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How to Use Felling Wedges

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Felling wedges are used to eliminate pinched saws and ensure the proper direction of fall when felling a tree. Felling wedges are inclined planes of various size that are usually made with a body of hard plastic designed to withstand the bite of the saw without dulling its edges and a cap of metal designed to withstand heavy blows from a driving maul. When inserted into the back cut of a tree, felling wedges will exert force in the direction of the inclined plane, often allowing a safer, cleaner felling experience.

Step 1

Use the chainsaw to make a top cut at a 50- to 60- degree angle, about 1/4 into the trunk's diameter.

Step 2

Make the bottom cut at a 30- to 40- degree angle off the horizontal, meeting the top cut to form a 90-degree angle.

Step 3

Place the saw against the back of the tree, one to two inches above the center of the notch where your first two cuts meet. Make the back cut (felling cut), leaving approximately 1/10 of the diameter of the trunk to act as the hinge.

Step 4

Insert a wedge into the back cut as soon as possible to prevent the tree from sitting back on itself. Stack wedges to create more lift.

Step 5

Drive the wedge(s) with a maul until the tree begins to fall.

Step 6

Move a safe distance away before the tree falls.

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