Electric vs Gas Powered Chainsaws

Any chainsaw user will tell you that there are few equipment out there that offer the power-to-weight ratio and productivity of a traditional gas chainsaw. If you’re looking at the full range of cutting performance- power, chain speed and use of ease, then gas powered saws are hard to compete with. But not everyone needs the power all the time. Weight, size, price and usage frequency matter to some people as well. Depending on your usage frequency and application needs, an electric saw may be all you need. With better battery powered chainsaws available on the market now, electric saws have emerged as a viable chainsaw option for your needs. Let’s look at the pros and cons of electric and gas powered chainsaws.

Gas Chainsaws

Pros

  • High power and performance, giving you the ability to remove large trees and handle more complex jobs.
  • Portable and versatile, allowing you to operate away from any power source.
  • Longer run-time for cutting down trees, clearing branches and firewood cutting.

Cons

  • Because a combustion engine needs the right combination of fuel and oxygen, it can’t be hard to start and keep running.
  • The 2-stroke chainsaw engine requires oil to be mixed with fuel.
  • Maintenance costs and cleaning add up to keep the saw running in tip-top condition.
  • Heavier weight.
  • Noisy.
  • High end saws can be expensive.

Electric Chainsaws (Corded)

Pros

  • Corded electric saws are inexpensive.
  • Easy to start and operate. Plug in the electric cord and go.
  • Low weight.
  • No emissions, allowing you to use it inside as well.
  • Maintenance free because there is no oil and fuel to deal with.

Cons

  • The major negative for corded electric saws is the lack of power. Only suitable for smaller jobs.
  • Needs an electric outlet power source close by. You are limited by the cord length.

Battery Chainsaws (Cordless Electric)

Pros

  • Same as the corded version, battery saws are easy to start and operate.
  • Pro versions have comparable power and performance to gas equivalents.
  • Just like a gas saw, it’s portable and versatile.
  • Lighter compared to gas versions.
  • No emissions, allowing you to use it inside as well.
  • Maintenance free because there is no oil and fuel to deal with.

Cons

  • The cost of the saw and battery packs are an expensive up-front cost.
  • Shorter run-time. Battery needs time to be charged, making it not efficient for bigger jobs unless you have multiple batteries or an very expensive battery backpack.

Gas vs Electric vs Battery Chainsaws Comparison Chart

Gas Electric (Corded) Battery (Electric Cordless)
Fuel mixing x
Cordless x x
Power x x
Weight x x
Versatility x
Easy to start x x
Low noise x x
Eco-friendly x x
Maintenance free x x
Pro grade available x x
Price x