EGO 56V Battery-powered Chainsaw Review
It’s clear that we’ve been impressed to-date with most of the tools from the EGO 56V cordless tools line. It’s not that battery-powered tools are the right solution for every single application. More and more, Pros and serious DIYers are turning to cordless for landscaping and yard work. The new EGO 56V battery-powered cordless chainsaw (model CS1400) fits that category really well. For a tool like a chainsaw (or chain saw), professionals continue to prefer gas-powered models. They offer lots of variation in the application, bar length, and features for the arborist or tree trimmer.
Home users may appreciate the ease-of-use of a tool that never requires a spark plug change or fuel stabilizers. On top of that, this EGO battery-powered chainsaw has enough power to tackle any job an average homeowner is likely to run into—and make it a whole lot easier.
EGO Chainsaw Build Quality and Features
Right away, the EGO CS1400 chainsaw doesn’t look like any chainsaw you’ve ever seen. We know as we’ve done many cordless chainsaw reviews. It’s like the engineers decided to toss conventional design cues out the window. For example, EGO opted to balance the tool by placing the battery underneath the handle in a side-loading position. This offsets the weight of the brushless motor. It also gives you better balance when rocking the saw forward and back to make a cut.
While the balance is good, they also opted for a ridged plastic area where you’d normally see steel bucking spikes. That doesn’t allow you to get the same amount of leverage with this tool as some others we’ve used. It does give you a bit more depth of cut. Still, we’d like to see true bucking spikes on future models.
Battery-powered Convenience Features
Like their other 56V tools, the chainsaw has a gray body with black and green accents. The handle of the saw is easy to grip and wraps down and around the left side of the tool. This lets you easily pivot the saw 90 degrees for horizontal cuts. It also helps when making notches when felling trees. On the left side sits the 5-ounce chain oil reservoir. The lid lacks any sort of tether, however. You have to take care not to drop or misplace it when filling the tool with chain oil. Just under the cap is an easy-to-read inspection window for seeing how much oil is left in the tool.
We like that the EGO CS1400 56V chainsaw also has a functioning chain brake. It not only works as a kickback safety device, but it also functions as a manual shut-off or safety for the tool.
Those who use traditional gas-powered saws should find this a familiar system. These small, familiar points of reference facilitate an easier and more comfortable transition between battery and gas.
EGO CS1400 Power and Runtime
The EGO 56V battery-powered cordless chainsaw boasts a lot of power and runtime. The 56V platform (the kit comes with a 2.0 Ah battery) and a brushless motor make this possible. With no brushes, the motor runs cooler and has less wearable parts.
EGO includes a 14-inch steel Oregon bar and low-kickback chain (with rakers). We installed both by removing the side cover and placing the cutting bar and chain in place. The tool-free chain tensioning knob makes it easy to adjust.
EGO 56V Battery-powered Chainsaw Specifications
- Kit Model: CS1401
- Tool Only Model: CS1400
- Battery: 56V 2.0 Ah (BA1120)
- Charge time: 40 minutes
- Brushless motor
- 14-inch Oregon bar (144MLEA041) and chain (90PX052X)
- Chain Pitch: 3/8” (9.5mm)
- Chain Gauge: 0.043” (1.1mm)
- Speed: 6300 rpm
- Automatic oil w/inspection window
- Tool-less chain tensioning
- Features: Chain brake, hand guard and quick release trigger
- Includes: Chainsaw, 14-inch steel Oregon sprocket-tip bar and chain with plastic sheath, 56V 2.0 Ah battery, and standard charger
- Weight (with 2.0 Ah battery): 11.1 lbs
- Warranty: 5 years limited
Cutting with the EGO CS1400 Cordless Chainsaw
Aside from the lack of proper bucking spikes, there isn’t much adjustment needed to go from using a conventional model to the EGO 56V battery-powered chainsaw. Instead of a pull-start, you get an incredibly convenient safety trigger. Unlike models from Husqvarna and others, EGO uses no power button on this cordless chainsaw. Instead, EGO feels (correctly, in our opinion) that snapping the spring-loaded battery in place, pulling the kickback brake towards you, and pressing the lock-off button is sufficiently safe for activating the battery-powered saw. Some of the models out there substitute an on/off button for the chain brake. We think EGO went with the right solution that is more familiar and convenient.
Cutting with the Thin-kerf Chain
Like most smart battery-powered chainsaws, the chain used on the EGO 56V model is of the thin kerf variety—in this case, an Oregon chain that measures just 0.043”. This gives it less resistance when cutting wood, and lengthens the runtime and cutting-capability of the saw. When running the EGO cordless chainsaw, you’ll first be amazed by the sound—it’s really quiet. Most of the noise is simply the act of the chain spinning around the blade and the material being removed. It’s not dead-silent. Mind you, but removing the sound of cylinders firing makes a huge difference. You almost no longer need to wear hearing protection. In fact, in my non-OSHA-endorsed opinion, you don’t for most residential use.
Felling a Palm Tree
For our testing, we used a 4.0Ah battery with the EGO 56V battery-powered cordless chainsaw…because we could. We also think that battery operates the tool at a higher power potential. It also delivers the kind of run-time users will expect and appreciate in a cordless tool like this. We cut a combination of cherrywood, live oak, and wet palm trees with the EGO 56V cordless chainsaw…and we cut a lot of each. For endurance and power-testing, we decided to, among other things, fell a 40-foot tall palm tree that was simply in the wrong place at the right time. The base diameter of the tree was 14-inches, and it was still alive, making for an interesting cut.
If you’ve never cut into a palm tree, it’s a wet, pulpy, mess of a tree, that will really test the chip-ejection system of any chainsaw. As we began our cut (we notched it in the direction we wanted it and then cut an elevated crosscut on the backside), the EGO chainsaw showered waste material out the bottom like a mini wood chipper. It also powered through cuts like nobody’s business. I could get it to stall if I wanted to (something I’ve been able to accomplish with gas-powered saws as well), but when letting the tool properly pace itself through the cut, the EGO chainsaw’s brushless motor had enough power to drive the thin-kerf chain through the material at a fairly quick pace.
Comparing the EGO CS1400 Battery-Powered Chainsaw
We ran this saw against the Greenworks 40V brushless chainsaw for comparison and the EGO tended to cut a tad faster on the same material, even though the Greenworks had a slightly longer bar. Both saws cut well, but the EGO chainsaw felt like it had a tiny bit more power and speed. It also took a bit more pushing to stall it out (at which point you just pull the saw out of the material and re-engage the trigger to fire it back up). In terms of cut time, we made over 18 cuts through our 40-foot tall 14-inch palm tree on a single charge.
When we were done with our cutting, the battery still had plenty of life left on it…so we looked for more to do. Spotting a second, shorter palm tree (but roughly the same diameter) we took it down as well and cut it into manageable lengths. The saw still wasn’t dead. This was over 24 cuts through very difficult and larger-diameter trees. These cuts were both quick and easy. The EGO chainsaw really performs like a gas-powered model and I didn’t find it difficult adjusting to the blade’s short spin-up time and quickly getting to work.
With the power and convenience of this saw, I can’t imagine even pros wanting to take a look at it. The thing is, when you’re up on a lift and trying to communicate with your man “downstairs”, you almost always have to turn off the saw. That means you’re often in the air, pulling a starter cord—something that’s not a lot of fun, or rife with safety. If you can use a battery-powered chainsaw to make these smaller, elevated cuts, you might just end up with a way to have your cake and eat it too. It’s hard to not appreciate the way in which you get instant power with the EGO cordless chainsaw.
The power, ease-of-use, and sheer convenience of this tool makes it a real winner. There are no winterization issues, and you don’t need to worry about mixing fuel. About the only complaint we had with the tool was the lack of bucking spikes. If you’re already using EGO products, then picking up the bare tool for $199 is practically a steal. Slap one of your 4.0 Ah batteries on it and you’ll be off to the races, making dozens of cuts and wondering why anyone would ever want to go back to a gas chainsaw for household use after trying this one.