DIY Home Garden


How to Mill a Log Using a Chainsaw: A Guide

Getting a chainsaw and cutting logs are not tough anymore these days. No matter if you are planning to get a gas chainsaw or an electric one, cutting logs can still be difficult for you. So, today, we will tell you how to mill a log with a chainsaw. Depending on different cutting techniques and different standing posture, we have some easy and common techniques.

Take a look at the methods we have mentioned here!

Before you Mill a Log:

  1. Do not start the milling process in a crowded area. Clear the place for the cutting process along with the fallen log pieces. Keep all the necessary gear close to you.
  2. Wear all safety equipment for hands, eyes, feet, and the body before you start sawing.
  3. When you want to learn how to mill a log with a chainsaw, the right posture lets the upper part of the body support the saw and never be fatigued. Keep the feet away from the shoulder line while standing.

Methods of Milling a Log with Chainsaw

Method A: Log Overbucking 

If you have placed the log on the ground, you can go for the process of over-bucking if you want to mill the log with a chainsaw.

Step 1: Holding It Perfect

First of all, you have to get your hands on the right chainsaw mill. Now, move your hands on the top part of the log.

Here, you have to start cutting. But make sure you are providing light pressure on the chainsaw because if you are forcing it, the cuts will never be perfect.

Step 2: Keeping Away the Chain and Nose

Start cutting slowly. The teeth of the saw will pull the chain bar inside the wood piece. In this process, make sure you do not let the chainsaw of your body touch the ground.

Keep the nose along with the chain away from the ground. Also, no other object should get in touch with the saw chain or nose. Otherwise, you will see kickback, or the chain will get dull soon.

Step 3: Milling the Log

Now, you can easily cut the whole thing without any complications. However, if you see that the guide bar is stuck in the log, you have to be careful.

First of all, turn the chainsaw off and then drive a wedge. Go for any plastic or wooden wedge and get it inside the cut. Get some help from a hammer. The wood will slowly release the chainsaw. Pull it carefully. Now, complete the process.

Method B: Log Support on One End

In some situations, you might need to cut logs that are supported on one end. And as a result, you will need to mix up different chainsaw log milling processes and complete the work.

  1. First, you have to go for the under-bucking technique. This is easier than any other technique for milling logs. You have to go ⅓ of the log and cut it in an under bucking log cutting manner.
  2. Now that you are done cutting ⅓ of the log, you have to change the position and start cutting from the top. In this way, you will not get your blade pinches. To make sure the blade works without getting stuck, change the position, and start from the top.
  3. After cutting a bit, the log will fall automatically as the weight will pressurize the log to fall. You cannot keep your feet or other body parts on the area where the log will fall while doing this.

Keep a distance between the area and your feet. Otherwise, the log will fall on your feet or other body parts and result in unwanted accidents.

Method C: Cross-Cutting Logs

There are times you need to mill a log that has both ended support. In this situation, you must settle for the cross-cutting technique and mill it with a chainsaw.

In this process, the tool will never get pinched inside the wood and make the process tough for you!

Step 1: Starting from the Top

In the first place, you have to start the cross-cutting process just the way you usually do. Start from the top part of the wood. When you have already cut about ⅓ of the wood, steo[ there.

Step 2: Changing the Position

When you run your saw, you will see that the chainsaw is pushing you back. This is normal with every crosscut.

Make sure you are prepared for this force. You have to hold the gear properly and keep the grip firm. Do not pull the chainsaw hard.

Otherwise, it will harm your hands or hit your body. When you are going through the process, make sure your feet are free. Give space to the log pieces to fall freely. Do not injure your feet by blocking the area.

Step 3: Dividing the Log

Here, you have to switch to the under bucking technique for milling the chainsaw. Start cutting the log from the underside part. Now, take the second cut upward, and at a point, you will meet the first cut. Once you are close to the first cut, automatically, the log weight will affect.

As a result, the wood will split into two parts without your effort. This will help you cut less and get more benefits. The log will eventually divide into halves and fall downward.

Method D: Logs on the Hills

At times, you might need to cut logs on the hills too! This is a rare case, but you might get confused about milling the log with a chainsaw if you get yourself into this situation.

In this situation, you have to certify that you are standing on the upside. In this position, you can easily cut the log without injuring your body.

Because there is a change of the log or the branch rolling downwards and hurting you. Keeping your body in such a position, you can go for any process you log for milling the log with the chainsaw!

Pro Tips on Log Milling with a Chainsaw

  • Always mill the branches first
  • Never start the saw when you are pinched halfway.
  • Keep the required distance between the feet and the log falling area.
  • When on the hills, stand on the up-hill position
  • Keep the nose and chain away from the ground.

best household saw

Final Verdict: Safety First as You Mill Logs

So, we have already mentioned how to mill a log with a chainsaw. If you have a chainsaw, get ready with it and do DIY projects without any help!

Ensure that you are wearing all safety gear before you start the process. Have you ever used a chainsaw for milling logs? How do you do it? Join us on Facebook to discuss it!


Scroll to Top