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Chainsaw with no Chain brake?

Post in 'The Gear' started by DavidV, Nov 26, 2005.

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  1. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    Was looking to purchase a used Stihl 028. Mechanicly it functions very well. It's old but that doesn't put me off. It was before they had chain brakes on the saws. Price is 125. A good price for a saw with an impressive amount of power. I've never thought much about mychain brake but I always hear about the need to have one. A dangerous saw is not a bargain but I am in a realm where I don't know how much of a difference a chain brake makes. I'm thowing it out to those of you with more experience than I. Should I pass, and just bay the extra 100-200 toget a saw that has a chain brake?

    David

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  2. pinefarm

    pinefarm New Member

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    Absolutely, You'll never spend 200 dollars better and, make sure it is an INERTIAL BRAKE. All late model top saws have thenm and some models of cheaper saws. Don't leave the shop until the dealer illustrates the brake for you. Its a life saver, no question Dave Johnson
  3. snowfreak

    snowfreak New Member

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    Excellent chainsaw and a very good price. Like you said it's a powerfull saw and typically has an aggressive bar chain combo. You could run the saw another 10 years with no incident. However it's hard to put a dollar amount on your safety. I'd opt for spending the additional green backs for one with a chainbrake.
  4. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I agree with Snowfreek. I borrowed a saw a few weeks ago that didn't have a brake, and after a few minutes of using it, I turned it off and got out my own saw that does have one. I've never engaged it due to any kickback incident, but I'm sure glad it's there.

    A little story: One day, my brother-in-law and Sister were cutting wood behind their house. It was quite snowy, and the saw, an old Homelite, hit something and kicked back at my brother-in-law. The saw hit him in the face and a large volume of blood came down into his face. He promptly asked my sister if his eye was still there...My sister passed out. After my sister came to, and both deciding my Brother-in-law was cut somehow, not missing his eye, they went back to the house and eventually the hospital. The net...The handle had hit him in the eyebrow and split it open. The blade had grabbed his hat and the hat had gotten bound up in the chain and stopped the chain just like a brake would have.

    He was lucky!!! In that incident, a chain brake might have kicked in and stopped the chain before it got to him and likely the whole incident would not have resulted in anything different since a handle could still hit him, BUT....if a saw hits me in the head...I sure want that chain stopped when it does.

    My father still has that old Homelite, and I can use it or have it if I want...I own a Husky. I didn't want the free saw.
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Sometimes they find guys who cut their jugular in a chainsaw kickback. They typically run about 20 yards on adreneline before all the blood is pumped out of their bodies. People like those little saws (the Stihl 028 is a little big, but Homelite and others used to make very small saws) because they can operate them one-handed. Some looked like they were designed to be operated that way (!). Needless to say, don't ever use a saw without both hands firmly around the handles. In logging safety courses, they teach you to wrap your thumbs around the handles at all times, otherwise you flunk the course.
  6. snowfreak

    snowfreak New Member

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    That doesn't paint a pretty picture. What a way to go. I have heard many wierd chainsaw accidents and some fatalities but not a kickback to the jugular. Of course I have heard many to the face area so I suppose a kickback to the neck is not out of the question.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    It's not a pretty picture. I've been to trade shows where they have picture boards full of images of various injuries. If you're wearing appropriate head protection, there's a chance the hard hat will deflect a kickback. You don't have any protection around your neck or throat, however, and sometimes the saw will be deflcted away from your head and onto your shoulder or back up into your throat. Of course, if your saw is equipped with an inertial chain brake, the saw might still kick back and hit you, but the chain won't be moving when it does. It's really the functional equivalent of an airbag.
  8. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    Yeah, after talking to my buddy about it and doing soime research I am definately holding out. I'll buy new or used but with all the features. For the time being, my little 33 cc poulan is doing everything I ask of it.cut half a cord of wood with it the other day and it worked great. some of the stuff was so thick I had to roll it to cut all the way thru.
  9. snowfreak

    snowfreak New Member

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    I've been running a 16" bar on a 36cc Craftsman (Poulan) for the past 7 years. I have a 55 Rancher with a 20 inch bar and even though it cuts at almost twice the speed I reserve it for the bigger stuff. I can cut, limb, fell almost all day with the little one and it's very easy on the gas. Some day when it quits running I'm going to get a lightweight saw with more power. The only complaint I had on my Craftsman was that it came through with the chain tightner in the bar and the chain would loosen up very quickly even when the chain was wore in. So I converted it to the regular tightening system with the screw coming out of the front cover. Best 5 bucks I have stuck into the saw.
  10. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I think I'm using the same saw (brother-in-law's) and it has this loosening chain issue, too. Is that conversion part something I can find at Sears? Is it easy to install?
  11. snowfreak

    snowfreak New Member

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    When I went to Sears website they didn't list the adjustment kit. I had to go to Poulans website and find the Poulan Chainsaw that matched closest to mine. Once I had the model number I went to www.ordertree.com. From there they have an illustrated parts list, it was under poulan weed eater for chainsaw parts. The kit was very inexpensive, if I remember right the shipping was more than the parts. It was very easy to install and I was able to use the existing bar. My Craftsman chainsaw was nothing more than a poulan 2050. Part number for order tree was 530069611. The plastic cover on mine already had the casting and the hole predrilled for the external screw so it was a 5 minute job. I'm pretty sure that most can be converted to the manual screw adjustment.
  12. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    Using a chainsaw without a chain brake is like driving a car without an emergency brake. Chances are you won't need it, but the consequences of needing it and not having it are way to high to be worth the risk.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I look at it more like an airbag.
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