1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Weekend warrior gear

Post in 'The Gear' started by Rick2887, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Rick2887

    Rick2887 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    SE Pa
    For those of you (us) just starting out or only burning on the weekends I just wanted to post that while you can find a lot of great info on here on the higher end stuff sometimes it has been hard to find info on the more affordable equipment. That said, both my Echo cs310 and Homelite log splitter have done everything I've asked. Not the biggest or burliest but both have done the job. I cleared windfall, dropped a few small trees, cut and split
    about two cords in the past month or two, even scrounged some wood and both tools did their job. I'm new to this so take it for what it's worth, but if your budget can only handle so much and you did a forum search for either the saw or splitter and ended up here don't be afraid to buy either.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,195
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    I cut a lot of firewood with a Crafstman 35 cc saw I paid $40 for. That got me through my first year of burning along with a maul to split. It got the job done well enough to get me through. Since then I have upgraded my saw and splitter but keep the old saw around as a backup or to get me out of a pinch. You can definitely get the job done on a tight budget just need to take your time not bite off too much.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    14,597
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    I used a homey 240 for 5 years. Cut every piece of firewood I had. It was a $20 used purchase to begin with. It owes me nothing but still runs.
    My decision for a better saw was personal, not out of need. I wanted faster, smoother, more power. Did I need it? Nope - the 5 years with the homey proved that. Would I do it again (upgrade), Yep. At the drop of a hat.

    I think that many people that were/are in that same position is just trying to cut out the learning curve for new guys. You do this long enough and I will bet you end up with a different saw.:p

    Edit: even though there is nothing wrong with your saw. Like I said, the homey still runs, but now it is lonely.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,969
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    If I burn on weekends only, I would just buy a couple cords a year (If that) and be done with it. Going from 12 cords a year down to 4, I would do things different there to. But I have what I have and paid for and makes for 3-4 weekends a year cutting pretty simple. 1000.00 saw is way over kill for sure but since I have it and hour on that thing can easy produce a cord of wood. (Splitter will not keep up though) How much is your time worth? I hit 3 hunting trips this year 4 days each thats priceless!
  5. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    I was fortunate enough to grow up on two good chainsaws. My dad's old homey 360 and my 031AV.

    Chainsaws are like pickup trucks. I have a F150 2WD. My friend has a F350 4x4 diesel. We both use them for about the same thing (a little light trailering, daily driver, hauling misc stuff every so often). They both work great for what we use them for. But the difference really comes out when you get toward the limit of the machine.

    Every so often I'll trailer a tractor out to the house...trailer and tractor are probably about 6K and the trip is about 20 miles. My truck handles perfectly fine, but it does work the truck and it does work my nerves a little. This works great for how often I do it (maybe twice a year). I don't need a $40K truck...my $18K truck does just fine.

    In my friends truck 6K is nothing for it. Literally can't tell it is back there. It is easier on the truck and the driver.

    If I was towing 6K every day, or for long distances, or over a mountain pass I'd look for a bigger truck. And I know that I can't tow 20K like he can...but have no need to.

    With a box store saw, a lot of time it can do the same job (bucking up a 24" oak tree, for example)...it just takes longer and puts more stress on the equipment and the operator. If you are bucking up these trees every day, a better saw is a good idea. If not, the smaller cheaper saw is good enough...especially if you never have the need to go after the 50" monster (20K trailer).
  6. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,602
    Loc:
    southern NH
    For a different view - my first saw was my Dolmar 510 - not a lot of popularity here, but it's a great mid-sized saw. After using it, and then having to use a neighbors cheaper saws at his house to help him (on a whim) - a poulan wildthing and a box-store Husky (can't remember the model), I couldn't believe how much less enjoyable cutting wood could be - when it can be afforded, quality equipment is always a good investment and tends to hold its value. Cheers!
  7. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    696
    Loc:
    West Sunbury ,Pa.
    this is likely going to seem like it's out of left field . But, whatever You do buy, get a set of chaps . they don't have to be 9-10 ply. Just something that will stop an errant chain from doing real damage to you . A reasonably decent set costs less than 2-3 good chains . Also, a decent set of steel toed boots might help You enjoy this disease We call wood heating .
  8. ^^^
    Good advice. I could have bought another saw with money I've spent on PPE. But it's cheaper than one ER visit, never mind the pain, lost work etc.
    Nixon likes this.
  9. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    659
    Loc:
    Central NC
    A lonely homey... imagine that :p
    Jags likes this.
  10. Rick2887

    Rick2887 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    SE Pa

    I am sure that someday I will end up with another saw. My point was that you can get a lot done with mid grade or "beginner" equipment. Just trying to help someone who might be in a pinch or have a real tight budget letting them know it can be done, especially if , like me, this is more of a pastime and a way to enjoy a fire and gain a little supplemental heat rather than your main home heat.
    Jags likes this.
  11. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Messages:
    696
    Loc:
    West Sunbury ,Pa.
    A most excellent post ! But, the need for PPE is likely more needed by the casual user than the more experienced user . But then , the experienced user most likely wears PPE due to experience .:)
  12. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    446
    Loc:
    CNY
    I don't think I have ever heard anyone say " I wish that I had bought a lesser quality anything" !! There are always times that you don't need a top quality tool, but they are nice to have.
  13. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    If you're getting into the wood heat game for the long haul, then investing in quality equipment is the cheap way to go. Wood Sharks, Wild Things, and other entry-level home-owner saws in the same category (very rudimentary AV systems, priced to replace rather than repair....) are for folks looking to cut up that small tree or limb that fell in the yard last storm. Echo, Stihl, Husqvarna all make very good quality "homeowner" level saws that are quite capable of cutting 2-4 cords a year, for many, many years.
  14. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    644
    Loc:
    Maine
    My Maternal grandfather had been heating his home with wood... well... forever... and at 70 years old, the chain failed on his saw and it wrapped around his left hand... cutting most of the tendons... PPE is never a bad thing, IMHO...

Share This Page