To Cord or not to Cord

By Jo Phillips

To cord or not to cord that is the question? Corded vs Cordless Chainsaws: Which is better for you?

The chain saw is among the most iconic tools there is. It’s used for everything from felling a huge tree, to slicing it into tiny bits, to cleaning up loose branches to produce clean timber. Electric chainsaws now provide an option that’s cleaner, safer, and more convenient.

If you’re in the market for an electric chainsaw, rather than a petrol-powered one, then you’ll be faced with a decision. You can either go for something that’s corded, or something that’s battery-powered. Both options come with their own distinct advantages, many of which may not be obvious at first glance.

Corded Chainsaws

The defining feature of a corded chainsaw is the power cable sprouting from the rear of it. This needs to be plugged into an appropriate outlet for the device to function. Saws of this kind are great for DIYers who need to deal with timber in their back gardens. I’ll make short work of errant branches around your garden.

Obviously, the cord can present an inconvenience. Sometimes, it can even pose a safety hazard. You may find yourself wrestling with the cord, or tripping over it – which when you’re dealing with a potentially lethal cutting device, can be disastrous.

Corded chainsaws tend to be slightly more affordable, and, at the bottom of the market, they tend to offer more performance for the amount you spend. You also don’t have to worry about changing the battery, or investing in a new set of batteries in the future.

Cordless Chainsaws

Cordless chainsaws draw their power from a lithium-ion battery. For years, they’ve been thought of as an underpowered stand-in for a traditional electric and petrol saws, over recent times they’ve become powerful enough to be competitive – to the point that many pros are trading in their corded devices.

Cordless chainsaws have the advantage of being more mobile, and, in theory, safer. They’re perfect for tree surgery in locations where a fixed power source might not be available. But even if there is a power supply, you might find that it’s much more convenient to rely on a cordless chainsaw, and just keep a spare battery charging constantly.

Saws of this kind tend to be quite lightweight, and can cut through wood of around eight inches thick. Any more, and you might find that you run out of power halfway through the cut.

The verdict

Each kind of chainsaw is suited to a slightly different purpose. Corded saws tend to be easier to maintain, and there’s no filter to clean. But cordless ones are quieter and more lightweight, and can be carried just about anywhere. Your preference will ultimately depend on the kinds of task you’re looking to do.