Can a Chainsaw Cut Through Bone? Risk Factors Involved [2024]

Richard McMann

Knowledge Based

can you cut a bone with chainsawThe stigma around chainsaw makes it look like a gruesome murder weapon when in reality it is an invaluable tool worth every penny.

Sadly movies like the Texas chainsaw massacre and games like GTA hold truth to some extent. Yes, a chainsaw can cut through bone but it does not mean that is how it should be used.

Chainsaws are, in fact, dangerous tools that can cut through human meat like butter and bone like wood but time has changed. The tool has developed in recent years.

It has built-in technology that protects us from such accidents and with proper safety measures and precautions all this can be avoided.

Let’s, therefore, dive into the details of answering ‘can a chainsaw cut through bone’ as follows:

Can a Chainsaw Cut Through Bone? Precautions and Safety Measures in 2024

The thought is horrifying but yes it can cut through bone. Gas Chainsaw is a dangerous tool for professionals, homeowners, and beginners alike and it poses the same kind of danger to everyone. If you accidentally cut a finger or injure your bone it can likely damage the whole respective bone. In worst-case scenarios, you may experience an amputation or death.

Possible Harms Posed by Chainsaws

Modern chainsaws may not be used for bone cutting but they certainly can. Following are the scenarios that could cause possible harm and should be looked out for

  • Kick-back
  • Push-back
  • Pull-back
  • Loosen bar and chain
  • Possibly loosen nut

Although a chainsaw can cut through meat and bone, it does experience resistance to clothes. The rotating teeth can be stuck in cloth and stop the saw before it gets to the flesh. Hence no matter what, always use the tool with all safety measures in place. Fortunately, modern mini saws also come with built-in technology that protects the users from accidents.

Learn More: Are Chainsaws Dangerous?

Safety Measures You Should Take

Safety measures to be followed when using a chainsaw

  • Wear work clothes and gloves.
  • Wear protective goggles.
  • Wear steel-toe boots.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • Give a quick check to everything before starting (i.e. control, tension, sharpness, bar, and chain).
  • Turn on built-in safety features
    • Automatic stop switch.
    • Chain brake.
    • Throttle lock.
    • Chain catcher.
  • Hand-guard to protect your hands.
  • Start it on the ground and then pick it up.
  • Use both hands when operating. One on each handle.
  • Maintain your footing.
  • Hold it at an angle not directly in front of you.

History Agrees With Chainsaw Cutting a Bone

History agrees with the title. The chainsaw was developed back in the 18th century to cut through the pelvic bone to help in childbirth. Back then when a baby was in a critical position the pelvis was cut to make the delivery easier in a procedure called symphysiotomy. The procedure used a small knife that was very time-consuming and painfully excruciating.

Read the detailed guide on Why Were Chainsaws Invented!

To make it quick and less painful Osteotome was invented in the years that followed. It was a small handheld device the size of a knife and handled mechanically by a hand crank. Later on, it stopped being used in childbirth but took on many forms in surgery and amputation.

In the 20th century, it took a new turn towards taking down trees and cutting firewood like the electric chainsaw we know today.

What to do if I cut myself with a Chainsaw?

In case you experience any injury while using your chainsaw, do the following and seek immediate medical care as soon as possible

  • Apply direct pressure.
  • Elevate the wound.
  • Sterilize the wound.
  • Cover it with a bandage.
  • Apply ice in case you experience swelling.
  • Possibly have someone else drive you to the hospital.

Are chainsaws used for performing amputation?

Chainsaws do possess enough power to perform an amputation. That being said, it was used for amputation but not anymore. Since then science and medicine have advanced to a point that there is no need for the home use chainsaw in that regard. But in extreme cases when there is no other option left it can be an alternative.

This video tutorial on chainsaw safety by STIHL Australia can help you get away with the dangers posed by the tool easily:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What can a chainsaw not cut through?

This question is too generic to answer. There are different types of chainsaws based on chain, bar, performance, and power source. But if we stick to a professional limber one you can say that it cannot cut through

  • Rock
  • Heavy metal (Until and unless you don’t have a professional chainsaw)
  • Dirt (ground)

For an accurate answer search for your specific chainsaw model and brand as well as the thing you want to cut through.

2. What tool can cut through bone?

Orthopedic surgeons use rotary drills or oscillating to cut through bones during surgery. Interestingly these are the direct descendant of the chainsaw tool called Osteotome and the reason why chainsaws were invented in the first place.

3. Can a chainsaw cut a person?

Not like in games and TV shows with a swift strike but yes it can cut a person, slowly and very gruesomely.

4. Can a chainsaw cut off an arm?

It most certainly can, it is advised to wear safety before handling this tool.

5. Can a chainsaw blade cut through bone?

Yes, a chainsaw blade can cut through bone. Although this is why it was invented, that is not its use anymore.

6. Is cutting bone the same as cutting wood?

No, it is not. Wood and bone are two different things with completely different types so this is not something comparable.

Final Thoughts: Can a Chainsaw Cut Through Bone?

A chainsaw is a dangerous tool that can cause a small injury like a cut or a bigger accident like cutting a bone. Safety should be an absolute priority when using this tool. Aside from personal protective equipment, one should also make sure that the tool is in proper working condition and that he/she is up and active when using it.

Blades of chainsaws are deathly sharp so be conscious while using them and seek medical attention immediately in case of any injury.

Richard McMann
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