Isn’t it great in the colder months, to be sitting in comfy chair by a warm wood fire with a warm beverage or maybe some thing stonger. Smelling the smoky wood fire smell & watching the flames licking the wood above the hot coals is a great way to relax and chat with your family and friends instead of watching television.
If you have a wood fire you are going to need firewood. You can either buy it or cut it yourself. If you will cut it, you will need a chainsaw that is suitable for cutting firewood. This article is to help you select the best chainsaw for cutting firewood.
Whatever you choose, there are some things that you need to consider before you spend your money. The chainsaws vary in price and quality and there are several factors that will show you the way to finding the right model.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best chainsaws for firewood cutting – comparison table
- 2 Good chainsaws for cutting firewood
- 3 Best gas-powered chainsaw for cutting firewood
- 4 Best battery-powered chainsaw for cutting firewood
- 5 Best electric chainsaw for cutting firewood
- 6 Best Husqvarna chainsaw for cutting firewood
- 7 Best Stihl chainsaw for cutting firewood
- 8 How to find the best chainsaw for firewood cutting?
- 9 Cutting firewood
- 10 Chainsaw maintenance
- 11 Storing wood
- 12 Benefits
Best chainsaws for firewood cutting – comparison table
|Model||Type||Rating||Power||Weight||Chain bar length||Price|
|Makita DCS6421RFG||gas||4.2||64 cc||15.9 lbs||20”||Expensive price $$$|
|Remington Rodeo RM5118R||gas||3.6||51 cc||25 lbs||18”||Mid price $$|
|Husqvarna 240||gas||3.7||38.2 cc||10.3 lbs||16”||Mid price $$|
|Husqvarna 455 Rancher||gas||4.4||55.5 cc||12.8 lbs||20”||Expensive price $$$|
|WORX WG304.1||electric||4.4||15 Amps||11.3 lbs||18”||Cheaper price $|
|Remington 4216 Rebel||gas||4.3||42 cc||22 lbs||16”||Mid price $$|
|Husqvarna 445||gas||4.2||45.7 cc||17 lbs||16”||Expensive price $$$|
|Makita EA4300F40B||gas||4.7||42cc||10.8 lbs||16”||Expensive price $$$|
|Makita DCS5121||gas||3.1||50cc||12.3 lbs||18”||Expensive price $$$|
|Echo CS-590 TimberWolf||gas||4.3||59.8 cc||17 lbs||20”||Expensive price $$$|
|Makita EA5000P53G||gas||3.9||50 cc||11.9 lbs||20”||Expensive price $$$|
|Stihl MS 180||gas||4||31.8 cc||9 lbs||14”||Expensive price $$$|
|Husqvarna 450||gas||4.2||50.2 cc||10.8 lbs||18”||Expensive price $$$|
|EGO POWER+||battery||4.5||56 V||11 lbs||14”||Expensive price $$$|
|Makita UC4030A||electric||4.2||14.5 Amps||11 lbs||16”||Expensive price $$$|
|Husqvarna 460 Rancher||gas||4.4||60 cc||13 lbs||24”||Expensive price $$$|
|Stihl MS 361||gas||4.6||59cc cc||12.3 lbs||25”||Expensive price $$$|
Best chainsaw for cutting firewood
What is the best chainsaw for cutting firewood?
We will continue our list with a Makita model. Many people say that this is the best model for firewood cutting and we have to agree with that statement. What makes it so much better than other models? We will start from the 64cc engine with a power output of 4.7 HP. It weighs only 15.9 pounds, and it comes with a chain bar of 20”. Professionals like landowners and ranchers prefer this model mostly because they use the chainsaw often and the Makita DCS6421RFG is designed for everyday use. So, take a close look at the characteristics of this model if cutting wood is your daily routine. It is a very durable chainsaw and can cut through any wood type. Wet wood, dry wood, it doesn’t matter, this model will take care of it quickly.
What about maintenance? How do you take care of the best firewood cutting machine?
Surprisingly, the maintaining is very easy. You get this model with a toolkit and manual for every adjustment. The slide-out baffle will help you to configure the chainsaw for using in extreme weather conditions. If you are living in an area with cold temperatures through the whole year, this chainsaw would be the right pick for you. It has a chain tensioner, so you won’t need to worry about tight or loose chain. Plus, the chain compartment is very easy to clean.
This chainsaw is not the best pick for pruning or limbing, but definitively is ideal for firewood cutting. If you want to start cutting wood so you can sell it, this is the best chainsaw for realization your business idea. Easy and quick cutting, very durable machine designed for often use, there isn’t better choice for your long-term plans. Productivity is boosted thanks to the metal spike bar and the safety is maximized with the inertia/mechanical brake. The starting is easy, as it has a half-throttle lock and the decompression valve reduces the force required for starting. You may have to pay something more than $500, but we are talking about the best available model for firewood cutting, right? It is a great investment if you are a professional operator and you won’t regret buying it.
Good chainsaws for cutting firewood
What are good chainsaws for cutting firewood?
Remington Rodeo RM5118R
Let’s start with this model from Remington. This manufacturer produces great chainsaws, but why we picked exactly this one? The truth is this – not everyone is able to spend much money on a chainsaw, but they desperately need one. However, this model isn’t a low-quality machine, but a very good choice for firewood cutting. It has a very powerful engine of 51 cc with a chain bar of 18”. Working with this chainsaw is a synonym for comfort and buying this chainsaw is a long-term investment, as it has proved to be one of the most durable models. Even though we mentioned many characteristics that would convince you into buying it, there is one problem with this model. Since we like to make honest reviews and show you both the pros and cons of the model, you need to know that it definitively weighs more compared to other models of its type.
We did a review on this chainsaw in one of our previous articles and we wouldn’t like to repeat ourselves. So, why don’t you just take a look at our full review, for more info about this model? You can read my review of the Remington Rodeo RM5118R here or buy it here.
Husqvarna is one of the biggest chainsaw manufacturers in the world and we can’t create a list without their models. This model is probably known to many of you, as we talked about it many times. Why should be considered exactly this chainsaw?
It is a small, compact model, with an engine of 38cc. Combine that with a chain bar of 16” and you get one great model for firewood cutting. It is a machine that will last very long and it is easy to operate with it. If you are new to cutting, I would recommend starting with this one. It is a bit loud, but since you won’t use it on a daily basis, that shouldn’t be a problem. For the quality you get, it is a relatively cheap machine. If you use it carefully, you won’t need any servicing as this has proven to be a very durable model. Apart from firewood cutting, this model is great for pruning, limbing and other lighter tasks. The Husqvarna 240 was one of the chainsaws considered when reviewing the best chainsaws under $300.
Husqvarna 455 Rancher
Oh, not again Husqvarna!? They have quality chainsaws but can we see something else? Before you continue scrolling down, wait a second. This one is completely different from the 240.
The 455 Rancher is a very powerful chainsaw with an engine of 55.5 cc and amazing 3.49 HP. It is fuel efficient model, designed for many different weather conditions. It may isn’t the best firewood cutting option, but it is very good model deserving a look. There are many reasons why many professionals prefer this one and here we will explain some of them. What makes it different?
It comes with a chain bar of 20”, but it weighs less than 13 pounds. It has specially designed handles for more comfort and feature for easy starting. Landowners often pick this model – it has great characteristics and it is made up for people who cut from time to time, but take heavy duty tasks. It is a very efficient model and the only problem you may face with it is oil leaking. However, you can this one for about $400, which a very good deal.
We don’t want to go into deep explanations about this one too, as we have reviewed it before. Read my review of the Husqvarna 455 Rancher you can have a look at all the features and functions this model has to offer.
It is time to expand the list with a chainsaw with a different power source. Not everyone needs a gas-powered one and electric chainsaw has proved to be great for firewood cutting too. More precisely, this is one of the best electric chainsaw for firewood cutting. So, supporters of this type of chainsaw, prepare for a closer look at this model.
The WORX WG304.1 is a 15 Amps corded chainsaw that comes with a chain bar of 18”. It doesn’t pollute the environment, and is very similar to other gas-powered models. It is easy to operate with it and the maintaining is even easier. The auto-tensioning system takes care of the chain, so you can be sure that it is never too tight or too loose. The chain is automatically oiled, but you get only one small bottle of chain oil. With a power output of 4HP, we can easily state that this model is perfect for everyone who wants a model for firewood cutting, but not a gas powered one. There is only one electric model available on the market that is a bit better than this one, so if you are not a big fanatic of electric chainsaws, I would strongly recommend this one.The price is quite real and cheap, you can get this model for less than $100. Pretty good deal, right?
Remington RM4216 Rebel
We are back on the gas-powered chainsaw. What if you look for a gas chainsaw, but your budget is limited? Is there a solution for you? Fortunately, Remington found a way to develop a great chainsaw that can be found for a reasonable price.
The RM4216 Rebel has an engine of 42cc that comes in a combination with a chain bar of 16”. It is easy to start and cutting branches and wood is what this model is best for. Operation concerns many users, as it weighs 22 pounds, but the anti-vibration feature makes the operation easier.Maintaining shouldn’t be your main concern, as there are great features to help you with that. The automatic oiler takes care of your chain and keeps it lubed constantly, which is one worry less for you. It is best for cutting branches, but also firewood cutting. You can use it for hours without getting exhausted and it has a great quality-to-price ratio. You can get this chainsaw for a price of about $300, which is excellent pick for the quality you get.
We’re back with the Husqvarna, another great model that deserves a place on our list. The constant working and developing new features resulted with this great model that has much to offer. What should potential buyers expect from it?
Let’s start with the powerful engine of 45.7cc with a power output of 2.8 HP. The starting is easy and quick and the chainsaw comes with a chain bar of 16”, which you can easily replace with up to 4 inches bigger. Now, let’s talk a bit more about the operation. How do you operate this beast that weighs 17 pounds? Pretty easy, thanks to the LowVib feature and the safety feature for reduced risk of injuries. This model is great for many tasks, and firewood cutting is one of them. The maintaining is easy, as this model comes with side-mounted tensioner and a quick air-release filter. Plus, this model has even more features compared to other Husqvarna models. Those features define the price that goes near the $350 mark, but it is worth every cent of it.
If you like this model, but need further information about it I suggest you take a look at our full review of the Husqvarna 445. You can see all the features and functions of this model and decide whether it will suit your need or not. You can also buy it here.
This is a very compact model from Makita and weighs only 10.8 pounds. When we talk about the mid-sized chainsaw, this one is definitively the best in that category. But what you really need to know about it? What are the features that will convince you into buying it?
The great thing about its weight is that it has an engine of 42 cc that comes with a chain bar of 16”. It has a power output of 3HP. You can easily start it, the force required is reduced due to the spring assisted starter with optimized engine menagment. Makita took the starting to a different level, as you can start the engine with just a touch of a button. Sounds unreal, but it is true. The Touch&Stop feature shuts down the engine with just a single touch. Maintenance is easy here too, as this model has a tool-less system. The productivity is boosted as the chainsaw has a metal spike bar and the risk of potential injuries while operating is down to a minimum. This model has a 2 point mechanical/inertia chain brake, that stops the chain in a second. You can use this machine in different weather conditions, as the slide out baffle can be configured for the most extreme conditions.
Operation with this chainsaw is a pleasure. If we had to describe this model with just two word, we would say comfort and convenience. It is a durable machine that offers easy, quick and smooth cuts of different types of wood. Since we are talking about chainsaws for firewood cutting, this option is something that you definitively need to consider. It is a lightweight machine, but a great choice for firewood cutting. However, you will have to pay a bit more to get this model, as the price goes around $800. If your budget allows you this, don’t doubt and grab this chainsaw. Want to buy it? You can buy it here.
Makita DCS 5121
Another model from this great manufacturer, this time, a bit different. If your old Makita model isn’t in use and you look for a new one from the same manufacturer, then take a close look at this. Makita constantly works on improving their models and the DCS5121 is an actual proof for that.
This model has an engine of 50 cc and a power output of 3.3 HP. With a chain bar of 18”, we can say that this model is a perfect choice for firewood cutting. The design is much different from what you can in other chainsaws, as this one weighs only 12.3 pounds. Lightweight, but very powerful machine. The start is easy, it is just a one-button push. With the Touch&Stop technology, you can shut the engine down with just one touch. That is a great invention in the world of machines, but Makita didn’t stop there. What else can they offer?
The slide-out baffle can be configured for different weather conditions, even for the most extreme cold temperatures. Also, maintaining won’t be a problem as the chain compartment is very easy to clean. It has a lateral chain tensioning for easy adjustments, something that many operators find very useful. For maximum productivity, this model has a metal dual spike, as well as larger fuel opening for easier operation. Operating a chainsaw can be dangerous, is there anything that can reduce the risk of potential injuries? Luckily, this model has an inertia/mechanical brake that stops the chain in case of a kickback. To sum up, this model is ideal for forestry work, cutting branches and wood. It is efficient model that you can get for about $500, a fair price for quality like this. If you like quick and easy cuts, almost no maintenance, maximum comfort, don’t think a minute and take this chainsaw right now. You can buy the Makita DCS 5121 here.
Echo CS-590 Timberwolf
There are many quality chainsaws on the market today, so we can’t include every one of them. However, we can’t forget about Echo, as they have produced many great models that can satisfy your needs. But do they have a chainsaw for firewood cutting? Of course they have, and it is one of the best chainsaw they have to offer. Without any more hesitations, let’s review that model.
The Echo CS-590 Timberwolf has an engine of 59.8 cc for outstanding performance. You get it with a chain bar of 20” and it is more powerful than many rancher chainsaws. Extreme weather conditions, different types of wood, nothing is a problem for this great machine. It has features for easy starting, easy operating and quick maintenance. Perfect choice for wood cutting. Echo is a brand company, but sometimes falls behind its competitors. However, we will here show you that this model is definitively worth a look, as it is equal, if not even better compared to similar chainsaws. What are the features and functions you should take a look at?
So, more precisely, it has a decompression valve for easier starter rope pulling, so you can start in in a matter of seconds. Next, you don’t need any tools to access the air filter and the Air Pre Cleaner system will maintain a clean air supply for the 2-stroke engine. Plus, the fuel tank is translucent, so you can check the fuel level any time you like. It weighs 17 pounds, but the operation isn’t that difficult as you may think. All in all, it is not the best firewood cutting machine, but it is definitively a good one. You can get it for a price of about $500, so we can say it is a good deal. You can buy the Echo CS-590 Timberwolf here.
We are back again with a gas-powered chainsaw. You are professional and you didn’t find a model that can satisfy your needs? Take a look at this one.
Makita EA5000PRGG is a very powerful machine, as it has an engine of amazing 50 cc with power output of 3.9 HP. It has improved durability and it weighs only 11.9 pounds. With 13,800 RPM, this model has increased cutting efficiency and the cutting is done in a matter of seconds. You get it in a combination with a chain bar of amazing 20”, great chainsaw for regular use. What can we say about its design? How do you start and handle it? I know that you are impatient to find out, so check this out.
Makita always creates great designs and they didn’t fail with this one too. The chainsaw has smooth surfaces for easier cleaning, but also for easier operating. Once you take this model into your hands, I am not sure if you would like to use any other chainsaw. The pulling force for starting the system is reduced with a new system, so you will start the engine with less effort. The shutting down can be done with just a push of a button, thanks to the new Touch&Stop system. It is a great aggressive cutter, good for different types of wood. Powerful, but a lightweight model, great choice for firewood cutting. Even amateurs can use it without problems, and longer period of using it won’t result with exhaustion. Many professionals prefer this over Husqvarna or Stihl model and it is good choice for a long-term investment. You can find it for about $500 and is worth every cent of it. You can purchase the Makita EA5000PRGG here.
Stihl MS 180
Stihl is a brand company for tools of this type. They have produced many quality chainsaws that are definitively worth a look. If you were looking for a machine for lighter cutting, but none of the previous satisfied your needs, you should check this out.
The engine of this model is not as powerful as the previous models, it has only 31.8cc and power output of 2 HP. this isn’t a beast, but a very good model for firewood cutting. Since it is lightweight, with about 9 pounds, it is the best pick for newbies. It comes with a chain bar of 14”, that can be easily replaced with a 16” one. Operating is easy, mostly because of the anti-vibration feature. Stihl has developed a system where the vibration at the handles is reduced, so anyone can handle this machine.
Another great thing you should consider is the compensator. It controls the fuel-air mixture, and prevents clogging the air filter. This is very important for the engine power, plus, you won’t need to clean the air system. People are falling in love with the single-lever master control, but what exactly is that? Ever dreamed about having all functions operated with one lever? Stop, start, choke – every important function. In addition, this model has a special lubrication system that not only that lubricates the chain, but also reduces the oil consumption for up to 50%. How much you should pay for it? You can get this great machine for about $350, which a fair price for what you get. Lightweight, compact, durable machine with almost no need for maintenance – good pick for your main firewood cutter. You can buy the Stihl MS 180 here.
Best gas-powered chainsaw for cutting firewood
What is the best gas-powered chainsaw for cutting firewood?
Still didn’t find your favorite? Don’t worry, have plenty more to offer. Why don’t you take a look at the Husqvarna 450? A good model for firewood cutting, and here is what makes it so good.
It has an engine of 50cc, with a power output of 3.2 HP combined with a chain bar of 18”. Isn’t that beautiful? Plus, you can use a 20” chain bar if you feel like you need that. The Husqvarna 450 is easy to start thanks to the SmartStart feature, and a special air cleaning system. What about the operation? Even though this model weighs only 10.8 pounds, Husqvarna found a way to make the handling even easier. With the low-vibration feature, you can cut for hours and won’t get tired and the rear handle will give you more comfort.
The Husqvarna 450 is a great choice for landowners as it is very powerful and great for different activities. I rate the Husqvarna 450 as one of, if not THE best gas homeowner chainsaw. Firewood cutting is one of those activities that landowners or homeowners do and this model is designed for the needs of amateurs too. If you don’t cut much, but cut on a regular basis. You can get this chainsaw for something more than $300.
For more info, check my full review of the Husqvarna 450 to see all the specifications of this model.
Best battery-powered chainsaw for cutting firewood
What is the best battery-powered chainsaw for cutting firewood?
All of the chainsaws mentioned above are great models, but most of them are gas-powered. So, what can you do if you prefer battery-powered chainsaws? There is a solution for you, as you can find quality chainsaw for cutting firewood that uses a battery as a power source too. I have checked many battery-chainsaws and without doubt, I can say that this is the best pick you can make for cutting firewood.
The EGO Power+ has a high-efficient brushless motor with 6300 RPM. It comes with a chain of 14” and it is powered by a 56 V battery. When we say efficient, we mean that this model can cut up to 100 cuts per one charge. Pretty good, right? The battery is compatible with other models and you will experience smooth and quick cuts. It doesn’t pollute the environment, and it is water-resistant, feature that not every chainsaw can offer. Many users have problems when cutting wet wood, but this model will help you with that. It has a reversible bar, and a chain brake that reduces the risk of injuries due to kickback. It has a system for chain adjustment, as you don’t want your chain to be too tight or loose. It weighs about 11 pounds, so the operation won’t be problem for anyone, even complete beginners can handle it. All of these features should be enough to convince you that this is the best battery chainsaw for firewood cutting.
As you can see, it is pretty similar to the gas-powered models. However, not everyone prefers gas chainsaws, so that is why we are offering this great quality model powered by a battery. It can offer you precise cuts, longer time for operation and very good price. We are all aware that this type is the most expensive chainsaws, but you can find this for about $300, which is a great deal. You can buy the EGO Power+ here.
Best electric chainsaw for cutting firewood
What is the best electric chainsaw for cutting firewood?
To finish our list, we will include a type of chainsaw that we didn’t mention yet. Yes, you have guessed it right, an electric chainsaw. The main disadvantage of it that you don’t have full freedom, as you have a cable attached on your machine, but, as people say, don’t judge the book by its cover. Let’s go through its specifications first.
It has a compact, efficient motor that delivers up to 2600 RPM. It comes with a chain bar of 16”, great for firewood cutting. You will notice a large trigger switch for quick and smooth start ups, as well as an electric chain brake for safety. Since it runs on electric power, it doesn’t have a fuel tank, but it does have an oil tank. You can easily check the oil level any time, as it has a special window just for that. The chain is automatically oiled thanks to the automatic oiling function. It weighs about 11 pounds.
So how do you operate it? Pretty easy, as it has a special rubberized grips mounted on it, which maximize the comfort while using it. You can cut with hours without getting tired and the risk of possible injuries is reduced. You don’t need to worry about maintenance, as it is easy and straightforward. It has a tool-less blade and chain adjustments for convenient operation.
As you can see, the features are pretty similar to those on a gas-powered chainsaw. So, if you want to be eco-friendly, or for whatever other reason you prefer electric model, this is the best electric chainsaw for firewood cutting available on the market. You can get it for in the $400 range, and you won’t regret a single penny of it. You can buy the Makita UC4051A here.
Best Husqvarna chainsaw for cutting firewood
What is the best Husqvarna chainsaw for cutting firewood?
Many great models from Husqvarna, but what is the best of them? What is the best Husqvarna chainsaw for firewood cutting? Although it was difficult to pick only one, I will say that the 460 Rancher takes the first position if you are cutting very large logs. Why this and not any other Husqvarna model? There are good reasons behind that and we will briefly explain every one of them.
Husqvarna 460 Rancher
Do you like Husqvarna chainsaws but think that the Husqvarna 450 does not have enough grunt for your firewood cutting needs? The 460 has more grunt and just may be the better if you are cutting very large logs. There are even more powerful models but they would be overkill in all but the biggest jobs.
It is the most powerful Husqvarna chainsaw we have on our list, with 60 cc, and a power output of 3.62 HP. You can start it with minimal effort thanks to the SmartStart feature. This machine is fuel efficient and has reduced harmful emissions, which is a great advantage for a gas chainsaw. The air filter is cleaning automatically, that will save you time and effort and you can operate with this chainsaw even in the most extreme weather conditions, with the oil pump that gives you full control on the oil flow.
It is a large model, but it weighs only 13 pounds. The chain bar is amazing 24”, so how do you operate with this beast? Well, Husqvarna thought of everything so they added a LowVib feature for reduced vibration, as well as a specially designed rear handle for maximum comfort. And what about safety? As every Husqvarna model, this one has an inertia chain brake too, as a prevention from any potential injuries. You can get it for about $500, which is a great price for what you get.
Best Stihl chainsaw for cutting firewood
What is the best Stihl chainsaw for cutting firewood?
Stihl MS 361
Talking about chainsaws without mentioning a Stihl model? No way! Stihl has produced many great models, for professionals and amateurs. But what is the best Stihl model for firewood cutting? We checked many reviews and our answer is next – Stihl MS 361.
It has an extremely powerful engine of 59 cc, with a power output of 4.6 HP. Amazing, right? But that is definitively not everything! This machine weighs only 12.3 pounds, which is an outstanding power-to-weight ratio. And you get it with a chain bar of 25”.Now, let’s go with the features, for example, how do you start it?
Thanks to the special starter grip, called ElastoStart, you receive smooth start as the system absorbs and releases the force according to the compression pattern. The decompression valve also makes starting easier, you just need to push it and then it closes automatically. Changing from summer to winter operation isn’t a problem, the intake air is pre-heated, so the carburetor won’t ice up and you can continue working in cold temperatures. Different tasks and different wood types require different amount of oil. With the oil pump, you are able to control the oil flow manually. Another great advantage of this model is the side-mounted chain tensioner, for easier and safe tensioning. The advanced combustion technology means 2 things for you – less fuel consumption and high torque. We can’t forget the compensator that takes care of the air/fuel ratio that influence the engine power. You don’t need to clean the air filter unless you notice a drop in your engine power. The rear handles and the anti-vibration feature make the operation much easier. Plus, all of the controls like stop, choke, start can be operated with a single lever. In addition, you don’t need any tools to open the tank caps, which saves you much time.
With the Elmatic system, Stihl definitively wins the battle against its competitors. So, what does this system do? It reduces the consumption of the chain lubricant up to 50%, which is very good. Considering all the facts above, we can easily say that this is the best Stihl model for cutting firewood. The price goes around the $1000 mark, but that is a fair price for what you get. You can buy the Stihl MS 361 here.
How to find the best chainsaw for firewood cutting?
This can be debatable, but we will try to answer this question for you. There are many quality chainsaws and choosing the best one depends on many things, and we will briefly explain every one of them. Without any more hesitations, let’s get started!
Should you go with a gas-powered, battery-powered or electric chainsaw? The answer to this question depends on the wood you are cutting. If you are an amateur, cutting smaller tree limbs and logs, you can go with an electric one. They are lightweight and easy to operate, but there is one problem that you will face. Since electricity is their power source, they are corded which makes them not so portable. In this case, the solution for you would be going for a battery-powered chainsaw, which has the same power, but you can go wherever you want, of course, if your battery is fully charged.
What about serious woodcutters?
Most professionals prefer gas-powered chainsaws, because of 2 reasons. Firstly, gas chainsaws have a 2-cycle engine which is much more powerful than the electric or battery-powered ones. Heavy-duty tasks require much power and they can be done only with gas-powered models. Secondly, gas tanks offer bigger portability and longer periods of cutting, so if you need a chainsaw for longer operations, you should go for this type.
If you can’t decide what group you belong to, try to answer this question. What is the amount of wood you will be cutting on a year basis? If you don’t cut often, maybe battery or electric model will do the job for you. Otherwise, the only solution would be a gas chainsaw.
What you cut is also important. Softwood or hardwood? The type of wood defines the effort you need to put when cutting.
Best size chainsaw for cutting firewood
What is the best size chainsaw for cutting firewood?
Again, the size of the chainsaw is defined by the difficulty of the tasks. For example, for lighter activities, you can go with a lightweight machine. But there are also tasks that can’t be done with an average chainsaw. The size of the engine is measured in cubic centimeters, or cc. This is very important, as once you buy the engine, you cannot replace it. The size of the engine is defined by the size of the firewood you are about to cut it. Another importnat this is pairing the machine with a compatible chain bar.
What is the best chainsaw chain for cutting firewood?
The chain bar is also defined by the wood you are cutting, more precisely the diameter of the wood.The good thing about the chain is that you can replace it. However, you don’t add a chain bar of 24” to a chainsaw of 45cc. Why? Mostly because of the operation, which wouldn’t be easy even for the most experienced professionals. When combining the engine and the chain bar, you need to follow some rules.
So, in order to make the best combination of engine size and chain bar length, we decided to create a very easy guide for you. Take a look at the table below and you will find what size will fit the best.
|Firewood size (in diameter)||Engine size|
|Light-duty (under 12”)||35cc to 45cc/ 15 Amps|
|Medium-duty (12”-16”)||45cc to 55cc|
|Large logs (16”-22”)||55cc to 70cc|
|Over 22”||70 cc and up|
But, not only tasks define what size you should get. Think this way- what is the maximum weight you can hold and carry? Bigger chainsaws weigh more and will be hard to operate regardless of your fitness level. Fitness level plays a big role, but you need to have experience with smaller models before taking a monster chainsaw in your hands.
Many people are confused when they come to this point. What is the brand that I should choose? What manufacturer produces the best quality chainsaws? There can’t be one precise answer to this.
The reality is, there are many quality chainsaws with different prices. Once you define your budget for a chainsaw, you can start looking for the features and functions you need. Your chainsaw pick should be defined by your needs and budget. Since there are many producers, you can easily compare their characteristics and prices and make the right pick.
My point is – find a chainsaw according to your needs, don’t buy something only because it is a brand. Yes, the brand is important, but also consider other things. In this article, I have included many quality chainsaws from different manufacturers and help you notice the differences between them so you will find your favorite one.
In this part, we will briefly explain the process of cutting firewood. Let’s start!
Find the right place
The first step is finding the wood. You can find fallen trees and branches in your backyard that you can use. But, there is a little problem. What if you don’t have fallen trees, or you don’t have any trees in your backyard. Where do you find the wood then? Lucky for you, there is a solution for this too.
The first and the easiest solution is buying wood. Yes, you can buy wood and use that. However, since we are talking about chainsaws and cutting, this is not the option I will discuss.
Then, what else options do you have?
There are people that would be pleased if you clean their yards of fallen trees. You may even find them in your neighborhood. You will get firewood and they will have their yards clean. Pretty good compensation, right?
In some cases, there are landowners that will allow cutting on their land, but you may need to pay them. The payment may be only a couple of dollars and you will probably have to sign a document stating that the cutting will be done at your own risk. In this case, you will probably need to fell (cut down) trees, as I doubt there will be any fallen trees. The process of felling trees is not simple. Check out this article about how to cut a tree down in the direction you want. If you haven’t done that before and you are not confident , you should probably find someone that can do that for you. Felling trees can not only injure you, but it can also make property damage. Safety should always be your top priority and we will discuss that further down in this section.
When we talk about safety, your starting point should be the chainsaw manual. Don’t skip this as it can be crucial. Always work with a friend, and have a mobile phone with you to call for help if an accident happens. I don’t want to make this sound pessimistic, If you take the proper safety precautions and be careful your cutting should go fine, but just in case, you need to make sure that you have achieved maximum protection. So, safety gear is obligatory before even thinking of cutting.
Safety gear means a lot more than you can imagine. Don’t even think of starting working without safety gear. You will need gloves, boots, helmet, special wear, as well as hearing protection. Many chainsaws can be so loud that they can damage your hearing. I talked about this in another article, so feel free to check my safety gear recommendations.
You have found a good position, checked all the safety requirements. Now what? Now is time to start cutting. Firewood cutting has many techniques, but there are also several principles that you need to follow.
Stance – the stance needs to provide upper-body support so you can operate with the chainsaw without getting tired easily. Spread your legs bit more than your shoulders width, as this position will help you in operating. This seems very easy, but, take care of loose footings, like animal holes, branches or pieces of wood.
Technique – basically, there are 2 techniques – cutting upwards and downwards. The most common is cutting upwards, as you have bigger control and you can put more pressure. The piece will fall off from the log and you will be able to continue cutting. However, some situations require using the other technique, downwards cutting. For example, in some situations, when you cut from the top down, your chain may become stuck. You don’t want this to happen so you should cut upwards, but put the chain beneath the wood and cut through it. The plastic wedge I mentioned before, can be used to keep the larger logs from pinching the chain.
As many other things in life, cutting has a specific order. So, when you start cutting a fallen tree, it is best to start from the branches. Small branches cannot be used for firewood, so start with cutting them off first. The cutting is simple- just place the chain at the base, as you want to cut them off where they are attached. But do you really want to cut every possible branch? Take a look at the other steps before you make a decision.
Are you wondering what you will do with all those small branches and leaves? You could always turn them into woodchips or mulch for the garden. To do that you will need a wood chipper shredder. Check out my review of the best wood chipper shredder for home use.
I said to cut off the branches, but wait. Take a look at the structure of the tree. You may notice that some branches hold the trunk. If you experience a situation like this, don’t cut off them immediately. As you can see, they can hold the trunk elevated so the cutting will be easier. So, look at the structure, and then plan your cutting.
As you will go from the top of the tree towards the trunk, you will see that the wood diameter will thicken. You will still follow the same technique of cutting, but now there is something bit different. The thing is, you will need to cut it under different angles. You should cut it at 45 degrees, or in the A-frame house form. When the cuts from both sides are even, cut directly upwards or downwards (whatever technique you have chosen in the beginning) and finish the cut.
Dirt and debris
Remember the step before when we recommended not to cut off the branches that elevate the trunk? Well, that is not good only for easier cutting. What can dull your chainsaw very fast? The answer is definitively dirt and rocks. So, if the trunk is elevated it will also prevent the chain bar of going into the dirt. There aren’t many things that can make your day worse than a dull chain, which is why you should really pay attention to this.
I spoke about techniques above, but there is a quite good reason why I talk about this here. Well, imagine a situation where the trunk isn’t lifted by branches, as there are no branches actually. Then what can you do? You don’t want to stick the chainsaw in the dirt for sure. In this situation, there is only one option and that is – the half-cut. It is not very different from the upwards technique, just don’t go too deep. Cut until there are 2 inches in every cut, and then leave it. Roll the trunk on the other side, and just finish the cuts. This way you won’t stick the chainsaw into dirt and you will finish your cutting.
Well, this is a serious problem. Many people get their chainsaw stuck because they are too confident and believe they can do anything. Having that opinion isn’t bad, but you need to work smart and carefully. The thing is, a stuck chainsaw is an issue that can happen to anyone, even to the most experienced operators. So, what is the solution? What can you do in a situation like this?
If you have the tools we mentioned above, with just a little patience, you can handle this without problems. When the saw become pinched, just turn it off immediately. The pinch may be in a small limb and will require less effort. You just need to pry the limb away from the pinch with your hands and work the saw up and down gently until it is free. If you have a chainsaw wedge, you can try to hammer in a wedge to open the cut enough to get your chainsaw blade out.
What if this doesn’t work? Well, you have other option then and that is to disassemble the chain bar from the engine. So, when you do this, try to do the same thing, which will be much easier now.
Many operators see the chain bar removal as a very complicated process. Can you solve this issue without disassembling the chainsaw? Luckily, there is another option you can do. But for this one, you will need another chainsaw. With the second one, you can cut through the part of the tree that is causing the pinch. Just be careful, you don’t want to stuck this one too. If you do that, that will be much work for you.
In order to keep your chainsaw in function, you will need to maintain it regularly. We will start with tips for maintenance for the most important things you need to take care of.
Fuel – most of the chainsaws designed for firewood cutting are gas-powered, however, you will need to take care of the fuel. You need a special mixture of oil and gas that is specially made for your chainsaw model. Don’t even think of replacing the mixture with other mixtures, as that can seriously damage the engine. Check the fuel level regularly and use only your fuel mixture.
Bar oil – you can be sure that your chain bar is working properly only if it is lubricated. Otherwise, it can be easily damaged and once it is damaged, it is very probable that you will have to replace it. The chain oiling is a simple and straightforward process that won’t take you much time. However, many manufacturers found a way to make this even easier for you, with the automatic lubrication feature, the chain will be constantly lubricated which means if you have a model with this feature implemented, you don’t have to worry about chain lubrication.
Chain adjustment – apart from the oiling, there is one more thing about the chain that need to concern you. Most of you are probably aware that we are talking about chain adjustment. Your chain shouldn’t be too tight, but not too loose also. You can adjust the chain manually, or use the advantage of the modern feature – the automatic tensioner that helps you with this issue and adjust the chain for you.
Dull chain – your chain can become dull over some period of using. Why is this bad? Because the cutting will be much harder, but also much slower. Should you buy a new chain? No, there is no reason for that. With just a few tools and minimal effort, you will be able to sharpen your chain easily. Buy a filling kit, or if you are insecure, take your chainsaw to your local chainsaw service. We won’t put much effort into explaining the process of sharpening, as we did that in one of our previous articles. If you are interested to learn how to sharpen your chainsaw, check our tutorial here. After several sharpenings, you will be able to do this in a matter of minutes. The process itself isn’t difficult and you will become a master.
Guards and shields – guards and shields are designed in a way to protect your chainsaw. You need to be sure that they are intact so the chainsaw can function properly.
It won’t take you much time to check all of this, just remember one thing – before every use, take a look at your chainsaw. Look for anything unusual at first sight, or when you start it. If you notice that something isn’t as before, don’t use the machine and try to identify the problem. If you notice any problems but still use the chainsaw, you may not only permanently damage the chainsaw, but also increase the risk of possible injuries. Chainsaw operation isn’t as simple as many people think and you need to be very careful.
You finished with the cutting, but you are not over yet. What else should you do? It is time to store the wood. The storing is as important as the cutting and here you will see why. In order to burn the wood, you need to be sure that it is dry enough. By dry enough, we mean that the wood is stored for several months at a dry place. So now, we will explain what to do to dry your wood so you can burn it later.
You don’t have to be Einstein, to understand that smaller parts will dry faster, right? When the wood is split, more of its surface is exposed to the air. Plus, smaller pieces are easier to burn, as will fit into the fireplace without problems. Once you finish the cutting, split the wood into smaller pieces for these 2 reasons. Check out my guide about how to split wood with a log splitter that includes the different options you have.
Just leave it
Simple as that, leave the wood just where you have cut it. Unless the land isn’t yours or the place have bugs or animals that can damage it. The point of this is to let the wood to dry, so it will be better for burning. However, if the place where you have been cutting isn’t suitable, or you are afraid of thieves or bad weather conditions, remove the wood to another location.
This is a common thing that you may be doing already – stack the wood alongside a building, probably your house. With doing this, you will limit the rot to the bottom layer, and the tarp will be easily strung to the top.
Yor cut firewood should be put on a raised rack. Why is that so important? Well, the thing here is that the rack will minimize the loss as the result of rot. But is this the best way to protect the wood? Not really.
Putting it indoors
If you have a place or a room, where you can put the wood indoor, that would be the best solution. Best way to prevent rot is to put the wood in a closed place, special room, garage, or whatever you can do to protect it.
What are the benefits of firewood cutting?
So much effort, from finding the wood, through cutting and storing, why is all of this necessary? This type of heating can cut down the money you will spend on electricity bills.
However, it is not all about the money you can save. A wood fire is not just about the heat, it is about the wood fire smell and the feeling created by sitting or standing next to and watching a wood fire. The fake gas powered look-a-like wood fireplaces just are not the same as a real wood stove or fireplace.
If you are looking to cut firewood whilst camping, backpacking or hiking,you maywant to use an axe or hatchet instead. You can read my review of the best axes and hatchets for hiking, backpacking and camping here.