Good *electric* chain saw for (largish) fallen branches -- $100?

Up here in New York state, that 2-weeks-ago (3?) snow+wind storm took down lots of trees, and especially lots of largish branches.
I've got one that's 6.5 inches in diameter, 8.5 at a swelling; no way I'm going to get a regular saw and try to cut that thing.
What with this crazy weather pattern we're getting into, there'll likely be more of this kind of thing, ie more fallen branches.
None of my neighbors have a chain-saw, so I guess I'll have to buy my own.
What I hear is that electric is not only less expensive but also easier to start (obviously) and easier to use.
I've googled amazon for chainsaw, also saw this site: http://www.chainsawsdirect.com/chain-saw-style-reviews/1-electric-chain-saw-reviews.htm
but thought I might better come here for your advice.
A chainsaw for me would be used only once or twice a year (I hope!); nor do I plan to cut down entire trees -- I leave that for the experts.
It's just these thick branches that fall that I need to cut up into pieces for later disposal.
So, any suggestions?
The cheaper ones from that chainsawdirect place go for as low as 50 or 60 dollars, and up to $250 for the top rated. Something for $100 up to $150 might be pretty good -- though they probably screw you on the shipping for another $50 or so...
Anyway, any ideas and advice would be really helpful!
Thanks!
David
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David Combs wrote:

I have a cheap Remington 16" electric chainsaw (and several gasoline saws), and it sucks more than you can imagine. It is very uncomfortable to hold, it cuts slowly, and it has no oil pump (the oil is gravity fed; you have to use motor oil instead of bar&chain oil.) It does have plenty of power though, and will get the job done.
I have some professional non-safety chains that just happen to fit it (Oregon 91VXL-56) and someday I want to try one and see if it makes the thing more usable.
-Bob
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snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) writes:

I sure hope not.

I got page no longer available, but I've been using the same electric chain saw (Sears) for over 30 years. For the amount of use you have, I'd say they are perfect.
--
Dan Espen

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snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:
-snip-

My experience with a 14" Remington has been different than Dan's. Mine has an oiler & has cut several cords of wood & is usually less work to run for a 1/2 hour than my seldom used gas saw was to get started every year or two when I needed it.
A friend has the 16" 12 amp & it actually feels like a chainsaw. [I'm with Dan that the 14" feels more like a toy than a chain saw in your hands. The balance is all wrong----- But, like me, you aren't going to be cutting for hours a day, day after day.]

Amazon has some 16" & 18" for under a $100 with shipping included.
Got a Harbor freight nearby? I got a 12" Remington on a ?10'? pole for about $60. The 12" is held on by a single thumbscrew so you can use it alone. I think I saw them at Lowes or Home Depot, too.
For an infrequent user- I think electric saws have finally become worthwhile. [I had one a decade or so ago & it was underpowered crap].
Keep the chain sharp & out of the dirt. Don't get one that you can't pump more oil on the chain when you hit that tough old gnarly knot- or a piece of seasoned wood.
And fer gawd sakes- follow all the safety rules! I should ask my neighbor if I can post the picture of his brother who caught a kickback in the face a few years ago. Split his face from his chin to right up between the eyes-- Why it didn't kill him, I don't know. He didn't even lose an eye. But, like all good rednecks, he insisted someone snap a Polaroid before they went to put his face back together.
And that was a guy with 30 year experience around saws.
Jim
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http://www.chainsawsdirect.com/chain-saw-style-reviews/1-electric-chain-saw-reviews.htm
I have a little Remington. I used to have a good sized gas saw. Now I don't have big trees in my lot and have no fireplace.
For small stuff the Remington works jus fine. It is light enough to use one handed to trim limbs in my one oak tree. It will handle what you are trying to do.
The usual rules apply. Keep the chain sharp. A Dremel with the right attachment works well . Keep the chain at the right tension. The owner's manual will show you how. If you are going to cut stuff up that is on the ground, support the work and never let the chain hit the ground, And respect the tool and do not get distracted- pay attention to what you are doing,
There're other things the manual will show you. How to undercut and how to fell etc.
And, never lend it out. beside the borrower will be less careful than you. You invite a liability lawsuit if a borrower gets hurt. If a neighbor wants to borrow my saw he's politely told "sorry" but if it is an emergency I will come and help.
I once had a neighbor who wanted to trim a tree that was dropping stuff into his pool. He was going to climb the tree to reach the upper branches. That was a setup for disaster. I told him I wanted no part of that project.
Charlie
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David Combs wrote the following:

Before I bought my own chainsaws (I have a gas powered one and an electric powered pole saw), I would ask my neighbors with fireplaces or wood stoves to bring their chainsaws and come and cut their own fuel from my fallen trees or branches. I don't have, nor want, any wood burning heaters.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote the following:

BTW, in answer to your question, my pole saw is a McCulloch MCP1510. 1.5 HP. The saw can be removed from the pole for close work. I don't like to use it for high work anymore because it is too unwieldy for me at my age. Besides, my Son-in-law has a cherry picker.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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So long as this branch is firm (does not wobble) a bow saw with a new/sharp blade will sever it in two minutes or less. Cost = $20.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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On Nov 28, 1:19pm, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

Last time I looked the local box stores had several electric chainsaws to choose from on the shelf, none over $100. Most with 12-14" bars.
The beauty of buying local, with the extended service plan a replacement is as close as your local box store. Handy in a pinch, such as when one of these freak storms blow in.
You're also not going to be worrying yourself into an aneurysm researching online. Just buy the f*cking saw and be done with it.
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Thanks, all, for the responses, and the varied suggestions offered.
One obvious questsion: just how dangerous are these things to use?
What are the bad things that can happen, and how likely are they to happen when cutting tree branches (that have fallen to the ground)?
What kind of safety equipment should one wear?
Is there anything that the expensive ones, like a $250 Husquavarna (sp?), have that makes owning and using it a *lot* simpler (or safer, too)?
And, if anyone wants to contribute to this thread, PLEASE DO!
Thanks!
David
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snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) writes:

If the chain breaks, it's going to go flying.
Touching the chain is bad. Don't do it.

Wear safety glasses and stay out of the line of the blade.

More money should buy longer bar and more power.
I don't see why you would need that.
--
Dan Espen

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On 11/29/2011 9:07 PM, David Combs wrote:

An excellent book covering all those concerns:
To Fell a Tree by Jeff Jepson

I used to own a Chinasaw I bought at McLowes Depot. I got tired of constantly repairing it. So I bought a Stihl. That was years ago and I Stihl have not had to repair it yet.
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snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

About as dangerous as a loaded pistol-- only messier. Just remember that there are millions of us who have used them for 50 years and still have all their digits and no scars from chains. [I did lose a glove once--- I love when fate gives you a wake-up call like that.]
Don't saw tired-- leave the beer for later- follow the rules.

Kickback probably causes the worst damage. The saw will come with directions on how to minimize the chances of that happening-- and how to avoid it.
Falling on the saw is another fairly common one. Make sure you have good footing-- and an escape route - before you start each cut. Branches on the ground can still jump, roll, or drop when you cut them. Figure out what they are going to do- and be ready for them to do anyhting else.

Glasses and gloves. I've seen helmets with face guards that might be worthwhile. The thing with cutting up downed branches is that - when you least expect it, a smallish branch will whip around and slap you on the ear-- you jump, and rip a giant gash in your levi's and the leg inside them.
I don't know if it will actually stop the saw from damaging your face if the saw goes that way.
Go here- https://www.google.com/search?q=chainsaw+kickback+face
Then hit 'images' on the side-
That crap doesn't *have* to happen. Most of us are just as pretty as god made us and we've been using saws for decades.
Jim
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On 28 Nov 2011 13:19:21 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (David Combs) wrote:

I have a McCullough electric chainsaw and it works great. No need to mix gas and oil, and fight with a stubborn to start gas saw, which it seems most of the gas ones are unless they are used daily. I'm a farmer so I use a chainsaw more than most guys, but they still sit in storage for months at times, and thats when they gum up in the fuel. You need to use gas stabilizer in all 2cycle small engines, but all of this takes time and money. My electric one is always ready to use immediately. Just plug it in and go.....
No, it's not big enough to take down whole trees (large ones), but it works fine for trimming, cutting up fallen debris after storms, and even taking off a limb up to about 10" in diameter.
One thing about the electric saws is DO NOT FORCE THEM. I have burned out the motors on a few older ones, but forcing them. Just let the blade do it's work, and keep it sharp.
This McCullough is durable, yet lightweight which makes it easy to cut small branches from a ladder. For what I do, I need BOTH an electric and a gas saw. But I only use the gas one for big jobs like whole trees. Most of the time the electric one is fine.
I only have 2 complaints about my McCullough. The chain oiler is just a gravity feed, and dont oil real well. (it's not clogged). I just keep a pump oil can handy and shoot oil on the chain regularly. The other thing is that the chain likes to loosen up easily and if it's not tightened quickly, it comes off the bar. (This seems to be a typical problem with all the small chain/bars).
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