Like a hot knife through butter

With the strides made in the development of Lithium batteries, just about everything is going cordless and battery powered nowadays. This means that the choices in equipment available to overlanders has also grown exponentially. It wasn’t that long ago that only battery-powered drills were available and now you can get anything from a battery-powered fan to a full-size chainsaw. We recently got our hands on a DeWalt 54V chainsaw and thus far we are very impressed!

We’ve used a battery-powered chainsaw – albeit a small one with a 12.5cm blade – on some of our trips in the past and the time we saved on chopping and clearing debris from roads was considerable. The DeWalt 54V chainsaw has a very handy 40cm blade and it’s a beast. Its ability to cut up fallen trees that are blocking our way means we don’t have to carry an axe with us anymore. Braai time will also be a breeze, with the DeWalt chainsaw making quick work of cutting logs for the fire.

When unpacking the chainsaw, I was immediately impressed by the fact that the bar and chain were preassembled and
protected with plastic housing. It has a compact design and a padded handle that makes it very easy to wield. It also means that it can be used both vertically and horizontally, while the transparent gauge of the bar and chain oil window allows you to keep an eye on the lubrication process.

The battery has a massive 6Ah 18V capacity and offers about 30 minutes of run time, translating into as many as 180 cuts on a single charge. The model we have does not come with batteries, so we had to get a kit with two batteries and a charger separately. The charging time is impressive – from a wall outlet is less than an hour and with a decent dual battery setup in your vehicle, the batteries can be charged from your inverter AC outlet.

As you would expect from a DeWalt product the construction of the chainsaw is solid. It also offers safety and protection. This includes a chain brake and a safety button to avoid unwanted starts. The chainsaw can be replaced but does use a bit more chain oil than a normal petrol-powered chainsaw would. And although it’s more expensive than a petrol-powered version, the pros of the battery-powered chainsaw far outweigh the cons. I am looking forward to
really putting it to the test on our next overlanding trip.

Key specifications
DeWalt 54V chainsaw

• Rating: Industrial
• Battery type: Lithium Ion
• Voltage: 54V Flexvolt
• Motor type: Brushless
• Bar length: 40cm
• Chain speed: 40m/s
• Oil capacity: 110 – 120ml
• Oil level window: Yes
• Lock on switch: Yes
• Price: R5 095
*No batteries included.

DeWalt 54V 6Ah battery kits
• Rating: Industrial
• Battery Type: Lithium Ion
• Voltage: 54V
• Battery Ah: 6Ah
• Batteries included: 2 batteries
• Price: R7 725
*Smaller battery kits available from R2 995, but running time might be affected.

  • This product is available from selected hardware stores. For more information on the product:

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