Electric vs Gas Chainsaw: Which Is Best for You and Why

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

My friend recently bought a property with a generous tree population that needed to be worked on. He thought he could just walk into the store and get any chainsaw. After all, they all work the same, right?

It turned out not to be as easy as that.

Before he even got to decide which brand and size of the chainsaw he should get, he first had to decide whether he should get a gas-powered or an electric chainsaw.

With so many choices to choose from and many decisions to be made, it all got too much. This is until we both sat down and looked at his options one at a time.

If you’ve found yourself in a similar dilemma, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’re going to examine the electric vs gas chainsaw and help you determine the best one for your needs.

If you’re looking for an easy to use and light weight chainsaw, the DeWalt DCCS620P1 is a great option to consider. It features a 12-inch bar and chain and an hour of battery run time to get you through some light duty trimming and cutting.
If you’re considering something a bit heavier and more powerful, the Husqvarna 435 E-series is a good choice. It features a 16-inch bar and chain powered by 40.9cc gas engine. Although it is lightweight, it delivers more cutting power and performance to get most of your yard cleanup done.

Electric Vs Gas Chainsaw Product Reviews

ProductDetails
1. 20V DeWalt DCCS620P1 Compact 12-Inch Electric Chainsaw Kit

  • Equipment: 12-inch Bar and Chain
  • Battery: 20V MAX 5Ah Lithium-Ion
  • Weight: 9.0 lbs
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2. Husqvarna 435E II Gas Chainsaw

  • Equipment: 16-inch Bar and Chain
  • Engine: 40.9cc X-TORQ
  • Weight: 9.2 lbs
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1. 20V DeWalt DCCS620P1 Compact 12-Inch Electric Chainsaw Kit

The DeWalt DCCS620P1 is a compact and lightweight chainsaw that combines power and efficiency in an easy to use kit. It features a 12-inch bar and chain that cuts through 6 to 10-inch logs easily and any other light-duty jobs.

Specs

  • Equipment: 12-inch Bar and Chain
  • Battery: 20V MAX 5Ah Lithium-Ion
  • Weight: 9.0 lbs

Pros

  • Compact and well balanced
  • High-efficiency brushless motor
  • Safe starting system which prevents accidental start
  • The ribbed front bumper provides stability when cutting

Cons

  • It provides 1-hour of battery time on a single charge and the battery takes 1-hour to fully charge

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2. Husqvarna 435E II Gas Chainsaw

The Husqvarna 435 E-series is an updated model of the earlier Husqvarna 435 chainsaw. It shares most of the features that made the earlier model a favorite among homeowners and professionals alike.

Specs

  • Equipment: 16-inch Bar and Chain
  • Engine: 40.9cc X-TORQ
  • Weight: 9.2 lbs

Pros

  • Features a new X-CUT chain that stays sharp for longer and delivers more cutting efficiency and efficient chain lubrication
  • Features a new X-FORCE bar with a new center plate design and optimized profile that makes it durable and reliable.
  • Lightweight chainsaw with more power and speed for light-duty jobs.

Cons

  • Some users noted that the chainsaw is difficult to start and to keep it running steadily.

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Electric Vs Gas Chainsaw: What You Need to Know

On the surface, both chainsaws will look the same and will function in almost the same way. The gas-powered chainsaws have been around longer and they are the preferred chainsaws by experienced users because they produce more power to handle the heavy-duty work.

On the other hand, there is a huge market for electric chainsaw users. These are users who, like my friend, occasionally need the chainsaw to prune trees, cut down small trees and small logs in their properties.

Even though they both achieve the same objective at different levels, let us look at some of the features of each chainsaw to understand how they work.

How Does a Gas Powered Chainsaw Work?

To put it simply, a gas-powered chainsaw features a 2-stroke motor to power the chainsaw. The fuel, which is an oil/gasoline mixture, moves through a carburetor where it is mixed with air before it passes into a cylinder.

In this cylinder, the air/ fuel mixture is ignited by a spark plug to push a piston back and forth which is converted into a rotary motion. A centrifugal clutch connects this engine to the sprocket that holds the chain.

Pros

  • They have a large engine to produce more power and large blades to handle huge trees and logs
  • They are mobile and can run for long hours as long as you have the fuel
  • They run faster and can accomplish more work in a day

Cons

  • Heavier in size which makes it harder to handle over a long period
  • The process of mixing the right fuel and starting it up can be complicated for inexperienced users
  • They are more expensive and the engine requires regular maintenance

An electric chainsaw uses an electric motor that converts electrical energy into kinetic energy that is used to run the chain.

Cordless or battery-powered chainsaws utilize a battery to power the chainsaw. Depending on the size of the battery, the operating time on a single charge can vary from 25-minutes to 18-hours.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to handle especially for inexperienced users
  • Easy to maintain because it doesn’t have engine parts
  • Easy to start the machine and easy to store when done
  • Produces less noise

Cons

  • Have less power and blade size for handling heavy jobs
  • Corded chainsaws are distance limited to the length of the cord while cordless chainsaws are limited by the battery charge

Electric Chainsaw Vs Gas — The Top Brands

Now that we know what benefits of each of these chainsaws, we now can go a little further and look at individual chainsaws to compare electric chainsaw vs gas features, pros, and cons.

But before that, here is a brief highlight of two of the top brands that produce these chainsaws:

DeWalt is an international brand that manufactures power tools and hand tools. The company designs and optimizes tools, accessories, and services for the toughest jobs. They manufacture over 700 million innovative products across 54 facilities for various trades.

DeWalt produces high-performance cordless chainsaws for tough construction and demolition jobs. The chainsaws are powered by 20V Lithium-Ion battery or you can power up your chainsaw with the revolutionary FlexVolt battery.

The FlexVolt battery is compatible with different tools and automatically adjusts the voltage to suit the tool you’re working with. When you use it on a 20V chainsaw, you’ll get up to 8x the run time to get the job done.

Some of the features that make DeWalt electric chainsaws market leaders include:

  • A superior battery life that provides extended running time for a smooth workflow.
  • Choose between a12-inch or 16-inch Oregon bar and chain equipment that provides reliable performance over a variety of construction jobs.
  • To give you the confidence that the chainsaw will deliver reliable performance, you get a 1-year free service on parts and a 3-year limited warranty with your purchase. The company also provides a 90-day money-back guarantee.

Husqvarna is the largest manufacturer of outdoor products in the world. Their first chainsaw was manufactured in 1959 and has since continued to produce better and more superior chainsaws. Their focus is on developing innovative technologies to make their products of superior quality at an affordable price.

Husqvarna offers an array of chainsaws for a wide range of users and jobs. All their chainsaws, from the basic, light-duty chainsaw to the professional-duty saws have superior quality parts and features.

This ensures that all their products will deliver more superior and reliable performance than other top quality brands.

Here is a highlight of some of the innovative features that make their chainsaws the market leaders:

  • Low Vib system that incorporates anti-vibration dampeners that absorb and reduce the vibration impact to your arms and hands.
  • Air Injection centrifugal air cleaning system that improves the effectiveness of the air filter and extends the life of the engine.
  • TrioBrake is a safety feature that allows the chain brake to be activated automatically or manually
  • X-Torq engine that improves the efficiency of fuel consumption and reduces exhaust emissions to levels that comply with environmental regulations.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve gotten through this article to this point, I’m sure then you’ll be able to make a wise decision between the electric chainsaw vs gas. So, let’s wind up this article with a brief recap.

We began by looking at each electric vs gas category of chainsaws, how they work, and the advantages and disadvantages, and which jobs they’re best suited for.

We went further to highlight two chainsaw examples from the top brands to show you the varieties you can choose from and the features to expect when you buy the chainsaws.

If this is your first chainsaw, you should consider the DeWalt DCCS620P1 electric chainsaw and begin by trimming small branches and cutting small logs to get the hang of using it.

But if you’re an experienced user or you need to get a bigger job done in your property, the Husqvarna 435 E-series gas chainsaw will be a better choice. It has more power and a bigger bar to get through the big diameter trees.

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