Prevent Your Chainsaw From Pinching

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Learning how to prevent your chainsaw from pinching when you're cutting firewood is something everyone should understand.

No matter what your experience level, we've all done it and it's going to happen again at some point.  

The weight and size of some trees makes it nearly impossible to completely prevent, but there are some useful techniques you can use to make sure it doesn't happen as often.

A pinched bar and chain is not only frustrating, it's also dangerous.

A majority of pinched bars occur when the tree is on the ground and you're either bucking limbs or making several downward cuts into the log for firewood.

Since the tree and ground are never perfectly level, it leaves areas where the downward force will cause the log to close up on your chain, typically when you're cutting from the top down.  

So, to prevent the cut from closing up on your saw, there's a few simple techniques you can use to not only save time, but it will reduce the possibly of the log pinching your chain, making it safer in the process.  

Prevent Your Chainsaw From Pinching

There are two easy techniques I like to use to prevent a chainsaw from pinching when the tree or tree top is already on the ground and you're ready to cut it up into firewood sized pieces.

The first technique uses the supplies you already have available in the woods.....small firewood sized pieces and the contours of the ground.  

If you step back and look at a tree on the ground you'll notice several areas where the tree is not perfectly straight or there are mounds or valleys in the ground that cause a small gap to form between the tree and ground.

When you find these small gaps, take a limb or small piece of firewood that you've cut from the top of the tree and stick the wood inside this small gap. 

Typically, I like to put several pieces along the whole tree if you have the room.

These pieces of wood take the tension off the tree.  

For example, if you attempted to make a downward cut in an area that's open beneath the tree, the downward force of the tree will cause the cut to pinch your saw.

The pieces of wood under the tree basically serve as a sawhorse, but you don't have to lift the heavy tree to place the pieces of wood underneath it, you just use the contour of the land.  

You can use a hatchet or splitting axe to help fit the pieces under the tree, or just find a piece that fits naturally.

This method isn't fool proof, but it does work really well!

The second technique utilizes a very handy tool for cutting firewood....a wedge.

Tree Felling Wedges for Tree Cutting

Although a wedge is typically used to fell a tree, they work great for bucking logs and cutting firewood already on the ground.

Since the wedges are made from a strong plastic material, they won't damage your chain and they're affordable.

As you make the downward cut into the log, cut approximately 3/4 through the log.  

Then, before the cut begins to close up on your saw, simply pound a wedge into the top of the cut

The wedge prevents the cut from closing up, allowing you to cut all the way through the log without any issues.

Prevent Your Chainsaw From Pinching

Placing small pieces of firewood under the tree or using wedges are two easy ways to prevent your chainsaw from pinching when you're cutting up a tree for firewood that's already on the ground.

So, take the time to utilize one of these two techniques and see which one works best for you.  

It will make cutting firewood safer and reduce the possibility of your chainsaw getting stuck in the wood.


About the Author

Nick Greenway

Obsessed with firewood, Nick is behind over 350+ of Firewood For Life's articles, as well as countless reviews, guides and YouTube videos to help readers like you reduce heating costs and create the perfect fire.