Worx WG303.1 Review
Pros: Decent saw performance, light for this type, good oil tank cap location, extremely affordable
Cons: Mediocre chain tensioning system, slow wind-up time
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|Pros||Decent saw performance, light for this type, good oil tank cap location, extremely affordable||Great cutting performance, cord stopper, intuitive tensioning system, oil flow is adjustable||Solid saw performance, easy to start, great tensioning system, light for this type of saw||Spectacular battery life, two chain speed settings, barely consumes bar and chain oil||Compact, light, quiet, affordable|
|Cons||Mediocre chain tensioning system, slow wind-up time||Oil tank location is not ideal, cord placement could be better, limitations of corded tools||Noisy, short bar for this type of saw||Not the strongest cutting power, plastic chain tensioning system, electronic controls slow down sawing||Mediocre battery life, slow at making cuts|
|Bottom Line||If budget is your overall purchasing decision-making factor, this average saw will get the job done for cheap||A corded model that quickly slices through wood and has an easy-to-use tensioning system||A smaller high-performance 2-cycle model that requires minimal knowledge of gas-powered machines||A good degree of performance and an exceptional battery life at a reasonable price||This cordless electric chainsaw is our favorite 20V model for small, quick projects around the yard|
|Rating Categories||Worx WG303.1||Makita UC4051A||Stihl MS 180 C-BE||Husqvarna 120i||Worx WG322|
|Saw Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Use (30%)|
|Power Performance (25%)|
|Specs||Worx WG303.1||Makita UC4051A||Stihl MS 180 C-BE||Husqvarna 120i||Worx WG322|
|Model Number||WG303.1||UC4051A||180 C-BE||120i||WG322|
|Bar Length||16 inches||16 inches||16 inches||14 inches||10 inches|
|Power Source||Corded Electric||Corded Electric||Gasoline||Battery||Battery|
|Measured Weight||10 lbs 13 oz||12 lbs, 6 oz||11 lbs, 10 oz||10 lbs, 11 oz||6 lbs, 10 oz|
|Measured Battery Weight||n/a||n/a||n/a||2 lbs, 12 oz||1 lbs, 10 oz|
|Amps||15 A||15 A||n/a||4.2 A||2 A|
|Motor Size||15 Amp||15 Amp||32cc 2-Cycle||36V||20V|
|Measured Runtime||n/a||n/a||36 minutes||40 minutes||22 minutes|
|Measured Run Time Eco Mode||n/a||n/a||n/a||54 mins||n/a|
|Recharge/Refuel Time||n/a||n/a||1 min||120 min||180 min|
|Measured Average Cutting Time||7.4 seconds||5.7 seconds||7.7 seconds||13.5 seconds||38.4 seconds|
|Measured Wind Up Time||1 second||0.5 seconds||0.5 seconds||0.5 seconds||2 seconds|
|Measured Decibel Reading at 48in||99.1 dBa||94.1 dBa||103.4 dBa||85.9 dBa||80.0 dBa|
|Control Type||Side safety w/ chain brake||Side safety w/ chain brake||Thumb safety w/ chain brake||Electronic button, side safety and brake||Thumb safety|
|Chain Replacement and Tensioning Type||Tool free||Tool free||Tool free||Tool free||Tool free|
|Metal Bucking Spikes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Bar & Chain Tank Location and Type||Top||Top||Side||Side, flip-up||Top|
|Measured Body Dimesions||17 x 12 x 6.5 inches||19 x 6 x 6 inches||14 x 8 x 7.5 inches||19 x 7 x 7 inches||13 x 8 x 7.5 inches|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Worx is widely known for making super-affordable power tools that often cost a small fraction of the products manufactured by competing brands. However, more often than not, the lower cost correlates to an unimpressive performance. With their corded chainsaw, the WG303.1, this is precisely the case. The person we would recommend this saw to is someone who is shopping on an extremely tight budget and is willing to spend extra time tinkering with their chain and dragging extension cords around instead of making a larger investment.
The strongest suit for the Worx WG303.1 is its cutting performance. We tested all of our chainsaws head-to-head using the exact same dimensions and type of lumber. We timed how long it took each model to completely slice through our "fake log" consisting of four 4x4s several times, then calculated an average.
During this evaluation, the WG303.1 showed an impressive average time of 7.4 seconds, finishing ahead of the majority of the pack. Our power tool experts also found this model to have good balance and handling while cutting through logs at the test site.
We like that the WG303.1 comes with metal bucking spikes, and we found the oil tank cap to be in a location that is very easy to use.
While we did find some features on the Worx WG303.1 that improve its overall ease of use, there is a flaw where the designers missed the mark. The tool-free chain tensioning system consists of one wheel that you turn in one direction to tension the chain and then the other direction to secure the bar. This seems to do an ok job once you have found the sweet spot where this functions properly. However, if you are completely removing the bar and replacing the chain there is quite a bit of trial & error involved to get the correct amount of revolutions on the knob to where it will tension the chain and also secure the bar.
We considered the pros and cons of having either a corded electric, battery-powered, or gas-powered motor. While some manufacturers claim that corded electric models have an unlimited runtime, we quickly discovered that this is not the case. All chainsaws require bar & chain oil and the levels must be checked often and filled up as needed. Also, motors such as the one used by the Worx WG303.1 are not designed to constantly run and are prone to overloading and overheating.
Although it is nice to forget about battery charge times or filling tanks up with gas, being limited to the length of an extension cord is far from ideal. In our experience, the vast majority of tasks that require a chainsaw are further than 100 feet from a power outlet. Considering that cordless and 2-cycle models are infinitely more mobile than corded versions, we'd say that those who are going to want to purchase this type of saw are in the minority.
The Worx WG303.1 is extremely budget-friendly, but with a lackluster overall performance compared to other corded-electric models, we'd recommend spending more money for more performance.
If you're in a pinch and you need an affordable corded electric chainsaw, the Worx WG303.1 will probably suit your needs. It cuts well when the chain is at the perfect tension and it's lightweight. We like the top-fill style of the oil tank and we are always fans of metal bucking spikes. However, the chain tensioning system does not work very well. If you can spend a little extra money, we'd highly recommend going with a better model.
— Ross Patton
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