Chainsaws are powerful and versatile, and many of today’s homeowners and landscapers see them as an essential tool that every serious gardening enthusiast needs.
In our guide, we’ll talk about how to buy the best chainsaw in Australia that’s the right fit for your needs, the pros and cons of different types of chainsaws, what chainsaws can be used for, safety tips, and much more.
What are Chainsaws Used For?
- Cutting firewood
- Tree pruning
- Tree felling
- Cutting wood for fencing
- Clearing dense bush
- Clearing firebreaks
Different Types of Chainsaw
There are 3 main types of chainsaw on the market categorised by fuel type, and each suited to different types of work. These include:
These are the most powerful chainsaws on the market, with tough, durable engines that can cut through even the thickest, most dense wood.
Traditionally used on farms, by loggers and professionals, these chainsaws are easily transported and ideal for work in remote areas.
The drawback is that they are very noisy (ear protection is required), require fuel, need regular maintenance, and emit toxic fumes.
This chainsaw plugs into an outlet and requires an extension cord. While this does mean that you can operate the saw continuously, it does come with range limitations and the risk of tangling/damaging the cord.
Less powerful than a petrol chainsaw, these saws still have plenty of power for cutting firewood, removing tree limbs, and doing general garden work.
They don’t emit any fumes, are quieter to operate and need much less maintenance.
This is a battery-powered chainsaw, offering all the benefits of running your equipment on electricity without the drawbacks of dealing with a cord, although you do need to remember to charge the battery or swap it out.
These chainsaws tend to be a bit heavier than corded models due to the weight of the battery, but they are easy to transport to wherever you want to work, are quieter to operate, are low maintenance, and emit no fumes.
Features to Consider When Buying a Chainsaw
As always, there are important features to consider when you’re buying a chainsaw to make sure it’s suited to the types of jobs you want to do.
- Size – The chainsaw blade should be at least 5cm longer than the wood you want to cut. Additionally, smaller blades are easier to manoeuvre, especially if you are cutting small branches in tighter spaces.
The chainsaw must also be light enough for you to handle with ease without getting fatigued, as this can be very dangerous.
- Chain type – The chain that comes with your chainsaw is suitable for most gardening tasks. However, there are other chain types that offer different teeth profiles and spacing that are suited to more unusual jobs.
For example, a full chisel chain is best for hardwoods, a semi-chisel is more suited to softwood, and low profile chains are great all-rounders.
- Handle position – Handles on the top of the saw helps make the chainsaw lighter, and are better suited for working at a height. They are more compact and easier to manoeuvre.
If you are primarily working on the ground, a rear-handle chainsaw may be a better option, offering better kickback protection and stability.
- Safety features – Chainsaws are incredibly dangerous tools and should be used with the utmost caution and care.
Fortunately, today’s chainsaws have some great safety features, including chain breaks in case of kickback, wide handles and guards for hand protection, throttle locks, chain catchers, and features to prevent accidentally starting the saw.
- Anti Vibration – Chainsaws create vibration which can quickly cause your arms to tire and the chainsaw to slip from your grip.
Anti-vibration features help prevent this, minimising vibration from the saw so that you can work for longer, safely.
8 Best Chainsaws in Australia – Reviews
With a longer 35cm cutting blade, this cordless chainsaw is able to cut thicker branches without becoming too bulky for home use.
The battery run time is very impressive if you are cutting smaller diameter softwoods, and the brushless motor means less wear-and-tear and a longer lifespan.
It has an automatic oiling system, low kickback chain, and hand guard for safety, and recharges in just 60 minutes.
Black+Decker are well-known in the power tool industry for build quality, durability and performance, and this battery-powered chainsaw is no exception.
With a practical 25cm cutting width, it can handle logging, pruning, tree-felling and cutting firewood easily. At just over 3kgs with a good balance between the handle and cutting bar, it’s lightweight and easy to manoeuvre too.
It can do around 220 x 3.5cm cuts per charge of the 2Ah lithium-ion battery.
With a longer, 30cm cutting blade, this cordless chainsaw makes quick work of branches up to 20cm in diameter. It has an automatic oiler and tool-free tensioning system for convenience, and it’s easy to measure the oil level through a useful window.
It’s designed for minimal kickback and can supply around 20 cuts over 25 minutes before needing recharging.
This is a very powerful chainsaw suited to commercial applications, or if you are having to frequently cut thick branches, hardwoods and heavy bush.
It has a 45cm cutting bar and weighs 7kgs, which is fairly light for a petrol chainsaw, and the patented A-VIBE system keeps fatigue from vibrations at a minimum.
It has a quick chain tensioning system and integrated chain brake for safety.
Another powerful petrol chainsaw that can be used commercially as well as for cutting hardwoods, thick branches and heavy bush is this 62cc chainsaw from Giantz.
It features a long 50cm cutting blade, balanced weight distribution for reduced fatigue and automatic braking system for safety. It’s well-suited to more challenging cutting tasks rather than everyday gardening, and offers good value for money.
This battery-powered chainsaw comes with a great self-sharpening feature that many gardeners love. The 40cm cutting blade is sufficient for any typical gardening jobs, from cutting down unwanted trees and pruning trees to cutting firewood or timber.
It has an automatic oiling system, is lightweight at 4.22kgs, and it starts easily with the pull of the trigger.
Want the power of petrol in a compact chainsaw for home use? This is a great option! Known for their build quality and performance, this Stihl chainsaw uses 20% less fuel than its counterparts, producing 70% lower emissions while still getting the job done.
It’s lightweight, produces minimal vibrations and is durably built. It’s a good option for everyday garden use, but it will struggle with thicker diameter hardwoods.
This is a very lightweight chainsaw at just 2.7kgs, making it exceptionally easy to work with even for longer periods of time. It’s compact build makes it easy to transport and store, and it’s easy to assemble too.
The stabilizing tip protector with gripping teeth on the 20cm cutting blade helps ensure clean, safe cuts, and it features a tool-free tensioning system and easy chain replacement.
It’s ideal for the everyday gardener and is suited to cutting branches up to 13cm in diameter.
Our Top Pick – The Best Chainsaw in Australia
As much as we love the power of petrol, the reality is that electric chainsaws are tough to beat for everyday gardening use! As a result, our top pick is the Greenworks 14-Inch 40V Cordless Chainsaw.
With impressive power that’s close to what the professional chainsaws offer and an exceptionally long battery run time, this chainsaw delivers performance that any homeowner would be satisfied with.
It charges quickly, has an automatic oiling system, and it’s brushless motor means it will last many years to come.
Because it’s electric, it’s low maintenance, quiet while running and emits no fumes. Ideal for medium to heavy use, you can cut down trees, make firewood, cut timber and clear bush with ease.
How to Choose Between a Petrol and Electric Chainsaw
If you need a lot of power for heavy-duty jobs, especially in remote locations, then a petrol chainsaw is a great choice. However, if you want a chainsaw for home use, then an electric model offers plenty of power for regular gardening jobs, with the added benefit of zero-emissions, quieter operation, and minimal maintenance.
You can read about the best electric chainsaw reviews here.
What is the Best Chainsaw for Home Use?
We recommend an electric chainsaw for home use because they offer the right amount of power with the least amount of maintenance, fumes, noise, or fuss.
If you have a very large garden, a battery chainsaw will give you the biggest range, but if you want to work for long periods of time (say, over an hour), then a corded model may be the best option.
An outdoor-rated heavy-duty cord can help you extend your range.
Should I Buy a Chainsaw or Pole Saw?
A pole saw is a small, powerful but lightweight chainsaw with an extendable arm that allows you to cut smaller branches high up while standing on the ground.
They’re a good option if you need to prune trees around 4.5 meters high or remove small shrubs and bushes. For more heavy-duty work and branches more than 15cm in diameter, it’s better to use a chainsaw.
You can read more about the best electric pole saws here.
How Do I Know What Size Chainsaw I Need?
The general rule is that your chainsaw cutting blade needs to be at least 5cm longer than the width of the wood you want to cut through.
How to Use a Chainsaw - Safety Tips
Because they are such sharp, powerful tools, it’s essential to follow strict safety protocols when using a chainsaw, regardless of whether it is an electric or petrol model.
- Wear protective gear – Wear fitted, heavy-duty clothing, including ear protection, goggles, heavy-duty closed boots, a hard hat, chaps, and thick gloves.
- Start Small – If you are a beginner, take some time to learn about your saw and work on small jobs before you tackle a larger job to practice your technique. Don’t rush – take it slow and steady.
- Don’t cut alone – Always have someone within range (not standing close, however) with a First Aid Kit to call to if there is a problem.
- Keep the area clear – Make sure furniture, pets, small children, and other people are away from your work area.
- Tension the chain – Use your manual to tension the chain correctly. A tight chain will not move well, and a loose one may draw in debris or come off the cutting bar.
- Don’t cut beyond your saw’s capabilities – Don’t cut branches wider than your chainsaw’s cutting bar. There should be at least 5cm more cutting bar length than the diameter of the branch.
- Stay stable – Do not use a chainsaw while on a ladder or in a tree. Keep both feet on the ground, squared off so that you are completely stable as you work.
Make sure the limb you are cutting is either stable on the ground, will not fall onto anyone, and will not damage your property.
Chainsaw Maintenance and Repair
When looking for the best chainsaw, it’s also important to consider long-term costs like maintenance, servicing, and replacing parts.
Petrol chainsaws require the most maintenance and need an annual service to ensure they’re in good, safe working order, especially if it’s being used regularly.
Electric chainsaws are pretty maintenance-free. Other than cleaning your equipment after you’ve used it and storing it somewhere safe and dry, they need no maintenance at all.
Battery chainsaws are just as maintenance-free as corded models, but it’s important to remember that you will have to plan to replace the batteries every 5 years or so.
A damaged or worn cutting chain is a serious safety hazard, increasing risks of the chain breaking, kickbacks, and other dangers.
Sharpening a Chainsaw Chain
Cutting chains can be sharpened when they become dull but should be replaced when they are worn down or damaged. You can have the chain professionally sharpened, or use your chainsaw sharpener. You can read about the best chainsaw sharpeners here.
Here’s a great video on how to use a chainsaw safely.
Buying the Best Chainsaw in Australia for Your Needs
The best chainsaw in Australia is one that’s suited to your gardening needs, whether you are regularly felling trees, cutting firewood, clearing bush, or trimming trees.
If power is what you’re after, a petrol chainsaw is the best choice, especially if you are working in remote locations, performing tough tasks, or using your chainsaw professionally.
For everyday garden use, an electric corded or battery-powered chainsaw is a better bet, offering plenty of power for pruning and firewood with the benefits of quieter operation, no fumes, and no maintenance. Remember, you can check out our electric chainsaw reviews here!
When you buy the best chainsaw in Australia, you’ll have a great tool that lasts and completes every job safely and efficiently!