How to Keep a Chainsaw from Pinching in Simple and Easy Ways

Patrick McMann

Knowledge Based

Chainsaw pinching – it’s the stuff for an operator’s nightmare. Imagine you are cutting some solid logs, making great progress, and suddenly your cutting tool gets stuck in the log. You realize your chainsaw is pinched. Not only it’s a frustrating issue, but also dangerous if you are not careful.

But fret not. There are some simple steps you can take to prevent chainsaw pinching and keep yourself safe as well. In this article, I’ll share a few techniques to avoid the dreaded pinch and make clean and efficient cuts every time.

simple and easy ways to keep chainsaw from pinching

How to Keep a Chainsaw from Pinching?

To keep your chainsaw from pinching, use proper cutting techniques, inspect the size of the tree or log, and choose the right machine for the job.

How Do You Cut a Log Without Pinching It?

A chainsaw cross-cutting technique involves making a series of perpendicular cuts along the log’s length. But before you mark the first cut, secure your log and make sure it is stable and won’t shift.

Then wear your safety gear, such as goggles and gloves, pick up your chainsaw, and get to work. Follow the steps below for a perfect cross-cutting technique:

Step 1: Make the First Cut

Start by marking your first cut across the log’s length. This will create a flat surface for your saw to rest on and provides stability for the rest of your cuts.

Step 2: Make the First Cut

Start your chainsaw and hold it in a position where its bar and chain make a 90-degree angle to the log. Make the first cut at the mark and stop at three-quarters of the way through the log.

Step 3: Make Other Cuts

Make a second cut parallel to the first cut but a few inches away from it. Proceed to make parallel cuts keeping them at the same distance apart along the whole log length. This will create wedge-shaped sections and prevent the cutting tool from binding, making it easier to cut through the log.

Step 4: Use a Pry Bar

Once you’ve made all the cuts, use a pry bar to lift each wedge from the log. Repeat all the steps mentioned above until you’ve cut the entire log into wedges.

How To Cut a Tree Without Chainsaw Pinching?

The above cross-cutting technique was for the logs, but what about trees? Cross-cutting a tree with a chainsaw slightly differs from cutting a log. So, let’s find out.

Cross Cutting Techniques with Chainsaw
Image Credits: Research Gate

Step 1: Inspect the Area

First, you’ll need to assess the area for any obstacles that could hinder the cutting process and cause pinching when the tree falls. Check for power lines and nearby tree branches that can impede the tree’s fall. Also, determine the area on the tree where you want to make the cuts and where the tree is more likely to pinch your chainsaw.

Step 2: Cut the First Section

Use your cutting tool and slash downwards at a 45-degree angle through the tree trunk. Stop when you are one-third through it. This will create a hinge to guide the tree in the direction where you want it to fall and also control its fall.

Step 3: Cut the Second Section

Make a horizontal all through the tree until it starts to fall. But this time, make it slightly higher than the first cut.

Step 4: Finish All the Cuts

Once the tree starts to fall, pull away the chainsaw to finish the cut and move away.

Step 5: Cross-cut the Logs

Once the tree has fallen, follow the steps mentioned earlier in the cross-cutting log section to cut the logs.

Learn More: How to Check Compression on a Chainsaw?

What To Do If Your Chainsaw Gets Stuck in a Tree or Log?

What if you unluckily have a chainsaw pinched in a tree or a log? First off, don’t panic. Take a deep breath and check on the situation. Then proceed to ensure your cutting machine is turned off and set the emergency brake if it has one.

Next, use a pry bar to free the tool from the pinch. If that doesn’t work, don’t try further, as this may damage the machine. Call a professional technician to pry it off for you.

But before you learn how to keep a chainsaw pinching from happening, know why it happens. A chainsaw can get pinched in a tree when you haven’t made a proper notch or hinge on its opposite side, and the tree’s weight comes crashing down on the tool.

Due to this, the chainsaw bar and chain get pinched in the cut. Or, in the case of cutting a log, it shifts or rolls away, causing a pinched chainsaw bar and chain. When the cutting machine is stuck in a tree or log, it can be tough to remove it.

Besides, trying to pry it out can cause damage to the machine or injury to the operator as it can kick back or bind. That’s why it’s important to use the right cutting technique. There are other factors at play as well behind a pinched chainsaw. You should consider them to prevent your tool from getting stuck in the tree or log. Here they are:

Chainsaw Size

If your chosen cutting machine is too small compared to the size of the tree or log, it will struggle to cut through. A large tree with thicker branches will even make it more difficult for you to cut through the thickness with a small chainsaw.

On the other hand, if you pick a too-big chainsaw, its size will make it difficult for you to control the tool. This could lead to the machine becoming overbalanced or overloaded.

Tree Weight

Another factor to consider behind pinching is the weight and size of the tree. You are asking for trouble if you attempt to cut down a too-large tree. Here you also need to consider the surroundings. If you don’t have proper clearance for the tree to fall after you cut it, you are further increasing the risk of a pinch.

Log Size and Shape

The log size and shape also play a crucial role in chainsaw pinching. A large or uneven log can overload your machine, causing a kickback or pinching.

Wood Condition

If a tree or log is rotten, it is more likely to break apart unexpectedly, causing your cutting chainsaw tool to become stuck.

Wood Type

The type of wood is also a governing factor in chainsaw pinching. Some woods are more hard and brittle than others. Therefore, they may require a different cutting technique than usual.

After you’ve considered the factors behind pinching, let me tell you some chainsaw cross-cutting techniques to ensure your tool won’t get stuck in a log.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to keep a chainsaw from pinching is critical for the operator’s safety and to prevent damage to the machine. You’ll need to learn proper cutting techniques, including creating a hinge on the tree, and parallel cuts on the log can help prevent pinching.

Furthermore, you should choose the size and power of the tool according to the tree or log size, condition, and wood type. By following these guidelines, clearing the area for the tree to fall, or securing the log, you can safely and effectively use a chainsaw for cutting without risking a pinch.

Patrick McMann