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solar electric chainsaw

 
paul wheaton
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solar electric chainsaw
 
John Polk
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Sweet. Looks like a Makita 16". Draws 14.5A @ 120V = 1740 Watts.
What is his PV set up?
Makita 16.JPG
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paul wheaton
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Here are the two that we are using now:


Corded Makita. We got this when the remington died. Caleb Larson is a timberframe guy and he said this has been excellent.



I got it from amazon


Cordless Makita. We've used this mostly for limbing trees. It's bar isn't big enough for dropping trees, but I'm tempted to try a bigger bar on it



We got this one from amazon too

We liked it so much, we got two of these (for a total of four)



and, duh, from amazon


Here is the remington that I used for years. I had one that I put a lot of mileage on and then divorced. When i got a new one it died after three minutes and remington sent me another immediately. It seems a big cheesy, but they are freaky cheap. The one we have finally died - but I wonder if somebody savvy with electric motors might be able to get it running again. And, if they can, then I sorta think it would be good to get another one and have two working.



Also from amazon
 
paul wheaton
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Here is Kristie limbing a tree with the cordless



Note the important features like: starts every time (no rope to yank); quiet; does not make stinky exhaust fumes ...

 
paul wheaton
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paul wheaton
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Some stills from the video with kristie and the corless chainsaw
cordless-chainsaw-solar.jpg
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cordless chainsaw
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makita cordless chainsaw
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kristie and the solar chainsaw
 
Dale Hodgins
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Husqvarna makes an awesome electric chainsaw that I've only seen at large mills. They use them indoors for cutting through bundled lumber and large timbers. The cord is thick, so it looks like they hog power.

For me, a cordless saw would be handy if kept in my van. I'm always stumbling upon free firewood that needs to be cut to length. I sometimes carry a gas saw, but fumes are an issue, even when double bagged.

With any low powered saw, it's important to pay close attention to lubrication, chain tightness and sharpness. If too tight, it will use more power. The rakers on every electric I've used have been too high. This causes the saw to produce thin shavings rather than chunks. I knock rakers back more than most do. When this is done, the cut is a little more ragged and the saw can stall out. Once you get good at it, you'll saw faster and process more wood per sharpening and more for a given power input. A lot of energy goes into producing thin shavings while chunks use less power. I like to rock the saw back and forth in the cut. This moves chips along and prevents bogging.
 
John Polk
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I've owned & used several Makita tools through the years, and have never had any problems with them.
That cordless chainsaw looks awesome.

 
Chris Fox
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I may look into getting an electric chainsaw. I've used a reciprocating saw to limb a downed tree. I usally just use a double bitted axe to limb. It's quite which is nice and even quicker than the saw.
 
Cj Sloane
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paul wheaton wrote:Some stills from the video with kristie and the corless chainsaw


Shall I point out the multiple reasons why I'm uncomfortable with this? Many safety issues here...
 
Cj Sloane
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paul wheaton wrote:TIMBERRRRRR!!



I have to say, this pic make me a little queezy too! No for the people so much as for the cart! At the very least, I would think the cart should be uphill from the tree being cut. It would truly suck for the tree to land on said cart.
 
David Livingston
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CJ
Must admit I had some of those thoughts too .
Hat And eye protection for starters.
I know its boring folks but getting spare parts for humans is problamatic.
Its even worse than for electric buggys

David
 
Cj Sloane
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I admit I've done some limbing without ear protection but I think I always where glasses and long pants! It's true that jeans aren't going to do much to stop a chainsaw, but they'll help prevent other pokey, splintery injuries. I hope she was wearing boots and not flip flops.
 
Nicholas Covey
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Due to the fact that professional loggers cannot predict where a tree will fall 100% of the time... It's almost a statistical certainty that unless the cord is at least 20 feet longer than the height of the tree, there will be a collision of tree and electric cart at some point.
 
mike clark
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I have ran chainsaws for at least thirty years,as a logger and arborist.those of course are joe homeowner saws.while I absolutely love mr.wheatons ideas and this forum,gotta tell ya,get some safety gear on that girl.little saws are surprisingly snappy.saw cuts a really nasty.
 
Cj Sloane
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Cj Verde wrote:
paul wheaton wrote:TIMBERRRRRR!!

I have to say, this pic make me a little queezy too! No for the people so much as for the cart!


I take it back. I was just showing this pic to my husband and we agree that the person standing behind the tree is at extreme risk! We've both seen trees pop backwards off the stump and land right on where that guy is standng - or at least on his toes!
 
mike clark
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old loggers will say"1000 ways to die in the woods,lets get to work",its either a hangnail or your dead.please be safe.
"
 
paul wheaton
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For a lot of stuff like this I wait a while in replying thinking that others will step in and say the things I think need to be said. It usually happens. Since it doesn't seem to be happening this time, I'll say it.

First, while in the picture it looks like Matt is about to eat the butt of the tree, I think it is possible that he is actually standing a couple of fee to the left of the optimal tree-eating spot. Not sure, but that's the way it looks.

Second, I want to point out that Tim and Matt are using my #1 safety tool: The norwood timber tool:





It does an enormous amount at making droping trees much safer and fall in a much more reliable direction. Especially since the hinge is left much thicker.

As for eye protection: kristie is clearly wearing eye protection. I cannot tell whether the guys are or not, but I suspect they are. We have heaps of those clear plastic glasses looking things all over the place.

As for the limbing without long pants: this is a very low power and small tool. I understand Kristie choosing to do this in shorts on a hot day. Her choice.

Due to the fact that professional loggers cannot predict where a tree will fall 100% of the time


While that will always be true, I think the timbertool does a HUGE amount to make things safer and more predictable. And those loggers would probably think the timbertool is for "sissies" and not worth the trouble.

we agree that the person standing behind the tree is at extreme risk! We've both seen trees pop backwards off the stump and land right on where that guy is standng - or at least on his toes!


I suggest you try the timbertool. A thicker hinge makes for much less of the pop back. Plus, the downhill factor adds a lot of gravity pull away from the stump.

It would be great if the picture didn't look like Matt was just standing there - but I have to wonder if he was actively stepping back from the tree and the picture just caught him at a moment where he looked like a doofus standing in a less than optimal spot. I think it would be a much better picture if it showed him actively moving away in the safety zone. Tim is clearly moving away.

 
Cj Sloane
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paul wheaton wrote:
It would be great if the picture didn't look like Matt was just standing there -


It would also be great if you had a pic or vid of the timbertool in action! Does the timbertool simply fall to the ground after the tree falls past a certain angle?

Youtube does not appear to have any.
 
John Polk
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And those loggers would probably think the timbertool is for "sissies" and not worth the trouble.


Loggers probably wouldn't use it for 2 main reasons:
* They would fell fewer trees in an 8 hour day
* They don't give a rat's ass where the tree falls.
They have a $million worth of equipment on hand to handle the fallen timber.

I believe that those timbertools are a great way for us weekend warriors to add a safety factor to our chores, but of little use to the pros who need to fell 100 trees in a shift. I've used block & tackle (pulleys to you landlubbers) to control the fall in urban environments.

Don't forget 'poetic license' in the photograph. To make a good photo, it is necessary to have the people, tree, and equipment all within view, as well as to show the environment. Nice photo!

If it were me, I probably would have parked the vehicle further up slope.
(I'd rather carry the equipment down hill to the work zone, but it wouldn't have produced such a nice photo.)

 
Roberto pokachinni
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John Polk wrote:
And those loggers would probably think the timbertool is for "sissies" and not worth the trouble.


Loggers probably wouldn't use it for 2 main reasons:
* They would fell fewer trees in an 8 hour day
* They don't give a rat's ass where the tree falls.
They have a $million worth of equipment on hand to handle the fallen timber.

I believe that those timbertools are a great way for us weekend warriors to add a safety factor to our chores, but of little use to the pros who need to fell 100 trees in a shift. I've used block & tackle (pulleys to you landlubbers) to control the fall in urban environments.



I agree that many loggers would think this thing a sissy's tool but that's just their macho bullsh%t. I would also think that it's unlikely they'd have one because it's one more thing to lug around in the bush with all the fuel and bar oil and the huge saws, the axe and the felling wedges...

A skilled logger may not necessarily give a rats ass where he's putting the tree due to the fact that he has all the machinations at his disposal to move the logs, but a skilled faller who falls hundreds of trees every week can certainly drop trees anywhere he wants to place them. I've seen the video of a friend who is a skilled arborist and licensed faller who turned a tree which was leaning downhill and had it land uphill. I wouldn't have believed it, had I not seen the video, but it's all to do with a series of hinges cut in the stump, and then wedging it so the hinges collapsed in sequence.

A faller might drop 100 or more trees in a shift, but he always knows where his escape paths are, and he takes time to figure out and drop each one. If they didn't there would be many many more dead men out there then there already is.

By the way, even when it's roasting hot in the summer, it's falling pants and steel toed boots, and a hardhat with a face shield... and ear protection. (I've never used an electric saw, but I'd hazard to say that branch cutting with a whirring electric chain would be noisy enough for ear damage.) I come from logging country, and anybody who doesn't wear that gear is injured in no time.
 
Roberto pokachinni
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It would also be great if you had a pic or vid of the timbertool in action!


I agree. It would be nice to see this tool in close up in a video. I'm interested in getting one for my acreage. I may come from a logging family, but I stayed away from the industry and I'm no faller. I could use all the extra safety features i can get.
 
mike clark
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Paul,trust me I am not trying to tell anyone how to run a chainsaw.i have seen results of chainsaws,and longpants and sun glasses are not going to amount to anything.chaps are the key,they work because when a chainsaw hits fabric,it pulls toward it,and the chaps jam the saw.long pants let your flesh jam saw.i know its just a slow saw,but most accidents are from homeowners,not professionals.best of luck.
 
paul wheaton
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I have seen plenty of debate about safety gear and safety. Here are the points I have seen made against certain kinds of safety gear suggesting that less gear is safer:

chaps: The extra weight and bulk can impede people trying to move in an emergency situation. The straps/buckles/flaps/edges can sometimes catch on stuff and CAUSE accidents.

ear protection: What they don't tell you is the people that were killed because their ear protection prevented them from hearing "LOOK OUT!" or some other sound of things going wonky.

eye protection: upsides obvious. Downside - sweat makes for stuff that fogs up and impedes vision. Or people don't clean them and that impedes vision.

I feel that eye protection is essential. I like to use a helmet with a mesh visor. Like this:


link to amazon

Although I prefer to not use the ear protection any more.

I do still wear safety glasses in addition to the helmet with the face shield. Yes, they need cleaning, but damn, I am freaky about my eyes. My safety glasses broke, so I glued them back together ... and now I can't find them. I just now looked on amazon and what I bought for $1 is now pretty expensive. Weird.


link to amazon

I don't use chaps anymore. I've owned them in the past and they seem to bring me too much grief.

I come from a family of loggers. And I have seen some serious chainsaw damage. I think the thing I have that is the safest is just a big fear of getting hurt. I see other people taking risks and rushing where I know I would not.

Oh, and the timber tool. The timber tool makes it so I never get a bar pinched. And before the tree even starts to fall, I turn off the saw, pull it out and set it in a safe place - so I'm not running away from the tree with a running saw.

And with electric saws, they aren't as loud - so you can hear more of what is going on around you, thus making things much safer.
 
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Thanks for your response about safety and gear Paul. Would still love to see a video with a close up of the timber tool in action. It's a jack, eh?

I particularly like your comment about not rushing. The vast majority of injuries would be prevented if we just slowed down. Isn't that the case with most problems on this planet?!

Helmet in the photo is the same as mine. and like you I wear glasses underneath it. Personally, and it is always personal with safety gear unless you are regulated, I think the added risk of full on saw pants is negligible compared to a femural artery cut. I've never felt so impeded by saw pants, personally, and I'm a tiny guy, but I'm used to snow gear and gaiters and whatnot on my legs so it's no big deal to me. The heat sucks, sometimes, but oh well. I don't like all the straps on chaps much.

Clearly your electric saw must be pretty quiet.

I'm glad to see the lady in the photos is on the other side of the log from the sawing at least! That said, if I was to give her only one pointer, it would be to straighten her forward arm. If it is straight, and the saw kicks back, then the saw bar goes in a large arch and is easy to direct away from the body. If that arm is bent, a kicked back saw come right up into the face. I've seen some NASTY looking (you outta get some plastic surgery buddy!) scars and heard of a few deaths from this very thing.
 
mike clark
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excellent points paul,helmet with face shield is great.i also don't wear chaps anymore.and I get the electric saw,its quiet.i do make guys that work for wear chaps.
 
Walter Jeffries
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Nice legs. Hope they stay nice. Had a neighbor that didn't wear chaps. They managed to save the leg but he'll never walk right. He went back to the city after that.
 
Dale Hodgins
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A full face asbestos mask protects eyes, lungs and face. I've been whipped in the face by branches and lumber. Barely felt it. I often climb with a saw. Chaps would be deadly. I'm considering a pole pruner with a chainsaw tip. These are great for knocking branches off one side of trees that will be felled to ensure direction of fall.

This Stihl 36 volt cordless is a real chainsaw.

If you use a saw long enough, you will eventually get seriously whipped in the shin by something that doesn't look thick enough to pack so much power. Hockey shin pads work well. You will eventually get your legs tangled up and fall. Toss the saw to the side, not in front of you. Bend your knees, it makes you shorter. Roll like a parachute guy.
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paul wheaton
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Steve Heckeroth gave us this saw:



(link to amazon)

And proceeded to drop a tree and limb it. About 20 minutes later we had a problem with a door on a pooper and Steve had fixed it with the saw in about 20 minutes. So far here are the reports from people using it plenty:

1) They like it much better than the makita cordless. The Greenworks saw has much better balance and LOTS more power. Your wrist will get tired with the makita due to balance stuff.

2) The Greenworks saw is the best saw we have for limbing. But for dropping trees, the Greenworks will sometimes have a little less power than a gas saw - so people that have both saws available seem to be preferring the gas saws to drop a lot of trees.

3) The Greenworks saw is probably better than medium sized chainsaws, but doesn't have the power of the bigger gas powered chainsaws at this time.


Along these lines, I am gonna save up my nickels to try the Oregon cordless chainsaw:



(link to amazon)

I am curious how it compares to the Greenworks saw. Plus it has an autosharpening feature that makes me think that even if it has a little less power than a gas saw, the auto-sharpening would possibly compensate.



 
R Scott
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The Oregon auto-sharpen thing seems gimmicky, but it works well--at least out of the box. No idea how well it lasts, but you can buy replacement stones easy enough.

I REALLY like the micro carbide chains Stihl has for their small and medium saws. Narrow kerf and stay sharp forever. They make a saw cut like it is one or two sizes bigger. I think something similar would be good for an electric saw. Keeping a sharp blade makes any cordless tool work better.
 
bob day
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so i saw the ryobi saw in the pictures, but didn't see a reference

has anyone used one?

 
Marty Mitchell
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bob day wrote:so i saw the ryobi saw in the pictures, but didn't see a reference

has anyone used one?



Ryobi makes three different battery powered chainsaws from my understanding.

A 10" with the smaller of the two 18V Lithium Ion batteries http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-ONE-10-in-18-Volt-Cordless-Chainsaw-Battery-and-Charger-Not-Included-P545/202556453

A 12" with the 40V Lithium Ion Battery http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-12-in-40-Volt-Lithium-ion-Cordless-Chainsaw-Battery-and-Charger-Not-Included-RY40500A/203362223

A 14" with the 40V Lithium Ion Battery http://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-14-in-40-Volt-Brushless-Chainsaw-RY40511/204589654

I have the 10" and have used it only on a few 20ft trees... plum... cottonwood... large bushes... about 30 to 40 cuts on treated 4x4s... etc. With the small battery I counted out to 13.5 cuts through a 4x4 on a single charge. The large 18V battery should be about double that.

The small battery takes about 30mins to charge and about 1 hour for the large battery. I like it. It suits my needs for what I use it for. The cuts are slow but the motor has torque and does not seem to want to slow after constant use. I am betting that the 40V batteries are beasts and would give gas lovers a double take.

Lithium! Here is what I love love love about lithium. The re-charge times are mucho faster than lead-acid batteries. Here is the important part.... as a lead-acid battery loses charge- the power output drops and gets slower and slower the entire time. As a lithium battery loses charge- the power output remains the same until the last little bit remains. Then the power output drops off quickly. So your performance will remain high until the juice is gone.

 
kadence blevins
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Cool tools (cough-man toys- cough).

((Probably with the safety warnings not a good place to say me and ky little sisters used to daily take out trees for forts with just hatchets and maybe handsaws and only some twine and jumpropes to pull a tree where we wanted it fell. Hahaha course i woulda been in trouble to drop a tree on em so we knew to make it plenty longer than the tree could be tall. Haha crazy farm kids. Course our trees were always less than maybe eight inch across tops.))
 
Andrew Ray
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Doesn't anyone want to grey-market import a Husqvarna 536LiXP?
Husqvarna Li-ion saw

I got one last year-- the only limit is the battery power, though its plenty good for me except when going to fill a trailer behind a tractor with wood-- then the two batteries are not enough. But as this occurs once a year and the guy with the tractor also has a gas saw, it doesn't matter much. It is kind of pricey-- I got the set with the quick charger, saw and two batteries and it cost a bit less than 900€. I read that the batteries have an expected charge cycle life of 800 times, and based on some calculations given our electricity prices from the grid, it came out that over the life of the batteries it would save more than the replacement cost of batteries in gasoline.

The quick charger charges a 3.0Ah battery in about 30 minutes, the saw can run 20-25 minutes relatively non-stop when cutting larger pieces of firewood into smaller ones (this is as close as I've come to doing a test of run time). So basically, it means my father-in-law, if he's cutting down the firewood, gets a smoke break and then can swap batteries.

The bar oil reservoir is translucent plastic so its quick to see when oil needs to be added-- it holds enough oil for more than two full battery charges.

There are two speeds-- default is "full" and pressing a button switches it to "economy". The economy speed is slightly slower cutting but the speed is overall more efficient so more wood is cut at that setting on one battery. The full speed setting is neccesary when cutting more brushy stuff, eg. when making a path for temporary electric fence. The only nuisance is that I must always press the economy button after turning the saw on-- extra button push, and the saw "turns off" after a minute or two of non-use to prevent accidents.

What is great to me is that the batteries don't lose charge, so the saw can be just sitting for a month or two not needed and then when I need it it is ready-- no fooling with gas-oil mixtures. And therefore its handy for a lot of smaller trimming work that I would otherwise fool with a gas saw for.

Also, noise is low-- I wear hearing protection during warm months, but during cold months a thick, knit hat reduces the noise enough (based on the comfort of my ears, which may not be so perfect due to a habit of shooting .22s sometimes without hearing protection as a child...)

Saw is made in Sweden, batteries in Poland and charger (120/240V) in China.
 
Richard Gorny
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I have been using Bosch AKE 30 LI cordless chainsaw for two years, it is perfect for small jobs. I have also Bosch cordless mower and it has same batteries and charger.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geGVuPHx9ZI
 
bob day
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Location: Central Virginia USA
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Thanks for the report on the ryobi, that's better than what i might have expected, and since i already have many of the one+ tools I have several batteries-- i'm so tired of replacing fuel lines and primer bulbs the whole idea of electric sounds better (plus of course the sustainability), and it's only a shame they didn't just make the bigger saw that took two of the one plus batteries to give a 36 v saw, but i don't have that many big trees to cut, and the rocket stove means I won't be handling as many big pieces of firewood.
 
Marty Mitchell
Posts: 312
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
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bob day wrote:Thanks for the report on the ryobi, that's better than what i might have expected, and since i already have many of the one+ tools I have several batteries-- i'm so tired of replacing fuel lines and primer bulbs the whole idea of electric sounds better (plus of course the sustainability), and it's only a shame they didn't just make the bigger saw that took two of the one plus batteries to give a 36 v saw, but i don't have that many big trees to cut, and the rocket stove means I won't be handling as many big pieces of firewood.



Your welcome.

Just keep in mind that the 10" is indeed very slow compared to a gas saw. However, it is faster/easier than a normal axe for sure. I am betting that the rocket stove sized wood would be good use for this.

I have only had mine for 2 years so far. So no long term report to give you. If you look at the Home Depot website there are 155 reviews to read through.

It is nice to just throw the chainsaw back into the box on a shelf and forget about it until whenever the next time is that I will use it.
 
Mike Simpson
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I always wear chaps or protective pants when juggling chainsaws, but I thought it was interesting to read that they DO NOT work well at stopping most electric chainsaws due to their high torque: http://www.stihlusa.com/products/protective-and-work-wear/chain-saw-protective-apparel/wrapchap/. Another reason to take it slow and carry Quick Clot pads just in case.
 
Tim Wheaton
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Makita 36v cordless: unbalanced under powered. Wrist breaker.

Makita corded: in the repair shop again

Green works 40v cordless: underpowered. Complains at the slightest bind. Does not apply enough bar oil

Remengton corded: cheap. Unrefined. Too big of chain for its weight. Has a 50/50 chance of leaking off its bar oil when not in use.

Still 046 440 441 017: loud. Stinky. Messy. But still the weight balance and power needed to get it done timely
 
Jerry McIntire
Posts: 107
Location: Oak savannah - Viroqua, Wisconsin - zone 4 - 34"/yr
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I've used a Makita corded electric, and a Poulan, and the Makita is much faster at cutting. Thanks for the cordless recommendations, though I just got the inverter and cables I need to connect to the electric car and use corded saws anywhere on our land. Not a solar trailer, but I already have the electric car...

Jerry
 
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