The world’s first battery chainsaw with a clutch

With a passion for innovation, Husqvarna has recently introduced the world’s first battery chainsaw with a clutch: the top-handled T542i XP®, and its rear-handled sibling the 542i XP®. The saws have landed in Australia, and Husqvarna H-Team Ambassador and professional arborist at TreeStyle Pty Ltd, Kiah Martin, has put them through their paces.

These two saws, new to the Australian market, have inherited the tried-and-tested features of their predecessors, including excellent in-tree (top-handled version) and on-ground (rear-handled version) manoeuvrability, spot on power-to-weight ratios, great ergonomics and balance, and an everefficient brushless motor.

But there is one quite significant change.

Move to battery power

There’s something so familiar with these new battery saws, different from their earlier counterparts, in that they really do feel more like the saws of old – the older petrol versions that is. And I’m confident it’s the addition of the centrifugal clutch and the kick-start energy and momentum this provides that’s fuelling this feeling in the cut.

To better understand this feeling, I recently contacted my colleague Peter Vergote – a climbing arborist from Belgium – and he told me, “The little extra weight I take for granted when I have this power! Even for pruning work where I only use the chainsaw for a couple of cuts.

“Since I have a T542i XP®, I almost never use my other top-handle saws. And definitely no petrol top handle.”

Tree professionals still using 40cc petrol chainsaws might now decide to finally make the transition to battery with the launch of the world’s first battery chainsaw with a clutch, as the control and throttle response of these units under load certainly feels like their petrol equivalents, but with all the benefits and convenience of the battery system.

Professional arborist at TreeStyle Pty Ltd, and Husqvarna H-Team Ambassador, Kiah Martin. Image: Husqvarna

Great features

The two new chainsaws have more torque and more power at lower RPM. In fact, it’s around 10 per cent more, allowing increased cutting capacity and productivity during the workday. Scott Forrest – New Zealand arborist and good friend – agreed to let me quote him saying, “Finally! I’ve found a battery saw that can keep up with my production: the T542i XP®”.

If you know Scotty, you’ll understand it takes a lot to keep up with his speed and stamina! He is a machine!

The new models support the Husqvarna X-CUT® SP21G chain and optionally the X-CUT® SP33G chain. Both are robust, pre-stretched chains and the first of their kind to be developed, designed and manufactured in-house by Husqvarna, with semi chisel cutters to keep sharpness over time and a narrow kerf for enhanced cutting efficiency.

In test driving the world’s first battery chainsaw with a clutch, some of the main platform highlights for me were:
• The addition of a centrifugal clutch
• An updated magnesium sprocket cover for quick debris bale out
• An adjustable oil pump for customisable oil-flow control
• A rim sprocket simplifies changeovers
• A new digital oil sensor on the intuitive user interface giving a heads up to fill and heads up when there’s no flow
• An IPX4 weatherproof classification, and
• A new, improved snug-fit guide bar cover (I love it!).

Some of my favourite features of the T540i XP® are still present:
• A belt eyelet (my favourite little bit)
• An unobstructed view through the hand guard
• Auto shut down after three minutes (30 minutes with chain break engaged), and
• Low carbon emissions compared to a petrol equivalent.

Is it time to upgrade or augment your fleet to include the T542i XP®? Image: Husqvarna

Keen for more

I’ve only used these new battery chainsaws over a few days so far and I’m keen as to run them in and see how they hold up to my expectations over time. I contacted Ryan Torcicollo from the USA, and his experience was encouraging, having had the saws available since 2023.

“Night and day difference with the T542i XP®,” he told me. “The T542i XP® just changed the game with battery saws in my opinion. None I’ve used come close to it.”

I have to say I’m feeling the same way as Ryan, even with limited in-field use.

Professionals still using 40cc petrol chainsaws might now decide to finally make the transition to battery with the launch of this new platform. Image: Husqvarna

Time to level up!

I guess the question remains: is it time to upgrade or augment your fleet to include the T542i XP®?

Of course, you can keep working those specialty precision prunes with your T540i XP® with X-PRECISION™ SP11G chain (1/4” mini) and 10” X-PRECISION™ guide bar, but now you can also accommodate your power choice in the T542i XP® with X-CUT® SP21G chain (.325” mini) and a 12” X-PRECISION™ guide bar for those takedowns where you want smooth and shock-free acceleration.

And perhaps you could also consider the rear-handled 542i XP® with a 16” X-PRECISION™ guide bar with the robust, X-CUT® SP21G chain (.325” mini). Just be sure to continue those good cutting habits for a long lifespan of these great new ‘hybrid’ machines.

Get a better grip on your business operations and take hold of a more productive workflow. The step to battery has never been closer.

The T542i XP® and 542i XP® are both available for purchase in Australia now.

For more information stop by your local specialist Husqvarna dealer, visit Husqvarna.com.au, or scan the QR code here.

Image: Prime creative Media
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