Ethan

Worx Jawsaw Chainsaw Review, Video

July 26, 2011 | by Ethan (email) |

The JawSaw is a relatively new offering from Worx that provides the cutting power of a chainsaw with significantly reduced operational hazard via an innovative jaw-like blade housing. The tool is designed for cutting tree limbs, removing storm debris, and pruning in tough situations. The folks at Worx sent us a JawSaw and separate extension pole to try out and review.

Fortunately, we had plenty of trees with dead limbs, enabling a thorough test of this tool.

Unpackaging the JawSaw

When the JawSaw arrived, the box was about as tall as me (6 feet). I unpacked everything and was pleasantly surprised that no assembly is required. Score 1 for Worx. Prepping the JawSaw required only two steps: adding chain oil to the tool’s small reservoir (oil included), and checking the tension of the chain to ensure proper tightness. After that, the JawSaw connects to a standard household outlet and is ready to go.

The tool features a D-Handle with a safety lock on both sides.

The optional extension pole can be attached to the JawSaw for extended reach, but as I note in the performance section below, the tool feels unwieldy with this attachment.

How the JawSaw Worx

(It’s an egregious play on words, I know.)

Concealed inside the jaw is a chainsaw that pivots across the mouth of the saw during cutting. When beginning a cut, the blade is fully concealed in the upper part of the housing. This picture shows the blade halfway across the mouth of the tool.

To operate, you put the jaw around a limb, press the red safety lock button, pull the trigger to start the chainsaw, and push the orange handle to slice through. I like that for easier operation, Worx put two safety buttons on the tool, one on either side of the D handle. I also like that the jaw acts to protect the chain from dulling when cutting on the ground. With an electric motor, there’s no gas tank to refill or fumes while operating, which are also pluses.

Performance Review

Cutting Power: The JawSaw powered through everything I cut. It had no problem with small to medium tree branches and bushes (4″ or smaller). Cutting was very quick and easy. If a storm ever comes through and knocks down a tree, I’d be happy to have the JawSaw on hand. It’s also easy to know what the JawSaw can’t cut, since larger limbs won’t fit inside the jaw housing.

Reliability: After cutting several branches with the JawSaw, the chain came off. I checked the chain tension before starting, so I’m confident that wasn’t the cause of the problem. I spent about 10 minutes getting everything back in order before I could continue wreaking havoc on my yard. This was a significant drag on the tool, but it only happened once. (As we use this tool further, we’ll update this reliability section with additional results). I experienced no problems with the motor or other parts.

Here’s a shot just after the chain came off. It’s clearly twisted up inside of the jaw.

After 10 minutes, I was able to get the chain back in place. The nut on the left adjusts tension.

And here’s a look at the bush that doesn’t exist anymore after the tool was fixed. I’d guess it was about 3″ in diameter. The JawSaw made quick work of the bush.

Extension Pole: I wasn’t impressed with the extension at all. After you snap the JawSaw in place, you’ve got all this weight on the end of a six foot pole. That makes it really difficult to raise the JawSaw above your head, which is the entire point of an extension. I wish Worx had found a better solution, because I think a long reach is important for a good tree trimmer. Nevertheless, I use the extension pole in the video below.

A Short Video Demo

Here’s the short video promised in the title of the article.

Overall Impressions & Price

Despite the problems with the chain, I enjoyed the efficient cutting action of the tool. The JawSaw powered through every limb I put it up against. The ugly bush in my backyard? Decapitated. The tree with dead branches? Pruned.

The extension pole allows the user to reach limbs as tall as 12′ high, but I don’t recommend it. The JawSaw is very unwieldy when it’s attached to the extension. It makes this otherwise safe chainsaw seem unsafe. Fortunately, the extension pole is sold separately.

For $119, the JawSaw is a bit pricey. We’d like to see the price down around $70. However, if you’ve got a significant number of 3″ or 4″ tree branches that need to come down, it may be worth it even at the current retail price. We recommend foregoing the $40 extension pole unless you really need it for a job. Use caution if you decide to purchase it.

Specifications

  • Voltage: 120V ~ 60Hz
  • Power Input: 5 Amps
  • Bar Length: 6″
  • Max. Cutting Capacity: 4″
  • Chain Speed: 5.5 m/s
23 Responses
  1. Joe says:

    Call me old fashioned, but I still like using a bow saw. I have made very short work of many branches with a good sharp bow saw. If you only have a few things to cut up, it is way faster than a chainsaw (they take forever to start) or even this, since you have to get the cords out, put them away, etc.
    I can see where this would be good for bigger cleanup tasks, like after a storm, assuming of course, that you have power.

    I have seen other reviews of this, and none mentioned problems with the chain… did you ever figure out why it came off?

    • Ethan says:

      Hey Joe, I’m not sure why the chain came off. It happened while I was using the extension so I couldn’t really see what happened, but I wasn’t being rough with it.

  2. Fred says:

    I’ve been thinking on the tool a bit today… I’ve come to the conclusion that the best purchasers for this tool are landscaping companies that need to take down multiple high branches, and possibly commercial landscaping crews who are going to run into a lot of tough 3-4″ pruning jobs. It might also be useful for electric utilities who regularly prune trees.

    It’s a pretty nice tool, for sure, but if you have to store something, I think the bow saw that Joe recommends is going to have a better use-to-storage-space ratio.

  3. modernhousewife says:

    You guys adding this to the rewards center? 🙂 I can think of a bunch of limbs we need taken down…

  4. chyld says:

    That is one sweet saw we have 28 year old trees in our backyard that need some work(way too close to the house now). I never knew such a tool existed.

  5. Dan - Tia says:

    We had a huge wind storm blow through here and this saw was awesome! Although my chain came off in the beginning also I tightened it down and haven’t had a problem since. I agree with Ethan the extension is useless. I still have to write the review, but you summed it perfect!

    • Ethan says:

      Thanks Dan! Funny you had the same initial problem with the chainsaw. One of the best applications for this thing is after a storm so I’m sure you’re getting good use. I’ll be watching for your review.

    • caary says:

      I have the GW307 and the chain comes off often. I fix and within 2 cuts the chain comes off. I tried to see if there is a manual to see how to get the chain tighten from the 1/16. Give me ideas how to tighten the chain?? I am getting upset since I used it about 2x and the problems chain coming off is not worth having this product.

  6. Eek565 says:

    I’m a bow saw man as well Joe. I could see how this would be useful though if you had a lot of branches to take down at once. I suppose I’m old fashioned as well. I tend to like tools that are simple and functional.

  7. Erika says:

    So When using this mechine, what did you think of the weight, i’m not body builder by any strech, so lifting so much could wear me out. How heavy would you say it would be, and would you reccomend for a woman just looking to pick up her yard every now and then.

  8. Rachel says:

    Where is the Jawsaw made????

  9. Erika says:

    And since i didn’t get much of a response i went ahead and purchased the thing. ((IT WAS AT LOWES 🙂 )) so far i’m in love with it, not a “made in china” item that i had orginally thought, the chain hasn’t poped out on me yet, so far so good.

  10. Jacquelyn says:

    I’ve had nothing but trouble with my Worx JawSaw as the chain keeps coming off after a couple of cuts … sometimes even during the first cut after putting it back in place. Apparently I’m doing something wrong…but I’ve tried everything I can think of to fix it. After repositioning the chain and tightening the tension as tight as I can, there is still more slack in the chain than the user guide recommends. I carefully check to be sure the teeth are in the groove of the bar and around the gear and then manually turn for one complete revolution to be sure the chain is in proper position. I tighten the nut and think it’s perfect then go out to make a cut and it immediately falls off again as I start to cut. I’m so frustrated with this thing! I’ve spent so much time trying to get it to work. This would be such a handy tool if only I could get it to work! HELP!

  11. JOE V says:

    CHAIN COMES OFF EVERY TIME I USE IT ,LASTS LONGER THOUGH WHEN CHAIN IS VERY TIGHT .TAKES ABOT TEN MINUTES EACH TIME TO RESET CHAIN. ANY HELPFUL HINTS OUT THERE AS TO THE POSITION THE CHAIN SHOULD BE IN BEFORE TIGHTENING THE BOLT???? TRIED DIFF WAYS SAME RESULTS. WHAT IS THE TRICK TO IT???

  12. oldblackdog says:

    echoing Joe V from December – the chain keeps slipping off. I got about 10 minutes easy time on it before the first derailment. I have tried tightening more, less, and have no clue at all.

    Note for answering why even try this – I’m a woman, 66, not all that strong in my arms and shoulders, and often have a lot of brush to clean up – lots of trees down last year left a ton of branches, and they keep descending from trees on and off property.. I am still afraid of a regular chainsaw, This has the promise of making cleaning this stuff up much faster than using a pruning saw. BUT not if the chain comes off. Tricks?

  13. Gina says:

    I just bough the Jawsaw two days ago. After the third or fourth cut the chain came off. When I re-install the chain making sure everything is lined up I then try to tighten it with the bolt but the tightening mechanism doesn’t tighten the chain. I can’t get the chain to tighten. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • Sumner Bumgardner says:

      Obviously, I am not the only one that has the problem with the chain coming off? I bought mine last year and got about 10 minutes out of it until the chain came off…and continued to come off. So I packed it away in my shed and waited until today to reorganize and try it again. I ran it for three minutes initially before use thinking that that would fix it! No such luck.

      Exactly the same results as before. The machine worked beautifully for approximately ten minutes and then the same scenario unfolded as the previous season. So frustrating and I tried everything mentioned as well, but with no good results! I think the company hides all of the negative comments about there product.
      Sumner

  14. Janis says:

    I have tried the jawsaw for 2 seasons and the chain constantly comes off. I get a couple cuts and its off again. I get frustrated and go back to hand cutting. If it stayed on I would love the product, but can’t use it as constant frustration with the chain. Seems a real product defect. Not worth the money and frustration!

  15. Dick says:

    The trick to properly tensioning the chain is to pull on the nose of the chain bar — which stretches the chain out — after you have replaced the chain, but before you tighten the tensioning bolt. Also, do not tighten the tensioning bolt too tightly — it locks up the chain.

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