November 4


5 Chainsaws Types: Which, When & Why (Good/bad For Newbie)

​Today, there are so many varieties of chainsaws available in the market... 

...that buying a chainsaw can be quite a daunting task for those who don’t have any previous experience using a chainsaw.

Here are some types of chainsaws that are available.




​​Gas Chainsaw

​Powerful and easy to use

The most widely available chainsaws

​Produces more fumes

Needs filling up

​Electric Chainsaw

​No fumes

Less vibrations than a gas powered chainsaw

Quieter than a gas powered chainsaw

​Can only be used in places where electricity is available

Limited by the length of the cord

​​Battery Chainsaw

​Easy to maintain


​Requires a full charge

Not at powerful as gas powered

​A gas powered chainsaw runs on gas and is the most common chainsaw. They are generally very reliable and powered by gasoline. The best gas powered chainsaws are some of the most powerful, offering 2 stroke engines that are reliable. If you can find a chainsaw with a quick start option, they can be even more efficient.

  • Gas-powered chainsaws are the most commonly used and the most popular choice of professional chainsaw users.
  • They are powered by gas i.e. petrol.
  • Usually, gas-powered chainsaws have 2-cycle or 2-stroke engines that operate on a mixture of oil and gas. The gas is utilized by the machine for combustion while the internal parts are lubricated by the oil. The oil also prevents the excessive wearing and damage of the parts.
  • Gas-powered chainsaws are quite powerful and can cut wood faster and more efficiently than other chainsaws.
  • ​They are much heavier than other varieties, noisier and can produce a lot of vibrations when in use.
  • ​Gas chainsaws require regular servicing and refueling compared to other models.
  • Gas-powered chainsaws are more expensive than electric chainsaws.

Corded Electric Chainsaws

​An electric chainsaw includes chainsaws that are plugged into the wall. This obviously has the advantage of not needing to refill with fuel and it and be often be more cost efficient.

However, the versatility of the chainsaw is reduced as you are limited to places where you have connectivity to electricity.

  • ​Corded electric chainsaws are smaller varieties of chainsaws that have a power cord which is usually plugged into a power source and use electricity to run.
  • Corded electric chainsaws are immobile and cannot be moved too far away from the power supply unless they are attached to a portable generator with a long extension cord. Corded electric chainsaws cannot be used for tasks such as felling trees in the forest without considerable effort on the owners part to bring power with them.
  • These chainsaws have less power and hence can be used for small tasks. You can use corded electric chainsaws for cutting and sawing operations of small trees, thick limbs and branches and or shrubs.
  • ​Electric chainsaws are not very noisy and do not produce exhaust fumes.
  • They are lightweight and easy to handle which makes them a great tool for beginners or inexperienced users.
  • ​One major advantage of corded electric chainsaws is that they are considerably inexpensive when compared to gas-powered and battery operated chainsaws.

Battery Powered Chainsaws

  • ​They are also known as cordless chainsaws and use rechargeable batteries for operation instead of fuel or electric current.
  • Battery operated chainsaws do not require regular fueling and servicing like the gas-powered models, however, the batteries need to be charged regularly to keep the chainsaw operational. This sometimes can be limiting as the work needs to be stopped for recharging. However, this problem can be averted if you have more than one set of batteries that can be used without interrupting the work. Allowing you to keep one battery on the charger while the other is with you cutting through your work load.
  • Cordless chainsaws are less powerful than the corded chainsaws and are ideal for light cutting tasks that are not very time-consuming. Cordless chainsaws are typically used for lighter cutting activities such as trimming, pruning, cutting and limbing small trees around the house. 
  • Though cordless chainsaws are less powerful compared to gas-powered and corded electric chainsaws, they are the most expensive models on the market because of convenience.

Manual or Hand-Powered Chainsaws

  • ​Manual chainsaws neither require electricity nor do they need fuel to run. Basically, you use your arms for the purpose of cutting.
  • ​Manual chainsaws are used for cutting firewood or trimming wood at homes if you cannot afford or do not want to buy a gas-powered or electric chainsaw.
  • ​Manual chainsaws are very quiet and do not produce any noise nor do they produce any exhaust fumes. However, using these manual chainsaws requires quite a bit of human effort and can be tiresome.
  • ​Hand-powered or manual chainsaws have considerably reduced power than a motorized chainsaw.
  • ​The main feature is, they are highly portable and can be carried around quite effortlessly.
  • ​Manual chainsaws are quite inexpensive as you need very few parts such as the saw chain, nylon webbing, a hack saw, some nylon or waxed linen thread, a needle and matches.

Pole Saw

  • ​A pole saw is a small saw that is attached to a long extension pole which is used to help you trim or cut small tree limbs at a height which you cannot reach easily.
  • A pole saw does not really come under the classification of a chainsaw but is somewhat related to a chainsaw.
  • Sometimes pole saws can be converted into regular chainsaws and they can also be gas-powered, electric or battery powered.
  • Gas-powered pole saws are more powerful than the electric chainsaws and are used to cut trees and thick branches up high. They also produce quite a lot of vibration and noise when in use. In comparison, electric pole saws have lesser power and are used for limbing and pruning. Corded electric pole saws are more powerful than battery powered pole saws.
  • Battery powered pole saws are more expensive followed by gasoline-powered and electric corded pole saws.

About the author

Chris Ross

My name is Chris Ross. I'm an arborist by profession & a blogger by passion.Currently I live in Austin, United States. Being in the cutting services for more than 10 years, I know a thing or two about chainsaw. I love to write about chainsaw for homeowners and professionals. I hope my epic guides will help you to choose,buy and maintain chainsaw.

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