3 Chainsaw Alternatives and Their Uses

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Chainsaws are powerful tools; they handle a lot of work. But when you feel like you are not a safe match with the chainsaw, it’s best to explore other options.

If you handle one or two large trees or logs every year, it’s not enough to justify buying a chainsaw. I have a couple of great alternatives that need less bodily wear and tear.

They are amazing backups in case the chainsaw breaks down. These three tools will handle everything except the bigger jobs.

1. Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a handheld saw mainly used for remodeling and demolitions. It cuts through a lot of materials, including metal and wood.

The standard ones will come with 3-inch blades, which means they are suitable for cutting branches and roots. They are easy to manoeuver, and less skilled individuals can successfully use them without causing accidents.

But it can also be used for other jobs because of its unique features. The versatile tool will make a great addition to your toolset.

However, these tools bounce and shake, ensuring you keep a firm grip when using them. Without controlling it properly, the back and forth motion will get the best of you.

If it’s your first time using it, read the instruction manual carefully before starting. That’s how you can quickly learn the dos and don’ts.

There are corded and cordless models; the cordless reciprocating saws are more expensive. You can buy whichever your budget allows.

There are many reciprocating saws in the market; you can go for a high-end tool or a cheaper one. But if you buy something cheap, ensure it’s up for the task by examining features.

Applying proper pressure on the saw is important. But you will learn how everything works with a little experience.

Avoid touching the blade right after work; it gets hot so give it time to cool before touching. Remember to unplug it when changing blades.

2. Bow Saw

Even when you own a chainsaw, a bow saw is a great backup. It’s not as fast as a chainsaw and may demand a lot of energy, but it gets the job done.

Bow saws are used for cutting green wood like shrubs and branches. It has a long straight blade and a bow-shaped frame.

It won’t give you a neat finish, but it can quickly get through a small branch. Ensure you have enough space around the branch to use a large frame of the saw to cut.

There are mainly two types of blades to pick from, peg tooth and peg and raker tooth blades. Peg and raker blades cut through wet wood better than dry wood, but peg tooth is designed for dry hardwood.

However, you should be reasonable with the type of tree you want to cut. You will have more success with a 10 or 12-inch tree.

When you get replaceable blades, you won’t have to sharpen them all the time. When you buy one blade, you will have to learn how to sharpen it so that the saw doesn’t lose its cutting edge.

The bow saw is also great for pruning tasks, and most people prefer it because it’s lightweight and portable. But the saw’s handle will limit you from reaching tight spaces.

Many people carry their bow saw on camping trips; it is better than carrying a chainsaw. Even though the bow saw isn’t battery-powered, it can still be dangerous.

You might cut yourself; that is why you need to keep your gloves on at all times. Use steady pulls and pushes until you get into a rhythm.

Balance the log you are cutting to avoid pinch points after you are done. Consider buying this universal, versatile tool even if your toolbox is already full.

3. Pole Saw

Pole saws are modern chainsaw alternatives. They meant for one job and one job only, cutting and pruning tree limbs.

It will be a dependable, convenient machine to keep unruly trees in check when you handle it correctly. Ensure you follow the safety protocols because it can be dangerous when handled poorly.

A pole saw can extend from 6 to 20 feet, making them ideal for tall trees. You can go for manual pole saws or a battery-powered one.

Engine-powered pole saws have a small chain saw but are more prone to kickbacks. Get shades because you will spend most of the time looking at the sun when using a pole saw.

It’s always nice to do a practice run on a small branch before putting the tool to maximum use. Pole saws vary in prices depending on the branch, be sure to compare before buying.


These are the three best chainsaw alternatives you can consider for your next purchase.

  1. Reciprocating saw
  2. Bow saw
  3. Pole saw