10 Types of Chainsaw You Must Know in 2023

different chainsaw types explainedWhen it comes to the types of chainsaws, the market is flooded with so many brands and models that making the right decision seems like an impossible task.

That’s the main reason I am here today to talk about them in detail including their advantages as well as their disadvantages.

For starters, it is going to be a sort of comparative analysis of various types of saws available in the market. Buying a specific type of chainsaw highly depends upon the type of task that you need to perform. By the end of this, you will be able to understand which type of saw is best for you.

In broader terms, there are three types of chainsaws based on their mode of getting energy to run. These types vary due to many differences including the point that whether you want to operate your cutting tool with the fuel or just plug it in and start working.

Types of Chainsaws – A Brief Introduction

In chainsaw market, you will find hundreds of types of chainsaws and you will get completely lost in deciding which one you should buy. To help you with this, let me tell you that chainsaws vary from their type of fuel consumption (electric or gas powered) to their sizes and type of engine.

Some chainsaws are only efficient to cut trees and they are used for domestic purposes. For instance, if you want to clean up your backyard and chop up some firewood then you do not need a high-power chainsaw. On the other hand, there are professional saws that can even cut through metal.

Therefore, you should know the different types of a chainsaw before you buy one. Your decision should be solely based on the purpose of buying a cutting tool.

10 Different Types of Chainsaws You Should Know as a Homeowner

1. Gas-Powered Chainsaw – Best for Professional and Commercial Use

Gas Powered Chainsaw

As the name compliments, these chainsaws consume a mixture of oil and gas as their fuel to generate power. Most professional woodcutters opt for gas-powered chainsaws because of their efficiency.

The engine of a gas-powered chainsaw is 2 stroke and it has a wide range from 30cc to 120cc. All these different combinations along with the size of saws may affect its efficiencies.

In comparison to electric saws, gas chainsaws are more powerful. As they are very powerful, working with them is also a challenging task. Heavy chainsaws are very loud and they should be handled with care and safety.

Advantages of Gas-Powered Chainsaw:

There are many benefits of gas-powered chainsaws as they are most efficient in terms of power. You can easily cut through large branches and cut logs smoothly. Also, they require little repair and parts are easily available in the market.

Moreover, these chainsaws are portable and like electric saws, you would not be restricted to the length of the wire. Along with all these benefits, they give you a good run time.

Disadvantages of a Gas-Powered Chainsaw:

As compared to the advantages, there are a few cons of the gas-powered saw. These saws produce a lot of noise which adds up to noise pollution which means they are not eco-friendly.

Also, they are not user-friendly as they are too heavy. Lastly, their maintenance is not easy as the user has to take care of the oil and gas ratios. These chainsaws also cause mess because of their fuel consumption.

2. Battery Powered Chainsaw – Best for Yard Work and Felling Small Trees

Battery Powered Chainsaw

Battery-powered chainsaws are non-corded electric chainsaws. Unlike gas-powered chainsaws, they operate on batteries. These chainsaws are being popularized in the market because of their advanced versions.

They are easy to use because you are exempted from the restriction of the wire and socket as in the case of corded electric chainsaws. Also, you do not need to make a mixture of oil and gas and then add it to the chainsaw to run it.

However, these saws are not as power efficient as gas-powered ones they can perform heavy duties. Yet, they are good for homeowners from making firewood and other small tasks.

Advantages of Battery-Powered Chainsaws:

These saws are easy to use because of their lightweight and you can work easily. Moreover, they are eco-friendly as they are not loud and also they do not cause any emissions due to fuel burning.

In addition, their maintenance is easy. Like you just have to push a button and your saw starts. Also, these saws come with a variety of bar and chain lengths.

Disadvantages of Battery-Powered Chainsaws:

The disadvantage of these saws is that they need up to 1 hour to charge. You must keep extra batteries if you have to work for a long time consistently. Moreover, they are slow in cutting large trees.

3. Electric Corded Chainsaw – Best for Regular Garden Work

Electric Corded Chainsaw

These chainsaws come with a power cord over which they operate while utilizing electricity. Though they are brought due to their easy-to-carry advantage because of their lightweight but they are not portable to a greater extent. To operate an electric corded chainsaw, you must have a power source nearby.

Electric chainsaws are also very specific to the task because they are not that much efficient in terms of power as that gas-powered saws. You can only perform some household-related activities tasks with this type of chainsaw.

However, as compared to the battery-operated saws, it has better power performance. So, if the choice is to be made between corded and non-corded saws, people prefer corded ones. Despite the fact that the chainsaw will only have access to areas where there is access to the power cord.

While buying these saws, you have to consider amperes. It will tell you how much power the chainsaw is. The available range is from 8 to 15 amps so you can choose according to your demand. In addition, these chainsaws are comparatively budget-friendly.

Advantages of Corded Electric Saw:

This type of chainsaw is easy to start as it has a push-button system. Secondly, these chainsaws do not have any time restriction because neither fuel is consumed nor charging is used. Moreover, it is budget-friendly along with being user-friendly and eco-friendly.

The light weight of this chainsaw makes it user-friendly. While because of no emission into the air, it is also eco-friendly. These chainsaws come with various bar ranges and their maintenance is easy too.

Disadvantages of Corded Electric Saw:

There are a few disadvantages to these types of chainsaws. The biggest issue is the limited access because of cord restriction. Or else, you need to carry a portable electricity generator with you. Another disadvantage is that you need to consult a professional in case of any problem. You cannot fix its issues on your own.

4. Mini Chainsaw – Best for Pruning Limbs and Shrubs

Mini Chainsaw

Mini chainsaw as the name suggests is small enough in size that you can hold it in one hand. It seems like you are holding a pistol in your hand. You can easily work with it because of its small size and lightweight.

It is a good option for homeowners who have to perform small tasks. So, if you are a homeowner and just want a chainsaw to chop up some firewood or other such tasks, then it is good. Also, it is powerful enough to even cut through a small tree, especially the Saker Mini Chainsaw.

Advantages of Mini Chainsaw:

Its advantage is its easy handling because of its light weight and portability. Also, it is not much expensive. So, if you are looking for a chainsaw that you can easily work with and your job is just to cut small branches or tree limbs, then it is the best option.

Disadvantages of Mini Chainsaw:

The only disadvantage of this chainsaw is that you cannot use it for heavy-duty tasks. It is only efficient for small home-based tasks.

5. Manual Chainsaw – Best Option in Low Budget

Manual Chainsaw

Manual chainsaws are old-fashioned chainsaws that do not have any engine or automatic power generation system. Thus, they do not utilize fuel or electricity rather they work on manpower. You have to give your energy to run the chainsaw.

These chainsaws have two handles attached to a chain. All you have to do is to place the saw over the wood and move it into and fro direction to cut the wood. A single person can operate it. However, it will be easier and require less effort if two people run it.

Though these chainsaws are portable and very convenient to use, they are not much powerful.

Advantages of Manual Chainsaw:

The advantage of such saws is that they are lightweight because they do not have complex machinery systems involved. Also, they are not expensive and you can take these chainsaws anywhere without worrying about fuel or power supply issues.

Disadvantages of Manual Chainsaw:

Their disadvantage is that these saws cut slowly. It will take longer to cut with these saws. Secondly, it will make you tired as your energy will be utilized to run the saw.

6. Top Handle Chainsaw – Best for Arborists

Top Handle Chainsaw

These types of chainsaws also operate on fuel but they are designed in a way that they have their fuel tank right below the handle. These saws are not meant to perform heavy-duty tasks as gas-powered chainsaws do.

They are portable and can be used on one hand. They are one-handed chainsaws that make them easy to use. You can chop tree limbs and branches with this type of saw easily.

Advantages of Top Handle Chainsaw:

Like other popular saws, they are also easy to carry and their one-hand operational design is one of the best things. Moreover, they are portable and light in weight.

Along with the comfort, these chainsaws are also secure. This is counted as an important advantage because chainsaws are very dangerous tools. Thus, getting safety is a huge benefit.

Disadvantages of Top Handle Chainsaw:

Though you can cut even large trees with such a type of chainsaw. Yet, they are not proficient in cutting anything on the ground.

7. Pole Saw – Best for Trimming Large Trees

Pole Saw

A pole saw is designed to reach heights and perform cutting tasks. It can reach a height of about 6 to 8 feet. You cannot call a pole saw a chainsaw saw however it does the same duty of cutting tree branches.

These saws come in all variations such as gas-powered pole saws and electric (both corded and battery based). If we talk about their power, so they are efficient but not as much as a gas-powered chainsaw. Within pole saws, the ones operated by gas are more powerful than electric ones.

Advantages of a Pole Saw:

The pros of this type are that they can reach a height that is otherwise difficult to access. Also, it is light in weight and easy to use, you can easily control it. Moreover, it is not expensive and it comes in all variations in terms of operation, so you can choose according to your choice.

Disadvantages of a Pole Saw:

The drawbacks include their loud noise and vibrations. In addition, they are task-specific, unlike chainsaws that can perform a variety of tasks. Lastly, they are not much powerful and cannot cut big trees.

8. Concrete and Utility Saw – Best for Cutting Concrete

Concrete Chainsaw

Concrete or Utility chainsaws are the most powerful of the chainsaw types. They are used in construction work as they can cut through metal. In short, it can cut the toughest material because of the special chains these chainsaws have.

The chains of concrete saws have diamond pieces embedded in them along with the base of metal alloy in the chain cutters. They do not cut or slice the wood as ordinary chainsaw chains but they just grid down the wood.

Their variations include gas-powered concrete chainsaws or they can be having pneumatic motors. Within these, pneumatic ones are even more powerful than gas-powered ones. They have separate water reservoirs which are designed to cool down chainsaws while working.

Advantages of Concrete Saw:

With the high power they generate, they are the best option for working with concrete objects. Their performance is good and they are easy to mobilize. It is like a giant in the different types of chainsaws.

Disadvantages of Concrete Saw:

The only drawback is their expenses. They are costly and their maintenance is also expensive. Similarly, the chains of these saws also cost a lot.

9. Pneumatic Chainsaws – Best for Commercial Work Only

Pneumatic Chainsaw

Pneumatic chainsaws are a further type of concrete chainsaws. As I told you earlier, concrete chainsaws are gasoline operated and pneumatic. This is the most powerful type of chainsaw.

It is the best choice because they are quiet and do not emit gas which makes them eco-friendly. It also performs better cutting than the gas-powered chainsaw. Most of these saws have a cooling system that is operated by oil or water.

Advantages of Pneumatic Chainsaw:

It offers smooth cutting without making much noise which contributes to a relaxed working environment. Then, it does not pollute the environment like a gas-operated saw. You can expect fewer chances of breakage and it also has a cooling system.

Disadvantages of Pneumatic Chainsaw:

The only downside is their price as these chainsaws have high prices and their maintenance is also costly.

10. Rescue Chainsaw – Best for Cutting Metal and Steel

Rescue Chainsaw

A rescue chainsaw as the name itself reveals is the safest chainsaw ever. The problem with dealing with heavy tasks such as cutting solid material is a safety issue. However, this chainsaw can cut through the toughest material like doors, metallic sheets, light concrete, steel, and even bulletproof glass.

Rescue chainsaws offer a wide range of bar sizes from 16 inches to 24 inches. Most commonly, medium-sized are used such as from 18 inches to 22 inches bar size.

It also has specialized air filters that allow more air into the carburetor which results in the production of more torque. They come along with a 75cc 2-stroke engine combined with special advancements in the crankshaft and piston to make it more durable.

Their shape is convenient and it is easy to handle. Moreover, the chainsaw has reflective parts that help in increasing visibility in dark. Though it cannot cut deep it is the best option to work in risky places.

Advantages of Rescue Chainsaw:

The biggest highlight of this chainsaw is that it can deal with all types of solid materials. Additionally, its safety options make it more suitable because the job could be really dangerous otherwise.

A specialized air filter systems and a powerful engine are also attractions of this chainsaw.

Disadvantages of Rescue Chainsaw:

As the chainsaw is giant and powerful, it has high weight which might get problematic while operations. Moreover, the chainsaw cost is too high.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the different types of a chainsaw?

There are several types of chainsaws available in the market. These types include; gas-powered chainsaw, electric corded chainsaw, battery-operated chainsaw, concrete chainsaw, rescue chainsaw, pole saw, manual chainsaw, mini chainsaw, and others.

All these types have distinguished features. Some of them are designed for household tasks while others are used for commercial purposes. Similarly, some are operated on oil gas mixture, some are operated on electricity, and some are battery-powered.

2. Is there a 4-cycle chainsaw?

Yes, chainsaws also have a 4 cycle engine but it is rarely seen. Most commonly, chainsaws are based on 2 strokes because it is more powerful than a 4 stroke engine. The 4-stroke engine comes with some professional saws. The 4-stroke engine chainsaws are gas-powered.

3. What is a 2 stroke chainsaw?

A 2-stroke chainsaw engine generates power with every turn of the crankshaft which is 2x greater than a 4-stroke engine. It does not have valves and cams, resulting in power generation with each rotation. Comparatively, a 4 stroke engine takes two rotations to generate power.

4. What type of chainsaws are best?

The best type of chainsaw is the gas-powered one. They are more powerful than electric chainsaws and also they cut smoothly. For heavy tasks, gas-powered chainsaws are used. Also, they are fast in cutting and require less pressure for cutting.

5. Which is best 2 stroke or 4 stroke chainsaw?

A 2 stroke chainsaw engine is better than a 4 stroke chainsaw because of its quick power generation. A 2 stroke engine takes a short amount of time to reach top speed from idle.

Though a 4 stroke engine burns the fuel completely and generates high torque it is not quick like a 2 cycle engine. Moreover, 2 cycle engine is lightweight and offers high speed. These features of a 2 stroke engine make it better than a 4 cycle engine.

6. How many ccs is a chainsaw engine?

Basically, cc is the measuring unit for the engine. The bigger the cc is, the more powerful a chainsaw. There is a range of sizes available in the market and they are brought as per the requirement of the tasks. Most homeowners can do best with a 38cc engine while for professional uses, a 45cc or even 75cc engine is required and used.

7. Why is 2 stroke engine more powerful?

The reason 2 stroke engine is more powerful is that it produces quick power. In a 2 cycle engine, the power is generated with each rotation of the crankshaft, unlike a 4 stroke engine. Thus, a 2 cycle engine is more powerful because the power produced in a given time would be double as compared to a 4 stroke engine at a given time.

Final Takeaways: Different Types of Chainsaws Explained

It was a detailed guide about the types of chainsaws. I have discussed with you 10 types of chainsaws along with their advantages and disadvantages. However, there are other types as well such as pockets and chainsaws.

Hopefully, you would have got a piece of detailed information about the different types of chainsaws in general. Also, if you were looking for buying a chainsaw, then this information will surely help you in making a decision.


Richard McMann

Richard lives out in the wild with his other half, Diana Richard. He tests chainsaws based on his personal experience and loves to share their nitty gritty details with his audience. Although Richard does focus on other home improvement tools, his focus remains on cutting fallen trees or maintaining his backyard via chainsaw tools. He pledges to come up with new knowledge about chainsaws every once in a while.