Which DeWalt chainsaw is best?

DeWalt has long been listed among the best tools you can buy. Its chainsaws are no different, whether you need a small one to chew through some brush or a monster to shred some trees. They also offer pole-mounted saws so you can tackle any job at any height.

The best DeWalt chainsaw is the DeWalt 60-Volt 20-Inch Brushless Chainsaw With Flexvolt Battery Kit. It’s the largest, most powerful chainsaw DeWalt has, and it’s paired with a flexible battery that can be used on multiple DeWalt tools.

What to know before you buy a DeWalt chainsaw

DeWalt chainsaw types

There are two types of DeWalt chainsaws.

  • Standard chainsaws look and function as any other chainsaw. They come in a range of sizes and power requirements to fit your needs.
  • Pole saws have small chainsaws mounted on the end of extendable poles. They come in two sizes and run on batteries or gas.

Saw length and power

  • Standard DeWalt chainsaws currently come in lengths of 12 inches, requiring a 20-volt battery, and 18 and 20 inches, requiring a 60-volt battery. You can find older DeWalt saws of different lengths, including 16-inches requiring 40-volt batteries.
  • Pole DeWalt chainsaws currently come in 8-inch lengths with a 20-volt battery and 10 inches with a gas engine.

Battery kit

Nearly all DeWalt tools are powered by batteries, including all its chainsaws. However, its line of batteries can be used with almost any DeWalt tool as long as the specifications match. DeWalt offers chainsaws as tool-only for those who already have its batteries or bundled with a battery and charger kit for new DeWalt owners.

Tool bundles

DeWalt also offers its chainsaws in bundles with other tools, typically ones related to yard care. Common bundled tools include hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and pruning shears.

What to look for in a quality DeWalt chainsaw

Battery specifications

DeWalt chainsaws require batteries with two main specifications: voltage and ampere hours.

  • Voltage tells how much power a battery provides. It needs to match the voltage required by the tool precisely.
  • Ampere hours tell how much charge a battery can hold. Also designated as Ah, the higher the number, the longer it lasts, but it also takes longer to charge.

Voltage and ampere hours are not tied to each other, meaning a battery could have higher, lower or even voltage to ampere hours.

Brushless motor

The best DeWalt chainsaws have brushless motors rather than brushed ones. Brushless motors are more efficient, giving you more power and battery life. However, they cost more. 

Automatic oiling

Chainsaws need to be oiled regularly to maintain their efficiency, but this can be a messy process. The best DeWalt chainsaws have an automatic oiling system — just add oil to a reservoir.

How much you can expect to spend on a DeWalt chainsaw

DeWalt chainsaws can cost as little as $200 or as much as $500. Chainsaws with battery kits have a higher cost than those without. Some chainsaw bundles cost $500-plus.

DeWalt chainsaw FAQ

What safety precautions should I take before using a DeWalt chainsaw?

A. Chainsaws are dangerous, powerful machines that require several steps of preparation to use safely.

  • First, check yourself. Make sure you’re wearing tight-fitting clothing that can’t be caught in the chain and covers your entire body. Also, make sure long hair is tied back and that you wear eye protection, gloves and closed-toe shoes. Ear protection isn’t necessary with battery-powered chainsaws, but it doesn’t hurt.
  • Secondly, check your surroundings. Make sure you’re standing on flat, stable ground and that no one else is nearby.
  • Lastly, check your target. Make sure nothing is present that you shouldn’t cut through. Triple-check that it’s stable and won’t fall on anything once cut.

What’s the difference between Max, XR and Flexvolt DeWalt batteries?

A. To put it simply, DeWalt’s Max batteries are one step better than its standard batteries, and XR batteries are one step better than Max. You can use Max batteries with XR tools and chargers, but not XR with Max. Flexvolt batteries can be used in both 20- and 60-volt tools rather than only one or the other.

What’s the best DeWalt chainsaw to buy?

Top DeWalt chainsaw 

DeWalt 60-Volt 20-Inch Brushless Chainsaw With Flexvolt Battery Kit

DeWalt 60-Volt 20-Inch Brushless Chainsaw With Flexvolt Battery Kit

What you need to know: There isn’t a larger, stronger DeWalt chainsaw.

What you’ll love: The high-efficiency motor provides power equal to low-end gas chainsaws. Besides the saw, battery and charger, it also includes a bar sheath, sharpening file and tensioning wrench. It has a chain brake for safety and onboard storage for the wrench.

What you should consider: A few consumers had issues with overheating batteries. Others reported it not being powerful enough to free the chain if it gets pinched.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Top DeWalt chainsaw for the money

DeWalt 20-Volt 12-Inch Brushless Chainsaw With Battery Kit

DeWalt 20-Volt 12-Inch Brushless Chainsaw With Battery Kit

What you need to know: This model is great for those who don’t need much power.

What you’ll love: The chain is automatically oiled and it has a chain brake for safety. A scabbard is included to protect it in storage. It has a tightening knob for easy tool-less adjustment. It can make up to 90 cuts on a full charge.

What you should consider: The chain is oiled automatically and has a chain brake for safety. A scabbard is included to protect it in storage. It has a tightening knob for easy tool-less adjustment. It can make up to 90 cuts on a full charge.

What you should consider: The automatic oiler goes through oil quickly, so make sure to keep enough on hand. It struggles to handle anything thicker than 4 inches.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

Worth checking out

DeWalt 60-Volt 16-Inch Brushless Chainsaw and 20-Volt 8-Inch Pole Saw with Battery Kits

DeWalt 60-Volt 16-Inch Brushless Chainsaw and 20-Volt 8-Inch Pole Saw with Battery Kits

What you need to know: This combo is perfect for those who need to trim and fell trees.

What you’ll love: The chainsaw has a tool-less chain tensioning and bar tightening knob, and a bar cover is included for storage. The pole saw reaches up to 15 feet and has a tree hook for stability. It also has a comfort-grip handle. Both saws have an automatic oiler.

What you should consider: A few purchasers reported the batteries dying quickly. Others had issues with the automatic oiler leaking and the chains dulling faster than expected.

Where to buy: Sold by Home Depot

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
 

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