Electric Chain Saw???

hour

Observer
I got this Ryobi because I already had their 18v weed eater and got their 18v leaf blower the other week. Both of which perform great for my uses by the way.

Anyway, got the 12" saw and am blown away. I've used it on two 3 day trips in July thus far, and have left the sites with an abundance of firewood for the next folks, or me next weekend. Drag a fallen tree out of the woods and go to town, repeat. I did probably 40 cuts on 6-10" logs and still had 3 bars of battery (which you can check on the battery itself) after it rebounded. It absolutely poops all over my CS310 Echo gas saw. Doesn't mind high elevation, doesn't act finnicky on startup, you can pause and listen to your wife/gf nagging you when you're clearly busy doing something loud.. it's glorious. Bar lock/tensioning system is easy to use, too. Leaks bar oil if you fill the tank - same as my echo, so I just didn't fill it this weekend because there was some in there. There's still some in there all those cuts later, and it hasn't leaked since. So just half fill? Or do as they say and drain back in to the jug, PITA.

Highly recommend especially if you're already in the 18v ryobi fam. If you keep an eye on deals then you can keep picking up their 18v products WITH battery+charger for barely more than the bare tool. I got a 4ah battery with the saw itself and a 4ah battery with the leaf blower, same batteries, but I don't think I'll ever need to bring more than one for a 3-5 day trip. I keep the fire going for 18 hours a day for what it's worth. It seems twice as quick to cut similar logs as the echo, which was used in the same area dragging the same trees off the mountain side. Not sure what varieties of tree I've used it on yet, but whatever is abundant in Roosevelt national forest in northern Colorado.

I can't even imagine these higher voltage saws... must be unreal. TL;DR my echo seized or something and I'm in no hurry to fix it, nor will I buy another gas saw again. Looks great, travels well, would be perfect for clearing a trail or cutting up firewood for the weekend and beyond. Included tight fitting scabbard, way better than the echo cover.

 

billiebob

Well-known member
I've thought about one but the chain saw issue is not about the gas, it is about the chain oil, which the incredibly expensive cordless electrics all still need. $$ for $$ the gas chainsaw is the best buy.
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
I've thought about one but the chain saw issue is not about the gas, it is about the chain oil, which the incredibly expensive cordless electrics all still need. $$ for $$ the gas chainsaw is the best buy.
I agree that gas saws are much less expensive. The way I look at it is this: would you want to monkey around with a gas-powered cordless drill for occasional use? It would probably have more power, run off-grid, etc. But when you only have, let's say....10 screws to drive in, is it really worth all the stink, mess, multiple parts, and work that it takes to get it running for 10 screws? :) For my needs easier is better.

Granted, if I was a lumberjack or cutting enough firewood to host a dozen people for three days and two nights then a real saw would be a better choice.

Also agree that they need to find a way to do away with the bar oil. It's the only part that I don't like about my electric saw.
 

jgaz

Adventurer
I got this Ryobi because I already had their 18v weed eater and got their 18v leaf blower the other week. Both of which perform great for my uses by the way.

Anyway, got the 12" saw and am blown away. I've used it on two 3 day trips in July thus far, and have left the sites with an abundance of firewood for the next folks, or me next weekend. Drag a fallen tree out of the woods and go to town, repeat. I did probably 40 cuts on 6-10" logs and still had 3 bars of battery (which you can check on the battery itself) after it rebounded. It absolutely poops all over my CS310 Echo gas saw. Doesn't mind high elevation, doesn't act finnicky on startup, you can pause and listen to your wife/gf nagging you when you're clearly busy doing something loud.. it's glorious. Bar lock/tensioning system is easy to use, too. Leaks bar oil if you fill the tank - same as my echo, so I just didn't fill it this weekend because there was some in there. There's still some in there all those cuts later, and it hasn't leaked since. So just half fill? Or do as they say and drain back in to the jug, PITA.

Highly recommend especially if you're already in the 18v ryobi fam. If you keep an eye on deals then you can keep picking up their 18v products WITH battery+charger for barely more than the bare tool. I got a 4ah battery with the saw itself and a 4ah battery with the leaf blower, same batteries, but I don't think I'll ever need to bring more than one for a 3-5 day trip. I keep the fire going for 18 hours a day for what it's worth. It seems twice as quick to cut similar logs as the echo, which was used in the same area dragging the same trees off the mountain side. Not sure what varieties of tree I've used it on yet, but whatever is abundant in Roosevelt national forest in northern Colorado.

I can't even imagine these higher voltage saws... must be unreal. TL;DR my echo seized or something and I'm in no hurry to fix it, nor will I buy another gas saw again. Looks great, travels well, would be perfect for clearing a trail or cutting up firewood for the weekend and beyond. Included tight fitting scabbard, way better than the echo cover.

Nice review. Thanks for posting it
 

Boatbuilder79

Active member
I got this Ryobi because I already had their 18v weed eater and got their 18v leaf blower the other week. Both of which perform great for my uses by the way.

Anyway, got the 12" saw and am blown away. I've used it on two 3 day trips in July thus far, and have left the sites with an abundance of firewood for the next folks, or me next weekend. Drag a fallen tree out of the woods and go to town, repeat. I did probably 40 cuts on 6-10" logs and still had 3 bars of battery (which you can check on the battery itself) after it rebounded. It absolutely poops all over my CS310 Echo gas saw. Doesn't mind high elevation, doesn't act finnicky on startup, you can pause and listen to your wife/gf nagging you when you're clearly busy doing something loud.. it's glorious. Bar lock/tensioning system is easy to use, too. Leaks bar oil if you fill the tank - same as my echo, so I just didn't fill it this weekend because there was some in there. There's still some in there all those cuts later, and it hasn't leaked since. So just half fill? Or do as they say and drain back in to the jug, PITA.

Highly recommend especially if you're already in the 18v ryobi fam. If you keep an eye on deals then you can keep picking up their 18v products WITH battery+charger for barely more than the bare tool. I got a 4ah battery with the saw itself and a 4ah battery with the leaf blower, same batteries, but I don't think I'll ever need to bring more than one for a 3-5 day trip. I keep the fire going for 18 hours a day for what it's worth. It seems twice as quick to cut similar logs as the echo, which was used in the same area dragging the same trees off the mountain side. Not sure what varieties of tree I've used it on yet, but whatever is abundant in Roosevelt national forest in northern Colorado.

I can't even imagine these higher voltage saws... must be unreal. TL;DR my echo seized or something and I'm in no hurry to fix it, nor will I buy another gas saw again. Looks great, travels well, would be perfect for clearing a trail or cutting up firewood for the weekend and beyond. Included tight fitting scabbard, way better than the echo cover.

You just cost me some money. Thanks
 

Bayou Boy

Adventurer
My Echo doesn't leak a drop of bar oil. I've had it for a year and it sits for months at a time on the shelf. Not a drop.
 

FJR Colorado

Explorer
I have the big and little DeWalt. Neither leaks bar oil which is a first for me.

I don't see what the issue with adding bar oil is.

The drill analogy above is spot on.
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
I have the big and little DeWalt. Neither leaks bar oil which is a first for me.

I don't see what the issue with adding bar oil is.

The drill analogy above is spot on.
Adding bar oil isn’t the problem. Cleaning up bar oil that has leaked all over your rig is the problem. ;)
 

laxtoy

Adventurer
Lax,

I finished my ac to dc charging configuration on my van this weekend, and I can confirm that for the Makita double charger you will need a pretty big inverter. My 300 pure sine will run a single Makita charger, but the double needs about 650 watts of inverter. It's a little more difficult to find a quality 750 watt inverter, so I installed a 1000 watt pure sine. It will handle the Makita two battery charge station, as well as my new E-bike charger, which also runs at 650 watts.

I did a test run with 270 watts of solar with a 180 amp hour house battery bank, and with good NM high sun, my house bank would have a hard time running the Makita double charger more than a couple of hours or so, without hitting the battery bank kinda hard. There would no way to do a lot of Makita charging running only your starter battery, unless you were also running your alternator/engine.

So the run time is not quite limitless as far as running things down and recharging. It all depends on how you are set up to charge. It can be done, but the Makita 2 battery charger is about like running a 120v drip coffee maker, or a microwave on low power.

Craig
Thanks for this Craig, that’s very pertinent info for my needs in terms of the demands of the double charger on the vehicle’s charging system.

I have 2 odyssey batteries and a high output alternator in the truck, but no inverter or solar yet. I mainly upgrade things as I see a need and haven’t found a real need for an inverter yet, but if/when I do I’ll go 1000 watt pure sine minimum.

If/when I go solar, I likely only have room for a 100 watt panel on the spot I’m planning for on my rack. Little truck + rooftop tent = limited space.

Solar is definitely a need I’m assessing currently because my fridge will run my batteries down as far as I’m comfortable with about every 48 hrs when it’s hot out, then I usually have to break down my tent and drive around for a few hrs which can be a pain in the ass if I’m staying in the same spot for 3 or more days.

As far as the saw goes, I just can’t picture myself ever needing to do that much cutting, even after the snow is gone and there is still a lot of deadfall over trails.

Most of it can be removed with an axe and some gumption if worse comes to worse, at that point I view the saw a luxury that’s needed infrequently. In all honesty, I’ve gotten along fine without it after a couple of decades of using bow saws and axes.

My other thought is I imagine that even full out cutting with the Makita, I’ll likely have about 20 minutes plus of run time off two fully charged 5 ah batts. If I head out with 8 fully charged packs, that’s an hour and a halfish of time to run the saw with no charging.

I then take into account that I can either charge packs while I’m driving after a trail is cleared and I’m back on my way or even let the truck sit idling charging the batteries. I don’t think after considering what you’d mentioned about your solar setup not being able to meet the needs of the double charger I’d consider using the Makita charger unless the truck was running.
 
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hour

Observer
I've thought about one but the chain saw issue is not about the gas, it is about the chain oil, which the incredibly expensive cordless electrics all still need. $$ for $$ the gas chainsaw is the best buy.
Yea, wait what? I'm just getting to the end of a $4.50 quart of oil by Power Care from Home Depot. That lasted the three or whatever seasons of using the echo saw and will probably last with the Ryobi til autumn. The echo in particular probably leaked more out than it used. And as far as why my Ryobi leaks, to other posts - idunno, seems common in reviews for the Ryobi, and really any other budget friendly saw I've entertained buying. Could it be influenced by sitting in the back of my truck bed at 110*F, going from high elevation to low elevation? Beats me. Just happy the Ryobi stopped leaking after the tank was a little less than half full, I'll keep it there and just carry the quart jug with me as usual should I need to top it off, which I kind of doubt for a long weekend.

I paid $200 for my Echo CS310, and $200 for the Ryobi with battery and charger. Assuming you have absolutely nothing, you'll still need to buy a dedicated gas can for 2 stroke and 2 stroke oil. The Ryobi was certainly the better buy for me, but I don't think electric chainsaws were this good (or affordable) when I bought the Echo.

Walking away from gas is weird. I'm fascinated by small engines and love the smell of burning oil and gas, but the battery powered weed eater started the trend, then battery powered leaf blower, now battery powered saw. I have two 2 stroke and one four stroke bicycle, a 4 stroke adult sized pit bike, and also an e-bike that I built which is more fun and convenient than the others. It's just getting to be more practical to have electric for me these days. And I can charge the ebike and ryobi batteries on a 150w inverter, easy work with solar on your rig.
 

chet

island Explorer
thanks for the report. I am slowly walking away from gas as well. I have ryobi garden stuff and just got 56v ego weed trimmer and leaf blower which are amazing. I have tried the chainsaw that is my next purchase it was so fast and quiet. I wood carve at home and with the battery chainsaw I could carve into the night and not make my neighbors mad as well as take it in the truck for the odd time I need it!
 

Bear in NM

Adventurer
Thanks for this Craig, that’s very pertinent info for my needs in terms of the demands of the double charger on the vehicle’s charging system.

I have 2 odyssey batteries and a high output alternator in the truck, but no inverter or solar yet. I mainly upgrade things as I see a need and haven’t found a real need for an inverter yet, but if/when I do I’ll go 1000 watt pure sine minimum.

If/when I go solar, I likely only have room for a 100 watt panel on the spot I’m planning for on my rack. Little truck + rooftop tent = limited space.

Solar is definitely a need I’m assessing currently because my fridge will run my batteries down as far as I’m comfortable with about every 48 hrs when it’s hot out, then I usually have to break down my tent and drive around for a few hrs which can be a pain in the ass if I’m staying in the same spot for 3 or more days.

As far as the saw goes, I just can’t picture myself ever needing to do that much cutting, even after the snow is gone and there is still a lot of deadfall over trails.

Most of it can be removed with an axe and some gumption if worse comes to worse, at that point I view the saw a luxury that’s needed infrequently. In all honesty, I’ve gotten along fine without it after a couple of decades of using bow saws and axes.

My other thought is I imagine that even full out cutting with the Makita, I’ll likely have about 20 minutes plus of run time off two fully charged 5 ah batts. If I head out with 8 fully charged packs, that’s an hour and a halfish of time to run the saw with no charging.

I then take into account that I can either charge packs while I’m driving after a trail is cleared and I’m back on my way or even let the truck sit idling charging the batteries. I don’t think after considering what you’d mentioned about your solar setup not being able to meet the needs of the double charger I’d consider using the Makita charger unless the truck was running.
Lax,

Even though I have a fair amount of solar, and a reasonable amount of house battery reserve, the e-saw and e-bike were not on my radar until a couple of months ago. I was out for a week up at the ranch last week, and really had the opportunity to "wail" on my system. Up until this trip, with just my fridge and misc. small devices, I could be back at floating before noon, or 10 am. I ran a test with my e-bike charging, and two hours on the makita single for two batteries, and I started before I had full sun. I knew I was going to have full sun, so I tagged my house batteries pretty hard. I put about 45% back in my e-bike (a 60v 32ah battery), and charged two 5ah Makita batteries. My fridge never hit low voltage cutoff, and a few hours in direct sun afterwards got my house batteries looking pretty good. The trick with solar is to charge hard, while you have excess amps during the day. And you do not have to go big inverter for saw charging. Use the double charger on a 750-1000w inverter for an hour, or use the single charger on a 300w inverter for two hours, in my case.

One of the cool features of batteries, solar and toys is that you do not have to optimize everything, all the time. Everything "official" that you read says size the batteries for the toys, and match the solar to this load. But you can get by with less solar, if you have battery reserve. Or vice versa, small battery and big solar, charge during the day when you have solar amp excess. Much like chainsawing v. hand sawing v. hacking with an axe. Choices. If you are limited to 100 watts on the roof of your trailer, you could add a foldable panel to deploy when you need the extra amps. It's much easier and cheaper to add a panel than it is to add more battery, to an existing system. I have a 100w foldable to add to my mix, that I did not test this weekend as part of my shake-down.

back to the thread point, I had a couple of roads to clear besides the main road in, done previously, and probably dispensed with a dozen or more offenders. One or two that were bigger than my saw was "longer". Zero issues, and I ran the two 5ah pack down to about 50%. had the saw broken down in my pack on my back, on my e-bike. I felt so "dirty" afterwards. My Stihl may never talk to me again....But on this property it is not a question of will I need to cut, but how many. I would certainly not go to this much trouble outfitting for e-sawing for the more typical running down remote back country roads, and occasionally hitting a tree across the road.

Craig
 
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