EGO 18″ Cordless Chainsaw Sets World Firsts With Outstanding Performance
The EGO 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw isn't just an upgrade over its 16-inch model and adds a few inches to the bar. It touts higher performance, some new world features, and a decent price.
- Excellent chain speed and cutting ability
- LED lights help storm cleanup
- Tool-less chain tensioning and rod access
- metal buckling nail
- Visual cue in red when brakes are engaged
- Great value ($349 kit with 5.0Ah battery)
- no obvious disadvantages
high speed performance
Moving to the 18" rod and chain, my biggest question is about cutting speed and power. The EGO 18 Inch Cordless Chainsaw uses its brushless 56V motor to spin up to 11,000 RPM. Compared to the 6800 RPM of the 16" model, I would expect a faster cut, assuming there is enough power to keep the chain accelerating.
I don't have an EGO 16″ chainsaw handy, but I do have a Milwaukee M18 FUEL chainsaw. With 6600 RPM and 40cc gas engine equivalent power, it is my go-to cordless chainsaw for most of the year. So I brought it made some side-by-side comparisons.
I have cut oak branches in several sizes ranging from 4" to 12" and the increase in speed of the EGO chain has been noticeable from the first cut. With no gas engine to mask other noises, you can hear how fast the chain is going down the bars.
This translates to cutting because the 0.050-inch gauge chain melts through the heartwood of the oak with relative ease. Even when I put some extra weight behind it, the chain slows down but still delivers power. However, you can achieve the best combination of fast cutting and efficient battery use by keeping the motor at high RPM.
Pro Tip: Keeping your chain sharp is critical to getting the best performance from any chainsaw.
In my first couple of clips, I did hear some constant chatter. You really need to start the cut close to the casing, where you can use the saw's metal curved spikes to support a clean start. This allows you to start the cut smoothly and continues to give you a smooth, controlled cutting process.
Comparing cutting performance to Milwaukee's is hardly fair. Like the EGO's 16″, it has lower RPMs, a smaller chain, and a smaller bar. Nonetheless, it does a good job of delivering a lot of torque to keep the saw from stalling. Still, make no mistake about it, the EGO 18 The inch cordless chainsaw is in a different class than other 16 inch cordless chainsaws.
chain tensioning dial
The EGO 18″ Cordless Chainsaw holds two world firsts. One of them is what they call the Automatic Tensioning System. While not fully automatic, it is very easy to use. Turn clockwise to tighten the chain and counterclockwise The chain can be released.
To remove the crossbar and chain, continue turning the turntable counterclockwise. It takes several turns to close completely.
What I really like about this system is that it requires absolutely no tools and the dial is large enough to be operated with bare hands or gloves.
Another world first for the EGO is the LED lights on the front. Most of us don't do much cutting after the sun goes down. It's a whole different story when a hurricane hits our little corner of paradise. Sometimes you need to take a tree off the roof or a car out of the garage, and waiting until morning is not advisable.
My MO is to put on a headlamp and bring in some extra lighting in these scenes. Honestly, I'm kind of spoiled in that department. Keep in mind, though, that EGO is aimed at homeowners on this line. Adding LED lights to a battery-operated chainsaw might not seem like a difficult task, but for someone who doesn't have access to a lot of battery-operated lighting, it can make a huge difference.
The design of the EGO here is well done. Its position directly above the crossbar ensures that it does not cast broad shadows on either side. It's also bright enough to really illuminate your wound and provide some safety lighting as you move around.
The light has a separate power button so you can turn it off when you don't need it.
metal buckling nail
We're seeing fewer and fewer plastic bent spikes on cordless chainsaws, and that's a good thing. Steel like EGO bites bark and wood better and doesn't wear down like plastic.
Visual Chain Brake Assist
There is a pretty standard chain brake in front of the side handle. I say "pretty standard" because there is one key difference from what we usually see – visual indicators. When it's in the braked position, you'll see red when you look down. As a homeowner's chainsaw, I think this is a very useful addition.
Additional Field Notes
I don't have any major complaints about the EGO 18-inch cordless chainsaw, but there is at least one small quirk. When you tension the chain, the saw lies flat on the side of it, not on the other side where you need to oil it. It's not a big deal, just plan to use one hand to steady the saw while pouring water with the other.
This huge step up in performance doesn't come with a huge premium. As a kit with a 5.0Ah battery and charger, it's $349, just $50 more than the 16-inch model.
For comparison, the Milwaukee chainsaw runs $499, and its 12.0Ah battery actually has less capacity than the EGO's 5.0Ah (216 Wh vs. 280 Wh).
If you already have all the EGO 56V batteries you need, you can pick them up bare for $259. It's $329 in Milwaukee.
Balancing all of this with the performance we get, the EGO delivers solid value in this package.
the bottom line
You're in for a winner, because the EGO 18-Inch Cordless Chainsaw offers significant advances in performance and design without breaking your tool budget.
With an 18-inch bar and chain, this model has the potential to be the only chainsaw a homeowner needs for regular maintenance and storm cleanup. There's plenty of power and chain speed to cut through tougher woods, and the 5.0Ah battery gives you a good-sized fuel tank for the job.
Keep an extra battery and chain on hand, until you're ready to move up to farm and ranch classes, I see no reason to need an air saw.
EGO 18″ Cordless Chainsaw Specs
- Model: Yigao CS1800
- Power supply: EGO 56V battery
- Chain pitch: 3/8″
- Chain Gauge: 0.050″
- Bar Size: 14" – 18" (18" included)
- Weight: 9.7 lbs without battery, chain and sheath
- Operating Temperature: 5º – 104ºF
- Warranty: 5 years on the saw, 3 years on the battery
- Price: $349 with 5.0Ah battery, $239 bare