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).
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
On Sat, 1 May 2010 01:05:03 -0400, "Mike Marlow"
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.
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.
Andrew Barss 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
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.
On Fri, 30 Apr 2010 19:23:16 +0000 (UTC), Andrew Barss
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.
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.
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