Canadian Woodworking

CAT 60V 16" brushless cordless chainsaw 

An ideal tool around the home and in residential areas for applications such as pruning, general maintenance and cutting down of most types of trees.

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An ideal tool around the home and in residential areas for applications such as pruning, general maintenance and cutting down of most types of trees.

Author: Chad Martin

A while back I reviewed the CAT 60V 21″ Lawnmower that gave me a solid perspective on what this new line of battery powered tools from CAT were capable of. As I opened the box to unveil the CAT 60V 16″ Brushless Chainsaw, I was very happy to see the care and thought put into the packaging. I knew right away that this was likely going to be a tool I would really enjoy working with.

COMPANY: Caterpillar Inc
MODELDG630
PRICE: $279.99
MADE IN: Overseas
SOURCE: lowes.com; amazon.ca

KEY FEATURES:

Motor: Brushless
Battery platform: 60V, 2.5 Ah
Bar Length: 16″
Oiler: Automatic
Chain Tension: Toolless
Chain Pitch: 3/8″ LP
Chain Speed: 21 meters/sec (68.9 feet/sec)
Weight: 13.1 lbs with battery installed
Includes: 2.5Ah battery, DG6C3 3A charger, blade sheath

You may ask yourself, why would I start off a review talking about packaging, but it’s because packaging is always something manufacturers have slowly whittled away at to reduce costs. With that attitude product damage goes up and consumer satisfaction goes down. But CAT doesn’t disappoint in this area. For both the CAT 60V 21″ Lawnmower and the 16″ Brushless Chainsaw, the packaging is robust, well laid out, and still minimizes the amount of assembly the end user has to endure before getting to use the new tool.

After a quick look over the manual to make sure I knew what I was doing  – yes I always read the instruction manuals first, I’ll happily admit it, and by doing so I’ve never had extra mystery parts or that confused look on my face when things don’t go right because of my guessing. Assembly was quick and simple; it was a matter of removing the tensioning knob, aligning the chain and bar, and applying the appropriate amount of tension. The chain and bar oil is not included, and will need to be purchased separately.

While this battery is the 2.5 Ah version (half size) as compared to the 5.0 Ah which comes with the CAT 21” Lawnmower they are interchangeable and can be used in both tools. However the 5.0 Ah battery does add a fair amount of weight if you’re looking for a longer run time and arm workout.

With that said, the overall tool is easily manageable, and has excellent ergonomics. Despite being “light” in weight, you can feel the quality of the parts and components and know it’s a durable, rugged tool that’ll handle a lot of wear and tear.

Once I was suited up in the proper safety gear, and was ready to start cutting, the first thing I noticed immediately when releasing the chain brake and pulling the trigger was the almost instant yet quiet power to the chain which held consistently as I was making the various cuts. As a homeowner in a residential area the lack of noise and fumes from the chainsaw was certainly a big bonus. But also having that power was the icing on the cake.

My testing consisted of a few different wood species, the first being a soft maple that I’ve been wanting to take down for sometime. I have to admit, there was little to no effort with the cuts, the ease of handling the chainsaw while doing the initial pruning was a breeze, then cutting the trunk was just a matter of letting the weight of the saw take it through the cut.

This made me feel that soft maple wasn’t enough of a test, so I went into my shop and found some off cuts. First was a piece of rough cherry and then an off cut from a live edge ash table I made years ago. Both were dry, but the ash was going to be the biggest challenge. Close to 3″ thick by 18″ wide I wanted to cut both across and with the grain, as well as along the width and thickness to see if there was any difference in performance. I have to say it was again, effortless, the saw powered through everything I threw at it with little effort. And surprisingly clean cuts at that too! After close to 30 minutes of cutting a variety of woods in a variety of different directions I used up maybe 30% of the battery, meaning there was a lot more life in it.

Next challenge will be to take down a pesky squirrel planted walnut tree that’s going to be causing problems soon in a very tight space. The lightweight and space efficient design of the CAT 16″ Chainsaw will make short work of it.

While I certainly appreciate the fact that a battery powered chainsaw won’t yet match the power of a gas chainsaw (the CAT DG630 I tested has a chain speed of 68.9 ft/sec, and the 18” DG631 and DG631.9 have a 79 ft/sec chain speed compared to 88 ft/sec of an average gas powered chainsaw). For applications such as pruning, general maintenance and cutting down of most types of trees this is an ideal tool for use around the home and in residential areas. A real bonus is the quiet efficiency that it offers. Added to the fact that the battery system is interchangeable with all of the other CAT 60V power tools it makes for a very useful outdoor power tool system.

CAT cordless chainsaw
There is only a minimal amount of assembly required.
CAT cordless chainsaw
The 2.5 Ah battery provides ample power for most cutting jobs around the home and is noticeably lighter in weight than the 5.0 Ah battery.
CAT cordless chainsaw
A handy sheath protects the blade during transit and in storage.
CAT cordless chainsaw
Chain brake lever ahead of front handle is quick to access.

 

Published:
Last modified: September 6, 2023

Chad Martin - [email protected]

Chad is the Community Engagement Director at Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement. He also runs his own woodworking business specializing in culinary and home decor woodworking.


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