Best Skidding Tongs – 5 Picks

Skidding tongs are tools which let you pull, or in other words, skid logs from one place to another with a help of a vehicle, winch or even a horse (yes, that’s still being done).

Imagine doing that purely by hand? You would need to roll the logs by bending down, then making turns, who am i kidding, there are logs that are simply impossible to move without some sort of machinery.

Skidding tongs come extremely handy when you need to pull logs uphill, or a long distance.

In this post i review the ones which are the best you can buy in my opinion, and guide you along on purchasing the right one for you.

Timber Tuff TMW-02

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These skidding tongs are able to open up to 20 inches (51 cm) – generally that is enough for majority types of logs, especially if your’e going to be skidding smaller sized ones.

It attaches to a 3/8 inch (1 cm) chain by a swivel hook. The swivel hook is almost always better than a regular ring, as it prevents the chain from twisting.

The green color makes it easier to distinguish in all sorts of conditions, such as snow, mud or woods environment.

Things to consider before buying

These skidding tongs don’t support the largest diameter of logs, so if that’s important to you, check out the other ones down below.

In conclusion

The skidding tongs are great because they don’t break your budget, and are able to grasp majority size of logs homeowner might want to skid.

Timber Tuff TMW-02SS

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Just like the first pair, these skidding tongs can also hook onto logs only up to 20 inches (51 cm) in diameter.

They differ the most in teeth, as these can rotate around, which should make them hold onto logs better.

Once again, it also has a swivel hook which support chains up to 3/8 inch (1 cm) in size.

Things to consider before buying

20 inch (51 cm) diameter capacity is not the biggest one available.

It’s more expensive than the first option.

In conclusion

The tool should work better than the first one because of the rotating teeth, but is it worth to pay more because of that? I’ll let you decide that.

Timber Tuff TMW-04SS

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The tool is able to skid logs up to 32 inches (81 cm) in diameter, and that means it’s the largest pair here.

Just like majority of skidding tongs on this article, it also has a swivel hook, which support chains up to 3/8 (1 cm) in size.

The teeth can also rotate 360 degrees.

Things to consider before buying

Depending on the current price, it’s usually two to three times more expensive that the first ones i suggested on the article.

Because it can skid logs of such high diameter, it won’t be able to do that as well on smaller than 20 inch (51 cm) logs.

In conclusion

If you want a pair of skidding tongs which support the largest diameter of logs, but are willing to spend a little more money, then this option is for you.

Roughneck 23 inch (58 cm) Skidding Tongs

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The jaws of these specific skidding tongs open up to a maximum of 23 inches (58 cm).

Instead of a hook with a swivel, it has a ring on which a chain can be attached.

Things to consider before buying

The ring is not as good as a swivel hook, because it’s not so easy to attach to a chain, and it doesn’t prevent it from twisting when skidding either.

Even though it doesn’t cost the most, it’s not the cheapest option either.

In conclusion

Generally these skidding tongs aren’t a bad option, in my opinion the biggest disadvantage is the ring instead of a swivel hook.

Timber Tuff TMW-03

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These skidding tongs can open up to 25 inches (64 cm), which puts them somewhere in the middle of all.

It also has a swivel hook attachment that can be hooked on to a 3/8 inch (1 cm) chain.

Things to consider before buying

It can’t skid the largest, neither the smallest sized logs.

It’s also not the cheapest option.

In conclusion

Is it worth to pay more but get only 5 extra inches (13 cm) size? I think so, as it fits somewhere in the middle of all when it comes down to size.

How to Choose Skidding Tongs

The most important factor to consider when choosing a pair of skidding tongs is it’s maximum width between the teeth, which obviously determines the size of logs you’ll be able to skid.

You might think that if you buy 32 inch (81 cm) ones you’ll be able to skid logs from that point way down below, but that’s not true.

The largest skidding tongs are the best to use on the largest logs and a little smaller, that is, 32 inches (81 cm) to about 20 inches (51 cm), but if you’ll want to skid logs that are 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, you are better of buying the 20 inch (51 cm) skidding tongs for that.

As a matter of fact, the best thing to do is to buy two types of skidding tongs, one smallest and one largest. That way you’ll be able to skid logs in a larger range.

Skidding Tongs vs Choker Cables

Image by Acabashi via Wikimedia Commons

Choker cables are a great alternative to skidding tongs, but the problem is that you have to lift up a log in order to attach a one, and that can become quite annoying especially if a log weighs a lot, so you’ll have to use another tool such as a timberjack to do that.

Skidding tongs on the other hand just attach to the side of a log and tighten with the pull, making it easier and faster to do the job.

The only disadvantage of the skidding tongs is that they work the best in a straight path, because as you start making turns they might unhook from loss of tension or even bend, so choker cables are better in that situation.

Skidding Tongs Use Tips

Do not use skidding tongs for lifting logs, as they’re simply not made for that task and might break, which can be very dangerous to you or anyone else around. There are specifically made lifting tongs for that.

As you skid logs along the ground, the bark will start to collect a lot of dirt, so before you start cutting with them up a chainsaw, make sure to brush it off first to prevent damaging the chain.

After some time the teeth on the skidding tongs will start to blunt, so don’t forget to sharpen them up so they stick into wood better. You can also sharpen the teeth right after purchasing if the sharpness doesn’t satisfy your needs.

Once you’ve skid your logs to a desired location, the teeth might be too hard to pull out by hands, so you can pop them out with a hammer. You can also drive in the teeth better into the logs with the same tool, if you see that they don’t attach too well with just the force of the pull.

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