If you only occasionally use a chainsaw—for roughing out a turning blank, cutting tree limbs, or lopping off deck posts—a battery-powered model makes a lot of sense.

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If you cut firewood for heat, a gas-powered chainsaw proves indispensable. But if you only occasionally use a chainsaw—for roughing out a turning blank, cutting tree limbs, or lopping off deck posts—a battery-powered model makes a lot of sense. They cut with respectable power, and you never have to fuss with a gas/oil mix. Plus, no exhaust fumes and low noise levels mean you can use one in your shop. We tested more than a dozen saws, and we recommend those shown here.

Saws that share batteries with your drill

Milwaukee 2727-21HD, 18 volts, $450

800-729-3878, milwaukeetool.com​
(Includes one 12.0-Ah battery and charger)
 Bar length: 16"
Avg. time to cut 10×10 green timber: 14.0 seconds
 Avg. number of crosscuts in 5×5 timber per charge: 120
Why buy: Uses only one (large) battery pack; fast cutting; metal bucking spikes; blade and bar tool stores on the saw.

Makita XCU04Z, 36 volts, $300 (bare)

800-462-5482, makitatools.com
(Two 5.0-Ah batteries and charger, no. BL1850B2DC2, $270)

 Bar length: 16"
 Avg. time to cut 10×10 green timber: 18.5 seconds
 Avg. number of crosscuts in 5×5 timber per charge: 107
Why buy: Tool-free chain and bar adjustments; great balance; metal bucking spikes; and it draws from both battery packs evenly.

Ryobi P549, 18 volts, $200

800-525-2579, ryobitools.com
(Includes one-4.0 Ah battery and charger)

 Bar length: 12"
 Avg. time to cut 10×10 green timber: 46.9 seconds
 Avg. number of crosscuts in 5×5 timber per charge: 21
Why buy: It's not on the level of bigger saws, but it's ideal for cutting up the occasional tree limb or other light-duty work.

Saws using higher-voltage batteries

Stihl MSA 200 C-BQ, 36 volts, $300 (bare)

800-467-8445, stihlusa.com
(6.0-Ah battery, no. AP 300, $180; charger, no. AL 300, $90)

Bar length: 14"
Avg. time to cut 10×10 green timber: 16.3 seconds
Avg. number of crosscuts in 5×5 timber per charge: 144
Why buy: Small, lightweight, tool-free, with the thinnest bar and chain (14 " compared with 38 " for the others); our favorite saw overall.

Ego CS1600, 56 volts, $300

855-346-5656, egopowerplus.com
(Includes one 5.0-Ah battery and charger)

Bar length: 16"
Avg. time to cut 10×10 green timber: 11.6 seconds
Avg. number of crosscuts in 5×5 timber per charge: 170
Why buy: Produced the fastest cut times and second-longest battery run times in our test; tool-free adjustments; soft-start motor.

Husqvarna 120i, 36 volts, $260

800-487-5951, husqvarna.com
(Includes one 4.0-Ah battery and charger)

Bar length: 14"
Avg. time to cut 10×10 green timber: 27.4 seconds
Avg. number of crosscuts in 5×5 timber per charge: 85
Why buy: Compact, light, and well-balanced for a great price; tool-free adjustments; excellent electronic monitoring system protects battery packs.

DeWalt DCCS690X1, 40 volt, $400

800-433-9258, dewalt.com
(Includes one 6.0-Ah battery and charger)

Bar length: 16"
Avg. time to cut 10×10 green timber: 18.4 seconds
Avg. number of crosscuts in 5×5 timber per charge: 168
Why buy: Tool-free adjustments; second-longest run time; low vibration; heavy, but well balanced; has the heft and feel of a gas-powered saw.