Skip Navigation

Chain Saw Showdown: Gas vs. Electric Chain Saws

Chain Saw Showdown: Gas vs. Electric Chain Saws


Choosing the right chain saw can be difficult, especially with so many models available. You can select one based on many features, but the biggest factor typically comes down to power. This tool is available with a electric or gas-powered motor, either of which offers its own benefits and shortcomings. Here are some important pros and cons to compare when choosing between an electric or gas chain saw.

Gas Chain Saw

Electric Chain Saw

Power Source

FuelPower outlet or battery pack

Cutting Power

Heavy-duty projectsSmall or medium projects




MobileLimited with corded models / Mobile with cordless models

Gas Chain Saws

Advantages of Gas Chain Saws

  • High power - Whether you're pruning thick branches or removing a large tree, a gas chain saw provides more power than an electric model to handle these complex jobs.
  • Long runtime - A high-quality gas chain saw gives you the necessary power to cut down trees, clear brush, chop logs and take care of other tasks that take a longer period of time.
  • Portability - This type of chain saw offers complete mobility and can be operated far away from a power source. While a battery-operated chain saw might not be limited by a cord, it still requires frequent recharges, which means you need to be near an outlet.
Gas chain saw

Limitations of Gas Chain Saws

  • High price - Since it's made of high-grade materials and has more power, a gas chain saw is normally less affordable than an electric model.
  • Maintenance and fuel costs - You not only will have to deal with fuel costs, but you also will have to regularly clean this type of chain saw's motor so it continues to run smoothly.
  • Heavy weight - A gas-powered model tends to be heavier than an electric chain saw, which can be difficult to maneuver when making precise cuts.
  • Noisy - Like most power tools that run off gas motors, gas chain saws can be loud.

shop all gas chain saws


Electric Chain Saws

Electric corded chain saw

Advantages of Electric Chain Saws

  • Easy to use - An electric model is typically lighter than a gas chain saw, which makes it easy to operate when cutting into any type of wood.
  • Startup - Some versions have a complex startup, but most electric chain saws offer simple push-button or pull-cord startups. Corded models require a proper power outlet while cordless chain saws need fully charged batteries.
  • Soft noise - Since it doesn't have a gas-powered engine, this type of chain saw tends to run more softly than its counterparts.
  • Inexpensive - An electric chain saw is usually more affordable than a gas model and costs less to maintain over time.

Limitations of Electric Chain Saws

  • Cord length - When using a corded electric chain saw, you can be limited by the cord. If you don't pay attention while changing directions or turning corners, the cord can accidentally pop out and cut power.
  • Battery issues - If you're using a battery-powered electric chain saw, there is only a certain amount of time you have to complete a task before the battery needs to be recharged.
  • Limited power - This type of chain saw is usually ideal for light yard projects because it lacks the power found in its gas counterpart. That's why an electric model might struggle with professional-grade tasks.

shop all corded & cordless chain saws