Electric vs Gas Chainsaw: Which One Should You Buy?

Does your job involve lots of cutting and trimming? Then, it would be helpful if you had a chainsaw to work more efficiently around your home and job site. A chainsaw is a versatile tool that can be used for various activities, including tree felling, pruning, bucking, and harvesting firewood. If you’re a hands-on person, a chainsaw is a necessary tool to add to your collection.

When looking to buy a chainsaw, you will face a dilemma; should you buy an electric or gas-powered chainsaw? Here I take you through the difference between an electric chainsaw and a gas chainsaw. I also explain their uses, advantages, and disadvantages to make it easy to choose the one that perfectly suits your needs. Read on!

Electric Chainsaw Overview

Electric chainsaws can be corded or cordless and are all powered by electrical motors. Cordless electric chainsaws are battery-powered, while corded ones must be plugged into a power outlet. Electric chainsaws are best used for lightweight tasks because they are limited in reach. Corded ones can only travel as far as the length of the cord, while cordless ones are limited by battery capacity.

Electric chainsaws have a long cord that can be plugged into a power source. They are well suited to average daily tasks making them popular with DIY enthusiasts.

Below is a detailed explanation of the working mechanism of an electric chainsaw:

  1. Before you start working, you must plug in the chainsaw to a power source if it is corded or ensure the battery is fully charged for a cordless model.
  2. Electric chainsaws start by pushing a button; press this button to turn on the chainsaw.
  3. When you press the button, the circuit is completed, and electric power is produced from an armature.
  4. The armature produces torque by converting electric power to mechanical power.
  5. This torque is transmitted to the chainsaw’s motor, which turns the chain around the guide bar.

What is an Electric Chainsaw Used For?

Electric chainsaws can be used for various tasks like yard work. They are ideally suited for lifting tasks such as trimming hedges because they are lightweight and compact. Electric chainsaws are ideal for small and medium-sized jobs around the home.

The most common uses for electric chainsaws include: trimming branches, cutting logs for fire pits, sprucing up trees, and other tasks around the home.

Why You Should Use Electric Chainsaw (Pros)

  • Easy to work with due to their lightweight and compact nature
  • Electric chainsaws do not require oil or gasoline
  • Environmentally friendly because no fumes are produced
  • They run more quietly compared to gas chainsaws
  • Accessible to transport and store
  • Require minimal maintenance

Cons of an Electric Chainsaw

  • Corded electric chainsaws have a limited reach of up to 100 feet.
  • The cords can hamstring you and interfere with your work.
  • Battery-powered electric saws are limited in runtime and can only last for about an hour.
  • They aren’t suitable for heavy-duty sawing and professional use.

Who Should Use Electric Chainsaw

An electric chainsaw is ideal for home and yard use; anyone who needs a chainsaw for small tasks around the home can use it. Electric chainsaws are pretty popular with DIY enthusiasts because of their suitability for light and easy tasks. We recommend getting a corded chainsaw only if you will be working close to a power source. You can opt for a battery-powered chainsaw if you won’t be working near a power source. However, it would be helpful if you were prepared to keep recharging the battery due to the battery capacity’s limitations.

Gas Chainsaw Overview

Gas chainsaws are the perfect cutting tool for heavy outdoor jobs and are best used by professionals. This type of chainsaw needs gasoline and oil; some gas chainsaws are 2-cycle while others are 4-cycle. For 2-cycle chainsaws, you need to mix oil with gas and pour it into one tank that feeds the engine, while 4-cycle chainsaws have separate tanks for gasoline and oil.

Let’s have a look at a step-by-step procedure of how gas chainsaws work

  1. When switched on, the chainsaw draws fuel from the tank and feeds it to the carburetor to mix with the air.
  2. The fuel and air mixture passes into a cylinder that ignites the gas to release energy.
  3. The energy released pushes a piston back and forth, causing the chain to move in a circular motion.

What is a Gas Chainsaw Used For?

Gas chainsaws are the most common type used in commercial settings but can also be used at home. They combine power and portability, making them ideal for heavy tasks. In addition, they have longer runtime compared to electric chainsaws and excellent cutting power. The common uses for gas chainsaws are cutting down large trees and branches, trimming, pruning, and slicing firewood.

Why You Should Use Gas Chainsaw (Pros)

  • Suitable for heavy-duty work, especially in a commercial setting.
  • Faster than electric chainsaws.
  • Mobile and can be used anywhere, unlike an electric chainsaw.
  • Flexible runtime provided you have enough fuel.

Cons of a Gas-Powered Chainsaw

  • Produces gas and oil fumes that may be harmful to the environment.
  • Noise than electric chainsaws.
  • More expensive to buy and maintain.
  • They are bulkier and heavier than electric chainsaws.
  • Require frequent maintenance.

Who Should Use a Gas Chainsaw?

Gas chainsaws are suitable for anyone dealing with large cutting projects because they have a powerful engine. We highly recommend getting a gas chainsaw if you have various projects that involve cutting through tough wood. The coolest part about these chainsaws is that they come in different bar lengths and widths to suit various cutting projects.

A gas chainsaw will come in handy when handling a project that will be intense and is distant from a power source. Their flexibility makes them ideal for work projects that require traveling because you only need fuel to get the work done.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Gas Chainsaw and Electric Chainsaw

FeaturesGas chainsawElectric chainsaw
WeightBulky and heavyCompact and lightweight
Environmental ImpactNoisy and produces fumesQuiet with no emissions
Power SourcePowered by gas and oil mixturePowered by electricity or batteries
Starting MechanismIt starts by pulling a cordIt starts by pressing a button
Best Suited UseIdeal for heavy-duty jobsBest for DIYs and essential yard work
Maintenance ScheduleNeeds frequent maintenanceRequires small to no maintenance
CostRelatively expensive to buy and maintainVery affordable
Portability and FlexibilityNo limits on distance or runtimeLimited in reach (corded model) and runtime (battery powered)
Blade SizeWide variety of blades up to 72 inchesBlades only go up to 18 inches

Key Insights & Takeaway

We hope this comprehensive guide has given you a clear picture of the right type of chainsaw for your needs. Chainsaws make work easier and reduce our time working on various cutting and trimming projects. A chainsaw is a must-have tool if you love DIYs or have professional projects that involve cutting.

If you have projects that require heavy cutting and are not close to a power source, consider opting for a gas chainsaw. For small projects like DIYs around your home and yard, an electric chainsaw is suitable due to its lightweight nature. Electric chainsaws don’t need frequent maintenance, so they are better if you have tight schedules. Get ahead and get that chainsaw that suits your needs to make work easier. Happy sawing!

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