What is Chainsaw Used For: A Comprehensive Guide

what is chainsaw used for

Chainsaws are powerful and versatile tools that have become a staple for many professionals and hobbyists. In this blog post, I’ll provide a comprehensive overview of the many uses and applications of chainsaws. Proper maintenance and safety precautions are paramount when operating these machines, so I’ll also touch on some key chainsaw care and safety tips. Strap in and let’s get cutting!

  What Is Chainsaw Used For? - A 2024 Complete Guide

What is a chainsaw used for?

Chainsaws can be used for a wide variety of cutting and trimming tasks. Here are some of the most common applications of these handy power tools:

Tree felling

One of the primary uses for chainsaws is felling or cutting down trees. The sharp, motorized chain blade of a chainsaw can quickly slice through the trunk of a tree to bring it down in a controlled manner. I’ll typically make a notch on the side I want the tree to fall before making the main backcut. Having the right size chainsaw for the tree’s diameter is key for efficient and safe tree felling.


Once a tree has been felled, a chainsaw is invaluable for removing all the branches – a process called limbing or delimbing. I’ll carefully trim off each limb flush with the tree’s trunk to prepare the logs for transport. A limbing chainsaw typically has a compact, lightweight design for maneuverability in tight spots.

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The next step after limbing is bucking, which involves cutting the tree trunk into manageable sections. Based on the required log lengths, I’ll make a series of crosscut slices down the length of the tree to produce logs for milling or firewood. A longer guide bar is useful when bucking larger diameter logs.


In addition to removing entire trees, chainsaws can also be used for pruning and trimming branches on standing trees. With the right chainsaw, I can neatly trim away dead or overgrown limbs to maintain the health and appearance of valued trees. Proper pruning cuts help the tree heal quickly.

Cutting firebreaks

During wildfires, chainsaws are often used to rapidly clear vegetation in order to construct firebreaks. These are areas where the fuel has been removed to slow or stop the progress of the fire. Cutting down brush and small trees with a chainsaw allows firefighters to create critical firebreaks when facing an advancing blaze.

Harvesting firewood

For those with wood-burning stoves or fireplaces, a chainsaw is the perfect tool for cutting firewood to length. I really enjoy heading out to the woods to buck logs into rounds and split them to stack up cords of firewood for winter. A sturdy chainsaw makes quick work of harvesting all the fuel I need.

Chainsaw art

With skill and creativity, chainsaws can be used to craft unique works of art from logs. Chainsaw artists employ specialized techniques like plunge cutting and bore cutting to sculpt images and designs. It’s an exciting art form that allows me to take a rough log and transform it into a beautiful bear or eagle carving.

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Chainsaw mills

For those milling their own lumber, a chainsaw mill attachment can turn a regular chainsaw into a portable sawmill. Mounting the chainsaw on a guiding frame allows me to precisely slice logs into dimensional planks and beams. Chainsaw mills provide an affordable option for small-scale milling.

Cutting concrete

While standard chainsaws are designed for cutting wood, specialized concrete cutting chainsaws utilize diamonds or abrasives on the chain. The rotating chainsaw blade can cut through concrete, brick, and cinder blocks for demolition or construction projects. Proper protective equipment is absolutely vital when concrete cutting.

Cutting ice

Believe it or not, chainsaws are sometimes used for cutting ice! Specially designed ice chainsaws have more aggressively angled teeth to provide enhanced traction and cutting in frozen conditions. Chainsaw ice carvers can use these tools to sculpt incredible works of art from blocks of ice.



After reading this comprehensive overview, it’s clear that chainsaws are extremely versatile tools with a wide array of potential applications. Whether felling giant trees, harvesting firewood, or crafting chainsaw art, chainsaws provide an efficient cutting solution when used safely by trained operators. Don’t forget to regularly maintain your saws and always wear protective gear when bucking and carving. With proper precautions, chainsaws will be your new best friend for all sorts of cutting tasks!


What is the difference between a chainsaw and a reciprocating saw?

A chainsaw utilizes a fast-rotating circular chain blade powered by an engine to make long cuts through wood, while a reciprocating saw has a back-and-forth motion powered by electricity and is better suited for short cuts in wood, metal, and other materials.

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How do I choose the right chainsaw for my needs?

Consider what types of projects you’ll use the saw for, as well as factors like power, bar length, weight, and any specialized features. A professional arborist felling large trees needs a more powerful saw than a homeowner pruning their fruit trees.

What are the advantages of using an electric chainsaw over a gas-powered one?

Electric chainsaws provide quieter, cleaner operation and less maintenance at the expense of limited cord length or battery life. Gas models offer longer run times and more power for intensive use but require more care and maintenance.

How often should I sharpen my chainsaw chain?

As a good rule of thumb, the chain should be sharpened every 2-3 hours of use. More frequent sharpening is needed when cutting dirty or sandy wood. Regularly check the cutters for dullness and reduced cutting performance.

Can I use a chainsaw to cut metal?

Chainsaws should never be used to cut metal, concrete, or masonry. Only specialty abrasive chainsaw chains are designed to cut non-wood materials. Standard wood-cutting chains will quickly fail and become unsafe if used on metal.

What should I wear when operating a chainsaw?

At minimum, OSHA-approved chainsaw protective chaps, sturdy boots, eye protection, hearing protection, heavy work gloves, and a hard hat for falling limbs. Additional armor mesh gloves and leggings provide even more protection from the saw chain.

How do I store my chainsaw when not in use?

Fully depress the chain brake, allow the saw to cool, empty the fuel tank, and clean the chain and bar of debris before storing. Keep the saw in a dry location away from direct sunlight. Lubricate the bar lightly to prevent corrosion.

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