DeWalt 60 volt brushless chainsaw review (DCCS670X1)
Out of the box, I found it impressively powerful and was surprised how long the battery lasts. It's more powerful than any corded electric chainsaw I have used.
But it has it's flaws. Also, it costs a bit more than an equivalent gas powered chainsaw. But the battery power is really convenient - it means not worrying about starting and stopping a gas chainsaw when doing light work like pruning branches, and not getting the cord tangles up with dropped branches like on a corded electric one either.
It has this little safety thing that needs to be pushed down for the trigger to work. This requires quite a bit of force, and I soon developed a numb spot on my thumb from that. It took two weeks for the feeling in my thumb to get back to normal. So I made a wooden wedge to jam in there to permanently force it down.
I have the impression that this saw was particularly prone to the chain coming off of it, especially when dragging it through a pile of branches. I did this to shorten the pieces, so I can pick out kindling, and also make the pile smaller. But dragging a chainsaw through a pile of branches probably encourages the chain to come off.
The chain coming off problem gradually became worse. And every time the chain comes off, it gets some burrs on it from where the sprocket rubs against it, so those need sanding off or the chain won't fit in the slot in the bar. One of many times I dealt with this, I noticed that the screw that holds a washer against the drive sprocket had come completely loose. Even if tightened, it didn't tighten against the washer. The screw is a left-hand thread so it tightens if the screw is held stationary as the saw runs. But the problem is, using it, one tends to stop the saw faster than start it, so just by inertia, the screw works it's way loose eventually.
I added a washer between the screw and the bigger washer on the sprocket so it could at least tighten against it. That improved the chain coming off problem considerably while pulling it through pile of branches, and rarely for regular work.
Attaching the bar is done with a tool-less knob, and another tool-less knob for adjusting chain tension. This is user friendly, but unfortunately the single screw just hand tightened is not enough to rigidly hold the bar, so it always pivots up and down a bit as the saw is used. On proper chainsaw, the bar is rigidly fastened with two nuts which need to be tightened with a wrench.
One time the chain came off, it somehow managed to pry the layers of the chain bar apart at the tip, ruining it. Fortunately, the saw is compatible with most brands of chainsaw bars, so I was able to replace it with a generic chainsaw bar.
I put the slightly longer 18" bar on it from my other chainsaw (the saw comes with a 16" bar) and wanted to show cutting down this tree with it, cutting it very close to the ground so I could drive the mower over the stump. But that other chain and bar didn't work as well as the one that came with it, and I ran out of battery before I got through the tree. The battery wasn't completely full when I started, because I hadn't recharged it since showing dragging it through a pile of branches and having the chain come off.
But under normal circumstances, not making awkward cuts, the battery lasts an impressively long time, comparable with a tank of gas on a gas chainsaw. Enough to turn a 15 cm (6") diameter tree into firewood, But definitely not long enough for cutting logs to boards with an Alaska mill type setup.
Another problem with the saw is that there is a very fine screen where the motor pulls in cooling air. This screen can easily get plugged up with oily wood chips. I don't know if the motor has a thermal shut-off, but regardless, obstructing the cooling air off is bad.
But before I got around to cutting this tree to firewood, I developed some bad bicep tendonitis in both elbows, partially from an injury I got in 2015. To let that recover, I couldn't lift anyting heavy and certainly not use the chainsaw or much in the way of power tools for at least a few months. I don't anticipate building any projects in the near future.
Fortunately, this being an electric chainsaw, Rachel was interested in trying it out, and she cut the tree to firewood. A battery powered chainsaw really is a game changer that way.
Another positive point about the saw is that the two handles are relatively far apart, which means less pulling on the back handle to push the bar into the wood.
And between the time I shot this video and had it ready for publishing, YouTuber AvE has also reviewed this chainsaw, though he tends to focus more on tear-down than actual usage of the saw. It seems he often tears apart and breaks a new tool without actually trying to use it first, but I like his videos.
And for those who might think this review was sponsored, please watch this video.
Brushless DC motor, and a dumb way to drive it (video only)
Movable firewood shed Move firewood without restacking
To my Woodworking website.