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Editor’s Picks: Chainsaws in Australia for 2024 (Battery + Petrol)

Chainsaws are powerful, efficient cutting machines. Here’s how to choose the right one.

Are you looking to buy a chainsaw but unsure of where to start? With so many different types, brands and models available it can be challenging to make a decision.

From the best chainsaws on the market in Australia, to how to choose a chainsaw, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need.

Best for Most People: STIHL MS 170 Mini Boss

For light to medium work, the Stihl MS 170 Mini-Boss is a perfect entry-level chainsaw. It won’t let you down whether you’re pruning trees or cutting firewood.

It’s simple to handle because it’s light and controllable. Cutting is rapid and clean, although it may be underpowered when cutting heavy timber or stumps, especially if it hasn’t been sharpened in a while.

Overall, this is a great compact chainsaw with a robust build that is well suited for most jobs.

Best Value: Black+Decker Lithium-Ion Chainsaw

This battery-powered chainsaw is one of the best choices if you’re looking for an affordable alternative for odd jobs or cutting firewood on a camping trip.

It’s lightweight and agile, weighing only 3.1kg. It has a comfortable grip and is well balanced, making it enjoyable to wield.

The tool-free chain tensioning makes chain fitting and adjustments a breeze, and the fade-free lithium-ion battery lasts up to 220 cuts on a single charge.

Budget Option: Baumr-AG 62CC E-Start Commercial Petrol Chainsaw

This Baumr-AG chainsaw is a good option for the money. Despite the fact that it claims to be commercial, it is no Stihl or Husqvarna, but if you want something to use for odd jobs, this should do the trick.

This gas powered chainsaw offers lots of power and is simple to operate, making it ideal for most home jobs.

The build is decent for a low-cost chainsaw, and if properly maintained, it should last a long time.

Also Great: EGO Power+ Chainsaw CS1400E 35cm

This EGO electric chainsaw is perfectly balanced and simple to use. It is well-built and capable of handling most chores you throw at it.

It operates fairly quietly, like most electric chainsaws, and has no fuel odour.

The charging period is short; it can be fully recharged in only ten minutes. It also lasts a long time on one charge so you’ll be able to get through a fair bit of work before needing to take a break.

This lightweight chainsaw doesn’t have the same power as a petrol chainsaw, but it can still handle most domestic work such as trimming trees.

Upgrade Pick: STIHL MS 251 450mm Wood Boss 2-Stroke Petrol Chainsaw

The Stihl MS 251 is a high-quality chainsaw with plenty of power. It’s a mid-range tool that bridges the gap between domestic and commercial applications.

This powerful chainsaw can cut tree roots and stumps, railway sleepers, and other difficult materials.

The build quality is excellent and it should last a long time if correctly maintained. It’s simple to start, and the front and rear handlebars have a minimal level of vibration, making it more comfortable to use.

This is a terrific heavy duty chainsaw, but it may be too expensive for some people.

Husqvarna 120 Mark II Petrol Chainsaw

Husqvarna 120 Mark II Petrol Chainsaw | Power Tools

The Husqvarna 120 Mark II is a lower-cost model from one of the big names in chainsaws.

For a name-brand chainsaw, it is reasonably priced, which may be both good and bad. Many people have struggled to get started. It has also been criticized for being underpowered for its size.

On the plus side, it cuts fast and cleanly. The body is sturdy and it handles well thanks to it being lightweight.

For a hobby chainsaw, this is a decent option. You’ll give up a little performance, but you can obtain a dependable, well-known chainsaw for a reasonable price.

You’re also likely to have more luck getting service and spare parts than if you opt for a lesser-known brand.

Chainsaw Buying Guide

Are you stumped as to where to begin your hunt for a garden chainsaw?

When choosing a chainsaw, keep the following points in mind:

Consider your needs

It is critical to select a chainsaw that is appropriate for your needs.

If you are a novice, you may want to choose a lighter model. Being lightweight makes a chainsaw easier to handle and reduces the chance of fatigue. There’s no point in having a tool with way more power than you need.

However, if you need a chainsaw for tree felling or other heavy duty tasks, you may want to look at getting a more commercial-focussed unit.

Remember that different chainsaws are suited to different tasks and you should seek professional advice before making your selection.

Handling

Your chainsaw has to be powerful enough to do the job, but it also has to be light and easy to use.

For safety, good handling is equally as crucial as protective gear. If going overboard on power would make the chainsaw excessively heavy, don’t do it.

Check the handles’ vibration rating as well. Low vibration decreases the danger of damage and prevents cramping in your hands. Low vibration will make the machine much more comfortable to use, even if you only use it occasionally.

Which is better: petrol or electric?

Petrol Powered

A full tank of gas will outlast a fully charged battery, so for big jobs, a gas powered chainsaw may make more sense.

However, petrol chainsaws emit strong-smelling fumes and emissions that might cause headaches in certain people. They’re also a lot louder and vibrate a lot more than electric models.

Battery Powered

Electric chainsaws are ideal for smaller tasks and jobs around the yard.

Although the lithium ion battery will not last as long as gasoline, you can always purchase two and charge one while using the other.

Battery chainsaws are quieter and have less vibration than gas-powered chainsaws. There are no fumes to be concerned about, either.

Corded

Corded models are another alternative. The advantage of this kind is that it does not rely on battery power.

This means they’re more powerful, and you’ll be able to work for longer periods of time without having to recharge the batteries. Corded chainsaws are also often less expensive than cordless models.

The disadvantage of these models is they must be linked to a power source at all times, which restricts where they can be used. When working in dense vegetation or around other obstacles, the cord might be troublesome.

Because of these downsides, a cordless chainsaw is the best option for most people.

Length of the guide bar

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a chainsaw is the guide bar length, which may vary depending on your intended application.

The majority of chainsaws have a bar length of 16” to 24”, while smaller variants are also available.

Longer chainsaws are normally more powerful and can cut thicker pieces of wood, but they are also heavier, provide less control, and are more prone to cause kickback.

Smaller chainsaws are usually easier to manage, making them a safer choice.

The guide bar should be about 2 inches (5 cm) longer than the material you intend to cut.

You must, however, take into account your size and weight as well as your power and skill. Chainsaws with a blade length of 16” to 18” are popular among women.

Keep in mind that if your chainsaw is shorter than the material you’re cutting, you’ll have to cut it in more passes.

Chain Speed

The chain’s speed dictates how quickly you can cut. The typical chain rotates at a speed of 90 to 95 kilometres per hour.

The greater chain speed of petrol/gas powered chainsaws is one of their main advantages.

Safety features

Automatic Chain Brake / Kickback Brake

A kickback brake, also known as a safety chain brake, is an important safety feature.

This mechanism engages when a kickback occurs, preventing the chainsaw operator from coming into contact with the moving chain, which can result in serious injury or death.

Operators can utilise chain brakes manually or as a safety function.

Chain Catcher

A chain catcher is another common safety feature that will catch the chain if it derails or breaks.

Hand Guards

These are designed to protect the hands of the chainsaw operator if the chain breaks or derails.

Quick Start

The days of frustrating chainsaws that won’t start are long gone.

Many manufacturers now offer versions with simple start features that are more dependable and need less effort to start, some with a simple button.

Balance And Handling

Various grips are available on many chainsaws. Choose one that feels well in your hand and isn’t too big or small.

Also, check the balance. When gripping it, you shouldn’t have to compensate too much.

The chainsaw’s grip and balance will affect how comfortable it is to handle it for lengthy periods of time.

Automatic chain oiling system

An automatic oiling system reduces the maintenance required to keep your chainsaw in good working condition. It applies chain oil while you’re using the saw, ensuring maximum performance, safety, and lifespan.

Brushed vs brushless motor

Brushless power tools are far superior to brushed in every way. They’re more durable, work better and last longer. ​However, they also come with a significantly higher price tag.

Brushless tools eliminate the need for certain parts of the motor. This makes them more efficient than a brushed motor, so they can run longer on a single battery charge. The motor also runs quieter and with less friction and wear.

Using a Chainsaw

Because each chainsaw is unique, you should always consult your owner’s handbook and a local dealer before using your power tool. Make sure that you are following all safety procedures and are using the tool for a task that it is suitable for.

Here are some general guidelines for using your chainsaw effectively:

Avoid the kickback zone – The upper half of the guide bar is referred to as the kickback zone and shouldn’t come into contact with whatever you are cutting.

Make sure you have the right chainsaw for the job – Avoid using a saw that is too large or too small for the job.

Sharpen your tool – Chainsaws that are dull can be hazardous. Look for indicators of a dull chainsaw, such as the saw chain failing to draw itself into the wood. Use a chainsaw sharpener to keep the chain in good condition.

Learn how to use your chainsaw properly — While it may seem obvious which hand belongs on the front handle, rear handle, and throttle, there are safety procedures that may substantially decrease the chance of harm. Make sure you understand how to use your machine properly, including any safety measures.

Ear protection – Prolonged use of power equipment like these might result in hearing loss. To avoid injury, make sure you’re wearing the right ear protection.

Maintenance is one of the most crucial aspects of keeping your chainsaw working efficiently and safely. The chain, guide-bar groove, oil ports, cooling fins, sprockets, air filter, spark plug, exhaust, carburettor, starter, oil filter, and clutch are all parts of the saw that require maintenance.

Other features — As technology advances, the range of features accessible in chain saws expands. Tool-free chain tensioning and automated chain oilers are two examples.

Safety is paramount

Before you buy a chainsaw, make sure you’re aware of the dangers and that you’re taking the necessary precautions.

Here are some resources to help you get started:

Chainsaw FAQ

Which is the best brand of chainsaws?

Traditionally Stihl and Husqvarna have been recognised as the top chainsaw brands. Recently, many other brands are entering the market as electric powered chainsaws become more popular.

Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.

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