Worx WG303.1 16-inch Chainsaw Review

WORX WG303.1 16-Inch Chain Saw

Executive Summary

The Worx WG303.1 16-inch Chainsaw is designed for homeowners, campers and the like who need an efficient chainsaw for occasional pruning, clearing and so on. It is not designed to cut down a forest!
Electrical power via an electrical power cord may place some barriers as to where you can use it but overall will do a solid job.

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Worx WG303.1 16-inch Chainsaw

Weight and Dimensions

Dimensions: 14.6 x 19.7 x 8.1 inches (37 x 50 x 21 cm)
Weight: 11 pounds (5kg)
Bar Length: 16 inches (41 cm)
Generally comes fully assembled – just add oil, plug it in and its good to go 🙂

Power Source

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This chainsaw is powered by electricity supplied through a power cord connected to an electrical source. And if that sounds a bit vague – read on 🙂

a) The Power Cord
The actual power cord that feeds electrical current into the 120 V 3.5 HP 14.5 Amp motor (as claimed by the manufacturer) is very short (only 14 odd inches {36cm})and is designed to work with a 3 prong extension cord.

So the next question is – how long can the extension cord be because that is going to be a limiting factor in terms of where you can use the Worx WG303.1 16-inch Chainsaw.

And this is where opinions and experiences vary widely!

If you are not an electrical guru, you need to know that not all extension cords are equal. They obviously can vary in length but they also vary in gauge.

Both these factors influence the resistance factor of the cord. The longer the cord and/or the higher the wire gauge of the power cord (see more info on this below), the higher the resistance.

Stay with us here – the higher the resistance of the extension cord, the less voltage available to run the motor which in turns negatively impacts the performance (and longevity) of the motor!

In other words – As the cord gets longer, the current carrying capacity of the cord gets lower!

To complicate matters a bit more – The gauge is based on the American Wire Gauge (AWG) System, in which the larger the wire, the smaller the AWG number(weird but true!). So, although it is a bit counter intuitive, a 10 gauge wire can power larger wattage appliances than a 14 gauge wire.

So – in a nutshell, to use the Worx WG303.1 you need a power cord – the question is what should the properties of that power cord be.

The Worx manual isn’t very specific – it simply says that you need to use an extension cord acceptable for outdoor use, that the size should be 14 gauge or larger and that you need to connect it to the correct voltage. It does make reference to an incorrect extension cord causing a drop in line voltage but all in all is a bit vague on the subject.

However, as an indicator of what you should be looking at – several reviewers have happily used 100 + foot extension cords – some using 12 gauge while
others suggesting 10 gauge (the lower the gauge rating ….see above)

Your safest bet is probably to use a voltage drop calculator to calculate what gauge you need for the distance you need and then aquire an extension cord that meets those specs.

Remember that a drop in voltage WILL negatively affect your chainsaw motor in the long run,(even if there is no obvious decrease in power to you) so get it right in order to enjoy maximum benefit from your investment.

b) Electricity Source

Having hopefully sorted out the extension cord issue, what about the source of the electricity that powers the motor?

The most obvious one is the normal household plug – plug it in and cut!

But that is not always convenient or possible so people do use generators to power these saws.

Again though, one has to be wise in matching chainsaw to generator power capacity. Also, you are unlikely to buy a generator simply to run your chainsaw so the other uses have to be taken into account.

This website (http://powerequipment.honda.com/generators/generator-wattage-estimation-guide) gives you an idea of the wattage required to run many household appliances.

Obviously the bigger the power output of the generator (within reason) the better and there are people who run this chainsaw off both 2kw and 3kw generators.

The bottom line is you first need to assess your needs in terms of where you are going to use the Worx WG303.1, and then sort out how you are going to get an adequate supply of power to it.

Chain Matters

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The Worx WG303.1 16-inch Chainsaw has a convenient auto tensioning system that automatically maintains the proper tension for the chain while you are cutting.This is particulary useful when you first use this chainsaw (or install a new chain) as the chain will likely stretch initially.

Apart from reducing stoppage times to adjust the chain tension when working, this mechanism will also extend the working life of the chain (and bar) which is certainly a big plus for any household user.

In addition, there is also an inbuilt oil reservoir that automatically provides oil to the chain and bar. The oil level can be monitored with the oil level indicator. Again this is a bonus for the average household user who doesn’t know how much oil should be applied to the chain when it is cutting.

A plastic scabbard to protect the bar and chain when not working and a small volume of oil is supplied when you buy this chainsaw. Be warned though that the oil supplied wont last long so best to stock up with extra oil at the same time.

From a safety point of view the Worx WG303.1 16-inch has a built-in chain brake that quickly stops the chain when it connects with something nasty, thus preventing or minimising kickback – again a major plus for the casual user.

Capabilities

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The Worx WG303.1 16-inch Chainsaw will be more than adequate for most homeowners’ needs. It can easily deal with logs up to 1.5 ft in diameter which is probably bigger than the average household user will encounter.

Having said that, although your electricity supply may be neverending, its not a good idea to just keep cutting. One reviewer suggests using it for no more than 20 minutes of fairly continuous use before giving it (and yourself!) a break to cool down, clean out dust and check the oil level.

Warranty & Manual

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The Worx WG303.1 16-inch Chainsaw has a three (3) year limited warranty. It’s actually a 2 year warranty with a third year added if your register your tool online – so who wouldn’t do that for an extra year?

Also you need to register for the warranty online as a condition of the warranty so it’s all a bit messy in terms of the actual duration of the warranty.

So, unless you have an aversion to having your name and address on someone’s register, best is to cover all bases by registering your chainsaw online for the warranty at www.worx.com/Warranty-Registration. You will need to become a MyWorx member to access the warranty registration forms.

MyWorx is basically their members portal that offers news, tips and other benefits related to Worx – a small price to pay for the warranty.

The Manual is pretty standard stuff but deserves a read through before you launch into your first assignment with your new WG303.1 Chainsaw

Customer Reviews

Most users of the Worx WG303.1 16-inch Chainsaw are pleased to have a chain saw that is quieter than a normal gas chainsaw and that starts at the flick of a switch no matter how long it has been sitting on the shelf.
While acknowledging that it might not be as powerful as a normal gas powered chainsaw, few quibble with the performance of the Worx WG303.1!
See 1150 Plus Customer Reviews Here

Amazon Rating: 4.2

 

Pros & Cons

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product name prosPros:

Electrically powered
Relatively light but powerful
The automatic chain tightener
Automatic chain oiler
Built in Chain Brake
product name consCons:
Extension cord + power source conundrums (but easily sorted with a bit of homework)
Oil leaks – some have reported this as a problem – perhaps storage related? i.e not storing flat.

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Worx WG303.1 16-inch Chainsaw

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Worx WG303.1 16-inch Chainsaw

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