Cutting logs with an ax is not only strenuous but also time-wasting and dangerous. Therefore, we recommend a faster and easier way of doing that, in the form of a chainsaw. Although they can be hazardous machines, the chainsaw will undoubtedly work wonders that the ordinary ax could not.
Like we mentioned earlier, the chainsaw is undoubtedly risky, so it would be best if you’re careful whenever you use them.
Once you’ve understood a few basics on how to cut logs with a chainsaw, namely, wearing safety equipment, positioning, measuring your cuts, etc., you’ll be surprised at how straightforward it will be.
We have found out that many people waste so much time cutting logs in the wrong way and have even hurt themselves as a result. That is why we’ve highlighted below possible safe and efficient guides on cutting of logs with a chainsaw.
How to Cut Logs with A Chainsaw
Step 1: Wearing Appropriate Safety Equipment
We know the reason for including wearing safety equipment as one of the ways you require in cutting logs with a chainsaw.
We have even made it the first step, as most people have failed to understand that anything that has to do with cutting chainsaws is dangerous. Therefore, appropriate safety equipment is required.
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But, what exactly are the safety equipment you need? We have 3 or 4 main safety equipment you can use when operating a chainsaw, namely, chainsaw gloves, chaps, a chainsaw helmet, and a pair of boots.
They are all critical equipment that can mean a lot of differences between a minor scratch and a major injury.
Chainsaw gloves consist of Kevlar on the backs, which helps to protect you from any potential chain breaks that tend to spin and hit the back of your hands. It can also protect your hands from any chainsaw kickback and serve as opposition or protection against vibrations.
Chaps are safety equipment you wear through your pants and around your legs. It is made up of one external tough but slick material and some internal fibrous layers.
Chaps can protect you from light blows by making the chain slide off the external layer of the chaps and causing the fibers in the internal layer to join the chain and get pulled inside the drive sprocket, hence, slowing down the blades or even stopping it.
Chainsaw helmet consist of the helmet itself that protects your head from branches or potential accidents, and in-built ear protectors and face screen.
The ear protectors help to protect your ears from the noise of the machine, while the face screen acts as a face shield against projectiles.
Step 2: Positioning Strategy
If you are using a chainsaw, you should be mindful of your positioning or posture, as good posture gives you better balance every time.
Make sure you stretch out your feet wider than your shoulder length, as it will make the other parts of your body give more balanced support to the chainsaw.
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Good positioning also helps to avoid weariness or fatigue. Just ensure that in the area you are positioning that nothing will cause you to lose balance.
Always focus on the job at the moment because even the smallest of distractions can make you lose your footing, leading to any disastrous situation.
Step 3: Cutting Strategy
Having provided the appropriate safety equipment and taken the right position to get balance, the next thing is how to start your cutting process to get a successful result.
There are two ways to cut your logs with a chainsaw; cutting upwards or downwards strategy.
It would be best to cut downwards, as gravity regularly pulls the cut logs downwards is the most convenient and safest of the two methods. This strategy is carried out by placing the chainsaw over the log and cutting through it.
However, in cases where the log or any part you intend to cut is undergoing serious tensions, downward cutting could result in the saw getting pinched and even getting hooked.
Therefore, when this happens, consider the other option (upward cutting) by placing the machine underneath the log and cutting upwards through it. You can also avoid bigger logs from pinching or ceasing the chain by using a plastic wedge.
Step 4: Start Your Cuttings with the Branches
The first and best place to start your cuttings, especially with felled trees, is the branches. Before encroaching into other parts of the tree, make sure you cut off every little and useless branch that you don’t need.
You can do this by positioning the chainsaw blade at the base of the branches to enable you to catch clean cuts.
Most times, you ought to locate the more giant and stronger of the branches that may be anchoring the tree trunk over the ground.
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This is because such branches serve as supports by elevating the trunk for a more straightforward cutting, and at the same time, make your machine’s chain stay as far away as possible from debris that could hinder smooth cutting.
If I were you, I would create a plan to see me cut the tree to ensure the biggest branch, which I had used for my support, would be the last thing I cut. You can see exactly what I am talking about below;
Surely, the more progress you make from the branches towards the base of the tree during your cutting, the more you will find out that the tree trunk is slowly becoming thicker. At this point, you should probably do the cutting in an A-framed house shape.
In other words, it should be in 45-degree slants; after that, you can focus on cutting either using an upward or downward strategy, during which the two sides of the wood are cut uniformly.
There are times you will notice the trunk becoming so heavy to pull from the ground, thereby becoming a challenge when you’re cutting the trunk and protecting the saw chain from coming in contact with debris.
When this happens, what is required of you is to utilize a strategy called HajksnHalf-Cut Technique.
Using the half-cut technique requires you pre-cut the trunk in the sizes of your choice, based on what you want to do with the logs, and leave either two or three inches uncut.
Turn the trunk over and over until you can gain access to the uncut part, which is when you are now free to cut through gradually till the cuts converge.
How to Hold Logs While Cutting with Chainsaw
Irrespective of the means of cutting, you’ll still find it challenging to cut logs. Logs are heavy materials and need to be held up for proper cutting.
However, because of their weight, it is not easy for an individual to hold it alone. Yet, you’ve to hold them, as it will enable you to cut effectively.
Are you confused about how to hold logs while cutting with a chainsaw? We have come up with the best, the convenient, and safest methods to do that. Scroll down to find out:
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Hold log tightly in between your knee
This method is the most common of all. It places the log in front of you, thereby making it less complicated for you than it would’ve been. Here, you sacrifice a knee or two for the logs depending on how big, and heavy the log is.
Use a Log Holder
This method is viable, as the log holder is fastened to the upper side of your electric chainsaw, thereby making it easier to hold logs in place. When a log holder holds a log, it won’t allow the logs to move while you’re cutting them.
This method is most common with people who cut more than one piece of a log at once. To use it, join it with your chainsaw, position a log below it, and begin your cutting.
Buck the Log on the Ground
You can use this method by bucking a log on the ground before cutting. What this method does, is allow you to work with a more dwarfed size piece of log to give your chainsaw a lesser chance of kicking back.
Using a Sawbuck
Through a sawbuck, you can cut your log in a downward manner. This method is particularly effective with logs that are pressed to the ground.
Just allow the log to fall on the sawbuck from the top before positioning your chainsaw in the opening of the log. Note that this method is safer for holding smaller logs when crosscutting them.
Those are the critical methods of holding woods for cutting. In the absence of these methods, the only other viable method should be the use of a wood clamp.
However, it would be best to find any of the above means, as it guarantees the easiest and safest way of holding logs while cutting with a chainsaw.
What to Do If there’s Any Pinch in Your Saw Chain
Finally, in a situation whereby there’s a pinch in your saw chain during the cutting, or it becomes stuck, you can turn your machine off. Then, after that, if it is just a little limb, with your hands, try removing them carefully.
If it doesn’t do the trick, you’ll have no other option other than disassembling the saw and pulling it out until it becomes free.
That is why it is advisable to always use wages when cutting, as it is the most obvious method that can prevent pinches, especially stubborn ones.
However, when the deed is already done, the best and safest method to remove the pinches rather than with your hands- is if you have another saw that can cut through the part of the tree that is giving you such headache.
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