Not every homeowner needs a heavy gas powered chainsaw for everyday maintenance and wood cutting work.
If you’re in the situation where you could use the practicality and convenience that a chainsaw provides, then a corded electric chainsaw could be ideal for your needs.
Just because a saw isn’t gas powered, doesn’t mean that it’s a toy, and with the WORX WG303.1 16-inch chainsaw, you’ll find that a little can go a long way, with a great price that could make the decision particularly easy for you.
Let’s get into the full review and find out what this tool has to offer.
What Is This Chainsaw Used For?
The WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chainsaw is designed to be an affordable solution for homeowners who need to perform lightweight sawing work on their properties.
Removing limbs from trees, breaking up firewood, clearing light brush, and felling smaller trees, are all ideal tasks for this saw.
It is lightweight to aid portability (with limitations), and it is a low maintenance device, making it ideal for first time users who simply want a reliable cutting tool.
It has a number of features that make it perfect for inexperienced users, all of which we will be covering throughout this review.
How Frequently Can You Use It?
This is an electric saw that needs to be run from mains power.
In some ways this can be limiting (see the portability section), but in terms of frequency of use, it can actually provide some advantages.
With a gas powered chainsaw you could run one all day, but you’d need to top up the gas and oil mix frequently. Likewise, a cordless electric chainsaw would require charging or a battery pack swap, sometimes as often as every 45 minutes, depending on the cutting job.
With the WORX WG303.1 16-Inch chainsaw however, you won’t need to worry about running out of fuel or battery power, and you’ll simply need to ensure that you have a reliable electrical outlet and that your chain lubricating oil is topped up.
For intended use, it will be possible to perform de-limbing or clearing all day, or you could even cut through a full chord of wood without any problems.
Is It Easy To Carry Around?
While being mains powered is a benefit in terms of frequency of use, it can be limiting when it comes to portability.
The WORX WG303.1 16-inch chainsaw is very light, and at 11 pounds it’s actually one of the lightest saws that you can buy.
However, the low weight doesn’t exactly add to the portability, because you’re always going to be tethered to a power cord. If you were to use this on a truck, you would need a powerful inverter, and the economy would not be worth it.
This really limits the tool to usage around the home, which probably won’t be a problem for most owners. Keep in mind that you’re not going to be able to take this tool very far from an outlet, and your portability expectations will remain realistic.
What Is It Powered By?
This is a 14.5 AMP tool that needs to be run from a mains power outlet.
Due to the high power draw, you’ll need to use a circuit that exceeds 15 AMP, and that has no other large appliances or tools running from it. Extension cable lengths can be limited, considering that longer cables would introduce too much resistance.
We recommend a maximum of 100 feet for a cable, and you need to ensure that it is a high quality cable that is rated for 15 AMP. While it is possible to use a longer cable, you will find that the cable heats up, and the tool will perform with less power and torque.
Because this could raise concerns with performance and cutting speed, as well as safety, we strongly reiterate that you should not exceed 100 feet of cable length.
Performance & Cutting Speed
When it comes down to it, performance and cutting speed is probably the biggest question on your mind.
Provided you keep your expectations realistic, you’re not going to be disappointed by this saw. It can provide power that is equivalent to a 3.5hp chainsaw, but with a better torque curve.
Gas powered motors have a sweet spot of the rev range where maximum cutting torque is achieved.
With electric motors, the torque curve is shorter, allowing for continuous high torque that can be applied to your cutting jobs. You will be able to cut through harder woods, as well as freshly felled wood.
The best performance will be found with dry materials, such as raw firewood. This is a light and medium duty saw, so always keep that in mind, however, it would be no exaggeration to say that this can keep up with some lower range gas powered saws for basic tasks.
Watch the video below to get a good, overall feel of this chainsaw’s features.
How Well Can You Handle It?
Handling is one of the strong points of the WORX WG303.1 16-inch chainsaw, particularly if you have never used a chainsaw before.
The light weight helps to reduce fatigue, which improves safety by keeping you alert. It is also well balanced, so maneuverability is no issue.
The relatively small guide bar also makes handling easier, making this easy to recommend for casual use at home.
How Long Is The Guide Bar?
The guide bar on the WORX WG303.1 chainsaw is 16 inches, making this suitable for cutting most domestic firewood, small trees, or even standing trees with diameters less than 30 inches.
The guide bar length might seem limiting at first, but considering the intended use for this saw, it is actually a smart choice of size, and it increases the handling and ease of use.
If you’re looking for a larger bar on a saw, then you’re likely not going to be satisfied with an electric saw for your needs, and we can say with confidence that the length here is well suited to the overall product.
How Good Is It On Safety Features?
When it comes to accidents, chainsaws are statistically one of the most dangerous power tools around.
A great deal of care needs to be taken when using a chainsaw, and it is important that you choose a saw that is comfortable and manageable for your strength and your size.
One of the biggest assets that the WORX WG303.1 16-inch chainsaw has is its light weight and easy maneuverability. This alone can reduce accidents caused by mishandling.
The device features a quality handrail, and, most importantly, it features a chain brake system that automatically activates when the saw is incorrectly used or when kickback occurs.
While this is by no means a foolproof tool, it does have all of the standard safety features that you would expect from a homeowner’s chainsaw.
If you just want a tool that works when you need it to, then you’ll be happy to know that this saw is virtually maintenance free.
You’ll only need to keep it free of dust and debris, top up the blade oil when you’re working, and ensure that the blade is always in good condition. Blades can be replaced, and oil is easily available.
The saw even self-tensions, making this one of the most user-friendly saws currently on the market.
Is It Easy To Use?
At this point, we’ve discussed most of the features that make this saw a compelling option.
As you have probably determined, ease of use is one of the high points of this unit. A low overall weight, self-tensioning chain, no fuel requirements, and great balance, all help to make this one of the easiest chainsaws to use, especially for someone who hasn’t lifted a chainsaw before.
General Construction Quality
Don’t expect to receive a tool that uses large amounts of steel and other metals on the frame. Most of this saw is plastic, with steel used on the parts that matter the most.
This is not to say that the saw is poorly constructed, in fact, the opposite is true. It is well put together and from user reviews there appears to be a high level of consistency throughout different examples.
After owning this saw, you will feel that you have received quality that exceeds what you’ve paid for, and that’s always a good thing when it comes to affordable power tools.
There’s no carrying case included with this saw, which is not a problem considering that it is not exactly portable.
The packaging does include some chain oil and a blade cover for storage, which is more than acceptable for this price range.
The user manual is fully featured, explains all of the workings and safety requirements of the saw, and even shows a complete parts breakdown which can help with basic teardown and reassembly.
There are no complaints with the documentation, and it is just as detailed as what you would find on more expensive saws.
Useful Tips For Owners
If you’re purchasing this saw, you’re likely a first time user, which means that you’re going to need to completely familiarize yourself with the user manual.
The manual doesn’t just provide technical information, but it also explains (with diagrams) the right way to cut into different wood materials.
If you want to get the best first time use while staying safe, then the manual is essential reading, and should be completed before you even plug this saw in.
Consumer Ratings & Reviews
This saw is one of the most positively reviewed chainsaws on the largest ecommerce website.
Users have commented on its weight and ease of use, as well as its surprising cutting power, particularly when compared with smaller gas powered saws.
Many users have been surprised at its ability to be used for cutting smaller trees, and the automatic tensioner has also been mentioned as a highlight in a number of consumer reviews.
This saw fits into the sub $100 category, depending on the online retailer.
Recommended Extra Accessories
You’ll need quality gloves, eye protection, and blade oil to get the most out of this chainsaw.
It can also be a good idea to purchase a replacement chain, which will allow you to quickly get going again once the included chain has worn down.
The following are some of the best complementary products for this model.
- Direct replacement chain
- Quality Oregon bar oil
Shipping & Packing
This unit comes fully assembled, so you will be reassured to know that it is well packed with plenty of support from a heavy duty cardboard box.
Packaging has been designed to absorb impacts and minimize any movement inside the package, so you should have no worries about receiving a damaged product.
Manufacturer Support & Warranty
As if the performance and price point wasn’t reason enough to get interested in this saw, it also comes with a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.
This exceeds what many of the top chainsaw brands offer, and it reflects the high quality of this product.
WORX can be contacted for live phone support, on 855-279-0505, and they offer product registration on their website.
AMP Rating 14.5A
Bar Length 16”
Chain Speed 12 meters/second
Oil Tank Capacity 200ml
Chain Links 57
Chain Pitch 3/8”
Chain Gauge 0.05”
Replacement Chain Oregon part number 91VG057X
Replacement Bar Oregon part number 160SCEA041
Total Assembled Weight 11 lb.
The unit is manufactured in China.
Shipping dimensions are 8.07 x 19.69 x 14.57 inches.
Our WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chainsaw Review Final Thoughts
There are very few negative things to say about this chainsaw. Sure, it is not the most powerful or even the largest chainsaw, but for what it is, it can outperform its size and price point.
Excellent features like the chain tensioner mean that it’s easy for first timers, and the light weight and easy handling make it a safer overall tool to use.
For basic yard work, clearing, and firewood cutting, you’re going to be hard pressed to find anything better for less than $100. If it meets your basic home requirements, then this saw is absolutely recommended.
WORX WG303.1 Chainsaw Summary Review
|PROS & CONS
|-Lightweight construction and user-friendly balance
-Automatic tension system
-Chain brake for safety
-12 M/s chain speed
-16-inch bar length
-5hp motor, equivalent to a gas chainsaw
-Low weight almost eliminated fatigue
-Continuous use is impressive
-Good cutting power for its size
-No need for purchasing or mixing fuel/oil
-Almost no maintenance requirements
-A great first chainsaw for the average homeowner
-No need to worry about chain tensioning
-Comes fully assembled
-Portability is limited due to the saw needing mains power
-The included chain is of average quality
-Power is not suitable for bar upgrades
-Performance deteriorates with longer extension cords