Chainsaw carving: an art form with bite

Chainsaw carving is a unique and impressive art form that involves sculpting wood using a chainsaw. It is a type of wood carving that allows the artist to create intricate and detailed sculptures with a speed and efficiency that is difficult to achieve with traditional carving tools. In recent years, chainsaw carving has grown in popularity as a form of public art, entertainment, and even competitive sport.

Chainsaw carving: aart form with bite

History of chainsaw carving

The first chainsaw was invented in 1830 by Samuel J. Bens. However, it was not until the 1950s that chainsaws became widely available and affordable, and thus accessible for artists to use for carving. Early chainsaw carvers used the tool to create rough shapes and textures, which were then refined using traditional carving tools. As the chainsaw became more widely used, artists developed new techniques and began to create more intricate and detailed sculptures using only the chainsaw.
Chainsaw carving

Techniques of chainsaw carving

Chainsaw carving techniques vary depending on the size and detail of the sculpture being created. For larger sculptures, the artist will typically use a large chainsaw to rough out the basic shape of the sculpture, and then refine the details using smaller chainsaws or traditional carving tools.
For smaller sculptures or more detailed pieces, the artist will use smaller chainsaws and hand-held grinders to create more intricate details. In some cases, the artist may use sanding and polishing tools to smooth and finish the sculpture.
The type of wood used for chainsaw carving is also important. Softwoods like pine or cedar are commonly used for beginners or for rougher, more organic sculptures, while harder woods like oak or walnut are used for more detailed and intricate pieces.
Techniques of chainsaw carving

Applications of chainsaw carving

Chainsaw carving can be used in a variety of applications, including public art, home decor, and even as a form of entertainment. Chainsaw carvings can range from simple and rustic to highly detailed and realistic. They can be found in public parks, as roadside attractions, and in galleries.
Chainsaw carvings are also popular as custom pieces for home decor, such as fireplace mantels, signs, or statues. Many chainsaw carvers also offer live performances, demonstrating their skills at events and festivals.
Chainsaw carving is also a competitive sport, with events and competitions held around the world. Competitions typically involve carving a specific subject or theme within a set time limit, and are judged on the quality, originality, and speed of the carving.

Tips for successful chainsaw carving

If you are interested in trying chainsaw carving, there are several tips you can follow to be successful.
  • First, invest in a good quality chainsaw that is appropriate for the type of carving you want to do. The size and weight of the saw will depend on the size and detail of the sculpture you are creating.
  • Second, wear proper safety gear, including eye and ear protection, gloves, and a hard hat. Chainsaws can be dangerous tools, and it is important to take proper precautions to prevent injury.
  • Third, practice your technique. Chainsaw carving can be a challenging technique to master, so take the time to practice on scrap pieces of wood before starting on your final project. Start with simple designs and work your way up to more complex ones.
  • Finally, be patient and take your time. Chainsaw carving requires a great deal of precision and attention to detail, so take your time and work carefully to create the best results.


Chainsaw carving is a unique and impressive art form that allows artists to create intricate and detailed sculptures with speed and efficiency. Whether you are a seasoned woodworker or a beginner, chainsaw carving can be a rewarding and challenging technique to master.