How to Cut Firewood With A Chainsaw: Your Quickstart Guide to Bucking

How do you Cut Firewood With A Chainsaw? Cutting firewood with a chainsaw can be a time-effective way to heat your home in the winter. Buying firewood from a store is convenient.

But, without access to a nearby firewood provider, cutting your own makes getting firewood easier. Let’s not forget that it can save you money. This article will teach you how to cut firewood with a chainsaw like a pro.

Preparation: Equipment You Need

Part of effectively cutting firewood with a chainsaw has the right equipment. You’ll, of course, need a chainsaw, but you’ll also need other supplies to ensure safe and efficient cutting, such as a sawhorse and safety gear.

Firewood Chainsaw

A firewood chainsaw is the most critical piece of equipment you’ll need. They work explicitly for cutting firewood. Firewood chainsaws come in different sizes and engine power.

So select a chainsaw that can easily handle the size of logs you’ll be cutting. You also have the option of getting a battery or gas-operated chainsaw.


man using sawhorse to measure wood

(man using sawhorse to measure wood)

The next most important piece of equipment you’ll need is a sawhorse. A sawhorse lets you secure the log with straps so you can use both hands to control the saw. It will ensure that your logs are adequately supported while being cut. It will also reduce the risk of the chainsaw slipping off the wood and injuring you. 

Safety Gear

safety goggles for eye safety

(safety goggles for eye safety)

Chainsaws can be dangerous, so it’s essential to wear the proper protective gear. Safety should be your priority when operating a firewood chainsaw. Proper protective equipment includes gloves, safety glasses, hearing protection, and a hard hat or helmet. 

Gloves will provide additional grip and protection when handling the saw. Safety glasses will protect your eyes from any flying debris. Ear plugs or earmuffs are also necessary to protect your hearing.

A hard hat is also good since it will help protect your head if the saw slips off the wood. Wear long pants and sleeves to protect your skin from flying debris. 

How to Cut Firewood With a Chainsaw

Now that you have the right equipment, it’s time to start cutting firewood. Here are the seven steps you must follow when cutting firewood with a chainsaw.

Clear the Area Around the Log

Clearing the area around the log you’re cutting is a crucial step that should not get overlooked. Remove any rocks, sticks, or other debris around the log. It will help reduce the risk of flying debris that could cause injury.

Avoid the Kickback Zone

Be sure to stay out of the area in front of the chainsaw’s tip or the kickback zone. The chainsaw is so powerful that if anything gets caught in the chain, it can kick back with dangerous force. The kickback can pull the chainsaw away from you and cause you to lose control of it. 

Cut Off Branches (Limbing)

limbing a tree for safer bucking

(limbing a tree for safer bucking)

Before you start cutting the log into pieces, removing any attached branches is a good idea (limbing). It’s important to do this before bucking the log because it will make the bucking process more manageable and safer. It prevents smaller wood pieces from getting caught in the chainsaw and causing a kickback. 

By the way, bucking is the process of cutting a log into pieces that will fit into your fireplace.

Measure the Length of Your Cuts

Now it’s time to start cutting the log. Measure each cut so that you get uniform pieces of firewood. You can eyeball the length of the wood based on your wood stove or fireplace. Most wood stoves can hold 16-inch pieces of wood. 

Let the Chainsaw Do the Work

Once you’ve measured and marked the cut, place the saw’s tip on the wood and start cutting. Relax and avoid moving around too much. The chainsaw will do the work for you, so let it.

Keep both hands on the saw at all times. Avoid the urge to push and pull the chainsaw. The bucking spikes on the front will help guide the saw through the wood. 

Avoid Pinching the Chainsaw

As you’re cutting the wood, be sure to avoid pinching the chainsaw. Pinching occurs when the saw is pushed into the wood too hard. It creates a small space between the log and the saw.

Not only is this dangerous, but it can also cause damage to the chainsaw. Avoid pinching by elevating the log and cutting one side at a time. 

Split Logs into Firewood

After cutting the log into pieces, you can use a splitting maul or axe to split the logs into firewood. A splitting maul is an axe-like tool with a wedge on one side and a flat blade on the other.

It splits logs by wedging the blade into the log and then striking the wedge with a hammer. Hatchets and log splitters also work to split logs into firewood. 

Can You Split Firewood With a Chainsaw?

Yes, you can split firewood with a chainsaw. However, you’ll get the best results with an 18-inch chainsaw. If you are cutting more giant trunks, use a 20 to 24-inch chainsaw.

Is It Better to Cut Wet or Dry Wood With a Chainsaw?

Wet wood is much easier to cut with a chainsaw because it’s softer and more pliable. Wet wood enhances the lifespan of your chainsaw. It can help reduce the amount of strain on the chain and motor. Dry wood is more brittle and harder to cut. 

Wrapping Up How to Cut Firewood With a Chainsaw

proper safety gear to prevent injury

(proper safety gear to prevent injury)

Learning how to cut firewood safely with a chainsaw is a vital part of owning a chainsaw. This article’s safety advice and instructions will help you start safely and efficiently cutting firewood with your chainsaw.

Remember to wear protective gear and follow proper safety protocols when using a chainsaw. With practice, you’ll be able to cut firewood quickly and easily.