How to Split Firewood with a Chainsaw – Detailed Manual

How to Split Firewood with a Chainsaw - Useful Guide 2022

As a rule, firewood is sold already in a ready-chopped form, and it remains only to decompose them correctly and prepare them for winter. But sometimes a summer resident or a resident of a private house has to deal with logs, which will first have to be cut into equal parts, and then chop.

And if you can only chop manually — with an axe, then cutting firewood can be simplified. A chainsaw is a popular and convenient tool for sawing and felling timber, pruning branches, cracking large tree trunks, harvesting timber fuel. How to split firewood with a chainsaw?

Devices for Sawing

how to split firewood with a chainsaw

First you need to prepare the workplace, take care of convenience and safety:

  • A sawing machine. You can cut firewood with a chainsaw with a one-or two-handed, bow or chainsaw. The ideal option is a gas powered chainsaw: it will speed up the work, allow you to do it alone. A two-handed one will require the help of another person, an archer one will require a lot of time.
  • A log splitter. You can place a log on the trestles. This device can be made independently or purchased. Ideally, use trestles on a self made support: this way the structure will be more stable. Additionally you should use claw bars and splitting mauls.
  • Clothing and shoes. Do not do sawing in slates and shorts. Wear tight shoes and clothing — this way you will avoid scratches.

With the help of the device, cutting firewood with a chainsaw from large logs into smaller logs becomes quick and easy, but only if you are a professional with a lot of personal experience in your field. Also you should have the right tools such as a felling lever, claw bars, a sledge hammer, a splitting maul, etc. Beginners should read this article to know ways of cutting logs with a gas powered chainsaw.

Types of Equipment

In fact, it is extremely important to choose the right power tools depending on the scope of work and their features. Modern chainsaws are divided into three main categories:

  • amateur chainsaws-designed for home use. They allow you to untie and fill up a couple of trees, as well as to cut firewood with a chainsaw for a fireplace;
  • ssemi-professional chainsaws – used for felling forests, pruning trees and knots, as well as to cut firewood;
  • professional chainsaws, -are used for industrial forest felling with a felling lever, and to cut firewood. Usually used by people with personal experience in the job.

Tip: for cutting firewood with a chainsaw at home, it is worth taking an amateur version, since such products are light, functional and compact.

Features of the Preparatory Stage

how to split firewood with a chainsaw

How does firewood cutting work? First of all, before you cut logs, you need to prepare the tool: fill it with a fuel mixture, lubricate the cutting element with oil, check the chain tension. When the device is ready to work, pay attention to the timber:

  • it is better to make a firewood cut on a log splitter, on which the blanks are installed;
  • to carry out the opening, it is necessary to ensure a reliable fixation of the trunk;
  • to ensure a convenient roll, you need to decide on one of the sides, in fact, in which the deck will be placed.

Recommendation: it is better to perform firewood cutting with an assistant, since he will be able not only to bring timber blanks, but also to hold them when cutting.

How to Split Firewood with a Chainsaw

how to split firewood with a chainsaw

The process is not as complicated as it seems. First, you need to determine the optimal length of one chock. It should be less than the diameter or depth of the furnace by 20-30 cm. Otherwise, the finished firewood will not fit in the stove or fireplace, and they will have to be sawed again. Have you measured it? Now:

  • Lift the trunk and lay it on the trestles-so that it lies stable. Let the middle of the trunk be exactly in the center of the structure.
  • Mark the trunk using a meter or a forest tape measure. Make marked sections with a handsaw or an axe. With marked points you can immediately get to work without being distracted by measurements.
  • Start sawing. You can cut the trunk into two parts at once, then install one part and divide it into chunks. But this will require additional efforts.
  • IIt’s easier to start with the ends. Cut off the chocks from one and the other edge alternately, make sure that the trunk remains stable.
  • If you have a two-handed, it is better to start from the middle, otherwise you will have to hold the trunk.
  • Put the finished chocks in a pile, on a present or other dry surface. Let it dry a little — it will be much easier to prick them this way.

In principle, sawing timber with a chainsaw is quite simple, especially if you are “armed” with an assistant and a log splitter for firewood cutting. Before touching the timber with the chain, accelerate the engine to the maximum. Do not forget to control the pressure when the motor is loaded.

Important: the chainsaw, which is in working condition, should not be located in front, but on the side.

Trunk uncoupling is carried out with the right equipment in two approaches: up to the other half the width of the timber, cuts are performed, turning it 180 degrees, after which it is completely cut.

The branches should be cut off with the extreme tire section, so as not to drive the cutting tool into the ground. It’s how splitting firewood with a chainsaw works.


Chopping firewood can be a very risky job if you do wear safety gear. Regardless of your instrument, it is always recommended to use face protection. This can be in the form of safety glasses.

For those who use a chainsaw to cut timber, hearing protection can be of great importance to prevent temporary tinnitus. The use of safety equipment such as long-sleeved tops and trousers made of thick fabric will help prevent accidental cuts. Finally, a decent pair of protective gloves will help prevent the risk of formation of blisters and splinters.

For those who use a log splitter. A decent pair of protective shoes will help prevent broken toes. It can be surprising how heavy freshly cut timber can be, so safety gear is necessary. Many people also appreciate using safety equipment such as a face mask or a neckerchief around the mouth and nose to prevent the risk of inhaling timber fibers.

If you pulled large branches out of the ground to use them as firewood, they can usually be used for 2-3 months. However, if you have cut firewood with chainsaw from saplings, you need to give them up to 24 months to dry before using.

Those who want to make the whole process quick and easy with appropriate safety gear will appreciate the power offered by the chainsaw.

We advise you to read the information carefully and find out how to store chainsaw



Can you split wood with chainsaw?

In the range of hand tools, this one is indispensable when it is necessary to cut significant volumes of timber (harvesting firewood with a saw, wooden house construction, felling dead wood, other types of work). For private households, provided that a chainsaw for firewood is used for a short time with significant interruptions in work, battery and electric chain saws can be purchased instead. But in new non-electrified areas, when logging, such a tool is an alternative choice that can speed up work and increase productivity.

What is the best tool for splitting timber?

Traditionally, woodsaws were used for sawing firewood. But saws on timber require a lot of effort by hand, so that the teeth cut through the timber. Wood saws are the least popular option at the moment due to the amount of energy that needs to be applied, especially when working with particularly large logs apart from smaller logs.

The most popular option today is a high-quality chainsaw. They quickly and efficiently cut logs into small parts corresponding to the size of the furnace. The choice of a suitable chainsaw will depend on how much timber and its size you are going to cut. An excellent example of a chainsaw for sawing firewood is the Husqvarna 440 E-series II chainsaw. The high output power of 1.8 kW and the Smart Start function allow you to use it for sawing any number of firewood.

After sawing to size, a chopping axe is a great way to divide large blocks into wedges that will fit inside your firebox. Wood chopping axes are designed for chopping without getting stuck in fibers.

How do you chop firewood quickly?

Harvesting firewood with your own hands is a complex procedure that involves the use of a number of tools. The utensils for volumetric cutting should be substantial. To answer the question above, we have arranged the tools from the fastest to the slowest.

  • Chainsaw (semi-professional or professional).
  • Electric saw. It works from the network. It will be convenient in places where there is electricity. Otherwise, you will have to use a handsaw.
  • A cleaver axe. It differs from a conventional tool in that the handle is longer and the blade is thicker. The cleaver splits the logs into logs well, without getting stuck in the timber fibers, that’s why it’s called that.
  • A woodcutter or a simple axe. Designed for harvesting standard logs. The first option is an automatic device that facilitates the work of a person. The second one takes up less space and requires physical effort.

If you are harvesting a small amount of firewood for a country village house, you can use a handsaw.

How do you chop wood with chainsaw without a log splitter?

We do not recommend that you use a chainsaw without a log splitter, here is another example of ways of splitting thick tree trunks.

Once your timber is ready to be turned into firewood, you can use a log splitter. Sawhorses are equipment that lifts the log off the ground and prevents the chainsaw from hitting the dirt. It is recommended to cut branches and logs into easy-to-handle sections with a length of 1 meter.

Place the pre-sawn logs with a length of 1 meter on the trestles. Secure the log securely in place with a tie belt so that it does not move while you are working with it.

Turn on the chainsaw and place it on the first part of the log that you want to cut.

Cut the log into sections about 30 cm long so that they fit in your furnace. For splitting logs with chainsaw, you can cut them in the middle to divide them into 2 halves.

Put fresh and wet wood in a dry place and let it dry well. This can take up to two years. By dividing the firewood into smaller parts, they will dry faster. The use of wet wood can lead to the formation of excessive smoke and the consumption of more heat for burning.

How to cut a felled tree with a chainsaw?

The timber is cut at full throttle by the section of the tire that is closest to the body of the mechanism. And for each material it is necessary to use its own specific method of cutting. If you want to cut branches from timber, then you need to stand to the left of the timber and start sawing at the bottom. Perform all movements slowly. Cutting is carried out using the nose of the tire, namely the upper and lower blades.

Thick branches, cut them in several passes. Start sawing with a chainsaw from the end to the base of the timber. It should also be noted that without a certain self made support, the timber can rotate, and before starting the job, make sure that the timber is lying securely and steadily. After pruning all the branches from the timber, you can proceed to the next stage – cutting the timber into several parts. Be very careful, because the barrel due to the intense jerks of the chainsaw can roll on you.

If the saw blade is stuck in the timber, do not pull it out. Turn off the saw motor and tilt the barrel slightly. If you decide to cut large trees with a chainsaw, then you will definitely not be able to cope alone. You will need at least one assistant who will help you in case of an emergency. Before you start cutting firewood, make a visual inspection of the timber for the presence of dry and rotten branches, because they can fall on you.

It is also worth paying attention to the neighboring trees so that they do not interfere with the work of cutting firewood. Next, stand to the right of the tree, and hold the tool to the side. This will significantly reduce the load on the hands and spine. Cutting firewood is divided into a file and a main file. Start sawing at an angle of forty-five degrees to one-fourth of the depth of the timber. With such actions, the tree will fall in the direction you need. If a tree falls, try to remove the chainsaw quickly enough.

Also check how to remove stump with chainsaw.

Serg Cooper
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