I'm not sure I like the idea of using a sawzaw for cutting trees but for a
small job, I'm sure its fine. I have used mine for cutting roots when
digging a hole. Anyway -
Carmensrt, pay attention. ONLY get a Milwaukee sawzaw. DO NOT get a
craftsman. Porter cable is OK but costs about the same as the original
Milwaukee. Get the one with the metal case and higher Amps rating. Trust me,
you will not regret it!
I wouldn't buy a Sawzall as a chain saw replacement. The stroke length
is simply too short to make fast work of branches and the like.
If you're going to buy one anyway for other work, then get a really
coarse blade and see what happens. Otherwise, I agree that the Milwaukee
Sawzall is a great tool - do get the variable speed model.
I am not sure about the price of this saw. But I was in my local saw
shop the other day and I did notice that the price of husqvarna saws
had dropped dramatically!
Someone here also mentioned a Poulan gas saw. I had many of those over
the years. One of them (a 50cc model) lasted me 3 years and cut over
350 cords of wood which I would cut up in a jig. I also used it for
clearing brush and for demolition work. It was still running half-assed
when I gave it away.
A few main things with a chainsaw is to do the simple routine
maintenance. And use the manufacture's recommended grade of oil and
fuel. And consider long-term storage procedures. In my husqvarna saws,
I use husqvarna oil at 50:1. The saw operates at the manufacture's
specifications when I do. Other oils, I have found, just don't allow
that in a husky.
It's personal preference, I guess. I have nothing against electric or
gas. But for a guy who is going to just cut a few heavy items per year,
get an electric saw, especially if you are unfamiliar with 2-stroke or
gasoline engines in general. Often, people put them away for years at a
time and then try to start them up, only to find out that the gas has
gone rotten in the carb and fuel tank and it won't run. An electric, of
course, will not do that.
Electrics are perfect for occasional small jobs nearish to an outlet.
Pruning, cutting firewood (provided that the logs aren't excessively
large), and carpentry. Which most urban/suburban users would find
perfectly adequate, without the hassle of gas.
Beyond those uses, you need gas. I have both. Actually three:
McCullough electric, an older homelite (recently "inherited"), and
a VERY old Pioneer (apparently a 40+ year old professional model
capable of a 30" bar) gotten years ago from a garage sale (for $5).
Getting that Pioneer running after a long idle time is a PITA.
It's completely eaten (as in, _no_ trace left) several in-tank
fuel lines, and if it kicks, it'll pull your arm off.
But once it goes, it'll cut through anything.
Freakin loud and heavy.
I hardly ever use the Pioneer. I'll run 200' of extension cord
to the McCullough before running _that_ thing.
Haven't used the Homelite yet, other than to start it once.
It'll be nice, but it still won't replace the McCullough
completely. If I ever get around to building a chain mill,
that's where the Pioneer will be used.
Has the OP thought of renting? Decent well tuned saw, whatever
size/type you need, that you don't have to feel guilty about
not doing any maintenance on ;-)
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
My brother brought an el-cheapo GMC (Global Machinery Corp) electric
chainsaw and used it to remove three quite large trees overhanging
from his neighbours place. (The tree debris filled up two house
blocks.) It managed this tree demolition fine, and didn't even need
sharpening, though the chain needed a slight tighten up once he was
done. He thought the saw would be rubbish, being a "buy expensive for
quality" sort of guy, but ended up very impressed with the saw. As did
everyone who used it.
I have an electric McCulloch which works fine that I've had for 20
years. It cuts anything that a petrol (gas) saw will cut and about as
fast, but a lot quieter. I can't believe anyone would compare it to a
Frankly the petrol (gas) chainsaws are just a pest to start with the
typical home user useage pattern, or rather home user non-useage
All my small petrol motors (chainsaw, outboards, etc) are a pest to
start after long idle times.
(To get email address ROT 13)
The fumes from gas powered yard equipment are a guaranteed ticket to a
migraine for me. There's no way I'm going to ask my husband to work
all day then come home and do yard work when I'm here so we get
electric yard equipment and I avoid migraines. I'm not a wuss, just
Handy guide to modern science: If it's green or wriggles, it's
biology. If it stinks, it's chemistry. If it doesn't work, it's
Becuase electric is cheap enough to buy one for occasianl use, good enough
to handle moderate jobs around the home and it's really rather handy not
to have to schlepp off to the rental store when you want to do some
I got a dirt cheap Eager Beaver 14" thing that's really a toy amoung
honest chainsaws, but I've owned it for ten years and it's still going
Remove the dead poet to e-mail, tho CC'd posts are unwelcome.
Mean People Suck - It takes two deviations to get cool.
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