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Cordless electric chainsaw  RSS feed

 
Posts: 347
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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I’m adding my voice for the virtues of a cordless electric saw. 

I had to do some tree trunk and limb cutting when I was at the end of some sort of food poisoning or stomach flu… in any case, I was very weak.  My usual chainsaw (a Stihl with an 18” bar), which isn’t really all that big, weighs a bit over 16 lb with oil & fuel in it.  Holdng and carrying it, along with lifting logs, was quickly wearing me out.  So I borrowed my neighbor’s Husqvarna 120i for cutting logs on the ground.  Wow, was using that a relief!  I could actually work long enough to get something done.

So I went and bought one when it was on “sale” for $400cdn, including battery & charger. (That price I’ve mentioned was here in southeastern BC, where things can cost a little more.)  It weighs about 7 1/2 lb with a full chain-oil chamber, has a 37-volt Lithium battery, a brushless motor, and 14” bar.  I find it to be well balanced.  The saw is made so the chain can be tensioned by hand without any tool, and the chain cuts efficiently as long as it’s sharpened.

I like the cordless electric for the very obvious reasons: it’s light weight, compact, low noise (as compared with any 2-cycle gas saw), and smokeless.  It’s also much safer to take it up a ladder, say for pruning, because the chain doesn’t move if you don’t pull the trigger with the power switch on.  Neither do you need to pull a start cord.

This saw doesn’t replace my workhorse gas-driven saw for hard work.  But with firewood trees, it’s very handy to use for cutting branches, or cutting dense softwood logs up to, say, 6” diameter.  Also good for odd tasks like rough-cutting 2x6, 4x4 etc.  The 120i seems to generally give about 45 minutes of service on a charge.
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Posts: 114
Location: Tyler Texas
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I completely agree!  I have NEVER regretted spending the money on an electric saw!

I will say this a close second is a cordless sawzall with a tree cutting blade:

You have to get a good tool of course.
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 347
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Dan alan wrote:I completely agree!  I have NEVER regretted spending the money on an electric saw!

I will say this a close second is a cordless sawzall with a tree cutting blade:  You have to get a good tool of course.


Thanks Dan.  I do own a sawzall, a very good one (a Milwaukee pro model) but it has a cord for 120v AC, so I've needed to use a long extension cord. I have used it for pruning, as well as carpentry work, but for pruning (especially in older, larger spread-out trees) the cord is a major pain.  It just gets snarled and hung-up in branches, like crazy.  At this point, I can relegate the sawzall back to carpentry-type work.

For financial as well as philosophical reasons, I don't own every tool that would be great to have.  When buying I pick and choose, whenever possible, to acquire ones that can have multiple functions.
 
pollinator
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Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
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Guys, don't fool yourself with the safety factor of any chainsaw. I am sure Travis will pop up on here, but the inertia of the chain is what does the damage. Any chainsaw is designed to add energy to that momentum, electric or combustion. The fact that they are lighter would be somewhat better regarding kickback since generally that is acceleration of the bar while energy is being added by the motor of either type, but there is less mass on a lighter saw. Most of the time it happens so fast you don't remember it, it happens so fast.

I always use the lightest saw I can, and am thinking about getting a battery-operated saw for little stuff, but I would not consider them much safer unless there is active braking when the trigger is let up. I don't think any of them have that, because it would jerk the bar down every time you let off the trigger.

I am waiting for the prices to come down and then I think I will get a combo kit with a mower and strimmer. My poor mower is about spent and I hate the noise, hate the gas smell and hate the trips to get non-ethanol gasoline.  There is a nice review on here of those saws, will try to find and link.
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 347
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Tj Jefferson wrote:Guys, don't fool yourself with the safety factor of any chainsaw...

I always use the lightest saw I can, and am thinking about getting a battery-operated saw for little stuff, but I would not consider them much safer unless there is active braking when the trigger is let up. I don't think any of them have that, because it would jerk the bar down every time you let off the trigger.


Tj, thanks so much for the sane advice.  Actually, about eight years after I started using a chainsaw, I had a mild kickback accident.  I learned something from that, both in terms of increased caution and as "muscle learning".  With any chainsaw you have to keep a good grip, watch what you're doing, and move carefully.

But there are several reasons why I consider the lightweight cordless saw I've acquired to be safer when I'm up a ladder.  One is that the machine is much lighter, so using it for a longish period of time strains and tires me much less.  It's more compact with a shorter bar, so there's less of that dangerous and awkward projection out front of my hands, which projection represents the major hazard.  Another big safety factor is that you don't carry a running saw up the ladder — and this is possibly the biggest safety advantage — you don't need to pull a starter cord against the compression resistance of the motor.  Pulling that resistant cord can be extremely awkward when you're up a ladder, and can unbalance you hazardously.  I feel this combination of differences really does make for increased safety.

Thanks for inducing me to spell out what I meant.
 
Posts: 530
Location: Central Virginia USA
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I bought a ryobi 18vchainsaw, first one was a 10 inch, and performed well enough so I stopped using my gas saw . when they came out with the 18v brushless 12 inch chain saw I bought that one too and it was more powerful and easier on batteries.  I was trying to keep away from the 40 v since I have so many of their 18v tools all using the same battery.

I also have an 18 volt mower, two 18volt chargers that will plug into a cigarette lighter and the system easily fits my off grid lifestyle

I've cut 10 inch poplar trees, and really, the main issue is keeping the chain sharp (like with any saw)  I don't cut any amount of firewood, and the main purpose is clearing   small weed trees in conjunction with many other tasks--gardening, chipping, using the backhoe, etc.  I can keep it right on the floor of the hoe and it's always ready to go.  Batteries will last for hours with intermittent use, but if I was doing production line firewood cutting, maybe gas would be better--maybe-  or maybe I'd just go to 40 volts-- but production line firewood cutting is not my idea of fun, so I feel pretty safe giving away my gas saws now.
 
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I really do not have much to say on the matter as I have never had a battery operated chainsaw, nor even picked one up. But I am not a fan of battery operated tools overall, because they just seem to die when I need them the most. I am a goal-oriented person, so I have tons of projects and tend to knock them out and move on. I cannot do that waiting for a screw gun, Sawzall or chainsaw to recharge, so I do not have any. I just get out my corded tools, and save my frustration from the onset. With my little generator in the bucket of my tractor, a 100 foot extension cord, there is no place I cannot go, all with full power, until the job is done.

As for gasoline chainsaw...I have a Husqvarna 562XP that has been out in the woods everyday...ever since I got so mad at it and threw it over the brush pile and left it there that is. Absolute JUNK. That deserves its own thread granted, but I am just waiting now for the Stihl 462 to come on the market and I will swap it out. I cannot imagine starting my current chainsaw on a ladder, I not so affectionately call it my Forever-Crank for a reason.

 
Posts: 297
Location: S. Ontario Canada
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I would say that if you regularly have trouble with your saw running well it's because it doesn't get enough use and you're a perfect candidate for an electric. 

I have the Ego system and I'm impressed with the battery life and ease of use.
 
Tj Jefferson
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One is that the machine is much lighter, so using it for a longish period of time strains and tires me much less. 



Really good idea to have a light saw for the reasons you mention. I use a Stihl 201T (actually an older 021T, but pretty similar) for 80% of my treework. It is a magnesium case, super light. In fact it is a full 3 lbs lighter than the EGO 40V saw! I have a couple bars for it, but mostly I use a 16" bar, which will cut like a beaver on crack in all but the hardest stuff.

I have some other saws too, but none compare with that one for versatility. I bought it from someone who had no idea what it was worth. Travis I feel your pain about the Husky. They have really gotten lower in quality with mass production for the homeowner. I have a 550, and it sucks. It uses way too much gas because of the emission controls and muffler, and the chain brake issue on them just blows my mind. Poor engineering. A way of making you take it to a shop.

The tiredness factor I think is also from the vibration of the saw, I know I am way more exhausted than I should be after cutting. That might be significantly less with an electric. The amount of trees I am cutting and limbing prevents me from using an electric right now, but once I have it cleared I will probably give them to friends and switch to electric. The only downside is they probably have different chains than the stihls, and I have invested quite a bit in chains.

Funny story about fatigue and accidents. Someone quoted me the line about "50% of accidents happen in the last 30 minutes of the workday" or something like that. I said, "of course, you get hurt your work day is over! I'm surprised it's not 100%."




 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 347
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Roy Hinkley wrote:I have the Ego system and I'm impressed with the battery life and ease of use.


I'm sure that one is a great machine.  Dale Hodgins has, elsewhere on Permies.com, given it a great review — and he depends on his tools and uses them professionally.  Haven't tried one myself, but I believe it's a powerful machine.

But I like that the Husky I bought is quite a bit lighter in weight and more compact.  Also, in British Columbia, the EGO seems to have most of its retail availability through Home Depot, and the nearest of those to my home place is a five-hour drive away.  The Husky machinery happens to be sold by an industrial-supply business that I have an account with  (mostly for my welding equipment and supplies).  That means that warranty, parts & service are kept simple.  And the dealer is just 50-minute drive away.  These are some pretty real considerations.
 
Travis Johnson
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Roy Hinkley wrote:I would say that if you regularly have trouble with your saw running well it's because it doesn't get enough use and you're a perfect candidate for an electric. 

I have the Ego system and I'm impressed with the battery life and ease of use.



I am pretty sure that is NOT the case.

I realize you don't know me, or my situation so that is why I added the smiley face so you knew I was not being snide at all. I use my chainsaw almost everyday which is why I really hate this saw. I require a lot out of them, and this chainsaw just does not work well.

It is so top heavy that when sitting on a tree while measuring for logs, it will topple over. And it has rattled almost all the bolts out of the saw. Some I have had replaced, but others I have had to locktite. But the worst thing is, it is just gutless. Granted it is only a 62 CC chainsaw, but it should have more power than what it has.

Price matches its power output, so it is only a $750 chainsaw, but my dealer was right when he said it is a "disposable saw". What he meant was, buy it for $750, run it for a year, then trade it back in for $350 for a new one, and rinse and repeat." I had my reservations I admit, and knew better, but having just mashed my $1,100 chainsaw with my skidder, I was a little gun-shy on buying another $1,100 chainsaw, but you get what you pay for I guess!

This is my wife with the Husqvarna 562XP when I first got it...


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