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OMG- wife thinks she wants a chainsaw

Post in 'The Gear' started by Beetle-Kill, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for weighing in Shari. This is what I was after, some real womens opinions. I know a Dolmar dealer near a tile shop in Denver, kill two birds with one stone (saw for Val, new tile for the hearth) Thanks, JB (plus I can drool over the 7900's)

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  2. 3dogsrule

    3dogsrule New Member

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    I've been reading this thread with great interest. I've had a guy friend who historically has provided me with bucked wood and I've split/stacked it, but he's now working overseas and I'm on my own. I need to cut more than just limbs; not talking about huge trees, but at least big enough that I'd have a hard time wrapping my arms around it. Weight would be a consideration for me in saws (I'm about the original poster's wife's size) but how big a bar would I need? Could I get by with a 14"? I'm somewhat fearless but smart enough to know that I could really hurt myself, so I want to have sufficient equipment for what I need to do.

    Karen
  3. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Karen,

    I am still what I consider a novice with the chainsaw, starting with a Craftsman electric chainsaw. When I had lots of problems with our log splitter I posted my problems over on the arborist.com website. The fellas over there talked me into a gas chainsaw and introduced me to PPE (personal protection equipment - like chainsaw chaps, steel toed shoes, etc.). Chainsaw chaps will stop the chain on a gas powered chainsaw but will NOT stop the chain on an electric chainsaw because the torque is too high. That knowledge alone made me switch from the electric chainsaw to a gas powered chainsaw.

    I tried out a Stihl, forgot the model #, but I have one bad shoulder and arthritis in various parts of my body so starting the Stihl was a real challenge and handling the weight of the chainsaw was also a challenge. I ended up with the Dolmar and couldn't be happier.

    The Dolmar has a 16" bar where I was used to the 18" on the Craftsman. At first I thought the 16" was too short but after a bit I got used to it and now it fits me like a glove. I know I will never fell a tree but I have cut up trees already on the ground (not my favorite thing to do but if it needs it I do it).

    I built a crossbuck to help with cutting up the small branches as bending down for hours on end doesn't help my back any. Here's picture of some of what I worked on earlier this year and the crossbuck on the left of the photo:


    [​IMG]

    Logs that are too large to get into the crossbuck I usually place crosswise on my splitter and use the splitter like a vise, again, so I don't have to do a lot of deep bending. (When you get older you have to adjust how you do things. :) )

    Kickback is something to really watch out for no matter what size bar you are using - I say this about kickback because, normally, the longer the standard bar is the more cc the chainsaw is. On my Dolmar, I can go smaller than 16" but the saw is not sized for a bar any longer. I think my Dolmar is less cc than the Stihl that I had. The Stihl was like hanging on to a tiger by the tail for the strength I have - the Dolmar is much more controllable for my height and weight (which is about the same as the OP mentioned).

    So, to answer your question about cutting a tree you can wrap your arms around, yes the Dolmar will do it. Bigger saws with longer bars will do it easier but the Dolmar will get you through a tree that size.

    Shari
  4. 3dogsrule

    3dogsrule New Member

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    Excellent info Shari, thanks!!! Can I come to WI for some lessons? Great pix too, you've made a really nice setup.

    I think it was Stihl that had some really good videos online on how to operate a gas chainsaw, it was enough to open my eyes and be scared, I didn't know how much could go wrong other than a tree falling on you. I really doubt I'll ever drop a tree, I'm near a deer lease and we're only allowed to take already fallen trees, so I'd be bucking out in the woods. I'm going to look at all the saws mentioned online today and start evaluating. I'm ready to get cutting!

    Karen
  5. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    just a thought....

    if you teach her to use a chainsaw and
    buy her her own,

    do not make her mad, the saw hurts alot more
    than a rolling pin
  6. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    Logs that are too large to get into the crossbuck I usually place crosswise on my splitter and use the splitter like a vise, again, so I don't have to do a lot of deep bending. (When you get older you have to adjust how you do things. :) )


    how many guys would of thought of this????
    neccessity is the mother of invention
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I know of at least two on this forum. Both Rick (fossil) and I have mentioned this for a few years now.

    Mind you - that I am not trying to take anything from Shari - maybe its just that great minds think alike?? :lol:
  8. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Now I'm thinking of a slider on a beam, with a cam-lock to hold the log. Shari, thanks for the idea, getting my wheels turning. No saw yet, never made it to Denver this weekend. Soon.
  9. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    O.K.
    as you can see I am newer here
    must of never seen those posts
    there is also another post where they
    are using it for forming metal
    all great ideas
  10. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I have used mine to bend 90's in some 2" by 1/2" stock for a project. Great minds....... :lol:
  11. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I've used my splitter like that, but normally just make due. I have thought of other ways to use it as a powerplant- for a big clay extruder, pellet/wood brick mill, etc.
  12. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Nah, I'm not the originator of the thought of using the splitter like a vise - I believe I read that tip right here on hearth.com. Works great!

    Now, if anyone of you 'younger' people can bottle up your stamina and send it to me today I could surely use it. Just brought home a 4x6 trailer of oak - (heavy stuff!) - I think I'll wait until tomorrow to unload it - I'm whipped right now. :) There are about 6 more (free) loads over there just waiting for me - problem is, I'm still working on leveling out a storage area so must stockpile rounds for a while I guess.

    Shari
  13. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    What I'd like to build would be some kind of a conveyor system to get splits from point A to point B. The widow lady next door is cleaning out her basement and has a few of the roller-type conveyor sections. I tried to con her out of them, but she won't budge - at least for now.

    Shari
  14. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Shari, you need a hay/grain elevator. google "little giant grain elevator"

    we used to use these on the farm, but augers are mostly what we have now that we ONLY have corn and beans. I bet they'd be tough enough for wood as long as you don't need it more than 45ft in a straight line...
  15. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    small catapult. Problem solved.
  16. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Heh heh! After I posted I was actually thinking about a sled or wagon type of delivery system using overhead cables powered by my electric winch. Going 'down' to the stacks to stack new stuff; coming back 'up' to bing in the firewood as needed. Gee, sounds like I'm getting lazy or something. :)

    Shari
  17. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I'm with AP on this one, maybe a trebuchet...
  18. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    Heh heh - catapult or trebuchet - the 'building permit police' would be after me!

    I'm sorry, my comments have taken this thread off-topic - didn't mean to do that.

    Resume regular programming, please.

    Shari
  19. 3dogsrule

    3dogsrule New Member

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    But the comments were fun! :cheese: Okay, then, as far as a female-friendly chainsaw, is there one in the more "ecomonical" range? I know I shouldn't buy the cheapest out there, but it's hard to sink $350++ into something I won't use terribly often, maybe a few times a year (ish).

    Karen
  20. Shari

    Shari Minister of Fire

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    I can't even quote you a price on my Dolmar as it was a gift but something to think about is -how a guy thinks - this is a 'tool(!)' not a toy, not something that will go out of style. When you want to use it, you want it to work - you don't want it in the repair shop. So far, no repairs needed on my Dolmar and I've probably cut around 6 cords of wood with it this year - not a lot by many guys standards but a lot for me & each time I go to use it there is never a problem.

    Also, something to think about, is don't let old gas sit in the tank - that leads to more problems that it's worth with any chainsaw.

    And, again, watch the weight of the saw. My Dolmar only weighs 10.56 lbs., plus gas adds 16.2 oz. and oil adds 9.5 oz. totally tanked up and ready to work.

    Shari
  21. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Economical saws, Dolmar was my choice. Also the Echo saws are pretty economical and the one's I see in the woods work.

    Dropping down from there you're 'saving' by omitting important features like anti-vibration, wieght savings, and basic durability.

    Omitting anti-vibration, or struggling with an over weight/underpowered saw can hurt, especially since several of us are 'not 21 anymore' ; )

    I think of it this way. I'm getting real value for the money, and when I don't need that saw any more it's still quite valuable because it's a sound brand that will bring ready cash on Ebay or where ever. You'll get your money back out. And no, I don't sell or maintain saws for a living.

    On training : take a look at some of the links here http://www.mytreelessons.com/ChainSaw.htm

    Mike
  22. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    660 is the way to go middle of the road if you will....lol
  23. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Um,no. Jay, the 660 would be mine, ALL mine! What do you think she should set her sights on? The 346XP is a little heavy, what's good under 10lbs.? The 420 looks good, and we're going to take a look at it, just a little heavier on paper. Shari seems to like her's though.
  24. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Nobody has mentioned the Stihl MS 200. I've heard yays and nays for the 180 and the 211, but one of the lightest saws in Stihl's lineup is the 200 (lightest is the 192 CBE). it's a little more powerful than the 180, but is also 1 full pound lighter. it's almost as powerful as the 211 (0.2bhp less)

    The Dolmar 420 isn't a comparable saw to it, though, I think a similar Stihl would be the MS 250.
  25. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Danno, I'll take a look at a 200 tonight. Guess I could always mod. the muffler if it needed some more oomph.

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