Can Chainsaw Cut in Water? Underwater Cutting in Chainsaw

Patrick McMann

Knowledge Based

underwater cutting with chainsawGenerally, even cutting wet wood with a normal chainsaw is not recommended though you can do so. Thus, it is now obvious for you to understand that you cannot cut underwater with a chainsaw. 

However, there are some chainsaws that are specially designed for this purpose. So, in that case, Yes, a chainsaw can cut in water.

If we talk about normal chainsaws, they are operated by two methods. One is gas-operated chainsaws and the other option is electric saws in which you have further options of corded and cordless chainsaws. 

Using an electric chainsaw for such a purpose is highly prohibited. You should never even try to cut wet wood with an electric chainsaw.

But a gas chainsaw can be used in shallow water for cutting. For doing so, the gas tank must stay above the water. This is the case when you must have to deal with slightly wet wood or places where there is some water. 

However, ordinary chainsaws are never recommended to be used in water as they are designed for cutting dry wood.

Can Chainsaw Cut in Water? Cutting in Water Via Chainsaw

Normally, chainsaws, especially mini saws are not meant to be in contact with water so they are not designed in that way. In case the wood needs to be extracted from water, then the method is that it is extracted and then it is left to get dry. After that, the cutting process is carried out under normal conditions.

However, if the tree is grown in water and you have to remove it using the chainsaw then, a gas-powered saw can be used. In doing so, you must make sure that the engine is kept above the water level. Yet, it is not much suitable because the fast-moving saw causes water splashes that can reach the engine and can damage the chainsaw.

If you have to cut in deep water, then you must use pneumatic or hydraulic chainsaws. These type of chainsaws are adopted in a way that you can cut underwater.

Cutting a Tree Underwater

Cutting a tree underwater is an exceptional case especially when it is done with a chainsaw. Therefore, it needs to be done with great care. If you are thinking that you will get a hydraulic chainsaw or a pneumatic one and you will get the job done easily, then it is not the case.

Along with the right equipment, you also need to be fully aware of the process. Also, the process is not simple. There are many things that you need to care about while operating a chainsaw underwater.

Sometimes, the cutting is required on a shallow water surface. However, in another case, you might need to use a chainsaw underwater. In both situations, you require different strategies and for sure your concerns will be different. Let us talk about these situations in detail.

Read the shocking facts behind the invention of chainsaws in the first place!

Cutting Tree in Shallow Water

Cutting in shallow water is comparatively less challenging than cutting in deep water until the surface is not muddy or slippery. For cutting in shallow water, you can use a normal gas-powered chainsaw with a longer bar. If the bar is long enough that it is not fully underwater, it will protect your fuel tank and air inlet.

Then, when you are planning to cut in the shallow water, there are high chances of mud there. Therefore, make sure that you wear good grip shoes along with all safety measures. Also, wear chainsaw trousers so that your legs get protected in case of any slippage incident.

If there is a lot of mud then avoid cutting. Cutting in water causes lots of water splashes yet they can be tackled. However, if there is too much mud, it will get harmful to the chainsaw as the chain can turn blunt. Also, you are at great risk of meeting some accident.

Cutting Tree in Deep Water

In this case of underwater chainsaw cutting, you need to have professional chainsaws. Pneumatic and hydraulic chainsaws are made with the aim of underwater cutting. Thus, you can use them if you have to cut them in deep water.

Pneumatic Chainsaw

The engine of a Pneumatic chainsaw works on compressed air. The air reaches the head of the saw through a flexible hose. This compressed air allows the chain to rotate and the chainsaw functions.

Moreover, it also does have an engine of course that does the pumping work. But unlike normal chainsaws, the engine can be placed far from the chainsaw. So, in case of deep water cutting tasks, the engine can be placed in the boat or other suitable place.

Hydraulic Chainsaw

A Hydraulic chainsaw follows the same process as a pneumatic chainsaw. However, it uses pressurized hydraulic fuel that runs the chainsaw instead of gas. Like the pneumatic chainsaw, its engine or motor can be placed at a distance in some suitable place.

An external pump is used that connects the engine to the chainsaw. As a result, the fuel circulates in the chainsaw head and allows it to work.

Pre-Cutting Measures for Wet Wood

For cutting in water with a chainsaw, you must follow some precautionary measures. Here are some of the points that you should consider before you start working with the chainsaw in the water.

1. Wearing Suitable Shoes

In the places where there is water, there is always mud and it gets slippery. In case of slippage, you can get serious injury not only by falling but the running chainsaw can hurt you badly too. So, it is always needed to have good grip shoes while working with a chainsaw in the water.

2. Using the Perfect and Desired Chainsaw

Secondly, you must be having a proper chainsaw for cutting in water. If the cutting is to be done in shallow water, then you can use a gas chainsaw. But do not forget to be careful and save the engine from getting into the water. Or else, you will end up damaging your chainsaw.

But if you have to work in deep water, then you must have either a pneumatic or hydraulic chainsaw. These chainsaws are designed for such purposes so they are safe to be used in water.  

3. Tighten the Fuel Cap

Before, you start working, make sure to secure the fuel tank cap. It will prevent water drops from splashes to get inside the engine.  

4. Wearing Chainsaw Trousers

You should always wear leg protective trousers while dealing with the chainsaw. In the case of working in water, these leg safety pants become super important. Wearing them will protect you from getting a severe injury in case of an accident.  

Post-Cutting Tips for Wet Wood

Just like you have to follow precutting tips, there are post-cutting tips that you also need to follow. These measures are to keep your chainsaw in good shape and to extend the chainsaw’s life.

1. Cleaning the chainsaw

As I told you earlier, working in water, especially in shallow water means getting in contact with mud. When you are done cutting wood underwater, your chainsaw will be so dirty. So, you must clean the debris and wash it properly.  

2. Drying the chainsaw

After cleaning the chainsaw, you have to dry it. You can use a clean cloth for drying it out. Or else, you can also air dry it. But drying the chainsaw is very crucial otherwise it will get rusted.

3. Lubrication and storing

Once you are done with the cleaning and drying process, there comes the lubrication and storing step. You need to lubricate your chainsaw chain and the bar properly. Then, store it in a dry and suitable place.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can chainsaws cut underwater?

Yes, it is possible for a chainsaw to cut underwater. Though cutting with a chainsaw underwater is not recommended with normal chainsaws. Yet, you can use a gas-operated chainsaw for cutting in shallow water. Just make sure that the engine is held above the water and avoid contact of water with the engine in any case.

Moreover, for cutting in deep water, there are special chainsaws available. Pneumatic or Hydraulic chainsaws are made in a way that they can be used for cutting in water. They are light in weight and the engine can be kept at a distance from the chainsaw. These features make them suitable for underwater cutting.  

2. Can Stihl chainsaw get wet?

Yes, chainsaws are not waterproof so they can get wet. However, wetness is associated with different situations. In case of rain, the water is unlikely to get into the engine due to rain. However, in case of underwater, the water can get into the engine and fuel tank. And you must avoid water getting there.

3. How do underwater chainsaws work?

The main function or the process of cutting is similar in all types of chainsaws. However, underwater chainsaws such as hydraulic or Pneumatic chainsaws have engines separated from the chainsaw.

You can place the engine at some distance (most likely on a dry surface). These chainsaws work on hydraulic fuel or compressed air that gets access to the chainsaw through a flexible hose. It provides energy and the chain rotates ultimately leading the chainsaw to work.

4. Can you cut through steel underwater?

For cutting steel underwater, you should use Stanley CO23 Cut-Off Saw. It is powered by hydraulic fuel and it is designed to cut steel underwater. Not only this saw is ideal for underwater cutting, but it also has a good performance on land as well.

The chainsaw is painted yellow to allow the worker more visibility underwater. It has a high torque and the bar size is 10”. The chainsaw can cut through hard materials such as concrete, stones, and steel.

Last Words: Can Chainsaw Cut in Water?

I have addressed the topic of can chainsaw cut in water in detail. Most likely you would have got your queries answered. I have not included cutting in rain in this article to remain stick to the point and provide you with more details of the concerned topic.

Yet, the perspective of rain is also closely associated with the chainsaw cutting in water topic. So, yes you can cut in rain but of course, it is not recommended at all. However, if you try to do so, you need to be careful throughout the process.

The conclusion is that you can do cutting in water or rain. Though it is prohibited yet it is not impossible. There are special chainsaws that need to be used in water. Also, do follow all the pre and post-measures if you cut in water with a chainsaw.

Patrick McMann