DIY Rope Chainsaw

After the Blizzard Nemo hit New England, we were left with many broken tress and branches hanging everywhere so I needed a light and easy solution to clear away this unnecessary crap.  I came across rope chainsaws which like its name suggests is a chainsaw blade and some rope. Because it looks that simply there are no real good instructions on how to make one. Why use this weird looking, hacked together piece of junk because it’s safer than being on a ladder with a saw and cuts way faster than any hand saw. The branch (4-5 inches thick) in the picture took no lie 30 seconds to cut down.

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rope chainsaw-8

Okay here’s how to make one and save you the frustration on working out the problems.

(11/22/13 Update: There is video of it working Click this!!!)

 What you need:

rope chainsaw-6

(The 18 inch I used, it will work out to be a 35 1/2 inch chain after you cut it)

rope chainsaw-7


( These saltwater split rings are needed because regular key-rings are too weak)

  • Chainsaw Blade ($22)
  • Split-rings ($3)
  • 100ft of rope ($4)
  • Hack saw
  • Vise
  • A Weight (I used a water bottle)

Building It:

The chain has holes every few links, you need to make two cuts on two different links but make sure you cut in between the links with holes. Cut as close to the link with the holes as close as possible.

rope chainsaw-5


It’s a fight but put the split-ring through the little hole on the chainsaw blade.

rope chainsaw-4

If you look the blade is directional but can be used bi-directionally.

rope chainsaw-3

On the front of the rope, it needs to have all those knots with that extra rope making a bump to make the chain fall on the cutting side more consistently. If your lazy and just knot it it is a gamble on which side the blade lands. No picture of this but a weight needs to also be attached to the beginning on the rope and thrown over the thing you want cut down.rope chainsaw-1


Do not cheap out and use regular key rings they break easy.

On the knot for the front of the chain make the there is a bump on the side of the chain that is not the cutting side.

Do not use a lot of force because it jams if you do.

Have spotter, someone watching your back if the branch fall funny.


It is a little hard on the hands even with glove but it cuts branches and thick chunks of trees fast

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  1. AdamLeung
    Posted October 5, 2013 at 1:42 am | Permalink

    Hey everyone, I noticed we get a lot of diy rope chainsaw views and have video of it working. I’ll try to edit it as soon as possible but the footage was not meant to be a how to use it video but a, it works video.


  2. Tony
    Posted March 10, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Great construction project. I really like the knot approach for saw tooth alignment.
    I suggest a different technique for breaking the chain.
    First, find the connector plate. It’s usually a different color or shiny.
    You’ll notice the two pins have dimples on one side.
    Grind down the pin head on the dimple side with a stone grinder tool on a Dremel
    (Other grinders would work as well)
    pry off the connector plate.

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