Can You Split Wood with a Chainsaw?

We all know that splitting wood with an axe can be difficult and time-consuming, but what if you could use your chainsaw to do the job?

While it may sound like an impossible task, chainsaws were actually designed to tackle large logs, so they can certainly split wood, too.

In fact, most chainsaws are powerful enough to handle the job.

Before you get started on your next project, learn everything you need to know about splitting wood with a chainsaw.

What is Wood-Splitting?

For centuries, people have used axes and mauls to split logs for various purposes.

Splitting wood is an art form, but one that must be practiced to achieve results that are both efficient and pleasing to look at.

There are many different styles of wood splitting, some more appropriate than others depending on what you intend to do with your wood once it’s been split.

When Would You Split Wood with a Chainsaw Instead of an Axe?

Splitting wood is hard work that takes time, whether you do it by hand or use an axe.

But if you want to save some of your energy, and your back, consider getting a chainsaw instead of an axe.

What to Know Before Splitting Wood with a Chainsaw?

When splitting wood with a chainsaw, be aware of the following:

  • Always use proper safety gear, including goggles, gloves, and a face mask.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid contact with other people or objects.
  • Make sure the chainsaw chain is sharp and in good condition.
  • Cut the wood into manageable pieces before attempting to split it.
  • Use the chainsaw to cut only into the side of the wood that you want to split, not the end.

Can you split wood with a chainsaw?

Yes, you can split wood with a chainsaw. It’s not really recommended, but it’s totally possible. The process is actually quite simple once you know how to do it.

There are plenty of different ways to split wood; by hand, using an axe or splitting maul, using wedges, and more recently by chainsaws.

Let’s take a look at why that is and what benefits and risks are involved when you use your chainsaw to get your firewood.

What Chainsaw is the Best for Splitting Wood?

There are many different things to consider when you’re searching for a chainsaw that can cut through logs. If you want to split wood with your chainsaw, you’ll need something sturdy and reliable.

Try focusing on a saw that has more than one chain, like those that use two or three, so it’s easier to break down larger logs into smaller sections.

Before buying any chainsaw, take some time to research what makes for an efficient wood-splitting tool and how to choose between gas and electric models based on your own needs and preferences. Most importantly: don’t forget your protective gear!

How to Split Wood with a Chainsaw?

Although they may not be as strong or durable as axes, chainsaws are still an effective way to split wood. However, unless you’re using a high-quality saw, you should never attempt to use one for splitting wood.

Fortunately, with some care and attention, splitting wood can be much easier than most people think.

Here are 5 steps on how to safely split wood with your chainsaw.

Choosing the Right Size Log

Before you start splitting, it’s important to know how big your logs should be. First and foremost, a chainsaw can cut through smaller pieces of wood with greater ease than large ones.

If you want to get your firewood in one piece, keep them under 16 inches across and about 14 inches deep. For smaller kindling, use wood that is 8 inches around or less.

Choose the Right Chainsaw

The first step to splitting wood with a chainsaw is choosing one that’s right for you. There are two main types of chainsaws, gas-powered and electric, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

If you live in an area where there is no access to electricity, choose a gas-powered model. Gas models tend to be more powerful than electric models and thus split logs easier.

Protect Yourself

Whether you’re cutting down trees for firewood or clearing land for a homestead, you should protect yourself from potential injury. Don’t wear gloves. They can get stuck in your chainsaw, trapping your hands in them, and aren’t strong enough to offer much protection anyway.

Wear long sleeves and pants instead to protect your skin from splinters and branches while also preventing cuts and scrapes that might lead to infections.

Using the Chainsaw Proper Way

While chainsaws are typically used for clearing brush, felling trees, and other wood-chopping tasks, they can also be employed to split firewood.

Most modern chainsaws come with what’s called an autoloader, which is essentially a slot at the end of your bar where you place your cut logs to automatically load them into position so you can keep on splitting.

Making the Right Size Logs

Splitting wood can be a tricky task, especially if you’re not sure which size logs will work best with your wood splitter.

When purchasing wood, it’s essential to make sure that you know what type of machine you’ll be using before making any purchases.

Otherwise, when it comes time to split some wood, your splitter might not work as efficiently as possible.

The good news is that all of these machines are relatively simple, and figuring out what size logs work best doesn’t require too much effort at all!

is it Dangerous to Use a Chainsaw to Split Wood?

Using a chainsaw for cutting wood is popular because of how easy it makes creating firewood and saving logs to burn in your fireplace.

While using a chainsaw can be safer than using other cutting tools, there are still some risks involved.

Whether you’re an experienced or novice chainsaw user, it’s important to know what safety precautions you should take when working with this tool so that you can avoid injury.

There are several things to consider when planning to use your chainsaw for woodcutting.

Is it Better to Split Wood with a chainsaw Wet or Dry?

Splitting wood is typically done when it’s wet. That’s because dry wood doesn’t usually split very well and it may not break at all.

Furthermore, wood is far more difficult to split once it has dried out (which can happen fairly quickly).

But of course, there are those situations where you need to split wood quickly and get on with your life.

For example, if you were cutting down a tree in your backyard and had to remove it as quickly as possible.

Tips for Safely Splitting Wood with a Chainsaw

Chainsawing is dangerous. You can be seriously injured or killed if you are not careful.

Here are some basic safety tips:

  • Wear safety gear including gloves, eye protection, and a hardhat.
  • Make sure the chainsaw is in good condition and has been properly sharpened.
  • Inspect the tree for any dead limbs or branches that could fall on you while you are cutting it down.
  • Cut the tree from the bottom up, using a slicing motion. Apply steady pressure to the chainsaw, but do not force it.
  • Do not try to cut large trees by yourself – always work with a partner.


Contrary to popular belief, you cannot split wood with a chainsaw. Chainsaws do not produce enough force to split logs.

For best results, use an axe or maul to split wood, and avoid causing damage to your chainsaw by doing so.

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