I’ve recently had the opportunity to use the Husqvarna T535i XP whilst working in a cider apple
orchard, pruning to help maintain health and high crop yield. We purchased a top handle saw to help
speed up our efforts on the traditional trees. I’m sure you will already know applewood is hard and
tests the edge on any saw or chain and the power of a tool, so I was interested to see what it could
For the majority of work I’ve used the tool in its eco setting which drastically improves the battery
life. For bigger cuts when you turn eco mode off you really do notice the increase in power delivered
and shows that it will turn up for work. The only time it struggled with power is when I place the bar
where I want to cut, then pull the throttle. It doesn’t seem to have the low-end torque to start turning
the chain whilst on the wood. It needs to be turning wide open as you come down to make your cut.
The battery we used is the BLi200. It lasts about half a day while in eco mode making lots of small
(3-5 inch diameter) pruning cuts. We’re able to put it back on charge over lunch and it has 100%
within 1 ½ hrs. I tried the BLi300 but found the extra weight made the saw feel out of balance in my
I love the fact that it’s battery powered and therefore lacks vibration, exhaust fumes, and noise. All
meaning better long term health for the operator. Whilst I missed that sweet smell of 2-stroke, I knew
ultimately it was better for my lungs and the environment and it was nice having my not feeling
numb in the slightest. The quietness of the tool did unnerve me at first – I even reached to pull start
it a couple of times; but once I got used to it I found it really nice. You know your ears are being
exposed to fewer db’s over the day and even with hearing protection it is still better for your ears.
And yes, you definitely still want to wear ear protection while operating, as the wine of the chain will
kill the high end of your hearing.
Another point is about bar oil. With petrol saws we know to top up the oil when we refuel. But, with
different batteries that give varying lengths of operating time, you must check the oil level regularly.
It would be a fantastic improvement if an oil level indicator could be installed, so you aren’t having to
stop and regularly check the oil level for fear of running dry.
Final points are: The chain the saw comes with is a semi chisel, I would expect a professional top
handle saw would come with a full chisel chain. The place where you tie your lanyard is a very thin
wire, I haven’t drop tested how well it holds but it doesn’t look the most robust. It has a little plastic
loop that is a secondary connection pont that allows the saw to clip directly into your tool carry clip
on your harness which is a nice feature to help hold the saw tighter to my hip then the metal ring on
the saw lanyard.
Overall I think it’s a fantastic tool. Battery tech is the way forward and if all battery tools work like this
I think it’s time to start switching more of my kit. I’m sure I will miss that sweet smell of two stroke
but equally I’m sure the environment will thank us.