Chainsaws come in a wide variety of types and sizes. They are generally divided into two main categories: electric chainsaws and gas chainsaws. But which one is best? This depends on a number of factors which we discuss in this post.
Electric Chainsaw Strengths
Electric chainsaws have strengths and weaknesses in comparison to gas powered chainsaws. Depending on how you use a chainsaw, one type of chainsaw may be better suited to the task than another.
Electric chainsaws can be excellent for light-duty jobs, such as limbing small trees and branches. They’re also great for homeowners who don’t want the hassle of maintaining a gas chainsaw or dealing with refilling the gas tank.
Generally, electric chainsaws have the following strengths:
- Fewer moving parts than gas chainsaws.
- Lighter in weight, and easier to carry
- Smaller in size
- Quicker and easier to Use.
- Long lasting energy supply when plugged in.
- Require less maintenence.
- Less noisy
- Easier to start
- Can be battery powered (cordless).
Gas Chainsaw Strengths
Gas powered chainsaws have their own unique strengths, and here are a few:
- Requires no electricity (plugin, battery).
- Can be much more powerful than electric chainsaws.
- Offers ease-of-use, versatility, and power.
Gas chainsaws can handle more and bigger jobs for longer periods of time than electric chainsaws without recharging, and chainsaws that run on gas don’t need to be plugged in.
Gas powered chainsaws are often preferred by loggers and forest management occupations because of the chain size and engine power they offer.
Electric Chainsaw Weaknesses
Electric chainsaws have weaknesses that make them less desirable than chainsaws run on gas. These shortcomings include:
- Smaller and less powerful.
- Not good for large, difficult jobs.
- Battery power only lasts 1-2 hours.
- Cordered versions are limited to the cord distance.
Generally, electric chainsaws are not as powerful as chainsaws that run on gas, and hence are often passed up in favor of gas chainsaws by professionals.
Gas Chainsaw Weaknesses
Gas chainsaws are very common, and for good reason. They get the job done. However they do come with some drawbacks, including:
- Emit fumes
- Can be heavy and difficult to carry
- Require a gasoline and oil mixture
- More expensive
Gas chainsaws are particularly noisy and have problems with smell. They can also be very heavy. This is why many homeowners may be more inclined to purchase an electric chainsaw over a gas one.
If you are just trimming trees you’re better off using a hand chainsaw or an electric chainsaw. if you need to do bigger jobs you may need a gas powered one.
Are Electric Chainsaws Safest?
Electric chainsaws may be safer than gas chainsaws, but this mostly depends on how they are used.
Electric chainsaws tend to be lighter than gas chainsaws, and the electric chainsaw engine does not rev as high. This low speed allows for the user to have more control over the saw, resulting in fewer chainsaw accidents.
Which Chainsaw Is Safest – Gas Or Electric?
With nearly all chainsaws available today being powered by electricity or gas, not many people know which are the safest to operate.
Both gas and electric chainsaws can be dangerous to use. However, they each have some important safety features that the other chainsaw may not have.
Electric chainsaws are considered to be safer than gas chainsaws for three reasons:
- Electric chainsaws are often lighter
- Electric chainsaws do not require gasoline (which is flammable).
- Electric chainsaws cause less hearing damage.
Gas chainsaws come with the following safety features:
- Front hand guard
- On/off switch
- Chain brake (manual or automatic)
- Safety throttle (throttle lock)
- Chain catcher
- Exhaust Muffler
- Scabbard for the guard bar (for when not in use).
All chainsaws come with built in safety features that ensure they don’t start when something is in their path or if your hands are near the chain.
Are Battery Powered Chainsaws Powerful?
Some people are surprised to find out that battery powered chainsaws have a significant ammount of power. The chainsaw market has been dominated by gas chainsaws, but that is changing.
Of course, the chainsaws are not as powerful as a chainsaw that runs on gasoline. However , you can still cut cleanly through both hardwood and softwood with battery chainsaws.
The power of electric chainsaws ranges from 8 to 20 amps, which is comparable to 30-100cc gas powered chainsaws.
Are Battery Chainsaws As Powerful As Gas?
Both battery chainsaws and gas chainsaws have powerful motors. This is a key thing to consider when choosing a chainsaw. Many users believe that chainsaws with powerful motors are more efficient, while some chainsaws with less powerful motors have more features that compensate for the lack of power.
In addition, cutting through large trees can be time consuming if the chainsaw is too small. And, depending on where you live, cutting down large trees may be required from time to time. Gas chainsaws are known to be a bit more powerful than electric powered chainsaws.
A gas powered chainsaw uses a 2-stroke engine (which can be very big) and a displacement ranging from 25cc to 150cc. This means they can produce a lot of torque for cutting. Large gas chainsaws are preferred by loggers and other professionals who work in forestry management.
Are Electric Chainsaws Loud?
Chainsaws in general can be very loud. However, electric chainsaws may be different in this regard. Electric chainsaw manufacturers make an effort to make their electric chainsaws as quiet as possible.
It’s not uncommon for gas chainsaws, which use overhead valves like cars do, to be even louder than the electric chainsaws. This creates a loud wizzing sound that can cause hearing damage over time and annoy the neighbors.
How Long Do Electric Chainsaws Last?
No matter which type of chainsaw you use, heavy use will shorten the chainsaw’s lifespan. It is also important to repaire and maintaine the saw when necessary, including replacing broken parts.
Electric chainsaws have a range of lifespans depending on how they are used. They can last anywhere from one to ten years. The most common reason an electric chainsaw does not last long is the battery wears out or breaks.
How Long Can A Chainsaw Run On A Tank Of Gas?
Chainsaws can only run for a limited time on a full tank of gas. Gas chainsaws are designed to run for about an hour before they need to be refueled, but they can also run for shorter or longer periods of time based on how often the chainsaw is used and what type of gas is in the tank.
Generally, gas powered chainsaws can generally run between 15 and 45 minutes on a tank of gas before needing a fill up.
Are Electric Chainsaws More Expensive?
Gas and electric chainsaws range in prices. However, chainsaws that run on gas tend to be more expensive. Electric chainsaws are less powerful and may not perform well in tough conditions.
The cost of chainsaws can vary based upon their brand name, popularity, type, features and capabilities. In general, both gas and electric chainsaw range between $100-$400 in price.
Do Electric Chainsaws Have Kickback?
Gas chainsaws are known for having kickback which can put the operator at risk of injury. But what about electric chainsaws?
Kickback is when the chainsaw suddenly jolts in an upward direction. Often this happens when the saw gets “pinched” when something jams it.
Electric chainsaws can indeed cause kickback. However, their kickback tends to be less because they have less powerful motors than gas chainsaws.
Can You Cut Down A Tree With An Electric Chainsaw?
Yes, you can. However this depends on the size of the tree trunk and branches and the size of the electric chainsaw.
We like chainsaws for their power and versatility. Is an electric chainsaw powerful enough to cut a tree? Yes, you can. However this depends on the size of the tree trunk and branches and the size of the electric chainsaw.
A smaller tree that has a diameter of 6 inches at the trunk can be cut using an electric chainsaw.
Both gas and electric powered chainsaws have their own strengths and weaknesses, and many homeowners and professionals choose to buy both. Regardless, chainsaws are dangerous in any form, so users must adhere to safety practices and wear proper PPE at all times.
Nick Klamecki is a certified Fire and Workplace Safety expert with 15 years experience in product research and testing. He has a degree in Economics from U.C. Davis, is an active outdoorsman and spent years ensuring the safety of special needs children. Nick researches and tests workplace, industrial and safety products and provides advice on their safe use.