Chainsaw vs Reciprocating saw

When it comes to saws, there are a few basic types that you’ll need to know about. In this post, we’re going to compare the chainsaw vs reciprocating saw. These two saws are both great for DIY projects, but they have different strengths and weaknesses. So, which one is right for you? Let’s take a closer look!

Chainsaw vs Reciprocating saw – Which is better?

Chainsaws and reciprocating saws are two of the most popular saws for woodworking. Both have their pros and cons, but which one is right for you?

We’ll compare chainsaws vs reciprocating saws to help you decide which one is best for your needs.

1: Chainsaw

There are different types of chainsaws for different purposes, but they all function in a similar way. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100-$2,000+ depending on the type and quality of the saw you purchase.

Chainsaws offer greater power than most other types of saws and they’re useful when cutting larger materials with thick edges and corners.

The teeth of a chainsaw also cut very quickly through whatever material you’re working with. This means that your cuts will be cleaner, too! In addition to being powerful, chainsaws are relatively easy to use thanks to their lightweight design.

However, keep in mind that these saws get hot rather quickly due to the friction created while cutting through wood at high speeds. This means that you’ll have to take a few breaks when using your saw or you’ll run the risk of getting burned.

Furthermore, chainsaws are more complex than most other types of saws. There are different factors to consider such as gas/oil mixes and care instructions.


Can cut through thick materials

Clean cuts

Powerful saws


Can get hot quickly, requiring frequent breaks when in use

More complex than most other types of saws

2: Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating saws, also known as hack all or saber saws, function very differently from chainsaws in a couple of key ways.

First is their mode of operation – rather than being powered by a motor, reciprocating saws work through manual force via a hand crank or an external power source. This means that they’re much lighter and easier to handle than chainsaws, making them a great choice when you need to use your saw for several hours at a time.

In addition, reciprocating saws are much cheaper than chainsaws. You can typically find one for sale from $30-$80 depending on quality and features.

Because of their lightweight design and compact size, these saws also make it easier to get in tight spaces where other saws won’t fit. These small blades don’t have the ability to cut through large pieces of material as a chainsaw does, but they’re perfect for smaller materials with curves or corners along their edges.

Furthermore, unlike chainsaws that rip through the wood in a downward motion, reciprocating saw blades slide down the surface of whatever they’re cutting. This means that they won’t leave behind the larger chunks of wood chips you might find with a chainsaw.


Lightweight design

Compact size can get in tight spaces

Less likely to leave behind large chunks of wood chips

Cheaper than chainsaws

Easier to handle thanks to lack of vibration and intense heat


Cannot cut through thick pieces of material like a chainsaw can

Requires external power source (corded or battery-powered)


How do you choose the right saw for the job?

Choosing the right saw for your needs depends on what you’re working with. If you’re working with thick materials, go with a chainsaw. If it has tight corners or curves in its shape, opt for a reciprocating saw.

When would you use a chainsaw instead of a reciprocating saw?

A chainsaw is best when you’re cutting through thick pieces of material that are large in size. They can also handle larger materials with minimal wear and tear thanks to their durable design and powerful motors.

When would you use a reciprocating saw instead of a chainsaw?

Reciprocating saws are best when you’re working with materials that are either curved or have tight corners. They also make excellent choices for small to medium-sized jobs where you don’t need to use your saw for more than a few hours at a time.

Which saw is best for cutting through a piece of lumber? 

For jobs that require a larger saw, go with a chainsaw. This will enable you to cut through larger pieces of lumber without any trouble.

If you’re working on smaller projects or need your saw for several hours at a time, opt for a reciprocating saw instead. While these saws may not be able to cut through thicker pieces of lumber, they are much more lightweight and easier to use for extended periods.

Which saw do you prefer to use and why?

I prefer using a reciprocating saw because they’re much lighter and easier to handle. Since I have limited experience with either saw, I find it much easier to use my hands instead of relying on the vibration of the chainsaw.


So, which saw is the best for you? Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better idea of what to look for when purchasing one of these tools. We showed you how each type of saw works and some of the pros and cons of each. Now it’s up to you to decide which saw fits your needs the best.

If you have any questions or need help choosing, please leave a comment!