How To Cut A Log Lengthwise With A Chainsaw?

How To Cut A Log Lengthwise With A Chainsaw

Each piece of furniture requires different sizes and particular shapes of woodblock. If you are an amateur woodcutter, there are many things you need to learn to improve your skills.

Amongst these basic lessons, knowing how to cut a log lengthwise with a chainsaw correctly is essential. This article will guide you through this most basic lesson. Let’s scroll down for more details!

Type of chainsaws You Should Choose For Cutting A Log

Pocket Chain saw

The pocket chainsaw has two handles at both ends connected by a long and sharp saw. Specifically, you can use it by wrapping around the target then moving back and forth.

The downside of this chainsaw type is that it is only suitable for small objects and takes a lot of force and time to completely cut the log.

On the other hand, it is an affordable and easiest choice for a beginner to handle.

Pocket chainsaw

Pole Chainsaw

A pole chainsaw is a hand-held saw with a single blade and a long handle. However, it is only used for trimming around the surface of the wood, cutting branches, or shaping the woodblock because the pole chainsaw is not as strong as other saws.

Gas Powered Chainsaw

A gas chainsaw is a fairly popular type, thanks to its versatility. Hence, you can use it to cut wood of any size.

On the bright side, it exerts a greater force than the others, which is why it can take care of everything from small branches to large logs.

However, be mindful that you must equip yourself with protective equipment while using this chainsaw due to the loud noise it generates.

This saw is also quite bulky and requires a lot of strength from the upper body. Some newbies have to struggle for a long time to get used to it.

Pneumatic Chainsaw

Pneumatic chainsaw

The pneumatic chainsaw is mainly utilized in industry or high volume production, so its remarkable characteristic is the anti-overheating for the edges and fuel-saving.

Cutting wood in a straight line becomes an easy task with a pneumatic chainsaw; you can even use it for metal or concrete.

However, this saw is quite expensive and is not an optimal choice if you do not use it often.

How To Cut A Log Lengthwise With A Chainsaw?

When To Cut Logs Lengthwise?

If you want to make your piece of furniture, one suggestion is to start with a solid wood block and divide it up according to the blueprint.

Cutting a log lengthwise helps you create the right size blocks for benches, wardrobes, or shelves.

Homeowners who want to actively build their house can also invest in a chainsaw and use it to cut long logs to form a fence, cabin, or warehouse.

A chainsaw is also a valuable item for people living in remote areas. Normally, you cannot find lumber, but it is possible to use mature trees to build a house.

In short, whenever you need long logs, cutting them lengthwise is a must. If you are new to it, do not hesitate to dig into the next section to find the most detailed instructions.

6 Steps To To Cut A Log Lengthwise With A Chainsaw:

Step 1: Prepare Before Cutting

There are various choices of chainsaws, and each has different uses. Therefore, you need to consider your work well to come up with the right one.

After that, prepare enough fuel when using the gas or pneumatic chainsaw to keep the machine running without disruption, especially when you perform wood cutting in a remote area.

It would be best to check the blade; a sharp and clean one will make the cutting easier.

If you are new to the machine, do not forget to read the manual carefully. The safety principles covered herein should be well understood.

Last but not least, never turn on the machine without equipping yourself with protective equipment. Here are three main things that must be equipped:

  • A safety goggle to protect your eyes from sawdust. You also need to consider a helmet with integrated ear goggles and a face shield when using a gas chainsaw.
  • A chainsaw glove will suppress the vibration. It can also protect your hands from injury if the saw accidentally breaks.
  • Well-fitting protective clothing does not interfere with your operation. A boot rather than flip-flops should accompany it.

Step 2: Create A Stable Surface

Before starting on the main job, you need to clean the work area. Please remember to remove obstacles near the log to avoid tripping hazards.

Also, it is important to keep an eye on the top area of the saw blade, called the kickback zone. Any small branches around this area can result in the kickback of the machine when they accidentally collide.

The kickback zone of chainsaw

Besides, we recommend you to work in a low-traffic area, as this condition will let you focus more on creating precise straight cuts. Be mindful to avoid making noise or causing danger to the people around.

Step 3: Cut Off All Branches

It is best to remove excess branches before cutting a log lengthwise because this makes your future execution easier and more time-saving.

Additionally, it is essential to eliminate elements that are dangerous to the workflow.

You can use a pole chainsaw, as we mentioned above, instead of the heavy one that can drain your energy. In case you do not have this type, you can replace it with a small forest ax.

Although it may take a short amount of time, it is still a good choice.

Step 4: Place The Log In The Correct Position

Subsequently, set the log lengthwise in a previously prepared area. If it is too long, you need to fix the ends to limit the movement.

You can also make a checkmark at the top of the log to determine the correct direction of the blade. Then, bring the chainsaw and place it in the marked position.

You need to pay attention to adjusting your standing posture to limit the burden on the shoulder, and the upper part can still support the chainsaw.

Specifically, you must keep the distance between your legs equal or wider than the shoulder length.

This posture makes it possible to extend the working time and protect you from the strong impact of the machine.

Using chainsaw posture

Step 5: Do The Cutting

Hold the chainsaw with both hands and be prepared for the change to occur when it starts to hit the log.

A common mistake that many people make is to constantly pull and push the chainsaw. To be more specific, this is only for using man-powered chainsaws.

If the saw you use is fuel-powered, turn it on and let the machine do its job.

Trying to change the position of the machine can result in a less subtle cut. One worst scenario is a sudden shock that leads to unforeseen accidents.

During the cutting process, you should try to maintain a 90-degree angle from the log’s surface. Furthermore, keep in mind to stay focused and patient during the cutting process.

If you feel tired, take a break to regain your energy. But first, make sure the chainsaw is turned off.

Step 6: Clean The Chainsaw

Cleaning the machine after each use helps prolong the machine’s life and save a lot of time for the next time.

However, let the blade cool down first after the job is done. Then use a soft towel to remove the sawdust. After that, clean edges and lubricate bullets to keep them sharp.


Can I Use A Chainsaw To Mill A Log?

The answer is absolute YES. It is highly recommended to choose a suitable mill bar, usually 24 inches. To match it, you also need a 24 inches chainsaw.

Remove the machine’s cover and change the chain if it is not the right one; it would help if you fixed the machine with a mill bar. After checking the connection, you can start milling the log with a chainsaw.

Can I Use A Chainsaw To Rip A Log?

In this case, we recommend that you use a pulling chain with a chainsaw to parallel cut the wood.

Build a chainsaw holder by placing two wooden boards at a 90-degree angle. Subsequently, turn on the machine and let it rip a log.

Can I Split A Log By Hand?

You should only use this method when the wood is dry and old. However, it would be best if you still had a hatchet and hammer support.

Place a wedge in the position where you want to split, then hit it with a hammer several times. After you notice that the cut becomes fragile, you can use your hand to separate it.

Using a hammer and wedge to hit the log before splitting

How To Cut A Log In Half-lumber?

A mini chainsaw is enough to solve this problem. In detail, you only need to mount it easily like a battery chainsaw, mark the log and start cutting from that position.

If the log size looks large, you can use a hammer and wedge cut into half first.

How To Handle A Pinched Cutting Blade?

Sometimes your saw can get stuck in the log while working. The most important thing you must do first is to turn off the machine immediately before taking any further action.

Just calm down because there are many solutions to this problem.

The first way is you can try opening the lid. If you still cannot separate, simply disassemble the chainsaw and pull out the jammed blade with your hand.

Alternatively, you can prop the part you are cutting from below to remove the blade.

This approach is more secure since it restricts the compressive force caused by the weight of the log. If possible, ask someone to hold the saw while you do the above because it may fall off rapidly.

How To Cut Large Logs With A Chainsaw (Add Small Chainsaw)

An important point to keep in mind when handling large logs is the tension at their center. As a result, your saw blade tends to get stuck at this point as it moves deeper and lower.

A wedge is an indispensable choice to solve this problem. Placing it in the middle of the bottom of the log can also save you a lot of energy.

As an alternative, you can switch the cutting direction from the opposite side when you find it difficult to move the blade.

A more challenging scenario is that your chainsaw is smaller than the size of the log. Thus, this means that the blade cannot generate enough force, nor is it long enough to cut across the log.

In this case, we recommend starting at the smaller diameter end of the log. After reaching the point where the diameters of the two objects are equal, rotate the saw blade 90 degrees.

However, you should only perform this action when the cutting edge is about 75% covered because this depth is the best condition to limit the case of the machine from falling backward.

Can I Use Something Else To Cut A Log Lengthwise?

We do not suggest you use anything other than a chainsaw to cut a log lengthwise. The main reason is that it does not generate enough force nor keep the cut in a certain exact direction.

For large logs, it would be best to use fuel saws such as a gas chainsaw or pneumatic chainsaw, as they will save a lot of time and energy for your work. In addition, if you are skillful enough, straight cuts are not too difficult with these saws.

In Conclusion

This article has just shown you how to cut a log lengthwise with a chainsaw.

It is not too complicated work but requires carefulness and meticulousness; please follow step-by-step what we have instructed. If you want to improve your skills, it would be best to practice regularly.

We hope that you can successfully create your beautiful furniture!

Read more: Chainsaw Tips for Beginners

Recent Posts