Trenching With A Chainsaw – Genius Or Just Plain Dumb?

Creating a trench is not the simplest endeavor. Many individuals are curious about whether or not they can use a chainsaw for trenching in place of an excavator when they don’t have access to the former piece of heavy machinery.

The use of new chains designed specifically for mini-trenchers makes it simple to convert a chain saw into a mini-trencher… and makes trenching with a chainsaw possible.

A trencher attachment for a chainsaw is an extremely handy instrument for removing material from the ground. Construction firms utilize these machines because they remove or break up enormous amounts of material quickly, reducing the amount of time it takes to finish a job.

There’s a chainsaw trencher attachment for every kind of terrain, no matter how difficult the terrain is to break up.

Steps for Trenching with a Chainsaw - Infographic


Do chainsaws work well for trench digging?

Yes! Before making a final choice, it is important to carefully weigh both the benefits and drawbacks associated with digging trenches with chainsaws.

On the other hand, the trench that you dig will be only a few feet deep at most. It is recommended that a chainsaw be utilized in order to carve a trench for the little cables and tubing.

When it comes to running large or medium-sized wiring or tubing, a chainsaw is essentially ineffective and should be avoided. You should never use a chainsaw made by Husqvarna or Stihl when digging a trench.

In the case that a chainsaw is dropped onto dirt, it runs the risk of becoming damaged or dull. Utilizing an older or more reasonably priced chainsaw is the strategy that will save the most money.

Related Article: Top 10 best rated chainsaws – Reviews and buyers guides!

Trenching with a chainsaw has drawbacks…

Before making a final decision, it is important to give careful consideration to both the positives and the drawbacks of each individual piece of machinery or equipment.

The fact that they are less heavy than other tools does not make them less powerful, however, since they are able to slice through the toughest of materials despite their reduced weight.

Using a saw to cut through rocks can potentially result in a kickback; therefore, you should proceed with extreme caution. If at all possible, you should stay away from the area they are in.

Chainsaws are great for cutting deeper into the ground. But if you’re short on time and need to complete the task in a timely and effective manner, utilizing a larger saw might not be the greatest option.

If you want the task to turn out correctly, either renting or buying one will be prohibitively expensive for you.

Make a note of it before moving forward with the decisions that you’ve already made, whatever they may be.

Using a chainsaw for trenching has many advantages

To begin, you won’t have to be concerned about heavy equipment obstructing your digging efforts because they are both lightweight and small. This will allow you to dig more efficiently.

A saw, as opposed to a shovel, is an easier tool to use for cutting through tough or uneven ground.

How can I use a chainsaw to excavate a trench?

When you first start out, you should only use a trench to lay thin tubing or cable. This is a rule that cannot be broken in any way. After then, it’s time to start digging.

You can drive the wire through with a piece of wood if you want to. After then, there is nothing left to do but bury it.

The chainsaw is capable of cutting through rocks that are not too difficult for it to manage, but it will be unable to break through any rocks that are too difficult.

When using a chainsaw, it is impossible to avoid creating sparks. This is something that has to be anticipated while using a chainsaw to dig a ditch.

When digging a trench, either a gas or electric chainsaw can be utilized to do the job.

Trenching Chainsaws

Worx electric trencher

Trenching with a Chainsaw
Worx electric trencher on Amazon

An electric trencher is your best bet if you want a device that digs trenches without requiring you to do any of the laborious work yourself.

The electric motor on this trencher has a capacity of 12 amps and rotates the blade at a pace of 4,700 times per minute, making it very simple to use in the field.

Adjustment ranges for the blade can go anywhere from 1 inch to 1 and a half inches. As a result of this, you have complete authority over the dimensions of the trench.

An indicator of the cutting line helps to guarantee that your cuts are precise. You are going to be able to view the precise location where the cut is going to be made.

Therefore, you won’t need to worry about this being an unpleasant experience. Removing the requirement that you make any physical exertion at all.

GeoRipper MiniTrencher GR620

Trenching with a Chainsaw
GeoRipper MiniTrencher GR620 on Amazon

The GeoRipper is THE go-to chainsaw that was designed specifically for trenching. It’s a beast, that’s no mistake, but it’s pretty damn expensive. If trenching is your thing, consider one of these – it’ll save you hours of manual labor!

Use of Chainsaws for Trenching

When digging trenches with a chainsaw, you face a very serious danger of hitting tree trunks or rocks hidden beneath the soil. This poses a significant safety risk.

Always maintain a secure hold on the saw’s handle to reduce the risk of serious injury or even death in the event that you lose your footing.

The operator of the saw has no control over the movement of the stones and mud that are thrown into the air by the spinning blade. These objects are flung through the air at high speeds.

The current predicament is quite hazardous. If anything were to fly into the eyes of another person, you should make sure that they are protected.

When there is a gas leak nearby, chainsaws should not be used since there is a risk of starting a fire. Sparks generated by an electrical current have the potential to ignite flammable substances such as gasoline.

Trenching Attachments for Chainsaws

You will have an easier time removing stuff from the ground if your chainsaw is equipped with a trencher attachment. Construction companies make use of these machines to clear vast amounts of material or to shatter it into smaller pieces in order to speed up the process of completing a project.

There is a chainsaw trencher attachment available for it, and you may use it regardless of how difficult the earth is to break up. It doesn’t matter how small or complicated the material is since there is a saw blade that can handle it.

Is it possible to use a chainsaw to excavate a small trench?

Digging with a chainsaw was possible for a brief period of time. So, should I be concerned about this situation? If you crash into a rock and the chain breaks, you put yourself in danger of suffering severe injuries.

If you breathe in a lot of dirt while you’re digging, you could end up seriously damaging the chain and the bar, in addition to the motor.

Despite the fact that the two devices are quite comparable to one another, it is essential to keep in mind the distinctions that exist between them.

The earth can be scooped out by trenchers and chainsaws, both of which have rather short blades. It is not conceivable for these blades to pick up and move soil in the same manner that they did in the past.

Chainsaw blades need to make multiple passes over a piece of wood before they can successfully cut through it. This causes the chain to travel at an extremely rapid pace. There is a good chance that there will be a lot of sand and gravel flying around.

Can you modify your Chainsaw for Trenching?

It is not good for the chainsaw’s lifespan or performance if you modify it so that it can dig trenches. This will make the chainsaw less effective.

Chainsaws are frequently used for trench digging since they are efficient and do not require the use of any additional equipment to cut through the dirt or other materials.

This makes chainsaws an ideal instrument for this task. You can slice through the tough ground even if you only make use of the blade that came standard on your saw.

The addition of teeth to the tips of blades, for instance, can expedite the process of digging through tough terrain or even stones.

However, if you want something with less strength but still need assistance in breaking down objects in the area where you intend to do the operation, a smaller attachment may be more suited because it is more likely to fit your needs.

These can be useful on occasion, but only under specific contexts and circumstances.

Potential Risks of Trenching with a Chainsaw

You need to be aware of the potential risks involved in making modifications to your chainsaw in the incorrect manner. Chainsaw modification is not something that should be attempted by those without prior experience.

If you use a saw that was not designed for digging trenches or cutting through other materials, you run the risk of getting yourself into some serious difficulty.

When it comes to digging trenches, nothing beats using a chainsaw that is equipped with a trencher chain. These chains were developed expressly to make the task simpler.

You have access to a huge number of different designs, but regardless of which one you pick, they are built to endure whatever you can throw at them.

Because these implements produce greater power than a chainsaw that hasn’t been altered, using them will save you time in comparison to using the regular blade that comes with a chainsaw.

Hire an experienced professional who is familiar with the various pieces of equipment and how they could aid your job rather than trenching with a chainsaw. This will save you time and money.


Trenching with a chainsaw is possible, but it will shorten the chainsaw’s lifespan and performance. Digging trenches using a chainsaw is a common practice due to the convenience of cutting through earth or other materials without the necessity of additional instruments.

A regular blade on your saw will assist you break up the hardened terrain. The most efficient way to dig through difficult soil or even rocks is to use a modified or enhanced tool, such as one that has teeth on the blades’ ends.

These are available for purchase. Chainsaws can, in fact, be used to dig trenches out of the ground.

If you want to protect your expensive chainsaw from becoming damaged, it’s best to choose a cheaper alternative. Because the trench isn’t very wide, you can get away with using thin tubing.


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