How to Cut Firewood With a Chainsaw

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As fossil fuel costs continue to climb, using alternative, renewable fuels makes economical sense. Wood was man's first fuel source and remains important today. Cutting your own firewood is rewarding and money saving, and using a chainsaw makes the going a lot faster and easier. Whether you are felling a tree or splitting the rounds for use in your fireplace, you should always keep safety in mind and be familiar with your chainsaw before beginning.

Things You'll Need

  • Chainsaw
  • Splitting maul
  • Sledge hammer and wedges
  • Cut a V-shaped notch a third of the way through the tree on the side you wish it to fall toward. Saw horizontally from the opposite side, about 2 inches above the center of the V. The notch will collapse and the tree will fall away from you.

  • Saw the limbs off after the tree is on the ground. Start with those nearest the bottom of the trunk and cut downward so the limbs pull away from the saw and don't bind the bar.

  • Keep the area underfoot clear of obstructions. Stop the saw and move limbs and debris from the area after you finish cutting.

  • Saw the trunk and large branches into firewood-sized lengths, 12 to 16 inches. Support one end of the limb or trunk if possible so you can saw through in one cut. If not, cut halfway through and then roll the log over.

  • Use a splitting maul or sledge and wedges (not the chainsaw) to split the rounds. Set them on a chopping block and split through the center.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear eye and ear protection when operating a chainsaw.

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  • Photo Credit Stihl, USA
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