Your Guide to Buying a Corded Electric Chainsaw

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Your Guide to Buying a Corded Electric Chainsaw

A corded electric chainsaw is an electrified version of the more common two-stroke engine gas powered chainsaw. A chainsaw is the preferred tool for many outdoor uses. With a cutting chain wrapped around an extended guide bar, it allows the user unimpeded access to tree limbs and branches that no other tool can provide. A chainsaw can also be a much more efficient solution to the demolition of obsolete structures than traditional circular saws. Moreover, many artists today create amazing sculptures out of large blocks of wood or tree stumps with chainsaws.

Before buying a corded electric chainsaw, it is important to know something about the origins and development of the chainsaw, particularly about the electric-powered varieties. Knowing the advantages that the electrically-powered chainsaws provide and the features of the two primary types of corded electric chainsaws can help you make an informed purchase. Before using an electric chainsaw, you should be familiar with the main safety issues and the features now available to reduce accidents. Lastly, to make a wise buy, you should learn how to navigate on eBay, a website where you can find some of the best deals and selections of corded chainsaws.

Evolution of the Corded Electric Chainsaw

The original chainsaw was invented in the late 1700s to cut human bones rather than wood. Operated by hand, it was used for surgery throughout much of the 19th century. In 1929, Andreas Stihl developed the first gasoline-powered chainsaw and the company he founded still produces them today. The original versions were heavy, ungainly contraptions that required wheels and two persons to use. Technological advances in the production of lightweight metals, such as aluminium, enabled the production of one-man chainsaws after World War II. While some of the earliest chainsaws were electrically powered, it wasn’t until the late 1960s that the electric chainsaw we are familiar with today was mass-produced.

Chainsaw Size Issues

Obviously, it is not practical to try to operate a corded saw deep in the woods where there is no electrical supply. Most corded electric chainsaws are limited to a 30-metre length of power cord. Also, both electric and battery-powered chainsaws are relatively limited in size and power. In theory, it is possible to cut down a 90-cm diameter tree with a 45-cm electric saw, which is the maximum size for most manufacturers. With significantly less power than a comparably-sized gas version, it would take longer. This situation seldom occurs, however, as larger tree cuttings are in the forest, not a residential back yard. Taking down any tree with a diameter larger than 15 to 20 centimetres is generally a job for a professional with the proper tools and safety equipment.

Corded Electric Chainsaw Safety

The chainsaw is by far the most dangerous consumer-level tool in the world, regardless of its power source. Nearly all accidental injuries are a result of the user discarding proven safety techniques in exchange for saving time. Moreover, about 40 per cent of all chainsaw accidents happen to people who have little experience with the tool. This is why it is crucial to wear proper safety equipment while using chainsaws.

Essential Safety Equipment

The list of important chainsaw safety accessories begins at the head. The use of any chainsaw without proper eye protection is incredibly dangerous. Most professionals also argue in favour of a hard hat, even for smaller jobs, as this safety features prevents a wide range of injuries from falling branches. Some hard hats incorporate a facemask into the design. Experts also suggest good ear protection to prevent hearing-related injuries, especially when large saws are used. The rest of the body is also exposed to injury from chainsaw kickback and flying debris. Since the body parts closest to the actual cutting chain are the hands, a good pair of chainsaw safety gloves is strongly advised.

Suggested Safety Equipment

Since the power draw from electric chainsaws is high, always use a heavy-duty power cord to minimise any possibility of fire. Safety chaps greatly reduce skin lacerations and abrasions. One of the main benefits of a corded electric chainsaw is that, unlike gasoline-powered models, no fumes result from engaging the engine. Nonetheless, many of those who use electric chainsaw still use a light respirator or mask to eliminate inhalation of the slight amount of smoke that is produced from the chain cutting the wood or fine debris.

Corded Electric Chainsaw Benefits

Since gasoline-powered chainsaws allow complete freedom from electrical supplies and power cords, many people wonder what possible advantage there could be to corded electric saws. There are several benefits, but they depend upon the primary use of the chainsaw. The table below summarises the prominent differences between corded electric- and gasoline-powered chainsaws.

Chainsaw Feature

Corded Electric

Gasoline Engine

Blade Size

Usually 30 to 45 cm

Up to 150 cm


4 to 5 kg

5 to 10 kg


Lower due to less complex motor

More expensive than similar size electric models

Fuel Usage

Electricity only

Gasoline/oil mixture


Essentially limited to chain deterioration

Internal combustion engine also requires spark plug replacement and carburettor repairs


Lubricated for life from the factory

Two-stroke engine requires oil mixed into gasoline

Power Range

9 to 12 amp

2 to 10 brake horsepower


Limited to sound of cutting chain on wood

Engine noise demands use of hearing protection


Very high degree

Can be difficult or impossible to start if not properly tuned


Operation is smooth with less physical strain due to lighter weight

High degree of vibration and kickback from added power


Safer, assuming some training and experience

Fumes and power create significant concerns

In summary, corded electric chainsaws are lighter, less expensive, and require less maintenance than their gasoline counterparts. The trade-off is that they are limited in use to smaller cutting jobs and the ready availability of an electrical connection.

Types and Sizes of Corded Electric Chainsaws

There are two primary types of corded electric chainsaws. The most familiar is the standard chainsaw and the alternative is a pole electric chainsaw. A corded electric chainsaw is an extremely versatile tool. Powerful enough to easily cut through a 30-cm diameter tree, they are also light enough to handle smaller pruning jobs that are near ground level. An electric chainsaw also provides an excellent solution to typical demolition work due to the length of the cutting chain that enables access that other power tools do not provide.

There are times when branches in need of pruning are too high to reach from the ground. Sometimes a ladder can solve the problem, but ladders are dangerous and must have something to lean against to enable safe access. The pole electric chainsaw may be just the right answer. Most pole saws provide telescopic extensions up to about three and a half metres. These chainsaws are light and come in chain sizes from about 15 to 30 cm. Some offer the option to eliminate the pole, converting it into a standard corded electric chainsaw.

The size of the electric chainsaw required for any cutting job is directly related to the size of the object to be cut. While a 45 cm blade may be too big for light pruning jobs, it is better to err on the side of too large. Most homeowners who purchase the smaller sizes eventually wish they had chosen the larger types of chainsaws. It is always possible to cut both sides of any tree to fell it. But, to minimise the work and maximise safety, a good rule of thumb is to be sure the length of the cutting chain exceeds the diameter of the tree or branches to be cut.

How to Buy a Corded Electric Chainsaw on eBay

One of the best places to locate a wide selection of electric chainsaws at competitive prices is on eBay. Begin at the eBay home page and locate the search tool found on every page. Enter the details of the chainsaw you want and click ‘Search’. You can then get a page with all of the results that match your search criteria. From there, you can further refine the search based upon manufacturer, condition, cutting chain size, and other options.

Most regular eBay buyers take a few minutes to examine the seller’s profile prior to purchasing. All eBay merchants have feedback from previous buyers that can give you an indication of how other transactions were completed. Many sellers also have displayed the "Top-rated Seller&" ribbon that indicates they have amassed a favourable selling history over an extended time period. You can also directly contact the seller if you feel you would like additional information from them by simply clicking on that seller’s name within the listing.


Corded electric chainsaws have developed rapidly over the past 15 to 20 years. The original models were heavy, ungainly contraptions with motors unsuited to the extreme conditions for which they were used. They lacked sufficient power and would often seize up or overheat during prolonged use. Today’s versions have eliminated most of those past issues. While they are still less powerful than a similarly sized gasoline chainsaw, corded electric chainsaws can handle a similarly-sized tree with only a few seconds additional cutting time. Assuming electric power is available, the prices, lack of maintenance, and lighter weights make corded electric chainsaws the preferred choice for many.

Most local hardware stores and department stores offer several varieties and manufacturers of electric chainsaws. However, a good way to browse through a wide selection of models and brands from a single source is to shop a website that aggregates thousands of sellers, like eBay.

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