Chainsaws: How to buy the best chainsaw Corded electric chainsaws

An electric chainsaw is lighter, quieter and needs less maintenance than a petrol chainsaw

As well as being great at cutting, a Best Buy corded electric chainsaw will be easy and comfortable to use. Find out which ones made the grade.

Is a corded electric chainsaw right for me?

Corded electric chainsaws are the cheapest models you can buy. They are ideal if you’re sawing logs or pruning close to the house and can plug the cable straight into a mains socket. 

Our tests have shown that there’s little difference in cutting performance between electric and petrol chainsaws, and electric models are just as capable at cutting logs as petrol ones.

Corded electric chainsaws are generally lighter than petrol models, which makes them less tiring to use and easier to manoeuvre. It’s worth testing one out before you buy to check it’s a tool you can use comfortably. 

Consider how you would use a chainsaw for different jobs − pruning branches would involve making single cuts with rests in-between; chopping logs would be a series of vertical cuts in a continual motion − and gauge whether you feel you could comfortably bear its weight to complete these tasks.

Corded electric chainsaws are easier to maintain than petrol models, and there is no messy fuel or overpowering fumes to contend with. They’re also quieter to run, so are less likely to annoy the neighbours.

Pros: powerful but lighter than petrol chainsaws, great for chopping logs, easier to maintain and quieter than petrol chainsaws

Cons: needs to be plugged into a power source

Read our full reviews of corded electric chainsaws.

Which corded electric chainsaw should I buy?

Most corded electric chainsaws are either 1800W or 2000W, and have a guide bar of 35cm or 40cm in length. Both are effective for cutting tasks around the garden: a 40cm guide bar can cut thicker logs than a 35cm one, and 2000W will cut more quickly than 1800W.

We’ve tested 1800W and 2000W corded electric chainsaws, and compared models that come with a 35cm and 40cm guide bar, in our chainsaw review.

How much will I pay for a corded electric chainsaw?

Prices vary. You can pay as little as £70 for an own-brand one from a DIY store, to in excess of £300 for a top-of-the-range branded model.

We’ve tested the Challenge Xtreme 1800W, which you can pick up for £70 at Argos, and the mid-ranged Bosch AKE 40-19 S, which costs £120. You can see the results in our full chainsaw review.

How do corded electric chainsaws work?

Corded electric chainsaws are mains-powered and come with a power cable attached.

An electric-powered motor drives a metal chain, with lots of cutting ‘teeth’, at high speed around an oblong-shaped guide bar. As the spinning chain makes contact with a log or tree trunk, its teeth are dragged along the surface, cutting the wood. The circular motion of the chain keeps the bottom teeth in contact with the wood, so the saw keeps slicing until it has cut all the way through or the power is stopped.

The chainsaw chain needs lubricating with specialist oil to ensure it runs smoothly and doesn’t snag. Look for a chainsaw with an integrated oil chamber that supplies this oil automatically, as this will save you time and hassle; most models come with these as standard, but it’s worth checking before you buy.

Any corded electric chainsaw can be a useful tool if you’ve got a lot of wood to cut, but they can be dangerous and cause serious injury. So, before you decide which one to buy, check whether a chainsaw is really the best tool for your needs by reading our guide.

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