R Scott wrote:Not a lot of experience, but I find an electric to be comparable to a big box gas saw the same size but not as fast as a high end gas saw. That said, I can run an electric a lot longer before my arms wear out, the vibes of a gas engine are hard on arthritis and carpal tunnel. I will be getting one for doing mushroom logs very soon
Mike Haasl wrote:I probably go 4-6 months without using my saw each year and it starts right up when needed. The thing I attribute that to is a combination of sheer negligence, dumb luck and also always putting Stabil in the gas for my small engines.
As for a backup when the power goes out, remember that a not uncommon issue is a storm knocking your power out and then dropping three trees across your driveway. Even with lots of firewood put up, you still need to cut that tree to get out.
Another fine option is a cross cut saw.
Kyle Neath wrote:I have three saws: Stihl MS461 (big saw, 32” bar), Stihl MS161 (small saw, 16”? bar), and a E-GO battery saw (14” bar). The MS161 and E-GO are comparable in weight and bar length, but it’s hard for me to say one is better than the other. I’ll give you three different comparisons:
1. Safety: Electric chainsaws are much more dangerous than gas saws. The biggest reason is that chaps do not protect against electric saws. They are designed to tangle up saws that work in pulses (like a 2-stroke engine) and an electric chainsaw will just chew right through them. The other reason is that the lack of engine noise makes people think it’s safe, even though you can tap the button and get that chain ripping in an instant. A growling gas saw is a warning in and of itself.
2. Power: There is no comparison at all. The MS161 is at least 10 times more powerful than the E-GO and it won’t shut down from the battery overheating under load (a scary thing when you’re taking down a tree). That being said, the E-GO can get the job done with enough patience.
3. Maintenance: Again, no question — the E-GO wins hands down here. Gas saws take some care, especially if you cannot acquire ethanol free fuel. You’ve got to understand how to start a cold saw, a warm saw, adjust for elevation, clear a flooded chamber, and keep extra spark plugs on hand, and manage the age of your gas cans. With the E-GO you just put bar oil in and you’re good to go.
If you are cutting wood for heat, I wouldn’t even question it — get a gas saw. If you just need to cut down some windfall now and then, a battery saw will probably do you fine.
Do you have a source to share for the lack of chaps protwction with electric saws?
My understanding was that material in the chaps was meant to jam the chain, and that ratings are based on stopping chain moving at a given speed.. irrespective of what was causing it to move. I can see how the massive torque of some of the electric saws could be a new issue though...
...material designed to reduce the risk or severity of injury to the body parts covered by the pads in the event of contact with the rotating saw chain of a gasoline-powered chainsaw.
Eric Hanson wrote:D Nickols,
I have owned the Kobalt model for about 2 years and the tool itself works well IMHO. You are correct that it does not have a speed control—it is either on or off. However I have never found this to be a problem. It is nice that saw this size had actual steel bucking spikes.
By far the biggest downside is that the batteries are not reliable. Some have a tendency to fail early. This is troubling. The silver lining is that if the battery lasts more than a couple of months then you are probably in the clear. Getting them exchanged is a real pain though as Lowe’s wants the whole tool back and not just the defective battery. I am considering taking my battery to a nearby dealer and getting it repacked.
But batteries aside, the Kobalt 40 volt saw is a good saw. It is a trimming saw and not the sort of saw one would use for felling mighty oaks, but then I don’t cut down mighty oaks. It comes with a 12 inch bar and in my experience does quite well for logs up to about 8”. Of course it will cut larger logs, but it will start to strain more, go through the battery faster and one might have to get creative with the cuts, but then that is where a much larger saw is more appropriate.
Anyhow, these are just my thoughts on this little saw. It has become my go-to saw for most every cutting project. I do have an 18” gas saw, but I hardly ever use it.
Devon Olsen wrote:just wanted to stop by with my experience here.
a couple years back i bought a Poulan ES300 plug-in from someone on facebook for $20 and fell in love with electric chainsaws, much less vibration and noise than a typical chainsaw plus less stink and your typical hippy benefits
well this fall, it crapped out on me after i got on the mountain to cut some wood, no warning, motor just burned up, on the day i hired an extra hand for assistance no less... shut down for the day and paid for someone to hang out with me basically lol
so i replaced it with the dewalt battery powered saw that i had envied for some time and took that saw up the mountain the next day
by starting early morning i was able to harvest nearly 3 cords of wood that day using the saw, it cuts like a DREAM but two things have stopped me from owning one now
first the battery didn't last near as long as i wanted or charge as quick as i had hoped.so realistically, you'd have to spend nearly a grand to get a saw that would work all day
that i could work around, though not ideal, but what really killed it was i was cutting some wood on like the 10th charge, when the saw was still practically brand new, with a newly charged battery, SPARKS FLEW OUT, the saw smoked and NO LONGER WORKED.
After that experience, i have a hard time trusting battery powered saws, so now i am using a craftsman plug-in and when i go to the mountain, i just throw a generator in the truck and bring some extension cords and i find im able to do all sorts of work, not as fast or impressive as the dewalt on the cut, but much more reliable, and at the price point, you can afford to have two plug in saws in case one fails -- Two is one, one is none
Devon Olsen wrote:Plug in saw likely wouldn't compete with gas saw imo so if I were to scale up my firewood sales I would have to find another option I think. Anything over 30 cords a year I think would be worth considering a gas saw or something more efficient than a plug in
But matter of personal context
I personally look for what works best for me rather than looking at net fossil fuel consumption
I have never had a gas saw that didnt give me troubles with maintenance and startup after a long period unused, electric saws work every time without issue as long as the motor is good and for ME that is worth it alone
I also dont have to mix fuel and the same can Is able to be stored for generator, or truck use or to help someone stuck on the highway
I find it easier to contain spilled fuel in the truck bed, rather than wherever I happen to be filling a chainsaw and with the larger opening there is far less spillage anyhow, so though it may not be best for the whole globe, it is a better choice for the localized environment that I am working in, and local is most important to me as it is most manageable to care for.
And honestly, the generator I've been using has been very fuel efficient, I can work all day on pess than 3 gal of fuel, not that I've ever measured but I've never seen much used out of the tank
As with any saw you dont HAVE to use petro bar and chain oil and I've used rancid olive or veggie oils before which is cool, I did think my poulan used an awful lot of b/c oil and I think that may be typical of plug in saws
I do think I'd get out-cut in a firewood yard but when felling and pulling trees from the woods I've kept up with guys using gas saws many times so what I lose in cutting power and speed I FEEL is worth the trade off of convenience and not having a Petro leaking machine in my face and on my hands all day
Thanks for your response! Hopefully good conversation for someone looking to get into a saw for themselves