Types of Chainsaws – 5 Different Types and Uses

Chainsaw is a versatile power tool with an exceptionally well ability of cutting woods, trunks, branches, and trees with a fast-rotating chain that spins around its guide bar. Mainly, there are two parts of a chainsaw; one of them is a long metal guide bar while the other is a small cylinder for fuel either gasoline or petroleum. The design of chainsaws might be different depending upon their type; however, the prime purpose is always to cut.

Even though all chainsaws are identical in their purpose of manufacturing, it is still important to think if you are going to buy the right chainsaw for you or not. Typically, users’ circumstances are pivotal to decide which of the chainsaws will be fine – for example, the nature of the job you want from the chainsaw, your budget, and how often you use that; these are all important factors that should be pondered well before you make a purchase.

Based on my personal experience with these diverse types of chainsaws, I have the following guide that will surely help you understand the basic differences among all chainsaws along with advantages and disadvantages.

What Are Different Types of Chainsaws?

It has always been important that you choose the right chainsaw for the job. Therefore, let us have a look at different types of chainsaws – I hope, you will be able to make a perfect choice after reading this article:

Types of Chainsaws

1. Pocket Chainsaw – Manual Chainsaw

Manual chainsaws are also referred to as pocket chainsaws because they can literally be placed in the pocket. This chainsaw comprises of a chain with sharp teeth and a handle on both ends. To use this manual chainsaw, wrap it around the cutting body, and both of its ends with your hands. Once you are set with the position, start moving your chainsaw back and forth.

It is truly exhausting, but at the same time economical, light in weight, easy to carry, emission-free, and perfect for small-scale jobs such as firewood for a campfire.


  • Works quietly
  • Cheap in price
  • Easy to carry
  • No power required
  • Requires less maintenance


  • Exhausting to use
  • Suitable for small-scale jobs only
  • Takes a long to cut

2. Electric Powered Chainsaw

Electric-powered chainsaws can be further divided into two types; battery-powered chainsaws, and corded-electric chainsaws. Battery-powered chainsaws are cordless and you can take them anywhere you want, while corded-electric chainsaws can be only taken to a distance equal to the length of the cord. Battery-powered chainsaws are efficient and powerful, but those who run with direct electricity are more powerful and steadfast.

Hand in hand, a battery-powered chainsaw works perfectly unless the battery is in good condition, but you might need to change the battery after a specific time.

Both of these chainsaws are perfect to perform small to medium-level jobs. At the same time, these chainsaws are also comparatively economical, create less noise, and are easy to carry.


  • Both of these chainsaws create less noise
  • No un-burned fuel exhausts
  • Portability
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • Best for small to medium-sized jobs


  • The battery has a limited life in battery-powered chainsaw
  • Cord limits the range of chainsaw for corded-electric chainsaw
  • Comparatively, possess less power than other chainsaws

3. Gas-Powered Chainsaw

Gas-powered chainsaws are the most famous among all chainsaws. This type of chainsaw is the top priority of all professionals. With a gas-powered two-stroke engine, this chainsaw yields extraordinary power and transmits it to the sharp chain on the guide bar. It has a tank for fuel and a starter cord.

The Gas-powered chainsaws are giant in the true sense. Among all chainsaws, this is the most powerful option opted for by professionals. It can cut through woods of any size. While its size, noise produced by it, and enhanced safety requirements are also noticeable factors.

This chainsaw is cordless and keeps working unless it runs out of gas in its tank. Enough lubrication between the parts of the chainsaw is also mandatory, and the level of oil for the bar must be checked properly. So, if you need a chainsaw for cutting giant trees or some other heavy-duty cutting projects, this is a considerable choice to make.


  • The most powerful chainsaw
  • Works faster
  • Portability
  • Best for heavy-duty and large-sized projects


  • Too much noisy
  • Requires enhanced safety precautions
  • Heavy to carry

4. Pole Chainsaw

Since the most popular pole saw design was based on a chainsaw – so, I considered it worth mentioning here; otherwise, a pole saw is not technically considered a chainsaw. Some of the pole saws are merely reciprocating saws or handsaws that have extended handles. Mainly, this type of chainsaw is used to cut limbs that might fall anytime and remain hard to reach.

These saws are shorter in size and possess reasonable power to handle small to medium-sized projects. Pole saws can be battery-powered, electrical or gas-powered – while rechargeable batteries are also being observed in pole saws now.


  • Best for cutting high limbs
  • Multiple options regarding power and shape
  • Creates no significant noise
  • Comparatively cheaper


  • Limited power
  • Suitable only for specific circumstances

5. Pneumatic Chainsaw

Pneumatic chainsaws have been the most powerful among all chainsaws – even gas-powered chainsaws cannot compete with them when it comes to power. Pneumatic chainsaws aren’t frequently used by professionals because it has different applications that make them more suitable to be used in an industrial setting. There is hardly any situation when landscaping requires a pneumatic chainsaw.

These chainsaws are powered by massively pressurized air pockets and are capable of making straight and deep cuts in concrete and metal. And this application makes them perfect to be used in the construction industry. Meanwhile, this tool isn’t for beginners or light duties.


  • No fumes or exhaust
  • Owns its own coolant system
  • Cuts down metals and concrete
  • Matchless in terms of power


  • Extremely expansive
  • Only direct purchases from the manufacturer


So, having told you about all these different chainsaws, let me wrap up the crux of the whole article in a few lines:

Manual Chainsaw: best for chopping small-sized firewood and pruning small branches

Electric-Powered Chainsaw: Perfect choice for small to medium level cleans ups

Gas-powered chainsaw: Mostly used by professionals to cut big-sized trees

Pole Chainsaw: Used to cut branches on height

Pneumatic Chainsaw: Not for cutting wood; instead, used in the construction industry to cut metal and concrete.

Final Words

Therefore, after reading this whole article, you are now in a better position to make a good choice considering the nature of the use of your chainsaw and other circumstances. Whatever type of chainsaw is used, make sure that you are abiding by all safety instructions.

I have tried my level best to cover every aspect regarding these diverse types of chainsaws – still, if you have any questions, you can ask me.

Thank You!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Which type of chainsaw is the most powerful?

Gas-powered chainsaws are the most powerful. These chainsaws are mainly used by professionals or experienced loggers. Meanwhile, they are not preferred to be used in small-scale jobs.

Q2. Which type of chainsaw is easy to use?

Although all chainsaws are easy to use, but battery-powered chainsaws are somehow more convenient to use. While using them, you can take them to any length; this is not possible with electric-powered chainsaws because they are corded. Gas-power chainsaws are heavy, so they also do not pose that much convenience for user.

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