Welcome to the Carvingpost Forum
An internet community dedicated to the art of chainsaw carving & friends

  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >><< Back  

Elctric vs battery vs Gas - Oh which saw to buy ?

March 23 2017 at 3:54 PM
Barry  (Login klbj1961)

I am just beginning to explore the world of chainsaw carving and am hoping to carve bears and animals etc.

I am really torn between electric and gas.... and now battery chainsaws.

I am trying to satisfy the following criteria:
1) Lightweight
2) Good all around saw for cutting logs, shaping and doing detail work
3) Powerful enough to handle most jobs as well as being able to use in the field occasionally (IE trimming trees)
3) relatively quiet
4) Easy to use.

Yeah I know, everyone's list.

I have a little electric 9 amp chainsaw from Home Depot, but I assume I will need a much more powerful one to accomplish carving without pulling my hair out.

I like the idea of electric as they are quieter and I could saw forever without driving the neighbors mad ( I hope anyway)

Stihl is having a sale on their gas MS170 and I can pick it up for $159. I can change the chain & bar for about $75 - So for about $135 I figure I can have a decent saw. But it's gas and noisy. So the questions are:
a) For the price is this a good saw?
b) Should I spend considerably more for an electric chainsaw? ( About $100 - 200 more)
c) Is a 13 amp saw powerful enough?
d) What about battery chainsaws?

I'd appreciate your comments and recommendations. I would like to spend $250 or less for the saw and 1/4 bar + chain



 Respond to this message   
(Login klbj1961)

Gas vs electric chainsaw

March 23 2017, 3:57 PM 

edited - "Stihl is having a sale on their gas MS170 and I can pick it up for $159. I can change the chain & bar for about $75 - So for about $235 I figure I can have a decent saw".

 Respond to this message   
(Login jbusch)


March 23 2017, 4:48 PM 

Barry, I asked myself these same questions about a year ago. I owned a couple saws to begin with for clearing and cutting firewood but wanted to move into carving and did just what you have stated above. Bought a 170, 12 inch dime and 1/4 sprocket. I was very happy with this setup. I live right in town so know what you mean about driving the neighbors mad.....

I lucked out with my neighbors. They really like the 1st couple carvings I did. I talked to the ones that I know would hear and see what I am doing. We agreed that as long as I am not running the saw for long periods of time and all the time they were ok with this for now. I carved them all something and so far so good. No issues yet. Just saying if you do go with gas just talk to your neighbors about this. You will have to come to even terms if you plan to carve a bit. If your just going to try it out and make a bear or two then I wouldn't even worry about it.

Hope that helps some. I have never used an electric or battery saw so cannot help there. I kind of like the noise. Odd as it sounds it is calming to me. I do use ear protection but you still hear and feel your saw. For some reason when I start that saw everything else disappears (phones, traffic, problems, ect). I have a feeling if I ran electric I would miss that part a little.

 Respond to this message   
(Login jay.kay)


March 23 2017, 4:46 PM 

If you are planning on just being a recreational carver, go cheap.
If you are thinking about making money, you will need to spend some.

 Respond to this message   
(Login pinebaroncarvings)

Re: Elctric vs battery vs Gas - Oh which saw to buy ?

March 25 2017, 8:37 AM 

You will probably want a gas saw to do your block out cuts. The battery and electric saws are good for detail work but you will beat those things up trying to do bigger cuts. Plus at some point you'll probably want more than a 12" bar. I would jump on that ms170 for that price, that is a good saw to start with, even with the stock bar. I pretty much use 3 saws for everything- an ms170 with a dime tip, stock ms180 that I do probably 85% of the carving with, and an ms271 for bigger stuff. But yeah, I'm lucky my neighbors are cool because I'm out there making a racket. The stihl battery saws are nice, but they are expensive, and straight away tack like $200 onto the price because you have to buy the spare battery and charger.

 Respond to this message   
Mike Meagan
(no login)

Electric vs gas

March 25 2017, 11:03 PM 

I was forced into a situation a couple of years ago where I had to switch from gas to electric. I had it in my mind just to do it right and spend the money on the top saws like stihl and makita. I was impressed with what they could do, and beat them pretty hard. I bought the mse 140, 170, and 250. I also bought 2 makita's. Last year for my birthday my wife got me a Amazon gift card so I figured I'd buy a cheap electric just to try it. I bought the 15 amp Worx electric and was really happy with its performance. It was like $100 and performed like my $400 stihl. Hope that gives you a little insight on the electric side. Not many of us are strictly electric but I am.

 Respond to this message   
Jim S
(no login)

Re: Electric vs gas

March 26 2017, 9:37 AM 

Hey Mike, can you give us a run-down on what bars you have on the saws?

 Respond to this message   
Mike Meagan
(no login)

Electric vs gas

March 26 2017, 8:26 PM 

I have a 20" on my stihl mse 250, a 14" on the mse 170 and a 8" dime tip on the mse 140. I have a 14" and 16" on the makita's. I also have the Worx 15amp with 18" and the smallest Worx saw (8amp) with a dime tip 8". I really thought I'd miss gas saws, but really I don't. Less vibration, noise and I get to carve indoors year round if I want to. You are welcome to check my Facebook page out. All pics on my page are done with electric saws...maybe a few old ones done with gas.
Michael Meagan

 Respond to this message   
(Login klbj1961)

Electric Vs Gas - dime tip bars & sprockets

April 3 2017, 4:00 PM 

Thank you all for your responses. I really appreciate you taking the time to provide some insight.

My plan is to start to dabble in chainsaw carving and if I am any good at it, will do it more and more.

I would prefer to buy a saw that will last a long time, but hate to spend $300+ on a saw and bar for something that I may not be any good at.

I like the freedom of being able to go anywhere with a gas chainsaw, but am concerned about the noise; have had lots of bad experiences with expensive battery powered tools, so they are not an option.

I believe that I am leaning towards an electric and believe that a 12 guage hundred foot extension may be enough to reach most of what I may ever need it for.

The problem that I am now having is that I can't find a dime tip bar to fit most of them ( Except for Makita). I like the WORx 15 amp, but don't seem to be able to find a bar to fit it. I contacted Oregon bars, they could not confirm that they had a 1/4 sprocket to fit.

If anyone has any suggestions as to what bar & sprocket may fit a WORX 304.1 15amp or Oregon 14.5amp chainsaw, I would appreciate some advise.

Thanks for all your support


 Respond to this message   
Mike Meagan
(no login)

Electric vs gas

April 3 2017, 7:48 PM 

T and D carving supplies

 Respond to this message   
  << Previous Topic | Next Topic >><< Back  
This forum brought to you by the United Chainsaw Carvers Guild