Electric and chainsaws – what is the difference?

Petrol and electric chainsaws: which is better for the home and garden?

Petrol and electric saws: Which is better for home and garden?

Which saw is better to buy: gasoline or electric, the answer to this question can not be unambiguous. The decision depends on the intended use. Take into account the principle of action, design features, the nuances of preparation and work with gasoline and electric tools.

Important! The review provides for the use of the tool for domestic needs: construction, pruning trees in the garden, cutting firewood. We do not take cordless and professional petrol saws for felling and sawing wood.

Operating principle

Comparing which chainsaw is better: gasoline or electric, you should first analyze the functional principle of the tools. The heart of the chainsaw is a two-stroke engine, which is driven by a fuel mixture of gasoline and oil. The start is carried out with the help of a manual starter. After starting, the device idles, but the chain does not move until a special button is pressed.

Working with the electric saw requires connection to a power source. The tool is plugged in, and once the start button is pressed, the saw chain begins to move. In this case, there are fewer preparations, but the disadvantage is the “fixation” on the wire.

Design features of chainsaws

Chainsaw or chain saw, regardless of the manufacturer, has similar design features and differs only in the manufacturers, quality of workmanship and parts. The figure shows a diagram of the general device of the tool, with which you can get acquainted with the main assemblies.

As already mentioned, the unit is a two-stroke in-cylinder with natural cooling. The Agaser fuel system is with non-contact, electronic ignition. Exhaust gases from the combustion chambers are transferred through a compact muffler.

Design features of chainsaws

The essential design difference between gasoline and electric saws lies in the different types of drive and work units. Obviously, however, electric motors are used, which can be mounted longitudinally or transversely. The type of viscous clutch depends on this. In the former case, the rotary motion is transmitted through the transmission; in the transverse one, it is done directly.

Great! In fact, the models can be called identical: the operation of the engine rotates the chain wheel, which, in turn, pulls the saw chain.

Detailed comparative characteristics

Let’s take a closer look at the design and performance of gasoline and electric saws with specific examples. Let us analyze together with you the differences in strength, performance, equipment of the saws, complexity of maintenance and operation.

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Differences in strength, performance

Gasoline-powered saws hold their own in terms of performance. The average electric saw does not exceed 3 kilowatts. Gasoline saws have a capacity of 6 kilowatts or more. If you compare models with similar volumes, the electric saw’s performance clears. The difference is that the electric motor, when working in an average load, is forced to “rest” every 30-40 minutes. The break is necessary to cool the engine. Gasoline models do not have this problem, unless you take budget options for domestic use as an example.

Healthy! Professionals and semi-professionals are able to saw for 6-8 hours without long stops.

Another indicator is the number of revolutions of the saw chain. In most cases, gasoline-powered ones are 25-30% more. This also affects the difference in performance. In addition, the constant presence of the electric cable underfoot also distracts the operator, which affects the time and amount of work he does.

Healthy! When comparing a chainsaw to its electric counterpart with identical technical parameters, the performance of the former is higher.


There is no difference in the configuration of gasoline and electric saws. All models can be used with chains that are suitable for both. The only thing you need to pay attention to when choosing equipment is the marking.

The abbreviated designation of the type of saw chain for gasoline and electric saws reads like the one shown as an example. As a visual aid, let’s look at the deciphering of “15” 0.325 1.5 mm 64 “:

  • 15 ” is 15 inches or 38 cm. Tire length. The value can vary depending on the size of the particular tool.
  • 0.325 is the pitch between the teeth. This value is most common in compact domestic models. A value of 0.375 (3/8) is used in models with engine power over 3.5 hp.
  • 1.5 – chain groove. The thickness of the main joints, the cut of the ends, which determine the width.
  • 64 – number of chain teeth. This value directly depends on the length of the tire and the chain itself.

Important: Both versions of the saw can be used with the same equipment. Therefore, in this category, the winner was not identified.

Preparation for work

According to this indicator, the electric saw is superior to the gasoline saw. The following work must be done before you start using it:

  • Install the saw chain.
  • Fill up with oil.
  • Insert the plug into the socket.
  • After that, the tool is ready to work. The movement of the chain starts after the trigger is pressed.
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In the case of chainsaws, everything is much more complicated. In addition to these manipulations, you need the following:

  • Prepare a fuel mixture (mix in certain proportions 9th gasoline and special oil) and pour it into the chainsaw.
  • Turn on the “Start” mode in the body of the tool.
  • If necessary, toggle the switch (or press the rubber cap) of the first start.
  • Start the engine with the cable starter. The chain saw will then start in 1-2 seconds.
  • Start the engine in the same way. After starting the device, the gasoline saw is ready to work.

The above manipulation makes it clear that starting an electric saw is easier than a gasoline saw. There is no need for gasoline, frequent grumbling with the manual starter (which on older models often turns red).

Important! In the criterion of “preparation for work” electric saw – the unconditional winner.

Practicality and performance

The electric saw does not require the preparation of the fuel mixture, to work with it is enough to plug the wire into the socket and press the start button. However, their design is not as balanced as their gasoline counterparts. The latter are much more convenient to hold in the hands, moreover, the power cord does not interfere, which becomes the main reason for the rejection of wireless models.

On the other hand, electric saws come in 2 variants: with a longitudinal and transverse motor.

The transverse ones are models whose appearance resembles a chainsaw. The transverse drive makes it cumbersome and impractical for working in cramped conditions. Poor balance is often the cause of crooked cuts.

Longitudinal ones are better balanced, which affects usability and cut quality. The tapered shape of the gearbox and compact size make such models more productive and, accordingly, more expensive.

Another criterion related to the usability of gasoline and electric saws concerns the lack of idling in the latter. In other words, with gas saws, if you press the button, if you do not turn off the engine, it will continue to idle, the chain will not rotate. However, the movement of the piston causes vibration, which can cause the tool to move slowly (for example, when working on scaffolding). As a result, there is a high chance of an unattended chain saw falling down while running. The electrics in “no sawing” mode show no “signs of life”.

Important! In terms of practicality, none of the models wins. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.


If we talk about the ease of maintenance, gasoline and electric chainsaws are equal. A large selection of spare parts, many videos and special forums on these topics make absolutely all models repairable.

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Let’s consider the consumables that the owner of a chainsaw or electric saw may need. In addition, this example does not include saw chains, files and sharpeners.

A person who prefers a chainsaw will have to face frequent air filter changes in the course of operation. In addition, he must constantly monitor the quality of the fuel mixture.

Healthy! A common problem for owners of gas tools is difficulty starting, which develops for a number of reasons.

An owner who prefers chainsaws is spared the air filter problems and starting or idling problems. The only consumables he needs to change are the carbon brushes.

Important! For problems of a different nature, both with gasoline and electric saws, it is recommended to contact a service center.


In terms of safety, chainsaws are safer than electric saws. This is due to the following factors:

  • The presence of an electric cable, which has to be constantly dragged along. Therefore, there is a high chance of accidental contact with the saw chain.
  • For a similar reason of the presence of electricity, the electric saw cannot be used in damp rooms or in rainy weather.

In terms of damage to the cutting element, gas and electric saws have similar characteristics.

  • Accidental start lock button on the handle.
  • Inertia brake lever for chain movement.

They are absolutely safe if the safety precautions are observed.

Important! Due to the lack of a power cord, working with a chainsaw is less dangerous than with an electric saw.


To summarize the results of the comparative test of electric and gasoline saws:

  • They have significant differences in design properties. It is inexpedient to talk about the advantages of a particular model, because everyone has his own preferences in this regard. Someone prefers an electric motor, the other – the time-tested internal combustion engine.
  • The performance of chain saws is much higher in all respects. This took into account the continuous operation time and productivity of the tool.
  • Electric saws have the advantage in the case of at least preparatory work and the absence of filters, weights and other attributes with which they have ever encountered problems.
  • In terms of work, gasoline-powered ones are inferior to electric ones because of the same mobility and lack of.
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As a result of the review, it turns out that there is no unambiguous answer to the above question, what is better to buy: a gasoline mower or an electric mower. Each of the tools has its own features and disadvantages. Therefore, the decision is made taking into account individual preferences.

Gasoline or electric saw: what is better and how to choose?

The hand saw provides only minimal functions. For this reason, the question arises, if you complete a range of tools for framing or use in the countryside, what is better, a chainsaw or an electric saw. Both tools have their advantages. Therefore, when choosing, it is worth deciding which criteria are more important to you. We will talk about this below, but first you will learn how the tools of this type differ.

The main differences between a chainsaw and an electric saw

The principles of operation are similar, differing mainly in the power sources.

A chainsaw works by burning a fuel mixture.

The electric saw is powered by the mains.

If you want to use the tool in the woods, in the open countryside or at a site that has not yet been electrified, there is no alternative to a chainsaw. If you need a saw for dacha, then the electric model will do.

Features comparison

Parameter name description
mobility According to this characteristic, chainsaws are ahead of electric ones. Since it does not depend on electricity, you can take it with you in the woods, hunting or fishing. The main thing is to stock up on fuel mix. Even in domestic settings, electric saws are less mobile, as a cable can make them difficult to use. In addition, the electric model can not be used to cut power and in wet weather.
Specifications When comparing domestic models, electric and gasoline models are about the same. However, professional gasoline saws are more powerful than any electric ones. Even frozen wood can be sawed with them.
Operating time Gasoline saws last much longer – up to 8 hours. The instructions for the electric tablets recommend not exceeding 20 minutes of use.
Operating conditions A chainsaw can be used under almost any conditions. Only frost can be a serious obstacle to work. With electric saws it is more complicated: they cannot be used in rain or wet weather. However, they are indispensable when working indoors, as they do not emit harmful exhaust gases and emit a minimum of vibration and noise.
Price It’s cheaper to buy electric saws and maintain them like electric saws. Electric models are 2 times cheaper than gasoline models of the same capacity. In addition, you don’t have to buy gasoline and oil for the engine for electric saws. Of course, you will also have to pay for electricity, but it is always cheaper than gasoline. The cost of gasoline and spare parts in electric saws is also lower than in gasoline saws.
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What parameters should you pay attention to when choosing a chainsaw?

Performance. For small jobs – pruning and cutting down small trees – a chainsaw with a power of 1.5 kW is suitable. For example, this chainsaw Champion 237. If you have to saw thicker protocols, pay attention to saws with a power of 1.8 kW.

Engine capacity. The more this indicator, the more powerful the chainsaw. However, you should not chase the volume, because with an increase in volume the amount of consumables needed increases.

The length of the bar. The longer the bar, the more potential the saw has. For household tasks for sawing wood and construction needs, a bar of at least 40 cm is enough.

Weight. The lightest devices weigh 5 kg. The most powerful – up to 8 kg. Take this into account, choosing a comfortable weight for yourself.

Noise level. Usually it reaches 110 dB, so it is better to buy protective headphones.

Accessories. The most popular features are a safety brake, an additional long tripod and an exhaust flushing system.

Properties for choosing an electric saw

Performance. The weakest saws have a power of 1.2 kW. For professionals, you need at least 1.8 kW.

The length of the bar. The same as in gasoline saws.

Weight. Electric saws are lighter than petrol saws. The lightest models weigh 4 kg.

Noise level. Even the loud models reach less than 100 dB. You can work without headphones.

Accessories. The most popular features are the chain sharpener and the starter button attachment.

No matter how you decide to buy, the models that we have picked up in Maxidome will be a real “stick-saw” for you!

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