Can a Chainsaw Cut in Water

As the chainsaw dives into the water, its cutting force fades, defeated by the aquatic resistance.

No, a chainsaw cannot effectively cut in water. Water poses a significant challenge to the cutting ability of a chainsaw due to its resistance and the inability of the chainsaw’s blade to grip and penetrate the liquid medium effectively.

In this article, we will explore the limitations of whether can a chainsaw cut in water. 

So Let’s dive in!

How to Cut in Water with a Chainsaw

Safety First:

Before attempting underwater cutting, prioritize safety. Wear appropriate protective gear such as waterproof gloves, goggles, and a wetsuit to safeguard against potential hazards. Ensure the chainsaw is in excellent working condition and inspect all safety features.

Select the Right Chainsaw:

Choose a chainsaw designed explicitly for underwater or marine use. These specialized chainsaws often have waterproofing measures, corrosion resistance, and adaptations for efficient cutting in water. Consult with experts or equipment suppliers to find the most suitable chainsaw.

Prep the Cutting Area:

Clear the area of any debris or obstacles that may interfere with the cutting process. Ensure good visibility by using underwater lights or securing a clear line of sight.

Utilise Water-Friendly Techniques:

Employing the right techniques is crucial for effective cutting in water. Maintain a slow and controlled cutting motion to minimize water resistance. Use a pushing rather than a pulling motion to keep the chainsaw stable and prevent kickback. Support the chainsaw’s weight adequately to avoid fatigue.

Lubrication and Maintenance:

Regularly lubricate the chainsaw’s chain and bar to prevent rusting and ensure smooth operation. Use a biodegradable, water-resistant lubricant suitable for underwater applications.

Manage Chain Tension and Sharpness:

Keep the chainsaw chain properly tensioned to prevent it from coming off or binding during cutting. Maintain a sharp chain, as dull blades increase cutting effort and may compromise safety. Sharpen or replace the chain as necessary.

Post-Cutting Care:

After completing the cutting task, thoroughly clean the chainsaw, removing any debris, saltwater, or contaminants. Rinse with fresh water and apply a protective coating to prevent corrosion.

The Mechanics of Cutting with a Chainsaw in Water

When cutting with a chainsaw in water, remember a few things. 

  • First, you need to make sure that the saw is properly lubricated. 
  • Second, the chain needs to be sharpened regularly. 
  • Third, you need to be careful not to overheat the saw. 
  • Fourth, it would be best always to have a firm grip on the saw. 
  • Fifth, you should always avoid cutting through metal with a chainsaw

Sixth, you should always wear proper safety gear when using a chainsaw.

In addition, it is important to keep the saw in the right position when cutting. You should ensure the bar is close to the water’s surface and keep your hands level with the saw. 

If you are cutting into a log or other material underwater, ensure you have a good grip on it before cutting. Finally, working slowly and carefully when using a chainsaw underwater is important. This will help prevent accidents and ensure you get a clean cut every time.

Alternatives to Using a Chainsaw in Water

A few options are available if you’re looking for an alternative to using a chainsaw in water. One option is to use a handsaw. This can be a good choice if you’re working with smaller pieces of wood or have no chainsaw access. 

Another option is to use an axe. This can be a good choice if you’re working with larger pieces of wood. You can also use a power saw. This can be a good choice if you work with more difficult-to-cut materials like metal or concrete. 

Finally, you can use a reciprocating saw. This type of saw can cut through different materials and is often used in tight spaces where other saws may not fit. It is also relatively safe to use in water.

Tips for Working with a Chainsaw in Water

  • Wear proper chainsaw protective gear, including gloves, chaps, a hard hat, and ear protection.
  • Never cut above your waist.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep your fingers and hands away from the chain.
  • Make sure the chainsaw is in good working condition before using it.
  • Start the chainsaw on dry land before entering the water.
  • Slowly lower the chainsaw into the water, careful not to touch any part of the saw with your body.
  • Once the chain is submerged, begin cutting. -If the chainsaw ever stalls underwater, shut it off immediately.
  • Once finished, slowly lift the chainsaw out of the water and check for any signs of damage or wear before continuing.


Chainsaws are a powerful tool that can be used for various purposes, including cutting through wood or other materials. However, it is important to note that chainsaws should not be used in water as this can cause the motor to overheat and potentially damage the saw. Therefore, it is best to avoid using a chainsaw in any wet environment and instead opt for another type of power tool, such as an electric or hydraulic saw, which can safely cut through material underwater.


Can You Use A Chainsaw Underwater?

Using a standard chainsaw underwater is not recommended. Chainsaws are primarily designed for cutting on land and lack the necessary adaptations to function efficiently and safely in the water. However, specialized chainsaws are explicitly designed for underwater use and can be utilized for certain tasks in aquatic environments.

What Can A Chainsaw Not Cut Through?

While chainsaws are versatile cutting tools, there are limitations to what they can effectively cut through. A chainsaw may struggle or be unable to cut through tough materials like concrete, metal, or thick steel. Additionally, cutting through rocks, stones, or other solid objects can damage the chainsaw chain or blade, rendering it less effective.

Should You Cut Wet Wood With A Chainsaw?

Cutting wet wood with a chainsaw is generally not recommended. Wet or waterlogged wood can be more challenging to cut as the moisture content makes the wood softer and denser, leading to increased friction and a higher risk of kickback. It can also cause the chainsaw blade to dull more quickly. It’s best to allow the wood to dry before cutting it with a chainsaw to ensure better cutting performance and minimize potential safety hazards.

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