STIHL gardening tip: working with the chainsaw

Whether it’s a hedge trimmer, brushcutter, chainsaw or blower, every STIHL tool is the product of experience gained in decades of the development and use of power tools for forest and garden.

Our garden tools are designed perfectly for their intended applications. We want to share our expert knowledge with you to ensure you can relax as you take on the challenges that await you around your home and garden. That is why we have brought together some useful tips and tricks for you in our series of articles entitled “STIHL gardening tip”.

This article will tell you what you can use your chainsaw for in the garden and what you should bear in mind when working with this tool.

STIHL gardening tip: working with the chainsaw

Smaller chainsaw models are particularly well-suited to working around the home and garden. You can use the chainsaw to take care of smaller trees, cut firewood, cut back trees and shrubs for maintenance, and complete manual sawing work and DIY projects.

Our expert tips on using a chainsaw in your garden

  1. The right protective clothing is essential: When working with a chainsaw, you must wear a pair of trousers with a cut protection insert as well as face protection or – with smaller models – safety glasses. Whether you need to wear ear protection depends on the volume of the tool in use, which varies based on the drive type. That’s why we recommend cordless chainsaws for noise-sensitive areas, as they are particularly quiet to use.Thick gloves protect your hands. Cut protection shoes with high-grip soles ensure that you are firm on your feet. Before starting work, you must check the operating instructions to see what protective clothing you need when using your chainsaw model.
  2. Safe working is top priority: In order to avoid the saw bouncing back, you should not cut into the wood with the tip of the guide bar.STIHL chainsaws are featured with the chain brake STIHL QuickStop. By moving the front hand guard, the chain brake is manually activated and blocks the saw chain. This brings the chain to a standstill within a fraction of a second.
  3. Maintain your chainsaw regularly: To ensure that you can continue to enjoy your chainsaw for as long as possible, you should remove dirt and dust from it on a regular basis. Rough dirt can be easily removed with a damp cloth. Make sure that the handles of your saw are free from oil and dirt so that you can keep a firm grip on the saw. The cooling ribs should also be cleaned if necessary.First and foremost, the oil outlet channel on the powerhead and the oil hole (1), the bar groove (2) and the sprocket nose (3) on the guide bar should be cleaned so that the cutting attachment is always sufficiently supplied with oil. To do so, you can use the groove cleaner on a file gauge.

    guide bar

    The oil hole (1), the bar groove (2) and the sprocket nose (3) on the guide bar should be cleaned regularly.

  4. Never work without chain lubrication: The chain must be well lubricated in order to make work as easy as possible. If the oil level in the tank is too low for the chain oil, you should immediately stop working and refill the oil. If you continue to work without chain lubrication, the chain and guide bar will wear. Feathering is accelerated on the groove of the guide bar. Chains also heat up if there is insufficient lubrication.
  5. A chainsaw only provides top performance when the chain is sharp: If your saw chain no longer pulls itself into the wood – when cutting vertically through the wood, across the grain – or creates fine sawdust instead of course chips, emits smoke, or the chainsaw rattles, hops and stops cutting straight, your saw chain may be blunt. We recommend having your saw chain checked by a dealer and having it re-sharpened if necessary.
  6. Storing your chainsaw correctly: If you would like to put your chainsaw into storage for a long period of time, you should thoroughly clean the tool. Either remove the chain and guide bar or remove the chain protection over the guide bar and insert the chain brake. The saw should be stored cool and dry. When using biological chain oil, completely fill the oil tank. This will prevent the chain oil gumming. For battery-powered tools, remove the battery from the tool before storage. The battery should be charged to around 20% storage; this corresponds to one illuminated LED on the battery.
    For petrol-powered tools, the fuel tank must be emptied and its content must be disposed of in an environmentally compatible way. The carburettor must also be run empty, i.e. the machine should run until it no longer contains any fuel residue whatsoever.
  7. Let the saw “cut”, rather than pressing: You do not need to press the saw into the wood when you are sawing. The saw chain pulls itself into the wood.
cut back shrubs in the garden

You can cut back shrubs in the garden with a cordless chainsaw.

STIHL chainsaws that have a C in their product name also have one or several comfort features that make work even more convenient for you. For example the B stands for STIHL Quick Chain Tensioning and the Q stands for the additional braking system STIHL QuickStop Super.

As a general rule: before you start using your chainsaw, make sure you read the operating instructions and the safety instructions they contain.

Ideal for the garden: STIHL cordless power tools

Whether you’re trimming a hedge, mowing the lawn, trimming lawn edges, removing foliage or cutting firewood – we have the right battery-powered product for any job around the home and garden. With our quiet, emissions-free STIHL garden tools, you can do gardening with ease.


Discover the new tranquillity in gardening. Light, quiet and powerful – that sums up our STIHL COMPACT cordless power system gardening tools perfectly.

A huge plus: the battery can be used in all tools within the COMPACT cordless power system range, enabling you to be ready for any challenge around the home and garden. On our website you can find an overview of the battery charging times.

COMPACT cordless power system

STIHL tools for your garden: the COMPACT cordless power system.

Advice from your STIHL dealer

A STIHL dealer will be pleased to advise you on which tool is best suited to your gardening requirements. Just visit one of our dealers for an individual, non-binding consultation. Click here to find a dealer near you.

You can find more useful information about gardening in the following articles in our “STIHL gardening tip” series.

Read comments and comment:

One thought on “STIHL gardening tip: working with the chainsaw

  1. Chainsaws are great for getting our share of wood, it does get its share of household chores when not slicing the trees in the wild. Pruning our garden and shaping our hedges are also chainsaw’s forte.

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