Today we are going to look at two variations of the same product, the GreenWorks 20292 and 20262 G Max 40v 12 inch cordless chainsaws. This isn’t a chainsaw which belongs in the Paul Bunyan school of wood cutting but is an ideal, portable light duty saw which will take care of many small jobs around the yard.
This is essentially the same saw and the only difference is that the 20292 does not come with a battery and charger so is suitable only for those Greenworks fans who currently own other power tools in the G-Max 40V range.
Check out our review to see what we think.
Performance and Handling
If you have any light cutting to do around the yard, the GreenWorks will take care of it in no time at all. It’s ideal for light pruning and trimming, cleaning up the occasional downed tree and cutting small amounts of firewood. As it has a relatively small blade it is also useful for getting into tight spots and cutting in areas which wouldn’t be possible with larger saws.
As you can take this saw anywhere, it makes an excellent companion on camping trips where you may need to collect some wood for the fire. You could of course take a gas saw but who wants to be mixing gas and oil and then fighting with the starter cord, especially when you are on a weekend break?!
Immediate starting is guaranteed with this saw. Simply press and hold the switch lock, which then allows you to press and hold the trigger switch. The saw will fire into life and you can release the switch lock. To stop the saw just take your hand off the trigger switch.
As this machine doesn’t have a chain break, the chain will continue to turn for a few moments after you release the trigger so you need to take a little care and make sure it has come to a complete stop.
When it comes to performance, the GreenWorks’ power may surprise you. It performs best when cutting small branches and logs and will easily handle anything up to 6 inches in diameter. The manufacturer advises that it is suitable for cutting larger branches and many users have confirmed that this is the case. When cutting wood with a diameter up to 10 - 12 inches, don’t expect gas saw performance. It will take slightly longer to cut wood this thick so a little patience is required.
In summary, don’t expect to be taking down any large trees but the saw is more than capable of dealing with above the ground light cutting work.
Moving on to handling, you will note that this is a light and convenient tool to use. The wrap around front handle allows you to cut at multiple angles and as mentioned above, the 12 inch blade enables you to get into those tight spots for tidier cutting. There are no extension cords to worry about and you won’t have to work in a smog of gas fumes. As mentioned, it is a light saw but at the same time has enough weight to make it stable. All in all, handling this saw is within most people’s capabilities.
The saw comes with a 12 inch bar and chain.
The bar is an Oregon 120SDEA041 Double Guard® 91 Bar With INTENZ™. This is a light, maneuverable bar which can be reversed to extend its life. It has a small radius nose which helps to reduce kickback energies, as well as a non-replaceable nose sprocket. As the bar has a sprocket, you will need to remember to grease the tip of the bar by inserting grease (using a grease syringe) into the nose hole.
The chain is an Oregon 91PJ040X. This is a low profile chain which has a pitch of 3/8”, a gauge of 0.05” and 45 drive links. This is a standard sized chain which has low kickback qualities as defined by the American Standards Institutes’ guideline.
Chain tension should be set properly at all times as failure to do so will lead to performance issues as well as frequent slipping off the bar and possible damage. Setting the tension is pretty simple on the GreenWorks thanks to the large tensioning button on the side of the saw. You just need to remove the battery, loosen the chain cover knob then turn the large tensioning knob clockwise to tighten. You then re-tighten the cover knob.
A chain is properly set if, when cold, if there is no slack on the underside of the guide bar. You should still, however, be able to move the chain round by hand without binding. During operation a warm chain will hang around 1.3mm out of the bar groove. This is perfectly normal but any more than this, especially if the drive links come away from the bar, and it is time to tighten up.
New chains tend to stretch so it is important that you check them frequently in the early days.
Design and Construction
Constructed from hard plastic, the Greenworks 20292/20262 has a simple but effective design.
The battery slots into the battery compartment just above the rear handle and, as it sits in the center of the saw, provides good balance.
The rear handle houses the trigger switch – the trigger lock button is on top of the handle out of view. The rear handle also has a guard which helps to prevent branches and twigs getting tangled and coming into contact with the hand.
The front hand guard is positioned just in front of the forward wraparound handle and on the right hand side of the saw you will see the chain tensioning equipment mentioned above.
The diagram above shows the oil reservoir cap situated on the left hand side of the saw and there is also a transparent window making it very easy to check the oil levels in seconds.
The chainsaw comes assembled, though just check the chain is fitted in the correct direction. A couple of buyers mentioned that the chain had been fitted the wrong way round at the factory. Mistakes do happen but changing it over is pretty straightforward and will only take a few minutes.
This is where the models differ.
The GreenWorks 20292
If you opt for the 292 you will not receive a battery or charger. If you’re buying this you obviously already have existing batteries in the G-Max 40v Li-Ion range which can be used in this saw.
The Greenworks 20262
If you need a battery and charger then you need to opt for this model. It comes with a 40 volt, 2 Amp Hour Lithium-Ion battery. This means that the battery is capable of delivering a load of 2 amps for an hour or 4 amps for half an hour. You can read more about this in our article covering batteries.
The manufacturer advises that you should be able to make around 75 cuts on a single charge but bear in mind this depends on the type and thickness of the wood being cut so this is just an average figure. User feedback suggests you will get anywhere between 30 and 90 minutes of usage depending on the intensity of cutting.
Should you wish to purchase a spare battery and upgrade you can opt for the G-Max 40v 4AH battery which will also fit this saw. Being 4AH, you will get more cutting time, though this may not quite be double what you get with the 2AH version.
Note: You are not able to use other manufacturer’s 40volt batteries in this saw. The G-Max range is designed to take only GreenWorks batteries.
When it comes to charging the battery, the 2AH version will take around 1 hour to fully charge. This compares well to other models, which can take several hours. There is also a trade-off between charging time and amp hours, as the more AH a battery has the longer it will take to charge. Another point worth mentioning is that these batteries don’t have a memory. This means that you do not need to wait until they are fully depleted before recharging.
Chain Oil System
There is a fixed flow automatic oiling system on this model. This means that as soon as the saw starts up, chain oil will automatically get released to the bar. It also means you don’t have to remember to release the oil manually which can be an inconvenience when you are busy cutting.
You do, however, need to add oil to the reservoir. This is done by way of the reservoir cap, shown in the earlier picture. The reservoir itself is 1.8 oz. (50ml), which isn’t particularly large so you should check the oil levels often through the transparent window and refill when necessary.
The company recommends that you use their brand of bar chain oil and lubricant but some buyers pointed out that this is difficult to find and purchase. You can use any good quality bar and chain oil which is readily available in stores or on-line. You should note that no oil is supplied with this product, which is not unusual these days.
A final point on the chain oil system is that a few users mentioned that it leaked oil during storage. I’m afraid this is an issue with most modern day saws and the only difference between them is how much will it leak? This saw doesn’t appear to be overly problematic when compared to other models.
There are a couple of things you can do to alleviate this. First, sometimes you need to release pressure in the oil reservoir by removing then replacing the oil cap. If you plan on storing the chainsaw for any length of time you should wipe it down and then empty the oil reservoir. Then run the saw for a few seconds to get rid of any oil on the bar.
The GreenWorks’ safety features include:
- Reduced kickback bar and low kickback chain to help reduce the likelihood and impact of kickback.
- Front hand guard to protect the user's left hand from hitting the chain if hold on the saw is lost.
- Rear hand guard to protect the right hand from debris and getting tangled in foliage whilst cutting.
- Trigger lock to prevent accidental start-up of the machine.
- Bumper spikes on the front of the saw help to grip the wood for steady cutting.
Without the battery the saw weights around 7.2lbs. A 2AH battery weights 1.5lbs so the overall weight would be 8.7lbs. The 4AH battery is slightly heavier and the operating weight with this would be 9.2lbs.
As you can see this is a reasonably light saw.
The GreenWorks comes with an operator’s manual and scabbard to protect the bar.
If you buy the 20292, you DO NOT get the battery and charger.
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Simple to start
- Excellent saw for light cutting
- Batteries will fit any product in the G-Max 40v platform
- Low price
- Tool-less chain tensioning system
- Not as powerful as a gas chainsaw.
- No chain brake
The ratings for this product are favorable with just under 80% of consumers leaving positive ratings. Those consumers who liked this product were happy with its surprising power, cutting ability and ease of handling. They also liked the tool free chain tensioning and automatic oiling systems.
Negative reviews centered on the fact that the saw cuts quite slowly on thicker branches. This is perhaps a little unfair as some buyers may be comparing it to larger saws. This particular chainsaw is at its best when cutting smaller size wood. Several buyers also mentioned issues with regards to the saws quality and it malfunctioning, although in fairness the company appears to have resolved some of these problems with the buyer.
You should buy this saw if:
- You need a non-gas, portable saw for light cutting duties.
- You have other power tools in the G-Max 40v range.
- You want a saw which is low maintenance and easy to handle
You should not buy this saw if:
- You want more than just an occasional use, light duty saw.
The 20292 (without battery and charger) is currently available at well under $100. If you currently have Greenworks G-Max 40v batteries which can be used, this represents an absolute steal.
If you want the 20262 version with the battery and charger included you will pay an additional $80 or so for the product putting it in the $100 - $200 price bracket. Whilst this is still a good deal, we think there are other competing products which may offer better value for the money, such as the Black and Decker LCS1020 which is around $30 cheaper. CLICK HERE to see this review.