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Tool time: hardware/gardening products in Aussie households

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2010 – March 2011 (n=18,263) and April 2014 – March 2015 (n=15,913). NB: Whipper-snippers* denotes Whipper-snippers, brush-cutters and line-trimmers

Given the popularity of reality TV shows such as The Block and House Rules, one could be forgiven for assuming that Australians are a nation of power-tool-wielding, home-renovation buffs. And to a certain extent, they are: not only do the latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show that more than half of  Australian households have power tools in  them, they also reveal that chainsaw ownership is on the rise…

As of March 2015, 53% of Australian households have power tools in them, virtually unchanged since the same time in 2010. Lawnmower ownership has declined slightly over the last five years (from 62% to 60%), as has the proportion of Aussie households with a whipper-snipper/brush-cutter/line-trimmer (from 51% to 48%).

Chainsaw ownership, on the other hand, has grown: 27% of households now have a chainsaw, up from 24% in 2010.

Ownership of hardware/gardening products in Australia: 2011 vs 2015


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), April 2010 – March 2011 (n=18,263) and April 2014 – March 2015 (n=15,913). NB: Whipper-snippers* denotes Whipper-snippers, brush-cutters and line-trimmers

Love is a whirring power tool (or a buzzing whipper-snipper)

Whether there are power tools, chainsaws and/or garden gear in a household depends very much on the living arrangements of its inhabitants. People living with their partner are most likely to have these items at home: couples with no children have the highest ownership of power tools (66%) and chainsaws (37%), while couples with kids are more likely than others to own lawnmowers (72%) and whipper-snippers (60%).

Ownership rates fall among Aussies who live alone or as single parents, although there is a huge disparity between the genders. For example, single-father households are much more likely than single-mother households to contain power tools (61% vs 30%), chainsaws (22% vs 10%), lawnmowers (66% vs 55%) and whipper-snippers (55% vs 36%). Likewise, men who live alone are more likely than women to own these items.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The Australian market for garden/hardware items is large and diverse, as the findings reported above indicate. The slight overall decline in ownership of these items is consistent with a slight drop in the proportion of separate houses (from 83% to 81%) and a corresponding increase in smaller residences such as flats, villas, units and terrace homes (from 16% to 18%) with smaller-scale maintenance and renovation requirements.

“However, savvy retailers and manufacturers of these items know that even as the size of some households is decreasing, there are other household types where the need for such products is only too apparent: such as those headed by single mothers or solo women. Reaching these groups would require a rethink of the male-focused marketing traditionally employed in this field.

“As for the growth in chainsaw ownership…your guess is as good as ours!”

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About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%