If you’re in the market for an extremely safe, easy to use saw which can take care of all your light cutting and pruning duties, then the Worx WG321 20V Cordless Chainsaw could just be the product you are looking for.
In case you were wondering, the WG321 is basically the same model as the WG320 Jawsaw but with the addition of a pole, which means that the 321 can also be used as a polesaw. In this review we’ll talk about the merits of both saws. Unless I mention otherwise, anything covered in relation to the WG321 is also applicable to the WG320.
Carry on reading to discover more.
Performance and Handling
The WG321 has been designed for cutting and trimming materials with a maximum diameter of 4 inches. Unlike traditional chainsaws, however, it has a blade housing which allows you to make safe cuts on the ground. Try this with a traditional chainsaw and you run the risk of running the blade into the dirt and dulling it in an instant. So, instead of having to lift heavy limbs off the ground and then cut them, this saw will let you get straight on with your cutting.
The saw is ideal for light pruning, cutting kindling and clearing light storm debris. Should you have branches to prune which are out of reach of a normal saw, the WG321 has an extension pole which the manufacturer states increases the reach of the product up to 12 feet. This really depends on how tall you are. The JawSaw itself is just under 3 feet long and the extension pole around 5 feet so the full length is therefore around 8 feet long.
So what is the JawSaw like to handle? Firstly, switching it on is safe and easy. The trigger switch is locked and can only be released by pressing one of two safety lock out switches. Once done you are ready to cut. To switch off you simply need to release the trigger.
In terms of handling the saw itself, most people will have no difficulty whatsoever using it without the pole. As with all chainsaws, kickback can occur but this shouldn’t cause any problems provided the saw is operated in the correct manner and that is using both hands to firmly grip the saw.
With the pole attached, however, the story is slightly different. Pole saws by their nature tend to be top heavy as all the weight is at the end of the pole. As such, you need a reasonable amount of strength to be able to control them and the WG321 is no different. A number users mentioned that they found that on the end of the extension, the saw has an unbalanced feel and is difficult to control. Others mentioned that it was heavy but manageable. The bottom line here is that if you struggle lifting heavy weights, using this model as a pole saw might be beyond your capabilities. If your cutting isn’t particularly high up, however, using the product without the extension won’t be a problem.
The video below shows this saw in action and you can gauge for yourself its handling capabilities.
Clearly one of the main benefits of this saw is that it is battery operated so there are no worries about getting tangled in a cord whilst cutting and you are not restricted to working within distance of a power supply.
The JawSaw is equipped with a 6 inch guide bar and chain. The chain has a ¼” pitch, 0.05” gauge and 42 drive links.
As with other saws the chain tension must be right to ensure that the saw cuts properly. The WG321 has a patented system which means that whilst cutting the proper tension will be correctly set allowing you to move quickly onto the next cut.
You will need to ensure that the tension is set properly before you cut and full instructions are provided on how to do this. A few users thought the instructions with regard to attaching and tensioning the chain were a little hard to comprehend. Fortunately, Worx has produced a video on how to do this, as demonstrated below. As you can see, it isn’t too difficult and once you get the hang of it should only take a few minutes.
As well as keeping the chain tensioned, it will need to be kept sharp. If you are able to do this yourself you will need a 5/32” round file and guide. Alternatively, you could by a new chain, such as the Oregon 25AP Micro-Chisel chain, which costs around $17.
Design and Construction
The WG321 is a solid chainsaw constructed from metal and hard plastic.
As you can see from the diagram above, this isn’t a traditional chainsaw design. The guide bar sits inside two sets of jaw teeth which provide stability when cutting. Access to the chain cover on the side of the saw is by way of a cover nut. A tool is supplied with the saw to enable this to be done.
The image above shows the powerhead unit. It has a half wrap front handle for when it is being used without the pole. As well as this, there is a small oil cap and just below this the reservoir window.
The handle of the pole is shown above. This is identical to the handle on the main saw so the operating procedures are the same. The handle contains the safety lock out button as well as the trigger switch. As you can see the battery unit slots into the bottom of the handle and is not too obtrusive.
Full instructions are provided on how to attach the pole handle to the main saw. A few people mentioned they found this complicated but most didn’t have an issue.
20V Lithium Battery
Plenty of power is available thanks to the 20 volt, 3 Amp hour Lithium-Ion battery.
This size battery is typical of that you will find in a light cutting chainsaw. In very basic terms the voltage gives an indication of the power and the amp hours tells us about runtime. Many larger saws only have 2AH rated batteries so the WG321 scores well here. This battery provides more than sufficient power to carry out its light cutting duties.
In terms of endurance, a single full battery charge will provide around 50 x 2” diameter hardwood cuts or 18 x 4” diameter hardwood cuts. If you are cutting softer woods you will obviously get more cuts than this. User feedback suggests you get around 25-45 minutes cutting time. Using the saw on a pole might be quite tiring so you may be ready
for a break after this. However, if you plan on doing any major work you may wish to think about investing in a spare battery. Unfortunately you can only buy a 1.5AH version (approx. $40) or 2AH version (approx. $50) separately.
Inserting and releasing the battery is straightforward and when it comes to recharging, it will take around 3 hours to get a full charge.
One slightly disappointing note is that the batteries are not interchangeable with other power tools in the Worx 24V range, such as the hedge trimmer and leaf blower. In this respect it falls short in comparison to other brands such as Black and Decker and GreenWorks.
Chain Oil System
Lubricating the chain is essential for ensuring optimum performance and preventing damage. The JawSaw employs an automatic oiling system which removes the need to release oil manually so you can concentrate on the actual cutting.
All you need to do is add any good quality bar and chain oil (preferably vegetable based if you are pruning). This is done through the small oil cap (shown in the ‘Design’ section above). The oil cap is quite small but Worx does supply a small quantity of oil in a bottle with nozzle making this easy.
The oil reservoir has a capacity of 30ml which is on the small side so you will need to keep a close eye on the oil level and always carry a small supply with you. Checking the oil is simple thanks to the transparent window just below the oil cap. The cap itself has a tether so there’s no risk of it rolling away during refills.
As I said earlier in this review, the WG321 is a very safe saw provided it is used properly. The safety lockout buttons prevent accidental start up and the fact that the user is not close to the bar and chain will reduce (although not eliminate entirely) the chances of the operator coming into contact with the chain. As well as this there are guard covers for additional safety.
If being used as a pole saw additional precautions should be taken, such as being aware of where branches are likely to fall and not cutting near power lines. In all cases, suitable protective clothing such as head and eye protection as well as gloves should be worn.
The WG320 (without the pole) weighs 7.9lbs which is very light and probably within the handling capability of most people. The WG321 (with the pole) weighs 11.6lbs. Added to the fact that it will feel heavier as the weight is on the end of a pole, you will need to be reasonably fit and strong to handle this saw on the pole.
The WG321 comes with an oil bottle, operator’s manual and chain adjustment tool.
• Safe chainsaw
• Solid construction
• Automatic lubrication system
• Very light if not using on the pole.
• Not easy to handle on the pole
• Batteries not interchangeable with other Worx products
When looking at consumer ratings it’s worth considering the two products separately.
The WG320 (without the pole) has several hundred reviews on line and the ratings are excellent. Almost 90% of buyers rate the saw as either excellent or good. Buyers like the fact that it cuts well, is extremely easy and safe to operate and is reasonably priced. The unfavorable reviews commented on the fact that it doesn’t have as much power as corded saws (but this is to be expected) and that runtime is quite short.
With regard to the WG321 (with the pole), the reviews are good but not as enthusiastic, with just under 80% of people rating the saw as good or excellent. The main points discussed above also apply to this saw but the main negative was that the saw can be challenging to handle on the end of the pole.
You should buy this saw if:
• You want a safe saw which is easy to operate
• You need a saw for light cutting and pruning duties
• You don’t have access to a power point
• You want a light saw (but not for use on a pole)
You should not buy this saw if:
• You have a lot of high limbing and pruning jobs but struggle with heavy objects
• You need lengthy battery runtime.
Price of Worx WG321 20-V Cordless Chainsaw
The price of both products can be checked out below. Currently available at under $200 we believe this represents good value for the money.