CRAFTSMAN 16″ CORDED ELECTRIC CHAINSAW: CUTTING-EDGE CONVENTIONAL

Craftsman 16-Inch Corded Electric Chainsaw  Model  #34119

Pros: Price.  Fitted with an Oregon bar and chain.  Extra chain included.  Automatic bar oiling.  Two-year warranty.  Adequate Operator’s Manual.

Cons: China built.  Stiff trigger action.  No installed chain-sharpening feature.  Bar and chain excluded from warranty.

It was a sad day when my Remington 14” Powercutter electric chainsaw would cut no more.  After more than a dozen years of reliable service, the trigger had begun to work intermittently.  I was amazed to find that the part was still available – and downright floored to discover the price of such a repair.

The Remington was perfectly suited to its assigned duties.  Remotely, I would use my 40-volt cordless Oregon chainsaw to cut firewood on the property – which is mostly standing-dead and winter kill hardwood.  After lugging said wood back to the house, the plug-in Remington was used to trim and cut to a manageable length.  With firewood foraging dependent upon the weather, my late-autumn need for a replacement saw was looming.

The Search

While in town for supplies, I stopped at the local Sears Hometown store to check available inventory.  Most of their chainsaw stock was of the cordless variety.  With the introduction of the Lithium-ion battery, it seems there’s not as much of a market for the dedicated plug-in electric saw.  But they did have one in-stock – and it was on sale.

My Lucky Day

The Craftsman 16-inch Electric Chainsaw (model 34119) was contained within a cardboard carton that resembled a dining room chair.  In its loud red box, it managed to be both funny to look at and awkward to carry.  Its 12 amp / 3.5 peak horsepower motor nearly doubled the available power of the Remington it replaced.

Adjustments

Completely assembled out of the box, the first task was to add oil to the reservoir that automatically feeds the bar oiler.  Unlike my Oregon‘s specialty oil, standard bar and chain oil is all you need with the Craftsman.  Chain tension is adjusted by means of a large dial located at the base of the bar. The folks at Craftsman have dealt with the popular chain-sharpening option by neglecting to install one.

Comparative Analysis

The Remington was the perfect saw for its purpose.  A fine balance of horsepower, weight and 14” bar length made it appropriately light and nimble for extended sawing sessions.  The Craftsman is heavier and noisier, with a pronounced “snap” to the chain brake upon release of the trigger.  The trigger itself has a somewhat clunky, hard-plastic resistance that requires a more precise index-finger effort – not compatible with an operator’s often-gloved hand.

Bar and chain removal and adjustment require no tools, so therefore are easier on the Craftsman.  After four months of ownership, it has yet to leak oil from the reservoir – a common problem with both gas and electric models from a variety of manufacturers.  The lack of a sharpening option is somewhat compensated by the inclusion of an Oregon replacement chain, which retails in the neighborhood of $14.00 (all prices US).

A Good Deal?

Though reliability has yet to be determined, the Craftsman 16” Electric Chainsaw is shaping-up as a good choice.  Seeing its $79.00 price tag chopped-down to $37.00 through Rewards Points incentives, I feel the overall risk is minimal – it would have cost more to repair the Remington.  With the extra chain inclusion, the Craftsman becomes a best buy for the sharp consumer in need of its plug-in simplicity and convenience.

Though a victim of dated technology, the corded electric chainsaw will always serve a purpose in the rural marketplace.  Model variety and availability may have lessened, but so have the prices.  For those in need of a conventional electric chainsaw, the Craftsman model 34119, with its 2-year limited warranty, deserves due consideration.

Sears Brands Management Corp.

Hoffman Estates, IL  60179

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