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Showing 1-10 of 159 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 176 reviews
on February 2, 2012
I'm not a big fan of chainsaws: I don't like the noise (whether I'm using one; or I have to listen to the neighbor using one); I don't like the gas and oil mixing; I don't like trying to find non-ethanol gas; I don't like the starter pull-cord; I don't like leaving the chainsaw idling while I'm moving around, and I don't like hand-sharpening oily chains.

The Oregon PowerNow 40 volt chainsaw doesn't have any of the above issues: so I gave it a try ... and I Love it! (Or at least I used to: see update below.)

For me, the best use is cutting up hardwood trees and branches smaller than 6 to 9 inches in diameter. It is most efficient when bucking. When felling, any additional friction on the chain from the weight of the tree tends to eat up the battery a lot faster. But for bucking wood into woodstove-size pieces this tool is the cat's pajamas. And it can be used to fell a few trees on a charge.

The saw weight of 10.5 pounds is reasonable. And the saw really does cut best if you apply no downward pressure and just let the weight of the saw (with sharp chain) cut through the wood. I can sharpen the chain without removing or touching it, just by pulling a lever on the saw for 3-5 seconds while the chain is moving.

I'm sure there will soon be lots of competition in this market, but for now, Oregon PowerNow has a winner on its hands.

Update: after 10 months of ownership I'm knocking one point off my rating because the design of the kickback brake is sensitive to getting messed up by spilled chainbar oil. When you overfill oil, it can run into a recess where the brake lever pivots. This area is not user-serviceable. Enough spilled oil and wood dust and the brake lever won't stay in the run position. Happened to me twice. Fortunately the company serviced it for free. Now I'm really careful not to spill any oil and to keep chain very sharp to reduce dust. But if you cut dead hardwood, there will always be some dust. I've looked at the design of Stihl's cordless saw, and I think they did a better job in this area.

Update 2: after 12 months ownership but only 4 months of use, the brake lever problem appeared for the third time. I can't be without a chainsaw during the winter and was disappointed that a local vendor of this Oregon saw was not allowed do warranty repairs on this saw. So I sent it back to the manufacturer one more time. And am knocking another point off my rating.

This got me moving. I scoped out the Stihl MSA 160 C-BQ battery chainsaw at the local hardware store. It is 50% more expensive, but Stihl sells face-to-face only through dealers with protected territories - and my dealer would also do any warranty (and out of warranty) repairs that might come up. The extra cost got me a battery with almost twice the amps and the saw gives very long run time. If I want an extra battery it is the same cost as Oregon's battery, so points go to Stihl there. I think from now on, my repaired Oregon saw is going to sit on the shelf for backup if/when the Stihl needs to go in for repairs. The Stihl has a narrower chain and handles very easily. And unlike the Oregon, you don't have to rev it to full speed before starting a cut: you can start slow and the Stihl has the moxie to accelerate while cutting.

I don't wish to be off-topic talking about a product that Amazon can't carry, but I do think buyers who experience the brake lever issue need to know about alternatives. At least until Oregon does some kind of re-design on their saw.
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on March 21, 2012
Aloha, I bought this saw because I needed something I could strap to my pack while I mountain bike into the trails that I maintain. I needed portable power. I've used many gas powered saws in the past. They worked great but I always had an oily mess by the time I was done. And yes, each time I loaded up to carry the saw to the next downed tree, I'd have to shut the hot saw down, pack it up, unpack at the next obstacle and restart. Additionally if I (or someone else) inadvertently dumped the chain into the mud/dirt or rock etc. I had to deal with a dull chain for the rest of the day. Well, I actually carried a spare chain with me in the field. Bottom line, I needed to deal with all of this out in the field. Then, when I got home, I spent hours sharpening my chains and cleaning and maintaining the saw so the next I needed it, it would start up and work. Sometimes I'll go months before I needed the saw. Fill the tank, start the saw, make sure it works before I even load it on to my pack. With the battery power, press the battery button to check the charge the night before. Good to go.

I was skeptical because of the battery power. However, I am sold. I bought this saw with a spare battery and have used it a dozen times now within the last month and a half. I have to admit the saw is expensive and a bit heavy (especially when you add the 2nd battery I carry) and that is why I give it 4 stars. I wish I could give it 4.5 stars because it's not that bad. Being able to sharpen in the field and have enough battery power to cut in the field for a 3-4 hour work day is good enough for me.

I fabricated a simple bungee set up to hold the guard on the saw so when I'm riding my bike, the guard doesn't fall off.

When I get home from a trip, I will blow off the saw with compressed air. I will then remove the cover and blow off the dust and then brush and wipe the saw down. Put the cover back on and refill the oil and check chain tension. I hang the saw from the ceiling. Total time of maintenance when I get home is short of 10 minutes. I take the batteries in and charge them so when I need the saw, everything is ready to go.

So yes, pros are immediate start up, not an oily hot mess and auto-sharpening.

Cons include price, weight and lack of ability to run other tools with the same battery. I hope some day soon they come up with grass and hedge trimmers.

I compared this to other brands including the Sthil. The Sthil uses a smaller chain and bar and does not have auto sharpening. Sthil's saw does not come with a battery which must be purchased separately and costs more. The Sthil uses the same battery to power other tools such as grass and hedge trimmers.

Hope this helps.
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on November 4, 2013
I bought this chainsaw for some basic home owner pruning. I own a home on a little over a half acre in the suburbs but have a wide variety of trees from Pines to towering 100ft Oaks. There's always at least one or more tree that needs trimmed back, or downed limbs that need cut up. I've worked with many gas powered saws and really didn't want to go that route for my home saw. The obvious drawbacks were the mixing of oil, maintenance and storage concerns. Although a small two stroke saw or would be adequate for my needs, I strongly preferred a cordless option. At the time, the only two on the market were this saw and the Stihl MSA 160. The Stihl with battery and charge rang up at close to $700 so I wanted to take a closer look at this saw.

Ergonomics
It feels like a regular chainsaw in your hands. The weight balance is good, lighter than a comparable fuel burning saw but easier to maneuver.

Performance
This is where I had to dock the points. The saw cut fairly well thru most woods. However the chain speed was noticeably slower than a fuel burner and it "bit" the wood rather than slicing it at times. Once it started though it typically had the gumption to complete the cut all the way through. It was the starting of the cut that was a little ragged as sometime the blade would bounce on the exterior of the wood as it tried to work into a groove. I did not try cutting anything wider than the blade, its probably doable by cutting from one side and then switching to the other but you'd be awhile.

Features
The built in chain sharpener does actually work as advertised. Its probably not quite as well as sharpening each tooth by hand but it works about 100 times faster!

Overall
I wanted to like this saw but considering the price ($500 at the time) and that its performance does not match a fuel burner half its cost, there are better alternatives. Another drawback is that it does not feature the "tool less" cover removal that many other saws are now offering standard which means you have to tote it around with you if you need to adjust the chain etc. There are now 4 cordless electric chainsaws available in the U.S. market. The aforementioned Stihl MSA 160, the Makita 36v Lithium Ion Chainsaw, the Greenworks 40v Chainsaw and this Oregon 40 volt Max. I've personally used the Stihl and found it to be the superior saw although at a greater cost. If you're looking for a light duty saw I'd recommend either going with an afforable two stroke saw or spending the extra cash to reach for the Stihl MSA 160.
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on October 8, 2012
This saw is suitable for those with occasional chainsaw use, but it doesn't have enough run time for everyday use. Pros: compared to my 46cc gas chainsaw, it's lighter, it cuts just as fast, it has a handy sharpener, it makes far less noise, there is no gas to go bad and clog your engine, there is no need to keep gas on hand in the garage, you can use it when there is a ban on chainsaw use due to extended dry weather (fire conditions), there is no harmful or smelly exhaust. It does cut with the same speed as the 46cc gas saw as long as the chain is sharp and you don't try to force the saw. Let it cut at it's own pace.

Cons: battery lasts about 15 minutes with continuous cutting (of firewood rounds), then takes more than 2 hours to charge. It will not begin charging immediately, because the battery will be hot and need to cool before charging.

My test: 30 foot dry douglas fir previously felled, I was able to cut off all limbs and cut 18 rounds from the top down before the battery was done. That was 15 minutes, and only 2/3 of the tree had been cut into firewood rounds - and that was from thinner part of the tree.

But, if you've ever had to maintain a gas engine that you only use occasionally, then you would realize the advantage of an electric saw. I also have a corded (plug-in) electric saw that works as well as a gas powered saw, if you can work with the shorter bar length and have a place to plug in. If you are always within reach of an electric outlet, a corded saw is cheaper and will work fine. Buy the cordless saw if you can deal with the short run and long recharge times and don't want to hassle with a cord or gas engine.

Just remember that if you intend to clear the neighborhood of downed trees after an ice storm, neither a corded or battery-powered electric saw is going to do it. You'll need a gas powered saw. But I would guess MOST people would be happy with this battery-powered saw for their occasional yard work.
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on February 22, 2012
I am in the process of thinning a couple heavily wooded lots, and, although I've resisted using chain saws in the past, I saw the Oregon saw in a magazine and followed up on Amazon and liked what I saw, so I purchased one. I was motivated by 2 primary reasons: first, the chain is self-sharpening; and, second, it's a cordless, electric model with a 40V lithium-ion battery. The negative was the price, which is a lot more than gas engine models.
I've now used it a lot, and it has exceeded my expectations. The self-sharpening really works, and that's a biggie, because cutting with a dull chain is just no fun, and my prior experience with chain saws was that the chains got dull quickly and, although they can be re-sharpened, it's not much fun. The power and cutting ability is very good. This is not an underpowered, flimsy chain saw. I've cut some very large trees with it, and it's worked like a champ. I think the battery life is good. I say "think," because, when I'm using it, I don't operate it continuously. I'm doing a lot of clearing work of underbrush at the same time, so I'll cut a tree or 3 and then spend a fair amount of time limbing the trees and clearing underbrush and doing other things. So far, I've only run out of battery power once. It seems to re-charge pretty quickly, but I've never actually timed it.
For me, it's a keeper, and I've been very plased with it.
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on October 26, 2014
So far so good! I like this tool. The self-sharpening feature sold me on this over the Makita and Stihl. Also, Oregon has a free 1.25A battery offer until the end of 2014. You get about 1/2 hour of off-and-on cutting with the 1.25A battery, which takes about an hour to recharge. Now, there are two things to think about:

1) It would be great to have a hard case, which Oregon doesn't offer.
2) Get the CS250 chain saw kit WITH THE 4A BATTERY. The kit price for the battery is 1/2 of what you would pay for the 4A battery when purchased by itself.

PS- I have a Stihl gas powered chainsaw. I don't use it enough to keep fresh 2-stroke fuel on hand. Even with new fuel I have had it fail at the worst possible times. Compared to the stink, the noise and the hassle of the gas chainsaw, the Oregon CS250 has been a breath of fresh air - literally.

Again, get the 4A battery in the kit. You'll want it eventually.
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on December 17, 2013
I like everything about this saw with one major exception, and that's the fact that the chain brake gets easily clogged with wood dust which causes it to self engage while cutting. When it first happened I checked the manual, but there's nothing in the owners manual on either this occurring, or how to clean the clogged area. I called Oregon customer service and received an authorization to send the unit back to them for repair, which they did. When I got the saw back, there was no indication as to what they had to do or what needed cleaning, just a "snotty" note telling me to clean the saw. And as previously indicated there's nothing in the owners manual either describing this potential issue or how to address it. It has since happened on two more occasions and I had to figure out what was occurring and what needed to be cleaned on my own...not at all a highlight of customer service.

My view is that Oregon knows that this is both a design flaw and an oversight in the owners manual, but are reluctant to address it, which they should. This is what I think the folks at Oregon should do:
1.) Admit that this is an issue and come up with a correction that they should make available at no charge that addresses the chain brake clogging with wood dust.
2.) Send out an addendum to the owners manual that address what needs to be cleaned when the chain brake starts to self engage, and how to clean it.

I have two batteries for this saw and have no issues at all with the power or it's ability to cut, so if you're considering purchasing this saw, please know that issue will rear its ugly head, and don't expect help from Oregon customer service or the owners manual...it's just not there because I think they are in design denial!
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on January 9, 2016
I've had this chainsaw for 2 years now and since that time I've not used my gas-powered chainsaw once. I can do without a gas-powered saw because I mostly cut down only smaller trees and spend a lot of time cutting limbs, and I use this all for firewood as my primary home heating. I occasionally cut down larger trees and although this will burn through the batteries quickly (I have 2 batteries), I still in this case prefer using this chainsaw to a gas-powered just because of the conveniences that battery power provides. The ability to immediately turn the saw on and off with such ease, the reduced noise, lack of fumes, and reliability is such an incredible improvement over using gas power.

My only complaint is that the tensioning of the chain requires somewhat frequent adjustment (it loosens up pretty frequently), although it's generally not too bad as long as I keep the oil level up and avoid pinching the chain. I'd also like to see longer battery life, though after exhausting 2 batteries, I'm usually about ready for a break anyway. Use of the battery power has forced me to learn how to better use the saw and position the wood such that the work load on the saw is less... there is a lot of skill to doing this (and doing this generally is safer as well) and in fact I built a crib to hold a batch of small trees so I can cut them into firewood very efficiently.
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on January 22, 2012
This saw has performed better than I expected. It's a great saw for limbing fallen trees and for cutting down a tree up to 8" in diameter.

I was able to make one cut through a fallen 14" pine tree on a battery charge to reopen a trail. Cutting took probably twice as long as my Stihl but total time to prepare the saw, make the cut, and put it away were probably about the same. To cut the tree into firewood, I'll use a gas saw. (The problem with a gas saw is knowing when to run it out of gas because it won't be used again for months.)

It's great for limbing trees. I can cut off a few branches and then drag them away in peace and quiet. The PowerNow is my first choice if I have no more than a handful of cuts up to 8" in pine, or 5" in oak.

I like the automatic chain sharpener built into the saw.
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on July 18, 2014
Due to some spinal surgery, I am not able to use a saw with a rope start. The "power now" lithium ion battery is sufficient to produce good speed, and the on-saw sharpening capability works well, and is very convenient. When the chain dulls, it can be sharpened in a few seconds and is ready to go again. It appears to be well built, and is certainly not like the light weight slow speed battery powered saws which I've used before. I was able to fell a 5 inch diameter tree, cut it into 18 inch logs, remove the limbs, and stack the brush all in about 20 minutes. I still had battery power left at the end of the job. THE BATTERY CHARGES QUICKLY,BUT A SECOND BATTERY IS A GOOD OPTION.

The only flaw that I experienced is a chain oil leak caused by breather valve which was not properly installed at the factory. The manufacturer repaired the problem quickly and paid shipping both ways.
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