Petrol vs Electric Chainsaws – Which One Is Better For You?

electric vs petrol chainsaw

There are many excellent chainsaws on the market. This makes shopping for a chainsaw a little daunting. Various chainsaw models are available in different sizes, power levels, and portability ranges. Keep your needs in mind when shopping for chainsaws. It will aid you to pick one that’s perfect for you.

Which do you prefer, tree trimming or carpentry? And do you use a chainsaw on a regular basis, or just occasionally? These questions are crucial to consider before you invest in a chainsaw.

The purpose of this article is to compare petrol and electric chainsaws. We will weigh the differences between these two types of chainsaws and the benefits of each so that you can make a smart and informed decision.

Chainsaws: Points to Remember

The type of chainsaw you should choose and how you intend to use it will influence your decision. The following are some of the most important considerations when purchasing chainsaws.

1. Purchase Cost

The complicated engine makes a petrol chainsaw comparatively pricier than the electric ones. Although petrol-powered chainsaws are generally more expensive. However, they have the potential to perform heavier work. Thanks to their powerful engine.

There are two types of electric chainsaws. One has a battery and the other one does not. A comparatively simpler engine design reduces their price. Furthermore, the ones that work with electric power instead of a battery are even cheaper. Additionally, traction and strength are often more powerful on these than those powered by batteries.

2. Size

Electric chainsaws are compact and are therefore easy to carry and handle. Petrol engines are often larger and heavier.

Another thing to consider is bar length. The bar length indicates how long the blade is. Based on the amount of the wood you want to cut, electric and petrol chainsaws come with varying bar lengths.

Clearing branches or tiny bits of wood from building sites is better accomplished with a shorter bar length. The bar length of most electric chainsaws is between 12-20 inches. A bigger saw is beneficial for those who wish to cut larger chunks of wood. A commercial-grade petrol chainsaw can measure more than 20 inches.

3. Power and Strength

Electric chainsaws are strong enough to trim trees and remove tiny branches. Petrol is the greatest option if you want something more powerful.

The power generated by a petrol chainsaw depends on the engine’s size. Engines with 30-45cc engines provide the lowest power. It is perfect for small jobs where you still want a bit of power.

The medium-range chainsaw can handle large projects like cutting firewood and clearing thicker trees with its 40-50 cc engine. The biggest chainsaw has a 120 cubic centimetre capacity. This petrol engine’s blade can slash through virtually anything

4. Mobility & Weight

In general, electric chainsaws are always lighter than other variants. Electric chainsaws are available in two types: corded and battery powered. With corded saws, you can only move as far as the cord takes you, and they require an electric outlet to operate. Of course, a battery-powered saw can be taken anywhere.

Compared to battery-powered saws, corded saws have the advantage of being more powerful. The lightest, most portable saw you can buy is a battery-powered saw. Even though they’re not as powerful as petrol or corded saws, they’re easier to manoeuvre because they’re lighter. Furthermore, they are generally more compact than petrol saws. On the flip side, battery life becomes a problem if you work long hours.

Petrol chainsaws offer the longest runtime, but they’re also the heaviest, which limits their movability.

5. Care and Maintenance

Petrol chainsaws require more maintenance than electric saws. Electric chainsaw maintenance involves only keeping the chain in good working order.

Related: How to use a chainsaw

A petrol chainsaw comes with an engine. As a result, you’ll have to devote more effort to preserve the engine while also servicing the chain. A petrol-powered machine requires regular oil and air filter changes, as well as cooling vents, carburettors, and spark plugs.

Electric chainsaws cost you less when it comes to repair and services because their simpler motor works longer without requiring frequent servicing and repair work. On the other hand, the complicated motor of petrol chainsaw requires frequent servicing.

6. Safety and Noise

Chainsaws are noisy by nature. Electric machines, on the other hand, are much silent than petrol-powered machinery. This is an advantage if you work in an urban area.

As far as safety is concerned, both petrol and electric chainsaws require you to wear protective gear. Additional safety measures are available on several chainsaws. Modern chainsaws are designed to prevent kickback accidents. The kill switches on some petrol-powered saws let you quickly shut the saw off in an emergency. A safety throttle also stops the saw from starting if the safety trigger is not pressed. A lot of chainsaws include extra safety measures.

7. Fuel and oil

A two-stroke engine powers most chainsaws. These engines need fuel in the form of petrol and lubrication to operate. The more often you use the chainsaw, the more fuel you must buy, hence more expenses. An electric chainsaw does not need the addition of oil in the engine to work. However, oil is needed to reduce friction on the chainsaw chain, just like a petrol one. An electric chainsaw requires less in the form of oil and fuel, therefore, costs less to operate in the long run.

8. Added Features

An ordinary chainsaw can be turned into an extraordinary one by adding extra features. An electric saw, for instance, has a push-button start that is easier to use than a petrol saw with a pull-cord start.

Additionally, you will need to mix oil and gas to run a petrol machine, unlike corded and battery-powered saws, which can be plugged in almost anywhere. Petrol saw usually has a better bar-oiling system than an electric saw. As a result, the chain does not stick to the bar.

9. Comparison Table

Electric ChainsawGas Chainsaw
PowerLess Powerful (Ideal for light to medium tasks)More Powerful (Ideal for heavy-duty tasks)
PortabilityHigh (Especially cordless models)Moderate (Requires fuel source)
Noise LevelLowerHigher
Initial CostLowerHigher
Running CostLower (No fuel costs, fewer part failures)Higher (Fuel costs, regular maintenance required)
MaintenanceLess (Limited to chain sharpening and oiling)More (Engine maintenance and part replacements)

Final Verdict

Chainsaws come with their share of pros and cons. If you do not have to perform heavy works generally, an electric chainsaw is the best choice for you. It is less expensive and user-friendly.

On the other hand, if you use your chainsaw for heavier jobs or for commercial use, you will need a petrol chainsaw as it is designed with a heavy-duty motor to perform commercial jobs. Petrol chainsaws are best if you have a lot of heavy work or commercial work that needs to be done where accessibility can be a problem.

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