ToolsHaven is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

6 Different Types of Chainsaws Explained + Pros and Cons

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: January 17, 2024

Choosing the perfect chainsaw for your tasks is essential if you want them to be successful.

This type of saw is very popular, because of its many functions that can be useful in our everyday life.

But how to choose the best chainsaw type for you? We know that telling the difference between the types may be hard, that’s why we are going to help you in this article by giving you the most important information about the different chainsaw types.

Types of chainsaws

There are many different types of chainsaws and you should consider each of them before making your final choice. Here, we are going to share with you details about the different types of chainsaws, their pros, and cons.

1. Gas Powered type

Let’s start with the most powerful type- the gas-powered chainsaws. These machines can be used by everybody, including beginners, even though they may be dangerous if you don’t know how to use them.

The gas-powered chainsaws are cordless, they can be carried anywhere and they can cut wood of any size. They run on gas, so they can run as long as they have gas in their tank. This type of chainsaw is loud and smelly, so protection as upper-body strengths and ear protectors is essential.



  • most powerful chainsaw
  • can be used with almost every size of wood
  • can be moved around


  • very loud
  • heavy machine
  • it may be hard to start it


2. Corded-electric type

The corded-electric type is a chainsaw that runs on electricity. If they are plugged into a power source, they can become really powerful machines. Even though they have very high cutting power, most of the time you can use them only when you are near your home or office.


These chainsaws can be used by beginners since you can easily control them. They can be used with different materials, but they should be small or midsize.


  • powerful machine
  • beginner-friendly chainsaw


  • can be used for small and medium-sized cuts
  • not portable, limited to the cord length

Battery Operated type

The battery-operated chainsaws are not as powerful as the other types, but they are not heavy and they can be easily carried around. They use a lithium-ion battery, so you should always charge the batteries before using the chainsaw.


The battery life differs between the brands of the machines. In general, you will not be able to spend more than a day working with a battery-operated chainsaw. This type of chainsaw does not have a lot of power, but this makes it the best option for brush-clearing jobs in places where the cord length will not be enough.


  • quite
  • fully portable
  • no gas


  • not as powerful as other chainsaws
  • limited battery life


3. Pole Saw type

The pole saws are not exactly a type of chainsaw, but they have the same design and work in a similar way. A pole saw is considered to be a chainsaw on a stick that can be used for lopping off tree branches that are hard to reach. 

Most of the time they are used for getting rid of dangerous limbs. They are not as powerful as normal chainsaws. They can run on gas, batteries, and corded power.


  • multiple power options
  • perfect for reaching high limbs



  • useful in specific situations only
  • not powerful


4. Manual Saw type

The manual chainsaws, or in other words the ‘pocket chainsaws’ consist of a chain that includes a bladed tooth that is attached to a handle at either end. It can be used by everybody, it is emission-free, silent, and can be carried around since you can just put it in your pocket.

However, this type of saw can be really exhausting, since you have to wrap it around the material and pull it back and forth until you cut through. You can do it yourself, or buy it from a store.


  • incredibly portable
  • cheap
  • no power required
  • quiet


  • can be hard to use
  • takes a lot of time
  • can do only small jobs

5. Top Handle Version

The top handle chainsaws are better for off-the-ground tasks. They are compact, have good reach, and not heavy ones.  They can be used with a single hand. However, they can be used by professionals only, since they may be very dangerous.



  • compact and light
  • have good reach


  • not beginner-friendly

6. Rear Handle Version

The rear handle chainsaws can be used to cut fallen logs on the ground, they can be used by both professionals and beginners. However, they are one very heavy type, which may not be suitable for everybody.


  • beginner-friendly



  • heavy 
  • limited scope

Which chainsaw is best for you?

The best chainsaw for you depends on the tasks you are going to use it for. If you are going to cut wood and you need a portable option your best choice may be a gas chainsaw. If you are going to cut small to medium materials, and you want a chainsaw that can be easily carried around then you should buy a battery-powered chainsaw. The manual type may is a cheap version that can be used for very simple tasks, while the corded-electric chainsaw can be really powerful, but they can be used only near a power source


To conclude we can say that every different type of chainsaw has its specifications, its pros and cons. You should always think about the tasks you are going to need the machine first, then you should do some research on the available options on the market and after that, you can make the perfect choice for you. We wish you good luck! 


Frequently asked questions

Which chainsaw is best?

There is no best chain saw. Every type has its pros and cons, and it fully depends on the tasks you are going to use the chainsaw for.

What kind of chainsaw do I need?

  • gas powered- if you are going to do heavy jobs away from a power source
  • corded-electric-if you are going to do small or medium cuts near a power source
  • battery operated-if you are going to do small tasks as trail-clearing away from home/power source
  • pole saw-if you are going to remove tree limbs
  • manual saw- simple tasks as chopping firewood

What do I need to know about a chainsaw?

You should know that there are different types of chainsaws that can be used for different tasks. You should consider the power type, the engine power and safety features of the machines too.

What’s better- an electric or petrol chainsaw?

The electric chainsaw is powerful enough to prune trees or make small cuts. However, if you are looking for a really powerful tool then your best choice is a petrol chainsaw.

Related Articles

One thought on “6 Different Types of Chainsaws Explained + Pros and Cons

Leave A Reply