How To Cut Down A Tree With A Chainsaw

It doesn’t mean that if you have a chainsaw, you can cut down any trees that you see. Apparently, that’s not the case. Even the best chainsaws need the proper operation if you want to fell a tree. In this care, learning how to cut down a tree with a chainsaw is essential.

For professionals, this may not be a problem already. However, for those inexperienced and amateurs, this resource is truly helpful. You should know that a chainsaw can be a dangerous tool. Moreover, the hazard increases when you are dealing with large trees. If you won’t be careful, kickbacks can compromise your safety!

Therefore, cutting trees with a chainsaw should be approached with caution and proper technique! Here is the best way to felling a tree straight using this beast!

How To Cut Down A Tree With A Chainsaw

Safety First

Your safety should be your utmost priority when cutting trees. There are a lot of dangers that you can encounter while doing this project. There are some important gears that you should wear to reduce the hazards. Here are some of them:

  • Helmet – This headgear is essential to cover your head from possible falling branches. This already victimized many lumberjacks. Do not be a part of them.
  • Earmuffs and Face Screen – These accessories will protect your eyes and mouth. These parts of your body are sensitive to the noise and debris produced by a chainsaw.
  • Safety Glasses – Additional protection for your vision. You don’t want some unwanted shards to harm your eyes.
  • Kevlar Chaps – This gear can stop a chain immediately on instances that you accidentally dropped the bar on your legs!


  1. Aside from a chainsaw, you will need to have felling wedges on your armory. These tools will prevent the pinching of a saw, especially if you are cutting large and sturdy trees.
  2. Before you start cutting, you should estimate the area of the falling zone. Because of their upright position, it is hard to estimate the actual height of trees. They might drop down on the surface farther than you are expecting.You can make a precise estimate of the falling zone by using the “ax handle technique.” In this method, you hold the handle of the ax, beneath its blade. Moreover, you should hold on an arm’s length. Close your one eye and move in a direction in where the top of the ax is equal with the treetop. This distance is probably the falling zone of the tree!
  3. Even if you already know the falling distance, do not start cutting yet. The next thing you should do is clear the area around it. Remove any objects and brushes that surround the trunk. Moreover, create two escape routes on the non-falling side of the tree. This will guarantee the smoothness and safety of your job.
  4. Furthermore, you should study the tree you are going to cut. Do not proceed in cutting if you notice the following:
    • There are a lot of dead branches that are attached to the tree. There is a good chance that these branches will fall to you when you start cutting using a chainsaw.
    • One side of the tree is leaning in a single direction. The same is applies if one of its sides has a lot of branches compared to the other side. Despite your clearing efforts, the tree will still fall in the unwanted direction.
    • There are power lines, buildings, and properties that are within the falling zone. You may not have right tools do this job. At this point, you may need to contact the service of a professional.

Process of Cutting A Tree Using A Chainsaw

  1. The first thing you should do it to make a proper notch. Specifically, the depth of the notch should be one-fifth of the diameter of the tree’s trunk. Your goal here is to start cutting in the middle of the notch. In this way, the tree will fall in the intended direction. Of course, you will need a hinge to guide the fall.
  2. You need to make the notch on the falling side of the trunk. Hold the chainsaw’s handle and adjust the saw until you can point in the direction of the fall. Specifically, the area in where the bark meets with the bar will be the center of the notch.You may need to mark the area with the use of chalk. Alternative, you can also score the bark with your chainsaw. As a piece of advice, create a notch that is comfortable to your working height!
  3. Start cutting the notch. You should make the top cut first, and then followed by the bottom cut. When creating the bottom cut, you should adjust your hand so that you can control the throttle of the chainsaw using your thumb.If the bottom cut meets the top cut perfectly, the wedge will drop out from the notch!
  4. If the tree that you are cutting has more than 18 inches in diameter, then start making the notch. You should stop cutting once you can create an area in where it is enough to pound a wedge. Use the bar behind the blade of the ax in pounding. Afterward, leave the bar in the notch and start running your saw on the other side.In doing this, you should lock the chain break and tap the wedges successively. Do this until you can finish cutting.
  5. Create the felling cut by scoring a line that connects the notches on both sides of the tree. This will serve as your guide. Your back cut should be as parallel as possible to the apex of the notch. You should continue the felling cut until such time the tree will start leaning. Once it happens, take out the saw already. You should start moving on one of your escape routes.Keep an eye on the tree always. There is a tendency that it will still fall in your direction!


In cutting a tree with a chainsaw, you may need the help of an assistant. This assistant of your will be your lookout for falling branches. He/ she should stand several feet behind you to observe the entire tree. This person should warn you if the tree is starting to fall.


Knowing how to cut a tree with a chainsaw properly is essential to you and every homeowner out there. This skill enables you to clear your areas and make use out of the wood. Aside from that, cutting hazardous trees can help in preserving the overall safety of your area.

However, if you deem that the job is too complicated for you to handle, you may need the help of the professionals. They have several specialized tools that can guarantee that the job would be accomplished!