How To Cut Down A Tree With A Chainsaw (Explained For Newbies)

Trees are an essential part of our nature. It surrounds the planet in vast quantities and provides precious resources to humans who use them for a variety of purposes. Trees provide humans with timber that is vital for the purpose of construction and furniture.

The only way to harness the power of the tree is to cut it down and chop it up into smaller pieces. For that purpose, most of us use chainsaws. But keep in mind that cutting a tree requires a high level of skill and precision that most of us lack due to a lack of knowledge on this subject matter.

Cutting a tree is indeed a hazardous job and should be left to trained professionals to carry out this task. But, if you see that the tree is of a manageable size you may wish to take on the challenge of cutting down the tree by your own self. This article tries to highlight an efficient way of how to cut down a tree.

Also read a buying guide of Best Chainsaw Mills. ,

and How to cut logs into lumber

Should You Do A DIY, Homemade Chainsaw Mill Or Buy A Best One?

How To Cut Down A Tree With A Chainsaw?

That too by maintaining safety standards at all times? Well, at first you need to dress properly for that occasion. Wear denim pants, or rugged clothes that are meant to keep you well protected from the elements in the woods.

Pair your denim pants with a full sleeved t-shirt so that your body is well covered. It’s important to wear tough clothes so that you can protect yourself in case a flying debris falls upon you. Wearing gloves and a safety helmet is also highly recommended when you are about to fashion the chainsaw.

Once you are geared properly, you are all set to start your job. Don’t forget to check your chainsaw so make sure that it is in working condition.

Demarcate The Direction Where The Tree Is Supposed To Fall

Trees are tall and it’s important to determine which side the tree will fall once you start mowing down the tree. The path of the tree where it falls is optimal when it is allowed to land in an open area. So, look for an opening in the woods where it is safe to cut and land a tree down on the ground.

If you’re chosen area in exceptionally woody with trees all around, it will be harder to locate a tree with an opening. Making sure your chosen tree is clear of other trees will also make sure that there are no unnecessary debris falling down once the tree is cut. It will also make your job easier of maintaining safety at your job site.

Choosing The Right Spot To Stand On When The Tree Is Cut

More importantly, how to determine the best location to stand once the tree lands on the ground? These are important questions to which you need to find the answers to before determining the best fall path.

Once you locate a tree which has an opening and which is clear from other trees in the area, you should find out a safe spot to stand on once the tree starts to fall. The optimal direction where a tree falls down is at an angle of forty five degrees. This angle should be positioned on the back side from where you are supposed to make a cut on your chosen tree.

When the tree is about to fall, it is highly advised that you should not be positioned on the back side of your marked tree. This might increase the risk of the tree directly falling over your body. It also increases the risk of the tree butt directly hitting you.

Marking The Correct Position To Make The Cut On The Tree

How to cut down a tree with a chainsaw? The short answer is with 3 cuts. There should be 2 cuts on the face of the tree and 1 cut on the back of the tree. The notch cut should be the first cut you perform on the tree. This cut should be made to the side of your chosen tree and this side should be directly adjacent to the direction where the tree is supposed to fall.

In other words, your notch cut should face the fall path of the tree. Keep in mind that there are three kinds of notch cuts:

  • Open ended notch cut: The most safest and precise cut on the tree is called the open ended notch cut. This kind of cut should be performed at 90 degrees.
  • Conventional cut: This kind of cut should be performed at a 45 degree angle. It should be precisely one inches from the bottom part of the tree.
  • There is another kind of cut which should also be performed at a 45 degree angle. It should also be precisely one inches from the top part of the tree which is cut.

Making The Cut

After you have determined the place where the tree will fall and the type of cut you will make on the tree with your chainsaw machine, it is time to actually make the cut and accomplish the task. Start by performing the cut on the top part of the tree.

This cut should be performed at a position which should leave space for the cut on the bottom part to be made on the tree at a later stage. The cut should be downwards with a specific angle that is consistent to the cut you are performing.

Once this cut is done, now it is time for the bottom cut. This cut should be started at point that creates a consistent angle.

Making The Final Cut At The Back Side Of The Tree

This cut should be performed on the exact opposite position from the first cut. This helps the trees fall as it creates a hinge. You should stop this cut when it reaches 2 inches towards the face notch. Once the tree starts to fall, stay at least 20 feet away.

How To Trim A Tree

Once the tree is cut and fallen down the path of retreat, it is time to whip out your chainsaw again and trim the tree into smaller pieces. Be careful at this stage as splinters might shoot across your face if you try to cut the limb or branches of the tree without much attention to safety.

When you are about to cut the limbs, make sure to wear protective gear again, a helmet with plastic covering your face, gloves, and rugged clothes so that even if a splinter attacks your face, it won’t be able to injure you.

Removing The Stump Of The Tree

Removing the stump of the tree might be a tricky business, especially with a chainsaw, but once you know this simple technique, it won’t be a daunting task. Take the top of the saw bar and only remove two-thirds of the stump.

Don’t blow out the sawdust and keep it intact. This is not a traditional technique, and it leaves a tinge of sawdust to protect your tree stump. Once you finish your cut, then everything slides off smoothly, leaving any trace of your cut tree.

Once all the initial work of cutting the tree is completed, you can chop your tree into smaller chunks to load on to your truck and take it to your final destination for processing. Smaller bits are easier to handle and removes the risk of further injury as the tree is now chopped into many bits and it can be tied safely to the back of your truck.


I hope this article manages to successfully answer your question about how to cut down a tree. The article is meant to give tips about how to cut down a tree with a chainsaw. But always practice caution while carrying out this task as this is a dangerous job.

Felling a tree can be done efficiently if all the steps in this article are properly carried out. Once the angles and the cutting techniques are properly implemented, there is very little chance of risk or injury as all the necessary precautions have been taken to finish the job smoothly.

Last Updated on December 16, 2020 by Robert Patrick

Author Profile

Robert Patrick
Robert Patrick is the Chief Editor of Tools Adventure.He spent around 25 years in the construction and woodworking industry as a professional worker.Based on his experiences with the different type of tools; he is sharing his opinion about various tools so that a beginner can get started right away.Happy reading!