Saturday, May 23, 2020

Buying a Battery Powered Chainsaw

I looked at this in Sept 2019 and found Top Battery Powered Chainsaws Reviewed which is just a list of ads, but of interest are:
- DeWalt DCCS670X1 60V 3Ah 16" 12.2lbs
- Zombi ZCS5817 58V 4Ah 16" 13.7lbs

Then I found Best Battery-Powered Chainsaw which is a very thorough review from February 2017. It's worth the read even though it's old. Of interest are:
- DeWalt DCCS670X1 60V 3Ah 16" 12.2lbs ($478 on (60 cuts)
- Ego CS1604 ($419 on (90 cuts)

I looked again in May 2020 and found Best Cordless Electric Chainsaws which is a decent review from Jan 2020. Of interest are:
- DeWalt DCCS670X1 60V 3Ah 16" 12.2lbs (43 cuts)
- Stihl MSA 200 C-BQ 36V (108 cuts)

That Sthil is a 14" bar, but the 220 is a 16" bar so, I'm considering the 220 below.

Considering just these three, it's not clear when the model was introduced, when the next model will come on the market, or even if they may change the parts without changing the model number.

As of May 2020 the prices are:
DCCS670X1 $498
DCCS670X1 $479
DCCS670B (no battery/charger) $300
CS1604 $478
MSA 220 C-BQ $490 (no battery)
MSA 220 C-BQ $480 (no battery)
MSA 220 C-BQ $480 (no battery)
MSA 220 C-BQ $900
MSA 220 C-BQ $900

The dealer sites are:
MSA 220 C-BQ

Here's a quick comparison. For the Stihl, the stats are when fitted with the AP 300 battery.

Model                DCCS670X1  CS1604     MSA 220 C-BQ
Bar                  16"        16"        16"
Amp Hour             3.0        5.0        6.0
Voltage              60 V       56 V       36 V
Weight               12.2 lbs   13.6 lbs   10.9 lbs
Motor                Brushless  Brushless  Brushless
Chain Brake          yes        yes        yes
Auto-Oiling          yes        yes        yes
Tool-free tensioning yes        yes        yes
Warranty             3 years    5 years    3 years
Cost                 $500       $480       $900

Regarding date of technology, from we see that Stihl MSA 160 C-BQ is at least as old as April 2016, but on we see the Stihl MSA 160 C-BQ listed as a "Year = 2020" product, and on the Stihl website under technical data it says "The version(s) available in each country may differ from the above range and specifications; specific details may be subject to change without notice". So I conclude that the physical parts may differ within the same product code from year to year.

The two primary technologies are the motor and the battery. You're free to purchase a modern battery against an older motor.

As of May 2020 the prices are:
DCB606 (6.0 Ah battery) $210
DCB606 (2 pack) $300
DCB118 (Charger) $120

So the DeWalt would compare to the Stihl in cuts with at 6.0 Ah battery, but that brings the price to 300 + 210 + 120 = 630. Note that the 3.0 Ah battery that comes with the X1 kit isn't sold separately. Also note that while the kit reviews on are overwhelmingly positive, the recent reviews are all negative, citing the following concerns:
- 3.0 Ah battery discharges quickly
- frequent chain derails
- oil reservoir empties before a single charge of the 9.0 Ah

On the site, the MSA 220 C-BQ is marked as "New" compared to for example the MSA 200 C-BQ. This gives some hope that it was designed with at 6.0 Ah battery in mind and that they didn't bring out a model supporting a 16" bar until they could really support it.

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