Electric Chain Saw recommendations

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Hello, Sometimes the third time is the charm, sometime it's three strikes and you're out. In this case it's the latter. I'm talking about the third Craftsman electric chain saw model 34104 my husband and I have brought home, filled with the bar and chain lube and promptly had leak it all back out. Number three is sitting downstairs right now. That being the situation I never even got as far as firing any of them up, just brought them back so the two holly trees that need whacking are still out front, tall as ever. This evening Puddles #3 is going back.
Normally Craftsman is my first choice for tools, but I'm going to have to look elsewhere for a light duty chain saw. What recommendations for an electric 14" manual oiler chain saw can you give?
Thank you for your time, Carmen
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Carmen wrote:

As far as I'm concerned you had 3 strikes against when you: 1) bought a Sears chainsaw 2) bought an electric Sears chainsaw 3) brought home an electric Sears chainsaw.
Allthough he looks like a Sears Tools salesman maybe this guy knows of a good one http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8132799 /
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G Henslee wrote:

Disgruntled ex-employee? <G>

Ah yes, Psycho-Squiggy. Saw the story yesterday on another group. He doesn't take good care of his tools if it looked like it still had blood on it though, so his advice would be suspect. That'd cause rust. Bad Squiggy.
Carmen
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Carmen wrote:

Not on your life. Like you, a disgruntled ex-customer 8-\
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Hi, Carmen:

Carmen:
G Henslee:

I must just be really lucky to go to good Sears, 'cause it's not my looks that get me good service. The guy refunded our money, and said that every once in a while you'll get a lemon, but three bad examples of the same model means the design was flawed and then said; "We sold you a crappy product. I'm really sorry and I apologize on behalf of the company." Honesty I can appreciate. :-)
We bombed around and have it narrowed down to a 10 amp DeWalt (DW304), a 13 amp Bosch (RS20), a 12 amp Bosch (RS15) and a 10 amp Milwaukee (6519-22). DH seemed most taken with the Boschs, and I don't see any real reason to steer him away from them. He was trying to behave and go for the less expensive DeWalt but the Boschs have more power. If we get the 13 amp one we ought to be set for a reciprocating saw. The only more powerful one I've seen was a Makita at 15.something amps.
Carmen
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"Craftsman" makes nothing, but $ for Sears. And "the Villain."
Electric chainsaws, IMHO, fall into two categories: 1) cheap and relatively disposable 2) good quality & expensive.
I've not seen one yet with a chain-oiler comparable with that on a cheapie gas saw. But ... since the typical output power is sooo much less than a cheapie 2-stroke, you can squirt some on the chain every few minutes. Mainly, they're quiet, and start reliably for someone who'll let one sit for years and/or really doesn't have use for one.
Suggestions: Either a basic gas saw- some little Poulans are quite solidly made, and low-$, or Hand tools- pole saw with hyper-aggressive modern blade & bow-saw, or Find a neighbor you can borrow from.
HTH, J
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I may be wrong but I believe the 34104 got a very bad review in Consumer Reports. Anyway, last year I bought a Craftsman 341161 12 Amp 3.5 HP 16 inch bar chainsaw, highly rated by CR, on sale for 80 bucks, and it's been excellent. I've used it to take down a couple fairly large trees, and a lot of branch trimming, and it handles great. Much much better than the McCulloch I had years ago, and it looked better and was less expensive than other currently available electric saws.
Craftsman aka "Crapsman" is usually my last choice for tools, but there are exceptions, e.g., name brands on sale at a better price than the Despot or Lows, and rebadged tools like one of their jigsaws which is identical to but a bit less expensive than a Bosch.
Find a CR review of saws and use that to help choose. If you're burnt on Sears, I recall there was a Poulan CR liked, though it was pricier than the Craftsman, and I couldn't find it locally.
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Luke
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Get a Sawzall (reciprocating saw, e.g. Milwaukee or Porter-Cable) with a 9" wood cutting blade.
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Buck Turgidson wrote:

I used a reciprocating saw on the last small tree I felled, a weed tree maybe 5 or 6 inches in diameter. It was pretty easy.
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Sawzall good for stump removal. Lot of cheap blades from Harbor Freight.
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Christopher A. Young
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What is the best way to remove a small stump? Dig around the stump and then cut off from below ground level and then fill back in the hole? I have 8 small stumps from dwarf fruit trees I had to cut down. The Sawzall looks like a good thing to own. Marina
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Well, the BEST way to remove a small stump is to leave 2' of trunk attached to it, and use a bulldozer on it.
Failing that, digging out one side, and chopping it off below-ground with someone else's saw works pretty well.
--Goedjn
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Goedjn wrote:

Just a little "redneck" trick:
If the stump is not that wide in diameter, you can often use a "Jackall" jack to remove the stump. Use a heavy gauge steel chain around the base of the stump, wrap it tight, and then put the chain around the large runner of the Jackall. Cut the stump about 4 feet high, so you can lean the jack beam against the top of the stump. It often takes a few tries, but they usual give. I removed 15 stumps (about 8" each in diameter) from a cedar hedge that way in about 4 hours, roots and all, and saved a few days of digging and sweat.
BTW, don't get in the way of the jack if it wants to slip. Let it go. The pressure there is enormous and you can easily lose your fingers or your face trying to stop it. Also, a wooden plank, cut short, under the jack will stop the base from sinking into the soil as pressure is applied.
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Plesae do not use chainsaw on roots -- dulls the chain nearly instantly. I know from experience.
Dulls sawzall blades, too. Sand and dirt mixes in with the wood as the roots grow.
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That's essentially what I did. Harbor Freight puts their Chinese made sawzall imitation on sale for $19.99 every once in awhile.
My tree was about 6 inches or so diameter, and had far more roots than I'd ever expected. It took several days and a lot of blades. But, we got it (me and a couple teenagers).
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Carmen wrote:

I had a Wren(sp?) job some years ago until someone borrowed it and could never find it to return it. I have not needed it very often, but I did use it a number of times when I had it. It more than paid for itself the fist time I used it. I really hate 2cycle engines and playing around trying to start any gasoline engine that I might not need at least once a month.

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Years ago, many of us said that. I won't touch one today, especially power tools.
Any of the better brands would be good. Stihl would be one of the best.
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Carmen wrote:

I've been quite happy with my little McCullough electric chain saw, though it does have an automatic oiler.
In between uses I hang it on the wall blade down, with a plastic scabbard over the blade, and most of the oil is still in the reservoir the next time I go to use it, though a little oil will dribble out of the scabbard if I hold it with its open end down.
I've had tye saw about 10 years now and use it a half dozen times each summer for around the yard cutting.
It's still using its original chain, which I sharpen as needed with a 3/16" diameter by 1' long cylinrical stone in a Dremel tool.
HTH,
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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Hello, I really appreciate all the recommendations. Buck's idea (buying a Sawzall and using it) isn't one that had occurred to me, but it makes a lot of sense. The chainsaw wouldn't get much use after the initial burst of neglect abatement (the house we bought was owned by pinheads - the doorknocker had the name of the original owners on it for the whole 15 years they lived here!). The Sawzall would get all sorts of use. We're going to put a attic access ladder in the hallway ceiling, the 1970s one piece fiberglass tub/shower (baby blue with shell shaped shelves - truly hideous) is out of here, lots of cabinets to replace, a garage to sheetrock...it's worth getting a good one. Maybe we've been lucky, but Sears has done right by us until this chain saw. The first two returns they were great about too. We're going to return #3 this evening, see what they've got for reciprocating saws and then go check out Lowe's and the Depot and tomorrow sometime I'll have my husband stop by the PX on post and see what they carry - usually Craftsman. :-)
Thanks again for the help. Carmen
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Carmen wrote:

There are two things I don't want to have. Electric chain saw and mower. I have gas chain saw, Porter & Cable reciprocating saw. Once had electric chain saw, couldn't use for anything much except some pruning small branches. Tony
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