perfect for that.
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

VanWaLife

Member
The electric chainsaws are getting much better. Trust me, they work far better than a gasser that sits 9 months out of the year, especially if you're too lazy to keep the gas fresh, which I historically have been. The Stihl is definitely the best, the Milwaukee a fairly distant second. The M18/M12 line of tools, along with the Milwaukee car charger, is a big part of my overlanding gear kit: bluetooth speaker, water pump, pruning sawzall, impact driver, camp lighting, heated jackets, the list goes on and on. Many of the tools are so well suited to overlanding, I am surprised Milwaukee doesn't target the overlanding community with its advertising. It was probably 10 years ago I got my first M18 tool, and the batteries it came with are still going strong under heavy hobby use and work in the new tools. Milwaukee has probably made the biggest commitment to battery compatibility through the years. But yeah the big batteries are expensive and will probably get cheaper and better if you wait. Now here's a question: what sort of pulling power will the Stihl or Milwaukee electric chainsaw achieve with a Lewis winch?
 

michlong

Member
I suppose i should clarify that when I mention buying Stihl, I’m only considering their gas saws, not electric.

according to their website, stihls gas saws are ”built” in the USA with domestic and foreign parts and components
I love my Echo CS-355T, we had a big yard and used it all the time. Never let me down. I've heard that with Stihl saws you do need to stay on top of maintenance, no so much with Echo. (I have no evidence to back that up - purely anecdotal)
 

jonathon

Active member
If it were me, I would consider one of the smaller Stihl saws like the MS170 and then just run Stihl Motomix through it. That stuff is legit and if not opened it stores for years. I run it in my Stihl weed trimmer that sits 6 months out of the year, no issues at all and I don’t drain it or fill it for that matter. Expensive way to fuel a saw but for what you’re doing it’s perfect and your saw is always ready without relying on a battery.

I have an MS261 as my firewood cutter. I bought it primarily for firewood but with the thought that as the lightest Stihl pro grade saw it would travel well. I fuel it with pure 91 octane and 2 stroke oil mix, but I use it quite a bit.
 

Boatbuilder79

Active member
I like my big gas sthil but my little electricc dewalt is soooo much quicker to grab and use.

It cuts a lot better than I thought it would.
 

AndrewO11

New member
I am a woodworker and I'm running three chainsaws.

1. The E-go cordless is used for limbing, hedge topping and ladder work.

2. The corded Greenworks pole saw is used from the ground or a ladder. It lets me drop branches further from myself. It's also very useful on the roof, for trimming anything within reach.

3. The corded Stihl is the most powerful one. It's good for bulk cutting of firewood and for milling lumber.

Though you should do your own research if you want a decent unit. These reviews can be pretty helpful https://www.findthisbest.com/best-power-chain-saws
 
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BigAl

Expedition Leader
I currently have a 20" Husqvarna gasser that is in a case. I haul it in the hard box on the hitch haul along with a 5 gallon gas can and the bottle of 2 stroke oil. The other stuff in that hitch haul are things I don't want in the camping / sleeping gear area like the cans of Coleman Fuel, and port o potty. A seriously stinky potentially firey mess should I ever get rear ended...
I heat my home with wood and could cut 2 years worth with less than 5 gallons of gas. For travel, i'd recommend a premix, much safer and travels well

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