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3 Ways to Make an Even Cut with a Chainsaw

So you want to make an even cut with a chainsaw, is this even possible? As tree service specialists, we say of course!

Now, you may be wondering why you would ever want or need to make a level cut in the first place. Simple answer: DIY wood log projects.

You know you’ve thought about it!

While we spend most of our time handling commercial, municipal and residential tree services, you may see some bucked logs and think, “Hey! I could make a funky wood project out of that.”

And we support you in your crafty efforts.

Whether it’s log planters, wood log bowls, outdoor furniture, coasters, or even work tables and supports, it all starts with a log and a chainsaw.

How to Make a Level Cut with a Chainsaw

If you want to make an even cut on a log with a chainsaw, it is possible to eyeball it. But the thing to keep in mind is while chainsaws are the best tools to use to cut logs flat, they are better known for their power rather than their edging.

So, unless you’re a professional chainsaw carver, here are a couple suggestions for making an even cut from a tree service expert.

Make a Chainsaw Jig

In order to make a level cut, you may want to consider making a square chainsaw jig using 2x4s and a level.

While this is an effective way to execute a perfect even cut, it is definitely time consuming and finicky. Check out a couple YouTube videos before you settle on this method and see if this will work for you.

Tools you’ll need for this method: chainsaw, drill, screws.

Use a Guide

Another method for making an even cut is to measure the log to your desired length and mark it with a chalk line. Then, follow the line around with your chainsaw. 

If having a perfectly even cut you may want to create a guide for yourself either using sheet metal wrapped along the log and aligned to your marks, or even create chalk guide line with a plumb line.

Tools you’ll need: chainsaw, chalk or plumbline, roll of sheet metal (optional).

Cut Then Level

The third way to make a level cut is to not worry about it, eyeball your chainsaw cut and then level it out later. Of course, you’ll want it to be as even a cut as possible but this will be the quicker method upfront.

To level your log use a power sander to even off the top of your cut or slice.

Tools you’ll need: chainsaw, power sander, sandpaper.

Obligatory Safety Section

Now, even though you’re “just doing crafts” you’re still working with a powerful tool, and safety needs to be a priority. Make sure you’re using your chainsaw properly by following these tips:

  • Practice a few simple cuts on a smaller piece of word to get a feel for the machine
  • Wear proper safety equipment (at minimum: gloves, eye protection, ear protection)
  • Avoid the kickback zone
  • Hold the saw with an encircling grip

Do you feel ready to make some even cuts with your chainsaw? We know we sure do! And hey, if you find your project going sideways, you always know who to call to help you out.

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