The Remington RM1645 Versa 12 Amp 16-Inch Electric Chainsaw has been on the market for a number of years now and is still a popular chainsaw. It has been designed for occasional use and will handle all your light cutting duties around the yard.
Customer feedback is pretty mixed and undoubtedly this saw is not without its faults. There are however plenty of Remington fans who are delighted with product and more than happy to recommend it.
Read this review so that you can make up your own mind.
Performance and Handling
The Remington RM1425 has been designed to carry out a range of light cutting duties including pruning, felling and limbing trees as well as cutting small logs.
Like all electric saws it has a simple, safe starting system. This involves pressing the throttle lockout switch and then the throttle control button which will start the saw. The throttle lock out can then be released. Stopping the saw is simply a case of releasing the throttle control button. The chain will gradually slow to a stop.
There is a soft touch rear grip which helps to reduce vibration and the front wraparound handle enables you to easily cut at different angles. Weighing just over 9 lbs it is a reasonably lightweight saw which most users shouldn’t have any difficulties handling.
With its 16 inch blade, this saw can cut through wood with a diameter of 14 inches in a single pass. It does, however, perform better when cutting wood with a diameter of around 8-9 inches. Users should find that it is capable of dealing with most moderate cutting tasks around the home.
The RM1645 is equipped with a 16 inch low kickback bar and chain.
The chain pitch is 3/8”, the gauge (the drive link’s thickness) 0.05” and it has 56 drive links. This type of chain is one of the most popular types as it offers a nice balance between performance and strength. Some users mentioned that they had difficulties finding a replacement chain for this product. However, the Oregon S56 chain will fit this saw and is available for around $12. The chain speed is around 9 meters per second. Although this isn’t as fast as gas saws or larger electric saws, it is still fast enough to cope with moderate cutting duties.
To ensure performance is maintained, the chain should be kept sharp at all times. You will know
when it starts to dull as the sawdust will become powdery, cutting performance deteriorates and the saw may no longer cut straight. When this happens you have several options. Firstly you can sharpen the chain yourself if you are experienced enough to do this. Should this be the case you will need a 5/32” round file and file holder. Alternatively, you could take it into an authorized dealer to do the job for you although you may find it just as cheap to invest in a new chain. Either way, it will definitely save you money in the long run if you can master the art of sharpening your own chains.
As well as keeping it sharp, the chain also needs to be kept at the correct tension. There are a few points of note here. Firstly, in the early days the chain will stretch more as it ‘beds in’. You will therefore need to check the chain on a regular basis (after as few as 5 cuts if necessary). As you use the saw more often, the tension will need to be checked on a less regular basis (although you should not neglect to do this).
To ensure proper tension, an external adjustment screw is used. A ½ inch wrench is required to loosen the bar nuts and the chain tensioning knob turned to make the appropriate adjustments. This is a very straightforward process which should take only a few minutes.
Design and Construction
The RM1645 has a traditional rear handle design.
On the rear handle you will find the throttle control and lockout switches in close proximity as well as a rear hand guard. There is also a cord hook which prevents the power cable and extension cord becoming detached whilst cutting.
The oil cap is positioned on top of the saw and is fairly large so filling up with oil should be straightforward. Just below the cap is the reservoir window for easy monitoring of oil levels. Also on the right side of the saw you will see the two bar retaining nuts and tensioning knob.
As mentioned earlier, the front handle is a full wraparound and this sits just behind a sturdy, full wrap hand guard. On the front of the saw you will find a set of spiked bumpers (for stable cutting), together with a chain catcher to prevent a slipped or whipping chain from coming into contact with the user.
In terms of construction, the saw is manufactured mainly from plastic and users have highlighted some quality issues. In particular, the sprocket drive gear (which is metal in many saws) is made from plastic and a number of people mentioned that this wears out quite quickly.
Feedback suggests that this is not a particularly robust or durable chainsaw which means it needs to be treated with some care. On a positive note, the saw comes fully assembled so you just need to add bar oil and you are ready to go.
12 Amp Motor
The 12 Amp motor which drives the RM1645, supplies more than enough power to carry out light cutting duties. It is very much middle of the range. For example it has less power than say the Worx WG303.1 or the Makita UC4051A, which both have 16 inch cutting gear but 14.5 Amp engines. On the flipside it has more power than other light cutting saws such as the GreenWorks 20222 which has a 14 inch blade and 9 Amp motor. In terms of horsepower, it will produce around 1.5 HP which is quite respectable for this type of model.
You will need to operate the saw with an extension cord. This should be a cord specifically designed for outdoor use and must also be the correct gauge. The manufacturer recommends that the maximum length of cord should be 50 feet and that this should be at least a 12 gauge (12/3). Although not recommended, quite a few users have used the Remington with a 100 foot extension cord and if you decide to do this you should ensure that you have a 10 gauge (10/3).
Chain Oil System
The RM1645 comes with an automatic fixed flow lubrication system. This means that you don’t need to release oil manually to the cutting equipment, taking all the guesswork out of this task.
You need to ensure that the oil reservoir always has a supply of oil. Running the saw without enough oil risks dulling the chain and will certainly lead to poor cutting performance. You may also notice smoke and guide bar discoloration if not enough oil is getting to the bar.
The oil reservoir has a capacity of 8.8 oz. (262 ml), which is pretty good compared to other saws and means that you will not have to fill up quite as regularly. Oil is added through the cap on the top of the saw (as described earlier).
With regard to the type of oil, there are a number of comments from users advising that only unused motor oil and not bar and chain oil should be used with this saw. This isn’t the case and the manufacturer advises that any standard bar and chain oil can be used. I suspect that this may not have been the case with older models.
Checking the level of oil in your machine can be done through the window (using a flashlight if necessary). When the oil does not fill half the window it is time to top up.
Finally, as with the majority of chainsaw purchases oil is NOT provided so if you don’t have a supply you will need to buy some.
The Remington RM1645 has a number of safety features, including:
• Reduced kickback bar and low kickback chain which meets the ANSI B.175.1 safety standard in this respect.
• Safe starting system – lockout button to prevent accidental starting.
• Chain catcher to protect the user from coming into contact with the chain.
• Front and rear hand guard top protect against flying debris.
• Cord hook to prevent the electricity supply being unexpectedly cut during use.
These features can only protect you so far. Using appropriate safety gear (such as gloves and eyewear) and using the machine correctly will ensure your safety further. The video below provides some excellent safety tips.
Weighing just 9.2lbs, this is lightweight saw which most people should be able to operate.
The saw comes with an operator’s manual and a scabbard to protect the cutting equipment.
• Lightweight and easy to use
• Cuts well
• Reasonably priced
• Some quality issues reported
I’ve read through around 200 reviews online for this chainsaw and overall they are quite disappointing. Around 65% of buyers rated their purchase as either good or excellent and whilst on the face of it this seems reasonable, it falls short in terms of the competition. Over one in every five buyers gave the saw the lowest possible rating.
Buyers like the ease of use, its handling ability and how well it cuts. The main negative comments involved the chainsaw breaking and oil leakage (though in fairness this affects many saws).
Remington RM1645 16 inch 12 Amp Chainsaw Price
This saw is priced at well under a $100. If, like many people, you receive a perfectly good machine this price is very reasonable indeed. Given user feedback, however, it is difficult for me to make a wholehearted recommendation of this product as I believe there are better saws on the market. For around $15 extra you could get the Worx WG303.1, one of the most popular saws in this class. You can check out our review of this product here.
Alternatively, if you are a fan of Remington power tools, click on the link below to check out this product further.