Hillbilly of Leisure
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.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.
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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'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.