reccomendations for budget chainsaw for firewood chopping?

Folks
I have a supply of wood offcuts that I need to cut up for the woodburner.
The offcuts can be virtually anything from "proper" logs to scaffolding timber, skip timber, shuttering ply etc. Its often got nails and other fastenings in it.
Up to now I have used a reciprocating saw, but this is too slow. It took me all day to cut up the last pile and by the end both my hands were numb from vibration.
I thought a chainsaw might be appropriate - but I have never used one and I am worried what happens if one hits a fastening when cutting? At least with the recip saw one just knackers the blade.
Can anyone recommend a decent model without spending a fortune?
TIA - Adam
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No fecking way. Not a hope. Get a better reciprocating saw if you have to, but there's no way I'm going into scrapwood with a chainsaw.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

I cant agree. Its a way to ruin the chain, but if you take appropriate care, and stop the moment you hit metal or stone, its no worse than cutting trees full of sand and grit, or nails.
The danger is in a snatch tearing the thing out of control. If you are cutting wood in a horse, that can't happen - the saw is rammed against the piece.
The only moments I have had are using the tip or the back. But even then if you keep your face out of the plane of the blade, the thing flies up over your shoulder. There is no excuse, nor need, for tip or back cutting with firewood though.
I don't make a habit of cutting nails, but it occasionally happens. Usually its a shower of sparks and a fairly wrecked chain. But otherwise no particular danger to life or limb.
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Are you the world Russian Roulette champion by any chance.
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Adam Lipscombe wrote:

Dont mess around with chainsaws. Cheap ones dont start, won't have enough power to cut, and end up being more work. I have a little Stihl. About 175 quid last time I looked.
If you hit metal you will get a shower of sp[arks and need to reset the saw blades.
I try not to, but I now have 3 chains, one in the saw, one being sharpened, and a spare ...
The greatest danger with a saw is cutting with the tip or the top of the chain. The top trys to push the saw back at you, and the tip can fly in your face.
Thats why a decent baby one is better. Rather ruin a chain than have it jam and fly back, and its light enough to be master of.
Control that saw. Its either cutting, in the correct position, or idling with the blade stopped. Take it away from the cut, and let it spin down before moving it away. If cutting, anticipate its behaviour. When in doubt., don't. They take no prisoners.
Having said that, I don't consider them to be half a dangerous as people seem to think they are. I'd rather use one than a hand held router.

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Mind you, I wouldn't try and use a router up a tree.
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I wouldn't try and use a chainsaw up a tree, either. That's one of those jobs I pay someone to do.
I wouldn't cut scrap wood with nails in it with one, either. But I do own a small petrol one - a McCulloch (sp?). It was a pig to start at first, until I started ignoring the starting instructions and doing it how I thought. You also need a box of chainsaw files, because the minute you hit metal (or the ground), the chain needs sharpening.
I borrowed a small electric B&D one off a friend a while ago and discovered that it didn't have a chain brake. Now that *is* dangerous.
--
"I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose
happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others." - Thomas Jefferson
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Ah, but we are talking firewood, not tree felling.
Tree felling - that's a different matter. Mostly I get help with those, and ropes, and someone with a bigger saw than mine. I don't mind the 20 footers, its the 50 footers that require a rather more professional approach.
The rule becomes, when in doubt, don't do it - yourself!
Once felled though, its just as easy to log up with a small saw.
Apart from the fattest parts of the bole. I get the man who fells to section those into foot long cylinders, and then use a wedge to split..
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On Fri, 28 Nov 2008 13:02:47 +0000, Adam Lipscombe wrote:

You spend the next half hour sharpening the chain again, if you're lucky and it didn't snap and have a go at you. In which case you're in hospital...
--
Cheers
Dave.




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Dave Liquorice wrote:

But does that happen? my friction clutch wont allow that sort of behaviour. The thing just stops dead, with the motor revving away.
There's a pretty good shield for where fingers go as well.
Once again, my experience is limited to the little Stihl. It seems to be able to deliver enough power for the chain to cut, but nowhere near enough to snap the chain.
for firewood, its ideal. It is in trouble with really big trees, but that's not the discussion.
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Cutting nails is your issue, should you even try a chainsaw?
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ransley wrote:

well its usually easy to spot the nails and avoid them, and move an inch away.
The thing is to be confident that while you may smash the chain, you wont get harmed if you do hit one. Chains are cheap. Eyes and fingers are not.
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The little scissors in the swiss army knife do mine a treat.
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Ebay and choose carefully.
Bizarrely it's OK to sell a chainsaw to "Joe Public" but if you are a "Tradesman" usually using a chainsaw in your job there is a requirement for the proper PPE and certification of the user to a nationally recognised standard (BTDTGTTS & Certificate).
Given that you appear to be a "Joe Public" using the saw for the intended purpose described I'd be inclined to go for one that is no longer than 18" blade, has a decent "Kick Brake", has easily obtainable replacement chains and wear parts, and buy a quality pair of chainsaw trousers and gloves, plus face shield made for the job.
I still have the old pair of overalls that stopped a chainsaw on the run-down from logging a tree when the chain kicked and traced a line across my thigh before I got the proper gear. There is NO substitute for correct PPE in *ANY* circumstances.
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RW

HOW did that happen? On the rundown, I ALWAYS take the saw out and hold it where I can see it. Until its down.
I did more damage with a maul, hitting a washing line rather than a log. Excellent catapult reverse action that nearly took my eye out. So far with the little chainsaw, its proved to be the tool that has done me the least damage.
I tried using a mask, but it simply made me blind with fog.
I tried gloves, but prefer to feel whats going on..you can tell when you are not in the right sort of groove..
But there is always room to be persuaded..
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Comes of not watching where the end was as I removed it from the tree. Now taught that as soon as the cut is done you hit the kick brake with the back of your wrist to disable the saw until you are ready for the next cut or turn it off. If you don't do that on your exam then you fail. Same as moving with the saw running and snedding from the wrong side.

Had a smiliar instance with an axe that flew out of my wet hands, tumbled backwards toward the fence, hit the post edge on and rebounded straight back at me. F**k knows how it missed me but it did.

Proper chainsaw masks are mesh not plastic. Allows you to see without misting up and stop debris

Try that after 30 trees, snedded, logged and stacked.......See what's left of your hands then.

It's practice. Mate of mine (Aboriculturailst) swears by all the proper gear. Costs him thousands to kit out his team and *never* had more than a cut of the blade when picking it out from the packet. Mind you, I'd rather put on all the stuff, sweat a couple of pounds off and after a shower go have a beer ;-)
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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

Recently took to using a full face mask thing and one of the fairly cheap 3M respirators. Together, they work well. Far less misting/fogging than I have previously endured (e.g. using goggles or even just safety glasses and other respirators).
Something like Screwfix items 22372 & 19176.
Should have done this years ago as I have been less than 100% good about using protection. Am much better now!
--
Rod

Hypothyroidism is a seriously debilitating condition with an insidious
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Daughters just been though all that:
Stihl Hiflex trousers (Type C). [1] Oregon (left hand protection) gloves. Haix Protector chainsaw boots. Petzl Vertex Vent arb helmet (inc mesh visor and Husqvarna ear defenders).
And her climbing gear ..
Petzl Sequoia harness. Marlow Gecko 1 splice rope. Knotted prussik loop. Komet Cambium saver 12 oz Throw bag, line and pouch. Selection of carabineer(s) (two way are they called?)
Felled, snedded and crosscut her first couple of trees today, in the p'ing rain.
Came home happy enough though. ;-)
She is doing as she was taught, unlike many of the others on her course who have been out in the field and learnt 'non test' ways. Like, (if I've understood her properly), applying the chain brake after 'every' cut, even if you are only moving the saw 20 mm? [2]
Cheers, T i m
[1] She loves her PPE trousers. "It's like wearing a duvet on yer legs". I'm not sure she will feel the same way in the summer!
[2] You can see how all this is important though. The lad she was sharing the chainsaw with finished his cuts, applied the chain brake and passed the saw to our daughter. He immediately leant against a nearby tree which (according to our daughter) 'just exploded' and he and the remains of the (rotten) tree ended up on the floor! It might have been a different story had he been holding an un braked chainsaw etc.
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T i m wrote:

Get her a clean pair she can wear as pyjamas and she won't need that electric fan in her bedroom.
Owain
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T i m wrote:

Sned you too. I'd never heard the term, and had a heck of a job finding a definition:
"My neighbours toved and bummed and blowed, They happed themselves until it thowed, By slaps and stiles they thrawed and tholed And snedded thrissles, And when the rigs were braked and hoed They'd wet their whistles."
Does it really describe the aftermath of a chainsaw accident, or is it supposed to apply to the trees?
Andy
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