The Black & Decker chainsaw has a 10-inch bar, making it the smallest chainsaw we reviewed. And although we don't recommend using this saw on wood larger than a few inches thick, it works great for jobs around the house, like pruning dead or unwanted branches off trees and cutting fallen branches. If you need a chainsaw for those scenarios, it’s hard to go wrong with this model.
When we tested the chainsaws, there was some debate among our lab crew as to the usefulness of this model. One tester said, “I simply don't understand the point of having tiny, weak battery chainsaw. What are you going to be able to cut with this?” Another pointed out that it’s not for heavy-duty jobs, “It's for branches, pruning trees” and a good tool for occasional use “I'd have that around the house – it's not that bad.”
We used all the chainsaws we reviewed to clear overgrown bushes, trees and more from a residential backyard. There was one particularly gnarly, half-dead bush that the Black & Decker LCS1020 handled without any problems. It took about 25 minutes to remove the bush completely, and the tool never faltered or left us wanting a more powerful chainsaw. This saw is ideal for in-tree work, pruning and cleanup after bigger jobs.
We also used this saw on a 6x6-inch piece of lumber, and unsurprisingly, it struggled with making the cut because of its low power and short guide bar. But it did get the job done, just not as smoothly or quickly as the other models we tested.
Although it lacks muscle when compared with some of the bigger gas-powered chainsaws we reviewed, the LCS1020 is low maintenance and low emission. Of all ten models we tested, it is the quietest, with decibel levels maxing out at about 80. That's about the noise level of a vacuum cleaner.
What this saw lacks in muscle, it makes up for in ease of use. The electric power source is far cleaner since it doesn’t require gas, cans or engine oil. Electric power also makes this saw safer when it isn’t in use. Although battery-powered chainsaws don’t have quite as much power as their gas counterparts, they are easier to maintain. Instead of gas, you can leave the 20-volt lithium-ion battery charging for when you need to use the saw.
Unlike gas models that require multiple pull starts, the LCS1020 starts with a sliding safety lock and start button. To activate the saw, you have to push the safety lock through the handle. This ensures you have a steady grip on the saw before it starts. In addition, this electric saw has large hand guards and a chain brake to help reduce kickback. This chainsaw has a tool-less chain tensioning system that makes adjusting the chain easy. It also has an oiling system to keep the bar and chain lubricated, which is a nice feature for a battery-operated chainsaw.
The Black & Decker LCS1020 is ideal for pruning, limb work and clearing unwanted shrubs and other growth, like small quaking aspen that can take over your yard if you don’t cut them down before they get too big. It’s the decent chainsaw to fill out your tool collection and to have around for those unexpected times that you need a chainsaw – and you’ll be glad you have one.