How Much Does a Chainsaw Weigh? A Guide

how much does a chainsaw weigh

If you’re in the market for a new chainsaw, one of the most important factors to consider is the weight. The weight of a chainsaw can have a significant impact on its performance, usability, and safety. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at the range of weights for different types of chainsaws and the key factors that affect how much a chainsaw weighs.

Chainsaw weight is important because it affects maneuverability, ease of use, and operator fatigue. Heavier chainsaws may offer more power but can be more difficult to control and result in increased fatigue over prolonged use. Lighter chainsaws provide better precision and control, allowing you to make more accurate cuts with less strain.

How Much Does a Chainsaw Weigh?

how much does a chainsaw weigh

Chainsaw weights can vary greatly depending on the model. Here are some general weight ranges:

  • Average weight of chainsaws: Most gas-powered and corded electric chainsaws weigh somewhere between 10 to 20 pounds.
  • Electric chainsaws: Battery-powered and compact electric chainsaws typically weigh around 6 pounds or less.
  • Gas-powered chainsaws: Professional-grade, heavy-duty gas chainsaws can weigh more than 25 pounds. The engine and fuel tank add considerable weight.
  • Battery chainsaws: These rank in the middle, with average weights of 8 to 15 pounds. The battery pack adds some extra weight.

As you can see, there’s a wide spectrum when it comes to chainsaw weights. Next, let’s look at the factors that account for these differences.

Factors Affecting Chainsaw Weight

The main factors that determine the weight of a chainsaw are:

Chain and Guide Bar

The chain that cuts the wood and the guide bar it runs along are key components that impact weight. Longer guide bars and chains naturally add more weight. Most guide bars weigh between 1 to 2 pounds.

Energy Source

The energy source used to power the chainsaw also affects its overall weight. Electric and battery chainsaws are lighter than gas models. The engine, fuel tank, and fuel capacity on gas-powered chainsaws add considerable weight. Gas tanks can weigh an extra 0.32 to 2 pounds when full.

Chainsaw Type and Size

In general, electric chainsaws are the lightest option, while gas models are the heaviest. Compact electric chainsaws can weigh as little as 6 pounds. Heavy-duty gas chainsaws commonly exceed 20 pounds.

Chain and Guide Bar

The chain that cuts the wood and the guide bar along which it runs have a direct impact on the overall weight of a chainsaw.

Heavier chains with thicker drive links and guide bars made of solid metal will make a chainsaw weigh more. Guide bars typically weigh between 1 and 2 pounds depending on the length and construction material.

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Longer guide bar lengths add more weight but allow you to cut wider trees or make longer cross-cuts. Most homeowner chainsaws have guide bars between 14” and 20”. Professional models may have bars upwards of 30” or longer.

If doing light trimming and limbing work, a shorter and lighter bar around 14” is preferable to minimize fatigue. For felling large trees, a 20”+ bar is recommended despite the extra weight.

Energy Source

Chainsaws are powered by either gas engines, batteries, or an electrical cord. Each energy source contributes differently to the total weight.

Gas Chainsaws

The engine and fuel capacity on gas-powered chainsaws make them the heaviest option. Professional models with 60cc or larger engines can weigh over 25 pounds dry and without fuel or oil.

When you factor in the extra weight of a full gas tank (0.32 – 2 lbs) and bar/chain oil, gas models become even heavier to wield. While this extra weight allows more power, it sacrifices mobility.

Battery Chainsaws

Battery-powered chainsaws provide a nice middle-ground when it comes to weight. The lithium-ion battery pack adds some heft but still allows for a reasonably lightweight saw compared to gas models.

Most 18V battery packs fall between 1.4 to 1.5 lbs. Some higher capacity 40V-60V packs can get up to 3 lbs. While the battery adds some weight, you avoid the heavier gas engine, improving maneuverability.

Electric Chainsaws

Corded electric chainsaws are the lightest option since there is no heavy engine or battery required. Compact electric saws can weigh as little as 6 pounds, making them very easy to handle and use for extended periods.

The tradeoff is limited cord length restricting your mobility. But for light tasks around the yard, an electric model provides plenty of cutting power in a super lightweight package.

Chainsaw Type and Size

The general size and type of chainsaw also affects the weight, with smaller electric saws being lighter than large professional gas models.

Electric Chainsaws

Compact electric chainsaws are the lightest category, weighing between 6 to 8 pounds typically. Without a bulky engine or battery, the weight is minimized.

Their light weight and ease of handling make them ideal for basic pruning, trimming, and light-duty cutting tasks. The power is limited compared to gas models but provides enough for occasional homeowners.

Gas-Powered Chainsaws

Gas chainsaws range widely in size and power output, which directly impacts the weight. Professional grades over 50cc can easily exceed 20 pounds.

While the extra weight makes them cumbersome for extended use, it allows more powerful cutting capabilities for demanding tree felling or milling applications.

If doing mostly light cutting, a mid-size gas saw around 40cc offers a nice balance of weight and power for the average homeowner.

Examples of Chainsaw Weights

To give you a better idea of real-world weights, here are some examples across the types and sizes of chainsaws:

  • Husqvarna 372 XP (Gas Powered): 14.6 pounds
  • Stihl MS 180 (Gas Powered): 9.0 pounds
  • Dewalt DCCS670X1 (Battery): 12.2 pounds
  • Remington RM1425 (Electric): 6.25 pounds
  • Greenworks 20312 (Battery): 10.4 pounds

As you can see, gas and battery models range from 9 up to 15 pounds, while the electric saw is just over 6 pounds. Use this as a guide when estimating the weight of different chainsaw models you are considering.

Choosing the Right Chainsaw Based on Weight

When choosing a chainsaw, you want to select the lightest weight saw that has enough power for your intended uses. Here are some guidelines:

  • For occasional basic use at home, a lightweight electric or battery saw of less than 10 pounds is easiest to control.
  • If doing frequent cutting and woodcutting tasks, a mid-size gas saw around 12-15 pounds provides better power while still being relatively mobile.
  • For heavy-duty use felling trees or milling lumber, a 20+ pound professional gas chainsaw is required, despite the extra weight.
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Consider your physical strength and stamina as well. A lightweight saw prevents fatigue so you can work longer. Extra weight taxes your body more quickly.

Chainsaw Ergonomics

When evaluating chainsaw weights, it’s important to look at overall ergonomics as well. A well-balanced saw reduces fatigue by making it easier on your hands, arms, and body as you cut.

Heavier chainsaws tend to be tougher to control and maneuver as your arms tire out faster. The added weight also strains your back, shoulders, and neck more over time.

Lighter saws around 10 pounds or less help reduce fatigue and discomfort, even during extended use. Good ergonomic design distributes the weight close to your body for better handling.

Test holding and swinging different saws to get a feel for the balance and comfort. This gives you a better idea of how the weight impacts real-world usability.

Chainsaw Power-to-Weight Ratio

A useful metric for comparing chainsaw performance is the power-to-weight ratio. This measures the engine power or output relative to the total weight.

It’s calculated by dividing the engine’s horsepower or kilowatt rating by the saw’s weight in pounds or kilograms. This gives you a ratio that indicates the power you get for a given weight.

Generally, a higher power-to-weight ratio means you get more cutting performance for the weight carried. It’s a helpful number for selecting the most efficient chainsaw to match your needs.

Chainsaw Weight and Performance

In addition to ergonomics and mobility, chainsaw weight also impacts cutting performance. Heavier saws allow more power but light weights improve control and precision.

Cutting Power

Engine displacement directly relates to power and consequently overall weight. More displacement produces more torque and horsepower to drive the chain with higher cutting speeds.

Professional gas chainsaws exceed 50cc to generate enough power for demanding timber cutting applications where cutting speed and performance is critical.

The tradeoff is increased weight from larger engines and components required to handle the extra power. For the average user, 40cc gas or 40V-60V battery saws provide ample cutting capability in a lighter package.

Control and Precision

While power is nice, chainsaw weight also affects your control during cutting. Lightweight saws are easier to handle precisely thanks to quicker acceleration and deceleration of the chain.

The reduced inertia of a lighter saw makes it less likely to get pulled off target as you cut. This allows you to make more accurate cuts with a lighter saw.

Electric and compact battery saws under 10 pounds provide the best experience when finesse and precision are needed, like cutting decorative designs.

Cutting Efficiency

Another performance factor related to weight is cutting efficiency. This measures how much energy is required to cut a given volume of wood.

Research shows that the depth of cut and chain velocity have the biggest impacts on cutting forces and energy consumed per cut 1.

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Using an optimal depth of cut for a given chainsaw model and keeping the chain sharp helps improve efficiency. This allows you to maximize cutting performance vs chainsaw weight.

Finding the right balance of weight and power allows a saw to cut efficiently for extended periods without tiring out the operator.

Chainsaw Safety and Weight

When using any chainsaw, but especially heavier varieties, safety should be your top priority. Chainsaw weight affects how safely and effectively you can operate the saw.

Heavier saws require additional precautions and care to control properly without injury. Here are some tips:

Proper Handling Techniques

It’s critical to always grip larger chainsaws with both hands firmly and maintain a stable, balanced stance. Letting go of a heavy, running saw can result in serious leg and body injuries.

Adjust your grip and stance continuously as you cut to account for the saw’s weight shifting and forces generated. Use lower body strength rather than just your arms so your hands don’t tire as quickly.

Personal Protective Equipment

Wearing chainsaw-rated chaps, steel-toe boots, hard hat, and cut-resistant gloves is essential safety gear. This protects your body if the spinning chain contacts your legs or hands.

Because heavy saws are more difficult to control, wearing sturdy chainsaw boots and knee-length chaps helps mitigate kickback risks and potential injuries.

Don’t rely solely on the chain brake to stop the chain. Proper handling technique and defensive positioning of your body is crucial.

Conclusion

As you can see, chainsaw weights vary widely from as little as 6 pounds for small electric models up to over 25 pounds for heavy-duty gas saws.

The engine type, bar length, power output, and overall size all contribute to total weight. Considering your typical cutting applications and physical abilities helps narrow down the optimal weight class.

Lightweight electric and battery powered saws provide the best maneuverability and control for occasional users. Professional landscapers and loggers need the extra weight and power of large gas chainsaws for heavy-duty use.

No matter which saw you choose, always follow safe handling and kickback prevention techniques. A sharp chain, proper stance, and personal protective equipment are essential when operating any chainsaw to prevent injuries.

With the right chainsaw weight matched to your needs, you’ll enjoy greater efficiency, safety, and ease of use during all your woodcutting projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average weight of a gas-powered chainsaw?

Most gas-powered chainsaws weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. Professional models with powerful 60cc or larger engines can exceed 25 pounds in weight. The engine, metal components, and fuel capacity add considerable heft.

Are electric chainsaws lighter than gas-powered chainsaws?

Yes, electric chainsaws are significantly lighter than gas models, typically weighing around 6 pounds. Without a heavy gas engine and fuel tank, electric saws minimize weight while still providing decent cutting power.

How does chainsaw weight affect performance?

Heavier chainsaws allow more power, while lighter saws provide better control and handling. Finding the right balance for your needs gives optimal cutting performance. Letting go of a heavy, running saw can result in serious leg and body injuries.

What is the power-to-weight ratio in chainsaws?

The power-to-weight ratio measures engine power relative to total weight. It’s calculated by dividing horsepower or kilowatts by pounds or kilograms. A higher ratio indicates more cutting power versus weight.

How can I choose the right chainsaw based on weight?

Consider your usage, strength, and physique. Light electric saws under 10 lbs work well for occasional cutting. Bigger gas saws over 15 lbs provide more power for frequent use. Always use proper protective gear and handling for safety.

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