GearTools & Tech

A Fume-Free Giant Slayer

Ditching gas from the chainsaw equation never felt so good

The Ego Power+ chainsaw is heavy on the power and light on the unpleasant air pollution. (Photo: Mark Wiens)

When the cool nights of autumn arrive, there are few things I enjoy as much as a big fire. For that I need a substantial amount of timber, which means that I get to partake in another favorite seasonal activity: cutting firewood.

Harvesting your own wood before winter sets in is a blast—great weather, great exercise—except for one thing: the cutting itself can be a pain. Gas-powered saws have temperamental motors and leave you choking on fumes; the old 18-volt cordless variety tended to balk at anything thicker than a baseball bat and had dismal battery life.

That’s why the 56-volt Ego Power+ chainsaw is such a welcome addition to my arsenal. The brushless motor fires up at the flip of a switch and runs more efficiently. I was able to get 40 minutes of hard cutting out of it. (The lithium-ion battery helps, too.) Even if you run it dry, the Ego is ready to go again after half an hour on the charger.

But what makes this saw really stand out is its muscle. It’s the most powerful electric saw on the market. I had no problem using it to cut through four sixteen-inch-thick cedars this summer. In fact, the only thing I miss about my old gas-powered saw is the sound of the engine roaring to life. But that’s easy to forgive once the chips start to fly. $299.

From Outside Magazine, Oct 2014
Filed To: ToolsCampingDesign and Tech
Lead Photo: Mark Wiens