Different Types of Chainsaws & Their Uses (with Pictures)

Though a chainsaw is a very versatile gear for our everyday life, many of us do not have any clear idea about how many types of chainsaw are available nowadays. Sometimes we think that a chainsaw is something with a small engine and a bar surrounded by a chain. This is the most traditional concept about the design of a chainsaw. But in this modern era, many types of chainsaws are manufactured which are more efficient and user friendly. Completing any heavy or light wood project accurately is not so tough if you use perfect gear. 

If you do not have any clear concept about different types of chainsaws and their uses, this article is for you. Here I will write all the pros, cons, and uses of different types of chainsaws elaborately.

different types of chainsaws

1. Manual Chainsaw

The manual chainsaw is one of the oldest cutting devices. You can also call it a pocket chainsaw because you can carry it in your pocket easily. This lightweight and the small device can be an amazing one but only for small projects. It is nothing but a chain with sharp cutting edges and handles on both ends.

Pocket Chainsaw - Razor Sharp Self Cleaning 25.5 In Portable Hand Saw Survival Gear with Black Holster for Camping,...


A manual chainsaw is easy to carry. You can take it anywhere with you. No power source is required. It is very lightweight and flexible. Though no power or fuel is required to operate it, there is no chance of producing smoke or extreme noise while working. This can be the cheapest option for anyone.


Because of having no power source, the cutting power is not so high to cut medium-sized or large workpieces. This chainsaw is only suitable for small cutting tasks. This is also difficult to use and requires much time to finish a task.


A manual chainsaw is used for small and regular works like cutting small firewoods, trimming thin branches of a tree, etc.

2. Pole Chainsaw

Greenworks 40V 8-Inch Cordless Pole Saw, 2Ah Battery and Charger Included, 20672

You can say a pole chainsaw is the smallest member of a chainsaw family. More simply, I want to describe it as a small chainsaw attached to a stick so that you can use it for cutting something in lofty places. This chainsaw can be electric or gas powered.


As mentioned above, by using a pole saw it is easy to reach and cut high limbs. The cutting accuracy is much better so that a complete look after trimming is possible. Easy to use and handle. If your hobby is gardening, a pole saw can serve you well.


Pole chain saw is less powerful compared with others. So heavy projects done with a pole saw can not be possible. This chainsaw is not so versatile, only useful for some specific situations.


Pole chainsaws are best for shearing tree limbs and removing dangerous, loose, and weak branches from the tree. You can use a pole saw to cut a limb that is located at a high distance.

3. Cordless Electric Chainsaw

Greenworks 40V 12-Inch Cordless Chainsaw, 2.0Ah Battery and Charger Included 20262

Nowadays, the most commonly used chainsaw is a cordless electric chainsaw. This type of chainsaw is popular among people who like to use portable devices.  A rechargeable battery is used as a power source. So you can not get unlimited and continuous power from a cordless electric chainsaw. Charging your device is needed after a specific time of working. This type of saw is quite expensive.


The power requirement is less in this device. A major advantage of using a cordless or battery chainsaw is you can use it in every place where a corded chainsaw can not reach. This device is 100% portable and noise-free. Maintenance process is very easy and requires low cost.


There are also some downsides to using a cordless electric chainsaw. Though the battery life is not so long, you need to replace it after a specific period. Cutting with less power is also a downside.


Because of its lightweight, less noise, and portability, people like to use a cordless chainsaw for every household and other small as well as medium projects.

4. Corded Electric Chainsaw

BLACK+DECKER Electric Chainsaw, 18-Inch, 15-Amp, Corded (CS1518)

It’s an amazing option if you do not need a portable device. Though they are connected to the power source directly, you will get a high cutting power and speed from it.


The advantage of using a corded electric chainsaw is that it is very easy to use. So beginners can easily use it. Corded electric chainsaws are cheaper than gas powered chainsaws. High cutting power and quieter than others are also some advantages. 


These types of corded electric chainsaw can only be used near your home or workshop. This is the major downside of this chainsaw. If you want to work with this device far away from your workshop, you need to attach an extension cord or an extra rechargeable battery. The cutting power is not enough to cut bigger workpieces like timber or other heavy elements.


Corded electric chainsaws are used to cut medium-sized workpieces. People commonly use this chainsaw for cutting the limbs, cutting small or medium-sized logs, etc.

5. Gas Powered Chainsaw

Remington RM4214 Rebel 42cc 2-Cycle 14-Inch Gas Powered Chainsaw Automatic Chain Oiler-Anti Vibration System, 42cc-14

The most powerful chainsaw that provides you the maximum cutting power. It can be a better option because you can carry it anywhere as like a portable cordless electric chainsaw. But you need not be worried about battery life. With proper gas supply, you can work for a long time.


The professionals as well as normal people like a gas-powered chainsaw because of its high cutting power and longer running time. It is a portable device so that you can take it anywhere and can run it all day long if you can ensure the proper gas supply.

You can cut larger and heavy elements within a very short time with the high cutting speed of this chainsaw. So a gas-powered chainsaw is best for the heavy project.


Many people think that the mixing process of gas fuel is a hassle for them. They think that the process is time-consuming and tough. This is one of the major disadvantages of using a gas-powered chainsaw. High maintenance is required for this device.

The heavyweight of this chainsaw can create trouble while working. The extreme level of noise creation during the cutting process is harmful to the user. The user should wear an earplug while working. The smell of gasoline and smoke are also not suitable for the user.


Gas-powered chainsaws are used for heavy-duty work like shearing, trimming and cutting of large trees and timbers, slicing the firewoods, etc.

6. Pneumatic Chainsaw

Pneumatic Chainsaw
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Craig Jensen

A pneumatic chainsaw is the most powerful cutting device compared with the other types of chainsaws that are mentioned above. For high cutting power, speed, and accuracy, this device is now commonly used in many industries. Not only heavy timbers or wooden projects, but it can also cut concrete or other materials with higher accuracy. This device is powered by an air pocket mechanism that is highly pressurized.


Cutting accuracy is the major advantage of a pneumatic chainsaw. It can cut different types of materials at a very high speed. It can also be much more efficient. So that this device is very useful in various industries. No smoke or fumes is created while working with it. 


Pneumatic chainsaws are very expensive. High setup cost and maintenance cost is required.


Pneumatic chainsaws are used for cutting wood, plastic, and other materials efficiently and accurately. This device is used in polythene plants, petroleum industries, mining projects, etc. 


Hopefully, the information that I shared above will help you when you want to buy and use the most perfect tool for your project. You can also compare the pros and cons of different types of chainsaw. It will help you to select the right one to complete any task precisely.

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