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Can A Chainsaw Cut Through Metal?

While chainsaws can have a variety of uses, they are primarily used for lumbering. For example, during winter, homesteaders make use of chainsaws to prepare wood for the fireplace. That notwithstanding, homesteaders use these machines to prune overgrown branches of fruit trees. But despite having many uses, a question that a lot of people ask is:

Can a chainsaw cut through metal?

Yes, chainsaws can cut through metal. Of course, this depends on the type of metal and thickness. You also need a powerful chainsaw with a chain that has metallic reinforcement or a carbide-tipped chain. In general, it is not advised to use a chainsaw to cut metal, use a specialized metal saw instead. A normal home chainsaw is not built to cut through metal.

For a logger or woodworker, when working deep in the woods, your chainsaw might cut through a nail on a branch, tree, or timber. Thus, another question comes to mind is can you use a chainsaw to cut nails? Well, if you are here to learn more about chainsaws, especially their efficiency when cutting through obstacles such as metals stuck in wood, this post is for you. Also, this post is for every woodworker out there looking to learn alternative uses of chainsaws so read on to find out more.

Cutting Nails Using a Chainsaw: Is It Possible?

Now, to further shed light on the big question which is can a chainsaw cut through metal, let’s start with imagining a typical situation. Imagine yourself at the sawmill sawing timber on a busy homesteading day. Suddenly, your chainsaw cuts through a nail stuck in the wood. Do you panic or keep sawing?

The truth is that most woodworkers would panic if their chainsaws cut through nails accidentally. It is not the same scenario intentionally using a chainsaw to cut a nail into half. The consequences of cutting nails using these machines are varied.  However, the most obvious and immediate one is that the teeth of your chainsaw will become blunt if it cuts through a nail stuck in a piece of wood. And if that is the case, another question comes to mind. Are there special chainsaws that can cut through metals such as nails with great ease? Well, let’s explore further.

Are There Chainsaws That Can Cut Through Metals?

Nails are typically metallic. However, the degree of thickness often varies, and most importantly, plays significance if you are looking to cut metals using a chainsaw. Nevertheless, you should weigh into chainsaw variants, especially heavy-duty options that can cut through metals.

Thus, our answer to a question can you find chainsaws that cut through metals is affirmative. If you find a good one in the market at a modest price, you can use a chainsaw to cut metals without having to change its motor or chainsaw chain. To break it down so that anyone reading this post can understand, take note that there are mainly two types of chainsaws. They include commercial/professional grade chainsaws and home grade chainsaws.

An experienced woodworker will tell that the uses of home grade chainsaws are limited to wood-cutting, pruning, and making firewood. It, therefore, means we are left with the option of commercial or professional variants. However, before we dig deeper, the following reasons explain why home use chainsaws are not ideal for cutting metals:

  • Home grade chainsaws are designed for light wood sawing tasks such as chopping firewood and cutting small branches. It means you will have to remove any nails stuck on any wood before using a home grade chainsaw such as the popular 16-inch GREENWORKS Cordless Chainsaw.  
  • And even if you opt for a corded variant, the fact that home grade chainsaws have smaller engines/motor means they are not fit for cutting through metals. You could say, they are not powerful enough to break nails.
  • Another plausible reason that helps explains why home grade chainsaws are not ideal for cutting metal is the teeth of the chain do not have a metallic reinforcement or to them strong enough to cut through tough material.

With the above reasons at your fingertips, it means you could be lucky to cut a few nails stuck in wood but not all the time. There is an even worse outcome if you take the risk of abusing your light-duty chainsaw. The chain may snap/break when you least expect it. You do not want to imagine what would happen to someone standing nearby if a chainsaw chain breaks in the process of cutting wood.

Cutting Metals Using Commercial (Professional) Grade Chainsaws

If you are a professional woodworker, chances are high that you have used a commercial-grade chainsaw. You could say they are the powerful wood cutting machines designed for professional lumbers working on large scale sawing tasks. But here is the big question. Have you ever thought about using your chainsaw to cut through a nail, let alone trying it? 

Well, given the largescale use of these powerful chainsaws, especially in the construction industry, they are the most ideal for cutting through metal. It is a different case from purchasing a chainsaw chain specifically designed for cutting nails and other metals. However, compared to home use chainsaws, commercial variants are often very noisy given that most options in the market are powered by gasoline.

Now, to help you understand why professional chainsaws are ideal for cutting metal, take note of the following reasons:

  • They have all-powerful engines, something that makes them ideal for cutting metals. Later on in this post, we will explore a few examples of commercial chainsaws to help you make the right decision.
  • Another reason that explains professional chainsaws are best suited to cutting nails is that teeth have a strong and durable metallic reinforcement, or use a carbide tipped chain. It means that if you accidentally cut through nails or use these machines to intentionally cut nails, you do not have to worry about blunting the teeth. Maybe you would need a chain sharper after a few run-throughs but it is not as frequent as you would with home grade chainsaws.
  • Professional chainsaws that have chains with reinforced teeth are less vulnerable when cutting through nails.
  • Another reason why professional chainsaws cut through nails with great ease is that they have two-stroke gasoline-powered engines. Such is the power you need to cut through tough obstacles, intentionally or not, without having to worry about sharpening the teeth very often.

Which Are the Powerful Chainsaws That Cut Through Metal?

Having read this far the next question that comes to mind is which chainsaws can a woodworker buy if he or she is looking to cut metals with it? First off, let’s emphasize that regardless of having an intention or not, cutting metals using a chainsaw is always likely if you work in the construction industry. With that, the following are some of the most powerful chainsaws you may want to buy and cut met with great ease:

● Husqvarna 460 Rancher 24-Inch Gasoline-Powered Chainsaw

Husqvarna is a popular chainsaw manufacturer and the company’s 24-inch Rancher chainsaw powered by Gasoline is a popular choice, especially among woodworkers. It is a powerful machine that cuts through wood with exceptional ease, thanks to a 2-cycle engine that gives it the much-needed power at full throttle.  It would also interest you to note that this chainsaw runs on a 60.3cc engine capacity and comes fully equipped with a woodworker’s protective gear.

● Chikura 105CC Chainsaw with 36-Inch Chain

Chikura 105cc manufactured by MINGDA is a gasoline-powered chainsaw that runs on a powerful engine to deliver excellent performance on tough wood. It is also powerful enough to cut through metal. It delivers 12,000rpm at full-throttle. Another notable feature of this chainsaw is its alloy guiding bar and 36-inch chain with a gauge of 0.063 inches.

● MAKITA EA5000PREG 18-Inch Chainsaw with 50cc Engine Capacity

Another powerful chainsaw that would cut through metal with great ease is the MAKITA 18-inch chainsaw with durable aluminum alloy. At full throttle, it rips through a piece of wood at 13,800rpm. It may not be the most powerful if you compare it to our first two choices but the company is popular for manufacturing top-of-the-range chainsaw models for the construction industry. The compact design of MAKITA EA500OPREG and ergonomic handles provides you with the much-need cushioning against vibration.

Final Thoughts On Using Chainsaws to Cut Metals

In the end, making the right decision when shopping for a chainsaw is important. It means you must narrow down to the specific features of these machines, especially if you are looking for something that would cut through metal without breaking. With tips explored in this post, including top heavy-duty chainsaw recommendations, you should proceed with unwavering confidence to place a purchase order.