WORX 40V 16″ Chainsaw Review

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WORX NITRO 40V 16″ Chainsaw (Model WG385)

WORX NITRO 40V 16" Chainsaw (WG385)

Manufacturer: WORX
Model number: WG385
Power source: Cordless
Motor size: 40V
Weight: 12.4 lbs (bare tool)
We recently got a chance to test the WORX NITRO 40V 16″ Chainsaw, Model WG385. Cordless chainsaws are an excellent choice for a couple of reasons. They are lower maintenance and overall quieter with less fumes. So I threw the WG385 into my car and brought it up to the beautiful Maine woods to cut down some fallen trees on my dad’s 10 acres. Here’s what I found out…

Specifications & Features | WORX NITRO 40V 16″ Chainsaw


  • Voltage: 40V Li-Ion
  • Bar Length: 16″
  • Bucking Spikes: Plastic
  • Motor: Brushless
  • Bar Oil Reservoir: 4.5 Oz.
  • Cute Rate: 59 ft/sec.
  • Weight: 12.4 lbs (bare tool)


  • Integrated Battery Status Indicator Light
  • Quick-stop Chain Brake
  • Automatic Oiler
  • Tool-Free Chain Tensioning

Key Design Features

The ease of use with the controls of the saw was top notch. There is no additional on/off switch or mode selector. Simply insert a battery, pull the chain brake towards the rear of the saw, press the safety thumb button, then pull the trigger and start cutting. It is a very intuitive process much easier than using a traditional gas powered saw which required adjusting the choke and pull starting the motor.

The WG385 features a “Tool-free” and folding plastic adjustment knob to set proper chain tension. This was one of the features that I disliked the most. It did not feel very sturdy. Plus I had to loosen and immediately readjust the tension multiple times throughout the day to get the blade to actually tighten. I wish WORX had chosen to use a traditional side-mounted chain tension adjuster on the WG385 chainsaw.  While it’s nice to have tool-free operations in the woods, other competitor cordless chainsaws have easily integrated the required side tension tools into the saw design with little to no issue.

Power & Performance

Cutting with the NITRO 40V saw was on par with other battery-powered chainsaws I’ve previously used. I performed test cuts on 6″ – 14″ diameter hard and softwood logs. We also did a couple plunge cuts with the saw inserted up to the bucking spikes. Even in hardwoods, the WORX saw performed smoothly and efficiently as long as I didn’t try to force the blade too quickly. When I did, the saw quickly cut out and I had to back it out of the cut and restart the motor.

The vibration was low in WORX NITRO 40V 16″ Chainsaw which resulted in less operator fatigue. I also noticed that the weight was very well balanced. This made standard and top-side cuts equally comfortable even at a variety of angles.

The overall battery life with the included 2x 4 Ah batteries was good not great. We were able to cut up about 2.5 average sized trees until we had to recharge both 20V batteries. In total we cut for about 45 minutes which was again good not great overall performance. We also loved the battery status indicator light seamlessly integrated into the handle. We never had to guess how much juice was left since it was clearly visible when cutting. Kudos to WORX!

We also had minor issues with chip clogging during normal operations. WORX should look at the design of the chip blowout chute to see if it can be widened at all. This as especially prevalent in softwood with a higher (and stickier) sap consistency. It was very easy to clear the jammed chips but was an added step we had to do a couple times throughout the day.

Safety & Ergonomics

Benefits of Cordless Chainsaws

As we painstakingly outlined in our previous Tool Box Buzz Chainsaw Head-to-Head article, there are definite advantages to cordless chainsaws. Most homeowners neglect proper maintenance of small gas engines ultimately leading to difficulty starting the motor and costly repairs. Battery-powered cordless chainsaws eliminate those hassles completely. Additionally, cordless chainsaws are extremely quiet allowing you to work without hearing protection and reducing noise for neighbors. And Cordless chainsaws also produce no noxious fumes that often result in operator discomfort. The messiest task was filling up the 4.5 Oz bar chain oil reservoir which was no big deal.

The WG385 has the essential safety feature of a quick kill safety guard. In an emergency just slap the guard forward to immediately stop the chainsaw. To reset the safety guard must be firmly pulled towards the back of the saw. Again, this is a standard safety feature on all chainsaws but it’s important to note it worked very well when tested.

The WG385’s inertia-activated chain brake is an outstanding safety feature. The brake system is ergonomic and contours around the hand while cutting, but does not interfere. Once engaged it stops the chain immediately. It works automatically whenever power is stopped from arriving at the motor or the machine senses a blade jam.

Bucking Spikes are another great tried and true feature for chainsaws. They are used to help stabilize a chainsaw against a tree or branch. They also help alleviate any fatigue from too much motion and allow the user to use leverage vs muscle power to apply blade pressure to the log. Unfortunately, the WG385 doesn’t have bucking spikes. Instead it features plastic bracing ripples which offer VERY limited stability and no significant safety or anti-fatigue benefits.

Overall Impression | WORX NITRO 40V 16″ Chainsaw (Model WG385)

The WORX NITRO 40V 16″ Chainsaw is a great option for homeowners looking for a saw to clean up yard brush, downed trees, and light to medium-duty yard work. While a cordless saw might not be a great option for cutting large quantities of firewood, they are an excellent choice for occasional use. This chainsaw performed well on both soft and hardwoods and offered good (not great battery life). If you need a saw optimized for personal use around your yard then the NITRO 40V 16″ from WORX is a solid choice.

About the author

Ben Fecteau

Benjamin is a former project manager, CNC-designer, and AWS-certified welder with experience running a commercial and industrial steel design and fabrication company. Before making the jump to commercial construction, he spent years renovating houses and building furniture where he became skilled in the art of home wiring, flooring, siding, and custom tool modifications. Benjamin has a Masters Degree in Education and is passionate about sharing his love of design with his sons and through community-based outreach. He resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and enjoys spending time with his family, in his workshop, and serving as an Air Force Officer.

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