Author Topic: Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500  (Read 835 times)

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Offline Philbert

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Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500
« on: December 11, 2014, 01:34:54 pm »
Oregon released it's 40 Volt, battery powered chainsaw (CS250) a few years ago, equipped with their PowerSharp chain and a built in chain sharpener. A month or so ago, they released a corded electric chainsaw (CS1500), also equipped with the PowerSharp chain and a built in sharpener.  I like electric chainsaws, and have been happy with their battery saw, so I got one and will post some comments here on CR as I try it out.

Background: electric chainsaws are not for everyone or every situation.  They have advantages and disadvantages compared to gas chainsaws and battery chainsaws.  That discussion belongs elsewhere.  It is fair to compare this saw against other electric chainsaws.  I have a few.  Like gas saws, electric saws come in a range of price points and quality; from as low as $40 on sale at discount stores, to more than $500 for certain orange and white models made in Germany.  Again, like gas saws, the size and quality of the saw needs to be matched to the users and the tasks.

Vital Statistics:
- 15 amps, 120 volts, double insulated;
- 18 inch bar (A041 mount);
- 3/8 low profile, .050 gauge, PowerSharp chain (but can be equipped with any standard 3/8 low profile chain with the sharpening stone removed);
- built-in chain sharpener (PowerSharp only); 
- 48.1 fps chain speed (Instruction Manual - differs from website);
- 12.6 pounds with bar and chain (checked);
- tool-less chain tension;
- chain brake;
- $130 - $140 on-line pricing.

Overall, the saw has a solid, quality feel.  Large handles, with rubber or textured grips.  Easy to access bar oil fill cap with visible oil level indicator.  Pretty clean under the clutch cover for easy cleaning.  I am not a big fan of tool-less chain tensioners, but this one felt pretty easy to adjust with bare, clean hands (gloves and oil may change things).  I hope to put it in some wood in the next few days, side-by-side with some other electric saws.

More information from Oregon:  http://www.oregonproducts.com/pro/products/corded/CS1500.htm

Philbert

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Offline Cut4fun .

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Re: Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2014, 02:06:47 pm »
Thanks for sharing this info.

Have you heard anything on their top handle battery saw?  The rep a memeber here told me one was in the works when they sent me that other one to test out 2011 or so.
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Offline Philbert

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Re: Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2014, 02:23:16 pm »
They had a press release on a new battery saw (CS300), due out in Spring 2015. This will use a more efficient, brushless motor for increased power and longer battery life, and come with a slightly longer (16") bar.  Brushless motors are what the high end battery tools all seem to be heading to. 

But I believe that it will still be a rear handled chainsaw.  I have not seen/heard anything officially or unofficially on a top handle saw.  It would make sense for them to look at developing one, but it may not fit into a marketing strategy geared more to high end consumers than pro arborists?  I don't always understand the business case these companies make - I just like to play with the toys!

Philbert

Offline 660magnum

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Re: Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2014, 05:39:43 pm »
Electric model airplane motors started going brushless some 17 years ago. The change over was slow at first because of the much greater cost. But along came the Chinese with their copies and cheaper LiPo batteries and chargers and away they went.

The electric model car, boat, and plane  world is almost completely brushless now. Some electric brushless motors make more power than a 150cc twin engine. This is a hint into the future? We may see large brushless DC chainsaws with Lithium batteries in the future?

I consider the big electric model airplanes to be more dangerous than the gasoline ones. The reason being is that they can start full tilt instantly without warning. The electric motors for their size have more instantaneous torque than a gasoline engine. LiPo batteries are well known to burst into a vigorous flame when being charged improperly. The LiPo battery maintains its charge while setting around unused. It you draw the voltage down too low, the LiPo battery will puff and swell up. They are then no longer any good. 
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Offline Philbert

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Re: Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2014, 08:43:07 pm »
Cut Some Cookies Today

As mentioned, I like electric chainsaws (photos 1,2). I brought the electron group out to breathe and to compare size, design, features, etc.  The Remington (8 amp) is a very lightweight, light duty unit sold as part of a pole saw.  The Sears (12 amp) is almost 25 years old and NLA.  So I only compared cutting with 3, more current models: the Oregon CS1500 (15 amps), a Makita UC4000 (13 amps), and the Oregon CS250 (40 volt).  Each of these has a PowerSharp (3/8 low profile, .050, reduced kickback) chain. I should point out that the Sears originally came equipped with an older version of PowerSharp (a.k.a. 'Barracuda Chain'), and the Makita has been replaced by a newer model (UC4030, 15 amps).

Subjective and informal, totally qualitative testing was done in my secret test facility, hidden in a residential neighborhood, which is fiercely guarded (photo 3).  Temps were 38F. I used Husqvarna winter weight bar oil.  Wood was 4 to 8 inch diameter birch, cut maybe 6 weeks ago, and 7 inch diameter pine, cut maybe 8 months ago, scrounged from neighbors.  Due to recent temperatures, this wood may have still been frozen when cut. You can see my patent pending log mount/test fixture, cleverly camouflaged as a picnic table (photo 4, 5).

I used a 50', 12/3 extension cord, on a 15 amp GFCI protected circuit, to be sure that the saws had plenty of power, and because I was standing in slushy snow.  All of the corded tools are double insulated.

Philbert

Offline Philbert

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Re: Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2014, 09:19:21 pm »
The difference in power and chain speed between the 40 volt battery saw, and the corded electrics was immediately apparent.  While the CS250 was able to cut all of the wood, and certainly offers some convenience being untethered by a cord, it was clearly in another class of saw.  The CS1500 (15 amps, 18" bar) and Makita (13 amps, 16" bar) were very competitive.  Handle spacing was almost identical, except that the Oregon has an angled front/top handle, like Husqvarna saws.  Actual difference in bar length was only 1".

Performance between these 2 saws was also comparable.  I did not do timed tests.  The Makita is maybe 10 years old (a HD rental rescue) with a used PowerSharp chain.  The Oregon is fresh out of the box, with a brand new PowerSharp chain.  So, again, it was not a controlled test.

PowerSharp cuts fairly aggressively, when sharpened (photo 1). Cuts with all 3 saws were very smooth (photo 2).  The PowerSharp chain also noodles well (photo 3)!

There are some objective differences between the corded saws.  The Oregon has a side-winder style motor, and the Makita is an in-line design.  This could affect balance in some situations, and the ability to work in tight spaces (e.g. thick hedges), but was not an issue for this type of cutting.  The Oregon corded saw also has an electric brake: when you release the trigger, the chain stops immediately.  The chain on this Makita coasts, which could be a safety issue.  All 3 saws are equipped with a conventional, lever operated chain brake, similar to those on gas powered chainsaws.

The CS1500 has a surprisingly strong air stream that blows out of the bottom.  I could not figure out where this was coming from at first, but ended up using it to blow off chips.  It also has very large spacing around handles, so that someone with large hands and gloves can easily fit them in there, although, I did not have any trouble grasping either handle with smaller hands.

I am not a big fan of tool-less chain tensioners.  This one was easier to use than several of the others I have tried: a large knob in the center replaces the bar nut, and the large ring on the outside adjusts tension.  I still feel that I can do this more accurately with a screwdriver, and the additional hardware under the cover makes the chain slightly harder to mount.  But this feature is pretty common for a consumer product to remain competitive today.

Bottom line?  I was very impressed with my once-over and this very limited test.  The CS1500 is almost half the price of the Makita (street prices), and cut competitively.  A more objective, quantitative, laboratory test might be to compare it side-by-side with the current (15 amp) Makita model, and with the similarly priced, WORX 15 amp, 18" saw.  But I would feel very comfortable recommending this to a friend.  Equipped with the PowerSharp chain, and the built-in sharpener, this is a good, low maintenance cutting choice, for use in the city, or anywhere near an outlet.

Philbert

Offline 660magnum

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Re: Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2014, 09:30:07 pm »
Good report +1
We should share what we know... someone may learn...
That knowledge can live after us... and that "Pays It Forward".
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Offline Cut4fun .

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Re: Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2014, 09:50:19 pm »
Nice write up and pics.

One thing that caught my eye was the diferent shape of the makita. Does that make for better handling aka feel etc in the hands?
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Offline RoyM

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Re: Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2014, 11:27:10 pm »
I have been told we are not bringing it in for the foreseeable future. We have to place a large order, the marketing guys don't see a big enough market to justify it. We are working on the cordless market, throwing in a free saw with each log splitter purchase.
Old age and treachery always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Philbert

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Re: Oregon Corded Electric Chainsaw CS1500
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2014, 01:07:54 am »
One thing that caught my eye was the diferent shape of the makita. Does that make for better handling aka feel etc in the hands?

I really like the Makita.  I saw that HD was renting them, and figured that they had to hold up.  The slim, in-line design is really nice for working in some thick hedges I have, and is well balanced.  I thought that I would have noticed more of a difference in balance between the two saws, but did not in this application.

I have been told we are not bringing it in for the foreseeable future. . .  the marketing guys don't see a big enough market to justify it. 
Electric saws have gotten a bad rap from the cheap ones sold at home centers.  A lot of people are also afraid that they will cut the cord, even though they don't do this with electric circular saws, reciprocating saws, etc. 

This saw has a lot more power than the battery saws, and sells for much less, due to the cost of the batteries.  Positioned in-between the cheap electrics, and the more expensive STIHL, Husqvarna, and Makita models, we will probably see it sell well in more upscale home centers/hardware stores, on Amazon.com, etc.

Philbert

 

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