Two weeks ago, Husqvarna released the T540i XP and 540i XP, two new battery powered saws in the professional segment. NordicWoodJournal.com followed the launch at Husqvarna. Here is detailed information and a video about the top-hand saw, Husqvarna T540i XP.
Saws for climbers
Because we aren’t really into climbing, we will leave it to others to test the top hand saw in practice. However, we will of course test the second battery saw that was launched, the 540i XP, which is a rear hand saw. An article about his one will soon be published here at NordicWoodJournal.com.
Can the Husqvarna T540i XP replace the gasoline saw?
In arborist operations, battery consumption and battery weight do not pose the same challenge as when running battery saws in young forest thinning. For climbing arborists and others who work with tree felling, park maintenance and gardening, battery saws today are fully realistic professional tools that replace the corresponding gasoline saws. The roughest trees can certainly be felled with a gasoline saw for a while, but most of the other work can now be done with a battery saw.
According to Husqvarna the T540i XP, for example, is both more powerful and a little lighter than the corresponding petrol saw, the Husqvarna T540 XP, which until now has been the first choice of arborists. Increased power is one explanation but also a new cutting system with a 1.1 millimeter X-cut chain in .325 split contributes to this.
BLi 200X produces more power faster
All Husqvarna’s different batteries fit in the new 540i saws and both saws have a higher power than the previous 535i. The rear hand saw is optimized for the BLi 300 battery for maximum operating time while the top hand saw T540i XP is weight and balance optimized for the slightly lighter BLi 200 battery. For the top hand saw, Husqvarna has produced a special version of the BLi 200 which they call the BLi 200X. The battery has the same format and almost the same weight (40 grams heavier) but it is built in a different way so that it can generate power faster.
The new battery has exactly the same Ah (Ampere hours) as the old one, specifically 5.2 Ah (BLi 300 has 9.4 Ah), but the new battery design allows for a faster and higher power output. This makes the saw stronger with the BLi 200X battery than if you run it with the old BLi 200 version. In return, the BLi 200X runs out of power faster if you run it harder. The new battery can also be used in the rear handle saw with the same result: more power but shorter operating times. As machines, the top-hand saw and the back-hand saw are identical in terms of electric motor and control unit.
New 1.1 mm cutting system with .325 pitch
Husqvarna’s new cutting system with X-cut and a 1.1 mm gauge and .325 pitch was quietly launched for the smaller 535i XP battery saw last summer but is now released in the entire collection of saw-bar- and chain lengths from 10-16 inches. The chain is called X-Cut SP21G, mini pixel and the bar is called X-Precision. According to the arborists who participated in Husqvarna’s launch, the chain provides a smooth and calm operation with high precision but still cuts very well.
Major advantages of batteries for climbers
In addition to environmental and climate effects, there are other major benefits of battery operation in practical work for arborists. The most obvious, in addition to fewer balancing acts and challenges, is that you save time and energy when you don’t have to pull to start the saw. The battery saw is ready with the press of a button (or switch of the chain brake if too much time hasn’t passed since the last cut). A gasoline saw must first be pulled then driven for a few seconds.
Another direct advantage is that, with the battery saw, exhaust gases are avoided. Your nose is often quite close to the saw and several of the arborists who were involved in Husqvarna’s launch described an experience that also we recognize from when we tested the battery saw:
As long as you use a gasoline saw you don’t think about exhaust fumes and odors. But after operating a battery saw for a while and returning to gasoline, you suddenly feel a significant difference.
One saw for the climber, another for the ground crew
Top-hand saws such as the T540i XP are, by their nature, purely arborist tools, while the 540i XP rear handle can be used a little wider. Husqvarna lists arborists, tree fellers and park contractors as well as ”farmers” as the target group. For arborists, this means that you can have a ”silent” chain saw even when you work on the ground. This facilitates vital communication between climber and ground crew.
Husqvarna does not specify power for its battery saws. Therefore, it’s not possible to compare how much power the new T540i XP has compared to, for example, the gasoline saw T540 XP or the slightly smaller battery saw T535i XP. What we can confirm, however, is that the cutting speed, which is 24 m/sec, is now on par with the corresponding gasoline saw.
Husqvarna states in its model descriptions of the battery saws exactly what the corresponding cc size for a gasoline saw would be (35 and 40 respectively). The electric motor also has a somewhat different character than the gasoline motor when it comes to torque and power output, and this is something that you can test and compare for yourself.
Comparison of technical specifications for Husqvarna’s three XP-version top-hand saws
Husqvarna T540i XP
Energy Source: Battery
Weight excl. bar/chain, with battery (BLi 200X): 3.840 kg
Chain Speed: 24 m/s
Bar Lengths: 10-16 inch
Husqvarna T535i XP
Energy Source: Battery
Weight excl. bar/chain, with battery (BLi 200): 3,700 kg
Chain Speed: 20 m/s
Bar Lengths: 10-14 inch
Husqvarna T540 XP
Energy Source: Gasoline
Weight excl. bar/chain: 3,900 kg
Chain Speed: 19.4-25.8 m/s
Bar Lengths: 12-16 inch
Here is a film on the T540i XP
and some more pictures