Cutting Guide

How To Cut A Log Lengthwise With A Chainsaw | Like A Pro

If you’ve ever found yourself needing to cut a log lengthwise and wondered how to tackle the task with a chainsaw, you’re in the right place.

 Place the log securely on a flat surface, then draw a straight line along its length for precision. Once that’s done, fire up your chainsaw and make a consistent cut along the drawn line. 

But remember, before you even touch that chainsaw, ensure you’re decked out in safety gear and are familiar with all the safety protocols. 

Let’s dive deeper into this process and see how you can master this skill safely and effectively.

How To Cut A Log Lengthwise With A Chainsaw?


First, let’s dive into the process. But remember, safety is paramount when handling a chainsaw. Always wear protective gear, including gloves, safety glasses, and sturdy footwear.

1. Preparation

Get the Right Chainsaw and Chain: Regular chains are not suitable for cutting a log lengthwise. For this task, you need a ripping chain. The ripping chain has specially designed teeth that are more suitable for cutting along the grain.

Secure the Log: Use sawhorses or other sturdy supports to secure the log. Make sure it’s stable and won’t roll away while you’re working.

2. Mark the Log

Using a straight edge and chalk, mark the cut line along the length of the log. This will be your guide while cutting.

3. Start the Cut

Place the chainsaw at the start of the marked line. Keep the chainsaw at a consistent angle, and start the cut. Remember to apply steady pressure, and let the chainsaw do the work.

4. Monitor and Adjust

Monitor your cut regularly. Adjust your technique if you’re veering off the line. Try to keep the chainsaw bar parallel to the log for a straight cut.

5. Finish the Cut

Once you’re through, turn off the chainsaw and check your work. If necessary, you can clean up any rough edges with a smaller saw or sandpaper.

Tips for Cutting a Log Lengthwise with a Chainsaw Safely

  1. Sharp Chainsaw: A sharp chainsaw is not only more efficient but also safer. A dull chainsaw can lead to uneven cuts and increase the risk of kickback.
  2. Stable Log: Ensure the log is securely placed and won’t shift or roll during the cutting process.
  3. Patience: Ripping a log is not a race. Take your time to ensure a clean, straight cut.

Tips and Advice

  • Understand your Chainsaw: Knowing your tool’s capabilities and limitations can drastically improve your work quality and safety.
  • Regular Maintenance: Regularly clean and maintain your chainsaw for optimal performance and longevity.
  • Practice: Like any skill, practice makes perfect. Start with smaller logs before moving on to larger ones.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting a Log Lengthwise with a Chainsaw


Here are some common pitfalls and how to avoid them when cutting a log lengthwise with a chainsaw.

Common MistakeSolution
Not wearing proper safety gearAlways wear protective gear
Using the wrong chainUse a ripping chain for cutting lengthwise
Not securing the logUse sawhorses or sturdy supports
Forcing the chainsaw through the logApply steady pressure and let the chainsaw do the work
Not checking the cut regularlyRegularly monitor your cut and adjust as necessary

How to Cut a Small Log in Half Lengthwise?


Before we dive into the step-by-step process, it’s essential to understand the tool you’re working with. While I won’t discuss the basics of what a chainsaw is, I’ll touch upon the crucial features that play a role in ripping.

The chainsaw’s guide bar and chain are instrumental when cutting a log lengthwise. The length and thickness of the guide bar and the chain’s sharpness can dramatically impact the cut’s quality.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

As always, safety first! So, I don’t repeat this step but you shouldn’t forget it.

Step 1: Prepare the Log

Place the log securely on a stable, flat surface. If possible, use log holders or sawhorses for better stability. Ensure the log won’t roll or shift during the cutting process.

Step 2: Mark the Cut

With a long straight edge and a marker or chalk, draw a line along the length of the log where you intend to cut. This line will guide your chainsaw and ensure a straight cut.

Step 3: Make the Cut

Start the chainsaw and align the guide bar with the marked line. Begin cutting slowly, maintaining a steady pace. Be mindful of kickback, and never force the chainsaw.

Step 5: Review and Finish

After completing the cut, review it for any irregularities. If necessary, use a planer or sandpaper to smoothen out the surfaces.

Tools and Equipment Needed

Having the right tools can significantly ease the process. Here’s a table of necessary tools and their purpose:

ChainsawTo secure the log during the cutting
Safety GlassesProtects eyes from debris
Chainsaw ChapsProtects legs from accidental cuts
GlovesProtects hands and enhances grip
Marker/ChalkTo mark the cut line
Straight EdgeTo guide the marking process
Sawhorses/Log HoldersTo secure the log during cutting

Tips and Tricks

  1. Sharp Chainsaw: Always ensure your chainsaw is sharp. A dull chainsaw can lead to uneven cuts and increase the risk of kickback.
  2. Start Slowly: Begin your cut slowly to establish a groove that will guide your chainsaw.
  3. Follow the Line: Always keep an eye on your marked line to ensure a straight cut.

Be Patient: Don’t rush the process. It takes time to get a clean, straight cut.

Frequently Asked Question

How to cut a log in half lengthwise with a chainsaw?

To cut a log in half lengthwise with a chainsaw, position the log securely, mark a line, and make a steady cut along that line.

How do you cut logs lengthwise with a chainsaw?

To slice logs lengthwise, secure the log, mark your desired cut, and guide your chainsaw steadily.

How to cut a log wider than a chainsaw?

If a log is wider than your chainsaw, make cuts from both sides until they meet in the middle.

How to cut log slices with chainsaw?

For log slices, place the log upright, mark the thickness, and cut horizontally.

Can I rip a log with a chainsaw?

Yes, you can rip a log with a chainsaw; just ensure it’s secured and guide your chainsaw steadily.

Key Takeaways

  • Prioritize safety with protective gear and cautious chainsaw use.
  • Choose a sharp chainsaw with a ripping chain for straight cuts.
  • Secure the log firmly before cutting.
  • Mark your cutting line clearly and follow it precisely.
  • Cut steadily, without rushing, for clean results.
  • Review and clean up the cut for a smooth finish.