The Importance of Debarking Your Logs

November 16, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Debarking logs can prove crucial during the drying process. Large logs will take a bit to dry either way, but logs with bark will typically maintain moisture for much longer. Debarking logs is especially important if the wood is going to be cut for use in construction. If someone is cutting up logs into small pieces, say for firewood, debarking may not be as critical but will still speed up drying. Fortunately, folks can now use a variety of tools to debark logs.

Tree bark is essential for trees. The bark will retain moisture and protect the tree’s interior from bugs, weather damage, and other risks. Tree bark is good at its job and can retain moisture even in relatively dry, hot conditions. Besides moisture, bark provides hiding places for insects. These insects might hide in the bark of a felled tree, then later, they could damage the wood. By debarking the log, the bugs have fewer places to hide.

Fortunately, debarking trees is pretty straightforward with modern tools and can be accomplished relatively quickly. Going back a few hundred years, lumberjacks had access to only simple tools, like axes and perhaps bark spuds and draw knives. While these tools are quite effective, debarking a tree by hand can take a long time and require a lot of elbow grease.

Fortunately, it’s also possible to purchase and use chainsaw tools designed to remove bark from logs. These tools are becoming increasingly popular because they can ensure consistency and are also typically quicker to use. That said, with small logs, chainsaw tools may not be needed or even desired. Let’s take a closer look at the tools for debarking logs.

Peeling Spuds

One of the most common tools for debarking logs, a peeling spud allows people to quickly pry off the bark. These tools are reminiscent of pry bars and crowbars but are designed specifically for debarking logs. Using a crowbar or another tool not designed for debarking could result in damage and may prove cumbersome to use.

Draw and Push Knives

Draw knives are excellent for touching up wood and are popular in woodworking and debarking. The blade of a draw knife is set between two handles. The person using the knife can then use both hands to pull the blade forward and thus cut/scrape off bark.

You can also purchase push knives, which work similarly to draw knives, but instead of pulling the knife toward you, you’ll push it away.

Chainsaw Bark Peelers

Many folks now prefer to use bark peelers that can be attached to chainsaws. With a chainsaw debarking tool, you won’t have to put in as much of your own elbow grease to remove bark from logs. These tools can be attached to most chainsaws. They’re also good for notching, planing, and sharpening wood.

Often, a longer chain is needed to attach the debarking tool. In practice, many chainsaw tools for debarking logs work similarly to sanders, with a spinning cylinder used to remove the bark.

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