Craftsman 20V Chainsaw Review


The Craftsman 20V MAX* 12″ Cordless Compact Chainsaw, model CMCCS620M1, is a versatile tool designed for efficiency and ease of use in residential yard work and firewood preparation. After extensive personal use, here’s a detailed examination of its capabilities, advantages, and areas for improvement.

Person using Craftsman 20V Chainsaw cutting tree

This cordless chainsaw operates on a high-performance 20V motor, ensuring powerful cutting through a variety of wood types. It is part of the V20 cordless system, making the battery interchangeable with other CRAFTSMAN tools, which enhances its utility for users with multiple tools from the same line.

Specifications of Craftsman 20V Chainsaw

  • Power Source: Battery powered (4 amp hour V20 battery, model cmcb204)
  • Horsepower: 4 Kilowatts
  • Item Weight: 9.9 Pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 26.94″L x 9.03″W x 10.88″H
  • Chain Length: 12 Inches
  • Chain Speed: 44.0

The chainsaw includes a bubble level for precise and level cutting and features auto oiling with tool-free tensioning for minimal maintenance. Its compact design is ideal for cutting in small spaces, a feature particularly useful for residential property maintenance.

Performance and Usability

In use, the Craftsman chainsaw excels at de-limbing and cutting down smaller trees, handling branches and logs up to five inches in diameter efficiently. The saw’s anti-kickback mechanism enhances safety, an essential aspect when tackling tougher cuts. One of its more user-friendly features is the dual-level system that assists in maintaining cutting precision.

Craftsman 20V Chainsaw sitting on already cut logs.

However, it does exhibit some limitations with harder woods or at the upper limits of its capacity, where it can struggle with materials like oak at diameters approaching five inches. It performs best with logs around three inches, providing clean and quick cuts.

Design and Maintenance

The chainsaw’s design includes a retractable belt clip and a chain cover for easy storage and safety when not in use. A notable issue is with the bar oil reservoir; it tends to wobble and requires careful handling to prevent leaks. Ensuring that the cap is securely fastened and the reservoir is stable is crucial for optimal operation.

Craftsman 20V Chainsaw sitting on the grass beside two logs that have already been cut.

Maintenance is generally straightforward due to the auto-oiling feature, though attention must be paid to the chain tensioner and oil cap to ensure everything is secured, especially after extensive use or during vigorous cutting sessions.

Reliability and Durability

Craftsman 20V Chainsaw laying on the cement floor with 2 pieces of battery beside

Despite its mostly robust construction, the plastic components, especially around the chain tensioner, may raise durability concerns over time. These concerns are somewhat mitigated by the 3-year limited warranty provided by CRAFTSMAN, which covers defects and issues beyond typical wear and tear.

Direct Comparisons: Craftsman 20V Chainsaw vs. Competitors

To give you a clearer idea of how the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw holds up in the crowded market, we’ve compared it with two other popular models: the DeWalt 20V MAX XR Chainsaw and the Black+Decker 20V MAX Cordless Chainsaw. Here’s a detailed breakdown of their features, performance, and pricing:

Bar Length12 inches12 inches10 inches
Battery Power20V, 4.0 Ah20V, 5.0 Ah20V, 2.0 Ah
Weight9.9 pounds8.8 pounds7.2 pounds
Chain Speed44.0 feet per second25.2 feet per second12.5 feet per second
Price Range$114.72 (Tool Only)‎$249.00$‎124.02
Auto OilingYesYesYes
Tool-Free TensioningYesYesNo
Additional FeaturesBubble level for precise cuttingHigh-efficiency brushless motorLightweight design for ease of use
Warranty3 years limited3 years limited2 years limited

Performance Comparison

  • Craftsman 20V: Ideal for residential yard work, capable of handling logs up to five inches in diameter with its high chain speed. Offers a good balance between power and usability, especially with features like the bubble level and high-capacity battery.
  • DeWalt 20V MAX XR: Known for its brushless motor that enhances efficiency and durability. Although it’s slightly lighter than the Craftsman, it’s also more expensive. Best suited for users looking for a robust performance in a compact design.
  • Black+Decker 20V MAX: The most budget-friendly option, suitable for light yard work and smaller tasks. Its lower chain speed and shorter bar length make it less versatile compared to the other two models.

Price Analysis

  • Craftsman 20V is the most cost-effective choice among the three, especially considering it only includes the tool and allows the flexibility to purchase or use existing batteries from the same line.
  • DeWalt 20V MAX XR is significantly more expensive, reflecting its advanced features and brushless motor technology.
  • Black+Decker 20V MAX offers a slight increase in price from the Craftsman but with reduced features and capabilities, making Craftsman a better value for most users.

The Craftsman 20V offers a remarkable balance of features, performance, and affordability, making it a standout choice for homeowners. Its competitive pricing paired with a robust feature set provides excellent value, particularly for those needing a reliable tool for regular yard maintenance.

This comprehensive comparison should help guide potential buyers in making an informed decision based on their specific needs and budget, ensuring they choose the chainsaw that best fits their requirements.

Maintenance Advice

Proper maintenance is crucial for extending the life of your Craftsman 20V Chainsaw and ensuring it operates efficiently:

  • Battery Care: Always remove the battery when the chainsaw is not in use. Store the battery in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent overheating and prolong its life. Avoid leaving the battery on the charger once it is fully charged.
  • Cleaning the Chainsaw: After each use, clean the chainsaw to remove sawdust, resin, and debris. Use a soft brush or compressed air to clean the air intake slots and the chain. Wipe down the body of the chainsaw with a damp cloth to prevent buildup on the surface.
  • Chain and Bar Maintenance: Regularly check the chain tension and adjust it if necessary to ensure optimal cutting performance. Lubricate the chain frequently to reduce friction and prevent wear. Inspect the bar for wear and rotate it periodically to promote even usage.
  • Professional Servicing: If you notice any unusual noise or vibration, or if the chainsaw does not perform as expected, consider taking it to a professional for servicing. Annual check-ups can help catch issues before they lead to major repairs.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some common issues you might encounter with the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw, along with their possible solutions:

  • Chain Jumping Off: Ensure that the chain is correctly tensioned and that the guide bar is securely fastened. A loose chain or bar can cause the chain to slip off during operation. Tighten the chain and check the bar alignment according to the user manual instructions.
  • Battery Problems: If the battery doesn’t hold a charge or the chainsaw powers off unexpectedly, ensure the battery contacts are clean and free from debris. If problems persist, test the battery with another compatible device or replace it.
  • Oiling System Issues: If the automatic oiling system is not working properly, check the oil reservoir for blockages. Ensure the oil cap is tight and the oil is the correct type and viscosity as recommended by Craftsman. If oil flow issues continue, consult the troubleshooting section of the user manual or seek professional help.

Final Assessment

The Craftsman 20V MAX* 12″ Cordless Compact Chainsaw is a reliable tool for anyone needing a lightweight, efficient chainsaw for home yard maintenance and firewood cutting. While it handles smaller jobs with ease, potential buyers should consider their needs for heavier, more frequent cutting tasks, as this model might show limitations.

This chainsaw is an excellent option for casual to moderate use, particularly for those already invested in the CRAFTSMAN ecosystem of tools. If you’ve had a chance to use this chainsaw, or have questions about its performance, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Your insights not only help others make informed decisions but also enrich our community’s collective knowledge.


  1. What makes the Craftsman 20V MAX 12″ Chainsaw ideal for residential use?
    The compact and lightweight design, coupled with sufficient power for most yard tasks and the convenience of a battery-powered system, makes it ideal for residential use.
  2. Can the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw handle wet wood or only dry wood?
    While it’s optimized for dry wood, the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw can handle wet wood as well, though performance may vary depending on the wood’s density and moisture content.
  3. How does the auto oiling feature work on the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw?
    The auto oiling feature automatically distributes oil to the bar and chain while the chainsaw is in operation, ensuring smooth cutting and reduced wear without manual intervention.
  4. Is the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw compatible with other batteries from the Craftsman V20 system?
    Yes, it is compatible with all Craftsman V20 batteries, making it versatile and convenient for users who own other Craftsman V20 tools.
  5. What should I do if the chain jumps off the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw?
    If the chain jumps off, ensure that the tension is correct and the bar and chain are properly secured. Consult the manual for detailed instructions on how to safely adjust and secure the chain.
  6. How often should I replace the chain on the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw?
    Chain replacement depends on usage frequency and the material cut. Regularly check the chain for dullness or damage and replace it as needed to maintain optimal performance.
  7. Can the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw be used for commercial purposes?
    While primarily designed for residential use, it can handle light commercial tasks. However, for heavy, frequent commercial use, a more robust model might be necessary.
  8. What safety features does the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw have?
    It includes an anti-kickback mechanism and a bubble level to enhance cutting accuracy and safety, ensuring protection and precision during operation.

We hope you found this review of the Craftsman 20V Chainsaw helpful! Have you tried this chainsaw, or do you have questions about its features? Feel free to share your experiences and inquiries in the comments below. Your input helps us all learn more and make better decisions. Happy cutting!

David Murray
David Murray
Forestry Author

I'm David Murry, a forestry equipment specialist with a focus on chainsaw operation. With over 13 years of experience, I've honed my skills in operating and maintaining a wide range of machinery, from chainsaws to log splitters. My passion for the outdoors and commitment to sustainable forestry drive my work, which emphasizes safety, efficiency, and staying updated with industry advancements. Additionally, I'm dedicated to sharing my expertise and promoting environmental awareness within the forestry community.


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