How to Square a Log with a Chainsaw

Cutting and squaring of logs is done for various purposes such as making firewood, for business purposes, or any other delegated household work.  For this to be successful, the right tool, which is a chainsaw, is needed.  Safety is always vital when using the chainsaw, thus the need to familiarize oneself with the basics, the techniques used, the dangers it poses, and the safety requirement to be put in place.

The article explains in details the required elements/equipment and the procedure of squaring or cutting a log using a chainsaw.

How to Square a Log with a Chainsaw

Important components/requirements for the task

  1. A chainsaw

This is the first element that enables the operation to take place. One is expected to select the right kind of chainsaw that is ideal for the intended task.

The chainsaw used is either gas or electric chainsaw depending on the size of the logs to be squared as well as the operation period.

  • Fuel

The chainsaw should have adequate oil to enable it to run throughout the operation without any troubles. Regardless of whether the chainsaw is using electricity or battery, one should use the right oil in the chain as it enables smooth cutting.  It is also recommended to have fresh oil for every session when cutting the logs.

  • Hammer

A hammer is essential in helping to drive the wedge in the logs for easier splitting and squaring as the first step of the process.

  • Claw bar

The claw bar is important when dealing with big logs. It aids in fast and smooth cutting. The claw bar helps in reaching a deep depth, especially in cases where the chain bar is too short, and the logs are big.

  • Splitting maul

It resembles an axe, although it is heavier and helps in pushing the sharp edges of the chainsaw into the logs for easier and fast cutting.

  • Safety gear

Safety gear is vital in case something goes south. It is critical to have the limbs protected as well as taking other safety measures even though the modern types of chainsaws are safer. The protective gear includes rubber boots, eye protector glass/safety goggle, gloves, ear defenders, protective trousers, and a hard hat.

All in all, having a clear knowledge of the log diameter is essential as it helps in determining the kind of engine and chain bar to use for the tasks.

The procedure

Squaring of the logs takes place in various positions. However, before the actual task, it is crucial to carry out the following:

  • Checking the chainsaw: It is essential to check if the chainsaw is ready for the set tasks. The fuel amount and condition, chain, saw belt among other components should be checked to ensure there won’t be any obstacles during the tasks.
  • Clearing the space: Plenty of space is vital during the process, and thus the area should be cleared, ensuring there are no objects, waste, or people within five meters of the log.
  • Getting the right posture: The posture is supposed to allow the upper body to support the chainsaw with ease. An upright position is recommended with the step wider than the shoulder-length for ultimate balance and safety.

The cutting techniques

Identifying the branches that cannot be used as logs is an ideal first step. The branches should be cut off as they can be an obstacle when squaring the logs. Once you get a suitable log after cutting the branches, the cutting positions follow.


It is also known as over bucking where the log is squared from the top having the log getting supported by the ground. Cutting from the top allows for the application of light pressure with the saw. This is the safest and simplest way to square a log. In case the chainsaw gets pinched, one is supposed to turn it off and use the hammer to drive the plastic or the wooden wedge into the cut and remove it.  Once done, it is easy to continue cutting the logs using the same method.

The log on a Hill method

 It is advisable to stand up-hill of the log when using this method. It is a safety precaution that ensures you are not hurt once the cutting is done and the logs rolls. It is essential to make sure there is no contact between the nose of the saw and the ground.

Support from both ends

This method allows the logs to be supported on the left and right side but not in the middle. It can be applied to both the bigger and smaller logs. The first cut should be from the top, around a third into the wood to avoid splintering then proceed to the underside where light pressure should be exerted.

One end support

This method ensures that one end of the log is in the air. The first cut should come from the underside towards the top of the log. The next cut should be made from the top to meet the first cut quickly without the chainsaw getting pinched. It is essential to observe the side which the cut log is to fall to avoid getting hurt.


Squaring of the small or large logs using a chainsaw is an easy task if the right procedure is followed. First, it is essential to ensure that the correct type of chainsaw is chosen depending on the number of logs. The right gear and components for the job should also be considered. The safety precaution should also be in place to ensure smooth operation without any obstacles.

Following the above-given procedure and techniques will play a significant role in handling the chainsaw and squaring of the logs efficiently.

Read more:

How to Cut A log Lengthwise Using A Chainsaw

How To Make a Straight Cut With a Chainsaw

How to cut logs into lumber with a chainsaw

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