EGO 18″ Cordless Chainsaw Knocks Out a Couple of World’s Firsts to Go Along with Outstanding Performance
The EGO 18″ cordless chainsaw comes in as more than just an upgrade to their 16″ model with a couple of extra inches on the bar. It’s touting higher performance, a couple of new to world features, and the price ain’t too bad, either.
- Outstanding chain speed and cutting power
- LED light is helpful for storm cleanup
- Tool-free chain tensioning and bar access
- Metal bucking spikes
- Visual cue shows red when brake is engaged
- Excellent value ($349 kit with 5.0Ah battery)
- No significant drawbacks
Moving up to an 18″ bar and chain, my biggest questions were about cutting speed and power. The EGO 18″ cordless chainsaw spins up to 11,000 RPM with its brushless 56V motor. Compared to the 16″ model’s 6800 RPM, I expected faster cutting assuming there’s enough power to keep the chain speed up.
I didn’t have the EGO 16″ chainsaw on hand, but I did have the Milwaukee M18 FUEL chainsaw. With 6600 RPM and 40cc gas engine equivalent power, it’s been my go-to cordless chainsaw most of the year. So I brought it along for some side-by-side comparison.
Making the Cut
I cut through several sizes of oak branches ranging from 4″ to 12″ and EGO’s increase in chain speed was clear the from the first cut. With no gas engine to drown out other noise, you can hear just how much faster the chain runs along the bar.
That translated into the cut as the 0.050″ gauge chain melted through the oak’s heartwood with relative ease. Even when I put some additional weight behind it, the chain slowed, but still powered through. You’ll make the best combination of fast cutting and efficient battery use by letting the motor keep the RPMs high, though.
Pro Tip: Keeping your chain sharp is critical to getting the best performance out of any chainsaw.
I did get a little bit of chain chatter with my first few cuts. You really need to start your cuts near the housing where you can use the saw’s metal bucking spikes to support a clean start. That gives you a smooth start into your cut and continues to give you a smooth, controlled cut all the way through.
Comparing the cutting performance to Milwaukee is almost unfair. Like EGO’s 16″, it has a lower RPM, smaller gauge chain, and smaller bar. Still, it does very well at providing a lot of torque to keep the saw from stalling. There’s no question in my mind that the EGO 18″ cordless chainsaw is in a different class from other cordless 16″ models, though.
Chain Tensioning Dial
The EGO 18″ cordless chainsaw touts two world’s first titles. One of them is what they call an auto tensioning system. While not completely automatic, it is very easy to use. Turn it clockwise to tighten the chain, counter-clockwise to loosen it.
To remove the bar and chain, keep turning the dial counter-clockwise. It takes quite a few turns to get it completely off.
What I really like about the system is that it’s completely tool-free and the dial is large enough to operate with bare or gloved hands.
EGO’s other world’s first is an LED light on the front. Most of us don’t do a lot of cutting after the sun goes down. When hurricanes roll through our little corner of paradise, it’s a different story. Sometimes you need to get a tree off of a roof or get a car out of a garage and waiting until morning isn’t an option.
My M.O. is to wear a headlamp and bring in some additional lighting in those scenarios. If I’m honest, I’m a bit spoiled in that department. Let’s keep in mind that EGO targets homeowners with this line, though. The addition of an LED light on a battery-powered chainsaw doesn’t seem tough, but for someone that doesn’t have access to a lot of battery-powered lighting, it can make a huge difference.
EGO did a great job with the design here. Its placement is directly over the bar, ensuring that it doesn’t cast a broad shadow to either side. It’s also bright enough to really light up your cut and offer some safety lighting as you walk around.
There’s a separate power button for the light, so you can leave it off when you don’t need it.
Metal Bucking Spikes
We’re seeing fewer plastic bucking spikes on cordless chainsaws and that’s a good thing. Steel ones like EGO’s bite into bark and wood better and don’t wear down the way plastic can.
Visual Chain Brake Aid
There’s a pretty standard chain brake in front of the side handle. I say “pretty standard” because there’s one key difference from what we normally see—a visual indicator. When it’s in the brake position, you see red when you look down. As a chainsaw for homeowners, I think that’s a very helpful addition.
Additional Field Notes
I don’t have any major complaints about the EGO 18″ cordless chainsaw, but there is at least one little quirk. The saw sits flat on its side when you’re tensioning the chain, but not on the opposite side where you need to fill the oil. It’s not a huge deal, just plan on stabilizing the saw with one hand while you pour with the other.
This big step forward in performance doesn’t come with a monster premium. As a kit with a 5.0Ah battery and charger, it’s $349—just $50 more than the 16″ model.
As a comparison, that Milwaukee chainsaw runs $499 and its 12.0Ah battery actually has less capacity than EGO’s 5.0Ah (216 watt-hours vs 280 watt-hours).
If you already have all the EGO 56V batteries you need, you can snag the bare tool for $259. Milwaukee runs $329.
Balancing all of that with the performance we’re getting, EGO offers solid value in this package.
The Bottom Line
You’re the winner as the EGO 18″ cordless chainsaw makes significant gains in performance and design without crushing your tool budget.
With an 18″ bar and chain, this model has very real potential to be the only chainsaw homeowners need for regular maintenance and storm cleanup. There’s plenty of power and chain speed to cut through harder woods and the 5.0Ah battery gives you a good size fuel tank to work with.
Keep an extra battery and an extra chain on hand and I don’t see a reason to need a gas saw until you’re ready to move up to the farm and ranch class.
EGO 18″ Cordless Chainsaw Specifications
- Model: EGO CS1800
- Power Source: EGO 56V battery
- Chain Pitch: 3/8″
- Chain Gauge: 0.050″
- Bar Size: 14″ – 18″ (18″ included)
- Weight: 9.7 pounds without battery, chain, and sheath
- Operating Temperature: 5º – 104ºF
- Warranty: 5 years on the saw, 3 years on the battery
- Price: $349 with 5.0Ah battery, $239 bare