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I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: April 14, 2015 11:01AM
Not a big or expensive one, but one I can use to cut up dead branches (and some fallen trunks) from our little patch of woods.

I could even use an electric one—even a hundred yards from the house, as I've got a generator. And a guy at the hardware store told me that there are battery-powered chain saws that work pretty well these days.

Or I could go with a small, gas-powered saw.

Suggestions? Experience?

/Mr Lynn



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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: billb
Date: April 14, 2015 11:22AM
small enough to use a 12 inch blade on a sawzall ?

or a good pruning saw ?



I own a few Stihls, but I cut a lot of firewood.
Worst for gas powered saws is disuse - like cars, boats and lawn mowers.
For a once a year chore renting might make more sense.

There are a bunch of battery and electric saws that might make more sense for occasional use for a homeowner.



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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: April 14, 2015 11:24AM
You can buy a cheapo saw and use it once, forget and leave it full of gasoline and oil, and find it's completely useless next year. And then buy another one.

Or you can buy a low end decent saw (Stihl, Husquavarna), maintain it properly, and have it last a lifetime.

OR.. you can buy a battery operated chain saw that is very portable and will work for years.

I own three chain saws... a 25 year old Stihl, a 45 year old McCullough, and a 5 year old Ryobi 18V saw. I haven't used the gas saws in years.

Last summer I even used the Ryobi to cut up a 2' diameter pine tree that fell. Admittedly I had to cut one side, roll the trunk, and then cut the other. But it's awesome for trimming from a ladder or swamping a fallen trunk.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: April 14, 2015 11:36AM
billb: I have a bad right elbow, so using a hand saw or an axe is problematic for me. A Sawzall might be an interesting option, though.

cbelt3: Is your Ryobi battery-operated? I'm impressed that you are using it over your gas-powered ones. Given that I'll be using the saw intermittently, I'm thinking electric (line or battery) might be the way to go.

And would you recommend Ryobi over other brands?

/Mr Lynn



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2015 11:38AM by mrlynn.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: 3d
Date: April 14, 2015 11:50AM
Quote
mrlynn
A Sawzall might be an interesting option, though.
/Mr Lynn

I've used a reciprocating saw with a wood blade for cutting up big trees branches. 5-inch or so diameter. I think you can cut through 6-8 inch branches/trunks if you attack it from multiple angles and sides. It's worth a shot if you already have the saw. A $10 pack of new wood blades might be all you need. The reciprocating saw will be more useful for other stuff around the house over a chainsaw.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: April 14, 2015 11:58AM
I have an 18" Echo that is, so far (3 years), wonderful. Easy to maintain, never a problem starting it, somewhat finicky chain tensioner but all in all, for the money, an excellent consumer level saw.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: April 14, 2015 12:06PM
Go ahead and get a Stihl or Echo, about 14" bar will do for your needs. Just DO NOT use ethanol gasoline. Find non ethanol here:

[pure-gas.org]



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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: Black
Date: April 14, 2015 12:13PM
I'd think a chain saw would be pretty fatiguing in the presence of an elbow problem.




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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: flareslow
Date: April 14, 2015 12:13PM
I have one of these:

Makita Chainsaw

I am very pleased with it's performance. I have used it to cut disks from some 18" diameter oak logs and it went through them like they were butter. Buy a couple of extra chains so you don't have to stop work when one gets dull. I take them to a shop for sharpening. It cuts as fast and as well as my old Stihl 026. You just need a source of electrical power. Use a heavy extension cord and make sure your generator can handle 14.5 Amps.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: billb
Date: April 14, 2015 12:16PM
[www.youtube.com]



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: April 14, 2015 12:17PM
The 18V battery operated Ryobi was purchased because I have a whole bunch of Ryobi 18V battery operated tools. The McCullough was not working right and I didn't have much time to cut up some small trees, so I just bought it.

I also have real trouble starting a gasoline engine with a pull starter because my right arm is a major mess with stainless steel plates, mis-placed tendons and ligaments, and just generally is goofed up. The usual 20 yanks causes my arm to seize up for several days.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: billb
Date: April 14, 2015 12:35PM
Quote
flareslow
I have one of these:

Makita Chainsaw

I am very pleased with it's performance. I have used it to cut disks from some 18" diameter oak logs and it went through them like they were butter. Buy a couple of extra chains so you don't have to stop work when one gets dull. I take them to a shop for sharpening. It cuts as fast and as well as my old Stihl 026. You just need a source of electrical power. Use a heavy extension cord and make sure your generator can handle 14.5 Amps.

supposed to be a nice saw
Home Depot used to rent makitas

can also be purchased with the Dolmar name on it if you prefer orange over blue




The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: Spiff
Date: April 14, 2015 01:05PM
I have used the stihl saws that are battery powered. Cut like a butter knife through soft butter. I lust after their entire line of battery powered tools. Unfortunately, by checkbook does not have that same lust...
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: MarkD
Date: April 14, 2015 02:56PM
I have the small chainsaw on a stick that is very helpful (electric) around the house. Family has had an electric one--about 14" that was good on the smaller stuff, but seemed to stall on the bigger limbs. I suspect more maintenance would help.

Of course, the best kind of chainsaw is owned by a neighbor who knows how to use it and who drops by when there is a "problem" or a need.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: Speedy
Date: April 14, 2015 05:14PM
From a few months ago:

[forums.macresource.com]


Ps. I used a circular saw to cut up the remains of that tree. Kind of a pain in the neck compared to chainsaws I have used in the past.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/14/2015 05:20PM by Speedy.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: Grateful11
Date: April 14, 2015 09:17PM
We have several gas chainsaws and one electric Earthwise brand. It works great.

We actually bought ours at Aldi Foods for $40

$67
[www.amazon.com]

Those Stihl battery rigs can run in the $600 range with battery and charger.



Grateful11
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: April 14, 2015 10:11PM
Quote
Black
I'd think a chain saw would be pretty fatiguing in the presence of an elbow problem.
perhaps true, but the Sawzall suggestion would be far, far worse. I have fine elbows and joints and hate those things.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: April 14, 2015 10:54PM
Quote
mrbigstuff
Quote
Black
I'd think a chain saw would be pretty fatiguing in the presence of an elbow problem.
perhaps true, but the Sawzall suggestion would be far, far worse. I have fine elbows and joints and hate those things.

Yes, a lighter saw would be easier. The chainsaws enable you to use two hands, which is a boon.

My daughter says her FIL has a Black and Decker LCS120 with 20 volt lithium battery. She reports: "He says it's 'good for branches and small logs but not likely to do more than a few 5 inch diameter cuts on one charge. Very quiet and light weight. Hence very convenient'."

Wonder how that compares with the Ryobi. Our local hardware store carries Stihls, but as Grateful11 says, they are really expensive. The corded chainsaws seem to be the cheapest.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: Black
Date: April 15, 2015 01:23AM
FWIW I've got the same Ryobi as Belty and have gotten a fair amount of use out of it considering I've done practically nothing to maintain it.




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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: April 15, 2015 07:55AM
mrlynn... I was able to get through a 30' high pine tree that fell in a storm with my Ryobi. Swamping (cutting off the branches at the trunk), cutting halfway through the trunk, then rolling and cutting the other side for 2' logs. It took perhaps 2 hours and four battery changes. I had 3 batteries because I have a lot of other Ryobi 18V tools.

If I had had my Stihl 024av the job would have taken me about 3/4 hours and one gas/oil refill.

And ultimately that's the difference... if you do a lot of sawing, go for a good gas powered saw. If you don't, the battery operated gizmos will work okay. Back when we were heating with wood I mocked anyone who used electric saws.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: Rick-o
Date: April 15, 2015 09:09AM
Personally, I use gas chainsaws of the Husqvarna flavor. But then again, I have a lot of trees and I used to cut a lot of wood for home heating. Your situation of seldom use sounds like it would probably call for a corded, electric model.

No matter which type you choose, keep the chain out of the dirt/sand! Just one little dip into the ground will instantly dull the chain making for a tougher time zipping through the wood. A well sharpened chain will go through branches like a hot knife through butter.



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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: M>B>
Date: April 15, 2015 02:01PM
Purchased one of these at Lowes...

[www.lowes.com]

Quite pleased with it, had a special extra battery free!

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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 15, 2015 02:08PM
I did a lot of research for myself last night. I am in the camp that can't keep a gas one going and have a hard time starting one. This is what I came up with:

[www.amazon.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2015 02:09PM by Dennis S.
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: Fred_Also
Date: April 15, 2015 03:24PM
If you do end up with a Sawzall type saw, I have found these blades to be really good for tree limbs upto about 3" in diameter.



From Lowe's

Fred
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Re: I Need a Chain Saw
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: April 15, 2015 03:26PM
Quote
cbelt3
The 18V battery operated Ryobi was purchased because I have a whole bunch of Ryobi 18V battery operated tools. The McCullough was not working right and I didn't have much time to cut up some small trees, so I just bought it.

I also have real trouble starting a gasoline engine with a pull starter because my right arm is a major mess with stainless steel plates, mis-placed tendons and ligaments, and just generally is goofed up. The usual 20 yanks causes my arm to seize up for several days.

Good luck getting the McCullough fixed. It's difficult to get parts for most McCullough chain saws.

If this is a one time or rare use item, I would rent one.

A reciprocating saw will work, but you will need to keep the shoe tight to the wood or it will vibrate. Could cause issues for a bad elbow.
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