How to Split Firewood with a Chainsaw – Detailed Manual

How to Split Firewood with a Chainsaw - Useful Guide 2021

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 split.

And if you can only chop manually — with an axe, then the sawing process can be simplified. A chainsaw is a popular and convenient tool for sawing and felling wood, pruning branches, cracking tree trunks, harvesting wood 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 saw. You can cut firewood with a one-or two-handed, bow or chainsaw. The ideal option is a 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 three supports: this way the structure will be more stable.
  • 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, you can quickly and easily process timber, but only if you are a professional in your field. Beginners should read this article to know how to properly cut the best trees for firewood with a chainsaw.

Types of Equipment

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

  • amateur models-designed for home use. They allow you to untie and fill up a couple of trees, as well as to cut firewood;
  • semi-professional – used for felling forests, pruning trees and knots;
  • professional devices-are used for industrial forest felling.

Tip: for home harvesting of firewood, 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 to split firewood with a chainsaw? First of all, 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 cut the decks 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 log;
  • 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 the workflow with an assistant, since he will be able not only to bring wood 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:

  • Place the log on the trestles-so that it lies stable. Let the middle of the log be exactly in the center of the structure.
  • Mark the log using a meter or a tape measure. Make notes with a hand saw or an axe. So you can immediately get to work without being distracted by measurements.
  • Start sawing. You can cut the log into two parts at once, then install one part and divide it into chunks. But this will require additional efforts.
  • It’s easier to start with the ends. Cut off the chocks from one and the other edge alternately, make sure that the log remains stable.
  • If you have a two-handed saw, it is better to start from the middle, otherwise you will have to hold the log.
  • 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 wood with a chainsaw is quite simple, especially if you are “armed” with an assistant and a log splitter. Before touching the log 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 in two approaches: up to half the width of the tree, 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 to split firewood with a chainsaw.


Chopping firewood can be very risky if you do not use the appropriate PPE. Regardless of whether you are using a wood saw, an axe or a chainsaw, it is always recommended to use face protection. This can be in the form of protective glasses.

For those who use a chainsaw to cut wood, hearing protection can be of great importance to prevent temporary tinnitus. The use of long-sleeved tops and trousers made of thick fabric will help prevent accidental cuts. Finally, a decent pair of protective gloves for the saw will help prevent the 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 wood can be. Many people also appreciate using a face mask or a neckerchief around the mouth and nose to prevent inhaling wood fibers.

If you cut down a dead tree or 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 from green trees, you need to give them up to 24 months to dry before using.

Those who want to make the whole process quick and easy will appreciate the power offered by the 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 wood (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 wood?

Traditionally, wood saws were used for sawing firewood. But saws on wood require a lot of effort by hand, so that the saw teeth cut through the wood. 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.

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 wood 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 cutting to size, a wood 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 wood without getting stuck in wood fibers.

How do you split firewood quickly?

Harvesting firewood with your own hands is a complex process that involves the use of a number of tools. The equipment 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 hand saw.
  • 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 wood 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 hand saw.

How do you split wood without a log splitter?

We do not recommend that you use a chainsaw without a log splitter, here is another example of how you can cut logs for firewood.

Once your tree 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 thicker logs, you can cut them in the middle to divide them into 2 halves.

Put fresh 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 or still moist 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 wood 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 a tree, then you need to stand to the left of the trunk 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 of the chain.

Thick and difficult to process branches, cut them in several passes. Start sawing with a chainsaw from the end to the base of the tree trunk. It should also be noted that without a certain support, the trunk can roll, and before starting the working process, make sure that the tree is lying securely and steadily. After pruning all the branches from the trunk, you can proceed to the next stage – cutting the tree 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 wood, 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, make a visual inspection of the tree trunk 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. 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. The whole process 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 tree trunk. With such actions, the tree will fall in the direction you need. If a tree falls, try to remove the chainsaw quickly enough.

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Sergey Cooper/ author of the article

My work for a long time was associated with the technical adjustment of equipment, repair of premises, with small locksmithing work. I worked in a chain of cafes.

Almost every day, the staff of the cafe needed my help, and I in return, having done their work, received a lot of smiles and thanks.

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