Have you ever had a quote from a gardener to do some tidying up around the yard and thought yikes!? If so, it might be the time to think about investing in a chainsaw and the Worx WG304.1 18-Inch 15 amp electric chainsaw would definitely be a great place to start.
Boasting a powerful 15 amp motor which is capable of handling most cutting jobs around the home and farm, this saw is a step up from many of the smaller electric saws on the market. It’s easy to start, simple to handle and is packed with some great features. In this review, I’ll tell you why this would make a great alternative to a gas powered saw and why it would be an excellent choice for beginners and experienced users alike.
Read on to discover more.
Performance and Handling
Let’s kick off this review by looking at the WG304.1’s capabilities. The manufacturer states that it is ideal for quick, easy jobs around your yard or farm such as cutting firewood, clearing brush, trimming trees and more. Judging by user feedback you can also add felling trees to that list.
You won’t find many more powerful electric saws than this and its cutting range is pretty impressive. You’ll certainly be able to rely upon it to handle all those light and medium sized jobs around your property which you may have been putting off.
With its 18 inch bar and chain, this saw can cut through small and medium sized logs with ease. It will make short work of 12” diameter wood and many users have used it on much larger logs. With this length of bar you should be able to cut through a 16” diameter log in a single pass and user feedback suggests that this is the case.
Based on this, the saw would be an excellent choice if you need to cut firewood, clear some light/medium storm damage or fell medium sized trees. If you have access to a power source, the 304.1 would make an ideal alternative to a smaller gas powered saw, especially if you don’t want all the maintenance hassle which comes with the gas models. If you live in areas where there are high fire-danger season risks, the use of this saw would be an excellent alternative to a gas saw.
In summary, this chainsaw has enough power and cutting ability to handle the majority of tasks a homeowner is likely to require it for. It is more than a match for most electric models and some of the smaller gas saws on the market.
Now that we’ve established that this is a pretty powerful electric saw, let’s consider what it’s like to handle. You might expect that given the 18 inch blade and large motor, operating the saw could be challenging. This isn’t the case. Thanks to its lightweight and balanced design the saw is pretty agile and easy to maneuver. There are bucking spikes to provide stability when cutting and you will find that compared to gas saws, vibration is much less. All this enables the user to get on with the job at hand without tiring too quickly.
Electric saws really come into their own when it comes to starting them up and the WG304.1 is no different. All you need to do is press the ‘lock-off’ button and then the ‘on/off’ switch. The ‘on/off’ switch is kept depressed and the lock button can then be released. This is far easier than mixing gas and oil, priming the carburetor, adjusting chokes and pulling the starter cord. You will also find that this saw stops instantly the trigger switch is released so you don’t have to worry about the motor still running if the saw is dropped. Clearly, if you are carrying out work which requires stopping and starting your machine often, you will find this much more convenient than using a gas saw.
The WG304.1 comes equipped with an Oregon 18 inch reduced kick-back bar, which has a nose sprocket for improved performance.
The chain itself is a 91 Low Profile Chain. It is slightly unusual in that is has 63 links, although it has a more conventional 3/8” pitch and 0.05” gauge. You may be worried that Worx are making up for a lack of power by cutting the number of teeth but this isn’t the case.
Some users have reported having difficulties finding a replacement chain, especially in their local stores, however they can be purchased on-line directly from Oregon. Chain speed plays a part in how well a saw will cut and the WG304.1 turns at 12 meters per second which is very respectable for an electric saw.
When you first start to use the saw you should remember that chains tend to stretch more in the beginning and you will therefore need to keep a close eye on chain tension. Fortunately, this saw incorporates Worx’s patented chain replacement and auto-tensioning system. This is a tool free system comprising of a large knob on the side of the saw which is turned to hold the chain and ensure proper tension during the cutting process. This has the added benefit of preventing over-tensioning, thereby lengthening the life of the bar.
You may find that during the early days, if you don’t stay on top of the chain tension, it will occasionally slip from the bar. Providing you monitor it carefully you shouldn’t have any problems but if for some reason the chain does slip it is simple enough to re-attach it with the tool-free system.
As with all saws, you should ensure that you diligently maintain the bar and chain. This means regularly sharpening the chain, for which you will need a 5/32” file and holder. It is also recommended that you remove the bar on a regular basis to remove any shavings which can get clogged up behind the chain. This will ensure that cutting performance is not impaired.
Design and Construction
The good news is that this saw comes fully assembled which means you could be up and running in next to no time.
If you are used to using expensive gas powered saws you may find the plastic construction of the Worx a little flimsy. There is of course always a trade-off between cost and construction quality and you need to remember that this is a relatively inexpensive saw. On a positive note, the plastic construction helps to keep the weight down and whilst this isn’t the type of power tool you can manhandle, providing you treat it with a little care and attention it won’t cause you any problems.
As you can see from the diagram below, the Worx comes in orange and black. It has a large rubberized rear handle which will provide plenty of grip and comfort during use. There is also a rear hand guard to protect your right hand from twigs and debris. To get to the guide bar you will need to remove the chain cover plate. This is done by turning the auto-tensioning knob (which acts as the locking knob). The half wrap front handle is easy to grip and useful for maneuvering the saw. Just in front of the handle is the front hand guard, which also acts as a chain brake when pushed into a forward position.
The lock off button is positioned on the side of the handle, adjacent to the on/off trigger, making it easy to activate both buttons when starting the saw. The oil filler cap is located on top of the saw and is both easy to unscrew and access. You will also note the oil reservoir has a transparent window which will help you to identify how much oil is left. The power cord is around six inches long and needs to be fitted to an extension cord. Note, there is no locking mechanism on the cord so you will need to tie this and the extension cord off to prevent them coming apart. You can see how this was done in our article on the WG303.1.
A couple of points were made by users about the design and quality.
Firstly, as the underside is not protected, vines and small twigs can be grabbed and pulled into the housing causing some minor scratching. Another user mentioned that the front hand guard/brake is a little close to the front handle and care is needed not to activate the brake.
Apart from these minor issues, users don’t have too many complaints about the design and construction.
With an output of 15 amps, this is one of the most powerful electric saws on the market. According to the manufacturer it can provide a peak of 4 brake horsepower. This is slightly misleading as 15 amps will produce 1,800 watts, which in turn translates into around 2.4 bhp. Nevertheless, this is still impressive for an electric saw and compares with, for example, the Husqvarna 240 gas powered saw. It certainly has enough humph to tackle all the jobs around your home.
You will need an appropriate extension cord to operate the saw and to get the most out of it you should ensure that it has the correct gauge for the length of cord. If, for example, you have a 50 foot cord, it should be at least a 12 gauge. A 10 gauge cord would be even better. You can check out our article here to decide the most appropriate cord.
Unlike gas saws, you will find the WG304.1 to be quiet during operation so you won’t feel guilty about ruining your neighbors’ weekend! You will also find the electric motor is much cleaner than the gas engines, so you won’t have to work with all those unpleasant fumes.
Chain Oil System
The WG 304.1 has an automatic oiling system which will provide constant lubrication to the bar and chain when the saw is being operated. The oil reservoir has a capacity of 6.75 fluid oz., which is 200 ml. As indicated previously, the reservoir has a transparent window to assist with checking the oil levels.
The downside is that there is no way to adjust the rate of flow of oil to the bar and many users have confirmed that it does go through a lot of oil. You will find that the saw does go through a lot of oil initially but after it has been broken in you should get around 15-20 minutes cutting time from a full reservoir. One tip to reduce oil consumption is to regularly clean the inside cover of the saw as often as you can as any accumulated wood chips will absorb the oil in no time.
Another issue reported by a number of users is that it leaks when in storage. Unfortunately, you will find that this is an issue affecting many saws and it is something you need to take into consideration when storing your machine. One way of reducing leakage is to ensure the reservoir is emptied after use.
Filling the oil reservoir is simple, thanks to the easily accessible screw cap on top of the saw. You should ensure that only recommended chainsaw bar and chain oil is used.
One final point, the saw comes with a 5oz bottle of chain oil. This isn’t sufficient to fill the reservoir and you will definitely need to buy more if you intend to do some serious cutting.
All Worx chainsaws have a range of safety features to protect machine and user and the WG304.1 is no different.
To help reduce kickback, the saw has a reduced kick-back guide bar and low kickback chain, which meets the standards imposed by ANSI B175.1. Whilst this doesn’t guarantee that kickback won’t occur, it certainly helps to reduce the impact and likelihood.
Further protection against kickback is provided by the chain brake, which will be deployed if improper contact is made with the wood. Some users have mentioned that the brake can trigger quite easily if the blade bites aggressively. Experienced chainsaw users may find this to be a little annoying but for newer users this isn’t such a bad thing.
Front and rear hand guards protect the hands from debris and issues with the chain coming loose or snapping. There is also a chain catcher on the bottom of the saw which will help protect the hands in the event of chain failure.
In terms of cutting, all metal bumper spikes (also known as dog spikes) are fitted which help keep the saw stable when cutting logs.
Finally, the saw’s lock off button needs to be deployed which helps prevent accidental start-up.
Overall, this is a pretty safe saw to operate, provided you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Weighing 11.2lbs, this is a fairly light for a saw with an 18 inch blade. A comparable gas saw, for example the Husqvarna 445 weighs around 13lbs.
In addition to an operator’s manual, the saw comes with a bar scabbard as well as a quart of chain oil. As I mentioned earlier, this won’t last very long so it is worth getting some more oil at the outset.
• Powerful electric motor
• Excellent cutting power
• Competitively priced
• Easy to start
• Tool-less chain tensioning in seconds
• Lightweight and easy to control
• Quiet during operation
• Not the most solid construction
• Uses a lot of chain oil
Worx WG304.1 15 Amp Chainsaw Consumer Ratings
It’s not an exaggeration to say that consumers love this chainsaw. There are hundreds of reviews on-line and almost 90% of buyers rate this product as either good or excellent.
Buyers love the simplicity of operation, its excellent cutting performance and its versatility. They are also impressed with its competitive price.
On the flipside, buyers point out that it does go through a fair amount of chain oil and precautions need to be taken to prevent oil leaking during storage. Some users also mention that the chain has a tendency to slip so you need to ensure that the chain is properly tensioned.
You should buy this saw if:
• You want an electric saw with the same power as a small gas equivalent.
• You need to carry out some light/medium cutting jobs around your home or farm.
• You are a first time chainsaw user looking for a reliable, easy to start machine.
• You don’t want to spend a great deal of time maintaining the saw.
• You want something which is easy to start.
• You need to work in noise sensitive environments.
• You don’t want to spend a large amount of money.
You should not buy this saw if:
• You don’t have access to a power source.
• You need to carry out regular, heavy duty work.
• You want a robust, sturdy saw and are prepared to spend more money to get one.
Price of the Worx WG304.1 15 Amp Chainsaw
This saw represents a step up from some of the smaller electric chainsaws on the market. At a touch over $100 it represents excellent value for money.