lightweight chainsaw for yard work & Mother's Day


My wife has asked for a small chainsaw for Mother's Day (my kinda woman). She doesn't want a heavy gas-powered saw, just somthing convenient for cutting branches and small tree limbs in the yard. What would be ideal, if anyone makes such a thing, is one that's convertible between a regular saw a pole saw for high branches. Failing that, recommendations in either category appreciated. Corded is fine, cordless would be even better (again, if anyone makes one).
Thanks,
Andy Barss
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Andrew Barss wrote:

First piece of advice - and don't take this advice lightly - stay away from the Homelight saws at HD. Pay no attention to any of the marketing glib, etc. Any of those plastic saws marketed at dumb homeowners are pure junk. Even for very light weight work. Ryobi makes an 18v cordless chainsaw, but I've never seen it in real life, let alone used one. It might be worth a look. Just remember - you're not going to get many cuts out of a cordless chainsaw before you have to recharge.
There is no such thing as a light weight chainsaw that converts to a pole pruner, so you're out of luck there. You can though buy pole pruner attachments for your string trimmer if your trimmer has a 2 piece shaft. They work extremely well. You'll get about 12' of reach out of it. Cost - right around $100.
I know this probably isn't what you wanted to hear but you'd be better off picking up one of the very small Sthil or Huskvarna saws. Very light weight, real chainsaws, easy to use, will actually last a long time, etc. But... they are gas.
--

-Mike-
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Perhaps not a convertable, but I have a corded electric chainsaw pole pruner (B&D, IIRC). Works for small stuff (2-3" dia). I've a Poulan 18" for tree removal or lopping large limbs.
scott
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Mike that just isn't true. I own one so I know what I am talking about.
The Poulan pole saw can be removed from the pole by removing two bolts. Then you have an electric chain saw with a 10" bar.
Hand tools are required but it takes less than 5 minutes. I don't own a Remington but their pole saw works in a very similar manner. It is just a little more pricey.
Colbyt
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Colbyt wrote:

Well - you learn something new every day. Ok - I'll stand corrected on that point then.
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I bought 2 Poulans at Lowes last year, the 14" Electric and then the Pole saw version for a different project. They are corded. Both are excellent machines. The 14" is still less than $50 and the pole version is under $100.
Yes the pole saw can be removed from the pole. Had I bought it first, I would not have bought the second saw.
It depends on what you want to cut. A recip saw with a 12" pruning blade will make short work of most stuff 2" and under. Recip saws are much safer than chain saws for the new user, the blades are replaceable, hitting the dirt does dull them nearly as quickly. I always use this tool when cutting where I might hit embedded metal or for roots.
18V cordless recip saws are strong enough to cut for a bit before needing a charge. It may weigh a couple of more pounds than the chain saw but you don't have to add oil or remember to oil the chain.
Colbyt
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Hitting dirt also chews up the edge of the bar, making it difficult to cut straight. Not too difficult to repair with a file, but an annoyance at least.

You can get a corded model from Sears that's adequate for homeowner use. Avoid the rechargeable saw, replacement batteries cost more than the tool.
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On 4/30/2010 3:23 PM, Andrew Barss wrote:

I have a 14" Poulan electric chain saw. I have had it for over 15 years. After hurricane Fran the neighbors laughed as I got my electric out and started on the down trees. At that time I cut up over 30 trees that had came down in the hurricane. a couple slightly over 28" in diameter.
If you have a relative small yard, one that can be covered with 100' of cord, and never need to take it into the field the electric is the way to go. While all of those people with the fancy gas saws are putting oil in the gas and trying to get the dumb thing started. You have laid out the cord, cut up what what you want and have every thing put away.
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Keith Nuttle wrote:

Electric chain saws are certainly viable for smaller properties. For emergency uses like after a big storm, you'd better have a generator that can power it, otherwise you could be stuck with a tree through your roof and no power for a saw to allow you to remove it and tarp over the hole to prevent further damage. Just this past weekend I helped a friend do just that at his lake house that got hit with an F1 tornado and had two large trees fall on the roof punching large holes. Power was also out and expected to take up to two weeks to fully restore to some areas. My Shindaiwa 488 w/ 18" bar and good chains worked great without needing an extension cord to a generator either.
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Keith Nuttle wrote:

Fancy gas saws - that's funny. You probably don't want to stand side by side with one of those fancy gas saws, with your electric. Gas saws serve a purpose - lots of real work. Electric saws serve a purpose - much less work. Both have their place.
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You say electric chain saws are for "much less work". Obviously you have never seen a Stihl electric chain saw. They aren't cheap > $650. But they have more torque than any gas saw on the market. Stihl even warns on the web site that this puppy will eat through your chain saw chaps without slowing down. It'll eat through wood without slowing down too.
On Sat, 1 May 2010 01:05:03 -0400, "Mike Marlow"

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snipped-for-privacy@myplace.com wrote:

You are right - I was not aware of Stihl's electric offering. But then again, you said the magic word - Stihl.
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Andy:
I have a 16 in. Remington ( they also make a 14 in.) electric that I have used for several years. Cut small branches and cut up two 10-12 in caliper trees that the wind took down. Have used it to top off several 4x4 fence posts. Works like a charm! My" Lady Friend" has used it a lot and it's not too heavy. Lowe's as well as others carry them as well as parts.
Sparky
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I got my wife the Alligator ? Black and Decker ? that was advertised last year - It is great on stuff up to 4" or so. It is a two hand in handles that are double switch protected. Chain is behind plastic unless cutting. It is electric. Two or three wire cable. Double insulated...
No problem - has cut lots of green and dry wood. Oak of all types.
I used it today as she was sweeping (rake) up some chips and junk out of the lane and I was cleaning up some small stuff that didn't get it with the arbor saw or 20" husky.
Since it works in the air (more or less) - it never gets into the dirt and the blade stays sharp! Might be a tougher steel.
This is great for small homes and we have 7 acres with 5 of them with trees.
Martin
Andrew Barss wrote:

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wrote:

Got one about a couple months ago. It's great for what I need and I own two gas chainsaws. However, I will say, that you really need a second battery. The first one goes quickly if you're cutting some thick stuff.
MJ
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I would recommend a reciprocating saw - saws-all / demo / wrecker's saw - corded or battery
They have enough power to cut almost anything, and they have a wide variety of blade types and lengths available.
My Swmbo makes twig yard furniture and wanted a saw several years ago, and that's what I got her. (Canadian Tire, corded, on sale $50; 1 1/8" stroke, 8.5 amps) Easy to use. We got some B&D Piranha blades for pruning - 4.5 TPI 10" blade They work great. Easily cuts through +6" branches However this type of saw does not answer your need for a pole saw.
We recently took down a tree, using that saw to remove all the branches, before a friend came over with a chainsaw to take down the trunk. We mostly used a ladder, but there was some climbing. As an added bonus, if there is anything that needs cutting with out significant precision this is the saw for it. I needed to cut some rusty bolts of a my boat trailer - this saw, plugged into an inverter did it in under 30 seconds.

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On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 19:23:16 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Barss

Hi Andy,
I have both petrol and electric chain saws.
I find either type works well cutting anything up to the blade length.
I mostly use the electric saw, since it is quick to set up and there are no starting problems/stale fuel issues.
In a home setting I doubt you would ever wear out an electric chain saw. One of mine is over 20 years old and still works well. It has cut quite a bit of wood over that time.
Ross
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On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 19:23:16 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Barss

Corded- Remington 10" convertible $99 free shipping (Amazon.com product link shortened)72713898&sr=8-1
I got one from Harbor Freight a few years ago. Handy little gadget.
Jim
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On 4/30/2010 2:23 PM, Andrew Barss wrote:

A sawzall will work as well if not better than a small chain saw for small branches and trees. I've taken down 6" diameter trees with a big corded sawzall. and removed a stump that was over 10" around.
Caution not hedge trimming, a chainsaw or sawzall would be extremely dangerous if used in that fashion.
Buy this combo, give her the sawzall and keep the drill. I have the combo. The sawzall works as well as can be expected for a cordless, the drill is the best cordless I have ever used.
Milwaukee M18 Hammer Drill/ Sawzall Combo Model # 2694-22
http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardware-Power-Tools-Combo-Kits/Milwaukee/h_d1/N-5yc1vZar5vZzvZ1xg1/R-202043827/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId051&catalogId053
LdB
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-snip-

Not in my experience. A sawzall blade goes back and forth and shakes hell out of a small branch without getting anything cut. a chainsaw pulls the branch toward the saw- locks it against a stop and cuts it off.
When I tried some trimming with my sawsall I got lots of shaking & pinching- not much cutting.
Now-- lopping stuff up on a sawbuck or two-- I might grab my sawzall if it is handy.
Jim
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