BEST BLACK+DECKER CHAINSAWS
BLACK+DECKER has been around for over 100 years. It’s an iconic brand with an unrivaled reputation for reliable, quality tools that don’t break the bank. It has been making electric chainsaws since the 1970s, so the company certainly has plenty of experience!As you might expect, the range is extensive. It incorporates not just the kind of corded and cordless chainsaws everyone recognizes, but also chainsaw loppers and pole saws. Whatever kind of tree clearance or management tasks you have in mind, BLACK+DECKER has a tool for the job. And while electric chainsaws are often seen as less aggressive than their gas counterparts, there’s little the high-performance electric models can’t handle.
BLACK+DECKER Electric Chainsaw, 18-Inch, 15-Amp, Corded (CS1518)
BLACK+DECKER 40V Max Cordless Chainsaw, 12-Inch (LCS1240)
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless Chainsaw, 10-Inch (LCS1020)
BLACK+DECKER Electric Chainsaw, 18-Inch, 15-Amp, Corded (CS1518)
BLACK+DECKER 12 Amp 16 in. Electric Chainsaw (CS1216)
Corded vs. cordless
For some, it’s a straightforward decision. If price is a major factor, then a corded BLACK+DECKER chainsaw is always cheaper, like for like, than its cordless counterpart.
On the other hand, it’s not practical (or safe) to run an extension cable more than 100 feet, so if you need to work farther away than that you need a cordless chainsaw.
Of course, the drawback with cordless is run time. Yes, you can compensate by buying a spare battery, but they aren’t cheap. Also, if you need to work for several hours and don’t have a power source for the charger, one battery may not be enough.
Then there’s the question of power.
Corded chainsaws can run at the same output pretty much all day. You’ll run out of energy before the chainsaw will! Modern lithium-ion batteries don’t have the gradual (and frustrating) power loss that old nickel-cadmium ones had, but when they do go flat, it’s with relatively little warning. The more power you’re using, the faster the drain. Still, if you need a break, a corded chainsaw will help you out!
Attempts at comparison are not made any easier by differences in the way the specifications are presented: corded motors in amps (A) and cordless in volts (V). Direct comparisons aren’t accurate, but the bottom line is that bigger numbers equal more power.
BLACK+DECKER is actually pretty good at matching motor output to bar size (the bar is the thin steel blade the chain runs around), and that gives you a decent measure of each chainsaw’s capabilities. So, you might prefer to think about the jobs you need it to do first, find the right chainsaw, then look at the power source after that. With that in mind, let’s check the aspects that have an impact on your decision
The bar size on BLACK+DECKER chainsaws ranges from 10 to 18 inches, though cordless models don’t go larger than 12 inches. Landscaping experts reckon 16 inches to be the minimum for felling trees of any appreciable size, so smaller models are designed for pruning, trimming, maintenance, and cutting firewood. If you’re struggling to picture the difference, just look at a tape measure and you’ll soon get an idea of what you can expect to cut with each different size tool.
When it comes to cordless performance, BLACK+DECKER says its 40-volt Max chainsaw with its standard 2.0-amp-hour battery can make 60 cuts in 4×4 pine lumber on a single charge.
The trouble is most people don’t use a chainsaw to cut pine lumber! Many of the trees in your yard could be hardwood, and firewood almost always is, so that reduces what it can do. Balanced against that is the fact that you will rarely be cutting anything like that thickness. It’s a very popular chainsaw, so we’re not suggesting that it’s underpowered, but it’s worth reviewing owner feedback to get a real-world indication of its abilities.
All BLACK+DECKER chainsaws have automatic chain oiling, which keeps them cool while working and extends chain life. They also have tool-free tension adjustment (another bonus), and a chain brake, a safety feature that stops the chain from moving even if the trigger is pulled.
With batteries, you have two figures to look at, voltage and ampere-hours (Ah). You can’t do anything about the voltage. A 20-volt battery won’t work on a 40-volt tool, and vice versa. In contrast, the amp-hour rating has a major impact on run time. BLACK+DECKER’s supplied batteries are a modest 2.0 amp-hour, but larger models are available. If you need spares, it’s definitely an area we’d look to maximize.
POLE SAWS AND LOPPERS
Pole saws and loppers are both types of chainsaws, so it’s worth taking a moment to look at them. BLACK+DECKER produces corded and cordless versions of both of these tools. They are somewhat more specialized, but one is invaluable if you have lots of trees to manage.
Pole saws are effectively a small chainsaw on a long pole, designed to work where you otherwise couldn’t reach (you should never use a chainsaw from a ladder). Bars are 8 or 10 inches long, which is an ideal size to remain manageable while still being capable of removing high branches. Reach can be 14 feet or more (depending on how tall you are).
Loppers are a different approach. BLACK+DECKER calls them Alligator Loppers, which gives you a good idea of how they work. Powerful jaws clamp on either side of the branch or log and saw through it as they’re closed, a bit like a giant pair of scissors. Not only are they very efficient, but because the chainsaw part is shielded within the jaws, loppers are safe to use in situations where chainsaws wouldn’t be, like working from a ladder or overhead.
Q. How often will I need to sharpen my chainsaw?
A. It’s really hard to say because it depends on the hardness of the wood you cut (pine cuts way easier than oak, for example) and how often. As a rough guide, it will probably be every five to ten hours of use. You’ll soon know — you’ll get dust or sludge rather than nice clean shavings, and it will feel like the teeth are rubbing rather than cutting. The job will be much easier and faster with a keen blade, so it’s worth taking a little time out to sharpen it. It’s a straightforward task once you get used to it, and it’s really not worth putting off.
Q. What safety gear do I need with my BLACK+DECKER chainsaw?
A. At a minimum, a face shield and gloves (we’ve recommended some favorites above). You should also wear sturdy boots or shoes with good tread so you’ve got a firm footing. Wear long sleeves and pants, even if it’s warm. Your arms and legs will get covered in small cuts if you don’t.
Q. Why are BLACK+DECKER corded chainsaws restricted to 15 amps maximum?
A. It’s not just a BLACK+DECKER thing: all corded chainsaws have that restriction. It’s because 15 amps is the maximum provided by a normal household outlet.