How to Make a Chainsaw Winch? Get The Easiest Hacks!

Hey, as you have been periodically cutting a tree for firewood, don’t feel that having a winch or a chainsaw winch can make your job a lot easier?

But it is also true that buying any type of wrench needs a lot of money. Still, if you know how to make a chainsaw winch at home, you will be able to get a well-functioning winch at a lower price.

And just imagine, after felling the tree in the forest, you dragged it near the parked truck using your handmade chainsaw winch. Then after making the firewood, you just had to put them into the truck. There was no need for multiple trips to the tree-felling spot. So relaxing!

how to make a chainsaw winch

This luxury will not just be limited within your imagination, but it also will become a reality if you succeed in using a chainsaw to build a winch. After all, you don’t need to pull up tons of materials daily, and a chainsaw converted into a winch can do a marvelous job in occasional weight pulling.

What are Winch and Chainsaw Winch?

In short, a winch is a device made for hauling or lifting heavyweight. While in the beginning, it was just a wire for pulling using physical power, modern modifications are different.

Today you will be able to buy an electrical winch just anywhere. Its general structure is a spool of wire winding around a horizontal rotating drum linked to an electric motor.

When you turn on the motor, the drum keeps rotating and pulling the weight attached to the end of the wire. The more powerful the motor is, the more weight it can pull. Simple and fast.

So, what is a chainsaw winch? Before we explain this, can you think a bit about how a chainsaw works? It works by rotating a bladed chain around the bar, right?

As you can guess from the previous question, a chainsaw winch is a spool of wired drums attached to a chainsaw motor. The bigger and stronger your saw is, the more weight it can pull.

What is Needed?

Before we jump right onto the procedure, we do need to make some prior preparation. And that means we need to gather the necessary tools and devices to turn your chainsaw into a chainsaw winch.

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • A high-quality sealant
  • A winch

You can buy a winch from any hardware store spending a few dollars. Try to get one of good quality, and sturdily built. The flimsy ones tend to snap out of the blue and thus can cause accidents.

The winch will come with a kit. You’ll be able to use it to modify your winch and your chainsaw.

If you don’t prefer buying one, you can also make one instead. For that, you’ll need

  • A durable and flexible steel cable
  • A flat iron
  • A capstan
  • A channel
  • Angles
  • Rubber tube
  • A gas torch
  • A drilling machine
  • A long handle
  • A pulley
  • A shaft, etc.

You can get them from any local hardware store or steel supply house.

Making a Winch

After you have what you need, it’s time to start. For that, wind the steel cable on the capstan. Then create the base using the angles, channel, and the flat iron.

Now, measure the rear plate of the box. Then take a piece of rubber of the same size and make some holes in it.

Now, weld the main support brackets using a gas torch. Then drill holes through the metal plates to fix the crank, the drum bracket, and the winch handle by welding.

  • A chainsaw engine

You obviously will need a chainsaw engine. You are free to use any chainsaw engine you have lying around. But not all engines will provide you with similar performance.

If you are buying one, we suggest you consider everything well before you go to market.

What do You Need to Consider?

You need to keep in your mind quite a few points when you are purchasing your chainsaw engine.

  • The first thing is that you need to keep your motor power within a limit. You cannot exceed or go below the lines unless you want a chainsaw engine not up to the mark.

It is quite simple. Just don’t get a chainsaw engine of 7HP or more or an engine under 2HP. That’s all.

  • We have another suggestion that can make a chainsaw winch more in tune with your needs. Just carefully consider how much of a load the machine will have to pull. Then take an engine that is suitable to bear that load.

We even have a chart to help you decide.

Estimated Load (lb)Required Chainsaw Engine Power (HP)


So, just pick the one you are most comfortable with, and let us move on to building your chainsaw winch.

How to Make a Chainsaw Winch: A Step by Step Guide

As we know by now, to build a chainsaw winch, you’ll just connect the drum of the wire spool to the engine of the chainsaw. No more time-wasting talking. Let’s begin, shall we?

Before we begin, we must say that there will be some step differences when using an old chainsaw and a newly bought engine. When it comes to building a chainsaw winch with an old engine, some extra steps are necessary.

Separate the Chainsaw Saw from the Engine

If you are using the engine from an old chainsaw, the first thing you need to do is to detach the saw from the engine.

Simply follow the manual instructions to remove it and then store it carefully to avoid rust. If you have replaced your saw before, you shouldn’t have much issue with this step.

Check the Engine’s Condition

Now check if the engine is in a condition good enough to be used. If your chainsaw goes through frequent services and has a sound clutch and throttle, it should be okay to use it.

Prepare the Winch

If you are using store-bought things instead of handmade or old ones, you don’t need to follow the previous two steps. But you should make some adjustments to your winch to make it mountable.

Just use the Mount Kit provided with your winch to remove a cup-washer located on the drive. It is positioned on one side of the base of the winch. Remember to store it properly lest you need it in the future.

Prepare the Adapter Kit

Your homemade winch is designed to fit your chainsaw engine, and you can just directly attach it like attaching a saw.

But you will need a little extra tweaking with the store-bought one. Don’t worry, though; the Direct Mount Kit of the winch will have everything you might need.

Check the kit. You will see that it includes an adapter that fits both the chainsaw and the winch.

So just pick out the adapter that fits, attach them over the chainsaw, and the place from where you have removed the cup washer. Then screw them together well by placing them over each other.

Get the Chainsaw Ready

Use a screwdriver to take off the chainsaw’s side cover. Don’t forget to place the screws securely.

Then carefully remove the retainer clip to remove the sprocket. Afterward, put the retainer clip back in its place. When you are done, remove the bar adjuster.

Join the Winch with the Chainsaw Engine

Now, line up the two machines along with their bolts, and secure them using the screws initially used for holding the side cover. Remember to use some sealant to hold the bolts in place.

Then install the winch cable on the winch drum. Done!

Final Words

In this article, we have shown you two different variations of how to make a chainsaw winch. Consider which system is more effortless and suitable for you, and begin making your chainsaw winch. Good luck.

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