A DeWalt battery-operated saw and a Husqvarna gas-powered saw each have their optimal-use scenarios.
For many people, the convenience of a battery makes it the preferred choice over gas, but why choose battery over a traditional gas unit for a grass or hedge trimmer, blower, chainsaw, or even a mower? Battery-powered is ideal for most homeowners and the technology has progressed enough that many professionals are even looking at making the switch. At Murdoch’s, we are frequently asked how to choose between gas- and battery-powered saws? We’ve detailed the pros and cons below.
- Batteries offer easy starts. Simply plug in a charged, reusable battery and pull the trigger. No more pull cords, which annoy some users and sometimes break.
- Quiet: When the saw isn’t cutting, the motor is silent. Even when the saw is cutting, it is much quieter than a gas saw. This can have its advantages for folks who live in communities with noise ordinances. Even if you don’t have an ordinance, quieter operation makes for friendlier neighbors.
- No exhaust fumes mean they can be used indoors and are better for the environment.
- Instant torque
- Lightweight designs: most battery operated saws weigh around 8- to 10-pounds including the battery.
- Are easier to maneuver (which has subsequent safety benefits)
- Let you work longer by reducing fatigue
- Offer improved portability
- Lower vibration creates less fatigue. This means the operator can run the unit longer than gas. This means more work gets done. For commercial crews, there is a cost savings here.
- No gas management is a pro in and of itself:
- You don’t have to mix it
- You don’t need it on hand to refuel
- You won’t spill it
- You won’t flood your engine
- You won’t worry about bad fuel, fuel lines, spark plugs, or even carburetors
- Battery equipment is built on brand platforms. They are interchangeable systems so you can swap batteries between other power tools and equipment that are made by the same manufacturer, provided the battery provides the required volts. You may not have to purchase a spare battery if you already invest in brands like Stihl, Husqvarna, or DeWalt.
- Equipment maintenance is minimal. When you are ready to store it, you just put it away and charge the battery for next time.
- Your cutting time is limited to your battery length. Many users get around this limitation by purchasing spare batteries.
- Less sturdy than gas, because they don’t necessarily have to have enhanced features. With reduced vibration and fewer components (because there is no gas system) the need for beefing up the equipment is reduced.
- Locations are limited by recharging outlets. If you aren’t cutting near a power source, you can’t recharge a battery, no matter how many you have in your arsenal. Remote and rural locations aren’t ideal for battery use, unless you’re also packing a generator (in which case, you might as well pack the mixed gas instead.)
- Depending on your make/model, you may be sacrificing power with a battery. Investing in quality brands can mitigate this.
- Power is never really a sacrifice. Gas engines go full steam ahead, and this is huge considering that if you’re buying a saw, you need it to perform to the best of its abilities.
- You can go anywhere with your saw, unlimited by access to a power outlet.
- You don’t have to mix your own gas if you buy it premixed in convenient, easy-to-transport bottled quarts.
- Runtime is only limited by your gas supply.
- They have a better reputation for cutting large trees and branches.
- There is a huge variety of models and features available on the market, which means you can get exactly the bar length, engine, and features that are optimal for you.
- They weigh more, which can create fatigue and more difficult to maneuver.
- Depending on the model you purchase, they can be more expensive initially to purchase.
- They aren’t ideal for today’s suburban areas. It may or may not bother you, but they are loud to operate and emit fumes.
- If you run out of gas, your day is done.
- When you store the saw, you will need to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on how to store a fuel-powered saw. If you don’t, you could run into repair costs.