Can Chainsaw Cut Metal?

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Are you a chainsaw user, wondering whether or not you can cut through metal with your chainsaw? If yes, then you are certainly in the right place at the right time.

Can chainsaw cut metal is a question many chainsaw users have when they have to cut objects other than wood. The simple answer is, yes, chainsaws can cut through metal. Of course, this will depend on the type of metal and thickness of metal that you’re cutting. Further, you will also require a powerful chainsaw with a chain that has a carbide-tipped chain or metallic reinforcement. Generally, it isn’t advised that you should use a chainsaw for cutting wood. Instead, you should use a metal saw. Normal home chainsaws aren’t built to cut through metal.

In this article, you will get to learn all about cutting metal with chainsaws, can chainsaw cut metal, cutting metals with a professional grade chainsaw, the risks involved with cutting metal with a chainsaw, and more. Stick around to get all the answers that you are looking for.

Cutting Metals with a Chainsaw

While chainsaws have a wide variety of uses, there are largely used for lumbering wood. For instance, during winter, homeowners make use of chainsaws for preparing wood for the fireplace. That notwithstanding, homeowners also use these machines for pruning overgrown branches and leaves of trees. Despite many users, some people also wonder if chainsaws can be used for other materials.

Chainsaws are generally used for cutting firewood and trees, therefore cutting bricks, cement, metal, etc. wouldn’t be a perfect match. To cut things other than wood, you will require a special chainsaw that is very powerful. Moreover, it will also depend on the material that you are cutting with your chainsaw. The chainsaw must be powerful enough and possess blades capable of cutting through other materials.

Can Chainsaw Cut Metal?

If you are looking for the answer to can chainsaw cut metal or if a chainsaw chain can cut metals, then this is just the right place. This question may arise as there might be metal nails stuck in trees. 

The simple answer is, yes, chainsaws can cut through metal. Of course, this will depend on the type of metal and thickness. Further, you’ll also require a powerful chainsaw with a chain having metallic reinforcement or a carbide-tipped chain. Generally, it isn’t advised that you should use a chainsaw for cutting metal. Instead, you should be making use of a metal saw. A normal home chainsaw isn’t built for cutting through metal. 

For a woodworker or logger, when working deep in the woods, your chainsaw would be able to cut through a nail, branch, tree, or timber. A good quality chainsaw chain can be considered a metal cutting chain, as it can get through metal easily. However, remember you’ll have to deal with all the consequences as it might damage the teeth of the chainsaw chain and the engine of the gas-powered chainsaw. Moreover, there are other hard objects that you may come across when cutting trees or wood.

Mostly, a chainsaw will be able to cut through such objects. You might face slight trouble like chainsaw kickback when dealing with such material. However, you’ll eventually be able to cut it. It will help if you learn about chainsaws and their efficiency when cutting through obstacles like metal objects stuck in the wood. 

Is it Possible to Cut Nails Using a Chainsaw?

For further shedding light on the prospect of cutting metal using a chainsaw chain, consider this typical situation. Imagine you are at the sawmill sawing limber on a homesteading day. Say that your chainsaw suddenly cuts through a small nail stuck in the wood. Do you start panicking, or do you continue sawing?

The truth is that most homeowners and woodworkers would panic during situations where their chainsaws accidentally cut through nails. It isn’t the same situation as intentionally using a chainsaw for cutting a nail in half. The consequence of cutting nails using these tools will be varied. However, the most obvious consequence will be that the teeth of your chainsaw will end up making the blade blunt if it cuts through a nail stuck in the wood. If this is the case, another question will come to mind. But are there any chainsaws that can cut through metals like nails with ease?

Another important conundrum that arises in this situation is whether or not it is fine to cut metal using a chainsaw. The answer will be no. If you’re looking to cut metal with a battery chainsaw, then you must have a metal-cutting chainsaw chain. Cutting metal using a wood-cutting chainsaw will bring significant damage to the chain blades. If the chainsaw accidentally cuts through metal objects stuck in your wood, the teeth of the chainsaw chain will become blunt. Moreover, it can also result in accidents like kickback, pullback, and push-in if the chainsaw hits some hard object.

professional logger cutting large logs using a chainsaw

Are there Chainsaws Capable of Cutting Through Metals?

Nails are largely metallic. However, the degree of thickness will vary and, more importantly, play a significant role if you’re cutting metals using a chainsaw. Nevertheless, you must weigh into chainsaw variants, especially the heavy-duty options that can cut through metals.

Hence, the answer to the question can you find chainsaws that cut through metal is affirmative. In case you find a good one in the market at a modest price, you could use a chainsaw for cutting metals without having to change its chain or motor. To break it down such that it can be easily understood, you should take note that there are two types of chainsaws – home-grade chainsaws and professional-grade chainsaws. It’ll be important to know different types of chainsaws and what types of chainsaws can cut through metal. You should remember that the home-grade chainsaws should be used occasionally, meanwhile professional chainsaws are used for professional work that requires more power.

Cutting metal using home-grade chainsaws

A home-grade chainsaw has a relatively weaker engine and motor and won’t be able to cut through metals and hard objects. These chainsaws are mostly used for cutting small branches of trees, splitting firewood, pruning, cutting hedges, and other types of tasks.

If you intend to cut wood with a chainsaw that has nails in it, then you need to remove them first. This is the case, as a home-grade chainsaw isn’t powerful enough for cutting through metal. Even then, if you’re trying to do so, it could harm the engine of the chainsaw and end up damaging the chainsaw chain.

The other reason why you shouldn’t be using a home-grade chainsaw to cut nails is that a chainsaw chain doesn’t have metallic reinforcement. Therefore, you won’t be able to cut through the metal.

Any experienced woodworker will tell you that the uses of home-grade chainsaws are limited to pruning, wood-cutting, and splitting firewood. Here are some of the reasons why home-grade chainsaws aren’t ideal for cutting metals.

  • Home-grade chainsaws are designed for simple, light wood-sawing tasks like chopping firewood and cutting small branches. This means that you’ll need to remove any nails stuck on wood before using a home-grade chainsaw like the popular 16-inch GREENWORKS Cordless Chainsaw.
  • Even if you go for a corded version, the fact that home-grade chainsaws have smaller engines or motors will mean that they aren’t fit for cutting through metals. You can say they aren’t powerful enough for breaking nails.
  • Another possible reason why home-grade chainsaws aren’t ideal for cutting metal will be the teeth of the chainsaw chain don’t have a metallic reinforcement, or they aren’t strong enough for cutting through tough material.

With these reasons at your fingertips, it’ll mean that you can be lucky enough to cut a few nails stuck in the tree, but not all the time. There’s an even worse outcome if you take the risk of abusing your home-grade chainsaw. The chain might break or snap when you least expect it. You wouldn’t want to imagine that this would happen to someone who is standing nearby if the chain breaks in the midst of cutting wood.

Cutting metal using professional-grade chainsaws

There are chainsaws that can be used for professional purposes, and they can cut through metals. However, not everyone can own one nor can everyone operate it. These chainsaws can be pretty dangerous, and they look scary as well. Professional chainsaws are specially built, and they are more powerful compared to the ones used for household work. 

If you are a professional woodworker, chances are that you have probably used a commercial-grade chainsaw. You can say that they are powerful wood-cutting machines designed for professional lumbers that are working on large-scale sawing tasks.

Given the large-scale use of these powerful machines, especially in the wood and construction industry, they are the ideal options for cutting through metal. It is very different from buying a chainsaw chain specifically designed to cut nails and other metals. However, compared to home-grade chainsaws, commercial variants are usually pretty noisy given that most chainsaw options in the market come powered by gasoline.

Here is why professional chainsaws are ideal for cutting metal –

  • Professional-grade have powerful engines, something that makes these machines ideal for cutting metals.
  • Another reason that explains why professional-grade chainsaws are best suited for cutting nails is those chainsaw teeth have a strong and durable metallic reinforcement. Further, you can also use a carbide-tipped chain. This means if you accidentally cut through nails or use chainsaws to intentionally cut nails, you don’t need to worry about blunting the teeth. Maybe you require a chain sharpener after a few run-throughs, but it isn’t as frequent as you would with a home-grade chainsaw.
  • Professional chainsaws having chains with reinforced teeth will be less vulnerable when cutting through nails. 
  • Another reason professional chainsaws can cut through nails with great ease will be that they have two-stroke gasoline-powered engines. This is the power you’ll need for cutting through tough obstacles, intentionally or not, without needing to worry about sharpening the teeth often.

You’ll be surprised to find that the chains of these chainsaws are made using diamonds. This is why they can cut through metal easily. With a professional-grade chainsaw, you’ll be able to cut through metal objects like nails. However, you should remember that it could damage the chainsaw chain.

CHAINSAW for cutting METAL

Risks Involved with Cutting metal with a chainsaw

There are many risks involved with cutting metal with a chainsaw. Before proceeding further, it is important to remember that this section will discuss the risks of cutting metal using a home-grade chainsaw. This doesn’t apply to commercial or professional-grade chainsaws, due to the fact that they can cut through metal easily. There are two main types of risks when cutting with a chainsaw. One of the issues is that cutting metal with a chainsaw can harm the chainsaw and its components. Secondly, doing this could injure you by different means.

1. Risks associated with damage

If you’re trying to cut metal using home-grade chainsaws, then it can end up damaging the engine of the chainsaw. This is because the engine isn’t strong enough to cut through metal. Moreover, this can also make the teeth of the chain dull. Consequently, you may also have to replace the chainsaw chain. Aside from these common damages, the chainsaw chain can also break if it has been subjected to hard objects. This wouldn’t just damage the chainsaw chain, but it could also hurt or injure you. A breaking chain could get out of control and hit you anywhere.

2. Risks associated with injuries

Now, it is important to know what type of injuries can occur if you’re trying to cut metal with a chainsaw. Firstly, when the chain hits a hard object, it could cause a sudden kickback. As a result of kickback, you might lose balance and end up falling. In the worst-case scenario, a moving chainsaw could fall on you and cause severe injuries.

Secondly, friction gets created when the chainsaw chain comes in contact with another metal while it is rotating at full speed. This friction can result in a fire. Therefore, a burning risk will also be there. Lastly, this type of contact between metals could generate sparks that might harm you.

Chainsaw Recommendations for Cutting Through Metal

Having come this far, the next question that could pop up in your mind is which chainsaw should you buy if you’re going to cut metals with it. Firstly, it is important to emphasize that irrespective of having an intention or not, cutting metals with a chainsaw is likely if you’re working in the construction industry. With that, here are some of the most powerful chainsaw options that you might want to buy to cut metal with ease.

Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-inch Gasoline-Powered Chainsaw

Husqvarna is an incredibly popular chainsaw brand, and the company’s 24-inch Rancher Chainsaw powered by gas is a great choice among woodworkers. It is an extremely powerful machine capable of cutting through wood with exceptional ease thanks to its two-cycle engine that gives this machine the much-needed power at full throttle. Further, it is worth noting that this chainsaw runs on a 60.3cc engine capacity while also coming fully equipped with a woodworker’s protective gear.

Chikura 105cc Chainsaw with 36-inch Chain

The Chikura 105cc chainsaw manufactured by MINGDA is a gas-powered chainsaw that runs on a powerful engine for delivering excellent performance on tough wood. Further, it is also powerful enough for cutting through metal. It can deliver 12,000 RPM at full throttle. Another notable feature of this chainsaw is its guide bar and a 36-inch chain with a gauge of 0.063 inches.

MAKITA EA500OPREG 18-inch Chainsaw with 50cc Engine Capacity

Another incredibly powerful chainsaw capable of cutting through metal easily is the MAKITA 18-inch chainsaw with a 50cc engine capacity and durable aluminum alloy. At full throttle, it can rip through a piece of wood at 13,800 RPM. It might not be the most powerful option when comparing it to the other two choices, but the brand is popular for manufacturing to-of-the-range chainsaws for the construction industry. The ergonomic handle and the compact design of MAKITA EA500OPREG provide you with much-needed cushioning against Vibration.


What happens when your chainsaw hits metal?

When your chainsaw hits metal, it could cause a fire because of friction that could harm you. Moreover, it breaks the chainsaw chain or dulls it to the extent that it wouldn’t be of any use to you. Moreover, there’s also a chance of a chainsaw kickback that could hurt you badly. In short, it could result in dangerous consequences if your chainsaw hits the metal.

What type of chainsaws can cut metal?

Generally, professional chainsaws have high-powered engines capable of cutting metal. However, the cutting of metal will depend on the type and thickness of the metal. The metal could also be a thick met pipeline, while it can even be a metal nail.

A home-grade chainsaw that has good efficiency could cut through metal nails, but it will likely damage the saw. Therefore, it isn’t recommended that you should cut the metal nail with a home-grade chainsaw. Meanwhile, a professional chainsaw could cut through nails easily.

Can I cut metal using a wood saw?

No, you won’t be able to cut metal with a wood saw. If you’ve got a high-powered engine-based chainsaw, it might be able to cut through small metal objects like nails. However, doing this will damage the engine and chainsaw chain. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up breaking the chain and injuring yourself.

What can my chainsaw cut through?

A home-grade chainsaw could cut through only wood. You can easily perform different projects with wood-cutting involved. However, a professional-grade chainsaw could cut through metals like steel, iron, and even concrete. This happens because chainsaws have an efficient engine, while chains are made up of diamonds.

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Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.