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Chainsaw vs. ax: When to use them?

In this blog post, I will discuss the differences between a chainsaw and an ax, and the pros and cons of using each one. I will compare and contrast the functions of each one.

Chainsaw vs. ax: When to use them?

Both a chainsaw and an ax have their own use. An ax is slower and more suited to occasionally cut a small tree, clearing branches, or chopping firewood. A chainsaw is much faster for most other jobs, cut any tree, cut a log in pieces, or clear thick branches. But a chainsaw is much heavier, needs gas or electricity, is much more expensive, and needs a lot more maintenance.

A chopping ax is sold for less than $50, and everyone can afford one. And if you are on a budget you can even find cheaper used ones. An ax is environment-friendly as it needs only human power, while a chainsaw will use either electricity or gasoline which are both non-renewable sources of energy. If you are very conscious about the environment, you can save these non-renewable sources by using an electric chainsaw and use power from a solar panel, but this requires a lot of investment.

When to use an ax?

If you plan to go camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, or bush crafting and weight are important, it is better to have gear that can be used for multiple jobs. In this case, a smaller axe is an ideal tool. There are also some jobs where an axe can be even faster or easier than a chainsaw. Clearing some thinner branches from a tree can be done in one chop with an axe, in contrast to getting your chainsaw, adding oil, starting it and cleaning it. When we have larger jobs to do we normally take both the chainsaw and an axe with us, and it is not often that the axe is not used.

Important for an axe is that it needs to be really sharp. Using a dull axe is not just ineffective, back-breaking and time-consuming but it can also be potentially dangerous, resulting in the blade of your axe glancing off the log instead of smoothly chopping and splitting it. Luckily sharpening an axe does not take long and is really easy compared with sharpening a chainsaw chain.

Overall an ax is slower than a chainsaw and is best suited for chopping smaller pieces of wood along the grain, especially logs for fireplaces.

Is splitting logs using an axe a good exercise for my body?

Yes, splitting wood using an ax is the best exercise for the muscles of your arms, back, and neck. Above all, this exercise is really good for your heart. It will improve your blood circulation and release any stress or repressed emotions.

This exercise will help you burn your fat and remove at least four hundred to five hundred calories per hour which can make a huge difference to your body weight. People who are worried about their figure must not use electric or gasoline chainsaw because it does not require as much effort. After you have split the logs using an ax, picking them up and shifting them from one place to the other manually will also help you improve the muscles of your legs and arms.

Some modern scientific researches have revealed that the use of an ax in cutting and splitting the limbs or trunk of the trees will increase the testosterone level in male users.

What do the experts say about using an axe to split wood?

Professional Lumberjack Dave Jewettsays, “I have a really good six-pack and I am forty-two years old. And a lot of this is from splitting wood using an ax. ”

 “When people see me splitting wood, they think the blade must be really sharp and really thin, which is not the real case,” Jewett pointed out. “A lot of hardware stores sell axes with these big, long 3 foot handles, which is a nasty joke,” Jewett pointed out. “The longer the ax, the less power you have and it is also much less accurate. You do not see golfers with 5-foot clubs, so do not buy a long ax.”

“I wear gloves and I am a professional lumberjack. You do not want to cut short your work or workout because of splinters,” Jewett pointed out. “Do not wear thick gloves as they get sweaty, you want to have a good grip on the handle of your ax.

Also do not use rubbery gloves because you need your hands to slide. I usually use a large dumpy log and place the wood I am cutting on that,” Jewett pointed out. “When you start, you want to lift the ax until it is slightly above your head and in the center of your body.”

“For the best accuracy and power, bring the blade down between your eyes, down your nose, and straight down your body,” Jewett pointed out.

“You are throwing the ax up and pulling down then snapping your wrist like a golf swing at the bottom,” Jewett pointed out. “Your eyes never leave the point of impact. Just like in hockey, it is not a big, wild swing but a good snap,” Jewett remarked.

How to use an axe safely?

You must hold your ax tightly. You must make sure that your upper body, including your neck, shoulders, and back are loose and fully relaxed, while BOTH of your hands must firmly grip the ax. You must make sure your hands are a few inches away from the blade.

You can use a maul or splitting wedges to split hardwood. A splitting maul is essentially a thicker, more wedge-shaped ax specifically designed for splitting hardwood.

You must always remember to take proper care and precautions when you are using your ax especially when a stone ax is used. You should put on a pair of gloves, a helmet and a pair of cut-retardant boots. You must make sure that there are no kids or pets around the work area.

How to operate a chainsaw safely?

A chainsaw, on the other hand, is used in felling trees, pruning, and cutting bigger pieces of logs. There are 2 filler caps on a chainsaw near its throttle handle. The caps are almost always labeled, and often the larger cap will be for pouring in the fuel and the smaller one is to add the bar lubricant. You must fill the bar lube tank of your chainsaw regularly.

You must regularly check both of these caps to make sure that they are tightly fixed, while your chainsaw is placed on a flat surface.

This process is really important for cranking huge chainsaws because their blade will start turning instantly after the chainsaw starts and revs up. If your chainsaw has a primer bulb fixed to its carburetor, then you should pump that primer bulb three to four times. And in case your chainsaw has a choke lever installed, then you must place it in the choke position. It will make the carburetor suck up all of the fuel into its combustion chamber much faster.

Engage the chain brake of your chainsaw then must also switch your chainsaw to the “on” position. Most of the latest models of chainsaws have either a toggle, a rocker, or a plunger-type switch installed, which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

You should pull the starter rope of your chainsaw sharply, until the engine of your chainsaw “fires” up. If the engine fires but your chainsaw does not start yet, then you must push the choke in, halfway, and then you can try again and again. In most cases, if your chainsaw is a well-tuned one, it will take just four to five pulls to get your chainsaw running.

If your chainsaw is running at idle speed, then its blade must not turn or engage. If you want to select a practice piece of wood or if you have chosen a limb or a log and placed it on an easy to cut surface, you must bring the blade of your chainsaw in line with the cut you are going to make, then disengage the chain brake, and squeeze the throttle fully. Finally, lay the blade against the limb or log.

You should never force the blade of your chainsaw because it can draw into the cut of the log with just its own weight or by applying some moderate pressure. You must keep your chainsaw running at full throttle throughout the cut of the log. You should ease the throttle off only when you are about to exit the cut on the other side of the log.


To sum up this blog post, I would say that a chainsaw can be used when you are felling a tree or cutting large pieces of logs across the grain. It is easier and gets the job done faster.

While an axe is used mostly when cutting smaller pieces of logs along the grain. In addition, using an axe will improve your figure by burning the extra fat, it will also boost your testosterone levels. An axe is an environment-friendly tool as it uses non-renewable sources of energy. The mastery of splitting wood using an axe has the most romantic benefit of impressing women at carnival games.

Grab your ax to enjoy the outdoor beauty.