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Crosscut Saw Resources

Our resource library below features material for crosscut saw and traditional tool use under the U.S. Forest Service's national standards. Our resource library contains practical information on crosscut saw equipment and techniques. Traditional hand-powered tools and techniques are essential for maintaining wild public lands and protecting the wilderness resource. Motorized vehicles and equipment as well as mechanized transport are prohibited in federally designated wilderness according to the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Individuals and organizations using saws for trail maintenance on public lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service must follow U.S. Forest Service National Crosscut and Chainsaw Policy. The U.S. Forest Service established sawyer training curriculum and materials to ensure that certified sawyers understand hazards associated with clearing downed trees and demonstrate skills to safely lead others doing this work. 

Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards is a certified cooperator in crosscut saw training for the U.S. Forest Service.

Five Step Cutting Process

OHLEC: Objectives, hazards, leans/binds, escape route, and cut plan

USFS Axe Handbook

Check out the U.S. Forest Service's guide to using an axe

Determining Complexity

Learn what factors play a role in determining cut complexity

Underbucking Tool

Learn how to make your very own crosscut saw underbucking tool

Complexity  Chart

Learn gradations of cut complexity


Learn the importance of proper wedge and axe use

USFS Crosscut Saw Handbook

Check out the U.S. Forest Service's guide to using a crosscut saw

Crosscut Saw Resource List

Print a copy of our crosscut saw and traditional tool resources

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