I do tree service work as a side job, and back in 2011 I made the switch to battery-powered saws for almost all of that work. After eight years of real-world experience, I can tell you that battery power will handle almost any job you’d need a chain saw for. I rely on compact saws with 12- and 14-in. bars for most of my trimming work, and I turn to larger battery saws with a 16-in. bar. for felling and bucking bigger wood. I still fire up my gas saws occasionally, but only for really big jobs.
The advantages of battery power over gas are overwhelming: no mixing and storing of fuel, no using up or emptying the tank before the gas goes bad, no starting problems or annual maintenance. Then there are the noise and exhaust benefits: With a gas saw, you can never get more than an arm’s length away from one of the loudest tools ever made. And you can’t escape breathing in exhaust at that distance either. In striking contrast, a battery chain saw whirs along more like a blender than a dirt bike, and without any toxic fumes.
TIP: Choosing a saw that can run on batteries you already own will typically save you $50 to $100.
BATTERY POWER ISN’T CHEAP
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