Electric vs. Gas Chainsaws

29 Apr 2021 Tools

Chainsaws are powerful tools that can easily cut through downed trees, large branches, and firewood. Though all models share several similarities, there are a few significant differences between electric vs. gas chainsaws. Knowing these differences is important for determining the strengths, weaknesses, and suitable uses for each type. As leading providers of outdoor power equipment, the team at Western Equipment has provided some information on the characteristics of electric and gas chainsaws. This information will help you make an informed decision for your specific needs.

Learn about how to properly care for your chainsaw.

Is it Better to own an Electric or Gas Chainsaw?

The answer to this question is largely based on your specific needs and preferences. To determine which configuration is best for you, consider the following advantages and disadvantages of electric and gas chainsaws:

Electric Chainsaws

Electric chainsaws are often lighter and easier to start. Some models are corded and must be plugged in, but many of them now utilize rechargeable battery packs.


Advantages of electric chainsaws include:

  • Lightweight, compact, and easier to carry for extended periods.
  • Minimal maintenance requirements.
  • No need to mix gas and oil.
  • Simple and easy push-button start for most models.
  • Reduced operating noise.
  • Battery-powered units offer the same high level of mobility as gas units.

Potential Disadvantages

Potential disadvantages of electric chainsaws include:

  • Often not as powerful as gas units, making them a poor choice for heavy jobs.
  • Corded saws often only have up to 100ft of cord, limiting mobility. These cords can become tangled, further reducing mobility and performance.
  • Batteries do not last as long as a tank of gas and can take a while to recharge. The user will often need multiple batteries to accomplish larger jobs.

Gas Chainsaws

Gas chainsaws are often heavier and more powerful than electric models. All gas units are fully portable but can be more difficult to start.


Advantages of gas chainsaws include:

  • Enough power for difficult sawing needs (fallen trees, thick branches, ranch sawing jobs).
  • Longer run times than a standard rechargeable battery.
  • Can easily extend run times by replenishing fuel, making them a great choice for remote sites.
  • Available in a wide array of bar lengths for small to large trees.

Potential Disadvantages

Potential disadvantages of gas chainsaws include:

  • Heavier and more cumbersome than most electric units. This can increase operator strain over time.
  • Louder than electric units and require better hearing protection.
  • They emit fumes, making them a poor choice for enclosed environments.
  • Need to mix gas and oil.
  • Higher maintenance requirements.
  • Can be more difficult to start.

As previously noted, the best chainsaw will heavily depend on your specific needs, preferences, and expectations. To ensure that you are getting the best unit for your requirements, reach out to the experts at your nearest Western Equipment location. They will work with you to understand your needs and deliver a tailored chainsaw recommendation.