WORX 20V Cordless Chainsaw: Product Review
An excellent light duty chainsaw with plenty of power. Best for small properties and smaller diameter branches.
Available on Amazon
I received the WORX 20V Cordless Chainsaw as part of a 2-in-1 package with an extension pole that converts it into a pole chainsaw, although the chainsaw and the extension pole can each be purchased individually. This review is only for the chainsaw; I reviewed the combo chainsaw/extension pole separately.
- Battery: 20V 2.0Ah (Amp hours)
- Battery Charging Time: 5 hours (from a dead battery to a fully charged battery)
- Weight: Approx. 6.8 lbs. (with battery attached, but without bar and chain oil)
- Bar Length: 10″
- Chain Speed: 12.5 ft/sec.
- Bar and Chain Oil Tank Capacity: 4.5 oz.
- Bar and Chain Oiler: Automatic
In the video, I show the features of the WORX 20V Cordless Chainsaw, and demonstrate how to add the bar and chain oil. I also show the chainsaw in use on some mesquite trees. Check it out for a thorough description and to see how the chainsaw performed.
The WORX chainsaw arrived in a trapezoidal cardboard box with plenty of graphics on the outside of it showing exactly what was inside. Included in the box were the cordless chainsaw, a 20V (2.0Ah) battery, a battery charger, an extension pole (reviewed separately), and instruction manuals for both the saw and the battery charger.
Bar and chain oil is not included; you’ll need to purchase that separately. Not sure what that is or why you need it for a cordless chainsaw? Check out our tutorial.
Despite the fact it was not double housed in another cardboard box, the saw came through with no dents or scratches. Even the original shipping box was unscathed.
Excellent FIT AND FINISH
The fit and finish on the chainsaw are excellent. The surfaces are smooth to the touch and without mold marks or misalignments. I’ve reviewed other WORX products and have come to expect this type of quality. They don’t disappoint.
The chainsaw has handles and guards that are not only functional but also comfortable to hold and that serve to minimize hand and arm fatigue. The battery compartment is neatly tucked under the rear handle, keeping the battery out of the way so it doesn’t get hung up on wood while cutting.
Well-Placed Oil Filler
The oil fill cap is on top of the saw which makes it super easy to fill with bar and chain oil (see my video on bar and chain oil for details about what it is and why you need it). I’ve reviewed countless other cordless chainsaws and many of them have oil fill caps on the side of the saw body, making them much more difficult to fill. I often end up spilling oil down the side of the saw. Not so with the WORX design.
AUTO-TENSION BAR AND CHAIN TIGHTENING MECHANISM
The saw is equipped with a nifty single knob to adjust the tightness of the bar and chain cover. This knob also acts as the cutting chain tensioning mechanism. Instead of having a cover locking ring and a bar tensioning ring (which are present on some of the other cordless saws I’ve tested), the WORX chainsaw has both incorporated into one knob.
When I first read about this feature in the instruction manual, I thought it meant that the saw would automatically tighten a loose chain without any intervention. This is not the case. You have to physically turn the tensioning dial when the chain becomes loose (for example, when the chain stretches over time or the bar loosens up). Once I was clear on this, it made total sense.
It sure is nice not have to fiddle with two dials/rings like some of the other chainsaws on the market.
The saw is outfitted with an automatic bar and chain oiler, as are all modern battery-powered chainsaws. However, it’s critical to test that the oiler is working properly, especially with a new saw right out of the box. If the oiler isn’t working, you’ll ruin the bar and chain due to the tremendous friction between the bar and chain without lubrication.
One way to test the oiler is to lay a piece of paper on the ground, hold the saw about a foot above the paper and run it at full throttle. You should see oil spatter on the paper, which indicates that the automatic oiler is doing its job. This assumes that you’ve put bar and chain oil in the reservoir before you start the saw. Don’t forget this first step! You can see a demonstration of this in the video above.
POWER SHARE BATTERY SYSTEM
WORX produces dozens of outdoor power tools that rely on their 20 Volt Lithium-Ion batteries, making them interchangeable between all of their 20V tools as part of the WORX Power Share system.
So, if you own another 20V WORX tool, that battery will work with this chainsaw (and you now have a spare battery). Or you can buy a WORX tool (including the chainsaw) without a battery and share the battery you already own.
For more information on Lithium-Ion batteries see our article covering FAQs about Li-Ion batteries.
Starting Up The Saw
The first order of business is to fully charge the battery before use. It arrives partially charged so this step will only take a couple of hours. A completely drained battery will take longer – up to 5 hours to fully charge.
To use the chainsaw, insert the fully charged battery into the base of the saw under the rear handle. This is as easy as aligning the battery slide rails with the saw’s rails. With a swift push the battery bottoms out and you’ll hear an audible click as the safety latch engages (ensuring that the battery won’t fall out of the saw).
BUILT IN SAFETY (“LOCK-OUT BUTTON”)
The chainsaw has a “lock-out button” on the rear handle that you must press before you can engage the ON/OFF lever. This is a great safety feature and prevents a lot of accidents.
LET’S GET CUTTING
The WORX 20V chainsaw has plastic bumper spikes at the front of the saw that act as a leverage point (for faster cutting speed) and help keep the saw lined up with the branch. The manual suggests that these bumper spikes should be in contact with the branch as a cut is being made.
With my first cuts, I didn’t use the bumper spikes. I’ve had a lot of experience with chainsaws as the result of owning a tree care company for ten years and I feel comfortable holding the bar against the branch without the bumper spikes making contact (however, I don’t suggest you do this). I wanted to see how the saw cut in this position first.
I picked some branches that were about 3-inches in diameter. As the WORX operator’s manual suggests, bring the saw up to full power before attempting to cut. This will prevent the saw from bouncing around and making a rough cut.
With each cut, I laid the saw on top of the branch and let the weight of the saw do most of the work (so as not to overtax the electric motor). The saw repeatedly made nice, clean cuts through the branches like a hot knife through butter.
With my next cuts, I used the bumper spikes. Keep in mind that they’re plastic, not the metal found on larger chainsaws, so they don’t dig into the wood very much. Still, they did make a difference. Using the spikes, the chainsaw cut through the branches more quickly and the cuts were just as clean as those made without the bumper spikes. The WORX chainsaw had plenty of power and did not bog down at all.
My final cuts were on a dead stump. The WORX 20V chainsaw powered through the 5 ½ inch diameter stump with no hesitation. There was no lack of power, no motor strain and the cuts were as clean as those made on the 3-inch branches.
Plenty of Power
My main concern about the WORX 20V chainsaw was that the single 20V li-ion battery wouldn’t provide enough power to easily cut through branches. I needn’t have worried. This saw has plenty of power to slice through wood of all kinds up to roughly 6 inches in diameter. Given the small (10-inch) bar, I wouldn’t recommend cutting anything larger.
NO CHAIN BRAKE
There is a “handguard” on the saw. While this a nice feature, it does little to protect the operator from kickback (a very dangerous condition where the saw blade whips back toward the operator).
Kickback is usually caused by operator error and is a serious problem for your upper body. Chainsaw cuts are no day at the beach! I heard a statistic once that the average number of stitches from a chainsaw kickback to the body is 13. Even with low kickback chain and bars, it still happens. I’d like to see a real chain brake on this saw instead of just a handguard.
All that said, do yourself a favor and read the WORX operators manual before using the chainsaw. It has some excellent recommendations on how to reduce the chances of kickback.
Excellent OPERATOR’S MANUAL (with one exception)
Overall, the operator’s manual is excellent, except the Trimming a Tree (Pruning) section (more below). The manual is packed with a plethora of safety instructions, but the things I appreciate most are the instructions about felling a tree, notching undercuts, felling back cuts, limbing a tree, and bucking a log. Not only does the manual provide you with a bunch of great safety messages, but it also gives you a heads up on how to properly perform a variety of tree cutting procedures. Don’t toss this publication. Keep it in a handy place; it’s a good reference guide.
The one section I don’t agree with is the part that references how to prune a limb from a tree. It shows a diagram and explanation of a four cut process, which includes a third cut halfway through the limb from the underside of the stub and a final cut from the top of the stub to meet the partial cut completed in step three. The instructions also recommend cutting the stub as close to the tree as possible.
Both of these procedures are not recommended from an arboriculture standpoint. The acceptable process for pruning a limb is a three cut technique in which the second undercut mentioned in the manual is not done. Instead, the third cut is done from above and severs the limb in one cut.
Cutting the stub too close to the trunk can cut through the branch bark collar, compromising the tree’s ability to heal the cut and leaving it vulnerable to pests and diseases. The branch bark collar is the ridged area where the branch meets the trunk and can extend an inch or more from the trunk on larger branches. Be sure that your pruning cuts are just outside the branch bark collar.
WORX offers a 3-year limited warranty on defects in materials and workmanship, but only if you register your tool within 30 days of purchase. If you don’t register within this time frame or don’t register it at all then the warranty only covers your tool for 2 years. You are required to pay the shipping back to WORX for a defective tool or battery. Batteries are only warrantied for 12 months, regardless of whether or not you register them.
There are a lot of things to like about the WORX 20V cordless chainsaw. It has plenty of power, even with only a single 20 Volt Lithium-Ion battery. It makes fast clean cuts, has a nice ergonomic design, is comfortable to use, and has excellent fit and finish. Given its light weight (roughly 6.8 lbs) and petite stature, virtually anyone would be able to use this chainsaw.
Because it’s a small chainsaw, with only a 10-inch bar, it’s best used as a light-duty saw for small properties and smaller diameter branches. If you’re looking for a full-size cordless chainsaw, this would not be the right choice for you.
Although it has plenty of safety features and an excellent manual describing how to use it, it’s missing a chain brake to prevent kickback. That, to me, is an important feature, especially for a chainsaw that’s clearly targeted at homeowners (who may not have much experience using a chainsaw and therefore are more prone to accidental kickback).
WHERE TO BUY
The WORX 20V Cordless Chainsaw can be purchased on Amazon or at the WORX website.
Last update on 2020-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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