By Steve Bullman

4_5stars

Review of the Husqvarna T536Li XP

single_review

 

Recently new to the market is the Husqvarna battery powered arborist saw.  Battery powered chainsaws have been around several years now and are not something I have any experience with prior to this, so I am writing this review with nothing to compare it to on performance but its petrol engine counterpart.

Having said that, it’s important to realise that this saw serves a different purpose from a petrol saw, and whilst it can carry out some of the same tasks, it is ideally suited to lighter pruning works.  I have carried out a few small dismantles with this saw just to see what it could do, and on a performance basis, the saw held its own very well.  The main issue with removals, or any larger branch removal is of course the added drain on the battery.  On a 50ft Sycamore I was able to dismantle the tree with 2 batteries, compared to 2 batteries lasting me the better part of a day on light pruning work.

There are a couple of features with this saw that make it desirable to use.  Firstly the reduced noise.  It still does produce enough noise to require ear protection, particularly if you are using it any length of time, but on lighter pruning tasks where the majority of the work was carried out with a hand saw, and using the battery saw for the odd larger limb, I found it unnecessary.
Secondly, the on off button rather than a pull start.  When I first picked up the saw, this was pointed out to me as a labour saver, and to be honest I scoffed at this, commenting that I have never had an issue pull starting a saw before.  In practice however, it makes a refreshing change when you are out on a limb, in an awkward position, and all that’s needed is a single press of a button to be in business.  This has become something I now miss when I am using a petrol saw,.  That, along with the reduced noise actually make me look forward to the jobs I can use this on.

The overall ergonomics of the saw are pretty much spot on.  It has the same 2 attachment points that are on the T540XP, the belt eyelet I have become particularly fond of for quick one handed stowing of the saw.
The keypad which I briefly mentioned above, is mounted conveniently to the side of the handle and is easily reachable with your thumb.  This has 2 settings.  Standard and economy(or savE).  In practice I have only used the economy mode once, finding the reduced chain speed effected the quality of a target pruning cut.  Standard setting on the other hand produces chain speed nearly comparable to the

T540XP, with only a slightly slower pick up time.   As well as its primary function, for safety the chain break also cuts power to the motor.
The oil tank has a handy flip-up cap.  Its worth mentioning that it is very easy to forget to fill the oil when you are not going through the usual process of topping up with petrol…something to be cautious of.
The Li-ion battery itself slides in to the rear of the saw and has 2 clips working independently of each other.  Its important to make sure both these clips engage properly and the battery is secure prior to use.  I have heard one report of the battery coming out, but I haven’t been able to replicate this and I suspect the battery wasn’t clipped in properly in the first place.  To remove the battery, both clips need to be pressed in simultaneously and the battery pushed through from the other side.

Based on my limited knowledge of its predecessors, this saw would seem quite a step forward.  With the increase in technology and batteries getting smaller and more powerful all the time, the battery powered market will be well worth keeping an eye on in the future.  If you are considering one of these saws now then you need to take a look at the type of work you are doing.  This certainly isn’t a primary arborists saw, but to complement a range of tools, then this saw most definitely has its place and will remain in my line up.

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