There’s a saying where I come from that goes along the lines of you get what you pay for and this is certainly the case with the Ego Power+ 14 Inch 56 Volt Chainsaw.
You have possibly heard of EGO but in case you haven’t, here are just a few facts. It is a relatively young company, founded just over 20 years ago. Specializing in cordless technology, today they are one of the world’s largest tool manufacturers, selling over 10 million units each year in 65 countries. If that’s not impressive enough, their battery technology is amongst of the most advanced you will find, which has resulted in impressively reliable and high performing power tools.
Ego tools aren’t cheap and this is also the case with the Ego Power+ chainsaw. However, in this review I’ll tell you exactly why it’s worth spending a few extra bucks to get one of the best products on the market.
Performance and Handling
The Ego Power+ is an occasional use homeowner saw designed for light and medium cutting duties. The aim of the company is to design products with all the benefits of gas without the gas. So has it achieved its aims?
Certainly when it comes to starting the saw there is no contest. All that you need to do is put the chain brake into position, press the lockout switch and then pull the trigger. Within a few seconds you will be up and running, which can’t always be guaranteed with a gas saw.
Stopping the chainsaw is just as easy. All that is required is for the throttle to be released and the chain brake handle pushed into a forward position. The fact that this saw is so easy to stop and start means that it doesn’t always need to be running between cuts.
If you only plan on using the saw a few times each year, this saw has a big advantage over gas. You know that even if it has been sitting in your garage for a while, when you take it out it will start without problem. This is often an issue with gas saws which haven’t been used in a while and which require more maintenance.
When it comes to cutting performance, this saw delivers excellent power for its size thanks to the powerful 56 volt battery, which is in fact one of the most powerful in the industry. The manufacturer advises that it is capable of cutting through logs with a diameter up to 12.5 inches and user feedback seems to confirm that this is the case. Many users have felled and bucked trees up to this diameter, however the saw seems to perform best on limbs up to 8-10” in diameter, which doesn’t use
as much battery life. For this type of work the Ego Power+ holds its own against the gas saw. For more regular heavy duty use, however, a gas saw would be preferable.
When it comes to handling, anyone who is used to operating gas saws will find the Ego Power+ a piece of cake. It is much lighter than a gas saw and users will also find it much quieter. It produces a sound pressure level of around 80 dB(A) at the operator’s ear, which is quiet enough not to cause any hearing issues with prolonged use. There is obviously the advantage that the saw can be used in noise sensitive areas without causing any upset, which may not be the case with gas saws.
Vibration levels on this saw are 5.4 m/s² on the front handle and 4.1 m/s² at the rear handle. Anything below 5 m/s² is considered to be low. At a level of 5.4 m/s², you should be able to safely use the saw for around one and a half hours in every eight hour period to avoid any hand and arm problems, although this depends on your own personal circumstances and any conditions which you might have.
In summary, this is an easy to use saw which is ideal for cutting small trees and limbs around the home. It would therefore be ideal for clearing brush and light storm damage. Not only this, but it would make a suitable gas alternative to put in your camper and take on trips for cutting firewood. As it is pretty lightweight and has a reasonably small bar, it would also be suitable for chainsaw carving.
The Ego Power+ is equipped with a 14 inch Oregon bar and chain which the manufacturer states have been optimized for smooth cuts.
The bar is an Oregon 144MELA041. This has a narrow kerf system which increases cutting efficiency and requires less power from the saw than standard cutting systems. In case you were wondering, the kerf just refers to the width of cut made by the saw. It has a sprocket nose which reduces friction and further improves how well the saw cuts. As with all sprocket nose bars, you will need to ensure that the tip is kept properly greased, which is done by injecting grease into a hole at the tip of the bar. Specialized grease syringes can be purchased for around $10 and will last you quite a while. The bar is reversible, meaning that you can change it around from time to time and extend its life.
The chain is an Oregon 14 inch 90PX052X MicroLite chain, specifically designed for use with narrow kerf bars. It has a 3/8” pitch, a 0.043” gauge (thickness) and 52 drive links. The chain isn’t as thick as the more popular 0.05” gauge saws, which means that it is a little lighter although not quite as strong. The chain speed of 12 m/s is reasonable for an electric saw but not in the same league as gas saws, reinforcing the point that gas saws can deal with heavier duty work.
The chain needs to be kept properly tensioned and this should be checked on a regular basis. A number of users commented that the chain slipped off the bar quite often but this happens with many chainsaws, especially when the chain is new. In the early days you should keep a close eye on this and check the tension every few cuts if necessary.
Should the chain come loose, tightening it up is a piece of cake thanks to the tool-less chain tensioning system. To keep taut, all you need to do is remove the battery, loosen the side cover knob and then turn the chain tensioning knob. This is a very simple procedure which will take you only a few moments.
Design and Construction
The Ego Power+ is a solidly built chainsaw constructed from hard plastic.
The diagram below shows some of the saw’s .features
The trigger switch and lock off buttons are right next to each other and used to get the machine up and running and prevent accidental start up. The oil reservoir cap seals the oil tank and the window provides a view of the oil level.
The unit holder mounting slot guides the battery and the ejection mechanism allows for quick removal. The latch locks the battery in place after it has been inserted into the mounting slot.
There is a half wrap front handle for the left hand and this sits just behind the front hand guard, which also acts as the chain braking mechanism.
The diagram above provides a view of the right side of the chainsaw. As you can see there is a large side cover knob and chain tensioning knob which enables the operator to keep the chain taut without getting out the tool box.
As mentioned, this is a solidly built saw and is therefore pretty robust. It is weather resistant which means that you can still use the saw in a light shower. That said, it is not waterproof and so should not be used in heavy rain conditions. Common sense should be used whenever using these tools in damp conditions as slippery conditions under foot can be extremely dangerous.
56 Volt battery and brushless motor
This product incorporates Ego’s Arc-Lithium Technology. This is designed to dispel heat more quickly from the battery which helps to keep it cool. This can be a problem with some traditional batteries where the cells are close together and can easily overheat, resulting in shut down.
The 56 volt battery is one of the most powerful in the industry and the manufacturer advises that it provides more than 40% more power than 40 volt batteries. This is pretty impressive and certainly makes the Ego Power+ one of the most powerful electric cordless chainsaws out there.
This saw comes with a 2 Amp Hour battery. If volts represents the power, then amp hours reflects stamina. This battery will be able to supply a load of 2 amps for 1 hour, 1 amp for 2 hours, 4 amps for 30 minutes and so on. The higher rated the battery is in terms of amp hours, the longer it will last before requiring recharge. In practical terms, the manufacturer advises that with this battery you will get an average of 100 cuts per charge. This obviously depends on the type and thickness of the wood being cut. User feedback suggest an average of between 25 and 45 minutes of continuous cutting or a couple of hours of intermittent use.
Most users have found the battery to be more than adequate. Others, who have carried out larger projects have either invested in a second battery or bought a 4.0AH or 7.5AH Ego battery, both of which will work with this saw. A 4AH version will provide an average of 220 cuts and a 7.5 AH product 450 cuts. (Manufacturer’s estimate) The downside is that the higher the amp hours the greater the battery weight. Using a larger battery may affect the balance of the saw but the manufacturer states that this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. It should also be pointed out that these batteries are also interchangeable with other tools in Ego’s 56V range.
You may find if working in extremely cold weather that the battery takes a little while to start functioning to maximum potential. The batteries are designed to warm themselves in cold temperatures but if the pack is very cold before use the saw should be used for a light application until it has warmed up. The battery may pulse for a minute or so until it has warmed up and then it should operate normally.
Fitting the battery to the saw is uncomplicated and takes only a few seconds. You simply need to line up the ribs of the battery pack with the mounting slots in the battery port and slide in the battery. Once the latch snaps into place the battery is secured. Unlike other products, Ego’s batteries fit on the outside of the tool and not the inside, which helps to keep it cool during operation.
This product also comes with a battery charger. This will fully charge the battery in around 45 minutes which is excellent compared to some other products which can take hours to charge. Even if the battery dies during use, you can therefore get up and running again fairly quickly.
The Ego Power’s performance is also helped by the brushless motor. This has a light and compact design which helps to reduce vibration and extend the motor’s life. Brushless motors are generally more efficient than their brush counterparts.
Chain Oil System
The chain needs to be kept lubricated at all times to help cutting and prevent damage. The Ego Power+ has an automatic, fixed flow system which means that all you need to worry about is keeping enough oil in the reservoir. Keeping a check on the oil level is easy thanks to the translucent window and when the oil gets down to the minimum mark you know it’s time to refill. If you can’t see oil in the window don’t use the saw.
Topping up the oil is simple thanks to the easily accessible tank cap. One slight irritation that some users mentioned was that there is a screen over the opening which makes the oil go into the saw very slowly and it therefore takes a bit longer to fill the tank. This filter is designed to keep dirt and other foreign objects out of the oil reservoir which can cause damage so perhaps a little patience is worth the extra time it takes to fill up.
The oil reservoir itself has a capacity of 5 oz. (150 ml), which isn’t particularly large so you should always keep a supply of oil handy if you are doing any lengthy jobs. In terms of the oil, you can use any good quality rated bar and chain oil and you should note that NO oil is provided with this purchase.
As happens with a lot of chainsaws, you will find that it does leak oil when not in use. You should therefore give some thought as to where it is stored when you have finished cutting. If being stored for long periods, the manufacturer suggests that the reservoir be emptied and the saw run for a minute to get rid of the oil. This is a little inconvenient but unfortunately seepage is an issue that most chainsaw users experience.
The Ego Power+ has a number of excellent safety features to keep both user and tool safe. These include:
- Chain safety brake. In the event of severe kickback the brake will activate bring the chain to an immediate stop.
- Guide bar with a small radius nose which has less potential for kickback and large radius bars.
- Low kickback chain which meets the kickback performance requirements of ANSI B.175.1, making them the safest type of chain to use.
- Lock out button to prevent accidental starting.
Ego Power+ 14 inch 56V Chainsaw Dimensions
With the battery included, this saw weighs 11.4lbs. This is much lighter than the equivalent gas models and is around the mid-range for a battery powered product.
If you are used to operating power tools or gas machines, you won’t have too many issues with the Ego Power.
This product comes with a battery, battery charger, operator’ manual and a protective cover for the bar.
- Powerful 56 Volt battery
- Fast recharge
- Easy to start and operate
- Excellent cutting ability
- Quiet operation
- Tool-less chain tensioning
- A little pricey
- Care required to prevent oil seepage when in storage
There are almost 400 reviews on line for this chainsaw and it is difficult to find a more highly rated product. Almost 95% of buyers have rated the Ego Power+ as either excellent or good which reflects the excellent quality of the saw.
Buyers enthuse about the saw's power, its ease of use and cutting ability. They are also happy with how quickly you can charge the battery.
The negative reviews focused mainly on oil seepage during storage and the fact that the chain slipped off the bar. Given how few of these reviews there are, it is reasonable to assume that they are isolated incidents.
You should buy this saw if:
- You need a saw for occasional light/medium duty tasks around the home.
- You are looking for an alternative to gas.
- You want a saw which is easy to start and handle.
- You want a portable and reliable saw with excellent cutting ability
- You already have other Ego 56 Volt tools in your collection
You should not buy this saw if:
- You are looking for budget chainsaw.
- You want an ultra-light power tool.
- You have a lot of regular heavy duty cutting.
In the rare event that you have a problem with this chainsaw, Ego provides a limited 5 year warranty for the saw and a limited 3 year warranty for the Ego Power + system battery pack.
Ego Power+ 14 inch 56V Chainsaw Price
This is by no means the cheapest product on the market and is currently available between $200 and $300. It is, however, an excellent quality saw which is built to last. In view of its performance and high consumer satisfaction, we believe this represents excellent value for money.