Best Log Debarking Tool: Making Wood Stripping Easy

Choosing the best log debarking tool is important. The right debarker will give you the best finish possible to your wood and make the process of stripping easy.

In this article, I will bring you what I consider to be the best log debarking tools on the market—ideal for home or light commercial use. In addition, I have included some handy tips for selecting the ideal debarking tool.

Here are my choices for the best log debarking tools available—suitable for power or manual aficionados.

Timber Tuff TMW-58 Log Peeler

This log debarker comes from the US-based Timber Tuff company, specialists in forestry and lumber products.

Timber Tuff TMW-58 Log Peeler Review

A powered log debarker which attaches to a chainsaw. The good news is you don’t have to possess a large chainsaw for this tool to be effective. It works on 60-cc chainsaws and smaller.

Timber Tuff TMW-58 Log Peeler

The blade is constructed from hardened steel and has been finished with a powdered coating to prevent corrosion. Hence, it’s ideal for use in damp environments.

The blade is constructed from hardened steel and has been finished with a powdered coating to prevent corrosion. Hence, it’s ideal for use in damp environments.

In addition, the cutter’s rotating cuffs have ball-bearing inserts to increase durability. This makes it perfect for extended use.

The blades are also powerful enough to be used for trimming or cutting the wood. So, if you are using the logs for furniture making or construction, substantial cuts and grooves can be made by using the debarker.

At just 3.1 pounds, this is a lightweight power debarker, adding little extra weight to your chainsaw. Therefore, this could be a good choice for those people who are not overly strong. With bright green coloring, it’s easily visible. A nice feature if you are concerned about safety and you’re working alongside others.

Attaching this tool is simple. The elongated body is bolted to the main neck of the chainsaw. As it is lengthy, it means that weight is more evenly distributed and easier to handle.

The chain fits around the debarker’s rotating head. However, bear in mind you will need to purchase an additional chain that is 2 inches longer than your current one.

Timber Tuff TMW-58 Log Peeler Specifications

Weight                               3.1 pounds

Size                                    10 inches by 5 inches by 3 inches

Chainsaw requirement   65 cc or less, with 0.32 and 0.37-inch pitch chains

Chain requirement           2 inches longer than chainsaw chain

What Are the Upsides of the Timber Tuff TMW-58 Log Peeler?

●     Lightweight and easy to maneuver.

●     Does not require a large chainsaw to power the peeler.

●     Powder coated to prevent corrosion.

●     Highly visible bright coloring.

●     Suitable for stripping wood in addition to bark.

What Are the Downsides of the Timber Tuff TMW-58 Log Peeler?

●     Is a little “keen”—it does slice off a small amount of wood when peeling bark.

Final Thoughts on the Timber Tuff TMW-58 Log Peeler?

This tool is an ideal piece of equipment for people who wish to debark logs swiftly or who are covering a large area.

Strong and durable, it is a good choice for those who will be using it on a frequent basis in damp conditions.

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Timber Tuff TMW-08 Bark Spud

Another product from the wood specialists Timber Tuff, this product brings things back to basics.

Timber Tuff TMW-08 Bark Spud Review

Timber Tuff TMW-08 24 Inch Long Steel Curved Blade Bark Spud with Comfortable Wooden Handle for Debarking Logs Without Damaging Wood

A manual log debarker that is both versatile and a pleasure to use.

Weighing 3 pounds, it could be a good choice for those who are unable to handle the mass of a chainsaw-attached debarker. Despite its lightweight construction, this is a strong tool.

The wooden handle/stem has been externally pretreated, to ensure that moisture cannot penetrate the shaft and cause it to perish. This treatment has also provided a semi-textured finish, allowing it to be grasped firmly, with little chance of slippage.

With a length of 24 inches, it allows you to use the debarker as a lever to prize stubborn bark away from the wood. Furthermore, it enables you to remove the bark from a higher standing position—meaning less bending and stress on the back.

The steel blade arrives sharp and is ready for immediate use. A good choice for people who want to unbox and get straight out into the yard for some serious bark removal. The steel is reinforced where the blade meets the stem—ensuring stability and longevity.

The blade is beveled, which facilitates two important functions. Firstly, it enables you to slip it between the bark and wood easily. A gentle bending motion begins the debarking.

Secondly, this bevel prevents the blade from cutting into the wood, which could otherwise cause unsightly marks. A good feature for those people who require perfectly-finished wood—where there is to be no post-debarking finish.

While the blade is constructed for long-lasting sharpness, when it becomes dull, it can easily be re-sharpened on a stone. This bark spud comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Timber Tuff TMW-08 Specifications

Weight                               3 pounds

Size                                    24 inches by 2.4 inches by 2.4 inches

Blade Size                         2.37 inches

What Are the Upsides of the Timber Tuff TMW-08 Bark Spud?

●     Lightweight and simple to use.

●     Beveled head prevents damage to wood when stripping bark.

●     Reinforced shaft/blade joint.

●     Treated wood handles prevent rotting.

●     Long handle for comfortable use and improving leverage power.

●     Creates a nice, clean finish.

What Are the Downsides of the Timber Tuff TMW-08 Bark Spud?

●     Unsuitable for large volume debarking projects.

Final Thoughts on the Timber Tuff TMW-08 Bark Spud

A sensible choice for the person who wants the best finish to their wood. The smaller blade allows the user to create smooth passes. The beveled-edge blade reduces the chance of unwanted nicks and cuts.

Ox-Head Straight Drawknife

For people who neither want the weight of a power debarker nor the slow action of the bark spud—this draw knife could be a nice alternative.

Ox-Head Straight Draw knife Review

The draw knife is used by pulling the debarker with two hands towards the body. Hence, if you are overly concerned with safety, it may not suit. A better choice would be a spud which pushes the blade away.

This German-built debarker is almost entirely constructed from hardened steel. One piece of shaped metal means fewer points of fatigue. Therefore, it will stand up to extended use. A good choice for people who strip bark often.

The only parts which are not steel are the riveted and polished hardwood handles. However, the frame extends through their length, providing additional support. These handles are molded to fit comfortably in the hands.

In addition, the handles are “angled-out” slightly to the sides. This reduces the chance of scraping the hands across bark when stripping large logs.

Furthermore, they are offset into a lower position than the blade. This can increase leverage and allow you to angle the blade more accurately.

The cutting blade is 10 inches long, with a 1.37-inch face, allowing large areas of bark to be stripped. This can mean fewer passes, allowing you to finish debarking quickly. The blades are highly polished to reduce friction, making every stripping action smooth and without blockages.

Weighing 1.25 pounds, this is the lightest debarking tool in these reviews. Therefore, it’s a good option for people who do not have the strength to use heavy tools for a long period of time. This tool comes with a one-year warranty.

Ox-Head Straight Draw knife Specifications

Size                                    17.8 inches by 3.3 inches by 1.1 inches                    

Weight                               1.25 pounds

Blade Size                         10 inches long by 1.37 inches wide

What Are the Upsides of the Ox-Head Straight Draw knife?

●     Solid one-piece steel construction provides stability.

●     Ergonomically-designed handles for comfortable use.

●     Large blade area for fewer passes.

●     Polished blade to reduce friction and prevent blockages.

●     Angled and offset handle for ease of use and to reduce the chance of injury.

What Are the Downsides of the Ox-Head Straight Draw knife?

●     May require sharpening before first use.

Final Thoughts on the Ox-Head Straight Drawknife

A well-thought-out design that tries to make debarking as simple as possible. It would be a good choice for the debarker who wants the control of a manual tool while covering an expansive area in a short period of time.

Why Do I Need to Debark Logs?

It is rare to find barked wood in the home. Below are the main reasons wood is stripped:

It Makes the Material Easier to Work With

If you’re using your own logs for a construction project, be it a log cabin or making furniture, a stripped piece of timber can be easily planed, shaped and molded. What’s more, once completed, your woodworking projects can then be stained, painted or shellacked.

Debarking Increases Longevity

Here’s a short breakdown on the water cycle of a tree. Stick with it, I think it’s quite interesting—and relevant.

Water from the soil is absorbed through the tree roots. From there, it passes through the entire length of the trunk, out through the branches and to the leaves. In doing so, it transports vital minerals, which enable the photosynthesis process to occur. From the leaves, the water evaporates into the air.

See, told you it was short. The point is this. This transpiration is a continual process, hence cells within the trunk are continually saturated with water. Great for the tree, but not for you when it is chopped down into a log.

Keeping bark on logs retains moisture. This moisture can become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and lichen, and can cause the wood to rot. Removing the bark dries out the log, leaving you with stronger wood and increasing its lifespan.

It Alleviates Infestation

The bark not only holds onto water, but also critters. These insects make the bark their home. If it’s not removed, chances are they will make your home theirs too.

Removing bark prevents an army of tree ants marching across your living room floor. Additionally, it stops these tiny guys from damaging the wood and reducing its life.

Debarking Logs Makes Better Firewood

Actually, that’s not strictly true. To be honest, if the bark is left on the log, there is more material to burn—you are using the wood more efficiently.

However, there are two main reasons why you should consider removing bark from firewood.

You need to peel the logs before using your log splitter or splitting maul.

●     Removes insects—if the firewood logs are brought into the house or shed complete with bark, you may be bringing an entire ecosystem in with them too.

●     Reduces drying time—debarked wood will dry out faster, allowing it to be more readily available as firewood.

It Can Improve Appearance

Some people prefer the appearance of a clean log, whether it is to be used for a domestic woodworking project, or just as a simple fence post. The natural grain is exposed and can then be stained to bring out its attractive features. This is definitely the preferred method for log home construction.

When Is the Best Time to Debark a Log?

Felled logs can be debarked at any time, although to make it an easier procedure, try to strip bark from green logs at the end of spring.

Spring is the growing season for the tree. During this time, the cambium (the part of the tree that provides new growth) is dividing and full of moisture.

This pushes the bark away from the main trunk, with an oily layer beneath to prevent the bark from splitting.

If the tree is felled and stripped at this time, the bark can be more easily peeled away. If you wait too long after spring, the bark will have hardened and adhered tightly to the new growth—making debarking difficult.

Different Types of Log Debarkers

Domestic debarkers tend to fall into two categories, chainsaw powered and manual. The chainsaw attachment type, logically, attaches to the end of a chainsaw. The chain itself powers the debarker, turning a rotating stripper knife head, allowing the bark to be stripped fast.

If you have a lot of debarking to complete, this can be a good choice. Although, the downsides are that it can lead to a lot of nicks and cuts in the wood. You also need to be comfortable wielding a chainsaw, and you must purchase an additional chain—around 2 inches longer than normal.

The manual type basically acts as a large “shaver”. These tools enable you to have more control over the debarking and, when done correctly, provide a beautiful finish.

Although the speed of debarking will increase as you become more familiar with the technique, they can still be quite slow. These manual types can be anything from a “spud” (similar to a very long chisel) through to a draw knives or draw shave (a twin-handled peeler).

What to Look for in The Best Log Debarkers

The perfect debarking tool depends on your personal requirements. Here are some key elements to consider.

What’s Important in Powered Log Debarkers

Power requirement: always check the size of the saw and bar required to power the debarker.

Weight: Remember, you will be holding both the debarking tool and the chainsaw in your hands—if it is too heavy, it will be uncontrollable.

●     Quality and durability: debarking a log is a damp, sticky and oily process—look for one that can stand up to these conditions.

What’s Important in a Manual Log Debarker?

Type: Do you want to “prize and slide” with the chisel-like spud, or shave with a twin-handled design?

Weight: you will be wielding this for a while, so ensure that the weight will not cause fatigue.

Handles: gripping a debarker in damp conditions is tough—a good grip is essential.

Blade size: the larger the blade, the more area you can cover—but it means more effort is required to strip a log.


All the above log debarking tools are, in their own way, excellent products that are well-constructed and will give years of use.

However, in my opinion, the best log debarking tool is the Timber Tuff TMW-58. Being powered, it will strip logs swiftly and easily.

What’s more, it’s built to be long lasting. Coated steel, together with ball bearings in the rotator cuffs, means that extended use will not impair the results from this machine. Finally, it is both lightweight and highly visible, increasing the safety aspect.

That being said, the other two log debarking tools deserve a quick mention. I like the accuracy and length of the Timber Tuff TMW-08 and the rigid one-piece design of the Ox-Head.

But when it comes to the best stripper, it’s the Timber Tuff TMW-58.

Last update on 2024-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API