When I was a kid, I lived near the Rocky Mountains in Montana for a few years. One of his closest friends has a sizable family and they took us on a salmon fishing adventure that included sleeping in an honest-to-goodness handmade Native American teepee. This is a great moment. I remember looking at the poles and thinking how many years it must have taken to cut and level all these trees perfectly. Today, I think back on those days and wonder what the look on my dad's friend's face would be if I pulled out a GreenWorks 80V chainsaw and offered to chop off some excess.
Cordless tools aren't just "pretty," they're actually changing the way we think about and do things. Of course, I love the nostalgia of handsaws, axes, and yes, even pneumatic chainsaws that are obnoxiously loud. But could this new tool be the way to make gas engines obsolete for outdoor power equipment? The real test will be runtime and power – and this is where I start with a GreenWorks 80V chainsaw model GCS80420. GreenWorks is calling these new tools their 80V Pro Series. Their focus is to prove to the professional OPE tool user that cordless can compete or even replace air tools in at least some applications.
GreenWorks 80V Chainsaw Features
We reviewed the GreenWorks 40V Brushless Chainsaw last year and it excelled in terms of runtime and power. This new GreenWorks 80V chainsaw also features a DigiPro brushless motor, but it also offers something we've never seen in a cordless saw before: an 18-inch bar and chain. That fact alone is a sort of "disparagement" by GreenWorks of all other cordless chainsaw manufacturers. There's also an electronic chain brake like you'd see on a pneumatic saw and you get real metal aggressive curved spikes on the front to help you get leverage and be very precise Cut wood.
The automatic oiler accepts less than 2 ounces of oil, and you can see the oil level in the provided translucent window, so you'll know when you're running low. If you're anything like me, you'll have a rag around to put under the chainsaw when it's put away. You'll be happy to know that you might actually be comfortable enough with the GreenWorks 80V Chainsaw to just leave it on a shelf or on the floor of your garage without worrying about oil spills. This is a huge advantage over the EGO cordless chainsaw that leaks oil like a sieve.
Ergonomics and Handling
The handle of the wraparound chainsaw is metal, not plastic, and feels solid. In fact, the whole chainsaw feels like a heavy-duty gasoline model. It doesn't feel like an ultralight tree saw. For that, you'll want to stick with a lightweight 12- or 14-inch model that doesn't feel bulky or bulky. It’s not that the GreenWorks 80V saw is oversized or unwieldy, but it feels like a legitimate machine—capable of cutting like any mid-size homeowner saw or small-displacement professional model.
In fact, it feels somewhere between the powerful 40cc model ECHO CS-400 chainsaw and the even more powerful ECHO Timber Wolf CS-590 chainsaw. What is unusual is the connection of the 18" bar to this saw. Normally you would have more power (in terms of engine displacement) with a chainsaw with that length of bar. We were able to easily Guided cutting with great success cutting multiple 16" diameter oak trunks…but more on that later.
Charging the GreenWorks 80V battery
So far, GreenWorks has only 2.0Ah size batteries in the 80V series. Using a battery pack rated at 144Wh (watt hours), an 80V fast charger can charge the battery in about 30 minutes. GreenWorks claims the upcoming 360Wh 5.0 Ah battery will charge in 70 minutes, while the 460Wh 6.4 Ah battery will fully charge in 90 minutes. We bet pros and consumers alike will want to keep at least a couple of battery packs and chargers on hand to keep everything running. However, if you have a small yard and all you care about is the convenience of wireless OPE devices, a fast charger and a couple of 80V battery packs may be enough to keep you going.
In terms of the charging process, there isn't much to report — at least if you've used lithium-ion batteries in the past. The fast charger manages heat by cooling the battery pack with a built-in fan. It doesn't sound too much like a jet engine, but it makes some noise while charging. A single LED lets you know when the battery is charging and when it's done. You can use it as a desktop charger or hang it on the wall. As with all good Li-Ion systems, if you just need to get work done, you can always leave the battery on the charger for 15-20 minutes, then take it out early for that last bit of yard work.
Using the GreenWorks 80V Pro Chainsaw in the Field
My expectations and expectations were that the GreenWorks 80V Pro chainsaw would perform better than its 40V brushless counterpart, but it wasn't good enough. I want to compare more than just power. I want weight, handling, runtime, even ergonomics. We finished our best battery-operated chainsaw article over a year ago, but it's time to bring in some contenders for another round of testing. It also helps me better evaluate GreenWorks 80V chainsaws. I put together an EGO 56V cordless saw, a Black & Decker 40V saw, and of course a GreenWorks 40V DigiPro saw, and am going to test them alongside the 80V model to see how it performs and compare to them. Before we get started, here's a quick view of the features of these chainsaws in the form:
|GreenWorks Professional 80V||Green Engineering 40V||Self 56V||Black & Decker 40V|
|Suggested retail price (kit)||$349||$199||$299||$199|
|bar length||18 inches||16 inches||14 inches||12 inches|
|chain tension||adjusting screw||tool free||tool free||tool free|
|oiling the chain||automatic belt check||automatic belt check||automatic belt check||automatic belt check|
|Battery||2.0 Ah, 144 Wh||4.0 Ah, 146 Wh||2.0 Ah, 112 watts||2.0 Ah, 72 watts|
|charging time||30 minutes||120 minutes||40 minutes||120 minutes|
|Weight (with battery)||14.8 lbs||11.6 lbs||11.1 lbs||8.3 lbs|
|Warranty||4 years||4 years||5 years||1 year|
We've already cut down a bunch of oak trees on a 5 acre property that my extended family owns, so we've piled up a bunch of wood trunks ranging in size from 6" to over 16". We wasted no time and after making a few trial cuts to get a feel for the saw, we started cutting the 16" diameter section of the tree. The first thing I discovered was that the GreenWorks 80V chainsaw works very much like a normal chainsaw – expect a lot of performance from it, but if you push too hard it will bog down. Sure enough, I was too anxious to stop the saw and saw it quickly into a thick trunk.
Starting over, I dug the curved spikes into the trunk and tilted the 18-inch blade downward at a steady pace, letting the sharp blade do the work instead of my arm. The result is a nice, clean cut. The saw feels very controlled – surprisingly well controlled. Noticing this, I tried the next cut – this time, within an inch of the previous cut. The GreenWorks 80V Chainsaw effortlessly plows through wood with the precision of a miter saw…and here comes the fun.
Compared to GreenWorks' 40V DigiPro chainsaw, the new 80V model has about 30% more power and much more cutting capacity on the 18" bar. Another difference is that this new chainsaw feels a lot like the gasoline model. It Starts up almost instantly (as does the 40V DigiPro brushless model).Compared to the 1 second delay of the Black & Decker 40V Max chainsaw, the 80V GreenWorks feels very snappy.
It also has the weight of a real chainsaw, the build quality of a solid model, and premium components like steel curved pegs and a metal wraparound handle that will make you completely forget you're using a cordless model. In fact, this may be one of the downsides. The GreenWorks 80V chainsaw is so much like a gasoline model that a professional may not see the need to risk a replacement. You don't really get a lighter model or necessarily better performance. But, that's what you get . Cordless chainsaws allow you to work more quietly than gasoline models.
Sure, you can still hear chains spinning and logs being felled – but it's a far cry from the roar of a 2-stroke engine (just ask my neighbor). You'll also save yourself the hassle of refueling — at least not with the gasoline/oil mixture. With GreenWorks rapidly bringing the 5 Ah and 6.4 Ah batteries to market this year, run times should be as good as or better than comparable gas models, and at significantly lower operating costs. Finally, you don't have to worry about overwintering. Your tool is ready to use and you don't need to do anything other than keep your blades sharp and make sure you add chain oil.
GreenWorks 80V Chainsaw vs. EGO 56V Chainsaw
The GreenWorks 80V chainsaw is a different story from the EGO 56V chainsaw. We like both saws, beating the EGO 56V for power with the GreenWorks. However, the EGO Chainsaw will run longer – cutting more and allowing you to get more done. We have to admit, though, that the EGO chainsaw looks a bit like a toy. You'll enjoy using it, but it's clearly a different tool. I'd call it the Nissan Leaf of chainsaws. GreenWorks has taken a more traditional approach and produced a saw that Pro users will feel very familiar and comfortable with, offering the same performance as a typical compact gas model.
GreenWorks 80V and Black & Decker 40V Chainsaws
It's not much of a comparison, but it's good for perspective. When you're working with a small chainsaw like the Black & Decker 40V chainsaw, it's obvious that plenty of power is important. The start-up delay of the 40V Max chainsaw was a little disconcerting, which makes the instant power of the GreenWorks 80V model refreshing.
We feel the small Black & Decker 40V saw is great for pruning smaller trees, but it will make you pull your hair out when cutting anything over 12 inches in diameter. You will have to cut very slowly, or be prepared to pause. It's not even in the same class when compared to the GreenWorks 80V chainsaw — and since it's the same price as the much better GreenWorks 40V DigiPro chainsaw, it's hard to recommend.
GreenWorks 80V Chainsaw Specifications
- Model: GCS80420
- Certification: ETL
- steel buckling nail
- chain gate
- Pole Length: 18 inches
- Chain Spacing: 3/8"
- Chain gauge: 0.05 inches
- side chain tension
- Automatic chain and bar oiler
- Translucent tank capacity: 1.9 oz
- wrap around handle
- Battery: 80V 2.0Ah lithium-ion battery 144Wh
- Charger: 80V single port fast charger
I think you can do more with this chainsaw than chop down some teepee pole trees. GreenWorks has really pushed that segment further into the professional market with this cordless OPE tool, and it definitely caught our attention. Unless you really need a 59cc or higher power saw, the GreenWorks 80V chainsaw will be very attractive. It has a lot of power, and the 18" pole isn't just for show – you can literally chop down a ton of trees. GreenWorks definitely has runtime issues, which is probably why they're excited about bringing higher watt-hour batteries to market. If you plan to do a lot of cutting, especially with high torque on large diameter trees, then you're going to need an extra battery or two – at least until the 5.0 Ah and 6.4 Ah batteries become available.
While GreenWorks positions it as a professional saw, there's certainly room for more (hasn't there always been?) – but for now, professionals can certainly find a place for such a saw in their arsenal. Just as professional tree trimmers and arborists use more than one chainsaw for any given job, the expansion of cordless chainsaws to multiple models and applications will be the complete extension of these types of products to the professional market. The essential. Personally, I can't wait!