Can You Use A Chainsaw In The Rain? (Do’s and Don’ts)

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Barry Gray

There’s no question that chainsaws are a powerful innovation to behold. Few loggers can argue with their efficiency and their deadliness in the same breath. Having worked as a logger for most of my life, I can honestly say that chainsaws demand respect and the right conditions. So, can you use a chainsaw in the rain? 

A chainsaw can be used in the rain, provided it is a gas-powered chainsaw and not an electrically-powered chainsaw. Rain wears out the chainsaw blades much quicker, and falling wet trees can be dangerous because they may fall randomly. Electric chainsaws carry a risk of a shock hazard. 

There is more to using a chainsaw in the rain than the welfare of the machinery; it carries potentially fatal risks, and a thorough understanding of every risk can be of great importance. 

chainsaw in rain

Can You Use A Chainsaw In The Rain?

Chainsaws are weapons of mass destruction in their own right, capable of felling even the most stubborn trees when applying enough perseverance. They are also exceedingly dangerous and should only be operated under the right conditions. The chainsaw blade generally doesn’t mind the rain, but it will undoubtedly wear it out quicker.

In truth, most hazardous situations arise from environmental factors and not the chainsaw itself. Rain causes everything to become a lot more slippery, and as a result, you can quickly lose your footing and hurt yourself from falling. Additionally, everything else you work with will most likely be wet, including the logs, tools, and your clothing. 

Unless you’re working with an electric chainsaw, there is no risk of a shock hazard, and thus gas-powered chainsaws are capable of being operational in the rain. Therefore, although you can use a chainsaw in the rain, you shouldn’t because the risk of an accident increases tenfold, and you may be fatally wounded. 

Can You Use A Chainsaw In The Rain

In truth, a chainsaw is a heavy machinery designed to cut hardwood, so the feeble gristle of your body will offer no protection against it, neither will the bones in your body. Fear is not the goal here, but rather to instill a real sense of seriousness and responsibility whenever you’re working with something as dangerous as a chainsaw. 

Even with a tiny chainsaw, working safely entails keeping both feet firmly planted and your body positioned to keep the business portion away from you. All of your adversaries are wood chips, underfoot plants, muck, and dew. Rain is not your friend; it makes things much more slippery, reduces your eyesight, and makes your grip as good as your gloves.

If you’ve never felled a tree before, you should wait until the ground has dried up; even in dry weather, it’s very easy to fall on a running chainsaw. It’s also conceivable that the tree will fall in the wrong direction, causing you to slip on the damp ground, fall, and be crushed to death by the tree.

Can You Cut Wet Wood With A Chainsaw?

Can You Cut Wet Wood With A Chainsaw

Before attempting to cut wet wood, focus your gaze on the condition of the ground;  

The drier the environment, the better because if you slip on wet leaves or mud while holding a chainsaw or outrunning a falling tree, the outcome might not be good. 

As for the wood itself, living wood is often easier and safer to cut than dead wood and usually much kinder on the chain. Remember that taking down a tree is dangerous, especially to the inexperienced. However, most felled trees are indeed living, or green (wet from rain), and the remainder are trees with deadwood. 

Professional loggers cut wherever there are trees, regardless of the weather conditions, although never during high winds. There have even been those who fell trees in the snow. 

These forms of extreme felling are usually possible with specialized equipment like springboards. Furthermore, dead trees (snags) are generally the most dangerous due to unknown wood conditions in the bole, loose and falling limbs and bark, tops possibly breaking out, and poor stump holding wood.

Hand felling is also very dangerous, but it has gotten safer with harvesters where they do the felling with machines, like feller bunchers. 

Hiring a professional to handle the tree down is the best-case scenario if you’re unsure. Otherwise, always ensure that you’re hyper-alert and focused on what you’re doing, ensuring that you have pre-planned an escape path in case a tree unexpectedly falls in the opposite direction.  

How Do You Get Water Out Of A Chainsaw?

If you take to use your chainsaw during a downpour and it’s filled with water, it’s probably best that you know how to remove the excess water, no? It is especially true if you have an electrically-operated chainsaw. 

If the chainsaw wasn’t trapped with water for a long time, Pull the spark plug out and turn it upside down to empty any water inside. Allow for a minute or two of running time to allow the oil to flow to your bar and chain. Check whether your air filter is saturated. After that, refill the bar oil reservoir, reinstall the stopper, and start the saw.

If it’s been soaking for a while, disassemble as much as you can (bar and chain included). Also, remove any gas or oil. Pour some penetrating oil inside and see if you can move the piston by turning the driving clutch. After that, remove the air filter and the plug.

If you can, you may be assured that the chainsaw will survive to see another day. Fill it up entirely with pen oil and replace the stopper. Allow the oil to run through for a few days while it’s drying so that it covers all the cylinders and pistons, making sure nothing leaks.

On the third day, remove the plug and spin the saw to allow the oil to drain. Allow the saw to dry out completely. Reload it with a new air filter and plug down the road and try starting it.

You’ll be able to tell whether it’s safe to re-enter the field at this point. If not, take it back to the dealer since it’s possible that specific internal components, such as coils, need to be replaced.


It can be safe to use a chainsaw in the rain, provided it is not electrically powered, the ground is level, your footwear is suitable, and you remain incredibly cautious. However, it is ill-advised because you can lose your footing without warning. Falling is bad enough, but adding a running chainsaw to the mix compounds the danger many times over. 

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.

Leave a Comment