Can You Split Wood with a Chainsaw? – [Read This First]

A lot of people might be confused about the uses of a chainsaw. One of the most common questions that most beginners may have in their minds is: can you split wood with a chainsaw?

The answer to this question is “Yes” you can definitely split wood with a chainsaw however, you will need to follow the right procedure. Apart from that, you must always follow the safety precautions before splitting wood with a chainsaw. 

You heard me right? You need to follow the right procedure to split firewood with a chainsaw. Now, what is the right procedure? Let’s take a look and learn it. 

In this article, you will not only get the answer to your question i.e. can you split wood with a chainsaw but you will also learn how to do it the right way. In addition, you will also learn the dos and don’ts of splitting a log with a chain saw. 

So without any further ado, let’s get started!

Can You Split Wood with a Chainsaw?

Can You Split Wood With a Chainsaw

As mentioned earlier, you can split wood with a chainsaw but there’s a catch. Chainsaws are very dangerous tools due to their powerful nature. There is so little margin for errors and mistakes when you are working with them. 

For example, a slight bit of mistake can cost you a visit to a hospital. However, that’s the least possible situation while in most cases you may lose your arm or fingers. So you need to be extremely careful while using a chainsaw to split wood. 

But luckily, you shouldn’t worry about anything at all because I will share a simple and safe way of splitting wood with a chainsaw. So if you are still with me, scroll down to read more!

Splitting Wood with a Chain Saw: The Right Way

In this section, we will learn how to do it in the easiest and probably the safest possible way. After following this method you will have all the firewood without damaging the tool, or hurting yourself.

You might be interested in Reading about Dewalt Miter Saw Too

Step 1 – Choosing the Log

wood splitting in progress

First things first, you need to choose a log that is suitable for splitting. For this purpose, you should look for logs that are straight, thick, and heavy enough. Also, make sure that the log is dry otherwise you may have issues while splitting it. 

If you are splitting logs to get firewood then you must choose the type of log too. Make sure you select something that burns long and hot so that you can use it as fuel in your fireplace or stove.

If you want to split a log into two halves then you will need to choose a log with an even thickness. The thicker the log is, the more time it takes

Step 2 – Choose the Right Size Chainsaw

Once you have selected the right type of log for splitting, the next and most important step is to have the right size chainsaw. For splitting wood, a lot of experts recommend getting an 18-inch chainsaw.

However, the size of the saw totally depends upon the situation you are in. Just keep these rough digits and numbers in mind and select the right power tool for your needs. I hope most of you might have a chainsaw already. However, if you don’t, check out this one. 

Step 3 – Protect Yourself

Now, you have selected the right size chainsaw for the log that you want to split. The next important thing that you need to keep in mind is your personal safety. This means that you should always wear safety gear before working on the project. 

To be more specific, you must cover your eyes with some protective goggles. In addition to this, you should always use a mask to protect your lungs from the dust of the wood. Apart from that, you must also have some gloves to keep your hands safe from cuts and bruises

Step 4 – Using the Saw

One of the finest chainsaws for splitting wood

The last and most important step that you need to follow is to use the chainsaw. However, you must remember that chainsaws are not like other tools because they are highly dangerous if misused. That’s why it is very important to know how to use them. First, make sure that you have the log in a steady position.

Then you need to hold the saw firmly in your hands. Next, slowly raise the handle of the saw and then cut through the wood. You can also use the log as a guide for splitting the wood but that isn’t mandatory.

Remember to remain calm and don’t rush things until you become an expert. 

Step 5 – Making the Right Size Logs 

This can be a little bit tricky as the size of the logs depends upon your fireplace. However, a lot of beginners are not able to determine the right size and as a result, they end up either splitting the log too small or too large.

But you shouldn’t worry about anything because I am going to help you. As mentioned earlier, the size of the log completely depends upon your needs, and therefore, you will need to use a little bit of rough calculation.

For example, if you have a log with a 3-inch diameter then you shouldn’t even split it. You can simply use it as it is. However, for sizes up to 6 inches you need to split it into half while for bigger sizes you need to split three or more pieces of the outside edges. 

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Is it Better to Split Wood Wet or Dry?

You’ve learned that you can split wood using chainsaws. But you still might be having some questions which might be confusing you. For example one of the most interesting questions that most beginners may have in their minds is whether you should split the wood wet or dry. 

To explain this in simple words, dry wood is always much easier to split with or without a chainsaw. While wet woods usually take longer and sometimes create a mess.

Therefore, I highly recommend splitting completely dried wood with your chainsaw to protect the tool from getting damaged and hurting yourself. 

Can You Cut a Tree Lengthwise With a Chainsaw?

cutting old dried log with a chainsaw

You can definitely cut lengthwise with a chainsaw but you will need an extra attachment for that. There are some extensions available that allow the chainsaws to cut even lengthwise depending upon the size of the log. 

Simply buy a chainsaw mill and attach it to your power saw. It will turn your tool into a mass weapon of lengthwise cutting in no time. Once you are done with splitting the logs you can detach the extension and your saw will be ready for its regular jobs again.

So yes, you shouldn’t worry too much about it because you can do it easily.  

How Long Do You Wait Before Splitting Wood?

Ok, so you just cut down a large old tree. Now the problem is splitting the wood into small pieces to make firewood right? But the tree should be green and green trees usually contain 95-100% moisture which makes it difficult to split. 

Under such conditions, the moisture will create extra resistance so you should wait for the log to dry completely before splitting it. Ideally, it takes about 6 months in total to get ready for splitting, and at that time the moisture level is already dropped to 20% or less. 

Also, Readwhy does my miter saw kickback

Final Words 

So can you split wood with a chainsaw? Yes, you can definitely do it and it will make it easy for you instead of splitting them with axe. However, the situation can turn into a disaster if you are not being careful and don’t know how to operate the tool the right way. 

Therefore, you should always protect yourself from such kinds of disasters by wearing the right gear and following the right method. I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and found it helpful.

For more interesting information related to woodworking and tools make sure to check out the home page of my site. If you find this article helpful please consider sharing it with your friend and family to help them learn something new. 

As always thank you so much for reading!

References

  1. Kickback risk of portable chainsaws while cutting wood of different properties: laboratory tests and deductions
  2. Analysis of occupational accidents during the chainsaws use in Andalucía
  3. Chainsaw milling in Ghana
  4. Chainsaw milling: supplier to local markets-a synthesis

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Jack Logan is a student of MS Global Navigation Satellite System who spends his free time researching and writing articles, many of which are geared towards helping people. His favorite power tools are miter saws and impact wrenches Read More About Jack