Cutting Guide

How To Split Large Logs With A Chainsaw? A Complete Guide

When it comes to tackling the challenge of splitting large logs, a chainsaw can be your best ally. With the right approach, you can turn a daunting task into a series of manageable cuts. 

To stabilize the log to prevent rolling, strategically plan your cuts to avoid binding, and slice through the timber in controlled sections, always keeping safety at the forefront.

So, grab your safety gear, and let’s dive into the art of splitting large logs with a chainsaw—safely, efficiently, and with the finesse of a seasoned pro.

How to Split Large Logs With a Chainsaw and Efficiently

Before you start, ensure you’re kitted out in full safety gear. That includes safety glasses, gloves, sturdy boots, and a hard hat. Remember, chainsaws aren’t teddy bears, they’re powerful tools!

Step 1: Check Your Chainsaw

Now, make sure your chainsaw is in good working order. Is the chain sharp? Is the tension correct? If you’ve been through the process of cutting firewood with a chainsaw, these checks should be familiar to you.

Step 2: Position the Log

Next, you’ll want to position the log securely. The last thing you want is a log rolling around while you’re trying to split it. If it’s an option, use a sawhorse to secure the log.

Step 3: Start Your Chainsaw

Here’s where the fun begins. Start your chainsaw, making sure you’re holding it firmly and standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. It’s chainsaw time, not yoga time – you want stability, not flexibility!

Step 4: Make the Initial Cut

For the initial cut, aim to cut a few inches into the top of the log, creating a notch. This is like cutting a slice of pie – you’re making a wedge into the wood.

Step 5: Drive the Cut Deeper

Now, it’s time to drive the cut deeper into the log. You’re not just tickling the wood here, you’re trying to split it in half!

Step 6: Roll the Log

If the log is too large to split with one cut, you’ll need to roll it over and repeat steps 5 and 6. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a large log won’t be split in one cut!

Step 7: Finish the Cut

Finally, finish the cut by cutting all the way through the log. You’re on the home stretch now – you can practically smell that freshly split wood!

NOTE: Always remember to turn off your chainsaw when you’re not actively cutting. Chainsaws aren’t known for their conversational skills; they’re loud and can be distracting.

Be aware of common chainsaw sharpening mistakes. A dull chainsaw will make your work harder and could even be dangerous. If your chainsaw loses power under load, stop and assess the situation. It might be time for some chainsaw TLC.

And when you’re done splitting your logs, consider whether you have any stumps to remove. If you do, you can learn how to remove a stump with a chainsaw – it’s a handy skill to have!

DOs and DON’Ts


  • Always wear appropriate safety gear
  • Regularly check your chainsaw’s condition
  • Secure the log before starting your cut
  • Rotate the log if necessary to complete the split
  • Keep your chainsaw well-maintained to avoid losing power under load


  • Neglect your safety – chainsaws are powerful tools!
  • Ignore signs of a dull or faulty chainsaw
  • Attempt to cut a rolling or unsecured log
  • Rush the process – take your time to make accurate cuts
  • Forget to turn off your chainsaw when you’re not actively cutting

How To Split Logs With An Axe? Detailed Guide


Suit Up: You wouldn’t go to a fancy party in your pajamas, right? So, don’t go log-splitting without your safety gear. That means gloves, safety glasses, sturdy boots, and a good dose of common sense.

Pick Your Partner, I Mean Axe: Here’s where the right axe comes into play. It’s like a dance partner, you want someone who can keep up with your moves. A splitting axe, with its wider blade, is your ideal partner for this job.

Set the Stage: Now, onto setting the stage. You want to place your log on a stable surface, such as a chopping block. It’s like the dance floor for your log-splitting tango.

Get a Hold of Yourself (and Your Axe): Next up, grip the axe handle with both hands. One hand should be near the base of the handle, the other near the top. Remember, it’s not a game of pin the tail on the donkey, you want control over that axe!

Aim and Fire: Take a deep breath, aim for the center of the log, and swing. It’s like baseball, but instead of a home run, you’re going for a long run.

Rinse and Repeat: If the log didn’t split on the first go, don’t lose heart. Just keep swinging until you split the log. Patience is a virtue, especially in log splitting!

NOTE: If your axe gets stuck in the log (it happens to the best of us), you can dislodge it by rocking the handle back and forth.

While cutting this, you might find yourself wondering if there’s an easier way. Well, there just might be!

How To Split Large Logs For Firewood? Explained

Select the Right Tool for the Job

So, you’re staring down a log the size of a grizzly bear. It’s time to select the right tool for the job. A splitting axe or maul is going to be your best buddy in this situation. They have a wide, heavy head, perfect for prying apart large logs.

Secure Your Log

Next up, you’ll want to secure the log you’re planning to split. We’re not suggesting you handcuff it, but setting it on a stable surface like a chopping block will do the trick. Remember, a rolling log gathers no axe!

Size Up Your Swing

Now that your log is secure, it’s time to size up your swing. Think of it as a dance with the axe. You’re leading, and the axe is following your rhythm. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart for stability, raise the axe overhead, and take a breath. This isn’t a time for half-measures – you’re about to show this log who’s boss!

Split the Log

Here’s where the rubber meets the road, or rather, the axe meets the log. Aim for the center of the log and let the axe fall. Let gravity and the weight of the axe do the heavy lifting here. If you don’t split the log on the first try, don’t worry. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and some logs won’t split in one swing!

Repeat as Needed

Didn’t get the log on the first swing? No problem! Keep swinging until you have split the log. Patience and persistence are key here. And hey, who needs a gym when you’ve got a hefty log and a splitting axe?

Celebrate Your Success

Once you’ve split the log, take a moment to celebrate your success. Maybe do a little victory dance. You’ve earned it!

NOTE: Keep in mind that wood with a straight grain and few knots will be easier to split. If you’re looking at a log with more knots than a pretzel factory, you might be in for a workout!

Throughout this process, remember to take breaks when needed. Hydrate and rest those muscles. As you’re sipping your water, you might find yourself wondering, “Can I split logs with a chainsaw?” The answer is yes, but that’s a whole different ball game. Stick with the axe, for now, lumberjack-in-training!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to cut a log larger than your chainsaw?

To cut a log bigger than your chainsaw, make a series of overlapping cuts along the top, then roll the log and finish from the other sides.

Why not split wood with a chainsaw?

Splitting wood with a chainsaw isn’t ideal; it’s risky and can damage the chain, as chainsaws are designed for cutting, not splitting.

Can you use a chainsaw to split logs?

Technically, you can use a chainsaw to split logs, but it’s not recommended due to safety concerns and potential damage to the chainsaw.

How do you split a large log lengthwise?

To split a large log lengthwise, use a splitting maul or wedge and sledgehammer to follow the grain and split the log into halves or quarters.

How to cut logs with a chainsaw on the ground?

When cutting logs on the ground, prop them up to prevent the chainsaw from hitting dirt and use short, controlled cuts, keeping the tip of the blade clear.

Why not use a chainsaw to split wood?

Avoid using a chainsaw to split wood since it’s designed for cutting; splitting can cause kickback, damage the chain, and pose a high risk of injury.

What is the best tool for splitting large logs?

The best tool for splitting large logs is typically a splitting maul, which combines a sledgehammer and an axe for efficient wood splitting.

Final Thoughts

  • Use a chainsaw to simplify log splitting.
  • Safety first: wear appropriate gear.
  • Ensure the chainsaw is in top condition.
  • Patience and technique are crucial.
  • Mastery turns daunting tasks into easy ones