REVIEW – We heat our house with wood that I cut off of the local state forest. So, I’m used to chain saws and have two large gas-powered beasts that I use to provide our heat. When the offer to review the Saker mini chainsaw came up, I thought it would be a cute little tool with limited function – I have two big saws, after all! Then, we had an ice storm that brought down tons of small branches in our woodsy backyard – that’s when I realized how useful the Saker mini chainsaw is!
What is it?
The Saker mini chainsaw is a little four inch electric chainsaw powered by a rechargeable 20V battery.
What’s in the box?
- Saker mini chainsaw
- 20V rechargeable battery
- Battery charger
- Small vial of bar oil
- Small wrench and screwdriver for adjusting the chain
- Power: 550W
- Battery: 20V, 1.5Ah
- Bar Length: 4 inches
- Weight: 1.1 Kg, 2.5 lb
Design and features
The Saker mini chainsaw is very comfortable to use and easy to hold with one hand. Operation is simple – push the safety lock button with your thumb, and pull the trigger with your finger (the saw won’t operate with the trigger alone). There is a trigger/hand guard that serves to prevent accidental trigger application, and to protect the knuckles of your “saw hand.”
A wrist strap hangs from the bottom of the handle, which would be really helpful if you’re climbing in a tree or on a ladder. It’s not a variable speed motor, but that’s OK because you usually use a chainsaw at full throttle anyway. The Saker mini chainsaw is designed to be used with one hand, which is helpful given that you’re probably going to be holding the branch you’re cutting with the other. There is a safety guard on the top half of the blade, which is spring loaded and gets pushed out of the way when cutting.
It’s a well-designed and well-balanced tool that is a pleasure to use.
So, back to the ice storm. This ice storm was followed by some strong winds, which brought down a lot of branches. It also brought down an entire lilac bush from my neighbor’s yard into mine. About 90% of all of these branches were under 4 inches in diameter, so I thought this would be a perfect test for the Saker mini chainsaw (one that I was ready for it to quickly fail). Was I ever wrong. The saw has the torque and power to cut through anything its four-inch bar can fit across. And it can do it with some speed! The RPMs are not quite what my big Stihl chainsaw generates, but for something you’re holding with one hand that weighs 2.5 pounds, you don’t want that much speed. To give you an idea, I could cut through a 4-inch piece of green sugar maple in about 15 seconds – plenty fast.
The other area that I thought would frustrate me would be battery life. I was impressed here too. I was able to cut up a pretty sizable pile of wood – all of the wood that fell into my yard – on a single battery charge, with a little left over. This represented about 45 minutes of work.
Using one of my big saws would have been way overkill on all the little stuff that fell into my yard (and much noisier – the Saker is no louder than an electric drill). I could have used a small hand saw or pruners, but that would have made the job take much longer. The Saker was really the perfect tool for that task. I’m looking forward to using it to prune some of my fruit trees, and for throwing it in the truck when I go camping!
I only have three concerns. First, oiling the bar is a manual process. Keeping the bar of any saw oiled is a very important part of safe and efficient operation. On most saws, there’s an oil tank that you fill and that’s about it. With this saw, you have to manually apply oil to the bar. The small vial included did not last very long, and I worry that many users will forget this step, creating premature wear and reduced power.
My second concern is sharpening the chain. Chainsaws need surprisingly frequent sharpening, usually accomplished with a file specific to the size of the chain. The chain on the Saker is very small – so small I’ve never seen a file to fit, and one was not included. So I’m not sure how I’m going to keep it sharp.
My third concern is that the trigger safety button that has to be pushed before the trigger can be pulled is designed for right-handers only. It’s possible to use when the saw is in your left hand, but very awkward. So lefties beware.
What I like
- Compact size, lightweight
- Powerful motor
- Good battery life
- Much quieter than a gas-powered saw
What I’d change
- Trigger safety lock button only works when being used in the right hand – lefties are out of luck. Add another to the other side, please.
- Include a saw file so the chain can be kept sharp
- Include a larger refillable bottle for bar oil
Overall, I’m surprisingly impressed with the Saker mini chainsaw. It’s light, powerful, quiet, and long-lasting, and I keep finding uses for it around the yard and camp!
Where to buy: Saker or Amazon (currently only $39.99)
Source: The sample for this review was provided by SmartSaker
1 thought on “Saker Mini Chainsaw review – lumberjack function, cordless drill package!”
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To hold the switch on the middle finger is needed not the index finger. A bit tiring