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How to Cut Down a Tree without a Chainsaw?

How to Cut Down a Tree without a Chainsaw

A chainsaw is a multipurpose tool which you can accomplish many chores like bucking, felling, and even pruning. But what can you do when you lack this tool in your arsenal, and you have tree logs to cut at your disposal? Luckily several workable alternatives still serve the purpose.

In this write-up, we have elaborated on other methods, tools, and ideas that equally serve the query of cutting logs without a chainsaw. Remember, these are alternatives that are only applicable in the absence of a chainsaw.

Reasons for cutting down a tree

When a tree becomes familiar, it becomes hard to phantom how the yard would look without its presence. Trees are aesthetic, animal habitats, provide shade, and create a breeze that we all enjoy. But sometimes, it’s inevitable to avoid felling a log or a tree. The following are some obvious reasons that lead to tree removal;

  • Dead tree
  • The tree trunk is unhealthy or shows signs of decay
  • If the tree branches have extended over the neighbor’s property.
  • Damaged by a storm beyond repair
  • When the tree stretches closer to a house or other structures.
  • The log leans in a dangerous direction, e.g., playground and power lines
  • The tree is hazardous to human and animal health. E.g., dropping irritating saps or thorny.
  • The trees interfere with lawn growth.
  • You are staging a different landscape, and the tree is a blocking
  • Disease infected tree
  • Need for firewood for your wood burner

Cutting down a tree trunk demands expertise and application o the correct techniques. Not only will you require a safe environment, but also you need to ensure an effective process. Now, when you have to cut down a log using manual tools, then the preparation moment is very crucial. If you understand how to cut down logs without a chainsaw, you’ll not need to hire a workforce for the same.

Planning, laying down a procedure, and picking the right equipment to ensure safe facilitating subsequent operations. But the biggest question is “how to cut logs without a chainsaw!” Read on…

No Chainsaw: Alternative Tools to cut logs with

If you’ve never figured out cutting logs or firewood without a power saw, perhaps it’s time you gave it a thought and get prepared. Let’s explore some available alternatives for falling logs other than using a chainsaw.

1. Use an axe

While many consider it archaic, an axe is a great garden traditional tool in the absence of a powered chain saw. The tool comes with cons, such as inflicting painful blisters, especially when used for a long time. That said, these tools present a top workout strategy, and so you’ll not only chop some logs for domestic use but also grow some biceps and other man points.

If you are splitting logs, you’ll require a basic splitting axe. It features a wide and wedge-shaped blade that is perfect and effective for the task. If you are beginning from scratch and want to bring down a tree, ensure that you use a sharp and heavy axe. Visit the market and get yourself an excellent axe fixed on a wood, plastic, or fiberglass handle.

2. Cut logs with a Crosscut saw.

A crosscut saw has a handle and blade much resembling a regular handsaw. The saw is designed for handling different tasks such as felling trees and cutting the trunks into round shapes made for firewood. Additionally, the crosscut saws feature diverse teeth patterns, e.g., plain and great American teeth, designed for specified cutting tasks.

Compared to other saws, crosscut doesn’t require regular sharpening. If you need a neat woodpile, the crosscut will take you home. The blades chop firewood and logs faster, into smooth equal sizes, making them easy to stack. Also, you can acquire the saw with an ergonomic handle in two forms: singles handled and double handled.

3. Jigsaw

Even though the jigsaw isn’t powerful for felling trees or cutting down massive logs, it’s an excellent garden tool for cutting pallets into firewood. While many people find the saw challenging to pull, it’s undoubtedly suitable for cutting firewood and branches because it doesn’t slide easily.

4. Use the Circular Saw

It’s one of the best saws to carry when you want to cut your tree logs into definite shapes. The tool offers excellent control ad features a blade capable of slicing both hard and softwood effortlessly. Before chopping logs, ensure that they are positioned in a stable position to avoid sliding, leading to possible injuries. 

5. Bow saw

Just as the name suggests, this saw is a portable bow-shaped tool that you might also need in your yard if you lack a chainsaw. The saw has a curved frame holding the adjustable blade steady and straight. Different bow saws come with different blade lengths between 14- 30 inches, ideal for a tree falling and branch cutting. Also, the blade for bow saws is very sharp, so it’s advisable to purchase a protective shield and use a knuckle guard while cutting the logs.

Use a bow saw for ages, and service it for more complex tasks. The most significant advantage of using this tool is that you cut logs and firewood effortlessly and without pressure. Be a workhorse with this cheap garden saw.

6. Wire Saw

It is the most convenient and portable saw on our list and a great alternative yet reliable power tool.  The tool is light to carry and operate with, and in the absence of a chainsaw, the wire is a real deal in cutting branches despite its small size. With the abrasive wire, all you need is to sling it around the branch and repetitively push it in a sowing motion until the branch is down.

What to do when cutting logs without power tools

Generally, falling trees is a risky adventure that requires the proper skill, calculations, and preparations. After assembling the most precise tools for the task, study the log or tree keenly to determine its falling direction. How to do that? Check these tips:

Before commencing the process

If you are not confident with the logs’ falling direction, move a distance and confirm it with a plumb line.

  • Once you capture the falling direction of the entire tree, clear the area around and some 45 degrees on the sides for the escape route.
  • Once the space is clear, mark appropriately and decide the direction you’ll drop the tree and the one you’ll use as the escape route.
  • Using tree loppers, prune the branches that could interfere with the felling process.
  • Wear safety equipment like gloves, glass, and boots to protect yourself from piercing particles.
  • Wear a helmet with both eye and ear protection features.

During the cutting process

Some trees that you’ll require to fall are tall and pose a danger. While there are several ways to cut logs without a chainsaw, ensure that you’ve employed the most suitable method after assessing the nature of the task at hand.  Therefore:

  • Once you’ve freed the trunk from the interfering branches, it’s now possible to move on with the cutting.
  • Make a horizontal cut to the ground and another at a downward angle above the flat cut and extent it to meet the first cut.
  • Ensure that you use hinges of the correct thickness and size. Also, remember to insert them into the felling wedge before the shaft blocks the guide bar.
  • Keep the tree in your sight through the entire time
  • The technique you’ll apply depends on the size and type of tool you are using, as well as the trees’ inclination.

How to cut logs without a chainsaw?

Cutting down small logs is a catwalk, but something extra is required for big logs. If you plan to fall big logs, you’ll need an added workforce to manage the task. Besides, ensure that the type of equipment you will operate with is sufficient for the significant work. Here are the essential expert tips on how to cut logs without a chainsaw.

  • Choose the most appropriate tool for your task. The tools you’ll choose must much the task or the size of the tree.
  • Manual force and even the assistance of a long pole are required. Ensure that the felling wedge is adequately fixed for braking.
  • In some cases, a rope and a winch are used to ensure that you are safe. The ropes hold the tree trunk in the direction you want it to fall, and the winch controls the direction of fall.
  • Remember that the same steps are applied when cutting fallen trees or logs. Choose the right tools and call for extra force when need be.

After cutting the logs

Falling trees without incurring expenses or just cutting your firewood is among the most rewarding things to experience. Here are steps that you should take after the cutting process.

  • After the work, ensure that all tools are properly stored. Proper storage protects saws and wedges from rain and rust as well as theft.
  • Pick up all particles to avoid injuries. As mentioned above, you should exercise tidiness around your cutting space.
  • Keep all working tools from the reach of children.
  • Clean and dry tools before storage.
  • Remember that it’s a crime to carry some tools, such as an axe, in public. Check with the regulations of your state.


Tools indeed make work more manageable, and a chainsaw is unmatched when cutting trees. Despite its effectiveness, we may not have access to it, and so we seek traditional alternatives. When faced with such a situation, you’ll need to get creative to get the job done.

There’s no reason as to why you should worry about how to cut logs without a chainsaw. With these tips, alternative tools, and techniques, cutting down a tree becomes easy and cheap. Remember the risks that come with falling trees, and so if you can’t do without a chainsaw, it’s advisable you stick to it. Congratulations, you read the whole piece, and now you’ll light the bonfire even without a chainsaw.

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