Can I Use A Circular Saw to Cut Tree Roots? Honest Opinion!

Last Updated On February 10, 2023

Tree roots are one of the common causes of tripping hazards. The most up-to-date research show there were 64 fatalities in the UK resulting from trees or parts of trees falling between January 1999 and January 2009, an average of 6.4 fatalities per year. 

That’s why one of the frequently asked questions is “can I use a circular saw to cut tree roots?”. Knowing what to use for cutting tree roots can help you to prevent many accidents.

Using a circular saw isn’t the most effective way to cut them. Because the circular saw has a very limited cutting depth and only the initial cuts can be made properly with it.

To know more about cutting tree roots safely and effectively, keep reading!

Can I Use A Circular Saw to Cut Tree Roots?

To cut tree roots, saw balance is highly needed and a circular saw is not the perfect tool for it. Circular saws have high angular momentum and they can bounce off at a random angle if they hit a knot. So, these saws should be avoided when cutting tree roots.

Another issue is that the tree root is green wood and it is harder to cut through. It can also bind with the saw blade in the blink of an eye if you aren’t paying attention. Circular saws are supposed to be used to cut above the surface, not the roots.

Uses of Circular Saw

Even though circular saws are not recommended for cutting tree roots, they have other purposes.

Firewood Logs

In many countries, people burn firewood to keep their houses warm in winter. Circular saws are used by industrial firewood producers to turn logs into firewood. Since these saws are long-lasting, the task becomes simpler and quicker.

Straight Cuts

If you need to create straight or 90-degree cuts for your projects, it is best to use a circular saw. Circular saws can cut wood and other materials at several angles.


A circular saw is the best choice if you need accurate cross-cutting. Compared to a table saw and jigsaw, it performs better. Crosscuts are frequently used to cut long boards and pieces of wood to length. 

Cutting Large Size Trees

Circular saws are available in a wide range of sizes and styles. They are frequently used to cut large pieces of wood, and sometimes trees too. 

You’ll need larger circular saws, which can have a diameter of up to 3 meters if you intend to cut wood from the forest. These larger saws are presently being used in sawmills to cut the hardwood into smaller parts.

Cutting Metals

Metals like steel and bronze can be cut with a type of circular saw called a cold saw. The saw’s large diameter and pointed teeth make it simpler for producers to efficiently cut metals.

What Can I Use to Cut Tree Roots Except for Circular Saw?

Now that you know circular saws aren’t the best tools for cutting tree roots, it’s time to find out what to use!

Reciprocating Saw

Cutting Tree Roots with Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw can be used to efficiently cut tree roots. It’s one of the better options, but you must be careful while picking the blade. 

The best option is a chisel blade, though a heavy-duty blade with big teeth would also work well for most roots.

This saw can reach places that others can’t, so it’s highly effective. You just need to fit the blade down the area for it to work well. 

To make the process easier, first, remove the dirt from the roots, and then you can make clean cuts with a reciprocating saw.


Chainsaws are used by many to cut down trees but are they useful when it comes to cutting tree roots?

To be on the safe side, chainsaws aren’t recommended to cut tree roots because you may also cut through dirt and rocks – damaging the tool as a result. 

But in times of necessity, you can use a chainsaw to do the task. But you have to sharpen the chain every few minutes while keeping other safety guidelines in mind.


If you use the correct axe, you can cut tree roots very easily. The best option for this task is a root axe as it’s particularly designed to cut through roots and other green wood.


Grinders are used to cut tree roots that are above ground and visible. You need to use the correct blade and follow the guidelines properly to ensure that you are only removing the surface of the root’s top.

The grinder blade will quickly become dull if it comes into touch with the soil. To prevent injuries from the grinder’s kickback, you must maintain a tight grasp on it.

How to Cut Tree Roots Safely

There are some easy steps you can follow to cut tree roots without any fear of injury:

  • Clean the soil surrounding the root properly.
  • Cut the root using a reciprocating saw or handsaw.
  • Use appropriate PPE and be careful about how you use the tool. Gloves, safety glasses, steel-toe boots, and possibly a face shield are some examples of safety materials you should keep.
  • Choose the right kind of blade, and consult with a professional if needed.
  • Refill the hole using the same kind of soil that was around the area.


Circular saws are useful tools but they are not the safest for sawing tree roots. To cut tree roots, use a reciprocating saw or root axe for the best results.

The final answer to “Can I use a circular saw to cut tree roots?” is – no, it’s not the most effective tool for the task.

The reciprocating saw is the most effective tool for cutting tree roots. An axe or a sharp handsaw are other available options. In order to cut through the root smoothly when using a reciprocating saw, you must remove all dirt from the area surrounding the root.

Stay safe.

Leave a Reply