How to Cut Firewood With a Chainsaw – Step by Step GUIDE for Different Types of Firewood

Published Categorized as Chainsaw How To Guides

There’s nothing like a roaring fire to warm up on a cold night. However, before you can enjoy the heat, you need to prepare the fuel. Cutting firewood is a challenging task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a rewarding one.

A chainsaw is a powerful tool that can make quick work of cutting logs, rounds, and limbs into firewood. In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to cut firewood with a chainsaw for different types of firewood.

Crop worker cutting log in forest

Table of Contents

Can You Cut Firewood With a Chainsaw?

The answer is yes. A chainsaw is an excellent tool for cutting firewood, and it’s faster and more efficient than using an axe or a saw. However, it’s important to note that chainsaws can be dangerous if not used properly. It’s crucial to follow safety guidelines and use protective gear, such as gloves, eye protection, and ear protection.

Best Way to Cut Firewood With a Chainsaw

Before you start cutting firewood with a chainsaw, you need to have a plan. Decide how much firewood you need and what type of firewood you want. Different types of wood have different densities and textures, which affect how they are cut.

Some woods, like oak and hickory, are harder and denser, which means they require a more powerful chainsaw and more effort to cut. Softer woods, like pine and cedar, are easier to cut and require less power.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Cut Firewood with Chainsaw

Cutting logs into firewood is the most common task when it comes to preparing firewood. Whether you want to learn how to cut logs into firewood with chainsaw, how to cut rounds of firewood with chainsaw, or how to cut limbs into firewood with chainsaw, this method can be used for all firewood tasks. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

How to Cut Firewood With a Chainsaw

Choose the Right Chainsaw

The first step in cutting firewood with a chainsaw is to choose the right tool for the job. Chainsaws come in a variety of sizes and styles, and the one you choose will depend on the size of the logs you plan to cut. For most homeowners, a medium-sized chainsaw with a 16- to 20-inch bar length is a good choice. However, if you plan to cut larger logs, you may want to consider a larger chainsaw with a longer bar. Visit our Best Firewood Chainsaw article for our top picks and reviews!

Prepare Your Work Area

Before you begin cutting, it’s important to prepare your work area. Clear away any debris or obstacles that could get in your way, and make sure you have a level surface to work on. It’s also a good idea to mark the logs you plan to cut so you know exactly where to make your cuts.

Put on Your Safety Gear

Cutting firewood with a chainsaw can be dangerous, so it’s important to wear the proper safety gear. This includes eye and ear protection, a hard hat, gloves, and chainsaw chaps or other protective clothing.

Start Your Chainsaw

To start your chainsaw, first, make sure the chain brake is engaged. Then, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for starting the chainsaw. Once it’s running, let it warm up for a few minutes before you begin cutting.

Make Your First Cut

When you’re ready to start cutting, position the chainsaw above the log and make your first cut straight down into the wood. This cut should be about one-third of the diameter of the log. Once you’ve made the first cut, turn the log over and make a second cut in the same location, creating a V-shaped notch in the log.

Make Your Second Cut

Next, make your second cut by placing the chainsaw in the V-shaped notch you just created and cutting straight through the log from top to bottom. This cut should be slightly above the first cut you made so that the weight of the log will help guide the chainsaw as it cuts through the wood.

Make Your Final Cuts

After you’ve made your second cut, the log should be cut in half. From here, you can continue to cut each half into smaller pieces as needed. To do this, simply place the chainsaw on top of the log and make a cut straight through the wood. Repeat this process until the log is cut into the desired size.

Tips for Cutting Different Types of Firewood

Cutting firewood with a chainsaw is a fairly straightforward process, but there are some tips and tricks that can help you cut different types of wood more easily.


When cutting hardwood, it’s important to use a sharp chainsaw with a high chain speed. Hardwood is much denser than softwood, so it requires a lot of power to cut through. It’s also a good idea to use a chainsaw with a longer bar length when cutting hardwood, as this will allow you to make longer cuts.


Softwood is much easier to cut than hardwood, so you don’t need as much power to get through it. However, softwood tends to be resinous, which can cause the chainsaw chain to become gummed up. To prevent this, it’s a good idea to clean your chainsaw chain regularly when cutting softwood.

Green Wood

Cutting green wood can be challenging because it’s full of moisture, which can make the wood more difficult to cut. To make cutting green wood easier, use a chainsaw with a longer bar length and a high chain speed. You may also want to consider using a chainsaw chain with larger teeth, as this will help the chain cut through the wood more easily.

Dry Wood

Dry wood is much easier to cut than green wood, but it can also be more brittle. To prevent the wood from splintering or cracking as you cut it, make sure your chainsaw chain is sharp and use a low chain speed when cutting dry wood.

Learn more about firewood in the following articles:


Cutting firewood with a chainsaw is a great way to prepare for winter and ensure that you have plenty of wood to heat your home. By following the steps outlined in this article and using the right chainsaw for the job, you can cut firewood quickly and safely.

Just remember to always wear the proper safety gear and take your time when cutting to avoid accidents. With a little practice, you’ll be cutting firewood like a pro in no time!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can you use a chainsaw to cut firewood?

Yes, a chainsaw is a commonly used tool to cut firewood. It is fast, efficient, and can cut through various types of wood.

Is it OK to split wood with a chainsaw?

While a chainsaw can be used to split wood, it is not recommended. Chainsaws are designed for cutting, not splitting, and can be dangerous when used inappropriately. A log splitter or splitting maul is a better tool for splitting wood.

What is the best way to cut wood with a chainsaw?

The best way to cut wood with a chainsaw is to follow the step-by-step guide mentioned in the article above. Additionally, it is important to choose the right chainsaw for the job, wear the proper safety gear, and prepare the work area before cutting.

Is it OK to cut wet logs with chainsaw?

Cutting wet logs with a chainsaw is not recommended. Wet wood can cause the chainsaw chain to become gummed up, making it difficult to cut through the wood. Additionally, wet wood can be more dangerous to cut as it is more likely to splinter or crack. It is recommended to let the logs dry before cutting them with a chainsaw.

By Dave Cross

Hi, I'm Dave. I’ve been sawing for more than 40 years. I feel most at home when I’m surrounded by nature and my saws, but occasionally, I’ll share some of my know-how and experience on Cross Saw Mill.

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