5 Different Types of Chainsaws and Their Uses| Understanding Chainsaws

Back in the day, chainsaws were simple tools that included a chain, a gas machine, and a blade. Now, different types of chainsaws are available in the market with varying colors, sizes, and features. 

Even though all chainsaw models serve the same purpose, choosing between multiple options can be challenging. Ultimately, it all comes down to your project requirements, budget, ability to use the chainsaw, and how often you plan to use it.

In this guide, I will discuss five different chainsaw types and what they are best used for. Having learned about their uses, pros, and cons, you’ll be able to select a model that’s right for you. 

The 5 Different Types of Chainsaws

Here are five different chainsaw categories:

1. Gas-powered Chainsaw

Poulan Pro Gas-powered chainsaw

Regarding strength, gas chainsaws are the most powerful types of saws. Their power and unmatched cutting performance make them perfect for heavy-duty tasks.

Gas chainsaws are powered by a combination of gasoline and engine oil. These tools can easily cut through gigantic trees and convert logs into firewood. If you live on a farm, have multiple giant trees to cut, or looking for a professional tool, a gas chainsaw is definitely your best option. 

It is important to note that getting started with a gas chainsaw can take a while. However, because of its ability to continuously cut through wood without losing force all day, professionals find it indispensable.

A gas chainsaw can be expensive and louder than other categories. So, be mindful of your ear safety and always use hearing protection.

It can also weigh more than electric models because it contains additional components like an air filter, fuel tank, carburetor, etc. Therefore, consider all these factors before deciding to buy it.

If you are looking for a good-quality option in the market, consider checking the Poulan Pro chainsaw. It is a gas-powered chainsaw with OxyPower technology, an effortless pull-start System, 2-stroke engines, and a filtration system ensuring longer air filter life.

Due to its power and all-rounder nature, this chainsaw can conveniently handle cutting firewood, falling trees, and other heavy woodcutting tasks on your land. 

  • Ideal for heavy work
  • Unparalleled cutting power
  • Portable, versatile, and works faster
  • Long-running time
  • Long life span
  • Bulky
  • Relatively expensive
  • Noisy
  • Somewhat high maintenance

2. Electric (Corded) Chainsaw

If you are a suburban home user looking for something lightweight and easy to start, an electric chainsaw is the one for you. 

Unlike gas chainsaws, this model is not suitable for heavy-duty tasks. It is perfect for beginners or hobbyists who want to do their fun DIY wood projects, reach branches and do regular yard work.

Oregon corded electric chainsaw

An electric chainsaw is powered by an electric motor instead of an engine. You have to plug it into a power source to run. Although it grants major cutting power, it comes with the disadvantage of reducing its portability. 

Electric chainsaws offer several benefits. Firstly, they produce very little noise, which is helpful for people who can’t stand loud noises. Furthermore, there will be no unpleasant smell since oil and gas are not combined.

You can’t go too far from the power outlet while working with this chainsaw, which is a limitation. However, it is the best option for people looking for something low-cost, minimal-maintenance, lightweight, and easy to use. 

Oregon corded electric chainsaw is a great option in this category. It features an integrated self-sharpening system and chain brake. Due to its lightweight construction and ergonomics, it is suitable for people who want to do arduous tasks.

  • Easy to maneuver and operate
  • Push button start
  • No refueling
  • Low maintenance
  • Affordable
  • Cutting speed is slower than that of gas chainsaws
  • Can’t be used when power is out
  • Must be plugged into a power source
  • Suitable for light work only

3. Battery-operated (Cordless) Chainsaw

If you don’t want your activity to be dependent on an electrical outlet and don’t like gas either, a battery-powered chainsaw can be a lifesaver. 

Also known as the cordless chainsaw, this model is powered by a rechargeable battery. It combines the low maintenance benefits of an electric saw with the convenience of a gasoline saw. It can be taken anywhere without the need for cords or looking for a power source near it.

While buying a cordless model, you must pay attention to its battery life. It varies from brand to brand, but it also depends on how much you use it daily.  For instance, the WORX chainsaw’s battery can last 1-2 hours with constant use. It is a cordless chainsaw featuring an auto chain tension and lubrication system. 

WORX battery-operated chainsaw

Function-wise, it is not much different from the corded version. It can be used for small-medium-sized cutting jobs. 

  • Portable and very convenient
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Quiet
  • Bit expensive
  • Recharging and cutting times vary by brand
  • Cutting speed is equal to corded but slower than gas chainsaws

4. Manual or Hand-powered Chainsaw 

A manual/hand-held chainsaw, also known as a pocket chainsaw, is a small-sized tool that can fit in your pocket. 

Unlike gas and electric models, this chainsaw doesn’t need electricity or an engine to operate. It consists of a chain with bladed teeth connected to a handle on either side.

Your hands complete the job by swiftly swinging the chain back and forth, which can be pretty exhausting. Generally, you can use a manual chainsaw for small-scale jobs like tree trimming, branch pruning, cutting firewood wood cutting, etc.

JPOWTECH Mini Chainsaw is a great example of that. This one-hand tool is only 33 cm long and 2.38 lb in weight. It is a noise-free, emission-free, and extremely transportable device. However, it’s not as powerful as gas and electric saws.

  • Incredibly portable and easy to carry around
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Quiet
  • Lightweight
  • Requires no fuel or power
  • Can cause fatigue
  • Slow cutting
  • Unsuitable for demanding projects

5. Pole Saw

Pole saw is one of the most overlooked chainsaw varieties. It is a saw blade tethered to the end of a long pole. 

DEWALT Pole saw

A pole saw is required when people have to trim and cut branches out of their reach. It can help you reach the tops of hedges and higher branches without a ladder. You can also use it to eliminate small and thick limbs.

These saws are shorter and less powerful than standard chainsaws to reduce the strain on the pole.

You can find pole saws in different categories, including gas-driven, electric, battery, and a simple hand-powered pole saw. DEWALT pole saw, for instance, is a battery-powered tool that has an extension pole with a maximum reach of 15 feet. It features an 8-inch bar and chain and can handle pruning and trimming tasks. 

DEWALT polesaw includes

In addition, it is equipped with a powerful brushless motor with up to 96 cuts per charge.

  • Very helpful for reaching high spots
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Available in electrical, battery, gas-powered, and manual categories
  • Only suitable for removing small materials


1. What is the best chainsaw for home use?

If you are a home user and want a chainsaw for small-sized tasks around the house, like cutting small branches, pruning trees, or other gardening tasks, an electric chainsaw is the best option. 

There are two types of electric chainsaws: corded and cordless. Which option you select ultimately depends on your personal preferences.

The cordless model is comparatively costly. However, I would suggest going with it because it gives you more freedom and doesn’t bind you with an outlet. It is advantageous for occasional users because of its lightweight construction and portability.

2. What size chainsaw should I buy?

As a rule of thumb, the chainsaw bar needs to be two to three inches longer than the width of the object you are cutting. What you need to do is measure the width of trees, hedges, and limbs you want to cut before shopping for a chainsaw.

So, if your tree is twelve inches wide, you should get a fourteen inches long chainsaw. 

3. What chainsaw chain is best for cutting trees?

While cutting medium-large sized trees, it is essential to use a chainsaw chain that goes swiftly through the wood. For that, its cutters must be sharp and squared. 

The best option is to use a chisel chain like Forester. It is a full chisel chain that is compatible with several chainsaws. Its blade offers the most effective cutting. Experienced users will find it to be a better option. 

Wrap Up

So, these were all the different types of chainsaws. With the advent of modern chainsaws, tree felling, cutting, pruning, and limbing have become much simpler and quicker for us. 

Despite numerous advantages, each chainsaw category has its limitations. By understanding chainsaws, researching a model, and determining whether it offers what you desire, you can make an informed decision.

Thanks for reading. Let us know what you got in the comments below:)

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