How to Hold Logs While Cutting with a Chainsaw?

Utmost safety should be observed when working with a chainsaw. Given its potential risks, an accident is likely and could cause severe injuries to the user.

Therefore, it is essential that one adheres to the user manual for safe operation. Cutting logs is one of the primary purposes of chainsaws, which could be challenging in some instances. 

In particular, how to hold logs while cutting with a chainsaw. Safety can be achieved by keeping the logs adequately immobilized and supported.

But how do you ensure that? This article explains some of the options you can adopt to hold the logs when using a chainsaw safely. 

Why it is Crucial to Hold Logs While Cutting with a Chainsaw

The most crucial reason why holding logs while cutting with a chainsaw is recommended is safety. If the logs are not held up while cutting, the cutting blade will not go all the way through the log. Moreover, if the logs are held on one side of the saw, without a clear view of the other side, the user puts himself at risk.

Besides safety, holding logs while cutting with a chainsaw is important as it speeds up the work process. With the logs firmly held, you can easily cut through the piece of wood on the first try. Therefore, you will not have to go over each part numerous times. 

How to Hold Logs While Cutting with a Chainsaw

How to hold logs when using a chainsaw

Logs are usually heavy and often need to be held up for easy cutting. However, given their weight, it becomes challenging for one to hold them up and cut them simultaneously. Thankfully, there are some mechanisms that you can use to achieve that. These will only be possible with the proper technique and suitable equipment. 

Use a log holder

Log holders are designed to hold logs during operation with a chainsaw securely. They are typically attached to the chainsaw and firmly hold the log in place while you cut them. This is the method to go for if you need to cut several log pieces. Log holders are easy to use and enhance safety. 

Hold the log with your knees. 

Some people can securely hold the logs between their knees, positioning the log in front of them so they can easily handle the task. For the smaller firewood, one knee can suffice. But for larger pieces, using both knees is advisable since they tend to be too cumbersome to be held with one leg. 

Use a sawbuck 

Sawbucks are used when you want to make vertical cuts. Using a sawbuck with the wood bucked on the ground is advisable. Operation requires that you allow the log to fall to the sawbuck from above with a chainsaw placed into its opening. This method is a secure option for smaller logs when making crosscuts. 

Buck log on the ground. 

Some people prefer bucking the log on the ground before cutting. This way, you are working with a shorter piece of wood, reducing the likelihood of kickback. Safety can be enhanced by incorporating a log holder and placing the short segment into it. 

Using a wood clamp 

If the above methods are not easily accessible, you can opt for a wood clamp. This tool is always a great addition to any home, given its versatility. It helps you to position your log for easy cutting firmly. The log is placed onto the clamp and properly positioned so you can cut it. Placing the clamp approximately mid-way the log is highly recommended. 

Things to Consider When Cutting Logs with a Chainsaw

Cutting logs with a chainsaw is no easy feat. It requires utmost care and attention to avoid accidents. Therefore, there are certain factors you need to put into consideration when cutting logs with a chainsaw

Always strive for a good balance

Maintaining a good balance is the best way to achieve good results when cutting logs with a chainsaw. And not only results but any time you are cutting the log lengthwise, having it properly balanced also keeps your wrists and arms from getting strained hence reducing fatigue. [1]

If you are handling a large log, for instance, very far from your body, you will be forced to limb more or bend your knees to reach it. On the flip side, if the log is too close, you will have to lean your upper body back to counterbalance the log’s weight. Therefore, a good balance makes work more manageable and less tiresome. 

How to Hold Logs While Cutting with a Chainsaw

Maintain proper body position

Your body position is another factor you need to consider when working with a chainsaw to cut logs. Leaning over the top of the log is highly frowned upon as it results in back strain, making it impossible to cut the wood safely. 

Instead, a correct standing position perpendicular to the ground should be maintained. Others find it easier to face the wood being cut, while others keep their back towards the log. Either way, choose what works best for you, which is more comfortable, maintaining a proper position at all times. 

Adopt a good grip technique to minimize the accumulation of sawdust

One significant concern people have when deciding how to hold logs while cutting is the amount of sawdust accumulation under their hands. Over time, the accumulation irritates one’s skin and causes blisters. A firm grip should be maintained on the log being cut to solve this. 

Ensure that it is neither too tight nor too loose. Finding that sweet spot may not be easy. Others opt to moisten their hands before handling the log, but this does not always guarantee less sawdust accumulation. A proper grip goes a long way in reducing physical strain as well as allowing you to work more efficiently. 

Safety Precautions When Holding Logs

Precaution should be taken anytime you are holding logs while operating with a chainsaw. Here is a basic checklist:

  • Ensure that you wear good traction boots when working on slippery surfaces. 
  • Chainsaw gloves should be worn to protect hands from splinters. 
  • The user should put on protective clothing to shield their skin and avoid injury. 
  • Only adults who are conversant with the operation of the chainsaw should operate it, and the chainsaw should be kept out of reach of children. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the safety equipment to be used when holding logs while cutting?

Anytime you are handling a chainsaw, it is important to protect yourself from the much-unexpected accidents. This includes wearing protective equipment so as to avoid hazards. The three main pieces of equipment are chainsaw gloves, chaps, and chainsaw helmets.

Check out our guide on Best Chainsaw Helmet for more details.

How do you cut ground logs with chainsaws?

The chainsaw should be set up on top of the log and then start cutting without applying too much pressure. Ensure that the saw does not touch other objects or the ground. The log can be raised using a wood bar.

Why does the chainsaw blade get dull so fast? 

A chainsaw’s blade getting dull is inevitable, and it reduces the efficiency of the saw. Some blades get dull fast when they hit the ground or when the chainsaw is not cleaned properly. Therefore, to prevent dull blades, ensure that you clean the blades after use. 

How can you split logs into firewood? 

If you are cutting logs for firewood, splitting the logs is among the final steps. To achieve this, you can use splitting axes, hatchets, splitting mauls, and splitting wedges.


Handling logs while cutting with a chainsaw is not a walk in the park. For best results, proper care should be taken. Choose the safest option and one that is easily accessible so that you can easily undertake the task at hand. Hopefully, the above pointers will be helpful to allow you to work more efficiently.

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