Cutting logs for firewood provides a great workout that also saves you money. You don’t need any specific previous experience, but you need to know how to do it to stay safe. Anybody can do it with a little practice and the right kind of tool. We walk through the process on how to cut firewood safely.


How to Cut Firewood Safely

You need enough logs to make a sufficient amount of firewood. You’ll also need some tools for this process. These include:

  • Iron Wedge
  • Plastic wedge
  • Sledgehammer
  • Splitting maul

Granted, if you have a good chainsaw that you can use, this will be speed up the process. Good chainsaws aren’t that expensive, so ​make it a point to pick one up for this process

Don’t cut small lengths using a chainsaw as this will waste a lot of wood. If you start with a chainsaw, begin at the smaller end of log and work your way all the way down to other end of log.

​You’ll be using these tools listed above​ to make small pieces out of the logs. ​Stop once you reach the point where diameter of log is similar to your cutting blade. Simply rotate the cutting bar to a ninety-degree position.

You should try this when 75% of the blade is covered. You will reduce kickback risks with enough friction and pinch. Reducing kickback is key to staying safe while cutting your wood. 

Here are four different approaches to chop your firewood down:

1. Learn Over-bucking Method

Over-bucking, also known as overcutting, is a simple firewood cutting process. According to WoodworkerHelp, this process is simple enough to be used by anyone.

To apply this technique, you need to start from the top of log and apply some pressure with your saw. The teeth will pull the chain bar inside log and work accordingly.

This process involves keeping the guide bar nose and ground or other objects at a safe distance. However, if it accidentally meets, don’t force the bar out.

Simply turn it off and get a wooden wedge. You need to drive it into the cut using a hammer. Now you can easily detach the saw.

2. When the Log Is Supported by Both Ends

Sometimes, when cutting wood, you’ll be in a situation where your log is supported at both ends. It may not be supported in the middle portion. This usually happens with small logs. These are probably sitting on a sawhorse or probably two huge logs.

In this situation, start your chainsaw and begin cutting the log from top to one-third inside the wood. Next, go down and start cutting in the opposite direction.

You should apply gradual force here. The chainsaw bar should not be pinching at any point by the log.

When you cut the opposite direction (known as under-bucking) your chainsaw will probably push back. Don’t lose control. Be ready for that. You need to hold the saw firmly and be careful when it hits hard.

This is a great option to use if you have a cheaper chainsaw that isn’t incredibly powerful.

3. When the Log is Supported on One End

If the log is hanging with one side in the air and the other part supported by something, you need to use a different cutting method.

  • You need to start cutting from the underside of log. Go around one-third inside the log using your chainsaw.
  • Now, move to the top of log and use an under-bucking method. You need to go through the log gradually and reach the first cut.
  • Be prepared and cautious when the log is about to fall. Make sure you are not in the line of the falling log.

4. When the Log is On a Slope

Suppose the log you are dealing with is up on a hill. In that case, the most preferable rule is to stand up-hill with the log.

Once you are done cutting, the log should start rolling. This way you’ll won’t hit yourself or get hurt while cutting. The nose of the saw should never touch ground. You need to make sure of that.

Be careful with this method. Powerful chainsaws that are more expensive can make short work of cutting logs this way, but you have to be careful about your feet as you cut.

Safety Requirements

If you are going to use a chainsaw for cutting logs, keep this in mind. Just like any other power tool, even a small chainsaw is quite risky to deal with. It is your first duty to ensure the safety requirements for yourself.

  • Wear some effective protective gear. There are many choices available which are ideal for this.
  • Get good quality safety glasses. Your eyes are the most sensitive part. They definitely need some kind of protection.
  • Wear a face mask and a pair of hand gloves as well. These are going to keep you safe from flying particles and sharp blades.
  • Wear a good pair of boots and earplugs.
  • Clean the entire space where you’ll be cutting firewood.

Place a sign on the area that indicates what you are doing. This warns other people to stay away. You don’t want a log accidentally falling on a person.

Cutting firewood fast with a chainsaw is a different process.


Hopefully this guide will help you to chop enough firewood for your home this summer or winter. Make sure you have a good place to store this wood, and t is vital that you exercise caution when cutting wood for your fireplace.  Good Luck!

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