ON A RECENT desert trip, we came across a fallen tree on our path. Unlike most you find in desert country, this was a bit too much to manhandle out of the way, so we called for a saw. My mate came out with a Husqvarna 120i chainsaw and, while Iíve seen a few electric chainsaws around, this first experience with one.

Husqvarna is a well-known brand in the chainsaw market and has a huge range of saws, with three battery-powered versions to choose from. The 120i is powered by a 36-volt lithium-ion battery that powers a brushless electric motor with Ďnormalí and ĎsavEí modes. Normal provides maximum power while savE (essentially an eco mode) offers maximum run time and produces less noise. The saw also features a handy chain-tensioning knob that does away with the need for tools. A flip-up cap provides access to the oil tank, which feeds the auto oil pump for effective lubrication of the chain.

The bar length is 30cm and overall weight, excluding the battery, is just 2.95kg. The kit comes complete with battery and charger. The battery inserts easily into the body of the saw and when charged is ready for immediate use. The keypad at the top of the saw body sits close to where your thumb reaches and makes for easy and effortless starting and stopping of the saw.

The 120i cut through desert-hard wood up to about 150mm in diameter with ease, and it was obvious that it could handle much thicker timber. The noise level is rated at just 98dB and, while thatís not whisper-quiet, it is much quieter than an equivalent petrol-powered saw.

With the tree effectively and quickly cut up, we were soon on our way. What also impressed about the 120i, and other electric saws for that matter, is how easy they are to carry in the back of a vehicle without having to worry about fuel and two-stroke oil.

Sure, if you need to cut big, thick trees into pieces on a regular basis this saw would be a tad small, but for most people looking to clear the occasional fallen timber from a track, or to collect some wood for a fire, this unit is a bloody beauty. Iím so impressed, Iím out to buy one.