Hedge Trimmer vs Chainsaw: Which Tool is Right for You?

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Are you looking for a powerful tool to maintain your garden? Two popular options include hedge trimmers and chainsaws, but which one should you choose?

While both tools are designed to help with cutting and trimming tasks, they have distinct differences that make each suitable for different purposes.

This guide will compare hedge trimmers and chainsaws to help you determine the right tool. 

What is a Hedge Trimmer?

A hedge cutter is a gardening tool that keeps bushes and hedges in good shape. It has a long blade with teeth can cut through trees by moving back and forth.

There are different kinds of hedge trimmers, such as electric, portable, and gas-powered ones. They’re light, easy to move, and great for keeping smaller bushes and shrubs in shape.

Hedge Trimmer vs Chainsaw

What is a Chainsaw?

A chainsaw is a heavy-duty power tool for cutting down trees, pruning branches, and cutting firewood. It has a powerful motor and a long, sharp chain that rotates around the bar to make cuts.

Chainsaws are available in various sizes and power options, such as electric, battery-powered, and gas.

What is the difference between a hedge trimmer and a saw?


The above table shows the main difference between the Hedge trimmers and chainsaws. Now let’s discuss in detail:

Hedge Trimmers vs. Chainsaws in 2024

Hedge trimmers and chainsaws have unique features that make them useful for different tasks. Let’s take a closer look at some of their key features:

Hedge Trimmer Features

  • Blades: Hedge trimmers have long blades with teeth that move back and forth to cut through branches. These blades can range in length from 16 to 24 inches, making it easier to reach tall hedges.
  • Power Source: Hedge trimmers are available in different power options, such as electric, battery-powered, and gas. Electric hedge trimmers are the most common and are suitable for small to medium-sized gardens. 

Battery-powered hedge trimmers offer more portability but may have less power than electric models. Gas-powered trimmers are the most powerful but can be heavy and noisy.

  • Weight: Most hedge trimmers are lightweight, making them easy to handle and use for extended periods. They typically weigh between 5 to 10 pounds.

Chainsaw Features

  • Bar Length: An average chainsaw bar is 12 to 20 inches long. Longer bars are suitable for larger branches and trees.
  • Power Source: Like hedge trimmers, chainsaws come in electric, battery-powered, and gas options. They are known for their powerful cutting capacities and are ideal for heavy-duty tasks.
  • Weight: Chainsaws can be heavy, ranging from 5 to 20 pounds, depending on the size and power of the tool.


One of the main differences between hedge trimmers and chainsaws is their power. While both tools have a blade for cutting, the blades’ type and movements significantly affect power.

  • Hedge Trimmers: The back-and-forth motion of hedge trimmer blades makes them suitable for trimming thin branches and shaping hedges precisely. They are designed to handle something other than thick branches or trees.
  • Chainsaws: Chainsaws can cut bigger branches and even trees with focused teeth. This makes them more potent than hedge trimmers and more dangerous if not used correctly.


The right tool depends on your gardening project. Let’s explore some everyday tasks and which tool is more suitable.

Hedge Trimmers: Hedge trimmers are ideal for trimming and shaping hedges and shrubs. They can also be used for cutting thin branches and maintaining small trees.

Chainsaws: A chainsaw is better for larger tasks such as felling trees or cutting thick branches. It can also be used for cutting firewood or pruning more giant trees.


Safety is most important for both Hedge trimmers and chainsaws. Let’s have a detailed discussion:

  • Hedge trimmers: Hedge trimmers are generally considered safer than chainsaws due to their smaller blades and less powerful motors. They also usually have built-in safety elements, such as a blade guard or a two-handed switch, to prevent accidental cutting. However, wearing protective gear, including gloves and eye protection, is crucial when using a hedge trimmer.
  • Chainsaws: For safety reasons, following safety precautions when using chainsaws is very important. They don’t typically come with built-in safety features like hedge trimmers do, but most models have a chain brake that can stop the blade’s rotation in case of kickback. It’s also essential to wear protective gear, including gloves, eye protection, and earplugs when using a chainsaw.

Which Tool Should You Use?

What should you use now that you know the differences between hedge trimmers and chainsaws? It all depends on your gardening needs. A hedge trimmer will be ideal if your garden has smaller hedges and bushes that need regular trimming and shaping. A chainsaw would be better if you have more giant trees and branches requiring heavy-duty cutting.

Selecting the right tool is crucial to ensure safety and efficiency in your gardening tasks.

Hedge Trimmer vs Chainsaw

Can I Use a Chainsaw as a Hedge Trimmer?


In summary, hedge trimmers and chainsaws are potent tools that serve different purposes in gardening. For hedges and small trees, hedge trimmers work well, but chainsaws are better for felling trees.

Consider each tool’s features, power, and suitability before deciding. Whichever you choose, follow safety precautions and use the tool as instructed for a successful gardening project. 

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