The different types of chainsaws
There are several ways to divide up chainsaws into categories. For a start, let’s just take a look at the different types of engines you can find.
1. By far the most versatile, and most iconic type of chainsaw is the petrol chainsaw. Small petrol, or gasoline powered engines, provide excellent power to weight ratio, and are relatively cheap to produce. They make an excellent choice for any portable tool that requires a lot of power, a recent years have been developed to point where they are not only quite efficient and reliable, but also pretty safe to use. Petrol chainsaw engines are almost exclusively of the two-stroke design, because this lends itself to more compact, more powerful, and simpler engine design.
Petrol chainsaws are large and very powerful. Image courtesy of DVS.
2. Electric chainsaws can be found in any home wares depots, and a popular amongst craftsmen. An electric chainsaw is best suited to indoor use, and delight home use because you don’t have to worry about mixing fuel, or venting the emissions. Electric saws can still be quite powerful, but generally are built to be fairly small and compact. You need to be careful when using an electric chainsaw, because the smaller size and quieter engine often lulls people into a false sense of confidence – but an electric chainsaw can still hurt you just as much as a petrol powered one can.
Usually smaller, electric chainsaws are favored by gardeners and for light yard work
3. Alternative types of engines can include compressed air, and hydraulic drives. I will not talk about these extensively, because they are quite rare and use only specialty fields. Basically, the petrol or electric engine simply replaced with a hydraulic rotor, or an air driven rotary instead. The main application of these kinds of saws is on the cutting of stonework, and also in emergency use areas such as by fire brigades or emergency services to gain entry to buildings. You can sometimes be advantageous to use an air driven tool, because this type of drive mechanism does not rely on any combustion processes, and is very unlikely to generate sparks which could unite any combustible materials. Hydraulic drive chainsaws are sometimes used to cut stonework.
Check this baby out!!! It's actually used to cut coal seams, and your local hardware store might not have it in stock just yet.
For the most part, you going to hear me talking about petrol powered chainsaws. It’s true that I am a bit biased, because I use these the most and believe they are the most versatile type of saw, but we’re going to talk plenty about electric powered ones as well. Both have their own pros and cons, and will get into that later on.