How to Cut a Large Log With a Small Chainsaw – Complete Guide
It may seem like an insurmountable task to effectively either fell a large tree or cut up logs into blocks of wood with a small chainsaw. It’s challenging – that’s for sure – but not impossible.
As is the case with many homeowners, there are unsightly trees standing on your property that are a rotting eyesore and need to be cut down. Perhaps there’s a massive old oak or hemlock in your backyard that needs to be put out to pasture. Like most working folks who like to tinker around their yards on the weekend, you probably don’t own a powerful gas-powered chainsaw.
What if you need to cut large logs and you only have a small battery – operated or electric chainsaw? Don’t fret, because this guide will explain how to go about doing this task effectively.
Factors to take into consideration
Before I go any further, I will state unequivocally that your saw’s engine power, guide bar length and the diameter of the log in question all need to be considered.
A chainsaw with a 10 – 14 – inch bar is capable of felling a large tree (preferably under 20 inches in diameter) or blocking up firewood. But if the diameter is higher than the guide bar length by a wide margin, a saw with a less powerful engine will be of little use to you.
Time is of the essence here. It will naturally take longer to cut a large log with a small chainsaw. What’s the key? Go slow. Make small cuts and keep chipping away at the log until you’ve successfully done the job. Yes, you must be patient. Another trick when using a small chainsaw to cut a large log is to buy a longer guide bar. Check the type of chainsaw you have to see what guide bars will fit it.
My experience with large trees
A number of years ago, I worked as a forester. Despite having access to powerful professional – grade chainsaws, I occasionally would come across a massive tree much larger in diameter than the spruce and pines I normally cut down.
On one very hot day, I had to cut down a white ash tree that had a 36-inch diameter. The bar on the Husqvarna chainsaw I was using was 20 inches. As you can probably imagine, I was concerned that it wouldn’t work. What I did first was cut a notch on one side then the other side, all the while careful not to meet the cuts.
Next, I cut one side within two inches of the back of the face cut and switched over to the other side and did the same. I kept cutting back and forth. It took a lot of effort, but the tree eventually fell.
Again, I applied the same principles you must follow when tackling a large log with your small chainsaw. Go slow and take your time. It’s the only way to get the job done right.
Techniques that are useful
If you want to know how to cut a large log with a small chainsaw, you’re not alone. Forestry professionals and hobbyists alike are often concerned about the limit of tree you can cut down. Another thing that can cause alarm is the matter of where the tip of the saw goes when the tree is considerably wider than the bar.
Again, it will depend heavily on the guide bar length of your chainsaw.
I will tell you right now that most chainsaws can safely cut down trees that have trunk diameters twice the bar length of the particular model of chainsaw being used.
How exactly does one go about doing this?
For chainsaw operators who are using a smaller bar, it’s best to employ a combination of plunge and fan cuts. This is what I referred to earlier. Take your time and slowly cut away at the trunk.
For very large trees, it is recommended to make a bore in the middle of the directional notch. Apply the chainsaw gently with a pulling chain to reduce the risk of kickback. Cut off the central parts of the stump by slowly swinging the guide bar.
Now continue with the dual bore and fell the tree using the safe corner method or turn around method. But before you start this venture, there are several procedures you must go through to ensure that the job is done safely and smoothly.
There are metal spikes called dogs at the base of the bar. These bite into the tree bark. Check them to see if they reduce the effective length of the bar. Once that is done, conduct a quick hazard analysis and plan your escape route just in case you’re forced to flee out of the way of a falling log.
This video explains the whole process pretty well:
What to do if your chainsaw gets stuck?
This can easily happen if the tree you intend to cut down is significantly bigger than your chainsaw’s guide bar. You cut too deep too soon and the wood closes up on your guide bar due to the immense pressure it receives from the sheer size of the tree. That said, sometimes it even gets stuck in logs that are already laying on the ground while you are trying to cut them into smaller pieces.
Trying to pull it out by force can damage the guide bar so I wouldn’t recommend it. You probably can’t get it out that way anyway.
Instead, I recommend using a felling wedge. A felling wedge is very similar to a splitting wedge, but instead of splitting wood it’s designed to force cuts previously made by a chainsaw or other tools open.
You place it in the opening and slowly push it in using a hammer or some other improvised tool. Most felling wedges even have barbs on them to better hold them in place under high pressure.
If you don’t already have these in your toolkit, you can buy some Spiked Felling Wedges from Amazon. I can personally recommend this set, the bright lime color makes them easy to find should you ever drop them by accident.
Can I use a splitting wedge for this?
If you don’t have any felling wedges at hand you can give it a try, but I wouldn’t recommend it. They don’t have spikes on them, so they can fall out easier under high pressure. Other than that, they are made out of metal which will damage your chainsaw if you accidentally cut them while pulling out. You should really only use them for this as a last resort.
Cutting firewood and cleaning up storm damage
I’m not sure exactly the trunk diameter of the trees you’re cutting or what tasks you need the chainsaw for. Many folks in North America and northern Europe have furnaces in their homes where they burn wood to heat their homes.
Perhaps you’ve just had several cord of wood delivered to your home. These logs are sitting out on the yard waiting to be cut up and piled neatly in your basement or barn. As with cutting logs, you use the same techniques for cutting up firewood or fallen trees.
When it comes to cutting logs that have fallen over from age or storm damage, it is good if you can carve up the trunk on the ground. This works most effectively when the trunk is on a firm ground such as your lawn. One safety tip: before you begin sawing, make sure that the trunk is unable to roll away. If necessary, use small pieces of wood to hold in in place.
Cutting a large log with a small chainsaw is never too hard provided you use the proper techniques. It may take longer, but you’ll still get it done. I hope the techniques outlined in this guide will be helpful to you.
Hi! I’m Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I’ve created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!
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One of the most common features of most gas-powered push mowers is the cord or rope that you use to get it started. But why do they have pull cords rather than some other starting mechanism? The.
Hi! I’m Peter, the owner of BackyardGadget. Working around the house has always been a big part of my life. I’ve created this site to share my experience, and to help people choose the right tools for the job. Thank you for stopping by!
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Best Bow Saws in 2023 Reviews Buying Guide
Here you can find some top-notch bow saws for quick and efficient cutting of trees for the well-maintenance of the yard.
A bow saw is a must-have tool or equipment to trim and maintain tree branches in the backyard (or) to get rid of the bushes and weeds in the garden.
It is designed with a straight sharp-teeth blade in a curved metal frame for tension. This tool is used by survivalists, gardeners, roofers, carpenters/woodworkers, craftspeople, and framers.
This low-maintenance garden tool is easy to use, simple in design, affordable, sharpest, durable, and portable that is powered by either corded or cordless. They are designed to use on small – medium-sized branches for cutting logs (firewood), trimming, and pruning shrubs and branches.
Before investing in the bow saws, we suggest you consider the following key factors to get the best option.
Blade Length –
Usually, the blade length of these bow saws will range from 12-inch to 36-inch. This length will determine the wood size a given bow saw can handle. Shorter blades with a length of 12 – 15 inches are perfect for small cuts, where long blades are unable to function like cutting dry branches or small greens. Longer blades up to 30-inch can easily and quickly cut 8 – 12 inches wood log.
Frame Material –
If your bow saw does not have proper structural rigidity, then it will not be viable enough for cutting harder wood. Hence, it is essential to check its frame material. Mostly, a tubular steel frame is the better option than an aluminum one in terms of its durability and structural strength.
While not everyone may require this feature, you should check the weight of the saw if you wish to use it for portable usage. A lightweight bow saw of around 500 grams is going to be much more practical than a saw of 800 grams. Also, look for foldable designs when you are working on multiple worksites, as they let you carry them around easily.
To get a clear idea of these covers, we came up with a detailed “Buying Guide” Also, using the same information, we have shortlisted some Best Bow Saws with a brief review of each product, including its specifications, pros, and cons. Read on to ease up your selection process and pick the best option.
Best Bow Saws in 2023: Table
Best Bow Saws in 2023: Reviews
Bahco 10-24-23 Bow Saw (24-inch)
Bacho is a highly popular brand of bow saws as it has been making all kinds of saws for a pretty long time all of which generally prove to be great options for heavy-duty usage.
The Bahco 10-24-23 bow saw comes at the 1st position of this list since it is quite an ergonomic option despite being made for heavy-duty usage. Thanks to its 24 inch saw size, you can easily use it for cutting most tree branches with ease.
Apart from having an ergonomic and comfortable to use handle, you will also get a tubular steel frame with this bow saw which is there for proper rigidity. A great thing about this bow saw is that you get a unique tensioning system with it for straight cuts. Unfortunately, you only get a 30-day long warranty with this Bacho bow saw.
- Offers a saw size of 24 inches
- Uses a tubular steel frame
- Comes with a 30 day long warranty period
- Great for heavy-duty usage
- Ergonomic and comfortable handle
- Includes a tensioning mechanism
AGAWA BOREAL21 Bow Saw (21-inch)
Even though Agawa and most of its bow saw models are quite a premium offering, they can be a great option if you want a feature-rich saw for using in your garden or backyard.
Agawa’s Boreal 21 bow saw comes at the 2nd position of this listicle as it is one of the best options for portable usage. Despite having a decently large 21 inch saw size, you can still take it with you thanks to its foldable design.
While it is also quite lightweight at 530 grams, it uses an aluminum frame for the same which is not as durable as steel. Thankfully, you do get a steel blade along with a fiberglass handle for extra strength. Agawa also includes a decent 1-year warranty with this bow saw.
- Offers a saw size of 21 inches
- Uses an aluminum frame
- Comes with a 1 year long warranty period
- Offers a foldable design
- Lightweight and highly portable
- Decently large steel blade
Truper 30255 Bow Saw (21-inch)
Truper is a fairly new brand of bow saws when compared with most other options out there that can still be a great option if you want a high-strength saw for using in your garden.
This Truper 30255 bow saw comes at the 3rd position of this article because it uses various high-strength materials for easily cutting hardwood. Starting with its blade, it uses a 21-inch blade that is made out of steel and combined along with a cam lever tension system so that the blade stays straight at all times.
To further increase the rigidity of this bow saw, Truper also uses a high-quality tubular frame for its construction. While it does not have any specific cutting depth, it is surely quite higher than others. You will be glad to know that this Truper bow saw comes with a 15-year warranty for your peace of mind.
- Offers a saw size of 21 inches
- Uses a tubular steel frame
- Comes with a 15 year long warranty period
- Ideal for heavy-duty usage
- Pretty high cutting depth
- High strength steel blade with tensioner
GreatNeck BB24 Bow Saw (24-inch)
GreatNeck is one of the most affordable options out there which can be ideal for all those of you who are looking for a bow saw that still manages to offer excellent performance.
The GreatNeck BB24 bow saw happens to be the best value for money option stated here. This is primarily due to the reason that even at its entry-level price tag, you get a 24-inch blade with it. Its blade is made out of chrome alloy hard steel which is great for extra strength.
Similarly, you also get a tubular steel frame combined along with a tension adjuster for high precision. Thanks to its large size frame, you get a very high cutting depth of 6.5 inches as well. But the best part about GreatNeck is that even its given price tag, you get a lifetime warranty with it making it ideal for long-term usage.
- Offers a saw size of 24 inches
- Uses a tubular steel frame
- Comes with a lifetime warranty period
- Excellent value for money
- Super warrant period for long term usage
- Large size blade for heavy-duty use
Spear Jackson B9824BOWSAW Bow Saw
Spear and Jackson has over 250 years of experience in developing and selling innovative agricultural and landscaping tools.
Their 24 predator bow saw is a professional quality bow saw which comes with ergonomic soft feel handle that is in-built for safe usage. It comes with adjustable blade tensioning mechanism which lets the user make quick and clean cuts.
Every bow saw comes with peg tooth which is perfect for cutting dry wood and hard wood. It is made from high-quality materials which offer superb service and long lifespan as well. It is quite easy to change the blades. And the teeth are specially designed to cutting fast in both sides – front and backwards.
- Reliable brand
- Durable quality
- Cleaner cuts
- Adjustable tensioning mechanism
Husky 12 in Bow saw (12-inch)
Husky is a fairly new brand of bow saws that you can keep in mind if you are looking for something affordable and ideal for portable usage at the same time.
This Husky 45420 bow saw is the cheapest option stated here in this list. Even at its given price tag, it happens to be a combination of a bow saw and a hack saw making it highly versatile. Although, it is not ideal for heavy-duty usage since you only get a 12 inch saw size with it.
Unlike what you would expect from such an affordable bow saw model, you still get a tubular steel frame with it. This is combined along with a decent 1-year warranty for your peace of mind. Just like most other bow saws, this one also includes a basic tension system to ensure that the blade stays straight at all times.
- Offers a saw size of 12 inches
- Uses a tubular steel frame
- Comes with a 1 year long warranty period
- Quite an affordable bow saw
- Also works as a hack saw
- Sturdy steel frame for rigidity
Hooyman Bow Saw
The last but not least product on our list is from a famous brand called Hooyman which is well-known for providing high-quality products.
Their bow saw comes with SK5 stainless steel construction and hardened teeth which provides clean and quick cuts without any mess. In addition to that, it ensures quality, reliability and durability. It is equipped with Hooyman’s signature no-slip H-grip which ensures safe cutting.
It features an adjustment tension knob which makes blade maintenance and replacement quite easy. This bow saw is light in weight and comfortable handle. It comes with limited lifetime warranty duration.
- Offers 21 inches blade
- High carbon SK5 steel material
- No-slip H-grip
- Longer cutting life
- Features tension adjustment knob
- High density EVA grip
- Secure grip
- Durable quality
How to Choose your Right Bow Saw:
Selecting your right option is a bit hard task from a wide range of bow saw options in the market. Some are meant to cut metals, while others are ideal to cut green wood or trees in the garden.
Without proper guidance, you may end up purchasing the wrong product. So, we are here with a guide that explains what to consider, how to use it, safety tips, and some FAQs to get a clear idea of its selection.
Here are some factors to consider while shopping for the bow saw.
Raker tooth blades and standard peg tooth blades are two different blade variants available for bow saws. A clear idea about these blade designs will help you choose the correct option as per your cutting needs.
Raker Tooth Blades – Bow saws with this blade design are used to work with green, wet woods effectively. They pull out the wood shavings of the cut to make it easy to cut wet or green woods.
Peg Tooth Blades – With its single shape of tooth that cut on both back and front stroke, they are used to cut through dry woods.
Some manufacturer designed their premium models with reversible blades, in such a way that peg blades on one side and raker peg blades on the other side. You can switch to a different blade type by removing the blade and flipping it over. This type of reversible blade is handy for those going to a jobsite.
So, it is essential to check the blade design the bow saw model has and pick a saw that is suitable for your requirements.
Teeth per inch (TPI) is used to rate the blade’s cutting efficiency. The saw with more teeth will provide a smoother cut. Yet a blade with high TPI results in catching sawdust in the gaps between teeth or gullets that in turn overheat the blade or slow down the cutting process. The blade cutting efficiency of the bow saw will range from 3 – 14 TPI, in which low TPI is ideal for greenwood, and high TPI is perfect for cutting lumber. Some manufacturer won’t mention TPI, yet specifies the cutting preference (dry or wet cutting).
Bow saws are exclusively designed to cut through the wood by using both the pull and push stroke, yet it happens only if it has sharp blades that are taken right out of the box. Prefer to use blades that are made of stainless steel or hardened carbon steel to enhance the durability, and strength of the blade along with making it stay sharp for a longer time.
If using carbon steel, then ensure the blade has rust resistance to prevent rust or corrosion. While stainless steel has a sharp edge to work for a longer time. Irrespective of any material, the blade won’t last long and you need to replace it occasionally. So, ensure to check the blade material and select the perfect option as per your sawing requirement.
The blade length of the saw will impact the size of wood your bow saw can handle easily. The general blade lengths of these saws will range from 12 inches (shorter blades) to 36 inches (big blades).
Shorter Blades – With its length ranging from 12 – 15 inches, this bow saw is a perfect option for small cuts (such as dry or small green branches). They provide the compactness required to cut in tight spaces, where you can’t use long blades.
Longer Blades – It let you perform bigger cuts with a stroke length that supports quick cutting of 8 – 12 inches wood log. But a blade length of around 30-inch is required to do some serious tree work.
Without the frame of the bow saw, you won’t be able to properly cut down the branches especially if they are quite strong. Therefore, it is highly important to ensure that your bow saw has a durable and sturdy enough frame before buying them. For the same, you can simply check the material used for the construction of your bow saw.
Except for a few lightweight folding bow saw models that use aluminum frames for a hiking or camping trip, almost all other options come with a tubular steel frame which offers proper rigidity to your bow saw. Since these are prone to rust, a powder coating finish will offer protective plastic skin.
Bow-Shaped Vs. Triangular:
Usually, these saws come in two main shapes – bow and triangle. Triangular-shaped saws are used to maneuver in tight spots (like trimming small trees). Since these are smaller, they are unable to handle larger wood. Whilst, a bow-shaped saw is widely used to efficiently cut through wood of a large diameter.
Type of Wood:
Based on the type of wood you want to cut through, you have to decide which type of blade suits best for your saw to make proper cutting. For instance, a sharper blade with longer teeth is the best option to cut harder wood effortlessly when you plan to cut seasoned wood. Whereas, pick a saw with rakes-type teeth that are widely spaced to clear paddock of small, green wood/trees.
It is quite common that the tension gets loosened in humid situations and upon frequent usage. The same happens in the bow saw and the result is the blade becomes wobbly, dangerous, and inefficient to perform its sawing task perfectly.
To get rid of this problem, the manufacturers of premium models featured an automatic tension adjuster to set the blade tight every time it loosens. Some models let you manually adjust the tension.
You have to twist a thin wire or cord and pull on the wooden frame to adjust the tension in the traditional bow saw models. However, it works well but at times it has to be replaced. Now you can notice either a cam level or adjustable screws (or both) placed on the handle end of modern metal-framed saws. The cam level hooks into predetermined holes and tensions to close, which is a common and quick way of adjusting the tension. Whereas, adjustable screws offer accurate variation in the blade tension to make it work aptly.
The frame is used as a grip in traditional wooden bow saws, whereas, some grip on a single side is used in modern metal saws. Also, it acts as a tensioning system for the blade, in which the handle locks the blade. This grip style offers a sturdy surface to grasp onto when you use the saw. Also, a D-ring is included over the blade interior that prevents sliding your hand off the grip surface (a most preferred option that offers additional leverage on forward pushing stroke.
Pistol-grip style is another secure grip option that wraps around the metal bow to deliver a tad textured surface and thereby keep them firmly in your hand without slipping. over, some other bow saw models won’t offer any grip and you have to hold the frame properly.
So, we suggest you test the way you hold the saw and then select the model with your preferred secure style.
Handle Design and Knuckle Guard Design:
The handle of the saw is essential to consider before making its purchase. It is used to transfer the user power from the arm to the blade in a back and forth fluid motion. Since these saw blades cut on the pull and push stroke, you have to check the model with a comfortable and ergonomic handle design that offers a better grip on the saw.
The bark and other trees/wood branches get into contact with the fingers and knuckles of the user while applying power strokes at the time of cutting. Ensure that your bow saw handle comes with this knuckle guard to safeguard your hands from these harmful effects when doing the sawing process.
A saw with high-quality steel blades is steady, durable, and makes the sawing process faster and easier. Even though there is a difference in the cutting capacity of the blade, they won’t last long and has to be replaced after some time. So, instead of buying the saw, we advise you to look for models offering replacement blades that let you switch easily.
The blade of these saws has extremely sharp teeth which might result in any unexcepted injuries to the operator during the sawing/cutting process. So, select a saw model featuring a protective sheath to cover your blade without exposing its sharp teeth and thereby prevent any possible injuries.
Bow saws are available in different colors, in which we advise you to pick a model having a brightly colored handle. This will help you to find out the saw easily whenever you left or place it in the trees or ground while working, specifically sawing the dense growth.
Protecting the Blade:
Blades with heat-treated steel teeth of the bow saw retain their sharp edge for several years, only when used and cared for properly after every use. Cutting green wood/log results in wet blades, so wipe off the blade to prevent rust formation on these steel blades. Then ensure to apply a thin oil (WD40) slightly on the blade to deter rust and keep it sharp and long-lasting.
Some saw models come with a foldup design that hides the blade to protect them from any harm while not using it. Some models offer a plastic protective sleeve that covers the blade and deters the sharp teeth of the blade from getting damaged. All these will protect the saw blade effectively to enhance its cutting capacity and longevity.
While not every bow saw might mention this, you have to check the cutting depth offered by it to get an idea of its cutting performance. This depth determines the thickness of the branch or tree that you can cut using the bow saw. Generally, the cutting depth will be around 4 – 6 inches whereas a higher cutting depth is ideal for cases, in which you work on larger trees. Although, a higher cutting depth also results in a larger bow saw resulting in slightly worse portability.
Even a bow saw is not a large tool, yet it is difficult to carry around. If you are one among those who want to take their bow saw to different locations for some reason, then its portability is a must to consider feature. The first thing to check is its weight, which should range from 400 – 500 grams but not beyond this range.
Apart from the weight, you have to choose a foldable bow saw (portable option) when you are backpacking, camping, or hiking to move them easily. This foldable model will properly cover the blade which prevents the risk of tear up or injury when packed in your bag with other tools and equipment.
Safety and Comfort:
An ergo handle and knuckle protector are two common safety features in modern bow saws that keep the hands and fingers safe and comfortable while operating this saw. However, it won’t matter for those who use the saw for few times yearly. Yet for daily users, pick the saw that is easy to use and features a protective sheath to protect from the sharp blade while storage.
The general price range of these bow saws will be from 11 – 40 depending on the features, warranty, size, and length of the blade. You have to choose the model that balances the cutting requirement and budget range.
Apart from the original price, you have to consider the price of replacement bow saw blades. A cheaper saw blade cut poorly and rarely offers better value, whilst a higher price provides a better-quality saw blade.
Alike other gardening tools in the garage, you also need the saw to function the same even after a long time. Therefore, checking the warranty offered by the bow saws is always a great idea. Other than the typical 1-year long warranty offered by most bow saws, you can also find some options that include a lifetime warranty for much better longevity and peace of mind.
The blades of these bow saws are sharp and are dangerous if used improperly. So, we are here with some safety tips that you have to follow for safe and effective usage of these bow saws.
Wear Safety Clothing – You have to wear heavy-duty, work boots or closed-toe shoes, and long pants that are made of durable and thick material.
Safely Carry – Carry the saw at the metal frame center with the teeth pointing towards the ground. You can pass it to others with the saw’s handle end.
Replace the Protective Sheath – Place the protective sheath after you complete the saw and cleaning process over the blade for its protection.
Area Preparation – It is essential to keep the kids and pets away from this work area, and won’t leave the saw on the ground. This would be dangerous, so arrange the work area properly.
How to Use a Bow Saw:
Take a look at the following detailed procedure that explains how we use the bow saw properly.
- Cut the branch from the upper surface towards down with pressure on the push and pull stroke. Ensure that your position should be above the branch, especially work from waist height.
- The blade has to rest in a vertical position over the wood. Always operate the saw with the dominant hand and support the limb with your non-dominant hand. After cutting the wood, clear the blade to get rid of moisture.
- Go with gentle first few cuts to prevent the saw from sticking or snagging, which in turn results in skipping and bending of blades. Make sure to work slowly before you completely apply the pressure.
- Don’t bend the arm much and use the full length of the blade while cutting or operating the bow saw.
- Simply push the blade down and then forward or backward using a push stroke without applying excessive pressure at a 40-degree angle, which helps for quick and efficient cutting.
Frequently Asked Questions:
A bow saw is an ideal option to use for small woodcutting jobs, which include cutting large branches into the wood and pruning trees into the wood for a fireplace. This saw is the best alternative where the loppers and pruners are unable to cut or perform tasks like pruning shrubs, cutting wood for the stove, or taking down small trees (5 or less inches).
The bow saw can’t handle steel and plastic, as it is meant to cut things like branches, firewood, and other wood due to its roughness. So, prefer to use this handy equipment used for woodworking and cutting curved or straight cuts.
The main reason for binding the bow saw blade is not having a sufficient set of cutting teeth and making the channel wider than the blade. It is used to cut dry wood but not green.
The lifespan of the bow saw blade is based on its frequency of usage. The steel frame is sturdy and durable, yet you have to keep it clean and rust-free for its long-lasting performance.
The bow saw is perfect to cut logs/wood of large size, wood stove, or chimney for individual use. The regular blade length of 2 – 3 feet fits with a sharp edge and sharp teeth along with a C-shaped edge, which suits for quick cutting through wooden logs (of 5 more inches).
Safety is the utmost priority while using these hand tools. Here are some of the tips that have to be minded carefully when operating the saw.Always wear protective clothing like hand gloves and goggles.Cover the blade to keep it sharp by using a protective cover while not using it.Avoid standing below the tree branches while cutting.When walking with a blade, you have to face the blade away from the body and be careful that it won’t hurt anyone.Keep it away from pets, elders, or kids to operate the saw.
With its broader, sheet metal blade, the folding saw will extend from the handle and fold back into the transportation. This is a single-handed tool that has to be used on branches of diameter less than a couple of inches.Whereas bow saws need additional steps to fold models, and their small tooth count is designed to cut large branches. The frame of the bow saw offers a gripping area when you need two hands.So, you have to select the best option based on your personal preference.
Those of you who want to cut a lot of branches, bushes and plants in their backyard or garden must consider getting something more substantial than a pair of hand cutters. One such viable option can be the best bow saws stated above.
Thanks to their features and factors present earlier in this list, you can easily use them in your garden for cutting both dried and green wood with ease. To help you in picking the right bow saw, we have also explained a comprehensive buying guide regarding the best bow saws. That being said, if you are still not able to pick the best bow saw yet, you can simply get one of our ideal picks for the best bow saws:
- Unlike most other bow saws, theAgawa Boreal 21 Bow Saw is quite unique as it offers a foldable design allowing the user to easily take with them. Its 21 inch saw size also offers a great balance between portability and blade size. Agawa also includes a decent 1-year long warranty with its aluminum frame which is used to get a lightweight body.
- The GreatNeck BB24 Bow Sawmost likely offers the best value for money compared to other options stated above. Even at its price, you get a very large 24-inch blade which is combined along with a high-strength tubular steel frame. But the best thing about this bow saw is that it comes with a lifetime warranty making it perfect for long-term usage.
- In case that you do not have a high budget for a bow saw, then you can potentially go with the Husky 45420 Bow Saw which also acts as a hacksaw thanks to its convertible design. Although being the cheapest option present above, its saw size is quite small at just 12 inch. Thankfully, Husky still offers a tubular steel frame as well as a 1-year long warranty to the user.
Cutting Your Own Firewood
With the rising cost of oil and natural gas, many homeowners are returning to a more economical source of fuel. firewood. After all, wood is a fairly abundant resource and can be as close to home as that tree in your backyard. Manufacturers of wood burning furnaces and fireplaces have also made firewood more attractable by developing more heat-efficient systems. But before you set out to cut that backyard tree or any other, there are some important steps to follow.
The Tools of the Trade
The single most useful tool used to cut firewood is the chainsaw. There are a few options to consider before making a purchase:
Electric vs. Gas: Most chainsaws are either electrically powered or operate on a 2-cycle gas engine. Electric saws are lightweight and work well for cutting smaller tree limbs and logs, but your movement is limited by an electric cord. For the serious firewood cutter, a gas saw is the best choice for both power and portability.
Saw Size: The size of a chainsaw is typically measured by the length of its cutting bar, which is proportional to the power of its motor. This length varies from the small 12” lightweight pruning saws to heavy 50″ professional-grade logging saws. For most homeowners, though, a bar length of 16″ will be sufficient, giving good power with minimal weight.
Saw Brand: There are many brands of chainsaws and among the pros there is a strong debate over which is best. By price, the saws that are typically most expensive are STIHL and Husqvarna. Less expensive brands include Poulan, Homelite, Echo, and McCulloch. The main consideration should be the amount of wood you plan to cut and the number of years you want the saw to last. Price and value are closely related in the chainsaw market.
Cutting firewood also requires the use of several additional tools used to split the wood into usable pieces. These include the iron wedge, the plastic wedge, the sledge hammer, and the splitting maul.
Iron wedges (left) are driven with a sledge hammer into cut logs to further divide or “split” them into smaller pieces. Plastic wedges (right) are shaped like iron wedges but are not used to split logs. Instead, they are inserted into a partially-cut log above the chainsaw blade to prevent the log from closing and “pinching” the chainsaw. Unlike an iron wedge, they do no damage to the chain if accidentally hit. Plastic wedges are particularly useful when cutting medium to large logs on the ground.
The sledge hammer is used to pound the wedge into the wood. The splitting maul (left) is the tool that is most often used to split pieces of wood. It is basically a wedge fastened to the end of a handle and looks similar to an axe, only it is much heavier and a more efficient tool for splitting wood. The flattened back end of a splitting maul can also be used as a sledge hammer to drive wedges.
Some homeowners may have access to an automatic wood-splitter, in which a hydraulic cylinder splits the wood. These devices reduce the need for manual splitting, but may not always be economical to purchase and maintain. However, if you find yourself with a large quantity of wood to split, consider renting one from your local rental or home store.
Finding a Place to Cut
The backyard is as far as some homeowners will need to go to find their source of firewood! Trees and large branches that have fallen in storms make particularly good firewood, because they are already on the ground. If you do not have an ample supply of trees on your property, check with neighbors or someone in the suburbs or country. Chances are that you will not have to look far.
Most people will be pleased to have their fallen or dead trees cut, but you should discuss your expectations thoroughly with the landowner. You need to know exactly which trees you are permitted to cut, how and when you can access them, and what to do with leftover twigs and debris. Some landowners may require a small payment for the wood you cut, and some may require a signature stating that you will not sue them should you get hurt on their property.
Unless you are experienced at cutting down standing trees (felling), it is best to have someone else do the cutting, or to only cut what has already fallen. Cutting a tree down is a skill of its own and can easily cause property damage, bodily injury, or fatality.
Chainsaw Cutting Safety
Before you fire up your saw and begin to cut, it is important to consider a few safety precautions that can save your limbs or your life. Modern chainsaws are equipped with many safety features, but they are still dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced cutter. The following list provides some basic safety guidelines:
- Wear safety glasses to protect against sawdust and flying debris
- Wear hearing protection, especially if using a loud saw
- Make sure clothing (overalls, hats, gloves, boots) do not obstruct your ability to operate the saw.
- Cut with a partner if possible and keep a cell phone nearby in case of accident
- Identify any tree limbs that might be under tension. These limbs will act as a spring or catapult when the tension is released by cutting
- Keep hands and other body parts away from a running chainsaw.
- Wear hearing protection if the saw is particularly loud
- Read and follow the safety guidelines in your operator’s manual!
When a good cutting place is found and all safety guidelines are understood, it is time to cut. Cutting firewood is a combination of an art with physics, as there are many styles and techniques, but there are certain principles that apply to anyone.
Stance: You need to stand in a way that provides upper-body support and prevents fatigue. Your feet should be spread slightly further than shoulder-length, which will help your upper body support the saw. Be careful of loose footing, such as cut pieces of wood, branches, and animal holes.
Technique: There are generally two directions to cut, upwards and downwards. Most wood is cut best by placing the saw above the wood and cutting down through it (above left). Gravity will usually pull the cut piece away from the log and you can continue cutting in this fashion. But in some cases when the log or branch is under tension, cutting from the top down will cause the wood to pinch causing the saw to become stuck within the cut. In this case, it is best to cut upwards (above right) by placing the saw beneath the wood and cutting up through it. Using the plastic wedge can help keep larger logs from pinching the saw chain.
Branches First: With most fallen trees, it is best to begin cutting at the branch end first. Start by cutting off all branches that are too small for firewood. Place the saw at the base of these branches and cut them off smooth at the part of the limb or log where they are attached.
Balance: Look for branches that may be holding the trunk above the ground. These branches act as props and can be helpful in keeping the trunk elevated for easy cutting. You should observe the complete structure of the tree and plan your cutting in a logical order, removing most props last.
Trunks: As you progress from the top of the tree towards the trunk, the diameter of the wood will gradually thicken. You will still be cutting upwards or downwards, only it will be necessary to work the saw at different angles. Cut the wood at two 45 degree angles, or in the form of an A-framed house. When both sides of the logs are evenly cut, you should finish the piece by cutting directly downward or upward.
Dirt Debris: Nothing will cause your saw to dull quicker than cutting into the dirt. This is why you should allow branches and other natural props to keep the wood lifted above the ground.
Half-Cut Technique: If a trunk is too heavy to lift from the ground, try cutting it into smaller sections of about six feet in length. Pre-cut each section to the size of firewood you want, leaving about two inches of each cut unfinished. Then roll the section over, exposing the uncut side. Carefully place the saw into each cut and finish the pieces of firewood. This will make cutting trunks easy and will keep your saw chain from hitting the dirt.
Oops. your chainsaw got stuck in a log!
A pinch will happen to even the best of operators, but with a few tools and some patience, the saw can easily be removed. If a saw becomes pinched, turn it off immediately. If the pinch is in a small limb, try to pry the limb away from the pinch with your hand and gently work the saw up and down until it comes free. If the saw does not come free, disassemble the saw bar from the engine assembly and try again. With the bar removed, the chain will usually pull free much easier.
If you have a second chainsaw handy, you can also release the stuck saw by cutting through the part of the tree that is causing the pinch. The operator must be aware of any tension and be careful that the second saw doesn’t get stuck as well!
Maintaining Your Tools
Proper maintenance is essential to keeping your equipment safe and productive.
Fuel: Chainsaw motors are two-cycle and, unlike your car, need a mix of gasoline and oil to function properly. It is important that you use only the type and mixture of fuel recommended. Other mixtures can and will cause expensive damage.
Bar Oil: Chainsaws must also have a continuous supply of bar oil, a biodegradable oil which lubricates the chain and its components. If the saw runs dry of oil, damage to the bar, clutch or other parts is very likely.
Chains: The chain will occasionally need tightened or sharpened. Sharpening can be done with a hand held file, or you can take your chain to a dealer or local hardware to have it professionally sharpened. Most places will sharpen a chain for under 5. You also can purchase special files to sharpen your own chains in a pinch. Because there is always the chance of chain breakage or dulling (usually at the worst possible time), always have an extra sharp chain or two available so your work isn’t interrupted.
Guards: Make sure all guards and shields on your chains remain intact and are securely fastened. These features are meant to protect and can only do so if they are in place.
Cutting the wood is only part of the battle. proper storage is next. Most split firewood will need to dry for at least nine months or longer before it can properly burn and some of the larger pieces will need to be split.
Split it: The only way that larger pieces of wood will properly dry is if they are split, so that there is more surface to air exposure. Splitting is also necessary if the wood is too large for the fireplace, stove or furnace or too heavy to carry.
Leave it: If you own the land the wood is cut on, or have permission from the owner, you may leave the wood to dry where it was cut. Of course, you are at the mercy of thieves, inclement weather, and deterioration (mold, mice, snakes, worms) that tends to occur wherever there is ground contact.
Stack it: Some homeowners stack their wood between trees or alongside a building. This usually limits the rot to the bottom layer, and allows for a tarp to be easily strung across the top.
Rack it: Putting your cut firewood into a raised rack (commercial or home-made) keeps the bottom layer off the ground, minimizing loss due to rot.
House it: If you have garage space or a shed of some kind, you may want to stack the wood indoors. This is the best way to prevent rot and maintain a nice bright color to the wood.
Learning to cut your own firewood will save you hundreds of dollars in annual heating costs. Cutting wood is also a great form of exercise and can be an enjoyable time as you interact with nature. While it takes hard work, there is a deep sense of satisfaction when you finally see the logs glowing on the andirons of your fireplace and feel their warmth throughout your house.
For more information about the safety or equipment of cutting firewood, visit these helpful websites: http://www.STIHL.com http://www.Husqvarna.com.
Chris Kick is a creative writing major at Ashland University and enjoys outdoor activities, high school sports, writing, and (of course) cutting firewood.
Deck saws with saw bars up to 12 ft. long are used to cut the largest of logs, and are also used to split logs length-ways so they can be introduced into the mill flow and processed with smaller capacity equipment. These saws are also utilized in a variety of custom applications, ranging from tie operations to firewood processing plants.
Saw bar lengths available from 3 ft. to 12 ft.
Three-phase electric motor drives available from 7.5 HP through 25 HP
Design features the industry-famous “Tuffee” mandrel for durability.
Fully-automatic chain oiler
Compact hydraulic power unit drives saw bar movement.
Quick chain tension take up.
Thousands of units in operation world-wide.
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About L-M Equipment
L-M Equipment Co. Inc offers package saws ranging from small portable units to complete cutting systems as well log merchandising saws for the forest products industry around the world.