What is a Brushless Chainsaw? (Everything You Need to Know)

what is a brushless chainsaw (featured image)

A cordless electric chainsaw powered by a brushless motor is called a “brushless chainsaw”. Brushless motors are an upgrade over brushed motors. They offer better efficiency, durability, control, and precision. But these features come at a higher cost.

Hi! I’m Sam, and I have over two decades of experience working with chainsaws.

I’ve seen the evolution of chainsaws, and I can say that brushless motors have truly revolutionized the industry.

So, what exactly makes a brushless chainsaw special?

Let’s dig deeper into its features and benefits!

What is a Brushless Motor?

In simpler motors, a brushless motor is a special kind of motor that doesn’t need brushes to work.

Instead of using carbon brushes (like older motors), it relies on magnets and electricity to make things go round and round!

In a brushless motor, there are mainly 2 parts: 👇

  • Stator: It’s the outer part of the motor that contains coils of wire. It doesn’t move. 
  • Rotor: It’s the part that does all the spinning. It’s located inside the stator (and is connected to the thing you want to move, like a fan or a wheel).

The basic principle behind a brushless motor is that when electricity passes through the stator, it creates a magnetic field.

The rotor has magnets on it, and these magnets are attracted to the magnetic field. This magnetic attraction & repulsion between the stator and magnets make the rotor spin.

Pretty cool, right?

If you want to learn more about the science behind brushless motors, check out this article by Renesas.

Brushless VS Brushed Motors: Differences

Here’s a table of differences between brushless and brushed motors: 👇

Brushless MotorBrushed Motor
Brushless motors don't have brushes; they use magnets to create a magnetic field and make the rotor spin.Brushed motors use electric brushes to transfer electricity and make the motor spin.
Brushless motors are more efficient and last longer.Brushed motors are less efficient and the brushes can wear out faster due to “non-stop” rubbing!
Brushless motors need less maintenance.Brushed motors may need regular maintenance to replace worn-out brushes.
Brushless motors can be smaller & lighter while delivering the same power.Brushed motors tend to be bigger & heavier for the same power.
Brushless motors offer more precise control and better performance.Brushed motors may have slightly less precise control over speed and power.
Brushless motors are quieter (as there's no brushing noise).They can be noisier due to the brush friction.
Brushless motors are usually more expensive!Brushed motors are generally cheaper.
Used in modern gadgets, drones, electric tools, and more.Found in toys, cranes, windshields, and other small applications.

Are Brushless Chainsaws Better?

Yes, brushless chainsaws are a huge upgrade from their traditional counterparts.

Here are 5 reasons why: 👇

Increased Power Efficiency

Brushless chainsaws offer better power efficiency since there’s no energy loss due to friction (like in brushed motors).

This means you get more power for the same amount of energy, which translates into better battery life!

On average, you can expect a brushless chainsaw to last up to 50% longer than a model with a brushed motor.

Less Maintenance Required

YES! Brushless motors require way less maintenance than brushed motors.

This is because they don’t have those carbon brushes that wear out with use and need regular replacement.

In fact, brushless motors have a longer lifespan since there’s no physical contact, causing wear and tear.

Plus, no brush friction = less heat generated (which further increases its longevity).

More Control & Precision

The BEST part about a brushless motor is that it can adjust its speed, torque, and power output according to the task at hand.

In other words, it’s “smart” enough to match the exact power level needed for a particular job.

For example, if you’re cutting through lightwood, a brushless chainsaw will sense that and deliver the right amount of power needed. (No wasted energy = more efficiency!)

But a chainsaw with a brushed motor will always run at the same speed no matter what, so it’s not as versatile or efficient.

Quieter Operation

If you run a brushed and a brushless chainsaw side by side, the first difference you’ll notice is the noise level!

Brushless chainsaws are generally 20-30% quieter because they don’t have any brushes rubbing against anything.

Smaller & Lighter

That’s not all!

Brushless motors are also smaller and lighter compared to brushed motors, which brings down the weight and size of the saw. 

A smaller, lighter saw means less fatigue and easier handling.

Are Brushless Chainsaws More Expensive?

In general, brushless chainsaws are more expensive than those with brushed motors!

For instance, when I checked, a brushed 20V 12-inch cordless chainsaw from HART cost $140 (Walmart), while a brushless model with the same specs from DEWALT costs $170 (Amazon).

So YES, you’ll pay more upfront for a brushless chainsaw.

But are brushless chainsaws worth it?

YES, brushless chainsaws are definitely worth the extra cost! You get better efficiency, improved performance, more control, and quieter operation.

Plus, you’ll also save on maintenance costs. (No more replacing those carbon brushes!)

Are All Cordless Chainsaws Brushless?

Almost 95% of the cordless electric chainsaws you’ll find on the market today use brushless motors. (It’s not surprising why!)

In the remaining 5%, you might stumble upon some Chinese brands that still sell chainsaws with brushed motors (typically at a lower price!).

And to be honest:

These brushed chainsaws can still get the job done (for occasional or lighter-duty tasks), but they might not be as efficient or long-lasting as the brushless ones.

Best Brushless Chainsaws That I've Tried:

I’ve tried dozens of cordless chainsaws over the years; almost all were brushless. 

Here are my TOP 3 picks: 👇

Echo CCS-58V4AH

A picture of ECHO CCS-58V4AH.


  • Automatic oiler (of course!).
  • Superb cutting speed & power.
  • Top-notch battery life.
  • It takes only 70 minutes to charge the battery fully.


  • A bit on the heavier side (14.6 lbs with the battery attached).
  • Expensive!
  • Despite having a brushless motor, it’s not as quiet as some other models.

The Echo CCS-58V4 is my personal favorite because of its impressive cutting power. I mostly use it for hardwood, and it has never let me down! 

Just to give you an idea of how powerful it is, this thing can slice through a 12″ honey locust tree in less than 14 seconds.

The battery life is also excellent; when used on hardwood, it can last for about 8 minutes of “non-stop” torture and more than 32 passes (on a 12″ honey locust tree) on a single charge. (Check it out here!)

Dewalt DCCS670T1

A picture of DEWALT DCCS670T1.


  • A bit on the lighter side compared to the Echo (12.6 lbs with the battery attached).
  • Affordable.
  • Battery life is not that good, but it’s cutting speed & power make up for that!
  • No trigger delay.


  • It takes more than 140 minutes to charge the 60V battery fully.
  • I used to get only 6 minutes of run time on a single charge when cutting hardwood (without stopping).

The DEWALT DCCS670T1 is also a great deal! It’s priced under $350. (Check the latest price on Amazon!)

It’s loaded with features (tool-free chain tensioning & bar tightening knob, auto oiling, low kickback chain, etc).

Husqvarna 120i - The Budget Pick!

A picture of HUSQVARNA 120i.


  • Budget-friendly!
  • Lightweight (10.8 lbs with the 40V battery attached).).
  • Longer battery runtime than the Dewalt!
  • Very quiet!


  • Charging time is not great.
  • It’s not as powerful as either of the two above!

The Husqvarna 120i is my go-to budget-friendly brushless chainsaw. It’s an excellent option for smaller jobs. You can get it for less than $200. (Check its latest price on Amazon)

The only downside I found was its long charging time! It takes about 90 minutes to fully charge the 40V battery.

Samuel Anali

Hey there! My name is Sam, and I'm the NERD behind this site. I'm an avid chainsaw enthusiast, and I've been tinkering with them since I was 17 (it's almost 20 years now!).

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