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Electric Cordless Chain Saw?

Post in 'The Gear' started by rudysmallfry, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    I did enough internet searching to be fully confused on this one. I recently scored some cherry, lots of it. Mostly stuff under 8" in diameter. Problem is the logs are all very long and lots of cuts need to be made. I am a woman who is not normally intimidated by things, but gas chainsaws scare the crap out of me. I was looking at cordless chain saws. Are there any on the market that would cut through cherry or other various hardwoods in smaller diameters? I had started looking for corded saws, but am concerned I'll trip the circuit breakers since my house still only has 100 amp service and is somewhat maxed out. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    I haven't used a cordless chainsaw, but I do use a Ryobi 18v lithium string trimmer & hedge trimmer for my 1/3 acre. They work fine for my light use, but I would not advise getting a cordless chainsaw. They are only useful for light tree trimming IMO, also chainsaws use a lot of power. That means they'll drain batteries quickly and extra batteries are $$$.
    Could you get an electric and just flip a couple other breakers off when you're going to use it? You're not in the house anyway so what needs to be drawing power?
  3. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    Good point about not being in the house. If I did go the corded route, would that give me the power I need to get through the cherry?
  4. trailmaker

    trailmaker Member

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    My mom likes her Makita cordless. Stihl and Oregon now have cordless saws but the prices are pretty steep. Avoid the Ryobi, I bought two and both oil reservoirs leaked badly. I don't know if a corded electric is any safer than a small gas saw, I've heard they have so much torque that chainsaw chaps won't stop them. Maybe you could try out a small gas saw, the fact that they scare you probably means you'll be very careful which should keep you safe.
    n6crv likes this.
  5. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Stihl makes a good cordless but its expensive, Id be just as nervous with a electric as gas but if your only going to use it sparingly you can get a 3hp Craftsman for under $100, it has a cord but I wouldnt worry about tripping breakers unless you got a bunch of stuff running at the same time.
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    This is true.

    Just like gas saws, electrics come in both cheap homeowner type units and much more expensive, well-made machines.

    Stihl's cordless saw would probably be just fine cutting 6-8" diameter wood with occasional forays up to 12" logs.

    Check out the MSA160 here: http://www.stihlusa.com/products/battery-and-electric/

    As you can see, the MSA160 is part of a whole group of cordless yard tools. While the cost of buying one tool and the battery/charger may seem high, it begins to make sense if you have need for more than one tool. You can power the saw, blower, hedge-trimmer and weed-wacker all from the same battery/charger combo. You'll notice right away that these tools are nothing like the cheap versions available from Sears/HD/Lowes. I'd invest in the larger battery for lots of saw work. Supposedly the saw can run for 35 minutes per charge. I can do a lot of damage to 12" and under trees in 35 minutes. Even with a small saw. ;) The rapid charger also is spec'd to pump the battery back up in 25 minutes. Just enough time for lunch. ==c

    Note: Stihl is currently offering a $100 rebate if you buy one battery and a tool together.

    As far as corded electrics go, I'm still a Stihl fanboy but there are other options. The dealership I used to work for was attached to a nursery/garden center and they sold tons of x-mas trees every year (literally, hundreds). They got tired of the junk saws they were using to trim the trunks and bought a couple MSE140's. That was 6 years ago and they still run those saws.

    The MSE140 won't draw anymore current than a typical vacuum cleaner does these days and so long as you aren't running anything else on the circuit, and use a HD extension cord, I think you'll do just fine.

    http://www.stihlusa.com/products/battery-and-electric/battery-and-electric-saws/mse140cbq/

    Hollywood's chainsaw scare flicks probably don't help with that.

    I know i'm beginning to sound like a broken record here, but Stihl does make some very "female friendly" gas saws too. Check out the Easy2Start versions of the MS181 and MS211. They're peppy, lightweight, buttery smooth to start and easy to maintain. While I totally get your desire to go electric, if you can handle a gas weed-wacker, then you can most certainly handle one of these.

    http://www.stihlusa.com/products/chain-saws/homeowner-saws/ms211cbe/
  7. n6crv

    n6crv Feeling the Heat

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    I think that you would be better off with a smal gas saw look at say a Stihl ms170. They are light weight and just get a short bar. The Electric saws have alot of torque and don't really bog down like a gas saw will. Then you have to worry about the cord getting in the way, If there is a rental place around try out a smal gas saw and see if you feel OK with it.
  8. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks guys. We do have Stihl dealer nearby. I'll look into that smaller gas model. I do like the portability of the gas saws. I think it is just a case of watching too many youtube videos of idiots who probably shouldn't be operating a toaster no less a chainsaw. I've done just fine with not getting killed by my table saw, miter saw, tile saw or floor nailer. Guess I can handle a chain saw. I was thinking about you guys today as I passed a neighbor who had just made a nice Oak score. He was going to town on the rounds with his chainsaw...wasn't wearing a stitch of protection. Even has sneakers on...headdesk.
  9. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Corded electric chainsaws are more dangerous than gasoline models for a variety of reasons. Check it out online if you have any doubt.
  10. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    Great to know. Thanks so much for knocking that last twinkle of confidence out of me! Something tells me I'm going to end up cutting this cherry with a plain old bow saw.
  11. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

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  12. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    You could rent a small gas saw, when U get it home and fire it up ,and cut some wood ,and I think your confidence will grow quickly
    Or rent an electric
    A good way to try ,with out buying a saw
    I have a craftsmen 19 volt cordless ,on a 16in log you get about 5 or 6 cuts on one battery. works ok for really small stuff, but all in all much slower than a small gas saw.
    I would not recommend that saw to any one


    This might do the job but It would cost ya ,maybe U could find one of these to rent first
    Price: $392.50
    Oregon PowerNow CS250S 14-Inch 40 Volt Max Lithium-Ion Chain Saw With Standard Bhttp://www.amazon.com/Oregon-PowerNow-CS250S-Lithium-Ion-Standard/dp/B005H3NEZS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354332652&sr=8-1&keywords=oregon+powernow+chainsawattery Pack
  13. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Got anybody that could come out and help and give you some pointers and help on using a gas saw?

    Gary
  14. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I've seen a table saw do things that make a chainsaw look tame. Never had a chainsaw throw a chunk of wood back at me. :p I think you'll be fine with whatever route you choose. Using a chainsaw to cut 8" limbs that you have easy acess to, good footing, and making simple top down bucking cuts is just about the safest situation with a chainsaw that I can imagine.
  15. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    I seen a co worker use one improperly one time. Threw that 4 ft long twisted 2 x 4 across the room & impaled it in 2 layer 1/2" sheetrock wall. (Delta Unisaw 5HP 3phase,about 450 pounds) I insisted on a new partner then.He said he 'had plenty of experience using tablesaws'..........Uh huh.:rolleyes:

    I get so damn tired of babysitting people.I much prefer to work by myself most of the time.
    amateur cutter likes this.
  16. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    I actually let a small piece of wood catch on purpose when I first got my table saw just to see what it looked like. It was rather impressive. I'll look into that Oregon one. That looks cool. I am thinking I might try to go the "helpless woman needs guidance" route and see if I can get a guy to keep showing me how to use the saw until it's all cut. (hee hee hee)
    milleo likes this.
  17. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Another vote to just go gas. My neighbor has an electric corded, it cuts pretty decent actually but I dragging that cord around is a trip hazard. Note that you need a heavy duty extension cord... 12 gauge to handle the 12-13 amps it draws, and those get $$$ when you need one 100ft long or so.

    Also consider that a 13 amp saw will put out about 2hp,this is similar power to a 35cc gas saw. Not to be taken lightly...


    IF you do get an electric saw anyway, the fact that you are on 100 amp service doesn't mean anything. To avoid tripping the breaker you just have to make sure nothing else is turned on that circuit that saw is plugged into.
  18. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    If I was closer, I'd come butcher that little tree for ya with a saw that'll make your ears bleed.:mad: In all seriousness though, MM is right, if you run a table saw safely you can do so with a chainsaw as well. I'm certainly not trying to pressure you, but basic proficiency with a smaller saw is a very useful skill to have. Think ice/wind storm, tree down in driveway street etc. Being a woman has nothing to do with using a saw safely. I know several around here that do, & do it well. Sometimes the ladies are safer than us He men, cause they tend to think things like, gee what could possibly go wrong here? Men can a bit more like " hey, hold my beer & watch this." FWIW, I'd stay away from the electric saws. Small gasser's are safer. A C
    milleo and weatherguy like this.
  19. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Brownies work wonders!:)

    Gary
  20. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    Men can a bit more like " hey, hold my beer & watch this.

    That sounds about right. Screw it. I'll try renting a gas one. I'll report back if I maintain all of my limbs.
    MasterMech likes this.
  21. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    thats one way to go ==c
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    My experience with cordless tools is that if you're really working them hard and steady they will go dead pretty quickly . . . I learned this while cutting up some fire extinguishers with the FD's cordless Sawz-All.

    That said, cordless tools have a place . . . I love and frequently use my driver and drill . . . I think the difference is if you're not working a tool hard and long . . . I fear a chainsaw would be like that Sawz-all though if you're looking to buck up a tree vs. just do some trimming or cut down small trees around the house like "normal" home owners. ;)
  23. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    So I went in to my local Stihl dealer today. I told him I was looking for a chick chain saw, but something that still had some stones if you know what I mean. He recommended the Stihl MS 180 C-BE. It's a bit lighter than most of the other gas ones, has the ez start feature and has a safety feature help prevent kickback. Anyone familiar with that model? Looked and felt nice to me, but I'm new to this stuff.
  24. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    imo that would be an excellent saw for your needs. Good easy to handle saw that will get the job done. Pretty high quality machine too. See if the dealer will let you start & handle the saw at the shop a little, some will, some won't. I'd wager you'll be able to run it with confidence in no time. A C
  25. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    That's good to hear it's a good one. The dealer is going to show me how to operate it. They said if I buy the 8 pack of oil, it extends the warranty by one year. Think that's worth it?

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