Can You Chainsaw Wet Wood? You Asked, We Answered!

how to use a chainsaw to cut wet woodPower tools and water are a clear no-no for everyone but fortunately, that is not the case with chainsaws.

You can use this tool on wet wood and even during a dull rainy day. But the rule doesn’t hold all its types.

Other questions come with cutting wet wood as well like, does the wet wood damage the saw? Does the wet wood dull the chain or bar? What type of chainsaw cannot be used on wet wood? Can you cut wet trees?

All these questions plus alternatives for this particular task are answered ahead along with the main question, i.e. ‘can you chainsaw wet wood?’, so keep reading.

Can You Chainsaw Wet Wood? Precautions and Procedures to Follow

Yes, a chainsaw can cut through wet wood and trees. In fact, the moisture in the wet wood acts as a natural lubricant that even makes the process easier. Based on the age and density of the wood the difficulty level may vary.

But at the same time, the wet wood creates sawdust that can get stuck in the chain and cannot be taken care of by the air filters. To deal with it you will need to stop in the middle and clean it.

You do not need to buy any specific kind of chain for wet wood either. Use what you have and make sure to prep it like before every use. In case the wood is too dense you may opt for a micro chisel chain.

Cutting wet wood might not be a difficult task but it definitely is a dangerous one because the water that had made the wood wet could have made the surroundings difficult to work in. Water brings slipperiness plus the first requirement of using a chainsaw is to follow all the safety measures and precautions.

Steps to Cut Wet Wood with a Chainsaw

Following are the steps to cut wet wood perfectly and safely

Step 1: Wear Protective Gear

Wear protective gear which includes work pants and

Step 2: Clear Workspace

Clear the workspace. Make sure nobody is within a 5-meter distance and clean and remove any unnecessary obstacles.

Make sure the area around you is not slippery. If it is, the best choice is not to do it.

Step 3: Ensure Sharpness of Chainsaw

Make sure the blade is sharp. You can use a chainsaw sharpener to sharpen the chain of your saw properly.

Step 4: Grip and Control the Tool Properly

Start slowly with a solid grip on the saw.

To avoid sudden kickback, cut the wood using the middle part of the saw.

Hold the blade in line with yourself.

Step 5: Clean the Tool

Wet wood creates dust that can get stuck in your chain. Clean it between breaks for smooth running.

Learn how to cut wet wood with a chainsaw properly in this video guide by Pacific Tree Management:

Learn More: Can You Put a Longer Bar on a Chainsaw?

Can You Cut Wet Wood?

Yes, you can cut wet wood. But based on age diameter and density the task level may change. Gas-powered chainsaws can work all season, and so do battery-powered ones. But using an electric corded one is not a good idea.

Does Wet Wood Cut Easier? How does it affect the Chainsaw?

Though the main factor is the type of wood and its age, cutting through wet wood is indeed easier according to many, including Husqvarna. The wood after getting wet develops moisture that can act as a natural lubricant making the cutting process easier.

But wet wood also creates thick chip-like sawdust that can get stuck in the chain making it dull and even damaging it if it stays there for long. Make sure to clean it after or in the middle to maintain the performance without applying extra pressure.

Can You Use an Electric Chainsaw on Wet Wood?

Water and electricity are never a good idea. Corded electric chainsaw is not a good idea for wet wood and is a big mistake in wet weather. You can always use a battery or fuel-powered one as an alternative.

Can You Hand Saw Wet Wood?

In short, yes you can cut with a hand saw but it is a difficult task.

The moisture in the wet wood tends to expand it. The saw can get stuck in the wood and would require more pressure. But based on the types and thickness of the wood the process may differ.

Can You Cut Wet Wood with a Miter Saw?

A Miter saw is a powerful tool that can cut through both wet and dry wood. But it is not a preferable tool for wet wood since the moisture in the wood can heat the blade and damage it.

The level of the miter saw is also difficult to manage with wood that is wet which can also damage this saw. Unlike a chainsaw chain that protects the blade and only gets sawdust stuck in it, a miter saw can suffer great damage to the blade with wet wood.

Can You Cut Wet Wood with a Circular Saw?

Yes, you can but this is in no way an ideal tool for this. A Circular saw is an exceptional tool for cutting dry wood not wet. It uses a rotating fine-tooth blade that can load and bind on the wet wood.

For this job, you can use a coarse-toothed blade which is less likely to break. Also, use a brass detailing brush to clean the blade from time to time in the middle to clean the blade and that goes for both types.

Can You Cut Wet Wood with a Reciprocating Saw?

Yes, you can cut wet wood with a reciprocating saw, although it is a difficult task compared to cutting through dry wood.

It depends more on the diameter of the wood. It can easily cut thin branches and trim wet wood but it is advised to wait for the wood to dry since the tool is small and can get damaged.

Final Takeaways: Can You Chainsaw Wet Wood?

Long story short, yes you can chainsaw wet wood. But not all kinds of wood and cutting tools are up for this job. Like dry wood, this depends on the density and age of the tree. But unlike dry wood, cutting through wet wood is easier since the moisture in the wood acts as a natural lubricant.

The process is no different from cutting dry wood. Need some maintenance before usage but after you might need to clean the chain for stuck wet sawdust.

A tip: Aside from general safety guidelines for chainsaw usage, be extra cautious of the wet wood and wet weather.

Based on the power source, fuel-powered chainsaws and battery-powered or even the mini saws are good options for this task, and avoid using an electric chainsaw. There are other alternatives but all of them have their pros and cons, which you can find out by reading the article.


Richard McMann

Richard lives out in the wild with his other half, Diana Richard. He tests chainsaws based on his personal experience and loves to share their nitty gritty details with his audience. Although Richard does focus on other home improvement tools, his focus remains on cutting fallen trees or maintaining his backyard via chainsaw tools. He pledges to come up with new knowledge about chainsaws every once in a while. Explore Details About Richard