If you’re looking for a chainsaw for yardwork around your home, then you will have two options. You can either go for a low displacement gas powered unit, or, you could opt for a more efficient electric chainsaw.
Although gas powered units are often considered to be the more powerful and versatile of the two, the truth is somewhat different when you consider some of the latest electric units that are entering the market.
With a good model, you won’t have to worry about making compromises in performance and usability, and the Oregon CS1500 is a great example of an electric saw done right.
If you’ve been considering this model but just haven’t found the right information, then this review will help you to determine whether it’s for you.
Best Uses for This Chainsaw
This is a saw that has been designed for light and medium duty work around the home, or outside of any location where you will have easy access to a mains power outlet.
It is great for tree pruning, removing smaller trees, and for cutting up cords of firewood or breaking up deadfall trees and limbs. If you have some lightweight domestic purposes in mind, then this is a saw that should be able to meet all of your needs.
How Frequently Can You Use It?
With short breaks, you could work with this chainsaw all day and all night. Because there’s no need for refueling, the continuous use times are only limited by how much work you have to do.
Unlike battery powered chainsaws, you won’t have any downtime for recharging. An integrated blade sharpening tool means that you can quickly get the blade in top condition during long cutting sessions, which makes the frequency of use much higher than competing chainsaws.
How Portable is This Model?
In terms of weight, this is easily one of the most portable chainsaws on the market. The tool alone weighs just over 12 lb., which is significantly less than equivalent gas powered units.
While this might make you assume that the Oregon CS1500 is easily portable, you still need to take the power cable into account. There’s no getting around the fact that this saw needs to be tethered to a mains power outlet at all times.
With an extension cable, you will be able to get a maximum of around 90 feet from your power outlet when using the saw. This does mean that it’s not a portable chainsaw in the traditional sense, but it won’t be a problem for most homeowners, who are the ideal target market for this model.
How to Power the Oregon CS1500 Chainsaw
The CS1500 pulls up to 15 amps from a 110-volt outlet at peak operation. You will need a mains outlet rated for 15 amps or more, and it is advisable that you have no other appliances or electrical devices that are running from the same outlet.
Trying to operate the saw on an underpowered outlet could mean poor performance, or even an overload of your power circuit.
Because the included power cord is relatively short, like most owners, you will need a high quality extension cable. 100 ft. is the maximum recommend length for an extension, and to cover this distance you will need to use a 12 gauge AWG cable.
If your needs can be covered by a 50 ft. cable, then you could use a 14 gauge AWG cable.
Due to the high power draw of this tool, it’s imperative that you use only high quality cables with a correct gauge rating to match the cable length.
What is the Real World Performance and Cutting Speed?
The true test of any chainsaw is how it can perform on the tasks that it is intended for. Throughout our Oregon CS1500 review, we have found that performance is one of the strong points.
Actual cutting time is comparable to a small gas saw in most cases, however, on larger materials the cutting times could be up to 25% longer. This is simply a limitation of the power that an electric saw can output.
Don’t take this as a negative for the saw, because if you are cutting materials up to 12 inches in diameter, or working with soft and dry wood, then you won’t notice any difference between this model and a smaller 2hp gas chainsaw.
The fact that you won’t need to top up on gasoline (or batteries in the case of cordless saws), means that you’ll have the benefit of convenience in addition to the good light and medium duty performance.
Is it Easy to Handle?
Handling of a chainsaw is important for safety, and it can also impact how likely you will want to use any particular model. Due to the light weight nature and smooth motor operation, the CS1500 is pleasantly easy to handle.
At times, you’ll need to remind yourself that this is a potentially dangerous power tool, because the easy handling can obscure the actual power that is produced. There are few lockups when cutting dense materials, and kickback is minimized thanks to the design.
Because this is an electric saw, there is no idling vibration, and even the operating vibrations are reduced when compared to a gas saw.
How Long is the Guide Bar?
The 18-inch guide bar on the CS1500 is right around the mid-range of what you will see on homeowner chainsaws. The benefit you will get from the guide bar is the ability to easily cut through smaller logs, living trees, and firewood.
Due to the lightweight nature of this model, the long guide bar doesn’t create any handling problems, and will often be preferred over a smaller 14 or 16-inch bar.
Are Safety Features Incorporated into the Design?
Safety features on this model are top of the line, and are comparable to what you will find on other electric saws like the Worx WG303.1 and GreenWorks 20312. That is to say that the saw includes a chain brake, a kickback reduction system, and the power trigger also acts as a kill switch.
As soon as the trigger is disengaged, the saw will stop, which is an essential safety feature. Any time that there is an emergency or any kind of unexpected operation, you simply need to let go of the trigger and you can be sure that the chain will be stopped dead in its tracks.
Even while this tool incorporates all of the safety features that you would expect on a chainsaw, it is important to remember that chainsaws are some of the most dangerous power tools, especially when used incorrectly. Always read the safety precautions in the manual before operating this saw.
What are the Maintenance Requirements?
One of the benefits of owning an electric saw is that there are reduced maintenance requirements when compared to a gas powered saw. This saw will only require exterior cleaning, and topping up of the bar oil that lubricates the bar and chain.
You won’t even need to worry about removing the blade to sharpen it, because the Oregon CS1500 has an integrated sharpening stone that can be engaged using a lever on the saw housing. This reduces overall maintenance requirements and makes this a user-friendly product.
Is it Easy to Use?
With a low overall weight, good balance, simple controls, and ease of maintenance, this is one of the easiest chainsaws for an inexperienced user to operate. Most electric chainsaws are much easier to use than their gas powered counterparts, and for the average homeowner, there won’t be any extreme learning curve with this model.
Even the tensioning system is operated by a tool-free rotating dial, making this a chainsaw that doesn’t require a significant amount of experience or mechanical knowledge.
Check the manufacturer’s video below to see how it performs!
Overall Construction Quality
While the overall fit and finish of the tool is good, it is important to note that the housing is made entirely of plastic. This is a stark difference to gas powered chainsaws, and it will reduce the overall durability of the CS1500.
This does not mean that this is a poorly designed or constructed tool, but it does mean that while this will last for years, it’s not the type of chainsaw that lends itself well to decades of intensive use. The construction materials are a reflection of the price, and when everything is taken into context, this is a well-made chainsaw.
The saw comes packaged with some bar oil, a cover, and the saw, bar, and chain. There are no additional safety accessories such as glasses or gloves, so these will need to be purchased separately if you don’t already own some protective equipment.
The included power cord will not provide sufficient length for most yard work, so you will need to invest in a high quality cord if you’re planning to use the saw at reasonable distances from your power outlet.
Quality of Documentation
The user manual is exactly what you would expect from a high quality chainsaw, and it includes all operating instructions, a parts breakdown, and a visual diagram of all user-accessible components.
Many potential owners of this saw will be first time buyers, so it’s good to see that the manual includes extensive safety notes, as well as some basic operating instructions.
Useful Tips for New Owners
When the saw is being used for the first time, or when it has been stored for an extended duration, you’ll need to prime the oil reservoir. This can be achieved by removing the side cover, removing the bar and blade, and running the saw for around two minutes with a full reservoir of oil.
Following this, you can power down the unit, top up the oil, and reassemble it for use. These instructions are explained in detail on page 15 of the user manual.
Consumer Ratings & Reviews
Consumer ratings have been extremely positive on the world’s largest ecommerce platform. The saw currently has a weighted rating of 4.1/5 stars, with many user reviews praising the ease of use and cutting power.
Customers liked the fact that it includes a blade sharpener, and also that it features an easy to use tensioner that you simply won’t find on gas powered saws.
Some negative reviews have noted that the chain came off in use, or that the saw failed completely and required servicing under warranty. These issues are not widespread, and while they indicate some of the potential problems that can occur, their low frequency suggests some odd faulty units or potential user error.
The Oregon CS1500 is currently available in the low $100-$200 price bracket at online retailers. This is extremely competitive in the electric saw market, and is good value for the quality of this product.
Recommended Extra Accessories
Keep the AWG recommendations in mind if you’re going to be purchasing an extension cord, and always choose a quality brand, such as 50 Foot yellow Outdoor Extension Cord from Iron Forge.
Because you’ll need bar oil to increase performance and prolong the life of the blade, you should invest in a quality product like Oregon 54-059 1 Gallon Chain Saw Bar & Chain Oil.
Shipping & Packing
The Oregon CS1500 chainsaw comes assembled and well protected in cardboard packaging. There have been no complaints of deliveries damaged in transit, so you shouldn’t hesitate to purchase this for the best price online.
Manufacturer Support & Warranty
Oregon is a well-known power tool component manufacturer, and is one of the top manufacturers of chain saw replacement blades. This particular saw is covered by a two-year consumer warranty, and customer feedback has been positive regarding service and warranty claims with the company.
Total Power 15 amp / 120v
Bar Length 18″ (45cm)
Chain Type Oregon part number 571037
Maximum Chain Speed 2887 feet per minute
Weight 12.6 lb. when fully assembled.
Chain Tensioning Tool-free tensioning system.
Oiling Automatic oiler with refillable reservoir.
The saw is manufactured in China.
Dimensions when shipped are 37.5 x 18 x 10.5 inches.
Our Oregon CS1500 Chainsaw Review Final Thoughts
There’s a lot to love about this Oregon CS1500 chainsaw and very little to complain about. The price is excellent for the power provided, and it is perfect for most domestic tasks.
There is some small compromise to be made on construction materials, but plastic housing is appropriate for the unit price, and will still mean quality performance for many years.
If your cutting needs are modest and you can live with the corded power requirement, then purchasing this will be an easier decision. If you would prefer an untethered chainsaw that is still electric, then you could consider a cordless model, such as the comparable Black & Decker LCS1240 that we have previously reviewed.
Oregon CS1500 Chainsaw Summary Review
|IMPORTANT FEATURES||PROS & CONS
|-15 Amp electric motor|
-18” guide bar with chain
-Chain brake system for added safety
-Self-sharpening blade system
-Tool-free blade tension adjustment
-The lightweight nature of the product reduces fatigue and increases usability
-Easy to use tensioner and blade sharpener
-Good guide bar length for most domestic cutting tasks
-Great cutting power that compares to a smaller gas saw
-The Oregon CS1500 is top quality, and chains from this company are factory fitted on a number of competing chainsaws
-Although lightweight, portability is reduced by the fact that you’ll always need a mains power source (or suitable generator)
-Plastic construction will reduce the overall product lifetime