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How to Choose Between Electric and Gas Chainsaws

Last Updated: 08 July 2021

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Having a house in the open, demands tools to deal with diverse tasks given the seasons. If your property is surrounded by nature, you probably have to deal with trees and branches. If you live in a northern state, the cold will possibly make you keep a stash of wood for fires.

To be covered on this, you need the best chainsaw for home use. You are about to learn the critical differences between gas-powered chainsaws and electric ones. Let’s see what makes them distinct.

Electric vs Gas Chainsaw

When it comes to an electric chainsaw vs. gas, your choice depends on two factors: environmental concerns and your strength. You can assess the pros and cons of each one to make your decision easier. Electric chainsaws are easy to carry, but they lack power. Gas-powered chainsaws are more powerful, but they are hard to handle and very noisy as well.

What Type of Chainsaw Is More Powerful?

What Type of Chainsaw Is More Powerful

The overall consensus all over the Internet is that gas-powered chainsaws are the most powerful out of these two options. The power behind a gas engine can help you deal even with frozen trees. You can cut down nearly everything using a gas chainsaw. They also are the best chainsaw for large trees. It’s the tool of choice of professional lumberjacks.

The best electric chainsaw doesn’t hold a candle in terms of power to a gas-powered saw. But they are pretty reliable tools with internal batteries that make them last for a long time. Their cutting power is best suited for suburban homes, where trees are not as large. Electric options are also the easiest to use a chainsaw for small domestic tasks.

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw, 12-Inch, Tool Only (DCCS620B)
  • Cordless chainsaw comes with low kick back 12-inch bar and chain for construction and outdoor cutting applications
  • Compact, lightweight design (just 9 lbs. with battery) of the battery chainsaw for maximum user control
  • High-efficiency brushless motor of the battery powered chainsaw maximizes runtime and motor life
  • Up to 90 cuts per charge on 4x4 pressure treated wood (using a 20V MAX* 5Ah battery)
  • Tool-free chain tensioning and bar tightening knob for proper bar clamping force

What Type of Chainsaw Is Easier to Use?

It goes to electric chainsaws without contest. Pick any model, and you will likely find an easy to use chainsaw because there is no gas engine inside. You will be able to saw as much as you need in a day without having to deal with arm fatigue. When it comes to electric versus gas chainsaw, the first one can give you a lot of room for maneuverability as well as a better reach.

Gas-powered chainsaws are always more substantial than any other types of saws. The extra weight is meant to help you keep them steady. Gas options are the best chainsaw for large trees. The downside is that these saws take a heavy toll on the user. You will get tired quickly if you can’t hold their weight. You also need to learn how to mix gas and oil to keep them working correctly.

Electric Chainsaw vs. Gas – Noise and Emissions

Electric Chainsaw vs. Gas – Noise and Emissions

When it comes to noise and emissions, gas options are on the losing side of the argument. Any gas-powered saw is extremely loud. They are so noisy that the user has to wear some form of ear protection to avoid hearing loss. These chainsaws also produce a lot of emissions since you have to deal with gas and oil to keep them running. They do have filters, but overall, they are not an eco-friendly option at all.

Regarding electric models, even the best chainsaw under 200 dollars is quiet when it’s turned on. Electric models also have different types of chainsaws of all sizes. Buying one for a specific task is a walk in the park, especially if you live in the suburbs. You don’t have to worry about emissions with these devices, only make sure they have a cord according to your needs, or that they hold enough power in their battery to handle your tasks.

Safety Concerns

Regardless of the model you pick, there will always be safety concerns when you use a chainsaw. Let’s shed light on this topic. The first piece of advice is never to use a chainsaw without protective gear. The latter should include:

  • A protective vest
  • The best chainsaw chaps you can get
  • A pair of gloves
  • Protective lenses
  • If you are out in the cold, you will need thermal underwear

We can offer some advice regarding your grip as well: you need to have a clear idea about the strength required to hold your chainsaw. You don’t want to lose control of it as you turn it on. You may end up harming yourself or someone else. Make sure to have a steady pulse and a firm grip when you handle these devices.

CRAFTSMAN 42cc-16 (2020 Model) S165 42cc Full Crank 2-Cycle Gas Chainsaw-16-Inch Bar and Automatic Chain Oiler-Carrying Case Included, Liberty Red
  • HIGH OUTPUT CRAFTSMAN ENGINE with 16-INCH BAR & CHAIN: 42cc full crank Craftsman 2 cycle engine provides greater power and less vibration. Premium 16-Inch bar and low-kickback chain cuts through even the toughest wood quickly and easily.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT DURABLE POLY CHASSIS: Easy to Handle, lighter in weight, without sacrificing power. This polymer chassis is engineered for reliable performance and prolonged use, with minimal user fatigue.
  • EASYSTART TECHNOLOGY: Designed for quicker, smoother and easier pull starts. Get right to work on lawn care, yard work, wood slicing, and other outdoor projects.
  • ADJUSTABLE AUTO CHAIN OILER with EASY VIEW: Maintains the proper amount of lubricant on the chain and allows the user to manually increase or decrease oil flow, keeping the proper amount of lubricant on the chain.
  • ERGONOMIC BALANCED DESIGN: 3-point anti-vibration system and a comfortable handle makes this chainsaw more balanced, maneuverable and comfortable to operate. Maintain command and comfortability for optimal performance.

Some Tips to Use a Chainsaw Properly

Let’s start with some essential advice on the way you should hold a chainsaw regardless of the type of model you are using. Chainsaws are made to cut things, so to use them, you need to hold the tool properly. Here’s how:

Some Tips to Use a Chainsaw Properly
  • Hold the first handle with your left hand; make sure to wrap your thumb underneath.
  • Grab the second handle with your right hand.
  • Stand with your legs apart to gain stability.
  • To make the best cuts, don’t cut with the tip. You can get a kickback from the chainsaw.
  • If the saw suddenly stops, it means that the chain got stuck, pull the device back to disengage it.
  • Any chainsaw makes better cuts when the engine is working at full throttle.
  • Make your cuts at waist level, avoid going over your shoulder height.
  • Never make cuts too close to the ground. The blade could dig on it and kickback.
  • Avoid hovering over the working area.
  • You can also make your cuts downward using the bottom of the bar, it works like a pull for you, but it will push the chain to cut deeper.

Basic Chainsaw Maintenance

The good thing about chainsaws is that no matter the engine type, the blade can be maintained the same way. You will need these tools to do it on your own:

Basic Chainsaw Maintenance
  • Wrench keys and screwdrivers
  • One round file
  • One file gauge
  • A flat file
  • A depth gauge tool
  • Cloths

Before handling the maintenance of your chainsaw, please make sure to wear work gloves. You will need to control the chain, and that’s an easy way to get cut. Even the best cheap chainsaw comes with a set of instructions. Make sure you keep that handy as well. We list below what you need to do to keep your chain sharp as ever:

  • First, make sure to secure the bar handles in a vise
  • Activate the brakes on the chainsaw to lock the chain
  • Take your time to sharpen the cutting teeth. Use a gauge that points at the bar nose. Use a round file at every tooth at the right angle. Use pushing strokes only.
  • As you’re done, release the brake on the chain to work on the other teeth
  • When you finished with the chain, turn the chainsaw and file the other set of teeth.
  • Make sure to file the depth gauges using a flat-file

Do this maintenance following the manual of your chainsaw. If you have a gas-powered extension chainsaw, you will need further instructions. Keep in mind that all the chains have a limited cycle of life. Eventually, the chain will be sharpened to the angled guideline of the teeth. That’s when it has to be replaced by a new one.

There are some additional tips regarding the engine that anyone can handle even if you are not an expert in mechanics:

  • Check the tension level of the chain before each use
  • Make sure the bar handle is fully assembled before turning on the chainsaw
  • Gas-powered chainsaws need air filter replacements every once in a while
  • Before cutting anything, make sure that the lockout function is working, as well as the brakes
  • Check if it is filled up with electric chainsaw oil before working

Key Differences Between Gas and Electric Chainsaws

At this point, either you have a lot of questions, or you already know what you need to pick the best chainsaw for your home. Let’s round up the differences real quick for you:

what is the best chainsaw for cutting trees
  • If you are wondering what is the best chainsaw for home use, electric is the way to go.
  • If you live in a rural area and you are not sure what is the best chainsaw for cutting trees, you need a gas model.
  • If you wonder how good are electric chainsaws, they are great for small house tasks and gardening. Not so good if you need to stack wood for the winter.
  • A gas-powered saw is ideal for people who work at ranches as well. The electric one is suited for yard/garden work.

Final Words and Conclusion

Your primary needs will determine your choice. The location, as well as the work you need to do, can help a lot. Make a list of the tasks you need this tool regularly. Remember the pros and cons of each one.

If you live in the suburbs with a lot of neighbors, they will not appreciate your doing yard work early in the morning on Sunday with a gas-powered model. If you live in the open, an electric chainsaw will not do much for you if you need wood.

Keep in mind all the knowledge we shared with you in this guide. We, here on the HandyHomeMaster.com, hope these lines can help you figure out your purchase! If you have anything to add, or if you think we forgot about something, hit the comments sections below to let us know!

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