OREGON is known more for their chains than for their chainsaws but the few chainsaws they make are excellent because of the integrated PowerSharp system integrated with the chainsaw. The OREGON PowerSharp CS1500 is surprisingly cheap in terms of price, not build quality. Aside from being a reliable chainsaw, the easy to use chain sharpener makes this a stand-out above all other brands. This is the same reason it’s my top recommendation for the average homeowner; because the built-in sharpener means you can simply pull the lever a couple times and your chain is automatically sharp. The CS1500 makes it easy for anyone to keep their chain sharp and ultimately, this makes your chainsaw much safer to use.
Table of Contents...
- 0.1 PowerSharp System = Advantage over Competition
- 0.2 The Importance of Having A Sharp Chain?
- 1 Compare ►OREGON CS300 vs CS1400
- 2 OREGON CS1500 Review
PowerSharp System = Advantage over Competition
This simple animation shows how the PowerSharp system works. Pull the lever and activate the sharpener. Simple. Pull the lever two or three times and your chain is sharpened. Voila!
The Importance of Having A Sharp Chain?
If you’re new to chainsaws you might not be aware of some of the subtleties of using a chainsaw. Cutting with a sharp chain is essential to cutting wood safely. You’ll know your chain is dull and needs sharpening when you find yourself putting noticeable pressure on your chainsaw as you attempt to drive the chainsaw into the wood you’re cutting. A sharp chainsaw will easily cut through the wood without any additional pressure. All you have to do is hold the saw steady and it will fall into the wood.
It’s the same difference as when you use a sharp knife to cut a tomato, compared to how you push down on the knife when using a dull knife — It’s always messy as the tomato gets squished more than cut.
A chainsaw adheres to the same laws of physics as a knife and tomato. Other tell-tale signs that your chain is dull is when you begin seeing fine wood dust as your chainsaw cuts through the wood. Fine wood dust is a sign of a dull chain, alongside smaller wood chips. A sharp chain will produce larger wood chips, without dust. Bear these points in mind when cutting. You’ll know because you’ll be able to compare the size of the wood shavings as time goes on and your new chain gets dull.
VIDEO — Compare Dull Chain vs Sharp Chain / Wood Chip Size
The problem with using a dull chain is that it can easily snag in the wood and get stuck. This causes erratic movement from your chainsaw as you compensate and begin moving your chainsaw in strange ways to compensate. This is when kickback can occur, increasing the odds of having an accident. The average homeowner does not know how to sharpen a chain, nor do they want to stop in the middle of cutting only to have to sharpen the chain. It’s not fun, it’s tedious and because of this gap in knowledge, most homeowners end up cutting with a dull chain and this increases the frequency of accidents.
This is why I think the Oregon CS1500 is one of the best electric chainsaws for homeowners, and/or, the Oregon CS300, which is a 40V battery-powered chainsaw. I prefer cordless for the convenience, and I recommend it above the CS1500, but it’s more expensive. Take your pick, either of these Oregon chainsaws will simplify your chainsaw cutting and allow you to work with a sharp chain all of the time.
OREGON PowerSharp Chain System
The PowerSharp system built-in isn’t an insignificant feature. Honestly, this chainsaw is in a league of its own, and that’s not hyperbole. Having said all of that, you can also buy a separate PowerSharp chain for any chainsaw, but you’ll be paying extra. This is still great news no matter what chainsaw brand or model you have, you can still get all of the benefits of of this Oregon innovation.
VIDEO — See How the PowerSharp System Works
Nobody wants to sharpen their chainsaw manually. Do you? Do you know how? It’s not trivial. It’s time consuming and requires some skill. The CS1500 is perfect if you want an easy-to-use chainsaw, with no maintenance.
Oregon released the CS1400 model, which is a paired down version of the CS1500 to cater to people who want to save a little extra money. It does not have the PowerSharp system, but it’s cheaper and has a 16″ bar and chain, making it more compact than the 18″ CS1500.
Compare ►OREGON CS300 vs CS1400
OREGON CS300 — 40V / 16″
The CS300 gives you the best of both worlds. No extension cord to manage as you cut. This is a highly underrated cordless chainsaw and I think the single best chainsaw for homeowners. I truly mean that. If you need to do serious, heavy-duty cutting then you likely need a gas chainsaw, but for everybody else, I would recommend the CS300 for the easiest chainsaw to use.
OREGON CS1400 — 15A / 18″
In all honesty, I don’t know why Oregon sells this chainsaw but it’s a very popular chainsaw. I suspect that because it’s under $100, people on a budget find this an attractive option.But, it does not have the self-sharpening system and therefore has no advantage other than being cheaper in price, but the difference is negligible.
Basically, I don’t recommend buying this chainsaw when you can spend an extra $20 – $30 and get the CS1500, with the built-in PowerSharp system. Many customers mistakenly buy the CS1400 instead of the CS1500. Don’t make that error.
A Note about Chainsaw Safety
Chainsaw safety should always be practiced anytime you go near a chainsaw. Please make sure you wear a certified chainsaw helmet to ensure you’re properly protected and, buy yourself a certified pair of cut resistant chainsaw gloves or a pair of anti-vibration gloves to protect your nervous system from the constant vibration of your chainsaw. Safety is not optional. I don’t want you to be a statistic.
OREGON CS1500 Review
Best Cheap Chainsaw for Homeowners
This is, without a doubt, the most underrated electric chainsaws on the market and Oregon is the most underrated brand. Why? Not only do they make excellent, high-quality chainsaws, but they have their proprietary PowerSharp technology which means it has a built-in lever that enables you to sharpen the chain in seconds by pulling the lever a few times. Bingo! Nobody wants to sharpen their chain, and most people don’t know how to. No need to learn. This solves that problem. Easily, the easiest and best electric chainsaw for light-duty cutting.
VIDEO | A Closer Look at the CS1500
It’s very quiet and perfectly silent in between cuts; when you take your finger off of the trigger. Its 15 Amp motor has ample power to trim branches, cut firewood and fell small trees. Capable of cutting wood up to 16″ in diameter — depending on the hardness of the wood. It’s not particularly fast but if you let the chainsaw do the work and don’t force it, you’ll be very happy with this electric chainsaw.
What is PowerSharp Technology
Oregon CS1500 / Step by Step
The wonderful thing about this electric chainsaw is the built-in sharpening system called PowerSharp. It’s simple to use and it will make your cutting jobs around the house so much easier because you’ll always be cutting with a sharp chain. All you do is pull the lever a few times and within a few seconds your chain will razor sharp. It probably sounds too good to be true but OREGON has its roots in creating easy to use chain sharpening systems and they’ve build their entire company on their expertise on chainsaw chains.
OREGON is the only company that has this technology integrated into their chainsaws and it’s a big advantage over other manufacturers because one of the most important factors in cutting efficiently is having a sharp chain. I know it’s obvious but far too many homeowners don’t understand the importance of keeping their chain sharp. It doesn’t matter how powerful the engine is if you’re cutting with a dull chain.
The OREGON PowerNow CS1500 also has an electric chain brake and a tool-less chain tensioning system. It’s very comfortable to hold with its textured grip and because it’s an electric chainsaw you can run it all day and night if you want to. It’s lightweight as well, allowing you to work no longer with minimum strain on your body.
To be honest, there’s very little to criticize with this electric chainsaw. It’s very easy to use. No maintenance to worry about, unlike gas chainsaws. It starts instantly, it’s quiet, cheap and well-made. I like the fact that it has a “dead man’s switch,” which means the chain stops moving as soon as you release your finger from the trigger pad. And also, it has an extension cord lock which prevent the cord from accidentally detaching. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.
VIDEO : See How Easy it is to Sharpen the Chain with Oregon PowerSharp
Extension Cord for a 15A Electric Chainsaw
With the CS1500 you’ll need either a 12 gauge or a 14 gauge extension cord. It’s a 15 Amp chainsaw so be sure to buy the correct gauge depending on the length of the cord you buy. If the wire in the extension cord isn’t thick enough for the electricity to flow freely, heat will build-up and create a potential fire hazard or blow out the electric motor of your new chainsaw. It’s important to follow the guidelines from the Oregon Manual, which these numbers are from.
|Cord Length||Recommended Extension|
|Under 50 Feet||14 Gauge / AWG|
|50 to 100 Feet||12 Gauge / AWG|
You’ll need a 12 gauge extension cord (at 100 feet) for a 15A Chainsaw
For the price you can’t go wrong with this well-designed electric chainsaw. The overall value is excellent. I highly recommend the OREGON PowerNow CS1500. Put it at the top of your buying list.
► Looking for more chainsaw options? Read our GUIDE on the BEST Chainsaws for Homeowners. Check it out. Our latest recommendations. Plenty of new chainsaws — cordless, corded-electric and gas models.
Husqvarna Forest Technical (Ratchet) / Chainsaw Helmet
Best Chainsaw Helmet for your Safety
Protecting your head and face should be your top priority when powering up your chainsaw. Accidents are called “accidents” because they’re not planned and you don’t know when they’re going to happen, which means you have to be ready for anything. Wear good quality protective gear and your odds of surviving an accident are dramatically increased.
The Husqvarna Technical Forest helmet is an excellent product, engineered to be ultra-comfortable, and it is, and more importantly, will give you full head protection in case the chainsaw were to go towards your head. If you want a consumer helmet then look at our buying guide for chainsaw helmets. Two affordable consumer-grade helmets are: Husqvarna Functional Helmet or the Oregon Protective helmet.
- One Hand Ratchet allows the user to fast and easy adjust the size of the helmet with one hand while
- Free View Visor the unique design provides a fully free vision with the visor in upper position
- Mesh Ventilation System a ventilation system with extra wide holes for comfortable head
- 6-point harness
- UV expire indicator shows the current condition of the helmet and lets you know when it is time to replace it.
- Hearing protectors adjustable vertically
- Reflective areas on all angles of the helmet.
VGO Cut Resistant Chainsaw Gloves / CA9760
High Quality Protective Chainsaw Gloves
VGO makes highly protective gloves that will stop a fast moving chainsaw chain with the many layers of protective material packed into the back of the glove. Many gloves call themselves “chainsaw gloves” but that’s quite misleading for consumers. Don’t be fooled by the name of safety gear. You need to check what it’s certified for and be thorough when looking at what the product is capable of. This pair of VGO gloves are designed to protect you from being cut by the chain but they don’t protect you from the vibrations coming from the chainsaw. There’s a glove for everything, you just need to be clear as to what you want to protect against.
- Premium cow goat leather provides comfort and dexterity for all day wear; textured pvc palm patches
- High visibility stretch spandex back provides exceptionally dexterity and breathability / chainsaw stopper fabric patches inside the back of both hands for extra cut resistance, protection to the en381-7 standard, class 1,20 m/s
- Neoprene cuff and hook and loop closure adjustment ensure firm fitting;
- Precurved fingers for great fit and grip
- Ca65 approved/comply with the reach regulation, ce certified with en388:2122
- Extended cuff to keep the sawdust out
- Professional tested garde chainsaw gloves
If you want a few more options to consider then I suggest these links:
- Powerful gas chainsaws for homeowners
- Small Chainsaws
- Best Chainsaw for the Money
- Oregon PowerNow CS250
- Best Battery Chainsaws
- Homeowner Chainsaws
- Cheap Chainsaws