I want a chainsaw

Opsimath

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Yep, I want my very own chainsaw. I plan for it to be a girl chainsaw and I am going to name her Skittles and as I cut down noxious growth I will tell it to "taste the rainbow".

The reason for this is that I wish to expand my gardening spot in an attempt to thwart the big-ag efforts to poison everything I eat. Saving $$ by reducing purchases of overpriced chemical soaked produce will be a nice bonus. To expand my gardening spot I need to take out some invasive growth (yes, listed as such by U of F), quite a lot of it. Husband, bless him, has way too many projects on his list of farm duties to add any more so I'm gonna do it myself.

He has a chainsaw but it's heavy and you have to pull a rope to start it and I'm not very good at starting things that have a rope to be pulled. I'm hoping a battery operated chainsaw will be less intimidating, easier to start, and most hopefully lighter for my chicken wing arms to lift.

Who has one? What size is it? What do you like about it and what are its drawbacks? What brand is good and what brand is to be avoided?

My plan is to get one with as big a battery as I can afford. I have read the charge will last longer, but will a bigger battery be noticeably heavier?

What kind of maintenance does a battery operated chainsaw need? Will I need those little files for sharpening the chain? I know they use oil just like the regular ones and per my bit of reading that is simply to keep the chain oiled and reduce friction heat - correct?

Any input will be greatly appreciated as I enter the world of lumberjacking. (My friends say I'm gonna kill myself but I'm hoping not.)
 

GuildFS4612CE

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I don't know from chainsaws but batteries I can tell you if they are lead/acid they weigh about a pound an amp...i.e. a little 7 amp what used to be called a surveyor's battery 12 volt as used in small portable music amps would weigh between 7 and 9 lbs...

While I admire your ambition, have you considered that it might be easier and less expensive and less risk of injury to just hire some young dude with muscles and no brains to clear out your space for you?

Happy gardening.
 

amnicon

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In general, easier to use (battery or corded) will have less power and less flexibility than gas powered will pull start. It depends on how big the trees are that you need to cut out.

Yes, you'll need to keep the chain sharp by filing. This will keep the functioning high, but most importantly will keep you safer as the cuts will be more predictable.

Yes, you'll still need bar oil to keep the chain moving freely.
 

dougdnh

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Electric chainsaws are pretty light nowadays with litium batteries, they run about $100. Of course they can be dangerous, especially working in deep brush. Make sure you at least wear some protective gear. You have other options, like have someone brush hog it, or just use heavy duty loppers and a pruning saw, and do it manually.
 

The Guilds of Grot

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I have borrowed my Father-In-Law's corded electric chainsaw a time or two. It's some cheap knock-off but it works as long as you don't want to cut anything over three or four inches in diameter! I bought a sharpening file and that made a huge difference.

Like most power tools. Quality is closely related to price point. If you plan on using it two to three times a year you can probably get away with something cheap. otherwise go with a name brand.

Here are some rating links:

https://www.drillpressview.com/best-battery-chainsaws/

https://chainsawlarry.com/best-battery-powered-chainsaws-cordless-battery-chainsaw-reviews/

https://www.protoolreviews.com/tools/outdoor-equipment/best-battery-powered-chainsaw-shootout/29018/
 

davismanLV

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Also, location of where you're doing your work makes a difference. As in, "Is there access to electricity?", say near an out building? Plug in means POWER!! Plug in tools are POWERFUL, and they run and go as long as they're plugged in. Battery equals heavy, less power, more downtime changing batteries and charging. I'd say you need a chainsaw in your life. Just be careful and as has been stated USE SAFETY GEAR!! If you can go to a Home Depot or Lowe's or somewhere like that you can hold them and see what seems manageable for you. A bunch of extra power if you can't lift or hold it is pointless, which is why I favor plug in ones. But if it's not anywhere near an electricity source, then that decision is already made for you. Go hold a couple and see what seems comfortable.
 

Brad Little

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We've got a small battery operated chainsaw, 10" blade, that my daughter has been using around the yard. This is an old saw, probably 15 or more years old, so there are newer and more powerful ones available. This will work on heavy brush and trees up to about 3" around. Here's a video of a similar model,
 

Nuuska

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Hello

Like you - I hate to have a machine, that I would use seldom and which would require fightin with Cord & gasoline.

So I bought an electric chainsaw, that has cable leading to extension cable leading to power outlet. So far I have succesfully cut about 15 inch spruce and about 24 inch willowtree - Salix fragilis 'Bullata' - without effort. 15 & 24 inch being trunk diameters - not height . . .

Pros - easy to operate - no gas - no stink - less noise - lighter than "real stuff"
Cons - not usable without AC-power - maybe less powerful than "real stuff"
 

ruedi

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"Aaaaaand on the next episode of 1000 Ways to Die: The Lady who named her chainsaw Skittles" ;) Just kidding!

I think it's very cool you want to do it yourself! I only have experience in fuel operated chainsaws, so all I can tell you is that when you have a modern, high quality and well maintainded fuel chainsaw at hands, the starting process is not that much of a feat and once you have the right technique, you will not worry about it anymore. And there are small and light ones on the market. Big plus for me is the smell and the noise, I will always prefer fuel operated machines :cool: But that's quite individual I guess.
Besides this, many wise things have been said already: Take the saw in your hand before purchase, get instructions, wear safety equipment...

What kind of plants is it you want to cut down? Maybe you have to go for the roots as well?... However, have fun!
 

bobouz

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I use a plug-in mower, hedge trimmer, and chain-saw.

As long as you've got the right diameter cord & can access to power, they're great & super cost-effective.
 

Opsimath

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I appreciate the input thus far and found the video quite informative.

The trees I wish to eliminate are camphor, very invasive, and are all over the place on the farm so there will be lots of places where an outlet won't be handy and I just don't have enough extension cords to cover all the acreage.

I have wanted the ones around the garden cut down for three years. It would have been a lot easier three years ago since in the interim they have not gotten the least bit smaller. I'm pretty good with a set of loppers and can take down small saplings far larger than the loppers were meant to tackle, but even three years ago these things were too thick for my loppers to get a bite on. Believe me, I tried it. So I took out as many branches as I could reach and that helped, but again, what was left has not gotten any smaller.

When Skittles gets here I plan to kill off all of them around the garden, perhaps even cutting them into lengths and hammering their lifeless limbs (that was a pun - get it???!!!) into the ground to use as fence posts as well as warnings to other camphor trees which might wish to put down roots (puns - the lowest form of humor) in my nutrient rich garden soil.

Then I will venture forth far and wide, which will often be well away from power outlets, to take out as many more as possible. I want to get them all since they drop about 80 quadrillion (and that's a lot) of seeds twice a year. Well, they are actually "fruits" with a seed inside but at this point who the *blip* cares; end results are the same. I'm pretty certain that the seeds turn instantly into seedlings upon impact with the ground. I have pulled their one to two-inch bodies up by the handfuls and they sprout so thick they look like ground cover.

Concerning hefting a saw or two at the local hardware store, well, I had that same thought. There were none in stock. I guess it's an order-only thing. Maybe they don't want deranged shoppers grabbing up battery operated chainsaws and going on in-store rampages, cutting 16 foot 2x4's into manageable lengths. I don't know, but in any event there weren't any when I was there.

I'm not planning to be on any episode of 1000 Ways to Die ("Hold my beer." "Hey, guys! Watch this!") but these things need to go! I guess you could say it's them or me, and my hope is that it's gonna be them. I'm going to measure the diameters of what's around the garden while I'm at the barn this evening. I'm not sure what size bar I need to get them down easily/safely. The 10" in the video looked a bit on the smallish side.

Thank you all for the input thus far.
 

GAD

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While I can't see what you're cutting, I'm with everyone else that says don't do it. As someone with a kickass Stihl chainsaw, I am also firmly in this camp:
While I admire your ambition, have you considered that it might be easier and less expensive and less risk of injury to just hire some young dude with muscles and no brains to clear out your space for you?
I made a deal with my daughter's boyfriend where he does all my yardwork and I teach him guitar. He gets to learn guitar, I get a well manicured lawn, and my daughter gets to watch him sweat. It's a win-win-win.

If the stuff you're cutting isn't 3" or thicker, than a chainsaw isn't the right tool. I have a steel blade for my weed-wacker that's amazing for trimming overgrowth up to about 2" thick. Still a gas-powered tool, though. I don't like electric garden tools.
 

FNG

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I have a weedeater to which you can attach various attachments. I have a trimmer, edger, tiller, blower and a small chain saw tree trimmer with a couple extensions. It will saw through 3 to 4 inch limbs pretty easily. I do have a full size chain saw if needed.

The whole set up is one of the greater inventions of all time.
 

dreadnut

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I have a 40V battery powered Kobalt chainsaw from Lowes, very powerful and affordable. Even bigger, the 80V models. All my outdoor appliances are Kobalt no, and I've had great luck with them. They are way more rugged than I anticipated. I have the 14" chainsaw, the pole saw, and the weedwhacker. I just ordered their small mower for trim work today. Oh, and they all use the same battery, so I never run out of power.

Battery power has come so far, there is no need to plug in or use gas anymore.


 
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Opsimath

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The stuff I'm hoping to cut is generally 6" diameter or less. There may be a couple of 8" here and there. Anything that is above 8" I am not likely to want to tackle unless I find it's all easier than I thought it would be.

So for a 6" diameter tree base, what size bar would be most efficient without being more than I need?

For those concerned for my safety, I really appreciate it and I'm taking your advisements into consideration. I'll do more research and contemplating before making a final decision, but for the moment I still want a chainsaw. 40 volt sounds reasonable. 80 seems a bit on the scary side.

Unfortunately I do not have a daughter, or a boyfriend, or a daughter with a boyfriend so I'll have to see what I can work out. My son will help me but he's never held a power tool of any sort so it will be something of a learn as we go effort. At least there will be someone there to call 911 if the other one goes down. :oops:
 

DThomasC

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Cynthia, I'm going to offer you the same advice I would give to someone looking for a traditional gas powered saw: go to whatever store is selling them and pick them up. Buy the biggest one that you think you can handle safely. Yes chainsaws are dangerous, but in my experience an underpowered saw can be more dangerous than one with enough grunt to not bind or kick on you. Of course if the tool is just too big and heavy for your upper body strength, then that's dangerous too.

If you're not strong enough to pull-start a well maintained gas saw then you should probably be honest with yourself about how heavy a saw you can handle, but like I said, more power really is better and probably less dangerous. Certainly no more dangerous.
 

GuildFS4612CE

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Cynthia...you're not 19 any more...healing from injury is a lot more difficult...have you considered hiring a pro to do the garden area and you and your son can watch and learn and perhaps handle the rest of the farm afterwards? Really just concerned about you...and who will care for your horses if you get hurt?
 

dreadnut

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Read the manual thoroughly before using the saw! The job will be much easier and safer done correctly. Always wear goggles and gloves. Know how to adjust the blade and add chain oil, these things will need to be done regularly. Ideally someone familiar with operating a chain saw can show you a few things about cutting.
 

FNG

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Assuming you are going to plant this plot, then cutting down the trees is the easy part. Digging out the roots is going to pop a sweat.

How many trees are you talking?
 
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