Seems like an obvious choice, or is it?
At first glance this seems to be no contest, right? There is no way an electric chainsaw can compete with the power behind a gas-powered, wood gnawing machine. Before you jump to that conclusion too quickly, the choice may not be as clear cut as you think.
Historically, while often times more convenient and affordable, most electric power tools often traded power for its other qualities. For the most part the trade-off was an acceptable one for the average homeowner and working around the yard. In a professional environment they just couldn’t hold their weight against their gas-powered counterparts. Beyond power, their durability was also a big concern. Clearly felling trees is not a job for a dainty piece of equipment. The machinery needs to be as rugged as the big burly man in a flannel shirt behind it. These days it might be time to bury that stereotype, on both counts.
While the gas machines still have a slight edge in the power department, electric chain saws are right behind them and the difference can be imperceivable . The main factor to consider, is the job itself and location. On many points gas chainsaws can be much more difficult to maintain and keep operating at peak performance. The simple fact does remain if you are out in the wilderness away from civilization, and electricity, simply fueling up and pulling the chord is probably your best option. Although quiet, convenient and less messy an electric chainsaw still needs to be charged at some point. You could go to the extent of hauling a generator around to charge it, but that negates two of the main selling points: price and convenience.
If you have jobs around the home, or in a professional environment where electricity is readily available electric might be an option to consider. These can be especially handy if you are working in an area where noise or lack of ventilation may be an issue. I have been on commercial job sites where gas-powered tools were not permitted due to both smell and fire regulations. The positive is that a good electric chainsaw possesses both the power and durability to handle most situations as an alternative to gas. Granted you probably won’t be able to cut down redwoods with it, but it is perfectly capable of handling real-world scenarios.
In the end, the concern is less about power and durability these days and more about ease of use in a given situation. Either machine is capable of handling most jobs equally depending on your surroundings. Along with a very slight power edge comes a little bit of a speed factor with gas chainsaws. One can get the job done a bit quicker with gas, but for all intensive purposes the gap between the two really isn’t much of a factor. Both machines have their positives and negatives, and for the most part it comes down to which you are more comfortable with.