How to Hold Logs While Cutting With a Chainsaw – 5 Effortless Methods


Though the right equipment is necessary for cutting logs, technique matters greatly. Many people are a pro at using chainsaws but cannot cut logs, and it is because they are not opting for the proper method. 

Besides mastering the art of using chainsaws, you should also learn to hold logs properly. Just as there are different types of chainsaws, you can do this in various ways. You can select any approach based on your preference, abilities, and requirements.

This write-up deals with five effortless, DIY methods for holding logs while cutting with a chainsaw. First, let’s learn why properly securing logs is essential.

Why Do You Need to Hold Logs While Cutting With a Chainsaw?

cutting log using a chainsaw while holding it on a bench
Image by 5617024 on Pixabay

One of the most significant reasons why you should learn the proper way of holding logs is your safety. Logs are heavy, and using a chainsaw engages both of your hands. So, there is no way to balance the wood while cutting it. If you lose this balance, you will likely hurt yourself in the process. Not to mention, the blades of chainsaws are ruthless. 

Another reason is that it increases the efficiency of the process. As the log is balanced, you can effortlessly and efficiently cut the logs. 

Effortless Methods of Holding Logs

man effortlessly holding a log while cutting it
Photo by Tim Umphreys on Unsplash

Here are five effortless and efficient methods for holding logs while cutting with a chainsaw.

1. Put your knees to work

You might be expecting us to introduce you to some sort of gadget. However, you happen to have got an in-built one – your knees. So, put them to work.

The most effortless way of holding logs is to seize them with your knees. Put the wood in front of you and secure it between your knees. You can adjust it according to your convenience. If you are working on small pieces, one knee can perform perfectly. However, you might need the assistance of both your knees for heavy logs. So, you can seamlessly cut logs with a chainsaw by holding them between your knees.

2. Get a log holder

If you are looking for equipment to hold logs and save you from bad judgment calls, here it is. You can get a log holder for this purpose. These holders are attached to the chainsaw, and they keep the log in place while you are working on it. 

Log holders come in various sizes, and what you need depends on the type of logs you usually deal with. Though a small, portable log holder is easy to handle, you need sturdy log holders for cutting heavy logs. 

If you spend a lot of time cutting logs, it is a must-have for you. Log holders will increase the efficiency and precision of the process. Also, it is one of those budget-friendly gadgets that goes a long way for serving their purpose. So, investing in a log holder is definitely worth it.

3. Get a wood clamp

wood clamp
Image by WorldSpectrum from Pixabay

Another gadget that will make cutting logs hassle-free is a wood clamp. The wood clamp helps you secure the position of the log. Once this is done, you can attentively use a chainsaw to cut it. 

The issue with using wood clamps is that you need to learn how to position them. They are not like log holders attached to chainsaws, and you have to adjust the log on the clamp. Usually, experts advise putting the clamp halfway up the log because it works best this way.

4. Get a log sawhorse

A log sawhorse is what you commonly know as a sawbuck. This gadget has several X-shaped rods positioned in a row. The bottom of these rods serves as legs and support. You can place the log in the space between the X-shaped rods and adjust it so that the sawhorse does not hinder the blade when you cut the wood. 

The best thing about a sawhorse is that you can take it up as a DIY project and easily make one at home. You can also quickly get one from the hardware market. 

5. Buck the log on the ground

If the only reason you use chainsaws is to cut firewood, there’s no need to worry about holding logs. You can buck them on the ground. 

As firewood is small pieces of wood, bucking them on the ground decreases the chances of a chainsaw kicking back. However, experts believe that this method is not suitable for beginners. If you are not a pro at using a chainsaw and cutting logs, you should probably go for one of the other techniques. 

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Tips for Cutting Logs with Chainsaw

cutting log with a chainsaw
Image by PublicDomainImages on Pixabay

Besides holding logs, there are several tips that you should keep in mind that play a crucial role in precise and harm-free cutting. Focus on the following factors:

Maintain balance

Balance is the most significant factor as it helps in precise cutting. If you keep the log balanced, you will cut in the right place. However, if the log is constantly shaking, you might end up cutting a piece off that has the wrong measurements. 

Moreover, maintaining balance is crucial in preventing injuries. If you haven’t positioned the log in the right place, you might end up pulling a muscle. Furthermore, the lousy balance could make you loosen your grip on the chainsaw, thus causing a more severe injury.

Minimize sawdust accumulation

Accumulation of sawdust on the hands is a common problem since it isn’t only an instigator of irritation. Sawdust can physically harm you. If you have to cut a lot of logs, the duration of your interaction with sawdust expands. Consequently, it irritates your skin and causes blisters. 

The best way to minimize sawdust accumulation is to develop a firm grip over the log. As your grip is moderate, neither too tight nor too mild, cutting logs will demand less physical strain. If you are a beginner, you must take your time in developing the grip technique. Once you have excelled in the grip, the rest of the process becomes easy. 

Adjust your body position

body position adjusted while cutting a log with a chainsaw
Photo by Poul Cariov on Unsplash

Your body position is as necessary as the adjustment of the log and functionality of the chainsaw. If you cannot adjust your body position accordingly, you might end up hurting yourself. Cutting logs is an uphill task, and you need to ensure your safety.

If you are cutting logs while leaning forward or backward, you might strain your muscles. The right way is to position your body perpendicular to the ground and make sure your muscles are relaxed. 

Also, your body should be positioned away from the reach of the blade so that, if there is any unlikely slip, you don’t fall in front of the blade.

Make sure you have taken all the precautions

There is a set of instructions for people who usually engage in such activities. You must follow all of those precautions, which include but are not limited to:

  • Wear safety goggles to prevent any unwanted flying particles from getting into your eyes
  • Have a safety helmet on
  • Use hearing protection
  • Make sure you dress appropriately to minimize injuries
  • Wear protective gloves to keep your hands from any injuries
  • Wear non-slippery, high-quality leather boots to prevent your feet from getting injured and maintain your balance on unsteady surfaces
  • Don’t use chainsaws anywhere near children. 
  • Don’t allow inexperienced adults to use chainsaws
  • Ensure the handles of the chainsaw are non-greasy and dry
  • Don’t perform any DIY experiments on your chainsaw
  • Don’t cut logs in a crowded area
  • If you notice any change in the performance of your chainsaw, get it checked out and fixed immediately
  • Ensure the cutting line is not hindered by branches and is perfectly visible
  • When transporting a chainsaw from one place to another, don’t point its blade toward other people, not even when it’s turned off
  • Lock the chainsaw trigger when not in use to avoid unintentional startup


Cutting logs might seem like an easy task from a distance. However, there are a lot of intricate details of the process that, if ignored, can cause severe complications and injuries. This is why you need to focus even on the minor steps of the process. One of the most significant and overlooked problems is how to hold logs while cutting with a chainsaw. 

Though most people ignore it by assuming they can manage it somehow, it can result in imprecise cutting. Also, physical injury is another possibility, and this is why you should take the time to learn different techniques. The five methods mentioned above are the most popular and effortless ways of holding logs. Some of them include gadgets, while others don’t. If you cut logs often, we advise you to invest in high-quality equipment or take up a DIY project and make a sawbuck yourself. However, if you don’t do this type of work often, the manual methods should do the job.

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