Electric Vs Gas Chainsaws – Which Is Right For Your Needs?
Chainsaws are the epitome of the power tool – able to make easy work of jobs you need to be done, removing countless hours it would take you to cut manually. If you’re in the market for a new chainsaw, perhaps it’s your third or even you first, you’re stuck with a decision: electric or gas chainsaw?
Deciding which is right for your needs is vital in making sure you can carry out your work effectively. So which is the chainsaw that is right for you, is the electric powered chainsaw, or the traditional gas chainsaw?
Well, we’ve cracked the code for you and listed the differences between the electric and gas chainsaw, and what is suited to how you’d use them.
Want to read the entire article but don’t have enough time to do so at the moment? We’ve created a quick overview in the below list form for you to skim through and come back at a time you’re free:
- The origins of the chainsaw date back to the 1900s in San Francisco
- The electric chainsaw was made earlier than the gas-chainsaw
- Chainsaws are either electric or gas-powered models
- Both the gas and electric chainsaw share similar features, except for the battery/motor and engine
- Electric chainsaws are lighter than gas chainsaws, yet gas chainsaws are more powerful
The Chainsaw: What You Need To Know
So, what exactly is a chainsaw? Put simply, a chainsaw is a powerful tool that uses a set of blades to cut through wood.
The origins of the chainsaw stem back to the early 1900s, in San Francisco, following a patent given to Samuel J. Bens. The original design was used to cut redwoods. Over time, the portable chainsaw was designed, then growing into new developments, such as the electric chainsaw, and the first gas-powered chainsaw.
As the decades passed and technological improvements grew with the wars, so did the chainsaws. These designs paved the way for the modern electric and gas chainsaws we see today.
When looking at a chainsaw, what are the core components – and how can you tell them apart?
All models of a chainsaw will have a guide bar, which is available in many different lengths, pending on what type of chainsaw you have. The blades are connected to a chain which rotates on the guide bar, giving it the cutting motion you’d be familiar with.
Electric chainsaws will have motors, which are either powered by a battery or are corded designs. On the other hand, gas chainsaws will typically have a 2-stroke engine, a similar feature you’d see in other tools you may have – such as a lawnmower.
Gas chainsaws will have a fuel tank for storage, and both chainsaw models will have an oil reservoir if they are self-lubricating, which is effective for constant cutting. Chain tensioning is available in both electric and gas chainsaws, allowing you to make quick adjustments on the fly.
Some chainsaws are fitted with features such as inertia activated chain brakes and lighting for dim environments. Pending on how much you’re looking to spend, you’ll often find more features found to increase both performance and comfort without compromising on safety.
What Would I Use A Chainsaw For?
Chainsaws are predominantly used in woodcutting, suited for industrial or personal use. Whether it’s a home-job of cutting branches after a storm, or for tearing through fences in a professional setting, chainsaws are powerful enough for the smallest to largest of projects.
You will find that gas-powered chainsaws are favored for their industrial or professional use – and there are reasons for this, which we’ll get into a little later in the guide. Likewise, we’ll look into electric chainsaws, however, you’ll find that these are most suited for home-jobs, offering an added convenience for casual uses.
Let’s get into the differences between the electric and gas chainsaw below.
The Differences: Electric And Gas Chainsaws
So, you’ll already know that both the electric and gas chainsaw have differences between them, but what exactly are they? This will assist you in finding the chainsaw that is right for your needs.
We’ll start with the electric chainsaw.
Firstly, it’s important to note the main feature of this type of electric chainsaw, and that is – how it’s powered.
The electric chainsaw can be found in two forms; the corded and battery-powered chainsaw.
Both are perfect for jobs that don’t require immense power, so jobs around the home, or light pruning work. Pending on your use, both are differently suited for your needs.
The battery-powered electric chainsaw is portable, and has a limited amount of run-time, pending on capacity of the battery at full charge. This can be inconvenient, as they are often less powerful than corded models. It’s the convenience of portability which is the main highlight of battery-powered, electric chainsaws.
Corded models plug directly into an outlet, and due to the constant charge provided, are more powerful with their cuts. However, you’re limited when it comes to movement – unless you have an extension cord, of course.
If you’re environmentally conscious or have underlying health issues, it’s also good to note that electric chainsaws don’t produce the fumes as a gas chainsaw would.
A corded electric chainsaw, the WG304.1 from WORX is one of the best electric models you can find on the market. It weighs a fairly lightweight 11 lbs, which is one of the lighter models available.
The WG304.1 includes an 18” bar, and features an auto-oiler, with a 200ml oil capacity tank. This allows this electric chainsaw to work smoothly, without struggling to finish cutting.
The motor on the WG304.1 is impressive, with 15 amps to assist in tackling jobs. One of the best features found on the WG304.1 is the built-in safety brake, which prevents any nasty injuries from occurring – giving it a big tick when it comes to safety.
Typically, if you’re using a gas chainsaw, you’ll be using this in a professional setting, for those heavy-duty jobs that require a little more power. Gas chainsaws require a gas/oil mixture and are powered by an engine which effortlessly cut through several kinds of wood.
They are heavier and noisier than electric chainsaws, but their power outstrips the electric models. Faster cutting speeds and the variety of bar lengths to choose from are just some of the advantages of using a gas chainsaw.
Gas chainsaws provide portability – which is why they’re used in industrial settings, yet they also produce more fumes than electric chainsaws; so it’s important to consider this if you’ve yet to use a gas chainsaw.
The Husqvarna 460 is ahead of the competition when it comes to using. It’s one of the best gas chainsaws you can use in your work, with an array of features that mix power, safety and comfort into the design.
With A 60.33 CC 2 cycle engine and a 9000 RPM speed, the 460 is nothing to laugh at. The power of this model is offset with an anti-vibration system built into the chainsaw, diffusing the vibration throughout – to provide an added level of comfort, and reducing fatigue.
Side-mounted tensioning gives quick access when making adjustments, and the chain brake is inertia activated – one of the talking points of this model. If you’ve dropped the chainsaw, the chain brake will kick in, identifying it has been dropped and locking immediately.
It’s these smart additions that can enhance your level when it comes to logging.
Advantages Of An Electric Chainsaw
Electric chainsaws are lighter, assisting in minimizing fatigue when you’re working. Electric chainsaws can share batteries with other tools if they’re included within a brand’s battery sharing platform.
These chainsaws won’t produce the fumes and are quieter – useful for suburban/homeowner work. Electric chainsaws are cheaper than gas chainsaws and require minimal maintenance.
Advantages Of A Gas Chainsaw
Gas chainsaws are more powerful than electric models and can cut branches and larger trees as a result. Faster cutting speeds can be attained, and the bar lengths are also available in many sizes.
All gas chainsaws are portable and are perfect for those working within an industrial setting. They also include more features than many electric models.
The run-time of a gas chainsaw is longer than electric chainsaws due to their fueling systems – incredibly useful for those who are spending hours on the job.
Now that you have more information on the chainsaw, how they work and what they’re for – you’re probably wondering; do I choose the electric or the gas chainsaw?
Well, this is really down to you – which is right for your needs? If you’re working in an industrial setting, or have many trees to fall around your property, a gas chainsaw may be for you.
If you’re going to use a chainsaw casually, and only need it for around the home, perhaps look to an electric chainsaw.
It is up to you – however, we hope we’ve made the decision easier for you when it comes to picking a chainsaw which is right for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
- I’m looking at purchasing my first chainsaw. Do you recommend gas or electric?
This depends on what you’re using the chainsaw for. If you’ve got some simple tasks around the home, such as cutting branches or light garden work, an electric chainsaw would be best for you.
If you’re working in an industrial setting and need a chainsaw, it would be no point to you buying an electric model.
Decide based on what you’ll be using it for.
- Are chainsaws difficult to maintain?
As long as you’re maintaining your chainsaw regularly, in line with the manual – you’ll have no difficulty keeping it in best working order. It’s best to check your chainsaw for any issues or irregularities before using it, as you would with any other power tool.