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If you’re looking to buy a corded chainsaw, chances are that you know why. Most people associate chainsaws with loud, noisy gasoline engines that belch blue smoke as you cut through wood. If you’re looking at a corded one, you’re looking for something a lot quieter, a lot cleaner, or lighter. Because these saws aren’t powerful enough to use on big trees, operating one tends to also be a little safer.
Which one is the best? We looked at a handful of models for you and rated them based on their performance and value. If you get to the end and decide you really want to do a little more shopping on your own, we put together a handy buyers’ guide to help you make the right choice. We hope you find our insights valuable in navigating the market.
|Worx WG304.1||3 Years||4.8/5|
(Best for the Money)
|Oregon 570995 CS1500||3 Years||4.3/5|
|Craftsman 34120||2 Years||4.0/5|
Black+Decker’s CS1518 is our top pick of corded chainsaws. Considering what a corded chainsaw is and what it’s used for, this one is just about perfect. It also costs less than most of the other models we looked at, which means it’s got great for-dollar value.
It’s a snap to start and quiet to run, which is why you’re buying a corded chainsaw. It’s also got good power for an electric chainsaw. You aren’t going to turn that mighty oak in your backyard into winter heat with it, but if that oak drops a giant limb across your backyard during a storm, this saw will take care of that. It’s also got a kickback guard, and the blade stops spinning immediately when you let off the button. That makes it pretty safe. The blade also tightens itself, which makes for easy maintenance.
We were pressed to come up with something we didn’t like. There wasn’t a cord cage to prevent the tool from being pulled out of the extension cord plug. That’s really about it. Otherwise, this is a great saw.
The Worx WG304.1 was our runner-up based only on one thing. It runs neck-and-neck with the CS1518 right up until we looked at the relative prices. The CS1518 is just a little lower-priced.
As for the WG304.1, it has a powerful 15-amp motor that — within the reasonable confines of it being a corded chainsaw — does everything you want from it. It’s got a self-lubricating chain for smooth operation and extended operational life. It’s also got a kickback safety feature that turns off the blade if you hit a knot or something else.
If it weren’t for the price, our top pick would have been a toss-up and perhaps dependent on our mood on the day. This saw isn’t going to send you into bankruptcy, but the difference is just large enough to drop this to the number two spot.
If you’re looking for something to cut small limbs and saplings and have only a little money, the Remington RM1425 is a good option to consider. The price is right. It’s not only the most inexpensive corded chainsaw we reviewed; it’s also the best value in that for what you pay, it delivers the most performance.
That said, the 8-amp motor is pretty limited in what it can do. You could push some of the more powerful chainsaws in terms of what size tree they’ll cut through, but this one is basically for small jobs.
It’s also not very durable. If you try to push the limits with it, it’s likely to break and you’ll have to replace it. The really good news for you is that this saw is affordable enough that you can do this once and still not hit the top of the price range for corded chainsaws.
There are two things that make for excellent chainsaw cutting: a powerful motor and a sharp blade. The Oregon 570995 CS1500 is designed to pair both of them with a 15-amp motor and a blade self-sharpening feature. The result is good cutting power in a corded chainsaw. It’s not what you’ll get from a gas engine, but it ranks favorably against the rest of the competition.
It’s just that it sacrifices a whole lot to do it. It’s heavy for a corded chainsaw. It’s also pretty expensive. It also leaks oil. A lot of oil.
While the CS1500 might deliver the most powerful cutting of the corded chainsaws we looked at, it’s not enough to overcome the considerable drawbacks. You can get something as good, and also lighter, for less money. Almost every other model will use less oil, too.
We didn’t dislike the Craftsman 34120. In fact, we generally liked all the chainsaws we reviewed. We dropped the 34120 to our bottom ranking for a pretty simple reason. Unlike the CS1500, which delivered a powerful cut, for its price this one just didn’t do anything particularly well.
It gets the basic job done. It cuts wood and does it competently. Like all corded chainsaws, it’s easy to start and quiet to operate. It’s okay in terms of being comfortable and easy on the user. It’s not so powerful that we were frightened to use it.
But for what you get, this saw is expensive and heavy. One of the benefits of using corded chainsaws is supposed to be that they are lighter, but this one is only marginally lighter. It also has a tendency to stop working in the middle of a job for no apparent reason.
We couldn’t bring ourselves to hate it. It does an adequate job as a chainsaw. It’s just that there are alternatives available that are lighter, more affordable, and that come with safety and user features this saw doesn’t have. So we dropped it in rank accordingly.
Buying a chainsaw can be a bit more complicated than you may imagine. There are models designed for different trees and different uses. There are even features for working up in trees versus working close to the ground. In this case, you’ve decided that you want a chainsaw with a cord, which probably means you’ve decided you don’t quite need the power but want something relatively quiet. We put together this quick guide of buying tips to help you make the right choice.
Because they are electric, corded chainsaws are easy to start and are very quiet. They also require a lot less maintenance. However, they do come with cords, which can get easily snagged or caught on things, especially if your work takes you up into the branches. You’ll want to find a model that accommodates this. Also, keep in mind that you’ll want no more than 100 feet of extension cord.
As with a gas chainsaw, the amount of power a corded chainsaw can push will determine what kind of work you can do with it. In general, it’s easier to use a more powerful chainsaw for a job that calls for less than to use a weaker chainsaw on a job that calls for more. Be honest about why you need one, and maybe add a little bit of power to it in case you really need it.
Corded chainsaws are best for pretty light work, so finding the biggest, most powerful one isn’t really ideal. You can place a little more emphasis on your own comfort. These saws are also a little lighter because the muscle is coming from wall current and not an onboard engine. Find one that maximizes user comfort with features like ergonomic, padded handles. This will help you control the blade more easily.
Chainsaws, regardless of make or model, are still pretty dangerous. Look for features like a chain brake that place a premium on your own safety. When it comes to safety, you’re also going to want to weigh user comfort features as part of that. User comfort reduces fatigue, which is a major contributor to accidents. And, of course, don’t forget to buy a full kit of safety equipment and use it.
You can do a lot to extend the life of your chainsaw by keeping the chain well lubricated. This reduces friction between the blade and what you’re cutting. Look for a self-oiling feature in whatever corded chainsaw you buy.
All other things being equal, buy the saw that’s easiest on the wallet. Another piece of good advice here is to figure out which features you absolutely have to have and which ones are luxuries, and match those to what you can really spend. One of the primary reasons we gave the Black+Decker CS1518 our top pick is that while there are other models that cost less, nothing came close to delivering its quality performance for the price.
Black+Decker’s CS1518 was our top pick because it has everything you’d want in a corded chainsaw, and has it at what is a really pretty reasonable price. Price, in fact, is what kept the Worx WG304.1 out of the top spot. It does everything the CS1518 does, but is just a little more expensive. We thought the Remington RM1425 delivered the best for-dollar value, although there’s a step down in power to match the price tag. Those three were followed up by the Oregon 570995 CS1500 and the Craftsman 34120, both of which were heavier than we would have liked, and cost too much money, too. Even though it burns through oil, we liked the cutting power of the CS1500. The 34120 did an okay job cutting, and that was about it. It is a mediocre chainsaw that costs too much money.
Not everyone is going to think of using a corded chainsaw to help keep their yards clean, so we understand that you might need help sorting out which one is right for you. We hope you found something useful in our reviews, or if you got to the end and decided you need more information, that our buyers’ guide had helpful tips for you. We wish you the best in your shopping experience.
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