How To Cut Wood With A Chainsaw When Preparing For Winter

Before the invention of electricity cutting wood was a mandatory part of rural life, as the burning timber has been the only viable heating option back then. Since then, not only the methods by which we heat up our homes have improved but so have the methods by which we cut our wood. Chainsaws vastly changed the speed and efficiency with which we cut our wood, be it for stoves or for construction purposes. In this article we will go through the steps on learning how to cut wood with a chainsaw. So, shall we get started?

If you want to start using a chainsaw but don’t know from where, we recommend checking out this dedicated article on the topic where you will find all the necessary information for a beginner to learn how to use a chainsaw!

Cutting The Log For Your Fire

There are several steps involved in the process of cutting logs for your fireplace. Those are:

  • Prepare the log you want to cut
  • Cut through the log
  • Create wood pieces that will fit your fireplace
  • Stacking the wood

Now, let’s go through all of those steps individually and explain them in greater detail…

Prepare the log you want to cut

Before you start doing anything at all, you should make sure that you’ve taken care of your chainsaw by properly oiling it and checking it everything works properly. If you don’t know how, consult your user’s manual on the matter.

If your log is very long, the best course of action would be to cut it into one smaller one meter logs. That way it will be easier for you to control them. Speaking of control, you should always make sure that the log can’t roll to either side nor can it move too much.

Placing them on the ground is completely fine as long as you remember to keep them steady.

Pro Tip: try sawing through 70% of the trunk and then roll it over to finish your cut. This way you will prevent cutting into the ground and ruining your saw’s chain.

Do you want to learn more about electric chainsaws and see which are the bests models on today’s market? Check out our Buyer’s Guide! One great model we would recommend for your winter preparation is the DEWALT DCCS620P1.

Cut through the log

Once you have the smaller logs place at a comfortable position you can start cutting them. The goal is to create four even longitudinal pieces of each log. The goal here is to make the smaller wood pieces a good size for your fireplace. You do that by doing 4 cuts along the length of the log without connecting at the center. That way the log stays whole and you can then use an axe to separate the pieces.

When rolling the log to take all of the four pieces you now created, make sure you keep the log steady so it doesn’t roll away from you.

Create wood pieces that will fit your fireplace

Stacking the wood

Now that you have your pieces you can shape them any way you want according to the size of your fireplace’s entry and its internal chamber size.

After you are done with all these steps there will be one thing left for you to do…

Stacking the wood

A nicely cut wood piece needs a good place to be stored at so that it can dry up properly. This will ensure good burning properties and will make your work a more rewarding process.

Stacking the pieces vertically is a great option. The closer to your house the better as you won’t have to do long trips out when it is freezing outside. Stacking inside your home isn’t a great option but some people prefer it due to the convenience it brings.

Now that we have gone through the major steps on how to cut through logs when preparing for the winter temperatures, let’s check out some of the most common questions when it comes to this topic.

Related Questions

Can you cut wet wood with a chainsaw?

The actual cutting with the chainsaw through wood that is wet is completely fine. The issue comes when the saw dust gets wet. It starts to build up around your chain and other parts of your chainsaw. Make sure you do small breaks from time to time to clean things up. Having a rag by your side is a great idea in these scenarios.

Is wood easier to cut wet or dry?

The easiest wood to be cut by a chainsaw is the green wood. When wood dries up, in most cases it becomes harder to cut as it gets less soft. Therefore cutting through dry wood would be a bigger challenge for your chainsaw than normal green wood cutting. The things you can do to ease the work of your tool would be to keep it well-oiled and as sharp as possible.

Can you use an electric chainsaw in the rain?

We really don’t advise you on using your electric chainsaw in the rain or snow. It doesn’t matter if its corded or on batteries, every tool that is electrically powered isn’t safe to work around water. If you want to avoid electrical shock, our advice would be to wait for the rain to stop.

Final Words

When the months start to get colder we are always reminded that we need to start preparing our wood for the fireplace. For that reason, knowing how to cut wood with a chainsaw is going to greatly repay you as a skill you learn. Axe cutting isn’t as efficient as chainsaw cutting in almost any way and knowing how to properly prepare your wood pieces with a chainsaw is a great skill set to acquire. We hope that this article has been helpful and if you have any questions, make sure you contact us through our contact form.