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Chainsaw Selection

Post in 'The Gear' started by elkimmeg, Nov 24, 2005.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Chainsaw selection. Try to match the abilities of the user and capabilities of the saw to the job task. Pros will use pro tools, which tend to have more horsepower and more weight. They are experienced to handle it. In the case of chainsaw operation, a lighter saw is easier to control for the occasional user. Bigger is not better, (Please all experienced operators may dispute this but they have one thing beginners do not respect and experience of the tools)

    There are two types of fuel for your chain saw each has advantages and disadvantages both have the same maintenance of the chain and bar.

    Electric chainsaws can be bought cheap No gas engine repairs and power on demand. My recommendation is 3hp plus 14 to 16” bar. Besides being restrictive due to a power cord they also tend to cut slower. But they are lighter and easier to handle. No fussing with gas oil mixtures either. No need for ear protection and no sucking in gas fumes. I use one and cut up about 4 cords a year from gathered up logs. It last about 4 years and I work it

    Gas saws requires gas engine maintenance, Proper mixing of gas and oil, and proper storage.
    Even the cheap ones cut faster than the electric ones. They allow one to cut where it is not practical to find an electrical outlet. Ear shattering noise, noxious fumes, but can’t be beat in remote locations or heavier duty work felling decent size trees.

    Word on safety: Temporary hearing loss is not a bad thing, when your spouse is giving it to you, all other times wear protection. Nothing ruins a quiet Saturday than a trip to the emergency room to get your eye flushed out and lucky that’s all it takes. Wear eye protection at all times Good leatherwork gloves could save a nasty injury. Flip-flops are not standard foot protection especially if you use your toes to count with. IF you don’t have steel toe work boots, one dropped log on your toes and you will wish you had steel toes.
    I know pros that even wear leather chaps but Khakis and shorts are not the way to go.
    I am not saying you have to dress like Robo Cop, but think of what you are doing . jumping around, over reaching or tripping with chainsaws is very dangerous. Keep the work area clean to avoid tripping. If not comfortable falling a tree seek help also plan a clear escape path should things go wrong. The last thing to do is worry about the saw.
    Just get the hell out of there as fast as you can.

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  2. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    Hi elkimmeg, I've been trying to read all the chain saw threads here as I just got a wood stove installed this summer and have been burning some splits recently here in NJ. I bought 2 cords split and delivered back in June but I know I want to start cutting my own at least felled trees from friends who are telling me, "Hey, I have this oak that just fell, you want it?". :)

    Other than knowing a little bit about small engine management (in general, not with chain saws), I have never picked up one in my entire life. I know I want something decent and was all set on spending the $350 for a decent Husky or Stihl or any quality chainsaw but being a beginner, I'm thinking that it might be too much of a saw for my needs. I probably wont be using this week in and week out but I really thought the electric ones were garbage. I guess perhaps that is being too harsh? I like good equipment, I have 2 bicycles that are worth more than many cars, and I know the meaning of maintenance and upkeep, but I'm thinking would an electric chain saw be a good investment to use and to learn. I really don't care too much about the speed, as I'm not planning on cutting down the Amazon, just the occasional tree. I'm in NJ, I don't have 100 acres of land! There's no trees that I can cut on my property so either I get a permit to fell trees on state forests/parks or I get the occasional tree from friends. I'm thinking of the latter. Would an electric saw do fine and any recommendations on a GOOD saw? I've read the benefit of having two saws, so I think eventually down the road, I can spend more $$$ on a better gas saw and then I hope i will be experienced enough to yield a better saw.

    Jay
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    You don't need to look like Robo Cop, but you should look like the guy in my avatar.

    At minimum:

    Helmet with face, eye & ear protection;
    Kevlar chaps;
    Steel-toed boots;
    Saw with inertial chain brake.

    Spending $150 to help avoid being killed or maimed for life is not a bad investment.
  4. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    Eric, well that's a given, I understand that, I'm just talking about the chain saw itself now. Not to worry.... :)

    Jay
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Well, one consideration with an electric saw is that chaps won't protect you like they will with a conventional gas saw. And I'm not sure that electric saws have inertial chain brakes.

    Personally, I'd also worry about cutting the extension cord, but maybe that's just me.
  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Jay there is one electric saw with the brake and will cut on equal with the lower end gas saws Precard has one check out what he has to say about his Makita electric saw My next electric saw will be a Makita why not most of my everyday construction tools are I wrote this article a long time ago and did mention all the protective wear knowing electric and chaps issue.

    If all electric saws cut the cords I would be out of the carpentry business every day repairing cords. Again thinking what you are doing and being mindull, will save everyone
    a lot of agrevation.
  7. Jay H

    Jay H New Member

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    Thanks Elk and everybody, I emailed Precard and got a reply, and even got a good tip on a sale. I just ordered a UC4000 16" chain saw which has an inertial brake and has some very good reviews I see. It's a good price too I think and will always be good as a backup to a larger gas saw if I ever do decide to cut more wood.

    Jay
  8. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

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    WRT to no need for hearing protection needed with an electric chain saw: It is true that the saws themselves are quiet. The problem comes when you put them against wood. Then you are in the 90+ db range, so you should have hearing protection.

    SO if you are just planning on running them and not cutting anything, skip the hearing protection. ;-)

    (jim “Marcia's hubby” – finally finding time to catch up on reading the forms.)
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I too wear ear muffs with the electric saw. Those ear muff are so easy to wear
    I have the Poulan Pro electric. It has an inertia brake.
    While it seems to have plenty of power, it seems to not cut as quick.
    I wonder if it's the rpms or maybe the chain, although the chain is new and the one that came with the saw so you would think it would be one the manufacturer thought best.
  10. biggins08

    biggins08 New Member

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    Or they want you to "upgrade". :)
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