Cat DG230 18V Brushless 12″ Chainsaw Review (2024)

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

With all the numerous chainsaw releases I’ve tested over the years, I’ve had my fair share of first-hand experiences of different chainsaw features. I’m always looking for a chainsaw that combines power, precision, and portability for everyday cutting needs. 

The Cat DG230 18V Brushless 12” Chainsaw piqued my interest, and in this review, I’ll delve deep into its features, performance, and practicality to provide you with an expert perspective.

Cat DG230 18V Brushless 12" Chainsaw Features

Brushless Motor Efficiency

The heart of the Cat DG230 Chainsaw lies in its High-Efficiency Brushless Motor. This motor technology sets it apart from traditional brushed motors, and the difference is significant. 

A brushless motor gives you 25% more power, 50% longer run time, and an astonishing ten times longer motor life. This chainsaw immediately caught my attention as someone who values efficiency and longevity in tools.

Perfectly Sized 12” Bar and Chain

The 12-inch bar and chain are thoughtfully sized for tackling everyday tree care tasks. Whether pruning branches, clearing debris after a storm, or conducting routine yard maintenance, this chainsaw’s cutting capacity is designed to streamline your work. 

It consistently delivers clean, efficient cuts, making it a reliable companion for various cutting needs.

Compact and Lightweight Design

Weighing in at less than 9 pounds, the Cat DG230 Chainsaw is remarkably lightweight and easy to handle. I’ve handled it for hours on end without that all-too-common arm fatigue setting in.

It’s not just about the weight, either. The design of the chainsaw makes it easy to maneuver, whether I’m slicing through logs on the ground or pruning branches overhead. It’s always comfortable and well-balanced in my hands.

Hassle-Free Chain Tensioning

Achieving the perfect chain tension is crucial for efficient cutting. The Cat DG230 simplifies this process with Tool-Free Chain Tensioning. 

You can make quick and hassle-free adjustments without additional tools, allowing you to focus entirely on your cutting tasks. As someone who appreciates convenience and efficiency, this feature dramatically enhances the overall user experience.

Auto Chain Lubrication

Maintaining a chainsaw’s chain lubrication is essential for smooth, consistent cutting. The Cat DG230 takes the hassle out of this with its Auto Chain Lubrication system. 

This feature keeps the chain well-oiled without me having to stop and check it, which not only ensures smoother cuts but also cuts down on wear and tear and the maintenance that comes with it.

Cat 18V 1 For All Battery

Powering the Cat DG230 Chainsaw is the Cat 18V 1 For All Battery. Its compatibility with all Cat 18V cordless products sets this battery apart. 

It’s a versatile and interchangeable power source that optimizes run time, power output, and cooling—all within a slim design. Having a battery that I can switch between tools not only streamlines my work process but also adds incredible value to my entire collection of tools.

What You Get


Safety Takes Center Stage

Inertia Chain Brake

Safety [1] should always be a top priority when working with chainsaws and the Cat DG230 takes this seriously. 

The inclusion of an Inertia Chain Brake is a game-changer. This technology rapidly stops the chain in the event of kickback, providing an added layer of protection. 

Knowing your chainsaw is designed to shield you from unexpected hazards, you can work confidently and focus on the task.

Heavy Load Indicator

Excessive strain on a chainsaw affects its performance and can lead to premature wear. The Heavy Load Indicator is a practical feature that prevents this. 

When the load becomes too much for the chainsaw, this alert system signals you to ease up on the force. By doing so, you not only prolong the life of the chainsaw but also enable it to continue cutting without bogging down.

Cutting Capacity

The cutting capacity of a chainsaw depends on the task at hand. To fell a standing tree, you must use a bar longer than the tree’s diameter. 

When dealing with a fallen tree, you can cut up to double the bar length (minus a few inches) by making two cuts on each available side of the tree. This method has always worked for me, ensuring I can handle the job safely and efficiently without overreaching.

Preventing Oil Leakage

Minor oil leakage is normal with chainsaws that self-lubricate during operation. I recommend wiping down the chainsaw after use and storing it horizontally to minimize and prevent leakage. This simple practice can help clean your work area and control excessive oil loss.

Review Conclusion

My experience with the Cat DG230 18V Brushless 12” Chainsaw has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s a solid performer in the cordless chainsaw arena, offering precise cuts without the fuss. 

Its brushless motor technology, complemented by safety features like the Inertia Chain Brake and Heavy Load Indicator, compact design, and tool-free chain tensioning, makes it a reliable choice for professionals and homeowners.

If you feel overwhelmed with gas-powered chainsaws, you might want to consider cordless cutting with the Cat DG230 18V Brushless 12” Chainsaw. 

robert headshot

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles
Join our community on facebook and get 3 woodworking plans for free!