Wood Log Cutting Tools

Updated February 21, 2017

A wood burning fireplace or fire pit can be an attractive feature of a home or cabin, but they require logs for fuel. There are several types of tools designed for cutting down trees and splitting them into logs; cutting logs can be physical demanding even when using proper tools that are well maintained.


Chainsaws are one of the most commonly used power tools for felling trees and splitting trees into logs. Chainsaws use a power source, such as electricity or a gas engine, to drive a chain set with teeth designed to rip through wood. Since the power that drives the chain is not derived from the strength of the person using it, chainsaws can be used to cut a large number of logs with a minimal amount of effort compared to using hand tools, although the chainsaw itself may be heavy. Chainsaw chains should be regularly sharpened to make sure that the saw cuts well; sharpening involves running a special file through each blade along the blade. A dull blade can cause a saw to kick or become stuck while cutting.


Axes are tools that consist of a long handle, often made of wood and a heavy, bladed head that can chop wood. Axes can be used to fell trees and cut logs, although they are perhaps most useful for splitting lots along the grain into smaller pieces. Axe heads should be kept sharp so they cut cleanly with as little effort as possible. Hatchets are essentially small axes that can be used with one arm instead of two and can be used to hack through smaller logs.

Manual Saws

Manual saws or handsaws require the strength of the arms to generate a push-and-pull motion to make teeth rip through wood. Hand-powered saws require more physical strength to use than chainsaws, but the weight of the saw can help generate the downward force necessary to cut into the wood.

Safety Equipment

Proper safety equipment should be used whenever you are cutting or splitting wood into logs. Safety goggles or glasses should be worn to protect the eyes from flying wood chips or sawdust. Tough boots with steel toes can help protect the feet from falling pieces of wood, while work gloves can help protect the hands from blisters and abrasions that may result from handling tools and wood.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.