Kress Commercial 60V 16″ Battery Chainsaw Review
Kress Model KC300.9 60V Battery Chainsaw
This tool review will feature the impressive new Kress 60V battery chainsaw. The Model KC300.9 combines professional-grade features and durable construction to produce a genuinely commercial-level tool. The Kress chainsaw includes a 16″ bar with 0.325″ Low Profile pitch and 0.043″ gauge chain. This smaller chain produces fast cuts with minimal chatter. However, the most impressive feature is the power plant that brings this beast to life. The Kress 60V CyberSystem battery platform provides the most incredible recharge times ever seen in cordless OPE.
Who is Kress?
Kress is a German company that originated in 1928 making electronics for the automotive industry and later electric motors. In the early 1960s, Kress launched their first lines of professional portable power tools. Fast forward to 2017 and Kress went all-in on developing cordless OPE for professional landscapers and demanding homeowners.
In 2023 Kress completed developing and released their new CyberSystem battery technology. This technology boasts the “world’s fastest-charging times”. While not as common in the United States, Kress is a top brand amongst landscaping professionals in Europe.
60V Battery Chainsaw Specifications
- Bar Length: 16″
- OEM Bar: Oregon Solid Tip
- Oil Reservoir: 6.4 Ozs.
- Oiler Type: Automatic
- Chain Pitch: 0.325″ Low Profile
- Chain Gauge: 0.043″
- Motor Type: Brushless
- Battery Size: 4 AH/240 WH
- Battery Weight: 6.80 Lbs.
- Powerhead Weight: 7.82 Lbs.
- Assembled Weight: 16.56 Lbs.
- Noise Output: 94.5 dBs.
- Chain Speed: 78.7 Ft/S
- Construction: IPX4 Dust and Water Resistant
- Warranty: 3 Year Tool / 2 Year Batteries and Chargers
Kress KC300.9 Cutting Performance
Battery chainsaws are almost universally accepted at this point in time. They are easy to maintain, great for occasional or casual users, and also eliminate the use of gas. But what good are they if they can’t cut? The Kress 60V battery chainsaw has excellent cutting performance. The brushless motor is fast to rev up to full power, but also sounds smoother than most saws I have used. There is a noticeable difference in the tone the motor makes. It sounds smooth and refined. Almost like it isn’t working hard at all.
During the testing process, I used the Kress saw on a variety of hardwood trees with different diameters. The largest piece of wood I cut was an approximately 24″ diameter ash log that required a cut from each side to completely sever. The Kress handled this task without any issues. Ash is a tough wood to make cross cuts on but has a very linear grain structure, which makes it easy to split. While making length of bar cuts, the Kress was smooth and comfortable with very little felt vibration. The saw is also difficult to bog down.
In our recent Best Top-Handle Chainsaw H2H, we discussed proper cutting techniques with a battery chainsaw. Allowing the saw to cut at its own pace and not lean into it too much. I was able to bog the saw down when aggressively leaning on it, but otherwise, it cut smoothly and consistently through all species of wood. The smaller pitch and gauge of the OEM chain are big factors in this. Many users scoff at a small (low) profile chain, but my experience has shown that low-profile chains really shine with battery saws. The automatic oiler on the Kress 60V battery chainsaw also provides a generous amount of oil while cutting. I did not experience any issues with the bar overheating due to insufficient oil.
I mentioned the 60V CyberSystem power plant that Kress has created in the article. CyberSystem gives you an absolute, genuine, no BS, twelve-minute charge time. Yes, that is correct. A completely drained 4.0 Ah 60V battery will fully charge in twelve minutes regardless of condition. This is thanks to the Kress 30Amp AC Dual Port Charger.
The charger is a total battery management station that optimizes the battery’s performance and extends its lifespan. The charger also features air-cooling fans to lower the temperature of the batteries during charging. I ran through a battery making full-length crosscuts and it was very warm to the touch when I took it out of the saw. I slapped it in the charger and had a fully charged battery in less time than it took to field sharpen the chain. Unfortunately, all this technology makes the charger about the size of a hotel room refrigerator.
The batteries themselves are large too. A 4.0 Ah battery weighs in close to seven pounds and is about as ergonomic as a Belgian Block Paver. As a result of this, the saw must have a large body to accommodate the bulky battery. The Kress chainsaw body feels longer and wider than most other “commercial” or professional-grade battery chainsaws. That extra saw body is a fair trade-off though for the battery performance and recharge speeds. We will discuss the Kress 60V CyberSystem further in a later article.
I performed a run-time test on some fresh sugar maple tree-service wood that I received. The piece I selected was approximately 14″ in diameter and would be challenging, but not impossible, for the Kress. The chain was field sharpened before testing and the battery was fully charged. The saw was able to complete a total of sixteen full cross-cuts as well as achieve a partial cut depth of about 8″ on the seventeenth. This is an outstanding runtime for a battery saw. The maple was cut down the day before and had a very high moisture content. I paused for thirty seconds after every third cut to ensure the saw would not overheat or overload the system.
I would not recommend using this saw daily for cutting logs this size. There was a slowdown in performance once the saw was in the bottom 25% of the battery. However, this test showed that the Kress is an extremely capable saw and would provide even greater run-time in smaller-diameter logs and trees.
Room For Improvement
While the Kress battery and charger system is truly impressive, this article is intended to focus on the merits of the chainsaw itself. During my test cutting, I encountered a couple of issues with the saw that are worth mentioning. The first of which is the automatic oiler system. The oiler on the Kress keeps the bar generously oiled during use but seems to continuously seep out when not in use. When storing the saw, oil pooled up underneath it. Typically this issue can be overcome by opening the bar oil fill cap to release the pressure in the system. The Kress saw continued leaking even after releasing the pressure. To the extent that I now completely drain the saw of bar oil before storing it.
Bar oil can be seen seeping out of the oiler port with the bar removed.The second issue is related to the chain cover of the saw. Kress touts on their website that their cover is constructed from solid magnesium. A metal chain (clutch) cover is an outstanding feature and the fins on the inside of the cover do a great job of throwing chips. However, the saw’s bar nuts are not captive on the chain cover. Given that this is a commercial-grade tool, captive bar nuts are a must if not the standard. There is no worse fate than losing a bar nut during the middle of a project or cleanup job without a replacement easily available.
The Kress family of tools is an impressive lineup and is a true complete replacement for gas-powered OPE. In their almost one-hundred-year history, they have never made an internal combustion engine. Their battery platform and charger system are designed for demanding commercial landscapers and eliminate downtime. However, that technology comes at a cost.
The Kress KC300.9 60V chainsaw retails for $349.99 as a bare tool. This is a competitive market price for a true commercial-grade tool. The 4.0 Ah 60V battery used during testing has an MSRP of $549.99 and the 30 Amp charger has an MSRP of $779.99. Based upon this, the Kress chainsaw would make an excellent addition to any contractor’s arsenal who is already invested or planning on investing in the Kress 60V platform. As a stand-alone tool, the overall cost of the initial investment would be far too great for most users. Where it would excel though is with heavy industrial crews that may be doing emergency storm cleanups and benefit the most from such fast recharge times. Or landscaping contractors that would primarily use the batteries and chargers for their string trimmers and blowers and occasionally use the chainsaw as well.
Overall the Kress 60V battery chainsaw is an impressive tool. It is a smooth, fast, and consistent cutter with minimal felt vibration. The Buy-Now link below brings you to the Kress website to order directly or access their large network of dealers.
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