Electric chainsaws are quieter and usually vibrate less than their petrol counterparts. They usually have cheaper overall maintenance costs thanks to their simple motors. Of course, they do have disadvantages as well, such as their limited battery life or limited cord reach. In addition, some cannot be used outside, and battery replacements tend to be expensive.
Types of Electric Chainsaw
Traditionally, an electric chainsaw is one that runs off the mains and needs to be plugged in, but cordless chainsaws also qualify as electric, although they are usually placed in a separate category.
|Corded||Lightest chainsaws per kilowatt as they do not require a battery
Generally more powerful
Do not require recharging
|Cord can pose a hazard
Generally cannot be used outside
Limited by cord length
|Cordless||Flexible and can be used anywhere
Generally light although much less powerful
No trip or slice hazards
|Slightly heavier per kilowatt
Usually less powerful
Battery lasts for around 30 minutes when new
Cordless chainsaws therefore offer much better flexibility than electric ones, but this comes at a cost to power and length of use.
Which Type Is Best?
The best one for the job depends on what the job is. Those who wish to use a chainsaw outside could use either, although corded electric chainsaws should not be used with a cord longer than 25m, as the power drops. For most practical purposes, cordless is the best option for outside duties.
If the cutting is taking place indoors and extended use is required, a corded electric chainsaw can be useful. If the operator wants to spend time outside away from a recharging point and for longer than 30 minutes, it may be worth either getting a battery pack or considering buying a petrol chainsaw.
While the power plant - the part that actually supplies power to the chainsaw - is critical, the bar length is just as important. Generally, corded chainsaws have bar lengths of around 35cm. This is because longer bars require more power to operate. Because corded chainsaws can draw as much power as needed, they have much longer bar lengths - sometimes up to 50cm. This means that wider pieces of wood can be cut more easily.
A tree’s radius should not exceed the length of the bar, so cordless chainsaws are often unsuitable for larger trees. Of course, a corded chainsaw runs the risk of having the cord caught or even broken by a falling tree, so it’s safer to use petrol chainsaws for larger jobs.
While the voltage for corded electric chainsaws will be the same, the voltage for cordless chainsaws varies depending on the battery. A battery that’s 18 volts will generally have less power than a 40-volt battery, although this isn’t always the case, as overall power depends on the amperage as well. A 40-volt battery will drain the overall charge more quickly, however.
Certain brands, such as Stihl, Husqvarna and Oregon, cater more to the professional market. Others, such as Bosch, Black & Decker and Ryobi, are focused on the domestic market. Generally, professional chainsaws have better power, are more reliable, last longer and are lighter in weight compared to their domestic counterparts. Consequently, their price tag is usually higher.
What to Check When Buying
If the chainsaw is electric, the power cord, the motor and the safety features all need to be tested and checked. The power cord should be whole with no nicks, burns or melted patches. If the chainsaw is cordless, the battery life must be tested, usually by recharging and then letting it run. In addition, the battery contacts should be clean and have no corrosion.
In both cases, the motor should run cleanly without random breaks or slowdowns. Similarly, the chain should run smoothly over the bar, and the run track around the bar should be checked for dents or serious wear. Any sort of grinding noise is not good, and it usually signifies something is seriously wrong.
Buying an Electric Chainsaw on eBay
Finding the right electric chainsaw via sellers on eBay is simply a matter of searching for electric chainsaws and then choosing the right seller. It’s possible to browse through the categories by checking out the Home and Garden section, clicking on Gardening, then Outdoor Power Equipment, and then Chainsaws, but searching usually yields a quicker result. Following the guidelines on finding the right chainsaw means buyers will find exactly what they need with minimum fuss.