How to cut wood slices with chainsaw? [See Two Easiest Way]

Using a chainsaw is a dangerous yet thrilling activity. Are you fond of the sound when the chainsaw passes through the wood, cutting it? Isn’t that satisfying when the wood piece gets dropped on the ground after you cut it?

It is fascinating, but you must also take care of your safety while doing it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 36,000 people get injuries each year while operating  the chainsaw.

However, there is nothing to worry about it if you plan to follow our instructions. We will let you know how to cut wood slices with chainsaw safely.

How to select the chainsaw to cut wood slices?

How to select the chainsaw to cut wood slices

Before you go forward with cutting wood with a chainsaw, let’s know how to select the best chainsaw. It ensures that you perform a safe, quick, and easy cutting process.

It usually depends upon the diameter of the wood trunk. Most times, a 16-inch chainsaw or 18-inch chainsaw is the perfect fit. However, if you have to cut large trunks, you need to find a longer chainsaw blade. You can go for a 24 inches long chainsaw in that case.

What are the safety precautions before using a chainsaw?

As we mentioned before, safety should not be taken lightly. If you move the saw blade incorrectly, it can be harmful. Therefore, check out the tips below before knowing how to cut wood slices with a chainsaw safely.  Consider them while operating the chainsaw while you cut the wood logs.

What are the safety precautions before using a chainsaw
  • There can be tree knots, which are dense sections on the tree. When a saw blade strikes on it, there may get a kickback. Therefore, before getting started, note all the tree knots. Please ensure you never cut through them.
  • It’s essential to grip the chainsaw firmly and with both hands. Never lose your grip while the chainsaw is ON. It may move in an unpredictable way as it’s a powerful tool.
  • It is recommended to practice chainsaw on a few wood chunks before jumping to a tree. It will provide you an idea that how much effort you would need to make while cutting the log.
  • It is necessary that bystanders are not too close to you or the wood log. It could be injurious to them.
  • Check whether each part of the chainsaw is working properly or not. It is necessary before you proceed further. If any part malfunctions, it may cause issues.
  • If you have breathing issues, it is suggested to wear a dust mask. The dust mask will not allow the fine residual waste to enter the nostrils.

In addition to safety tips, we are adding a list of safety wears as well:

  • Wear protective gloves that allow you to have a good grip on the chainsaw. Also, make sure that they are cut-resistant. Also, hold the chainsaw firmly with both hands.
  • Wear steel-plated safety shoes. If a chainsaw falls on your foot, these shoes will keep them safe.
  • A Long-sleeved shirt is recommended as they add a protective layer between the skin and wood’s dust.
  • Wear thick jeans and chainsaw chaps. This way, you will be able to protect your legs.
  • If you have hearing protection, that would be great too. If you continuously use chainsaws, then you should wear them without an option. Else, the noise may harm your hearing capability.
  • Safety goggles will keep your eyes safe from the dust. If possible, wear a helmet too, as chainsaws are a bit unpredictable if you make a mistake.
  • Please ensure not to wear loose clothes to avoid their contact with the chainsaw.

Learn about what is a skill saw!

What are the tools required to cut wood slices with a chainsaw?

What are the tools required to cut wood slices with a chainsaw

As you want to cut wood slices with the chainsaw, it is apparent that you need the wood log and chainsaw. Besides that, there are a few more tools and materials such as pieces of wood that you would need to create a wood jig.

To join pieces of wood, you will need an electric screwdriver and screws. You will also be needing a permanent marker or masking tape, tape measure, and a basic chop saw. If you don’t have a chop saw, you can fix a wood piece into a vise and cut it using the traditional saw.

To ensure that the wood surface is perfectly flat after it’s cut, you can use a flatness gauge or spirit level.

Now, if you have got all the tools, it’s the time to get started.

Method one for cutting wood slices with a chainsaw- cutting directly

Method one cutting directly

Step-1: Keeping the tree log on the right platform

It is necessary that you do not cut the wood log by keeping it on the ground. If you are going to perform a vertical cut on wood and a chainsaw touches the ground, the chainsaw blade may go dull. Then, you will need to sharpen it to cut wood slices.

Also, if the wood log keeps moving, it will become hard to control the chainsaw. Therefore, it is recommended to place the log on a chainsaw horse before cutting. You can also use a sawbuck or any uplifted platform such as log jack. It will keep it at least 6 inches above the ground.

Step-2: Finding and marking tree knots

After you place the tree trunk, it’s time to mark the tree knots. To spot them, you can check for circular spots that appear differently on wood as lumps. Mark the knots to guide yourself throughout the cutting process. It will help you to identify where not to move the chainsaw.

Step-3: Marking for precise slices cutting

Next, you need to measure and mark the exact circumference where you have to move the chainsaw blade. You can take the help of a flexible measuring tape or rope. You can curl it around the circumference of the wood and move the marker along its edge. You can use masking tape if the marker doesn’t work on the tree trunk.

The marking points depend on the thickness of your cut pieces. If your slices are going to be 1 inch, mark the circumferences every 1 inch.

As the chainsaw will remove an additional part of the tree trunk, you won’t get a perfect 1 inch slice. You can leave some space for clearance as well. Also, ensure that you don’t cut through the area having tree knots. Otherwise, they would become part of your wood slices.

Step-4: It’s time to cut wood slices

Now, it’s time to use the chainsaw to make the cut for wood slices. Start the chain saw, hold it tightly with both hands. Put your left thumb around the front handle. It will provide you a strong grip. Now, move the chainsaw blade near the wood trunk where you have made the marking. Keep the blade at least 5 inches above the wood to align it with the marking.

Slowly lower down the chainsaw, and make its contact with the trunk using light pressure. Don’t push it hard. It will make its way through the trunk.

As the saw moves down, ensure that it follows the marking so that you can get an even slice. Let the slice gets dropped on the ground. You can choose to make all slices before starting the work with the saw. Else, you can measure the thickness and mark the next one after every piece of wood gets cut.

Method two for cutting wood slices with a chainsaw- using a jig

If you want to have precise cuts and evenness on slices surfaces, this method is highly important. Using a jig for cutting the wood slices also ensures that each wood slice owns the same thickness.

Method two using a jig

Step-1: Elevating the log above ground and detecting tree knots

If you are planning to go forward to make the cut using this way, follow step one and step two explained in the previous method. After you set the tree log on a higher platform and mark the tree knots, we will move to jig creation.

Step-2: Building a jig

A jig is a very simple tool to create. Yet, the jig is very important to ensure even surface and cut wood slices having the same thickness.

You first need to use the tape measure and mark the diameter of the log. The jig’s dimensions depend upon the tree trunk’s diameter.  You will need four rectangular scrap wood pieces. Take the first two and cut them in the diameter’s size with the extra four inches on both sides.

Now, take two more rectangular wood pieces. You can cut them in the size of the diameter minus the thickness of the first two rectangular pieces.

The idea here is to create a square-shaped jig that can slide down to the log. In the square jig, the first two are placed opposite each other. The other two will be placed in the same fashion.

After you prepare the sides of the jig, screw them together using a power screwdriver.

Step-3: Sliding down the jig in the log

Mark the point depending upon the thickness of the required slice. Slide down the jig to the marked point. You can slide extra four inches for clearance.

After you place the jig, screw it to the trunk using a power screwdriver. It will be enough if you bolt one screw on each side.

Step-4: Marking on the chainsaw and covering the additional section

Place the chainsaw above the jig and mark the area where the chainsaw is touching the jig. You will need to cover the area with wood chips. That’s essential so that the chainsaw doesn’t come in contact with the jig. You can use glue to paste the wood chips over the area.

Step-5: Move the chainsaw

Now, place the chainsaw near the edge of the wood log. Turn it on and move it along the jig. Don’t use much pressure to cut wood slices.

let the saw pass through the log by itself. It would be best if you move it forward in slow motion. After that, the wood slice would be hitting the ground.

Step-6: Measuring the evenness

You can use a spirit level to measure the evenness of the surface. Place it on the surface of the slice which you cut. If the surface is even, the bubble in the spirit level must appear in the center. You can use a tape measure to measure the thickness.


cutting wood slices with a chainsaw directly

It is a very straightforward way how to cut wood slices with chainsaw. If you don’t want precise cuts, you can follow method 1. However, if you want to cut wood with high precision, we explained to you how to obtain it using method 2.

Please do not forget to wear protective wears. That will ensure you do not face any injury. With the right tools, the right method, and the right guidelines, you can become an expert in wood slice cutting using a chainsaw.


My name is Michael M. Militello, and I want to help you find the right tools and the best products for your next project! As a professional tool expert here in Houston, TX, With my vast tool experience, I can help you choose the right brand, model, and size for the job. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. You can reach me here on my blog and also on Facebook, Twitter , and Pinterest. I look forward to hearing from you!

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