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Electric Chainsaw

Post in 'The Gear' started by Vic99, Jun 5, 2007.

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  1. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    I'm stocking up on wood for next winter(have 2.5 cords cut already) . . . . getting a vermot soapstone stove installed in a month.

    I want to buy an electric chainsaw mostly for limbing & bucking at my home. I know that the gas saws are superior, but can anyone recommend a decent electric? I have used a friend's remmington 3.5 hp several times, but I need to get my own.

    I anticipate cutting about 4 cords a year. Thanks.

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  2. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I tried cutting up my stack of logs with a Poulan 400e (4 hp) but did not have a satisfactory experience and went back to a gas saw. It was just slow, like the chain was dull, but the replacement Poulan chain I got was just as bad. I guess I'll experiment with another chain, but it could get expensive.
  3. dangf

    dangf New Member

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    I use the Makita UC4000 with a 12-gauge 100ft extension cord and have been satisfied so far.

    Pros: much quieter than gas, low-maintenance (only chain-sharpening), easy to handle, cuts relatively fast for electric

    Cons: need to fill chain oil reservoir frequently, pricey

    I also have a gas saw, but I never use it b/c the electric is so much easier to grab and go.
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Those were the reasons I tried to make the Poulan electric work but I just couldn't-the gas saw is just so much better.
  5. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    Any more thoughts on these?

    I bought my husband the Remington 18" 4.0-HP electric for Christmas because I simply could not afford a decent gas powered one. All we need it for is to shorten splits that were delivered a tad too long and maybe some light yard work. He is not the least bit mechanically inclined so I will be doing the maintenance and so on, so I needed to keep it easy.

    We've been using a "chainsaw on a stick"/pole saw- this new one has got to be better that that!
  6. MuckSavage

    MuckSavage Member

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    I have a Husqvarna that I bought for $100 at an auction. It was almost new. I think it's a model 316. 16" bar/chain. I think it does a great job, although, I think new, it would be kinda pricey.
  7. DennisR

    DennisR Member

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    An electric chainsaw uses a universal motor (same motor in vacuum and blender) so it's not going to do much work like a gas one. Also the rating is the peak horsepower of the motor. There is no way you will get 4 horsepower safely continuously in a 120 volt circuit from #14 gauge wire of the drop cord. I say go gas.
  8. Cearbhaill

    Cearbhaill Feeling the Heat

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    Too late. Maybe next year.
  9. Rich M

    Rich M New Member

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    Doing that much wood every year is asking too much from an electric. Electrics are really more for occasional limbing, not bucking multiple cords yearly. Get a 16" Husqvarna or Stihl.
  10. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    I got a 4.0 remmington.

    I like that it is grab and go, but it is really slow. I had a used 3.5 that died on me. This 4.0 seems to handle work better and doesn't seem to overheat.

    I may go gas eventually, but spent too much money this year as this is my first year burning and such.
  11. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Hmmm... that's odd... I bucked 2.5 cords with my Makita UC4000 this year, same as last year. Didn't have to breathe exhaust fumes while doing it. Or adjust a carb. Or bother the neighbors. My gas saws are great in the field. But the Makita is much more pleasant to use.
  12. Rich M

    Rich M New Member

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    Didn't say electric won't work, just that a gas saw is a more appropriate tool for the job.

    You can also buck with a hand saw if you want (no fumes or noise and even slower than electric), suit yourself.
  13. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    I don't agree, for the reasons stated. Maybe you've never used a good electric. They're not all alike.

    Great suggestion, thanks.
  14. Rich M

    Rich M New Member

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    Nor do I, so I guess we agree to disagree. To each his own.

    And beleive it or not I do buck by hand using a cross cut saw occasionally, I like it for small jobs. Maybe I should get an electric for those times, just not for doing my 6 cord a year :^)
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    As I said earlier too, I tried to use that Poulan electric but it just didn't cut fast at all, even when I tried a new chain.
  16. Kilted

    Kilted Member

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    I have a Makita UC4000, that has cut up about four cords of wood, in the size up 20" with 16" blade. Most stuff much smaller. Lets say I appreciate all the advantages that an electric chain saw has, quieter, less vibration, well balanced. For the amount of cutting I have done the Makita has been an execellent choice.

    For electric chain saws, run them on a 20amp circuit to get the most power 12 gauge extension cord min. The horse power ratings given by most manufactures is unreliable. The amount of horse power is determined by the size of your wall breaker. After that it is the quaility of construction, reminder you get what you pay for.

    Look at and use as standard of comparsion:
    http://www.stihlusa.com/chainsaws/MSE180CBQ.html

    This what I use and can recommend:
    http://www.makita.com/menu.php?pg=product_det&tag=UC4000

    For the Makita do a forum search of UC4000 the are several threads on this unit.

    -- Brandy
  17. ctlovell

    ctlovell New Member

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    I have used both the Stihl and Husqvarna electric chain saws and they are both excellent electric saws. I was a bit more partial to the Husqvarna due to its more streamlined design, made possible by a worm drive setup rather than a more conventional motor off the side design.
  18. downeast

    downeast Guest

    Electric saws have their place for very occasional cutting near the house, and for construction where quick crude cutoffs are needed. But for bucking up log lengths for firewood over 12" diameter they are slow. Keep an eye on your high gauge extension cord.

    Electrics stihl (sp) need sharpening; keeping the chain sharp and raked correctly, and oiled is a minimum requirement for safe , efficient cutting.

    Please guys, don't forget complete PPE ( a complete set of Personal Protective Equipment ). It includes, besides your brain :bug: , a full helmet system with face shield, hard hat, hearing protection; strong gloves; and steel toed boots for that log that will fall on your foot. "Stringed" or kevlar leg protection chaps are a must. UL rated chaps forexample, will stop or clog engine chainsaws before the chain slices your thigh. CHAINSAW CHAPS WILL NOT STOP AN ELECTRIC CHAINSAW. Know how to cut, danger zones of the bar, how kickback happens, wood under compression, etc.... Try to take a pro class, chainsaws are the firearms of tools.

    Recommended for anything more than a cord or so: get a good, reliable 2 cycle saw. You can check online for recommendations for a good occasional new or used saw ( ArboristSite.com, or ForestryForum.com are 2 of the better sites like hearthnet). The new small saws are quieter and easy to start. Well worth the money.

    JMHO from years of close calls, too many trees that I thought would go one way, widow makers dropping from nowhere, slices of flesh sewed up. Then we moved Downeast: took a professional chainsaw course called Game of Logging. I learned the correct way to fell and work the woods efficiently, safely, and enjoyably. Getting out our 6-7 cords of firewood and 10-12 cords of pulp/ year is a sport: productive, super training for other sports, challenging.
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