Can You Cut Wet Wood with A Chainsaw?

Last Updated on December 19, 2023

If you need to chop a damp tree, one of the questions you’ll ask is, can you cut wet wood with a chainsaw. This is because power tools and water may cause you trouble. Remember you can do a lot of work in your garden with a chainsaw. However, it can have various challenges since you’ve to take good care and maintain it. But will cutting wet wood with a chainsaw damage it? Read on and understand more.

What Will Happen When You Cut Wet Wood with A Chainsaw?

There are various types of wood, each with a different resistance level which also differs according to the tree species.  If you cut wet wood with a chainsaw, there will be less damage since the moisture on the tree won’t cause much difference, like when chopping a dry one. This is because wet wood doesn’t create extra resistance on the chainsaw, nor will you require additional energy while cutting.

What Will Happen When You Cut Wet Wood with A Chainsaw

The only thing that will happen when you’re cutting wet wood with a chainsaw is that the sawdust will be thicker. The thick sawdust will stick on the chain instead of getting blown away by an air filter or exhaust. When this happens, you’ll have to stop in between your work to remove them to prevent reducing the cutting power of the chainsaw.

Your chainsaw will also not become dull as it might remain in shape the same way it would on dry wood. Since you’ll also apply lubricating mineral oil, the chain won’t overheat and work between the wood grain with ease, reducing friction.

What Kind of Chain Can You Use for Cutting Wet Wood with a Chainsaw?

You don’t need to buy a specialist wet wood chain that you’ll use on the chainsaw when cutting wet wood. If you want to have an easy time cutting wet wood using a chainsaw, it’s best to use a standard saw chain. However, if the wet wood you’re to cut is a dense species, go for a chisel chain.

What Kind of Chain Can You Use for Cutting Wet Wood with a Chainsaw

Before cutting wet wood with a chainsaw, you should also consider its density and age of the tree. Cutting a dense wet tree that’s in its prime life will make you spend a lot of energy. To make your work easier, ensure you lubricate the chain well and oil it with a mineral chain oil. Doing this will also prevent the chain from rusting or corrosion.

Safety Measures You Should Consider While Cutting Wet Wood with a Chainsaw,

it’s advisable to take some precautions, especially when using an electric chainsaw with a power cable to avoid damaging your chainsaw or getting injuries while cutting wet wood.

The precautions include;

  • Prevent excess water or moisture from standing in the area where you’re working.
  • You shouldn’t use extension cords or power cables on wet grass since water and electricity don’t mix well. But if you’re using a battery chainsaw, there’s no harm. A petrol-powered chainsaw also does not affect the wet environment, so you’re safe using it while cutting damp wood.
  • You should also be careful with wet wood and ground since they tend to be slippery, increasing your chances of losing balance. Cutting wet wood can also increase your risks of missing a step, causing you body injuries. So, if you’re cutting wet wood using a chainsaw, it’s advisable to put on the right PPE like eyewear and gloves to enable you to work in a safer environment.

The Difference Between Cutting Wet Wood and Dry Wood with A Chainsaw

Even though most people fear cutting wet wood with a chainsaw doing this is much easier than chopping dry wood. When working on dry wood without moisture, the chainsaw chain creates more friction if it comes into contact with the wood fibers. When this happens, the chain will slow down, making you work extra time.  But if you cut wet wood with a chainsaw, the moisture will act as a lubricant, making you work with ease since the chain won’t catch much on the dry knots.


If you were worried about cutting wet wood with a chainsaw, know that there’s little harm in doing so, especially if you follow the precaution measures. Remember, wet wood contains moisture which reduces the friction level. All you need to do is choose the right chain and cut the wet wood with ease.


Mustafizur Rahman

Hi there! I'm Mustafizur Rahman, a real dirt-under-the-nails gardener with over 09 years spent in nurseries. After flexing my green thumb for years, I decided to share my knowledge and love for gardening with everyone. That's how was born! Here, I put my City & Guilds Horticultural qualifications to good use, writing reliable guides and giving honest reviews of the best gardening tools and products. So, you can skip the research rabbit hole - I've done the digging for you!