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Cordless 56V chainsaw. I tried several and bought the most powerful one available. Works great.  RSS feed

 
Dale Hodgins
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This is my new saw. Photos first. I tried the Stihl machine, which is well built but not as powerful and $300 more expensive. I paid $325 for the E-Go saw pictured here. I tried a Mikita 36V unit that is much weaker and rather awkward to maneuver. It goes for over $500. The Stihl and Mikita machines are sold separately from the batteries. The one I bought, comes with a battery and charger.

I gave the saw a short run. Trigger and handle placement make sense and the brake works. The wood is from a dense thorn tree. This cut took 5 seconds which is comparable with smaller gas saws. Battery life is yet to be determined. Balance is great. I had good control during a plunge cut. I often need a chainsaw for indoor use. This will be my primary timber framing tool.

I own a large hedge cutter by the same company and I use it commercially. The batteries and charger are identical. I'm waiting for their yard blower to arrive.
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Andrew Morse
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Wow that thing sure looks sharp! I like the idea of using my solar to run my saw. Please update when battery life is determined. How does oiling the chain workout? I would assume same as 2stroke saw, but wonder about oil splashing around an electric unit?? Cool post. Thanks.
 
Brian Hamalainen
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Looks pretty snazzy Dale! Curious to see how it works out for you.

Andrew: It looks like it has a standard Bar&Chain Oil tank. I figure it probably doesn't spash into the electronics very much. My standard 2-stroke generally keeps the B&CO on the bar end of things and doesn't get it all over my engine.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I haven't had any big jobs that would test battery life. I have done five small jobs, and it's still on the first charge. This is what it was intended to do. The gas powered saws haven't left the shed since I bought it. Once the blower arrives, the regular smell of gas on me and in the van, will be done for good.

Today's work happened faster with the battery model than it would have with the Stihl. Most work was done from the ladder. Not having to start and stop the saw, is a huge advantage. Several cuts were done directly above my head. It was nice to not have a thunderous machine spewing fumes near my face. When the trigger is squeezed, the nose doesn't jump. It has made the job safer, quicker and more comfortable.

Last week, a windstorm brought down a sycamore branch onto Cook st. Our conquering hero,(me) cut it up and got traffic moving, faster than you could say "Is that thing battery powered ?

Photos - My customer's "handyman" wasted an hour creating this useless tangle of straps. He had planned to climb the very thorny tree, since his tallest ladder is 6 ft. It took me 15 minutes to remove the straps and do the cutting.

So far, I've cut about 5 times this much on my first charge.

This cherry branch fell on the sidewalk. The city should be paying me.
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John Polk
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Thanks for the quick review Dale.

I had seen them @ Home Depot, but thought "They're 1/2 the price of a Stihl, or Husqy. They must be cheap consumer crap."

So far, the reviews I have seen on them are all favorable, but I take that with a grain of salt: If somebody gives me an expensive tool, will I bad mouth it in public (and expect any more freebies from the mfg)?

Looking forward to hearing more about their products as time goes along. Only time will tell.
I'm a firm believer in "You get what you paid for", but every now and then, somebody comes along and upsets that apple cart.
Perhaps, as their reputation grows, they may begin raising their prices...I better not wait too long.

 
Dale Hodgins
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I did a lot of looking around before deciding to buy this line of tools. All of my power equipment has been Stihl or Husqvarna for 30 years. All of this stuff is comparable in quality but more powerful with longer battery life. The hedge cutter has the same size cutter with the same oscillations per minute as their gas machines. I got rid of my gas model because it is so superior. I'm keeping both of my gas saws, one little and one big. I used the saw today and yesterday and in each case it saved time as compared to starting and stopping 50 times. Most of my jobs require a number of tools. I seldom have to process large amounts of big wood.

Gas savings --- I exhausted two batteries today. I did the math and my electrical cost was under 3 cents. This was during 5 hours of which 1 1/2 were machine hours. Due to the smell of gas, I used to return the saws to my shed regularly. Then, a job would come up and I had to drive to the shed again. I keep all of the cordless stuff in the van. This has already saved a couple trips.

Noise. Last Sunday, I did some cutting at about 10 am. Noise bylaws prevent gas equipment from being used. A couple neighbors came over to admire the tools. Nobody complained about the noise. I will use this feature when I market my services. One small job came about just because the guy stopped to look at the tools.
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I wrote a small book on this thread where a number of different saws were discussed. This saw is the third one that became my favorite. I liked the Oregon, until I tried the Stihl. I was keen on the very expensive Stihl until I found the E-go.

http://www.permies.com/t/33212/gear/Thoughts-electric-chainsaws#315317
 
Dale Hodgins
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I've been working on a big house move all week. The saw has come in very handy. It was used inside a crawl space, where a gas machine quickly pollutes the air. I had to cut some sheeting, and there was nothing resembling a sawhorse to be found. I leaned the sheets against a hedge and cut. No problem at all. When I fixed holes where chimneys were removed, I attached the saw to a lanyard, to avoid dropping it from the scaffolding. I've used a cordless skill saw for these tasks. The chainsaw is much better. Better control, longer reach and any terrain will do. I also whacked some branches out of the way.

There was a generator and cords on this ultra muddy site. Whenever someone needed a single cut, I did it in less time than it would take to drag a cord through the muck.

I took a gas saw to this job. Sometimes there's a lot of tree work. It wasn't used, and will go back into the shed. It's been over a month since I fired up a gas saw.
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Rick Howd
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Dale Hodgins wrote:
I wrote a small book on this thread where a number of different saws were discussed. This saw is the third one that became my favorite. I liked the Oregon, until I tried the Stihl. I was keen on the very expensive Stihl until I found the E-go.

http://www.permies.com/t/33212/gear/Thoughts-electric-chainsaws#315317


I'm impressed with your research and reports, the Oregon has been high on my list but was pleased to see the e-go do well with it's power and price.

Any reports on equipment using the same platform would be very useful.

Thanks
 
Dale Hodgins
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Rick Howd wrote:
Dale Hodgins wrote:
I wrote a small book on this thread where a number of different saws were discussed. This saw is the third one that became my favorite. I liked the Oregon, until I tried the Stihl. I was keen on the very expensive Stihl until I found the E-go.

http://www.permies.com/t/33212/gear/Thoughts-electric-chainsaws#315317


I'm impressed with your research and reports, the Oregon has been high on my list but was pleased to see the e-go do well with it's power and price.

Any reports on equipment using the same platform would be very useful.

Thanks


Hi Rick. I am keeping an eye on all major makers of cordless equipment. A sump pump, circular saw, reciprocating saw and a led lighting system are on my wish list for these batteries. Each battery stores enough power to light my place very brightly for about 40 hours. I want to show up at the cottage and slide a battery into a saddle. This would make lead acid batteries obsolete for situations like mine.

The saw was well tested today. The city cut a big oak. The largest rounds were too heavy to roll into the van, so I sliced four of them in half. The long, stringy shavings tended to clog the saw, so I cut from beneath. The shavings were then thrown in front of me. No more problems with clogging. I overloaded the saw several times. The thickest branches that were cut in the regular way we're 11 inches in diameter. I made about 20 cuts of this stuff plus split 2 rounds on the first battery.

My cordless hedge cutters are here. The big one is a few posts down.
http://www.permies.com/t/37947/gear/Cordless-hedge-trimmer
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Dale Hodgins
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I had 2 extra chains made last week. Stihl dealers have a compatible chain.

Today's work involved use of the chainsaw, hedge cutter and blower. I cleaned the gutters on two houses and did a laurel hedge. The blower goes through batteries quickly on the torbo setting. I killed four batteries in 6 hours of work. Not a problem. I have 3 batteries and they charge in 33 minutes. I only used one of the chargers. If you had only the blower, the machines couldn't be used commercially, since there would be down time while charging.

It got late, so l didn't take a picture of the finished product.

The van was filling up fast, so I mulched everything again and didn't hit the ceiling, windows or seats. No fumes. I really jammed it in, and barely had room for the tools against the roof.

Laurel contains cyanide. I had somewhere around 400 lb of little branches and leaves aboard. It was dumped immediately. If it is stored in a confined space, it can heat and release some cyanide. I watched a video where a landscaper had been getting headaches on days when he cut laurel. He had it in open piles inside a van. Now he ventilates and doesn't let it compost.
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Dale Hodgins
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The saw was really tested on three big hawthorn trees. That's a 32 ft ladder fully extended. All trees would have fallen on wires, fences, or roads if fallen in one piece. I used the ladder and I climbed. Branches of this species get all tangled up. It takes 5 or more cuts for anything to drop to the ground when chunking the top a branch at a time. Once leaf bearing portions are dropped, I cut the larger stuff in firewood lengths or into larger chunks that are cut up on the ground.

The pile of wood is about a quarter of the total haul.

The stump is 15 inches through at the thinnest spot. It averaged 17. It took 90 seconds to make this cut.

The machine is not meant for big jobs. During a big cut, the battery heats up and the automatic shutdown stops it. I've found that it can be used continously on branches under 4 inches, since the saw is not constantly cutting. With big stuff, it's best to do a couple cuts and then move on to limbing for a minute or so. It's been about 5 degrees above freezing all week. A fresh, cold battery is good for several cuts while heating up. Then, it's time to cut limbs or load the truck. The critical temperature of 150 would be reached much sooner on a hot summer day. I'm very fit and in constant motion, with usually a second between cuts. Many people would never move fast enough to overheat the battery while limbing. It was only a minor inconvenience and wouldn't be a problem if one man were cutting, cleaning up and loading. I was just cutting while others loaded. I plan to buy the lawnmower. The battery is twice as big and designed for continuous output. I will use the larger battery when bucking large stuff and use the regular, lighter battery while limbing.
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Dale Hodgins
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Today, I processed about nine tons of old half rotten glue lams which contained some nails. I managed to cut them all and only hit one nail.

The quiet saw allowed me to hear what was happening and stop before there was much damage to the chain.

The douglas fir beams are 16 inches thick by 22 deep. I had to switch the batteries after every 2 or 3 cuts. They still have plenty of life left.  They just needed to be rested and cooled off since the red warning light came on. The entire job was done using two batteries that are now partially discharged. About 18 cuts.
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Matthew Connors
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I am wondering how the throttle works on this machine. Is it variable speed similar to a gas saw, or is it simply and on/off switch?
And can you start a cut with the saw on a branch, or do you have to let it get up to speed before starting a cut?

Thanks!
 
Dale Hodgins
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The saw has one speed. It doesn't have a variable trigger.

I have made some cuts with the bar starting out touching the bark.  It's important to not let the saw to be drawn forward.   Its primary about the texture of materials being cut. Soft and bumpy barked wood is easier. 
 
Nick Kitchener
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Not exactly electric, but this chainsaw cuts through a 550mm hardwood log in under 2.5 seconds. Great if you're in a hurry I guess:
 
Rick Howd
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Dale the E-GO looks like a winner, I really appreciate your feed-back and reports in this thread.
I live in Oregon and focused early on the Oregon brand for silly name loyalty reasons (well they must know what I need) as well as a single trusted product review. Your real world commercial experience tells me I have to aim in that direction for my next purchase and I do appreciate your posts.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Thank you, Rick. I'm glad it's helpful.

No matter what system you use, it makes sense to get several tools that take the same battery. I wouldn't be as happy with my equipment if I had only one. In town, I charge one while using the others. At the farm, I use the hedge cutter first and then cut firewood or hugelkultur wood until all batteries are dead.

With other power tools, I've gone with Makita. My 3 batteries work in 70 different tools. I only have a Sawzall and drill, but when I get a radio, hand held bandsaw and others, they will use the same batteries.

Makita makes a version of this awesome metal cutting saw. I made about 20 cuts with this borrowed one.

This radio/light combination is perfect for me.
http://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B007P10LKQ/ref=redir_mdp_mobile/185-6247241-2483141
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Dale Hodgins
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Today,  I cut two full wheelbarrows of eucalyptus. This took about 1 1/4 battery.

Last week, I cut this oak. I went through four batteries and then I switched to the Stihl corded model for the large material over one foot in diameter. I will mill the five foot straight log into live edge cants.
.............
When cutting hardwood into 16 inch lengths, a fully charged battery can cut about 400 lb of wet wood. This will become approximately 250 lb of dry wood.

Eight charges cuts one ton of dry wood. A battery holds a quarter of a kwh of electricity. Therefore it takes 2 kwh of power to saw a ton of firewood. This costs about 20 cents where I live. That much wood lasts me about 2 months.
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Jay Peters
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Found a couple of these at the local restore - Brand New, not sure why they were there - at 200$ a pop with battery and charger..no TAX since restore is a charity.

Finally tried it out this weekend on my old adversary the American Beech. What can I say...as long as your not doing intense clearing jobs this thing is awesome. I even imagine in my case where most of the trees I would want to deal with are 12" or less in diameter that this thing with a second battery would be amazing even for a near constant day of work. I didn't use it that long but we dealt with 3x 12" beech..cut, limbed, and bucked and I doubt we used half the battery (it only indicates needing charge once it hits 15% i think) but that's speculation. I'm looking forward to seeing how this makes out on extended runs.

The lack of vibrations, noise, and fumes make it really a joy to work with. After trying it out and looking at battery prices I'm tempted to just buy another whole system at that very decent price.

j
 
Dale Hodgins
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Dale Hodgins
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I now have four tools made by E-go and one cordless electric hedge cutter made by Stihl. In the last three months, most of my work has involved these tools.  I haven't started a gas saw during this time.

 None of them have given me any trouble, and since each tool comes with its own battery, there simply aren't enough hours in the day for me to kill all batteries.
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Will Holland
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Have you used veg oil for the bar and chain lube in this saw yet?
 
Dale Hodgins
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Yes. It was new stuff that someone put out in the recycling. I've had an amazing run of tree and hedge work, and haven't chased down restaurant supplies. My clean up work supplies me with free oil regularly, but I'm down to about 3 litres. Time to get on that. I'd hate to buy oil from the saw shop.
...............
I now have four tools made by E-go, the little Yardworks trimmer, a very light smaller unit from Black and Decker and one cordless electric hedge cutter made by Stihl. In the last three months, most of my work has involved these tools.  I haven't started a gas saw during this time.

 None of them have given me any trouble, and since each tool comes with its own battery, there simply aren't enough hours in the day for me to kill all batteries.
 
Dillon Nichols
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So after my request for more info in your thread on the greenworks saw (http://www.permies.com/t/50587/gear/Greenworks-volt-cordless-electric-chainsaw), I ended up buying this one.

I made a few cuts, and took it back. It seemed like a great saw overall, but I don't intend to own two saws right now, and the two issues I had were enough to put me off it. Since I had the borrowed Stihl to fall back, it didn't seem worth keeping. If I did want two saws I wouldn't hesitate to have this as the smaller of the two, it seems like it would be a great truck saw.

It cut fast and felt good for bucking up logs. I didn't take down any trees with it. The narrower chain removes quite a bit less wood than the one I'm used to, which obviously helps with speed of cuts.

The things that made me take it back:
Primarily, I was using it to cut 45-degree tenons in the ends of wind-braces, and it was barely long enough to do this for most of the fairly small logs I was using. They call it a 14" saw, but measuring it's more like 13" to the outer edge of the chain. The bar on my dad's Stihl says it's a 16", and it measures out at almost 17". I was expecting a couple inches shorter, not 4"!

Other than that, I found the lack of a variable speed trigger annoying. Maybe there are techniques that more experienced users would apply, or maybe simply being much more experienced would allow a perfect cut and stop with no slowing or start/stopping as I get close to the line... but I'm not there yet, and I had a much easier time doing this sort of cut with the Stihl where I could slow right down when I wanted. The tenons I cut with the Ego weren't nearly as nice as the ones I cut with the Stihl, despite the new chain on the Ego vs a well-used chain on the Stihl... even after a few practice cuts to get used to the new saw.


Still considering buying the 80V greenworks saw, which has a longer bar and presumably the power to handle it, and a variable speed trigger. Really the only thing holding me back is the combo of the price and the 1-yr warranty. Perhaps another high voltage saw will arrive on the market...
 
Dale Hodgins
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I haven't used mine to make anything, but it has been used in tight spots when pruning fruit trees and when dodging nails on demolition projects.

This house was done with one chain.

The larger Greenworks saw is seldom used.

The E-go saw and blower have been used more for demolition than for tree work lately.
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Big pine tree.
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I worked with an excavator on this big tree.
 
Elizabeth Rose
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Hello,
I am a lumbering newbie and could use some advice. I am looking for an appropriate size chainsaw. As a lady I find standard size chainsaws intimidating & unwieldy. Is there a small, powerful gas powered machine that might be reliable for a beginner?

The first project is to chop up some trees we felled earlier this spring, most not bigger than a foot in diameter.
 
Dale Hodgins
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The best small gas powered saw for the money is the Stihl 170. Husqvarna also makes a saw in that size range. Those are the only two brands of gas powered saw that I believe are worth owning.
 
Dale Hodgins
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This is my chain oil. It comes from a high quality restaurant that changes their deep fry oil regularly.

The same oil is used to lubricate the cutter bar on my hedge cutters.
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Julie Gahn
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Thanks for taking the time to share all of this information!  Just curious if you remain as happy with this saw and the hedge trimmer 1 year later?
Many thanks.
Julie
 
John Polk
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Here's the parts list for the 14" and the 16"

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Kyle Neath
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I've been thinking about getting an electric saw for branching and cutting up rounds for the smaller sections of my trees, but one of my biggest hesitations is just how much plastic is in these saws. Has anyone had any frustrations with this aspect of the saws? I'm thinking of the plastic bumper spikes and plastic tool-less chain adjustment wheels. It seems to me that after a year or so of use, those are destined to be broken and chipped and unusable. All in all, I'm just a bit confused why the electric saws seem to be going this route (why would the engine change how you adjust the chain??) and it gives me pause for buying one. Any experience would be greatly appreciated!
 
Dale Hodgins
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The saw is still going strong. I use it for trees but also for many woodworking applications, particularly when I'm demolishing things or working on preparing buildings to be moved. I typically use the chainsaw when I remove floor joist from houses that are going to be crushed. I cut upwards from the bottom until I'm about 3 inches from the subfloor. Then I switch to the cordless Sawzall. This prevents me from cutting nails with the chainsaw.

I'm confident enough in my saw, that I just bought 20 new chains. Home Depot wanted $35 each. I paid about $18.50 and had a local Saw Shop make them.
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It is no longer safe to walk on the floor above :-)
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20 chains on hand.
 
Kyle Neath
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Dale, I did end up getting the saw in the end based on your enthusiasm for it. It's turned out to be a great portable saw for me. Thus far I've mostly used it for cutting down some Christmas trees, cutting up fallen branches at my parents, and to clear fallen trees along roads. It's really nice to be able to keep a saw in the car that can't leak fuel, especially since keeping some kind of saw is a pretty big must for me during the Spring & Fall. It's also portable enough that I can strap it on my snowmobile when needed. I will say I was a bit disappointed in the battery life when cutting up firewood rounds, but I suspect that's just because I'm usually cutting up large pines and the saw is just barely large enough to do that in the first place. I was only able to get about 1/3 of one tree cut up before the battery died.

Once I get my solar setup finished and can recharge the battery on site, I think this will be my go-to saw for branching & smaller trees (say 8" dia or less). It's a very nice compliment to my 028 Wood Boss 18" (most work gets done with this) and the MS 461 36" beast for felling larger trees.
 
Dale Hodgins
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If you need a hedge cutter or blower then you'd have extra batteries. I have 5 tools and 5 batteries. One is the lawn mower. It comes with a nice large battery. I use this one if I'm going to cut up large wood. Not only does it hold twice as much power, it takes much longer to overheat.
 
Alder Burns
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This thread was one of the things that helped me switch to the EGO a couple years ago, and I've never looked back!  Whole winters worth of wood (admittedly, mild CA winters that need maybe a cord!) cut in relative quiet, no need of earmuffs, and NOT in a cloud of blue smoke!  The time it takes the battery to recharge fits right in with the time it takes to move wood around, pile it, observe and decide where to make the next cuts on long dangerous pieces, etc.  The only drawback is the narrow, relatively flimsy bar and chain. I end up replacing both every year (which was not the case with my old Stihls)
 
Dale Hodgins
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Every year.   I just bought 20 chains. I hope that lasts me two years. Demolition is hard on chain, and so is in town Tree Service where all manner of ordinance can be found within the wood.

I go through a bar, with every 5 chains or so. Lubricating with deep fry oil probably causes some bar wear. They say to change the bar after every 2 chains. I wait until the bar fails in some way.  On two occasions, the nose roller let go.

I paid about $325 for the saw. I'm sure I've saved that much in gas and oil by now. If it lasts until all of this chain is gone, it will have consumed $900 worth of bar and chain. That sounds like a lot, but probably works out to $5 a day, when it's used heavily. It cost money to do things and I charge money to do things. It works out to about 8 minutes per day, that I am working to pay saw expenses.
 
Todd Parr
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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I'm very tempted to buy the chainsaw after reading your review here, but it bothers me how many reviews, even by people that love the saw, say that the chain loosens constantly, and many people have had the chain come off numerous times during a single job.  I can't believe all those people don't know how to tighten the chain.  Thoughts?
 
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