Chainsaw Or Electric Saw What To Choose

Chainsaw vs. Power Saw: Pros and Cons of Each Choice Which saw is best for you: Chainsaw or Electric Saw? Which is better and more reliable? How to choose the right one? Answers in the article.

Chainsaw or electric saw: the pros and cons of each option

The arrangement and maintenance of a suburban area assumes a sufficient level of mechanization of labor-intensive work. When completing the minimum set of household tools, the question inevitably arises, which is better and more reliable: a chainsaw or an electric saw? A review of the pros and cons shows that both options deserve their due consideration.

The basics of the popularity of the electric saw range

Many owners have been using electric saws for years, changing only saw sets and electric brushes as they wear out.

  • High efficiency of electric drives;
  • Significantly lower maintenance costs and low-cost repairs;
  • Self-service and routine maintenance that does not require special qualifications;
  • Sufficiently large overhaul and operating life;
  • The possibility of using saw sets and chain oils designed to work with gasoline models;
  • Minimum levels of vibration and background noise.

Replacing the most expensive part of the electric saw, the engine rotor at a price several times lower than the cost of replacing the crankshaft of a gasoline model.

Advantages of branded chainsaw import

Chainsaw Or Electric Saw What To Choose
  • The products of leading European brands are practically devoid of the drawbacks characteristic of cheap chainsaw equipment. Chainsaws of the brands Stihl, Husqvarna, Makita, Oleo Mak and a number of others have positively proven themselves in all respects.
  • The use of wear-resistant materials and modern technologies for their processing made it possible to bring the production of branded chainsaws to the highest quality level.

The main disadvantages of chainsaws

In the list of disadvantages of chainsaw technology, the complexity of the design. In addition to the power unit, the chainsaw includes ignition systems, easy start and headset lubrication, a clutch mechanism with a drive sprocket.

Even with high quality, good interaction of all parts and assemblies, the number of failures of chainsaw equipment is an order of magnitude higher than that of models with an electric drive.

User reviews note the following disadvantages:

  • Cold start problems at low ambient temperatures. In some cases, even the presence of an inertial starter and a booster pump does not save the situation;
  • High cost of service and repair, high-octane fuel, engine oils, spare parts and other consumables;
  • For potential owners living at a great distance from service and repair centers, a deterrent from purchasing a chainsaw may be the need to independently eliminate complex failures and malfunctions.

These concerns are fully justified, since the quality and reliability of the main range of budget models are far from perfect, and the supplies of the most popular spare parts are made in insufficient volumes.

Performance Benefits of Power Saws

On the domestic market, electric saws are presented in a smaller assortment, however, it is not difficult to choose a model that meets the stated requirements. Tools imported and domestically produced with a capacity of 1.8-2.5 kW are in stable demand.

The list of proposals includes several models of electric saws of the popular INTERTOOL trademark, as well as branded electric drive models Solo, Oleo Mak, Stihl and MasterYard of different classes, costing from 1,800 to 20,000 rubles.

In the design of electric power units, users especially appreciate:

  • Compactness and simple design;
  • Fewer rubbing parts;
  • Stability of operating modes;
  • Trouble-free launch in difficult weather and climatic conditions.

The main disadvantage of household and professional electric power equipment is the short range limited by the length of the electric cable.

In large-scale logging operations, the problem is solved by connecting tools to mobile power generators. At home, preference is given to powering electric saws to a household power supply using special extension cords.

Range of application of electric saws

The electric chain saw is quickly turned on by pressing a button, which saves working time by reducing the amount of prestarting.

  • Due to their small size and reliable grip, electric saws are used in the construction of wooden residential buildings, crowning of tall trees and other special works.
  • In particular, the electric saw does not cause noise discomfort when working in closed spaces, does not create problems in the absence of exhaust ventilation.
  • Longitudinal engine models are characterized by good balance, even cut, no kickbacks when the chain enters dense and sticky wood.

Tools of a higher power range can master the volume of work corresponding to the capabilities of semi-professional chainsaws.

The working set of household tools of many owners includes an electric and a chainsaw. The presence of two tools allows you to significantly reduce the cost and expand the list of sawing works of different levels of complexity.


In terms of safety, chainsaws are ahead of electric ones due to the lack of an electric cable, which you have to constantly pay attention to. Electric saws must not be operated in wet and rainy weather, as well as in wet rooms.

Regarding possible injury by the cutting part of the saw, they are absolutely identical; injury can only be done with gross violation of the operating rules.

Lever for instant stop of the chain in case of kickback. It is equipped with both electric and gasoline chain saws.

Ultimately, it is rather difficult to determine which is better than an electric or chainsaw. It all depends on the specific tasks and operating conditions. Judging by the prevalence and popularity of tools, then both types of chainsaws have the right to life and do an excellent job with their tasks. It is only important to buy a quality tool, not cheap fakes.

Design features of electric and gasoline chain saws

Electric and gasoline saws are equipped with the same saw set, with chains of the same pitch and tooth profile. But the length of the tire, and, accordingly, the number of teeth on the chain, are different. Chainsaws are equipped with tires from 35 cm to 1 m long, depending on the engine power. Electric saws are equipped with tires no more than 0.5 0.6 m.

But this parameter is not as important as it might seem. It is correct to compare only saws of the same power, and for chainsaws with 2.4 3 kW motors, a tire longer than 0.5 m is rarely found. So, in this parameter, the tools are approximately equal. In forestry operations where saws with meter tires are required, electric saws do not work, so they should not be compared.

When choosing a chainsaw and an electric saw, the price does not play a decisive role. Operational properties are much more important. But if you take semi-professional saws, for example, a STIHL 180 chainsaw and a Makita UC4020A electric saw (with comparable power of 1.5 and 1.8 kW), then the price of an electric saw is almost 40% lower than a petrol one.

Preparation and maintenance

Power saws are more convenient when preparing for work. It is enough to install the saw headset, add oil and plug into the socket. At the same time, most high-quality electric saws are equipped with quick-clamping devices that allow you to tighten the chain or replace it in a few minutes.

Quick-release chain tensioner.

With chainsaws, this is more difficult, semi-professional and professional saws are equipped with traditional clamps on nuts, which cannot be disassembled without a key. And the chain is tightened with a screwdriver or a special hex key. It takes a little longer, but the settings are guaranteed to hold tight.

Conventional chain tensioner.

Preparation of a fuel mixture for a chainsaw takes a few minutes. Special containers with graduations allow you to mix gasoline and oil in a given proportion in any amount. Typically, one tank filling is enough for 40-50 minutes of operation. Having prepared 2.3 liters of fuel in the morning, you will be provided with it for the whole working day. It is not necessary to prepare the mixture for future use, for several days, its properties deteriorate with prolonged storage.

What’s better. Chainsaw or chain saw

Chainsaws are among the most common among woodworking tools. This is determined by their performance, compactness, and relatively low cost of consumables. In practice, only an endless toothed chain interacts with a tree, the resource of which is quite high, and only periodic sharpening is required from maintenance.

There are two types of chainsaws, gasoline and electric. The first set in motion the saw chain using a two-stroke gasoline air-cooled engine with a power of 1.5-5 kW, the second with an electric motor with a power of up to 2.5 kW. If we compare the consumption of fuel and electricity, then for gasoline and electric saws, the cash costs for sawing 1 m 3 of material will be approximately the same.

But to determine what is better than a chainsaw or an electric saw, it is necessary based on a set of characteristics, and not just the cost of fuel or electricity. Purchase costs, maintenance, ergonomics, maintainability and ease of use are equally important factors influencing the choice.

Power and performance

As already mentioned, the power of electric saw engines rarely exceeds 2.5 kW, and for chainsaws it can reach 5-6 kW. But even an electric saw of 2.5 kW cannot be compared in performance with a gasoline of similar power. The fact is that an electric saw with an average load can work continuously for up to 40 minutes, after which it must be turned off for 20 minutes in order for the motor to cool.

Chainsaws do not have this problem, if you do not take into account cheap household tools. Semi-professional and industrial do not require such stops and can work 8 hours a day with virtually no stopping. The time for refueling with fuel and oil does not count towards this operation, it takes several minutes. It is worth considering that oil is also poured into the electric saws.

Chainsaw chain speed is 25-30% higher than electric chain speed. Accordingly, the productivity increases as well. Taking into account the possibility of quick movement of the operator with a chainsaw on the construction site or along a board or log, which is difficult for an electric saw with a cable, productivity increases even more. If we compare a chainsaw and an electric saw of the same power, then the performance of a gasoline one is slightly higher.

Power supply main distinguishing feature

Since the saw is powered by electricity, the use of this type of tool is possible only in places where it is possible to connect to the mains. It is convenient to work with such a tool at home, during construction. When working with an electric saw, difficulties may arise in the case when it is necessary to carry out work not only in the immediate vicinity of the house, but also to process the entire area.

For smooth movement with the tool around the site for outdoor work, you will need to purchase an extension cord several tens of meters long

In addition, during active movement, for example, when pruning fruit trees, it is necessary to ensure that the cord from the power tool does not get tangled under your feet and does not fall under the operating saw chain.

The electric saw is more intended for construction work: it is convenient for it to cut wood lengthwise and cut thin boards. The cuts from the electric saw are flat and smooth.

Due to the main feature of chainsaws mobility, they are an indispensable tool in logging. Easy-to-use tools can be used in virtually any position

The main trump card of the chainsaw is autonomy. The chainsaw will become a handy tool for farming in rural areas, where power surges are not uncommon. Owners who practice outings in order to organize an active holiday: a picnic, expedition, hunting or fishing, can always take a handy tool with them in the trunk of their car.

What is better than a chainsaw or an electric saw: a comparative review of units

The arrangement of a suburban area is impossible without the use of all kinds of tools. The question of acquiring a saw, necessary for sawing firewood and boards, as well as other woodwork, at some point necessarily arises before the owner of a country house. What is better than a chainsaw or an electric saw? Both tools are noteworthy. The only question is which one to choose. Each of the devices has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Working conditions and environmental friendliness

When comparing two tools, a chainsaw or an electric saw, many consumers pay attention to factors such as ease of use and environmental friendliness.

Electric saws are quite easy to use: the tool is started by pressing one button. Quite lightweight and compact devices will become indispensable helpers for simple work: to cut something nearby at home, cut off knots, cut thin logs. But in working with a tree that has a denser structure, the power of the electric saw may not be enough.

You should also take into account the fact that the power tool can work continuously for only 20 minutes, since its engine heats up very quickly, while chainsaws work successfully without interruption for several hours

When choosing an electric saw for work, you should be prepared for the fact that it will be possible to use it only under favorable weather conditions. Excessive moisture can damage the instrument. The electric saw is an indispensable tool for work in closed rooms: the compact design in operation emits a minimum of vibration and little noise.

Chainsaws run on a fuel mixture. The engine of the tool is started with a starter cord

For many users who have not encountered chainsaws, the need to prepare a fuel mixture, monitor the quality and quantity of components, is a deterrent factor in choosing this type of product. The manipulation of starting and maintaining the instrument is not as difficult as it seems at first glance.

A chainsaw is not the best option for working in enclosed spaces: the fumes and exhaust gases emitted during operation by the tool do not make it possible to spend a long time in an unventilated room

Chainsaws are less picky about weather conditions: light rain and even snow do not interfere with her work. But, at the same time, in severe frost, the chainsaw may not start at all, which cannot be said about the electric saw.

The financial side of the issue

If we consider the purchase of an electric or chainsaw from a financial point of view, then electric saws are a more economical option. The cost of electric saws is an order of magnitude lower than their gasoline counterparts.

Electrical appliances are more profitable than gasoline ones due to the fact that they do not need to purchase consumables such as gasoline and oil for the engine. In addition, the electric saw models are equipped with fewer components and spare parts than gasoline units. Yes, the electricity needed to power the saw will contribute to the cost, but the cost of electricity is always less than the price of gasoline. Although economical models of modern chainsaws can reduce this price difference.

Regardless of what type of tool the owner chooses, the saw will become a real lifesaver, facilitating the work of improving the site.


This type of tool is widespread. It is powered by an internal combustion engine, which is connected to a saw chain (how to sharpen here). This is a simple classical mechanism, which, due to its simple device, has a high reliability factor.

The following classes are presented on the consumer market:

  • Household. These are chainsaws that are designed to work from time to time. They have low power, light weight and compact dimensions (mini chainsaws). It is convenient to use such a unit, for example, for preparing firewood for a fireplace. Their functionality is usually limited. It is optimal to use household chainsaws no more than 20 hours a month.
  • Semi-professional. These saws have many more options. They are used in a variety of works, ranging from repairs and ending in AL-KOy forests. Possessing sufficient power, they cannot be operated for 810 hours a day; such active use can lead to breakdown. Their optimal use in the form of a delimber in felling.
  • Professional. This type of tool is most often used for felling wood. Chainsaws are powerful and functional. They can be operated without interruption for a long time (up to 16 hours a day).


  • Independent of the power source.
  • It can work in all environmental conditions.
  • High power of professional and semi-professional chainsaws, which significantly exceeds any options for an electric tool.
  • The possibility of continuous work.
  • Reliability and long service life.


  • Considerable weight.
  • Emission of exhaust gases that are harmful to humans and the environment.
  • High noise level.
  • Substantial vibration that complicates the operator’s task.
  • The need for refueling.

In severe frosts, starting a gasoline unit becomes much more difficult.

When should you choose an electric saw?

Based on the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of tools, the user should give preference to an electric saw if:

  • There is enough wire length in the place of work and the wiring allows to withstand the load.
  • The scope of work is not too large.
  • The work is carried out indoors.
  • It is important to maintain a certain level of noise.
  • It is important for the user to maintain environmental safety.

And with the help of a circular sawmill, it is easy to cut any lumber.

Read about how to make your own angular circular sawmill in our article.

Comparative characteristics

In the consumer market, a wide range of electric and chainsaws are provided. Each representative of this kind of instrument has their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, the choice of a saw must be approached responsibly. It is optimal to consider the pros and cons of saws for specific characteristics:

  • Mobility. In this category, the advantage of a chainsaw is undeniable, which, unlike a power tool, does not require a connection to a power source. Even if the saw is purchased for domestic use, the cord can become a serious obstacle to the processing of the site. While the chainsaw can be safely put in the car for a trip to the forest or fishing.
  • Power. An electric saw is a tool that does not require heavy loads. It can be used to cut branches or cut a board, but this saw will not work for denser materials and heavy loads. Working too hard may cause the engine of the tool to break and overheat or break.

Household chainsaws also do not have too much power, but manufacturers for long and strenuous work create more durable professional or semi-professional tools.

If the work of the master involves cutting thick and dense wooden materials, then it is optimal to use a chainsaw. And for a construction site, in the process of which they work with thin boards, it is more convenient to use an electric saw, which has greater accuracy.

When choosing the power of an electric saw, it is better to provide some margin. This will smooth out current instability during operation.

  • Duration of work. In the recommendations for the operation of the electric saw, manufacturers indicate the need not to exceed the load period of 20 minutes. After this time, the engine must cool down. Whereas chainsaws can work continuously for 8 hours.

Many saws are equipped with a thermal control system that shuts down the tool if it overheats.

  • Ambient conditions. For the electric version of the tool, there are restrictions on the permissible level of humidity.

In this one you will see a comparison of a chainsaw and an electric saw.

Electric saw

An electric saw is a unit that combines the functionality of a chainsaw and the advantages of a power tool. The rotation of the chain is provided by a gearbox associated with an electric motor. In modern models, the saw headset is automatically lubricated. A relay is also used to protect the motor from overheating during intensive work.

One of the most important parameters of an electric saw engine power, on which the performance of the unit depends.

The risk of kickback when working with an electric saw is significantly lower than that of a chainsaw. This ensures greater safety for human health and life.


  • Light weight and compact dimensions.
  • No exhaust fumes.
  • Ease of use.
  • Low cost.
  • Low noise level.
  • Easy start.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Environmental friendliness.
  • Low vibration.

Disadvantages :

  • Power Source Dependence.
  • Afraid of high humidity and precipitation.
  • The need for regular breaks every 1520 minutes.
  • Low working life and functionality.

The power tool requires a high-quality mains supply. Otherwise, voltage dips can become not only an obstacle to the planned work, but also cause a breakdown of the electric saw.

Differences in work

The device and principle of operation of a chainsaw and an electric saw are similar. The main difference between the tools is the motor type. An electric motor transmits rotary motion through a gearbox or direct drive to a sprocket that drives the bar and chain. For a chainsaw, a two-stroke internal combustion engine powered by a fuel mixture is used.

The autonomy of the chainsaw allows you to use it away from the power source. This is very useful for felling work or for trimming trees in city parks. Electric saws are tied to a current, without which they will not be able to perform their tasks, therefore they are more often used for cutting beams or sawing firewood.

Every professional builder and home craftsman should approach the choice of a saw responsibly. Indeed, for a certain type of work, both an electric saw and a chainsaw can be the ideal solution. Such tools are actively used for logging, clearing forest debris, they also cut ice and concrete.

Saws are often used for domestic purposes: to cut or remove a tree, saw wood or cut boards. The article contains materials that will help determine the choice depending on the purpose and conditions of use. Also, it will be useful to study our ranking of the best chainsaws.