Review of Oregon 40-Volt, Battery-Powered Chainsaw

| 11/5/2014 9:26:00 AM

Tags: chainsaws, firewood, home heating, wood heat, batteries, energy storage, Cam Mather, Ontario, Canada,

This blog might seem like a commercial endorsement, but let me explain. First off, here is a short video I made about the Oregon 40-Volt battery powered chainsaw which I’m really impressed with… actually I really love this chainsaw!

(PLEASE NOTE: When using any piece of power equipment, proper protective gear should be worn. For this short video I did not put on my regular equipment mentioned below)

Recently as I was working on an article about living off-grid for MOTHER EARTH NEWS, I got a sense that I should be exploring battery-powered chainsaws. I have an electric chainsaw that I blogged about on my personal website,, that I use a lot. In fact, I try and cut my wood in three log lengths in the bush, then ‘buck it’, or cut it to woodstove-sized lengths with my electric chainsaw. This helps me use up excess electricity in the winter on those cold sunny days and it helps me reduce my carbon footprint.

Heating with wood is ‘carbon neutral.’ The tree used photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide from the air and store it as woody mass, and you release it when you burn it. You’re just speeding up the process. The problem is that most people cut firewood with a chainsaw that uses gasoline (fossil fuels) in a two-stroke motor where you mix the gas and oil, which is one of the most polluting engines you can use. So by using my electric chainsaw I significantly reduce how much gas I burn, but with 150 acres to cut trees I’d need a really, really long extension cord to use it much in the bush.

So I was intrigued with the idea of a battery-powered chainsaw. I have been slow to adopt such a technology, which is surprising considering my positive experience with the lithium battery that powers my bike that gets me to town and back, a 26 km (16 mile) round trip. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t think a battery-powered chainsaw would work, but more a case of inertia, in that my gas-powered chainsaw works and after 16+ years of living off the grid I get tired of constantly adopting new technologies.

So I asked Oregon if they would let me evaluate one of their saws for the article I was writing for MOTHER EARTH NEWS. I have used many Oregon products, namely their chainsaw bars and blades and so it’s a brand I’m familiar with.

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