Kobalt 40-Volt Chainsaw Review


The Kobalt 40-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Chainsaw is turning heads and cutting through traditional chainsaw expectations. As we dive into the world of electric yard tools, the question arises: Can this Kobalt model truly replace the gas-powered giants we’ve relied on for so long? Let’s slice through the specs and real-world experiences to find out.

Kobalt 40-Volt Chainsaw

Specifications of the Kobalt 40-Volt Chainsaw

  • Brand: Kobalt
  • Uses Chain Gauge: 0.043
  • Uses Chain Pitch: 3/8-in
  • Power Source: Battery Powered (40V)
  • Horsepower: 1.2 HP
  • Item Weight: 10.4 Pounds
  • Chain Length: 14 Inches
  • Dimensions: 30.53 x 9.57 x 9.26 inches
  • Chain Speed (MPS): 22


Kobalt 40-Volt Chainsaw Performance

The Kobalt 40V Chainsaw is not just a tool; it’s a game-changer. Designed to tackle a wide array of tasks, from clearing brush around a pole barn to cutting down sizable trees up to eight inches across, this chainsaw is branded as an ‘absolute workhorse.’ The efficiency of this model is noteworthy – the user only had to charge the battery three times to accomplish an extensive list of yard tasks. The charging time is approximately an hour, a small price to pay for the convenience and power this tool offers.

User Experience

Kobalt 40-Volt Chainsaw User Experience

The transition from gas to electric might seem daunting, but this chainsaw makes it seamless and rewarding. The user, initially a staunch supporter of gas chainsaws, found themselves pleasantly surprised by the capabilities of the Kobalt 40V. The ease of starting the chainsaw with the push of a button, the quiet operation, and the longevity of the brushless motor make it a standout in its category. The auto oiler and tool-free tensioning system are cherries on top, ensuring hassle-free operation.

Kobalt 40V Chainsaw Pros and Cons


  • The push-button start is a game-changer. There’s no hassle with pull-starts or the fumes and maintenance that come with gas models. It’s just grab-and-go, making it perfect for quick yard work.
  • The 40V power surprised me. It tackled sizable trees up to eight inches without a hitch, proving it’s not just for small trimming tasks. It’s reassuring to know that power won’t be an issue for most yard work.
  • The battery life exceeded my expectations. Only needing to charge it three times after extensive use is impressive. Plus, the battery interchangeability with other Kobalt tools like the weed whipper adds to its practicality and value.


  • While the battery life is impressive, being battery-dependent means you have to plan your work around the charging times or invest in a spare battery. It’s a minor inconvenience but something to consider for longer projects.
  • Although it’s powerful for an electric model, there are limits. For those occasional super heavy-duty tasks, I might miss the raw power of a gas chainsaw. It’s a trade-off between convenience and high-end power.
  • The upfront cost, especially if purchasing additional batteries or other compatible tools, might be a bit steep. It pays off in the long run, but it’s an investment you have to be prepared for.
  • While overall maintenance is low, understanding the proper care for the battery and the electric components is crucial. It’s different from a gas chainsaw and might require a bit of learning for those new to electric yard tools.


Kobalt 40-Volt Chainsaw Cost-Efficiency

Priced at $158 (with the battery and charger included), this chainsaw presents itself as an economical alternative to its gas counterparts. The user even expanded their electric tool collection by adding a Kobalt weed whipper to their arsenal, taking advantage of the compatibility of the batteries and chargers. The reduced need for gasoline further underscores the long-term savings potential, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious consumers.

Kobalt 40V Chainsaw vs. DeWalt 20V MAX* XR Chainsaw

Feature/AspectKobalt 40V Chainsaw
DeWalt 20V Chainsaw
Power Source40V Battery20V Battery
Bar Length14 inches12 inches
Weight10.4 pounds9 pounds (without battery)
Horsepower1.2 HPNot specified by manufacturer
Chain TensioningTool-FreeTool-Free
Oil SystemAuto oilerAuto oiler
PerformanceCuts up to 8-inch diameter trees, up to 140 cuts per chargeSuitable for construction and outdoor cutting
Battery EfficiencyLong battery life, compatible with other Kobalt toolsCompatible with DeWalt 20V MAX* system
PriceApproximately $158 (with battery and charger)Approximately $149 (tool only)

The Kobalt 40V Chainsaw and the DeWalt 20V MAX* XR Chainsaw both offer unique advantages. The Kobalt, with its higher voltage, promises more power and an extended runtime, ideal for cutting larger trees and undertaking more demanding tasks. It’s slightly heavier due to its longer bar but compensates with its robust performance and battery compatibility within the Kobalt tool family. On the other hand, the DeWalt’s lower voltage doesn’t hinder its efficiency, known for reliable performance and a lighter, more ergonomic design, making it a favorite for prolonged use and precision in tight spaces. While both are similarly priced, the Kobalt’s inclusion of a battery and charger provides added value. Ultimately, the choice boils down to your specific needs: if you prioritize power and are invested in the Kobalt ecosystem, the 40V Chainsaw is a compelling choice; if you seek a lightweight, versatile tool and are part of the DeWalt family, the 20V MAX* XR is an excellent pick.

Maintenance of Kobalt 40V Chainsaw

  • Battery Care: The battery is the lifeline of your Kobalt 40V Chainsaw. To keep it in top shape, always use the charger provided by the manufacturer and avoid leaving the battery plugged in once it’s fully charged to prevent overcharging. When the chainsaw is not in use, especially for prolonged periods, remove the battery and store it in a place that’s cool and dry, away from extreme temperatures, as these can negatively impact the battery’s performance and lifespan. Regularly clean the battery terminals gently with a dry cloth to remove any dust or debris, ensuring a solid connection and efficient power delivery to your chainsaw.
  • Bar and Chain Maintenance: The bar and chain require consistent attention to keep your chainsaw cutting smoothly and safely. Ensure your chain is always well-lubricated with the recommended bar and chain oil, checking the oil level before starting any cutting job and refilling as necessary. A properly tensioned chain is crucial for effective operation; it should be snug against the bar but still able to rotate freely. Regular tension adjustments might be needed, and thankfully, the Kobalt 40V Chainsaw comes with a tool-free tensioning system for easy adjustments. Keep the chain sharp, as a dull chain can be dangerous and inefficient. Regularly inspect the sharpness of your chain and sharpen it when needed, or have it sharpened by a professional if you’re not confident in doing it yourself.
  • Cleaning and Inspection: After each use, take the time to clean your chainsaw. Remove any wood chips, dust, or debris from the chain, bar, and motor area. A soft brush or cloth is usually sufficient for this task. Pay special attention to the air intake vents; they should be clear of any blockages to ensure proper ventilation and prevent the chainsaw from overheating. Regular inspections are also crucial. Look over your chainsaw for any signs of wear, damage, or loose components. Address any issues immediately to ensure your chainsaw remains in safe working condition.
  • Storage: Storing your chainsaw correctly when it’s not in use will significantly contribute to its longevity and safety. Choose a clean, dry place away from potential disturbances or unauthorized access, particularly from children and pets. A chainsaw cover is recommended to protect the bar and chain from dust and moisture. If you plan not to use the chainsaw for an extended period, it’s wise to give it a thorough clean, lightly lubricate the chain to ward off rust, and store the battery and chainsaw separately in a cool, dry area.

Final Verdict

The Kobalt 40-Volt Chainsaw is more than just an electric chainsaw; it’s a statement that electric tools can stand toe-to-toe with gas-powered options. Its impressive performance, user-friendly features, and cost-efficiency make it a compelling choice for anyone looking to transition to electric yard tools. While it may be considered an entry-level electric tool, its performance suggests otherwise. If you’re ready to cut the cord on gas and embrace the electric revolution in yard maintenance, the Kobalt 40V Chainsaw might just be your next best companion.


  1. How does the performance of a 40V electric chainsaw compare to its gas-powered counterpart?
    Electric chainsaws like the Kobalt 40V are designed for efficiency and convenience. They offer ample power for most home yard tasks, are quieter, and start instantly. While gas chainsaws may have the edge in raw power for heavy-duty tasks, electric models are catching up and are ideal for a significant portion of cutting jobs.
  2. Can electric chainsaws handle wet wood or cutting in the rain?
    While electric chainsaws can handle wet wood, it’s not recommended to use any electric power tool in the rain due to safety concerns. Moisture can affect the tool’s performance and longevity, and there’s an increased risk of electric shock.
  3. What maintenance does an electric chainsaw like the Kobalt 40V require?
    Electric chainsaws require minimal maintenance compared to gas models. Key tasks include regular chain sharpening, ensuring proper chain tension, keeping the saw clean from debris, and checking the oil level for the bar and chain lubrication.
  4. How long does a battery typically last in a session, and what can affect its longevity?
    Battery life varies based on the model, the intensity of the task, and the battery’s age and condition. For a 40V chainsaw like the Kobalt, you can expect enough runtime to handle most home yard tasks on a single charge. Battery longevity can be affected by extreme temperatures and how well the battery is cared for when not in use.
  5. Are electric chainsaws like the Kobalt 40V environmentally friendly?
    Yes, electric chainsaws are more environmentally friendly compared to gas models. They produce no direct emissions, and when paired with renewable energy sources, their environmental impact is significantly reduced.
  6. Can I interchange batteries between different Kobalt tools, and how does this affect the tool’s versatility?
    Many Kobalt tools are part of a battery-sharing platform, allowing you to interchange batteries between tools of the same voltage. This increases the versatility and value of your tools, ensuring you can seamlessly switch between tasks without needing multiple batteries.
  7. Is it normal for the chain to come off the bar, and how can I prevent this?
    While it’s not common, the chain can come off if it’s not properly tensioned or if the saw is used improperly. Regularly check the chain’s tension and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for use to prevent this issue.
  8. How do I safely store my Kobalt 40V chainsaw when not in use?
    Store the chainsaw in a clean, dry place away from extreme temperatures. Remove the battery and store it separately. Ensure the chain is lightly oiled to prevent rust, and cover the bar and chain to protect them and prevent accidents.

Your insights matter! Share your chainsaw experiences, tips, or reviews below and help guide fellow woodcutting enthusiasts. Together, let’s create a knowledgeable community where everyone can make informed, confident chainsaw choices.

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.


I own the Kobalt 14", 40v saw. I want to swap out the bar so I can use a full chisel chain (need wider track). Do you know whether or not the 40v will drive the full chisel or if I will damage the motor?

Daniel Adams
Marie McRae
May 10, 2024 3:36 pm

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