Can You Cut Bamboo with a Chainsaw? (5 EASY Steps!)

Yes, you can cut bamboo with a chainsaw. Chainsaws equipped with a 30-50cc engine and a 14-20 inch bar are ideal for this task. Electric chainsaws can also work, as long as they have an adequately long bar and sufficient power (typically a minimum of 10-12 amps).

Btw, I’m Samuel Anali I have 20+ years of experience working with chainsaws 😎. And in this article, I’m going to cover – 👇

  • ✅ how to cut bamboo with a chainsaw (safely and efficiently),
  • ✅ how to pick the right chainsaw for cutting bamboo,
  • ✅ And lastly, the other options available if you don’t want to use a chainsaw.

So, are you READY?

Let’s get started!

How to Cut Bamboo with a Chainsaw?

Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to cutting bamboo with a chainsaw: 👇

1. Put On Your Protective Gear

Chainsawing is a DANGEROUS business!

That’s why before you begin, make sure your safety gear is on. This includes –

  • Safety glasses, 🥽 
  • Gloves 🧤 (I recommend leather ones for better grip), and
  • Ear protection 🎧 are a MUST!
chainsaw safety gear

For additional protection, you can also wear – 👇

  • ✅ a long-sleeved shirt,
  • ✅ chaps, and 
  • ✅ boots.
These are optional!

Once you’re all geared up, move on to the next step.

2. Prepare the Chainsaw

Some of you guys might SKIP this step 🙂 😞

But trust me, it’s IMPORTANT to give your chainsaw a good check before moving on.

  • ✅ Check if the chain tension is tight enough. Make sure it’s not too tight or not too loose. (Here’s how to tighten it up if it’s loose!)
  • ✅ Make sure the gas and oil levels are topped up,
  • ✅ And lastly, double-check if the chain is SHARP enough. (Here’re 5 signs of a dull chain)


It’s a 5 minute job. But all of these will ensure your saw works smoothly during the process.

3. Prepare the Bamboo

Once your saw is ready, it’s time to prep the bamboo. 

Use pruning shears to trim away leaves and remove limbs from the area you plan to saw. Otherwise, these can get in the way, block your view and mess things up!

Also, cut the thorns off to make the bamboo easier to handle.


Your neighbor might have suggested wrapping the section you intend to cut with masking tape. 

While this approach can help prevent splintering and scattering of bamboo pieces, I would advise against it when using a chainsaw.

I’ve seen chainsaws getting tangled in the tape and it’s a BAD situation. 💩

4. Start Cutting

Time to start cutting!

Pull the starter cord of your saw, and let it run for a few seconds. Hold it firmly with both hands. 👐

Start by making an initial cut into the bamboo using the tip of the chainsaw at an angle of 30-45 degrees. Then apply steady pressure to PUSH the saw through and complete the cut.

how to cut using a chainsaw step 4.1

Remember, it’s essential to make the cut precisely between the nodes, and ideally, about 0.5-1 ft. above the ground. This is where the bamboo is at its weakest point for cutting.

(Btw, nodes are basically the bumps or knots you see on a bamboo stalk (check the image below). They’re like little joints that separate the sections of the bamboo and where the leaves, and branches come out from!)

how to cut using a chainsaw step 4.2

5. Let the Bamboo Fall

Once the bamboo is cut through, let it fall.

Keep an eye out for the direction it’s falling and just step away from it. You don’t want to get hit by it!

Don’t try to catch it or push it away. Just let it fall, and you’ll be all set!

If it doesn’t fall itself, use a long pole or rope to gently push the bamboo in the direction you want it to fall.

Once the bamboo is on the ground, you can proceed to cut it into smaller sections using either a saw or a machete.

6. Finishing Up

That’s how you do it!

Simple, right?

Now that the job is done, Turn off your saw, let it cool down, and clean off any sawdust or residue from the saw and the chain. 

You could also file the chain if it’s dull. (But avoid making these 10 mistakes while sharpening your chain)

What Size Chainsaws are Ideal for Cutting Bamboo?

Chainsaws arranged based on their power.

For most bamboo species, a chainsaw equipped with a 30-50cc engine and a 14-20 inch bar is ideal for cutting bamboo.

Electric chainsaws are also great for this job. They’re lightweight, easy to use, and require less maintenance than gas-powered ones.

If you’re planning to use an electric saw for this job, go with one that has at least 10-12 amps (2-2.5 HP) of power.

But I personally feel more comfortable using a gas-powered chainsaw for this kind of staff.


Because they make this gnarly grrrr grr sound that just gets me pumped up! 🤠 (It’s like the engine is growling at the trees, daring them to stand in my way) 😈

I use my Stihl MS 250 equipped with a 16-inch bar and a semi-chisel chain.

It’s lightweight, relatively small, and maneuverable, all of which is crucial when working in tight spaces like within bamboo stalks.

What's The BEST Tool for Cutting Bamboo?

Frankly speaking:

The BEST tool depends on the thickness of the bamboo you’re cutting.

Here are my recommendations for different thicknesses: 👇

Hand Pruners (for 1" or less)

holding hand pruners

If you’re dealing with bamboo stalks 1″ (or less) in diameter, hand pruners are all you need.

They’re like the ninja assassins of gardening tools, and they do a fantastic job of cutting through smaller bamboo stalks like it’s butter. 

The BEST part??

Hand pruners provide a clean cut, so you won’t have to worry about any jagged edges or splintered bamboo.

cutting bamboo using hand pruners

Plus, they’re easy to use with one hand (so you can hold your drink with the other hand 🍺) and don’t take up much space in your gardening tool bag.

And don’t worry! They won’t cost you an arm and a leg either.

Handsaws (for 1" - 3")

For bamboo stalks between 1″ and 4″, I would recommend using a handsaw.

They’re easy to handle and don’t require too much strength, so you won’t be worn out by the time you’re done.

And let’s be REAL, who doesn’t love a good handsaw?? They’re like a throwback to the good old days of woodworking and DIY projects!

But bro, there’re various types of handsaws available! Which one should I pick?

To be honest: Almost any type of handsaw will do the job. (Let it be a hacksaw, crosscut saw, or bow saw!)

However, if you’re really serious about cutting bamboo (and you want to get it done fast), invest in an electric sawzall (aka “reciprocating saw“).

my dewalt sawzall.

No specific brand or model here! (I use a cordless DeWalt, but any brand will work)

Machete (up to 4")


Machetes are like the cool uncle of all gardening tools. They’re BIG, they’re bad, and they get the job done!

And YES, they’re perfect for those tough bamboo stalks that just won’t budge. With the long, sharp blade, they can take on even the thickest bamboo with ease.

cutting bamboo using a machete

And the best part?

You can use them for other stuff too, like clearing bushes, trimming trees, or even as a makeshift zombie apocalypse weapon! 🧟

Plus, they’re super affordable and easy to find at any hardware store. (On Amazon, 25″ machetes typically run for around $25).

Chainsaws (for 5" or more)

For bamboo 5″ (or more) in diameter, I prefer going with a chainsaw.

They’re powerful enough to cut through thick bamboo stalks in seconds, and they’ll make quick work of anything else you need to take care of.

cutting bamboo using a chainsaw

However, you need to be careful when cutting bamboo with a chainsaw.

Bamboo can pinch the blade tighter and differently than a tree, so be prepared for it to act differently.

And if the blade gets pinched, it can cause the chain to RIP off the bar, which isn’t a fun experience.

So, make sure you’re cutting at the right angle and always keeping an eye on the blade as you go. (And of course, don’t forget your wear protective gear!)

GoodBye Words!

Well, folks, that’s all I have for today.

Thanks for staying with me until the end. I hope now you know how to cut bamboo with a chainsaw the right way!

But before I leave, I would like give you with a little piece of advice: 👇

“Always wear your safety gear and never underestimate the power of a chainsaw.

And if you’re feeling unsure about this job, don’t be afraid to call in the pros (or at least watch some YouTube tutorials)!”

Alright, it’s been real. I’m off to sharpen my chains and stock up on fuel.

Until next time, keep on choppin’!

Samuel Anali

Hey there! My name is Sam, and I'm the NERD behind this site. I'm an avid chainsaw enthusiast, and I've been tinkering with them since I was 17 (it's almost 20 years now!).

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