Wood burning vs. Natural Gas environmental impact — complete cycle study?

DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,191
Central NY
if a do a little maintenance on them they should last 20 years
Yeah, but as I admitted earlier, I suck at maintenance of anything that runs on gas and those frickin' cheap 2-stroke motors in nearly every garden tool need lots of care and attention so that they will actually start when you want them to. Mostly, they don't start for me, so I am done with them. With a battery-powered tool, it starts every time I want it to, no problems, no stress, no fuss, no b.s. in trying to figure out how I am going to get my yard work done because the string trimmer didn't start.

I'm using my string trimmer every two or three weeks, and I've used my leaf blower about 8 times in the last 4 weeks. Then, they'll sit all winter and get used again in the early summer. Except that since they are battery-powered they will just start and I won't have to spend any time on fidgeting with them or running to the store to buy another cheap piece of crap 2-stroke engine powered yard tool that will have issues with starting halfway through the summer. Or worried about having enough $4/quart special fuel so that the carb doesn't get gummed up or screwed up with ethanol.

Yeah, its a better life with battery-powered tools now that they have enough balls to get the job done. In this case, it's not about fewer pollutants or less carbon, it is just about them working when I want them to without having to spend any time on "maintenance".

I'm keeping my Stihl gas chainsaw for now - don't see an electric replacement for that being viable for the near future. And that starts, unlike the Dolmar saw I had that needed a lot of "maintenance" to start. I sold that to someone on this site (with full disclosure) and he knew how to tune and maintain engines, so I trust that saw is working great for him. To each his own.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,937
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I was running my 2 stroke blower today. Echo brand. There is zero maintenance, that’s silly. You just run it. I’ll never take out the spark plug or change the air filter or touch the carburetorJust put in good premix fuel and use it.

The maintenance argument is an excuse, not a reason.

It might be noisier than a battery blower, like that matters at all. The chickens don’t complain.

Now if it was cheaper to buy an equivalent power blower then we have something.
 

andym

Member
Feb 6, 2020
228
Hicksville, Ohio
There is zero maintenance, that’s silly. You just run it. I’ll never take out the spark plug or change the air filter or touch the carburetorJust put in good premix fuel and use it.
Thats the equivalent of saying the lithium battery on my trimmer will never need replaced. I agree however that good machines will require little maintenance. My Stihl chainsaw has required almost none in 8 seasons, and it was used when I got it. I still clean the air filter and mix gas tho.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,937
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Thats the equivalent of saying the lithium battery on my trimmer will never need replaced. I agree however that good machines will require little maintenance. My Stihl chainsaw has required almost none in 8 seasons, and it was used when I got it. I still clean the air filter and mix gas tho.
My dewalt battery drill has one of the two batteries not holding a charge. It lasted many years before this point with zero maintenance. It’s not like I’m going to fix the battery. I’ll just trash it and get a new one. Same thing I’ll do when the leaf blower breaks.

I’m actually a great candidate for transition to battery powered equivalent function ope. If it’s cheaper, lasts just as long, and works just as well.
 

JRP3

Member
Sep 17, 2007
205
The maintenance argument is an excuse, not a reason.
It's a reason to avoid buying it, one of many. Just because yours hasn't given you problems doesn't change the fact that my Echo weed eater and my Stihl saw have both failed to run at different times, not to mention numerous other engines over the course of my life.
It might be noisier than a battery blower, like that matters at all. The chickens don’t complain.
Your hearing might. That matters to some people. If you like your gas tools that's great but don't pretend they don't have short comings which some people might think are worthwhile to avoid. As technology keeps improving battery powered units will keep dropping in price. At some price point almost everyone will make the switch and gas units will probably be a thing of the past.
 

DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,191
Central NY
Your experience may vary, but mine has been universally bad with getting any 2-stroke engine to run reliably and start at the critical times that I need it.

Those who are good with engines probably just tweak a couple of things in a few seconds when they don't start, or know what not to do with them so as to avoid problems - I don't count myself in that group of people.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,972
South Puget Sound, WA
I have a Stihl weedeater and the same Echo leaf blower and I do have to admit they have been easy to maintain so far. But they don't get a ton of usage compared to what they are designed for. They will be replaced with electrics when they die. Most likely with an EGO 56v system. I already got rid of the pressure washer. The splitter is next.
 

JRP3

Member
Sep 17, 2007
205
If you don't need portability with the splitter you might consider converting it to electric with an AC motor. I'm running mine on 240VAC with a 3.5hp AC motor. 5 hp would have been better, which is what I thought I was getting but it turned out to be "5hp compressor duty" which is some designation allowing a lower power motor to be rated higher for some reason.
 

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sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
703
Central Ohio
If you don't need portability with the splitter you might consider converting it to electric with an AC motor. I'm running mine on 240VAC with a 3.5hp AC motor. 5 hp would have been better, which is what I thought I was getting but it turned out to be "5hp compressor duty" which is some designation allowing a lower power motor to be rated higher for some reason.
I like the oil reservoir on your splitter, that's pretty ingenious. I'm assuming you built the splitter, or had it built ?
 

JRP3

Member
Sep 17, 2007
205
It was a 3 point hitch tractor driven splitter that a guy built himself. He had a larger tractor than mine and after I brought it home and used it I wasn't getting the performance I wanted so I made the reservoir out of a propane tank, bought the pump and motor, and made the coupling bracket. At some point I want to change the splitter to a push through design with a knife instead of a wedge. He made the wedge too wide without a long enough knife sticking out in front so sometimes it bogs down on tougher chunks. It will actually flex the "H" beam under full load like a bow and if a chunk suddenly lets go it will come flying at me. I was going to build a narrower wedge but then figured if I was going to bother doing that I'd rather just switch to a push through type. I might need to weld a plate to the beam web to stiffen it but I think the narrower push through setup should reduce the loading.
 
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DBoon

Minister of Fire
Jan 14, 2009
1,191
Central NY
There is no standard for how horsepower ratings are applied. The rating could be based on any of the following:
  1. Either Real Power (Watts) or Apparent Power (VA)
  2. Power that can be sustainably delivered continuously without damage to the motor
  3. Power that can be sustainably delivered for x minutes ON and y minutes OFF (this sounds like what "compressor duty" means).
  4. Peak RMS power (Vrms * Irms for Apparent Power) for one complete power cycle)
  5. Instantaneous peak power (Vpk * Ipk) in Watts
Then, take any of those and divide by 746 (watts/horsepower) to get the HP rating of the motor.

Not surprisingly, the HP rating for a consumer motor is normally just a peak horsepower rating and tells you almost nothing about the performance of the motor. Trust me, if you were really using a home vacuum that delivered 1 HP of power continuously, it would be one scary vacuum to operate - say goodbye to the rug and the cat when you turned it on.

A lower-power motor meant for an industrial application probably has a more realistic continuous power rating assigned to it.
 
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