How to Make a Chainsaw Winch DIY Tips

It is essential to have a chainsaw winch in your home. Although it is not a piece of equipment you will use every day, it will prove to be useful when you need to lift heavy objects from one point to another. You will need it most when you go hunting or logging as you will drag your load uphill with ease.

A factory-made winch is expensive. It is also bulky when you buy it with its motor. A DIY winch will save you some money. In this guide, I will give you tips on how to make a chainsaw winch using affordable and available resources.

How to make a chainsaw winch step by step guide

As the name suggests, you will need a chainsaw engine to operate your homemade winch. The advantage of such a winch is that you will use gas as opposed to other electric operated winches available in the market. It is also portable and easy to mount on a stable surface.

Buy a strong winch from your local hardware store this time, do not order a winch motor as you already have a chainsaw engine.

1. Detach the Saw from the Chainsaw Engine

You cannot attach the saw and the winch from one engine simultaneously. Start your project by detaching the saw from the engine. Follow the manufacturer’s manual to detach he saw. The process should be similar to when you need to replace the saw. Store the saw properly to avoid rust and damage you will need the saw later when felling trees

2. Check the Condition of the Chainsaw Engine

The condition of the chainsaw engine will determine the effective operation of your chainsaw inch. Ensure that you service your chainsaw frequently. A faulty chainsaw will make a faulty winch, which will not be useful to you. The clutch and the throttle should be in good condition. The above are the main elements that support the operation of the winch.

3. Collect All Parts required to make the Chainsaw Winch

You already have the chainsaw with you. The other parts you need are the winch. If you do not have a store-bought winch, you can make one from a strong, durable, and flexible steel cable and convert it into a capstan. I prefer steel because it is rust-resistant, and you are sure it will not break when pulling a heavy load.

You will need a flat iron, channel, and angle to prepare the base of the winch. The here will also act as support for your winch. You can access these components from a local scrap dealer. You will get a better deal than buying new ones from a steel supply house. Ensure you have a pulley, shaft, and other automotive parts. You can source these parts from old appliances and vehicles.

4. Assemble the Chainsaw winch

Take an aircraft steel cable and wind it on a capstan to make a capstan winch. Assemble the angles, channel, and flat iron to create the base of the winch.

Take the gearbox which you got from the scrap dealer-or old car- and remove the tail shaft housing. You will find a rubber inner tube. Cut a piece of the rubber the same size as the rear plate of the box. Make some holes on the rubber as it will hold the bolts and connect to the main shaft.

Use a gas torch to weld the main support brackets. Cut the pieces from a thick u-shaped channel: The measurements of the channels should not be less than 3”ˣ10”ˣ3”. If you do not have a gas torch, you can ask your local welder to weld it at a fee.

Once you finish laying the base of the winch, fix the transmission against the main shaft of the gearbox—drill holes through all the metal plates where you will fix the drum bracket and the crank.

Fix the winch handle on the framework. Ensure that the handle is long and comfortable. A long handle ensures the winch is stable and easy to use. Thread the crank and weld the crank joints.

At this point, your winch is ready for use. You can no attach it to the chainsaw and pull your load. Make sure you do not exceed the load that the chainsaw can pull. In normal circumstances, a homemade portable winch will haul a load not exceeding 5000 pounds.

homemade portable winch
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How do you use a winch on a chainsaw?

When you complete assembling your winch, you can attach it to the chainsaw engine for use. Take your homemade portable winch and place it before a chainsaw. Attach the winch as you would attach a saw blade. Ensure that you have tightened all the bolts to avoid the winch from detaching while in use.

You can use your chainsaw winch as a portable logging winch. You can carry it deep into the woods and hoist it on a tree uphill and pull your logs uphill. The homemade portable winch is also useful to hunters. They can hook their prey and drag it to their truck and carry the catch home.

Sometimes you may be traveling, and your car breaks down. You can hoist your chainsaw winch on another truck and pull your vehicle to a nearby service center. You will save the breakdown charges.

Using a winch on a chainsaw is straight forward. The winch is manually operated and uses gas. Therefore, you do not worry about a power outage or operating deep in the woods where you cannot access electricity.

Home Built Chainsaw Winch YouTube Video


There is limited information on how to make a chainsaw winch. However, the steps are simple as long as you are keen on the details. Making a homemade portable chainsaw winch will save you a lot of money. You will need to use locally available material. A factory-made winch will cost you more than 100$. However, when you DIY homemade winch, you will save up to 60%of the money. Make sure that the chainsaw you intend to use is in good condition to avoid disappointments.

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