Regular readers will remember that I recently held an exciting showdown between eight battery-powered chainsaws. Today, let’s take an in-depth look at the Dewalt FlexVolt Chainsaw (Model DCCS670). It was one of the two DeWalt chainsaws in the competition, with the other being a 40V Max chainsaw equipped with a 6.0Ah battery. DeWalt’s FlexVolt technology sets it apart, and what better way to put it to the test than by sawing through a pile of logs?
DeWalt DCCS670X1 First Impressions
The most apparent feature of this saw is its FlexVolt technology. For those unfamiliar with it, the FlexVolt system utilizes a specially designed battery that can adjust its voltage between 20V and 60V, depending on the tool’s requirements. However, it’s important to note that DeWalt’s 20V Max batteries are not compatible with FlexVolt tools and cannot be used to power their line of 40V outdoor power supplies.
This DeWalt chainsaw comes equipped with an Oregon 90 chain with 0.043″ thick drive links, similar to most of the chainsaws in the competition.
While some competitors have minimal trigger safety, the Dewalt FlexVolt chainsaw features a mechanical lockout. Additionally, it offers convenient tool-less bar adjustments and a chain brake, which sets it apart from most other saws.
However, it’s worth mentioning that the plastic bucking spikes on this chainsaw are small and can affect its overall performance.
Flexing Some Muscles
To thoroughly assess the feel and performance of the saw, I put it through its paces. As I started cutting wood, I couldn’t help but notice that the FlexVolt handles were remarkably wide compared to the competition. This generous width provides a solid and secure grip, especially with the fully wrapped rubber grip on the rear handle. Individuals with larger hands will surely appreciate the ample gripping surface.
When making vertical cuts in a log, known as a flex grip, you rock or flex the saw slightly back and forth to speed up the cut. This technique relies on the support of bucking spikes, which are designed to grab onto the sides of the log and provide downward leverage. However, the insignificant bucking spikes on the DeWalt FlexVolts can compromise the safety of your leverage.
In terms of grip, the buckling grip is rated good. However, it performs even better in felling grip (the horizontal cut used for felling trees) and is rated very good.
DeWalt FlexVolt Chainsaw Performance
With an average cutting time of 5.93 seconds, the FlexVolt chainsaw was one of the three chainsaws that broke the 6-second barrier when cutting 8-inch pine logs. It ranked third in terms of battery efficiency, with an average of 0.40 cuts per watt-hour. The saw showcased a surprisingly good runtime on its 3.0 Ah tank, thanks to its 60-volt power capacity. The production battery tested was rated at 167 Wh, but the final production model is expected to be larger and possess even higher power.
In terms of design considerations, I noticed that the side cover design allows chips to accumulate above the tension knob, which can cause the saw to jam. This issue affects visibility as sawdust is ejected from the front instead of flowing freely from the bottom. Hopefully, DeWalt will address this concern in future design updates.
FlexVolt 60V Max or 40V Max?
Now the question arises: how does one choose between the FlexVolt line and DeWalt’s 40V line of tools?
First, consider that the FlexVolt line offers a wide range of cordless construction tools. FlexVolt batteries are compatible with DeWalt’s 20V Max line, although it’s important to note that FlexVolt tools cannot be run using 20V Max batteries. While the DeWalt FlexVolt chainsaw outperforms its 40V counterpart in terms of speed, the 40V series is primarily aimed at landscaping professionals. The FlexVolt series, on the other hand, is best suited for homeowners and construction professionals who occasionally tackle jobs on the job site.
It’s worth mentioning that DeWalt has discontinued its line of 40V tools.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, the Dewalt FlexVolt chainsaw, priced at $369, secured the 4th position out of the 8 chainsaws in the showdown. It ranked 3rd in cutting speed and 4th in runtime. While it performs admirably in all the performance tests, it falls just short of claiming the top spot.
The chainsaw offers comfortable and generously sized handles, the easiest tool-less adjustment system, very good coaster brakes for safe and efficient handling, quarter turn oil caps, and a large upper flap that facilitates glove handling. Additionally, it boasts the best oil injection channel compared to other brands tested.
However, there are a few downsides to consider. The closed side cover design can lead to chip buildup above the tension knob, often causing the saw to clog. This design flaw compromises the user’s visibility as chips are sprayed from the front instead of flowing freely from the bottom.
Dewalt FlexVolt Chainsaw Key Features
- Low rebound 16″ Oregon handlebar and chain
- Tool-less chain tensioning and rod tightening knobs
- Automatic oiling system with quarter turn oil cap
- Chain gate
Dewalt FlexVolt Chainsaw Specifications
- Models: DeWalt DCCS670X1 (Kit), DeWalt DCCS670B (Bare)
- Voltage: 60V
- Weight with battery: 12.24 lbs
- Supporting battery: 3.0 Ah
- Battery Watt Hours: 167
- Chain: Oregon 90
- Pole Length: 16″
- Warranty: 3-year limited
- Price: $369 (bare metal)