How To Hold Logs While Cutting With Chainsaw

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Are you a beginner chainsaw user, struggling with cutting with your new machine because you don’t know how to hold a log? If yes, then you are definitely in the right place, as you’ll get to know all about it here.

Holding logs while cutting with a chainsaw is a simple yet integral detail that every chainsaw user must know. There are many ways of holding logs while you’re cutting them with a chainsaw. The most common way would be to hold the log on your knees. Another common way to hold logs while you’re cutting is to use a log holder, a wood clamp, or a sawbuck. You should consider using a log-cutting horse if you’re cutting large logs. Regardless of the method you choose, you must keep your safety in mind.

In this article, you will get to know all about cutting with a chainsaw, how to hold logs while cutting with chainsaw, what tips to consider when cutting logs, precautions and safety measures to take when cutting logs, and more. Continue reading to get all the answers that you’re looking for.

Cutting logs with a chainsaw

If you’ve ever cut a log with a chainsaw, you will know how difficult it can be to stop the log from moving while you’re cutting it. It is especially true if the log is wet or heavy. There are many ways that you can hold a wooden log while cutting it with a chainsaw.

Regardless of the piece of equipment you’re using to hold wooden logs in place while cutting them, you should always use caution when cutting logs with a chainsaw. Make sure that you’re wearing proper safety gear like chaps, eye protection, gloves, and more while cutting logs.

How to hold logs while cutting with chainsaw

There are many ways that you can hold logs while you’re cutting them with a chainsaw. The most common way of holding logs is to hold them on your knees. Another way would be to hold a log ladder, a sawbuck, or a wooden clamp. You should also consider using a log-cutting horse if you’re cutting larger logs. 

Here are the different ways of holding logs while cutting with chainsaw. Choose the right method according to your convenience – 

1. Hold log with your knees

When cutting logs lying on the ground, it would be best to hold them in place with your knees. This method will allow you to use both hands for operating the chainsaw. When holding logs with your knees, make sure that your legs are spread apart properly. You should also have a firm grip on the log. Moreover, remember if you’re not holding the log correctly, it might roll over, and you could lose control of the chainsaw.

A person cutting log in winter using a chainsaw, and another person assisting in holding the log

2. Buck the logs on the ground

Before you cut the log with your chainsaw, you need to secure it properly. This will help prevent the logs from rolling or sliding while cutting, which can be pretty dangerous. The best way of getting the job done would be to “buck” the log, which means you should cut it partially through in the middle such that it is resting securely on the ground.

3. Use a log holder

An alternative way of cutting logs safely is by making use of a log holder. It is a device that you can easily clamp onto the end of the log, and it’ll hold the logs in place while you’re cutting them. This way, you don’t need to worry about the log rolling or sliding away from you when you’re trying to cut the log.

There are different types of log holders available in the market. Some of them are made with a chainsaw, while others can be used with other types of saws, such as handsaws. 

If you’re using a chainsaw, you will want to ensure that the log holder is compatible with the particular model of chainsaw you’re using. Some log holders are adjustable so that you’ll be able to use them with different types of chainsaws.

4. Use a wedge for holding the log in place

Another way of holding the log while you’re cutting would be by using a wedge. You can easily drive the wedge into the cut that you’ve already made with your chainsaw, which helps keep the log from moving. However, you must be careful that you don’t hit the wedge with your chainsaw while cutting.

5. Use a sawbuck

If you’re cutting a lot of wood or in case the logs are large or unwieldy, it will help if you’ve got a sawbuck. Bucking a tree with a chainsaw will make the job significantly easier. A sawbuck is a device that consists of two horizontal bars connected by a crossbar.

The sawbuck can be easily placed over the log such that the crossbar is resting on the ground. It will keep the wooden log from moving around while you’re cutting it. This way, you don’t need to hold the entire weight of the log while you are sawing, and it’ll be easier to keep the log steady.

If you haven’t got a sawbuck, you can always improvise by nailing or tying together two sawhorses or any other sturdy support. Another option would be to use a log stand, specifically designed to hold logs while they are being cut.

Making of a Chainsaw Log Stand

6. Use the log-cutting horse

Position the wooden log on the cutting horse, so that it is level and secure. Place the chainsaw on the ground, with the blade facing the log. Start the chainsaw and carefully guide the saw into the log, using both hands to hold onto the saw.

Apply pressure to the chainsaw as you’re guiding it through the log. Once you reach the end of the log, you should stop the chainsaw and allow it to calm down before moving on to the next one.

7. Use a wood clamp

If you are cutting a log that is too big or unwieldy to hold in your hands, you should use a wood clamp to stabilize it. Position the clamp’s jaws around the log before tightening them down such that the log is firmly in place. After that, proceed with cutting the log as you normally would.

8. Use a log roller

If you’re cutting wooden logs into lumber with a chainsaw, you may want to invest in a log roller. It is a device that you can roll the log onto, and it’ll help keep it in place while you’re cutting it. Moreover, it will save you time and energy if you’re cutting a lot of wood.

Tips to consider when you’re cutting logs with a chainsaw

Safety comes first when you are cutting logs with a chainsaw. Remember the safety considerations and wear protective equipment like eye protection, helmet, gloves, and more. Moreover, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using the chainsaw.

When cutting, you should always keep the chainsaw blade sharp. A dull blade could result in serious injuries. Prefer using a chainsaw with a relatively short blade to cut logs. A longer blade might be more difficult to control, especially for beginners. Begin at the top of the log and slowly work your way down. This will prevent the chainsaw from getting stuck in the log. Also, take breaks once every few minutes to rest your arms and shoulders. Aside from that, there are a few things that you need to consider when cutting logs with a chainsaw.

1. Good balance makes cutting logs much easier

Maintaining good balance is an important consideration to remember when cutting logs with a chainsaw. It will help you not only avoid injuries, but also make the entire process much easier. You should start by keeping your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight distributed evenly.

After that, hold the chainsaw with both hands and extend your arms in front of you. If you have the move the log, you should do so with your feet and not your body. It will help you stay in a good position and avoid accidents.

2. Maintain a proper body position

When cutting logs with a chainsaw, it will be important to maintain proper body positioning. It will involve keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, bending the knees, and keeping your back straight. Doing this will help you keep your balance while also avoiding potential injuries. Additionally, make sure that you’re gripping the chainsaw firmly with both hands while cutting.

3. Keep the safety precautions in mind

Chainsaws can be quite dangerous when you’re not careful, something that is proven by thousands of chainsaw-related injuries that occur every year. It is important to take the necessary safety precautions when cutting logs with a chainsaw. You must wear gloves, eye protection, face protection, and more while using a chainsaw. Additionally, make sure that you read the operator’s manual carefully before using a chainsaw.

When cutting logs, it’ll be important to hold it securely in place. Otherwise, the log might shift or roll, causing the chainsaw to kick back and injure you. Here are a few safety-related tips to hold logs when cutting.

  • Wear safety glasses or goggles to help avoid any wood pieces or sawdust to fly over and get into your eyes
  • Always wear a helmet
  • It is recommended that you wear hearing protection 
  • Get chainsaw chaps and wear them while working with a chainsaw
  • Wear proper gloves to protect your hands


How to hold firewood while cutting?

Holding firewood while cutting is similar to holding any wooden log that you have to cut. You can easily build your own brace for the logs using 2×4 pieces, insulation sheets, and a sawhorse. Wood can be used as a support for holding firewood as you’re cutting through it.

How to cut big logs into firewood when cutting with a chainsaw?

You can easily cut big wooden logs into firewood the same way you would cut small logs. A chainsaw can be used for this entire process quite effectively. The key to cutting big logs into smaller ones would be by making multiple cuts, rotating the log, and then cutting through. Additionally, you must be aware of the safety instructions while you are dealing with big logs.

How to hold a wood-cutting chainsaw?

A wood-cutting chainsaw will require a strong arm as well as a strong grip. You must brace the handle and tightly grip it if you want to avoid accidents. Try to keep your chainsaw horizontal as you are delving into the cut. Use both hands for grasping the handle or the throttle fully such that it does not slip.

How to keep yourself safe when cutting logs?

When operating a chainsaw, you must adhere to all the necessary safety precautions. You need to be sure that the log is completely secured and wear the necessary safety gear. If the log is fixed properly, it will repel the fear of it tipping over or getting a chainsaw-related injury.

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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.