Reciprocating saw vs Chain saw

Folks
I need a power saw to cut up timber offcuts for a woodburner, and now and then logs. The off cuts are often fairly hefty - old scaffolding timber etc. The saw will get a lot of use.
I was going to buy a chainsaw but the guy in the shop directed me towards a recip saw instead as being safer and more appropriate for the job. I haven't used a chainsaw before, and I can see that a recip saw would be a lot safer.
Any opinions? Will a recip saw do this job? What are the good makes? I don't want top spend a fortune but want something that will last.
TIA - Adam
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On Mon, 30 Jun 2008 14:45:45 +0100, Adam Lipscombe

With reciprocating saws you directly get what you pay for. My house is full of Aldi tools because they do my jobs at budget prices. One of these saws is not amongst them.
I would look at a Bosch if I were getting one.
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I think it really depends on what kind of sizes that you have, and what you mean by "lot of use".
I have a small chain saw that I mainly use for branch lopping, but probably wouldn't use for cutting up offcuts of (for example) small planed timber. I would probably use a chop saw for that, but mainly because I have one and it's fast.
I have a Bosch reciprocating saw as well, which is pretty good, and I agree probably a bit safer than the chain saw, but reciprocating saws are pretty slow. I would say it would be reasonable for cutting up to about 50mm. After that it's getting to be a bit of a PITA.
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I've got a recip saw, and would never use it for cutting bit of logs etc. The main use I have it for is cutting through tree roots. It is a very coarse thing to use - no way could you do an accurate cut with it, it is there for chopping through things, not giving a clean cut. It is also slow. I've got a Ryobi 18" chainsaw which is an excellent bit of kit for the 160 I paid for it. I have used it regularly to cut up firewood - old pallets or tree branches. It is not unsafe to use, so long as you are aware of its dangers. If you only intend using it in your garden to cut up small(ish) bits, than an electric chainsaw may be the right thing to go for. Alan.
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Adam Lipscombe wrote:

Generally yes - less chance of kickback etc, and if you wreck a blade on a nail etc its far cheaper to replace. Get a decent one with an orbital action and they cut quite fast with coarse toothed blades (even the three for a couple of quid silverline "green wood blades" are pretty god for fast rough cutting). Makes less mess than a chainsaw as well (less sawdust)

A cheap but sturdy one would be the Axminster "white" version. Plenty of power, but lacks orbital action and the blade change needs an allen key.
This looks good for a cheapie:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BOSCH-Skilsaw-240V-Reciprocating-Sabre-Saw-4900_W0QQitemZ190230394769QQcmdZViewItem
If you are doing much of this I expect you would be better off with a "pro" level tool. Toolless blade change is well worth having, and for extended use, get one of the ones with anti vibration damping. Make sure you go for one that used standard blades and not proprietary ones:
http://www.lawson-his.co.uk/scripts/products.php?cat=Reciprocating%20Saws
But you are looking at 150+ for a good one there.
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Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

I've had a couple of real el cheapo reciprocating saws and found the blade holding mechanism is what fails first. My latest is a SF Titan that was on offer dirt cheap, that has an allen key change - I consider it an advantage. Simple & the blade stays put.
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Dave - The Medway Handyman
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

The SDS systems used by Bosch and Makita etc are better still - they get a good grip on the blade and there is no risk of stripping the inside of the allen bolt etc.
I expect if I were buying again, I would go for a better one than since it has turned out to be quite useful for a number of applications.
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Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

I rarely use mine, its only in the van as a problem solver. Mainly tree roots & door frames etc.
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Dave - The Medway Handyman
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Which is kind of what I meant - it does things that would be hard to do by other methods. Not bad at pruning and lopping either.
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John.

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A recip saw is going to turn an hours work into a day's. Chains are very fast. Chains have real safety issues though, its so easy for things to go wrong, and when they do its nasty.
When I burnt wood my approach was to make the burner big enough to take a high percentage of stuff whole, about 4' IIRC. Most of that work then just disappears.
NT
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That would be my view on this as well. I have had two people die in front of me due to chainsaw accidents, they come top of the list for the most dangerous and lethal tool in inexperienced hands.
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Crikey. WHat do you do? Tree surgery?
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inexperienced
No, just in the right place at the wrong time. The first fatality was during the storm of 1987 our village was completely cut off, the roads were blocked with fallen trees, power and telephone cables. An elderly chap was cutting a fallen tree in his garden slipped or tripped and partially severed his right leg he was bleeding profusely. We carried him on a door someone had ripped off his house the two miles across country to the main road in the hope this was open and we could get him to a hospital. Regrettably he didn't make it, and died in our arms halfway there. The second was even worse for me as I was on my own, I was delivering eggs, as I drove into this chaps driveway he was up a 20ft ladder pruning a branch right in front of his face. I stopped dead thinking Jesus Christ, at which point he turned around and looked at me, the chainsaw kicked back and hit him full in the face, he fell from the ladder to his death.
I have used many potentially dangerous powered tools for many years, the chainsaw is the only one I still stop and think carefully about what I am about to do before even starting it.
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After those experiences I'm surprised that you are able to write about it, let alone use a chainsaw.. There isn't much that can be said after that,
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:-(
So, our daughter is due to start a career in Arbory so inevitably will be using said beast in her work.
So, assuming she has all the right training (and puts it into practice) and wears the right gear etc, how dangerous are they in experienced hands do you think Mark?
All the best ..
T i m
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inexperienced
See my reply to AH Its not the tool that causes the accident but the person using it.
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Understood, like "guns don't kill people, people kill people" (especially those carrying guns). ;-)
All the best ..
T i m
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wrote:

I can understand your concern for your daughter's safety, but with proper training equipment and attitude she will be fine.
You can never protect against the freak accident no matter what you do for a living, people have managed to kill themselves with a pencil, and im embarrassed to admit that I was very nearly one of them. ;(
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Thanks. Luckily she is one of those people who take note when we say "careful, that's dangerous". She asks why and want's to know all the wrinkles. Her big sister on the other hand would often go straight out and test our warnings! :-(

:-( indeed!
All the best ..
T i m
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OK, I'll buy it. How? went up nose?
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