Milwaukee added a new cordless chainsaw to their M18 Fuel cordless power tool system, model 2826.
The new Milwaukee cordless chainsaw, features a top handle and is designed around the needs and preferences of arborists, power utility linemen, and landscape maintenance professionals.
The chainsaw will be available in two configurations – 2826-20C with a 12″ bar and chain, and 2826-20T with a 14″ bar and chain.
The 14″ chainsaw is available as a tool-only, and in 1- and 2-battery kits, and the compact 12″ chainsaw is only available as a tool-only.
This suggests that the 14″ cordless chainsaw is likely to be the more popular choice, except with users who specifically prefer the more compact option.
Milwaukee says that the new saws deliver up to 20% faster cutting speeds compared to the leading gas competitor. Additionally, as they are battery-powered tools, there are no gas engine fumes or hassles to deal with.
Key Specs & Features
- 12″ or 14″ bar length
- 7,700 RPM
- 0.043″ chain gauge
- 0.325″ low-profile chain pitch
- Variable speed trigger
- 22.5″ length, weighs 8.4 lbs (12″ model, tool-only)
- 25″ length, 8.6 lbs (14″ model, tool-only)
- 26″ length, weighs 10.9 lbs (14″ model with XC 8Ah battery)
- 26.7″ length, weighs 11.8 lbs (14″ model with HD 12Ah battery)
Features include an easy-access chain tensioner, automatic oiler, metal bucking spikes, onboard scrench storage, lanyard loop, and climbing scabbard.
Milwaukee says that, in cutting cedar 4x4s, the 14″ saw will make up to 150 cuts per charge with an XC 8Ah battery, and up to 225 cuts per charge with an HD 12 Ah battery.
Pricing and Availability
12″ tool-only (2826-20C) – $339 | Buy it at Acme Tools
14″ tool-only (2826-20T) – $349 | Buy it at Acme Tools
14″ 1-battery kit (2826-21T) – $499 | Buy it at Acme Tools
14″ 2-battery kit (2826-22T) – $699 | Buy it at Acme Tools
The 1-battery kit comes with an XC 8Ah battery and M18/M12 Rapid Charger. The 2-battery kit comes with an XC 8Ah battery, HD 12Ah battery, and dual bay simultaneous Rapid Charger.
ETA: June 2023
Rear-handle chainsaws tend to be used on the ground, and top-handle chainsaws for users working up on poles or in trees.
Is this the cordless chainsaw you have been waiting for?
Interesting segment. There’s a crew contracted by our electrical company trimming trees in the area and noticed them using Ryobi. Struck me because you don’t see pro’s using Ryobi too often.
Last year when they were out after a big storm I saw mostly Makita. Good to see Milwaukee joining the top handle party. Too pricey/niche to me but I’ve mentioned probably 3 times recently that eventually I’ll join that Ryobi 40v again
Ryobi is great stuff. Just purchased a small Ryobi chainsaw. They claimed it didn’t need to be oiled. Guess I will find out.
I would argue all chainsaws need to be oiled. Some smaller/cheaper saws do not have an auto-oiler on them, but that does NOT mean they don’t need to be oiled. You can squirt a little oil directly on the bar/chain and run it for a few seconds before use, and then reapply every 5-10 minutes of use.
I’m sure they were referring to the oil in the way that a 2 stroke engine needs an oil/gas mixture to run.
I’ve yet to see a chainsaw that didn’t need bar oil.
As always, read the owners manual and understand how to use the tool before using.
I have the Ryobi – it uses bar oil (as does the plug-in electric Oregon I also have)
I also own two gas-powered chainsaws, since I have a cottage on 7 acres with a zillion (mostly oak) trees.
While I keep a long (16″ bar on one gas saw, I like a much shorter bar for most work. IMO it is safer (less kick leverage) and I can still cut a tree with a 20″ diameter if required. But really most yard work is limbs and branches and 12″ is more than enough
My rule for large trees is I only cut them myself if there is no possible way they can damage anything no matter which way they fall. For other situations I hire the pros (who will have their own insurance)
And that’s after clearing a one-acre lot of hardwoods all on my own for a house. I respect chainsaws and what a careless moment can bring. I am also extremely careful cutting standing trees (escape route hinges, etc.) and remember the #1 rule – never cut in the wind (Don’t forget the safety gear!)
I’m with you on that. I have the FlexVolt 18”, FlexVolt 16”, the XR 12” and both Milwaukee Hatchets and they drink bar oil. Moreso the yellow ones, but they are also more powerful and larger. I don’t use tools every single day and even get told I’m more a collector, but I’ve used that M12 Hatchet QUITE a bit in the last two years and it cuts as new. The more bar oil the merrier. Can’t imagine one that doesn’t need it either.
I bought the Dewalt 20v version last year and was quite taken back with how much I liked it. No, it’s not going to power through big trees, but that’s what the Stihl is for. This thing is super handy for limbing when the tree is down and for when I just need to make a quick cut or two.
I see no reason this Milwaukee won’t be any different.
I have the original M18 chainsaw and it is really nice, especially as a second saw if you do a lot of sawing, as it is instant on, does its thing, and goes off.
Quieter, too. It won’t do everything, but it will do quite a bit.
It sure helps to have a Makita 7900 to do the real work though! I do think the M18 blows the doors off any of those consumer level gas saws found at big box stores. And it’s cheaper than the equivalent-power pro-level models.
I had the same experience with the DeWalt 20v. Bought it almost as an experiment (tool only) since I had the batteries already and it’s been my go-to for about 80% of the stuff I do. I put a 14″ Arbormax bar on it from Bailey’s Online along with a non-safety chain and I wouldn’t say that it screams, but it’s no slouch.
How did you find a bar that fit it and how many drive links? I have the flex volt saw as well as Milwaukee and gas saws.
52 drive links, the bar is a “UM” mount. If you go to Bailey’s Online, search “ AMC 14 UM43” I bought the 14” WoodlandPro ArborMAX Lite bar and chain combo. Direct fit to the DeWalt 20v and it has zero trouble pushing that 14” bar.
As long as it is a 3/8″lp pitch bar with an A041 tail mount, it will fit. Chain also needs to be 3/8″lp, but either an .043ga or .050ga will work. A lot of people buy the Oregon 27856 bar/chain combo for the DeWalt 12″ saw – https://www.oregonproducts.com/en/oregon-14-in-chainsaw-bar-%26-s52-chain%2c-fits-echo%2c-craftsman%2c-poulan%2c-homelite%2c-makita%2c-husqvarna%2c-ryobi-and-more-%2827856%29/p/27856
The FlexVolt saw and rear handle M18 also use the same size bar/chain, so they are all interchangeable. If you really want you can put the FlexVolt 16″ setup on the 12″ saw, and vice versa.
Great info as I have the m18. I found a flex volt in the trash that works but needs bar and chain and clutch cover. I would rather try my Milwaukee bar and Chain before I go buying parts, but the. It would be nice to have a smaller set up on one so now I know what to get! Thanks guys!
I have the 12″ Dewalt, used one season, got it out the next year and after a short run, it now with just activate the motor for a split second and stop, maybe the thermal overload went out, not sure.
Another Milwaukee “I didn’t know I needed this, but now I do” product.
Kudos to Milwaukee for what look to be fantastic ergonomics and design, the R&D in the field with arborists really payed off. Continued proof that Milwaukee can “figure out” pretty much any niche if they put their resources behind it. Much better than SBD’s efforts.
I won’t pass judgement until I use it, but 15m/s maximum chainspeed is disappointing. I understand it’s challenging to put that much amperage through an 18v tool, and they had to gear it down so it doesn’t stall, but with 36v saws on the market pushing 20-25m/s, there is just no way this will hang.
As a former arborist, when it comes to limbing- fast saw + sharp chain = fast cut. Torque doesn’t matter. It only matters with big saws pulling a long bar, bogging down cutting pinched wood on the ground, or you’re struggling flushing a stump in the dirt with a dull chain. That’s not what a saw like this is for. If you have to move through an entire canopy and make hundreds of cuts, a few seconds on each adds up. Up in the tree, chainspeed is king, and it’s going to be an uphill battle selling arborists a saw that can’t prune/limb as quickly.
I would agree, though I’m surprised they even up’d to it 15 m/s, I was almost expecting them to keep it around the 12.5 m/s mark like their rear handle saw. So 15 m/s was a nice surprise in that regard. Also important, they are using the smaller .325lp chain in lieu of the more common 3/8lp chain, so their are few more cutters per inch, which partly makes up for the slower speed.
But again, I agree with you and would rather see its speed more like the Makita XCU06. That little guy is slinging the chain at 24 m/s. Outside of the power tool brands, Stihl’s MSA 161 T is similar to the M18 at 16 m/s, but they use an even smaller 1/4lp chain. Their top of the line 220 T can slang up to 30 m/s. Husqvarna’s T540i matches Makita’s 24 m/s (they also use a .325lp chain). The latter two come at big cost premium.
It still looks like a decent saw, especially for those in M18 doing the occasional property maintenance, and if the right deal comes along I will jump on it. But if you are a professional arborist, Stihl or Husqvarna all the way.
Big Richard, you certainly know your chainsaws. And as well, I am quite sure you know this but Makita, unlike Milwaukee and Dewalt, is in the ICE chainsaw group also. Nowhere as big as Stihl and Husky, but still have a smaller piece of the market (and fans of their saws)
I wouldn’t go that far, I am no logger by any means. I just use saws somewhat regularly for firewood processing and helping a good friend maintain his family’s land up in the Northwoods. And I just like to stay up on top of some of this new cordless wave of tech and how it is reaching into the chainsaw world. It’s amazing how far they have come in the past few years.
All the Makita’s are just rebranded Dolmars if I am not mistaken. Makita bought them a while ago, I’m not sure if they really changed anything about them or let Dolamr keep doing their own thing and just started selling them under the Makita name. I’ve never actually used one, but I do know they are considered pretty decent. That experience with Dolmar certainly plays into Makita’s advantage when it comes to developing cordless saws.
On some saws torque can be helpful to get higher chain speed because it allows you to run a larger drive sprocket (higher tooth count) without the saw bogging down. On these smaller saws that isn’t always so simple as there is a lot lower selection of drive sprockets available.
The rear handle m18 chainsaw has a bit of torque, if your experienced you can take the depth gauges down to cut bigger chips. Still no comparison to a pro gas saw, but it’s decent. I am thinking when parts are available putting the sprocket from the rear handle saw and a new bar and chain on the rear handle to take advantage of the .325 low pro thinner kerf more teeth.
That works too, I tried it with the Dewalt 8″ pruning saw DCCS623 I purchased last year. The saw had no problem running the chain with 3 file strokes off all the gauges buried completely in an oak stump. But I agree with Harrison here that for these kinds of small saws I’d rather have a higher chain speed.
I haven’t spent much time on it yet but I found a few 1/4 pitch 9-tooth sprockets that are likely to fit on that saw. Then I can set it up with some Panther 1/4 pitch non-safety chain and that should really rip, I think.
Another simple “mod” you can do, the 33 link full house chain that Milwaukee uses on their 8″ Hatchet will fit your DeWalt. Smooths out the cuts a bit.
Thanks for confirming that Big Richard. I had thought about trying that swap but when I researched it I noticed there is a difference in length of one drive link so I wasn’t sure if it would fit or not and I wasn’t sure about taking the gamble. Glad to hear that it fits.
Filing down the depth gages did increase the saw’s cutting ability in larger material but it also was rougher cutting, especially with smaller branches. And since small stuff is what I want this saw for the full house chain should be better.
@MM, it is a tight fit but it does fit. I needed to turn the chain tensioner all the way down to get it on there, and then a quarter turn was enough to get decent chain tension. With use it should stretch a bit, which will help.
I’m with you though, I’d like to get a 1/4″ chain on there one of these days.
I was just out running errands and on my way back I picked up a Milwaukee chain from HD. I’ll have it on the saw this afternoon. I’ve got another pile of brush accumulated from spring cleanup on my property and I felled a dead oak roughly 12in diameter that needs processing too so I’ll have a great chance to give the new chain a workout shortly. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the standard chain.
The Milwaukee chain fit on my saw no problem. I even had 2-3 turns of the screw before the tension was good. When I get a chance to use it I’ll add my findings to the review I left in the Toolguyd Forum.
As for the 1/4 pitch conversion I’ve come across two possible sprocket candidates. One is Black & Decker no. 587580-00 (from the Alligator Lopper). The other is Makita no. 198259-2. Both of these appear to be designed for a drive shaft with two flats on it; the DCCS623 has a single-flat driveshaft, but a few strokes with a small round file should sort that out very easily.
I have the older M18 saw with the rear handle. Was wondering if the top handle model was any better, but you touched on this at rhe bottom of the right up. Thanks!
I recently picked up the M18 Hatchet for $150. So far it seems perfect for limbing and clearing saplings though I’m honestly really confused as to how you’re supposed to sharpen it since it seems to lock the chain in place as soon as it stops.
I have an M12 hatchet and absolutely love it. I agree that chain speed is an issue on battery chainsaws, but the Hatchet is a good compromise with one tooth per link making more cuts in relation to chain speed. Cutting limbs 4″ and smaller are no problem. The Stihl takes over for anything bigger.
The M12 Hatchet is something I was looking at very much. I have many M12 tools and find them to be excellent, this was going to be my next one.
Then last fall, me and my neighbor were trimming some 2″-4″ branches; I had my chainsaw and he had a cordless grinder (Ryobi) with this on it.
Holy crap, the way he went through branches like crazy, easily twice as fast as my chainsaw.
I am pretty sure with bigger branches he will have not as much success, but it fits the role of what the hatchet does.
So I saves myself the price of a hatchet and with the attachments, probably can do more…very happy.
How safe is that solution? Looks like it could work with most 4.5″ angle grinders, but I’m wondering if there’s a down side.
I have used those chainsaw style carving discs before, as well as ones with either three or six carbide teeth. In my experience kickback is a significant risk, much more than it is on a standard chainsaw.
I don’t really see how those would be all that useful for pruning though. Most are only 4 or 4.5″ diameter. By the time you take away the size of the grinder’s gearbox there is very little working radius of blade left over so you can’t cut very big branches.
There is a larger diameter type of those chainsaw style discs but they are meant for brushcutters. Someone could mount one of those on an angle grinder, with the bigger radius that probably has a high enough speed to complete with a chainsaw. For example: