Using A Chainsaw For Trenching – Can You Do It?

Is using a chainsaw for trenching possible?

Well you’ve come to the right place because that’s exactly what I’ll be going over in this post.

I’ll be covering everything you need to know about using a chainsaw for trenching.

So let’s get straight into this!”

Is using a chainsaw for trenching possible?

Yes, it is possible to dig a trench with a chainsaw. However, the trench that you do dig will be very small. Using a chainsaw for trenching is best for routing thin wires/tubing. A chainsaw is practically useless if you want to create a trench to run medium or large wiring/tubing.

This guy realized he couldn’t run his tubing with the trench he dug:

You should not use your expensive Husqvarna or Stihl chainsaw to dig a trench. Putting a chainsaw into the dirt will rapidly dull the chain and can damage the chainsaw. So you should use a cheap chainsaw or a chainsaw that’s already on its way out.

How do I use a chainsaw for trenching?

First of all, you should only dig a trench if you intend on only routing thin tubing/wiring through. You won’t fit any medium sized or chunky tubing through.

Then go ahead and dig your trench. Put your wire through and push it down with a blunt object such as a piece of wood. After that, simply cover the trench with some dirt.

If you encounter any rocks, know that your chainsaw will do just fine going through softer rocks but won’t be cutting through any hard rocks. You will probably see some sparks fly off your chainsaw so just keep that in mind. It’s perfectly normal when creating a ditch with a chainsaw.

And yes, you can use an electric chainsaw to dig a trench, it does the same thing as a gas chainsaw.

Using a chainsaw at night
Is a pole saw worth it?
Chainsaw smoking

Real trenching tools

These tools were specifically made for trenching and you should use them instead of your chainsaw.

Rogue Hoe

Check Price of the Rogue Hoe

This is a classic trenching tool, the trenching hoe.

It’s long, saving you from having to get down and dirty. It’s also a back saver which is a huge plus for my old back. 

The head is made from strong steel so it won’t break on you anytime soon. It’s sharp and will easily dig up dirt. It’s 7 inches wide so you will be able to cover a good chunk of ground, helping you get the job done faster.

Worx electric trencher

Check Price of the Worx electric trencher

If you want something that’ll do all the work for you, you need an electric trencher.

This trencher has a 12 amp electric powered motor where the blade spins 4,700 times per minute, it will get through dirt with ease. It has 3 blade adjustments; 1 inch, 1- 1/4 inch, and 1- 1/2 inch. So you can decide how big you want the trench to be.

There’s also a cutting line indicator, giving you precision with your cuts. You’ll know exactly where you’re cutting.

You can also adjust this for your height, it won’t be too big or small. Saving you from any tough manual labor.


So yes, using a chainsaw for trenching is OK. As long as you’re OK with the risk of the chainsaw being damaged, that’s why you should use a cheap saw. Also, the trench won’t be very wide so you’ll only be running thin tubing.

Hope you found what you were looking for in this post.

Happy sawing!

– Adam