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Now I need advice on wood cutting equipment.........

Post in 'The Gear' started by Big Donnie Brasco, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    yea, I figured for safety I would get some chaps!!

    Will focus on downed or smaller trees. I know the THEORY behind felling a tree in a given direction, but I will "practice" with small trees when that time comes.

    Kick back to the face sounds awful ... looks like a helmet and face shield too! (never even thought of that)

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  2. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Kickback is always preventable, but we all have lapses in attention and/or judgement.

    If you always hold the saw properly (side stance, left elbow locked), two things can be said:

    1. any kickback should throw you on your a$$ rather than causing the saw to pivot back toward you
    2. if the saw does somehow pivot toward you, it will pivot safely past your face to the right, rather than into it

    I think these are usually bigger issues with bigger saws, and I would suspect most injuries with the saws your looking at are more of an accidental contact nature, than kickback.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I think there is just more legs injuries period. I have a nice scar on my knee and nothing to the head.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Kick back becomes muscle memory very quickly. In fact after some trigger time its hard to even make the saw kick back.
  5. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    While I am picking a fight on that one lol. You buy low power you get low power period ! Echo is a good brand if you see a 50 cc and up range at a good price on C list grab it. Pros don't use Echo because it sucks ! That said any saw Husky, Echo, Stihl and Dolmar are most likely the good brands you will see on Craigslist. Again you buy low power you get low power.

    Pete
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Hello Don.

    Before your questions can be answered rightly you first have to know what you will be cutting. For example, I could cut with one of the old saws we used to use but in our woodlot that would be like taking a greyhound bus to take 2 or 3 kids to school daily. We simply do not need a saw that large. Only you can tell what you need for size.

    Yes, it is nice (for some folks) to have the biggest and baddest tools out there for bragging rights and sometimes the big tools are needed. For example, if you plan on cutting trees in the 3-4' or larger diameter trees, you need a big saw. However, if the largest tree you plan on cutting is perhaps 20", then a smaller saw with maybe a 16" bar will be plenty of saw for you. Going larger when you don't have to is foolish and a waste of dollars.

    On our place, about the largest trees we cut are in the 30-35" category but most are closer to the 24-28" diameter. A 16" bar works nicely and the Stihl 290 works like a charm. My wife tried for years to get me to buy a smaller saw to use just for cutting up the limbs. After another back injury last fall, I broke down and followed her advice. Wow! It really worked out nicely! For a little under $200 we got a new Stihl 180 with a 16" bar and although I was a bit afraid it would not do much that saw has amazed me and with the super light weight, I now find that is the saw I grab the most except for felling. I like the larger saw for the felling but if all I had was that small saw, it would work out well. Just a little bit slower is all. And I do notice that I have to sharpen the saw a bit more often.

    On the sharpening, I hand filed for many, many moons until my hands hurt so bad I had to stop. So I bought one of those little dremel type tools for sharpening the chain and wondered why I waited so long to get one! You can sharpen a chain fast with one of these and if you are careful you can sharpen as well as with a file. The stones are cheap too so not a big expense. The tools can be bought for as little as $10.

    Other tools is for sure an axe and some wedges. I also hate to go to the woods without my cant hook but you can get by without one for a while if money is tight. Naturally there are many more things but you do not have to have everything at once before you start.

    btw, I would plan on burning a minimum of 3 cord of wood next winter but it could be up to 4 cord. Get it as soon as possible. Get it yesterday if possible! Yes, you need it fast so it has time to dry. Stay away from oak your first couple years of burning because it takes so long to dry out.

    Good luck.
    raybonz and Pallet Pete like this.
  7. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    "Stay away from oak your first couple years of burning because it takes so long to dry out."
    I'd like to amend that if you have the room and the time, go ahead and get the oak.
    Just don't plan to use it for at least 2 years, preferably 3.
    Big Donnie Brasco likes this.
  8. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Don what stove did you finally settle on??

    Ray
  9. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    That may be true but red oak splits easily unless you're in a crotch or gnarly grain section.. Great stuff down the road!

    Ray
  10. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    Hey Ray... No solid decision on a stove yet, but I think we DID decide that we need a BUNCH of wood :)

    I was given all the free wood I want to cut, so I am going to be busy !

    I figure as long as we have out stove installed by Sept/Oct and we've got plenty of wood, we'll be doing good :)

    Still just so grateful that I found this site so I can pick y'alls brains!
    smokinj and raybonz like this.
  11. tekguy

    tekguy Feeling the Heat

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    if you get tired.. stop that's when ya get sloppy
    there's always tomorrow
    Big Donnie Brasco likes this.
  12. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    For a beginner buying a new saw, Stihl MS251 is a good place to start. Best part about buying a Stihl is that when it comes time to upgrade, you already have a great backup/small saw, or one that will sell well.

    I believe DexterDay has one of his 036's up for sale on the For Sale forum. Might be a good saw for many more than 2-3 years. ;)
  13. Tuneighty

    Tuneighty Member

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    For splitting by hand I would also suggest looking on the internet for the "tire splitting method", It has been a great (FREE) addition to my cutting/chopping accessories.
    raybonz likes this.
  14. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    How big are the trees/logs you will be cutting? What kind of investment now vs in a couple years? Saws run from 140-1400. I started with a $145 Poulan Wild Thing and cut 10 cords easily with it. It ran fine for a decade. The saw I have now makes that saw look foolish. It was however, a great learning saw. Like a motorcycle, you don't pass your motorcycle driving test and jump on an 1100GSXR, you should not go for a serious saw to learn on.
    Thistle likes this.
  15. geoff1969

    geoff1969 Member

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    you know of any one localy who burns wood friend / family member ??? if so ask to go collecting with them = thay supply equipment and fuel you supply free labour and get part of the scrounge in return , but most importantly you get experience with using the saws and equipment and processes , it also gives you some wood to start burning with and more time to save for nice equipment for your self , so you can pass the experience and process onto others by taking them out = that way all of us wood burners stay warm ...
  16. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Dexter's 036 Pro has been called the "perfect firewood saw," by many on this forum. It's a good buy, if its in your price range.
    smokinj likes this.
  17. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    I'd be on that saw if I didn't already have a 361.
  18. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Ditto. I had to harass him for not offering it up when I was on the hunt for an 036 Pro two months ago.
  19. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Don't forget the safety BOOTS.

    I don't have any nicks on my pants, but my boots have a couple. I wear the safety boots a lot - likely 80% of the time I have them on I'm not cutting. So don't think of them when trying to justify the price as just for cutting.
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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  21. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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  22. It's a little small for general purpose firewood cutting. Though it depends on where and what you are cutting.

    Have you considered ebay? You have a little more buyer protection. If the saw isn't as advertised and running right you can get your money back. Something like this Husky 350 which recently sold for a little under 200 shipped would be a good choice. It's new enough that as long as it didn't have a scored piston and it starts and runs then not much else could be wrong with it.

    This stihl 250 looks good as well, little more money though at 259 shipped. Or this 350... at 185 with one day to go.
  23. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Another thought Don check local pawn shops. I ave found a couple good saws and a mower for not much money at one near us.

    Pete
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  24. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Where are you located? I'm ready to sell my beloved Echo 510 EVL, discussed many times on this forum. It's likely the most reliable saw I've ever owned, but I hate two things about it:

    1. Older chain brake lever design, works great, but just annoying to me after using the Stihl's.
    2. Smaller top-mounted filler necks are hard to fill from 1 gallon bar lube jugs.

    In any case, if those things don't bother you, the 510 EVL would be a much better firewood saw than that little CS-310, IMO.
  25. Big Donnie Brasco

    Big Donnie Brasco Feeling the Heat

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    you guys are just FULL of great ideas!!

    I'll hit up the pawn shops too!

    Thanks!
    Pallet Pete likes this.

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