Once you’re ready to purchase a new chainsaw, you are left with a decision: do you choose an electric or gas chainsaw. What is best for you?
There are actually three types of chainsaw to choose from. You can purchase a gas chainsaw, a corded electric chainsaw, or a cordless electric chainsaw. If you are confused about which product with the right for you, then you’re in luck.
In this article, PowerOfTool.com will help you make that very important decision. We will discuss each of the three types of chainsaw, their pros, and cons, and even give you a few products in each category to choose from.
- 1 Gas Chainsaw
- 2 Corded Electric Chainsaw
- 3 Cordless Electric Chainsaw (Battery)
- 4 Conclusion
Gas chainsaw use gas to make their power. To get this type of chainsaw running, all you have to do is put the gas in the tank and pull the cord to start it. Gas chainsaws come in three different grades: homeowners, farm & ranch, and professional.
Homeowner gas chainsaws are typically longer than the other two types. Plus, they will have features like easy-starting engines to make your work much easier.
Farm & ranch gas chainsaws are heavy duty and designed from frequent tree cutting. Finally, professional gas chainsaws are typically the most lightweight and balanced for all-day carrying.
No matter what type you buy, gas chainsaws come with some major pros and cons to consider.
- Power: In terms of power, no other type beats gas chainsaws. The three varieties of gas chainsaw vary slightly in terms of power. However, all of them will have greater power, and therefore cutting ability, than the electric models.
- Size: Gas chainsaws are larger than electric chainsaws. You could see this as a pro or
cons. However, we’ve put it in the pro category, because their larger size means that gas chainsaws are more durable and can handle a wider variety of projects than their electric counterparts.
- Portability: In general, chainsaws are portable. Gas chainsaws, even with their larger size and weight, are a very portable piece of equipment.
- Runtime: The use of gas in this type of chainsaw means that it has a long runtime, especially when compared to cordless electric chainsaws. All you have to do is put in more gas, and you can continue using a gas chainsaw.
- Type of Task: Gas chainsaws are extremely versatile. They can be used to trim branches and cut down trees. You can use them for big and small projects. Their versatility is better than electric chainsaws, which are good for only small projects.
- Safety: You need to be careful with chainsaws, as they are dangerous. But, the homeowner variety of gas chainsaws will come with safety features. The farm & ranch and professional models will not have as many safety features.
- Emission: Because of their use of gas, gas chainsaws do produce emissions. If you are an environmentally conscious person, you may not want to purchase a gas chainsaw.
- Weight: The motors used on gas chainsaws make them quite heavy. These chainsaws may be hard for small or inexperienced people to handle.
- Cost: The initial purchase of a gas chainsaw will be more expensive than an electric chainsaw. However, because they are durable machines, you will not have to spend much to upkeep the gas chainsaw.
- Easy to Use: If you know what you are doing, a gas chainsaw is easy to use. However, they are not recommended for novices.
- Noise: The gas engine on these types of chainsaws means that they make a lot of noise. Gas chainsaws are not great for homes with lots of near neighbors.
Best for Whom? (When to Buy?)
Gas chainsaws are best for someone who uses a chainsaw regularly. Even if you purchase the homeowner type of gas chainsaw, it will be heavy enough that not everyone can handle it properly.
The ideal gas chainsaw owner is someone who is at least a little experienced in power equipment. You should also be familiar with gas engines on power equipment and how to use a choke and pull starter.
If you decide that a gas chainsaw is right for you, you can go to any home improvement store to pick one up. Gas chainsaws can be found at stores like Lowes, Walmart, Sears, The Home Depot, Menards, the list goes on.
Often, these stores will sell the homeowner and farm & ranch types of a gas chainsaw. To purchase a professional model, you may need to go to a professional wood-cutter store.
Recommended Gas Chainsaws
Husqvarna has a well-respected name in the chainsaw industry, and the 455 shows why. It has a low fuel consumption rate, which is wonderful in a gas chainsaw.
It also uses a centrifugal air cleaning system to remove large dust particles before they clog your chainsaw. Finally, there is not much vibration with the Husqvarna 455. This gas chainsaw is easy to hold on to during long jobs.
Tanaka’s TCS33EDTP is also a solid gas chainsaw. It has a 14-inch bar and chain for a large cutting area.
It also comes with a wonderful warranty package for various types of uses: 7-year consumer, 2-year commercial, and 1-year rental.
As an additional bonus, this gas chainsaw uses an Oregon chain, so you know that it will be durable and cut well.
Poulan’s Pro PR5020 gas chainsaw comes with amazing extras.
The OxyPower engine provides extra power, while the pull starting system is one of the easiest around.
Also, the PR5020 comes with the combi tool in the rear handle, which provides a convenient maintenance tool.
Corded Electric Chainsaw
Corded electric chainsaws use electricity to run the engine. The corded variety of electric chainsaw use a power cord.
To make them run, you need to plug in the power cord and then all you have to do is press a button to start the machine.
- Runtime: You use a cord to get power to the corded electric chainsaw, so you have an unlimited runtime. As long as the machine stays plugged in, it is ready to be used. The only limiting factor for runtime is the length of the power cord.
- Emission: Electric chainsaws do not create emissions, and so, are more environmentally friendly than gas chainsaws.
- Noise: The electric motor on corded electric chainsaws makes much less noise than gas engines. You will not bother your neighbors with this type of chainsaw.
- Easy to Use: All you have to do to make your corded electric chainsaw run is plug it in and press a button to start it. It is much easier for novices to use corded electric chainsaws than gas chainsaws.
- Weight: Corded electric chainsaws are a light chainsaw option. Their weight makes corded electric chainsaws less durable; however, they are much easier to handle and hold than the heavy gas chainsaws.
- Cost: Corded electric chainsaws can get expensive for high-end models. But, in general, the starting price for a corded electric chainsaw is much less than for a gas chainsaw.
- Size: Corded electric chainsaws are smaller than gas chainsaws. This may be an advantage for certain people. However, their smaller size means that they are less durable and cannot be used in specific types of jobs.
- Portability: Because you have to plug them in, corded electric chainsaws are not very portable. You will have at least 100-feet of cord, and some have cords that are smaller. Therefore, you can only take the corded electric chainsaw to jobs that are in
rangeof an electrical outlet.
- Power: Corded electric chainsaws do not make a lot of power. They have significantly less power than gas chainsaws.
- Type of Task: Because corded electric chainsaws do not make much power, they are not good for all chainsaw tasks. In fact, corded electric chainsaws are really only good for light-duty tasks like landscaping. You will not be cutting down trees with these chainsaws.
- Safety: No chainsaw is safe to use. Even though corded electric chainsaws have less power, the chain can still cut you seriously. You should always use safe practices when working with a chainsaw. And, watch out for the cord.
Best for Whom? (When to Buy?)
Corded electric chainsaws are best for a homeowner with a typical subdivision lot. If you only need a chainsaw occasionally for light tasks like cutting down a tree limb, then the corded electric chainsaw is for you.
Small backyards work best for corded electric chainsaws because you can reach any area of the yard while keeping the chainsaw plugged in.
You can find corded electric chainsaws anywhere that sells chainsaws. Like gas chainsaws, corded electric chainsaws can be bought at big box stores like Lowes, The Home Depot, and Walmart.
Actually, because corded electric chainsaws are so good for novices, you will likely have more options at these stores than you will for gas chainsaw models.
Recommended Corded Chainsaws
The Worx WG303.1 is imported and comes with a 14.5-amp motor. This cutting power is similar to a lower-powered gas chainsaw.
Worx has added some safety features including a low kickback bar and built-in chain brake. These features help keep you safe while you’re working.
Finally, the automatic oil lubrication from the built-in oil reservoir makes it easy to keep the WG303.1 in great working order.
Remington’s EMI1425 Limb N Trim is one of the lightest chainsaws in this article.
It weighs just over six pounds, so is easy for anyone to handle. This corded electric chainsaw also has a built-in oiler; however, this one is activated by a push-button.
Finally, you receive the RMI1425 ready to use out of the box, there’s no work needed on your part.
Earthwise’s CS33016 uses a high-quality, 16-inch Oregon bar and chain for durability and performance.
Plus, the 12-amp motor provides excellent cutting power, especially for an electric chainsaw. And, this product also comes assembled and ready to use out of the box.
Cordless Electric Chainsaw (Battery)
Like the corded electric chainsaw, the cordless—or battery-powered—chainsaw uses electricity to power the machine. But the difference is that this type of chainsaw does not use a power cord.
Instead, a rechargeable battery is used to power the chainsaw. Cordless electric chainsaws can be turned on with the push of a button, as long as you have remembered to charge the battery.
- Emission: Electric chainsaws do not produce emissions. If you don’t want to worry about gas emissions from your machines, then you should consider a cordless electric chainsaw.
- Noise: All electric chainsaws are fairly quiet. You will hear the motor, but it will not be nearly as loud as a gas chainsaw.
- Easy to Use: Cordless electric chainsaws are probably the easiest type of chains to use. As long as their battery is charged, all you have to do is turn them on and get to cutting.
- Portability: Because this type of chainsaw runs on batteries, it can be easily moved from place to place around your yard. If you have a large yard but don’t need a chainsaw that often, then the portability of the cordless electric chainsaw is perfect for you.
- Weight: Cordless electric chainsaws are slightly heavier than corded electric chainsaws, but they still weigh less than gas chainsaws. They are not hard for a novice to handle.
- Size: Cordless electric chainsaws are not very large, which is not a problem for some people. But their small size reduces their power and durability. These are not the chainsaws for large jobs.
- Runtime: The runtime on a cordless electric chainsaw is determined by the rechargeable battery. You will not be able to run the chainsaw after the battery runs out. Usually, you will only get about an hour of cutting time with cordless electric chainsaws.
- Power: Cordless electric chainsaws are not the most powerful type of chainsaw. They are like corded electric chainsaws in that regard.
- Cost: Cordless electric chainsaws are an expensive option. Additionally, their batteries are costly to replace. So, this is not a cost-effective chainsaw option.
- Type of Task: Cordless electric chainsaws are best for small jobs like basic yard work. They are not good for professionals or people who need to cut large things like trees or tree limbs.
- Safety: All chainsaws are dangerous to use. Even the small amount of power you get with the cordless electric chainsaw does not mitigate the danger from the chainsaw.
Best for Whom? (When to Buy?)
Cordless electric chainsaws are perfect for someone who needs to move around a large space, but who do not have large pieces of wood to cut.
The battery-powered motor in this type of chainsaw makes it easily portable for large spaces. However, the small amount of power means that you will not be using this type of chainsaw to chop down trees.
You can purchase a cordless electric chainsaw from any large home improvement box store. They are less common than corded electric chainsaws, but can still be found. You may just have fewer options to choose from.
They are less common than corded electric chainsaws, but can still be found. You may just have fewer options to choose from.
Recommended Battery Chainsaws
Dewalt is known for their great electric tools, so it makes sense that they would make a great cordless electric chainsaw.
The DCCS620P1 has a low kickback 12-inch bar that is manufactured by Oregon. The smaller bar on this chainsaw makes it perfect for small construction and outdoor jobs.
The high-efficiency motor gives you more runtime on a single charge of the battery.
Black + Decker is another company known for
It is smaller than the Dewalt chainsaw, with a 10-inch Oregon bar. However, the
Greenworks makes cordless electric chainsaws as well as corded electric chainsaws. Their 20312 uses a brushless motor for a longer-lived 40V lithium-ion battery.
There is also a translucent oil tank. Its safety features include a chain brake and low kickback chain. For functionality and safety, this is the cordless electric chainsaw to choose.
The type of chainsaw you choose is determined by how you plan on using it and how experienced you are. For larger jobs, we definitely recommend one of the gas chainsaws in this article.
However, a typical homeowner can probably get away with one of the electric (corded or cordless) options. We hope that this article on electric vs. gas chainsaws has helped you determine which one is right for you.