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Venturing into the cordless arena:

With advances in technology, manufacturing, battery charge cycles and duration, it’s time to dip a toe into the battery powered chainsaw market.

Having recently seen and used a battery powered Stihl chainsaw I was super impressed by the power to weight ratio, the ergonomics and the cutting power.

In line with Empire Tree & Garden Services business ethos and guiding principles, and with significant Health & Safety and environmental advantages over 2-stroke machines, where appropriate, ETGS will use battery powered chainsaws.

In a recent example, having a homeowner come out to see how the job was coming along and say:

“...I didn’t think you’d started yet - I haven’t heard any chainsaws…”

And then for them to see that the job was almost complete provided a very clear demonstration of some of the advantages of going battery powered. Other advantages include:

- Zero emissions in sensitive areas (inside commercial buildings with fire suppression systems for example)

- no fuel to purchase, mix and transport

- no risk of pollution spillage

- zero exhaust emissions

- rechargeable from solar PV (which adds even more to the sustainability to this change)

- HSE ‘Buy Quiet’ compliant

- Low vibration

With thanks to Mark & the team at PowerQuip for a speedy order and delivery - Update after 1st day of use:

Full day hedge laying some very long term neglected hazel yesterday - MSA 200CBQ + 2x AP300 battery 14" bar.

1 battery used in the morning, ½ second battery in the afternoon.

The picco micro chain (1.1mm drive link width) provides a very fine cut with low vibration - you barely know you're using it.

It's delicate, precise yet still relatively powerful - albeit without the raw grunt of an XP and this does require some adjustment of bad habits.

Where I might previously have just powered through with a bigger saw, this one keeps you focussed on proper work position and tension / compression in the timber because the minute you get lazy (even with a small stick), you will get the bar pinched.

Noise wise - my colleague was using the MSA 160CBQ with a 12"bar - very quiet (no ear duffs required.)

I was using ear duffs with mine since it was a bit noisier but I put this down to 'newness' but nothing in comparison to a petrol.

The biggest and most noticeable advantage - really surprised how much of an impact NOT having a pull start everytime I needed the saw. Especially for snedding up / hedge laying sort of tasks where the saw is stop / start all the time - just pick it up, press the button and go! Made so much difference to efficiency and work rate.

Time will tell, as it gets more use, how the batteries hold up - with the AP300 at £190 RRP it's no small consideration but if the other tools in the range are as good as this one then I expect to be looking at additions to the range pretty soon and they can be bought 'bare' which is nice.

I can see the battery powered top handle being a joy to use for crown reductions - quiet, easy, no fumes - one thing to watch though - it's very easy to forget to check the chain oil and the saw did seem a bit greedy (maybe newness)

Marks out of 10? Capability and user efficiency - 10/10. You only realise how daft a pull start saw is for frequent use tasks when you don't have to use a pull start saw!

I'll reserve judgement on battery longevity until later but if the batteries hold up I'll be buying further into the range for sure!