worx wg304.1 electric chainsaw

Worx WG304.1 18-inch 15 Amp Electric Chainsaw Review

Introduction

When looking for the right chainsaw, there are so many choices and options available, it can be pretty difficult to figure out what is what. You can only see so many lists of specs and features before too long they all begin to blur into one another, and they look like nothing more than a collection of numbers and words.

Our review of the WORX WG304.1 is not necessarily meant to convince you that this is the right chainsaw for you as much as it aims to help you understand who this is the right chainsaw for. There are some definite limitations and things you will want to watch out for, but for many people, the WORX WG304.1 chainsaw is the end of their search.

Sale
WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 15.0 Amp
1,139 Ratings
WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 15.0 Amp
  • 15.0 Amp motor output delivers a more powerful cutting performance to the extended, 18 inch bar
  • Patented auto tension chain system prevents over tightening; stays at the right tension for hundreds of uses
  • Low kick back bar and built in chain brake for added safety; Chain Links : 63

Company

When choosing a chainsaw, it is a good idea to understand the company you might be doing business with. It is a good idea to see what kind of philosophy the company takes, whether it is one of innovation, reliability, or convenience. And of course, it is always important to figure out how a company responds to their customers once they already have the money.

WORX is a company that splits the line in terms of these qualities as they are actually a relatively young company. Because they have ties with BLACK+DECKER WORX begins in their process as definitely more of a consumer-grade brand of tools. However, they are definitely on the higher-end of the consumer-grade, though their price also tends to reflect that a bit too.

On top of that, WORX focuses primarily on the outdoor equipment market, though their specialization has broadened a bit since their founding to include a few hand tools. That said, this should not be seen as a distraction since WORX is noted for its innovation and has won a number of awards for its products in its comparatively short history.

For example, any WORX power tool is an electric power tool with both corded and cordless models to choose from. However, WORX makes it a point to provide additional value to loyal customers with one of the largest, interchangeable cordless tool lineups on the market.

Essentially, the batteries used for WORX cordless power tools and outdoor equipment transition from one tool to another without you having to buy half a dozen different battery packs. Though, WORX’s dedication to its customers does not end there.

In fact, one of the better qualities of the WORX company comes from their customer service. While their warranties may be on par with their competitors, most people who invoke them have no difficulty getting their problem addressed and complete replacements are relatively effortless.

WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 15.0 Amp

Specs

  • Type: Corded Electric
  • Power: 15 amps
  • Horsepower: 4.0
  • Chain Speed: 12 m/s
  • Bar: 18”
  • Gauge: 0.05”
  • Pitch: ⅜”
  • Links: 63
  • Cut Thickness: 18”/32”
  • Weight: 11.2 pounds

Features

  • Has automatic chain tensioning
  • Has an automatic oiler
  • Has an ergonomic handle
  • Has a built-in chain brake
  • Has all-metal dogs
  • Has a sprocket nose
  • Has an Oregon bar and chain
  • Has a spiked bumper

Performance

The WORX WG304.1 is a corded electric chainsaw which means that you should not expect it to handle the kind of jobs or tasks that you might ask of a gas-powered chainsaw. While this is not a weak chainsaw, it simply does not have the kind of cutting torque necessary to compete with larger, professional-grade tools.

However, with WORX being a consumer-grade brand, this is not really the WG304.1’s intention. Instead, this chainsaw is better understood as a high-end homeowner chainsaw with the ability to handle most jobs around the house or even a medium-sized property.

The motor itself puts out a solid 15-amps and can generate a surprising 4 hp, though this is the peak measurement and does not necessarily hold true once you begin cutting. Still, this is definitely on the far end of the electric chainsaw power scale, regardless of whether corded or battery.

Though, the fact that this is a corded electric chainsaw does at least help provide a little bit more cutting power once the chain meets resistance. Basically, the steady power supply of a corded chainsaw can continue cutting where a cordless chainsaw may not due to power limitations from the battery.

This powerful motor allows the WORX WG304.1 to cut logs up to 18” thick and up to 32” thick when cutting from both ends. While this is pretty standard for a gas-powered chainsaw whose combustion engine can power through heavy resistance, it is definitely not as common for an electric motor which has a tendency to bog down when it encounters too much resistance.

That said, you will definitely need to be a bit more careful when making cuts on thicker pieces of wood with this chainsaw. While the motor itself is reasonably powerful, the chain speed is only 12 m/s which, while the average for an electric chainsaw, is a bit on the slow end.

This means that the deeper you cut into a log, the more time you will have to give the chain to remove the sawdust from the cut. In fact, if you do not give the WORX WG304.1 ample time for the cut, you are liable to bog the motor down, pinch the chain, or even wear out different components.

Regardless, that should not dissuade you from using the WORX WG304.1 to cut firewood or branches from around your house. And if you know how to properly use a chainsaw, the WORX can even be used for cutting down small to medium-sized trees.

Functions

Outside of raw performance, another major thing to look for with a chainsaw is the various functions. Essentially, not every chainsaw is as easy to use as others, and even those with plenty of experience using chainsaws still appreciate a tool that is easier to use.

While not exclusive to the WG304.1 chainsaw, the electric design allows for a significantly easier start than gas chainsaws. On top of that, you do not have to worry about the delicate springs of a pull-start system failing and requiring an expensive repair or plenty of frustration.

One of the better features of the WORX WG304.1 is its chain tensioning system, though this definitely depends on how familiar you are with tensioning chains on a chainsaw. In this instance, at least you do not need to worry about a scrench commonly used to tighten most chainsaw chains.

Instead, there sits a side knob that allows you to tighten the chain around the bar by cranking it. Even better, the WORX chainsaw has an automatic tensioning function which prevents you from accidentally over-tensioning the chain.

Not only does this help you extend the life of the chain bar, but it also prevents you from accidentally snapping the chain. That said, this function is not the easiest to use for novices who note significant amounts of difficulty keeping the chain properly tensioned.

Outside of the automatic chain tensioning system, the WORX WG304.1 also comes with an automatic oiling system to keep the chain lubricated throughout the cut. While this is definitely convenient, it seems as if WORX may have gone a bit too far in that regard and actually provide no ability for the user to make any changes to the oil’s feed rate.

In theory, this should not matter too much, but in practice, it means that the WG304.1 chainsaw seems to go through far more chain oil than many of their competitors. On the other hand, this does at least mean that you do not have to worry about the chain causing too much friction as it spins around the bar.

On top of that, the oil’s feed rate does seem to stabilize a bit once the chainsaw gets fully broken in, though it remains higher than most. To help alleviate the rapid expenditure of chain oil, make sure that the bar and body around the chain remain clear of debris which can absorb oil meant for the chain.

On the plus side, the WORX chainsaw comes with a transparent oil tank that holds just over 6.5 oz. While the size is not necessarily large, it does allow for a solid 15 to 20 minutes of cutting without having to refill it.

However, it is worth noting that aside from using more oil than most, the WORX WG304.1 chainsaw also tends to leak it. To be fair, this is a fairly common issue among chainsaws with automatic oil with WORX recommending that you both empty the oil reservoir after use and store it horizontally when done.

Maintenance

By far one of the better qualities of electric chainsaws in general, whether corded or cordless, is that they do not require nearly as much maintenance as a gas chainsaw. Since a gas chainsaw relies on oxygen for combustion, it necessarily has an air intake with a filter as well as an exhaust.

An electric chainsaw, on the other hand, does not need that design, and as such, will require no maintenance in that regard. Though, that does not mean that electric chainsaws in general and the WORX WG304.1 chainsaw, in particular, require no maintenance of any sort.
However, most of the maintenance relating to the WORX chainsaw involves routine tasks that apply to all chainsaw. Obviously, you need to make sure that the chainsaw’s bar, chain, and body remain clean and clear from debris after use.

Another common maintenance task applicable to most chainsaws you should perform is flipping the bar to prevent a bend or wobble from developing. Beyond bar maintenance, you will also want to look at the chainlinks after a handful of hours of use to ensure that they are still straight and sharp. If the chainlinks dull, which is normally for regular use, use a 5/32 file to sharpen the cutting edge of the chain.

While skirting the line between maintenance and ease of use, the simple fact that you do not have to worry about fuel is a big bonus. While this is more of a selling point for electric chainsaws in general, it is still nice that you do not have to worry about getting a fuel and oil mixture right or risk damaging the chainsaw.

Ergonomics

This is another quality that does not always matter as much for chainsaws in particular but is always much appreciated and is especially beneficial for homeowners and DIYers. Aside from the different functions that make using the WG304.1 chainsaw easier to use, there are a number of passive qualities as well that make using the Worx easier in general.

Easily one of the best aspects in this regard is the general lightweight design of the WORX which sits at only 11.2 pounds. While this is not the lightest chainsaw on the market, it is fairly lightweight for one that comes with an 18” bar and powerful 15-amp motor.

Of course, this is achieved with heavy use of plastic for the body and other components, but it does not seem to have an inherently adverse effect– though it will require a more careful technique to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

Outside of the general ease in handling the WORX WG304.1 chainsaw, it also comes with a large rear handle that features a rubber grip to prevent slippage while working. On top of that, the front handle uses a full wrap-around design, though this should not be confused for a bail handle and is not as protected on all sides as some other chainsaws offer. Combined, both handles provide plenty of room to get a firm grip without having to worry about sweat loosening that grip.

Outside of the actual design functions, the WORX chainsaw also provides other ergonomic qualities common to most electric chainsaws. For example, since there is no combustion you do not have to worry about fumes messing with you or CARB compliance.

On top of that, the WG304.1 chainsaw is also reasonably quiet, though this can only extend so far given the nature of the tool. As a final convenience, though not inherently ergonomic, the WORX WG304.1 also comes fully assembled, so you will not end up wasting hours trying to put it together before you can actually use it.

Durability

This is definitely one of the areas where the WORX WG304.1 can be a bit dodgy, though it is not necessarily deal-breaking– especially given the chainsaw’s price. Basically, the WORX chainsaw is not noted for being a beast that can handle the most rigorous workloads, though neither is it noted for being exceptionally fragile either.

Instead, the WG304.1 chainsaw is a bit particular in how you use it, though this can also be a bit tricky. This is because while the WORX WG304.1 offers plenty of general information regarding the care and use of the tool that applies to most chainsaws, it does not offer specific documentation that relates to its unique needs.

This occurs most frequently with the automatic chain tensioning system which can be a pain to manage if you do not know how it works ahead of time. Thankfully, there are a number of helpful users online that offer insight into how to fix the chain tensioner depending on what seems to be the problem.

Unfortunately, the chain tensioner is not necessarily the most durable part of the WG304.1 due to the inclusion of plastic components. While this is not inherently the biggest issue if you use it properly, it does mean that even moderate misuse of the chain tensioning system can see it fail.

It is worth noting that the chain tensioning issues can often come down to users simply not understanding how chainsaws function generally. For example, the first time you use the WORX chainsaw, the heat generated by the chain moving across the bar will cause the chain to loosen.

This is often when people tend to use the chain tensioning system improperly and cause damage that may ultimately end up in failure. It is also important to stay on top of flipping the bar as this is just as responsible for poor chain tension as the difficult system itself.

Of course, most of those issues relate more to how the WORX WG304.1 is used rather than any issues with the general durability. Keeping that in mind, there is one particular issue with the WORX’s motor that comes up often enough to register as a legitimate problem.

Basically, the WG304.1 uses a brushed motor, and a motor with brushes will inevitably wear out. Unfortunately, it seems as though the brushes in the WORX chainsaw’s motor use a plastic coating with a fairly low melting point. If the plastic coating on the copper wire brush melts, this causes a short to the motor which fries the entire component and requires a complete replacement.

Another legitimate issue with durability comes with the drive gear which should be distinguished from the drive sprocket. The drive sprocket is made of steel and will not fail, but the gear connected to the sprocket is made of nylon plastic.

This is not terribly uncommon for consumer-grade or electric chainsaws, but it does mean that you cannot use the same kind of force with the WORX as with more powerful chainsaws. If you do, there is a decent chance that the WORX WG304.1 drive gear will strip and need to be replaced.

While all of this might seem bad, it is worth reminding that the WORX is not a fragile product, and most of these problems come down to human error. Outside of the motor brush plastic coating, all of these problems involve people not understanding how to use the WORX WG304.1 more than an inherent failing with the product itself.

Depending on how much research you have already done, we just wanted to make sure you understood what the actual complaints meant and which ones were genuinely concerning and which you could avoid by following directions and using proper technique.

Safety

While the durability complaints made about the WORX WG304.1 might keep some away, proper use can often prevent those issues from arisingas well as keep you safe. Thankfully, the WORX chainsaw includes a number of different features to help keep you safe, even if you do not use the best technique.

By far, the best safety feature of the WORX WG304.1 is its chain brake which is noted for being especially effective. On top of that, the chain brake is positioned in such a way that if you lose control of the chainsaw, it will often be activated just through normal reactions.

On the other hand, it is also worth noting that the chain brake is positioned fairly close to the top handle. This can lead to more accidental triggerings of the chain brake than with other chainsaws, especially if you are not using proper technique. Experienced chainsaw users may find the relative “hair trigger” of the chain brake to be a bit annoying, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

To alleviate this potential issue, the WORX WG304.1 includes a wide range of different features to help prevent kickbacks. In fact, both the chain itself and the chain bar feature anti-kickback designs that work well to prevent the event.

The bar includes a sprocket nose that allows you to cut with the tip of the chainsaw without having to worry about kickbacks as much. Even better, the anti-kickback chain includes an additional piece of metal that acts as a bumper for the tie straps of the chain links.

Still, the WG304.1 chainsaw also includes metal bucking spikes which allows you to get a better “grip” while cutting logs when they are already on the ground or a wedge. From a general design perspective, the WORX WG304.1 offers solid upper and lower handguards which, while the handguards are not as robust as some, at least provide one of the better sightlines on a chainsaw too.

Finally, the WORX also includes an on/off lock switch to prevent you from accidentally engaging the chainsaw when you are just picking it up– a legitimate concern given its electric start function. It also instantaneously stops the motor once you release the trigger, preventing accidental stray cuts.

Components

In this regard, we are not talking about the particular bits and pieces that make up the WORX WG304.1 chainsaw as much as specific components. For example, the chain and bar are easily some of the most important components of a chainsaw that can often be switched out.

To be fair, this is actually not recommended for the WG304.1 which might be considered something of a minor flaw. However, WORX does at least make it a point to use high-quality Oregon components for both the chain and bar.

One thing that is a bit odd is the fact that the WG304.1 uses a chain with 63 links, but the common standard for this type of chain is 62 links. This can make finding a replacement chain a bit more difficult, though finding replacements in general for WORX components is not always easy.

It is worth noting that outside of the bar and chain, you cannot actually purchase replacement components from WORX without going through their customer service. While customer service is responsive and helpful, this is still a bit of a pain for those people who know what they need.

That said, there are a number of third-party retailers, both online and in stores, which sell them, though a number of the components are considered “obsolete.” This can make repairing more serious issues a bit tricky and somewhat dependent on local repair shops.

Conclusion

Sale
WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 15.0 Amp
1,139 Ratings
WORX WG304.1 Chain Saw 18-Inch 4 15.0 Amp
  • 15.0 Amp motor output delivers a more powerful cutting performance to the extended, 18 inch bar
  • Patented auto tension chain system prevents over tightening; stays at the right tension for hundreds of uses
  • Low kick back bar and built in chain brake for added safety; Chain Links : 63

In the end, the WORX WG304.1 is a solid corded electric chainsaw that is made all the better of a deal due to its generally low price. While it is not the cheapest chainsaw, strictly speaking, you will be hard-pressed to find a better chainsaw for the same or lower price.

It is a bit odd that the WG304.1 is clearly designed for the average homeowner in mind based on many of its qualities and features but is also one of the more persnickety chainsaws on the market. To be fair, it is not actually difficult to use the WORX as much as it is not always apparent what needs to be done which can add to confusion for even experienced users.

Whether you look at the automatic chain tensioning system or its surprisingly robust cutting power, the WORX offers something just a little bit better than most other consumer-grade chainsaws on the market. Combine that with its easy to maneuver design and extensive safety features, and it might be the best homeowner chainsaw out there.

If you have a large forest or bustling farm, chances are you should get a chainsaw with a little bit more power. However, if you have a larger piece of property with medium-sized trees or need a chainsaw for anything less taxing, the WORX WG304.1 is a value that is hard to pass up.