When it comes to tough assignments, reviewing the XtremepowerUS 22 inch 45cc Gas Chainsaw was right up there with some of the most difficult reviews I’ve undertaken. People either love or hate this saw and there are so many conflicting opinions about different aspects of the product, it was often difficult to tell fact from fiction.
This definitely isn’t a saw to suit everyone. For every three users who think the saw is great, there is a user who has experienced problems. This suggests that there may be some quality control issues and whilst the majority of buyers are happy with their purchase, the possibility that you may be lumbered with a sub-standard product makes it difficult to whole-heartedly recommend this chainsaw.
That said, the XtremepowerUS does have plenty of good things going for it and if you are an experienced user who knows their way around a chainsaw and is happy making a few adjustments, this saw could offer unbeatable value.
Continue reading to discover more.
Performance and Handling
This chainsaw is designed for light and medium duty cutting and felling tasks, which should make it an ideal gas saw for use around the home and farm.
So, just how well does the XtremepowerUS perform in the field?
In theory, a 22 inch chainsaw should be able to buck logs with diameters up to 20 inches in a single pass and you would expect this saw to be able to perform some reasonably heavy duty cutting. According to the user manual it has a maximum cutting length of 53cm, which is just under 21 inches.
Some users have used it to cut trees with diameters up to 20” but the general consensus is that the saw is a little under-powered, especially as it has a 22” bar and chain. Given the size of engine, I would suggest that a 16-18” bar is more appropriate and that it is better suited to cutting smaller diameter wood, especially when it comes to hardwoods such as cottonwood, walnut and beech.
When it comes to starting and overall performance, my research has indicated a number of issues with the XtremepowerUS.
Firstly, despite having ‘electronic ignition and auto choke for easy start’ many users have found starting the saw to be particularly difficult. A lot of gas powered saws can be hard to start. Sometimes you just need to get to know your saw and will find that after a while and with a little practice you can quickly get the hang of it. However, the sheer volume of complaints about the Xtremepower suggests that this isn’t a particular user friendly saw when it comes to turning it on. The fact that it doesn’t have a primer to feed gas to the carburetor probably doesn’t help. Having read through the user manual instructions, the start-up procedure seems a little bit more complicated than with other gas saws and if you aren’t used to starting this type of machine it could take a little getting used to.
The second major issue appears to be its ability to sustain cutting performance over a long session. Indeed, many users reported that the saw has a tendency to overheat after around 20 minutes and then needs to be left to cool before it will restart again. When it is cold, the saw cuts very well, and many users report that it is excellent when carrying out small jobs. However, if you want to carry out a large cutting project, this saw may give up on you well before the end.
In terms of handling, the saw isn’t overly heavy for a gas powered model, so it should be reasonably maneuverable and not too difficult to control. The 22 inch bar may not be for everyone and there are some reports that when the gas tank is full, performance drops off slightly when the saw is tilted at 45 degrees.
In summary, this saw is not the easiest to start but has decent cutting ability when first being used. After a period of use, however, you may find that it overheats and therefore have to leave it a short while to cool down. This isn’t an issue if you just have a bit of tidying up to do but not so great if you need it for prolonged cutting.
The XtremepowerUS comes equipped with a 22 inch bar and low kickback chain. As I mentioned earlier, it’s unusual to find a bar of this size on a 45cc chainsaw and although it will do a job, a smaller bar might have been better suited to this model.
The bar has a sprocket nose which allows the chain to move more easily round the bar by reducing friction. You will need to remember to grease the tip (as advised in this article), although this is a simple operation and shouldn’t take you more than a few seconds.
In terms of the chain, this has a pitch of 0.325”, a gauge of 0.058” and 86 links. This isn’t the most common type of chain and some buyers mentioned that they had difficulties finding a replacement. However, Oregon produces a chain, reference 21LPX086G which fits this saw and can be purchased for just under $20.
In general, consumers advise that the chain which comes with the saw is of fairly good quality and cuts well. As with all chains, especially at the outset, it will stretch and you need to keep a close eye on tension. A loose chain can easily derail or cause rapid wear to itself and the guide bar.
Full instructions are provided in the user manual about how to fit and tighten the chain. Briefly, this is done by using the tool provided to adjust a chain tensioning screw.
Design and Construction
Constructed from aluminum and hard plastic, this saw has a solid feel. It has been designed to be robust, allowing for its use in extreme environments.
As well as having a handguard, the rear handle has a throttle interlock lever positioned on top of the handle, as well as a throttle trigger. Just in front of the handle, on the right hand side of the power head, there is a throttle lock button and this, together with the trigger and interlock lever are all used as part of the starting process.
Just in front of the rear handle, on the left hand side of the saw, you will find the gas tank filler cap which simply unscrews by hand. This is easily accessible so you won’t have any issues filling your tank. The oil reservoir cap is located at the front of the power head and also has a screw on/off design. This is slightly more difficult to access as it is partially obscured by the front handle but you shouldn’t have too many problems adding your chain oil. Finally on the left hand side of the power head, you will find the plastic starter pull knob.
At the front of the power head you will find the plastic half-wrap handle and front hand guard. Not only does the guard protect the user’s hand but also acts as a chain brake. There are also a set of bumper spikes provided which are attached to the front of the power head unit and help to stabilize the saw during cutting.
The engine cylinder, spark plug and air filter are all accessed by removing the unit cover on top of the powerhead. There is a large button which can be unscrewed by hand to remove the cover which makes accessing this very easy.
Finally, upon receipt you will need to fit the guide bar and chain. The instructions about how to do this aren’t the clearest and may take some figuring out. Certainly, if you are not used to chainsaw constructions you may struggle at first.
First, let’s start with some facts and figures. This saw has a 45cc engine which provides 2.4 bhp. The maximum speed with cutting equipment attached is 12,000 revs per minute (rpm) and the maximum idling speed is 3,400 rpm. The fuel tank capacity is 18.6 fl. Oz. and the saw takes a gas/oil mix in the ratio of 40:1.
This is a pretty powerful engine capable of dealing with most light and medium sized cutting duties. The manufacturer advises that this is one of their EcoBoost engines, designed for lower emissions, improved fuel consumption and more power. The saw is EPA approved (meaning it meets the standards imposed by the American Health Agency).
In terms of the fuel, unleaded gas with a minimum 90 octane should be used, together with a good quality 2-stroke engine oil. This should be used in a ratio of 40:1 so if a liter of gas is used, 25ml of engine oil should be mixed with it.
One of the most important aspects of a properly functioning engine is ensuring that the carburetor is properly set. This is done in the factory but fine tuning may be required depending on your working environment. Instructions on how to do this are provided in the user manual but if you struggle with this sort of thing you may need a professional to look at it.
You will find that when the engine is running, the body and in particular the muffler will get hot. Whilst the front handle is far enough away from the muffler to ensure you don’t get burned, you should still take extra care. Wearing gloves during use will provide you with further protection.
Chain Oil System
The XtremepowerUS chainsaw comes with an automatic chain oiling system which means that you don’t have to remember to release oil manually during operation. You should check that the oiler is working each time before use and the amount of oil being released can be adjusted by turning a screw on the clutch side of the power head. This is a useful feature which allows the amount of oil released to be adjusted depending on the working conditions.
In terms of the type of oil to be used, the manufacturer advises that motor oil (SAE#10~#30) is suitable. For better cutting performance during the seasons, SAE#30~#40 should be used in the summer and SAE#20 in winter. Alternatively, instead of using motor oil a good quality bar and chain oil can be used.
Oil can easily be added to the reservoir, which has a capacity of 8.5 fl. Oz. (250ml). Unfortunately, there is no window on the oil reservoir to easily check oil levels. You should, therefore, keep a close eye on this and check at regular intervals.
The saw has several safety features, including:
• Safety brake. This is activated by inertia in the event of kickback, acting on the weight fitted inside the front guard. The brake can also be operated manually by pushing the guard forward with the left hand.
• Hand guards. Front and rear guards help protect the hands from the chain, debris and from getting entangled with foliage and wood when cutting.
• Bumper spikes. Also known as dog spikes these are fitted to the powerhead to ensure safer cutting.
• The throttle interlock and trigger switches need to be activated together to prevent accidental starting.
The saw weighs around 16lbs, which is normal for a saw in this class. There are lighter gas powered saws available, such as the Husqvarna 240 2HP, so if you have difficulty lifting heavier weights there are alternatives which you can opt for.
As far as size goes, the 22 inch bar makes it a particularly long saw. This is useful for cutting thicker wood but makes the saw less agile and maneuverable.
As well as a scabbard for the guide bar, the saw comes with a user manual, screwdriver, wrench and file for sharpening the chain.
• Good cutting strength.
• Low price
• Powerful engine
• Not the easiest saw to start
• Some reliability issues – performance may deteriorate when hot
• Complicated user manual
Whilst over 70% of buyers rate this saw as either excellent or good, this is disappointing when compared to other saws available.
Consumers like the extremely competitive price, the saw’s power and cutting strength. Many users were also pleased with its performance although it is fair to say that quite a few people complained that the saw often stops working after 20-30 minutes of cutting time and needs to cool down before it can be restarted.
The other main negatives centered on the poor user manual and difficulties starting.
The reviews are a real mixed bag and many things which buyers found to be positive, others found negative (and vice versa). It’s possible that there may be some quality control issues with the saw and some buyers have been unlucky and received a sub-standard product.
You should consider buying this saw if:
• You want an inexpensive gas saw.
• You want it for light/medium cutting jobs around the home
• You are an experienced chainsaw user, comfortable adjusting engines and starting these types of machine.
You should not buy this saw if:
• You want a quality product with guaranteed performance
• This is your first chainsaw
• You have a reasonably large budget
XtremepowerUS 22 inch 45cc Chainsaw Price
At under $150, this is one of the cheapest gas powered chainsaws you will find on the market. This is an excellent price, providing you get a problem free product.