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Nuggets Mahoney

Chainsaw Buying Anxiety

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I've been tasked with buying (and using) a petrol chainsaw by a couple of relatives who need to clean up a small wood and render the cuttings down to firewood. I need to bite the bullet and order it soon as it needs to go on a coach load of grannies over Easter.

The thing is it's not going to be used on a daily basis and I can't really justify spending granny money on buying a pro-spec Stihl or Husqvarna. The reviews on the entry level Husqvarna are a bit here and there.

The most popular petrol chainsaw on Amazon appears to be a ninety quid 'TimberPro CS-6150' which has garnered 62 almost uniformly positive reviews.

It is, of course, a piece of Chinese made cr@p.

Any thoughts on what a chap should do would be greatly appreciated. If they are in any way constructive that would be even better.

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I've been tasked with buying (and using) a petrol chainsaw by a couple of relatives who need to clean up a small wood and render the cuttings down to firewood. I need to bite the bullet and order it soon as it needs to go on a coach load of grannies over Easter.

The thing is it's not going to be used on a daily basis and I can't really justify spending granny money on buying a pro-spec Stihl or Husqvarna. The reviews on the entry level Husqvarna are a bit here and there.

The most popular petrol chainsaw on Amazon appears to be a ninety quid 'TimberPro CS-6150' which has garnered 62 almost uniformly positive reviews.

It is, of course, a piece of Chinese made cr@p.

Any thoughts on what a chap should do would be greatly appreciated. If they are in any way constructive that would be even better.

I helped my mate chop a tree down, but I wouldn't go near the chainsaw, looked too dangerous. I would focus on the armor.

He had this thing called a saw horse, which made hacking up the logs easier and helped him bring his manly power tool spend up to its yearly budget.

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I helped my mate chop a tree down, but I wouldn't go near the chainsaw, looked too dangerous. I would focus on the armor.

He had this thing called a saw horse, which made hacking up the logs easier and helped him bring his manly power tool spend up to its yearly budget.

I'm the same. OK with axes, mauls, froes and bow saws. Much less OK with chainsaws. Appropriate armour is in the shopping basket. I did baulk at the cost of the special trousers though.

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Any thoughts on what a chap should do would be greatly appreciated. If they are in any way constructive that would be even better.

Constructive suggestions are always more useful than silly ones.

Have you had a look at the Screwfix catalog? I bought a petrol hedgecutter from them and it was OK.

If you buy a known brand, you can get parts for it, even if it is made in China. I would recommend chainsaw users to wear chainsaw trousers. I am not a health and safety nutter. They look really cool!

Remember to put magic two-stroke oil in your fuel. I have a special petrol can for my hedgecutter.

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Thought about hiring ?

It's going overseas (Italy). It's going to be used for a few weeks over Easter, then a few more weeks over Summer, then a few more weeks in the Autumn. The local stores only stock the same sort of stuff, at about 50%+ more.

I mentioned it here and now because it appears to be the season of buying anxiety plus it's another example of the 'do I buy the cheap Chinese cr@p(?)' conundrum. Of course, it'd be lovely to be able to buy top-end everything.

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It's going overseas (Italy). It's going to be used for a few weeks over Easter, then a few more weeks over Summer, then a few more weeks in the Autumn. The local stores only stock the same sort of stuff, at about 50%+ more.

I mentioned it here and now because it appears to be the season of buying anxiety plus it's another example of the 'do I buy the cheap Chinese cr@p(?)' conundrum. Of course, it'd be lovely to be able to buy top-end everything.

I think that is the thing with hiring, you get quality gear, the armor and a bloke to show you how to use it, which is good if you are not 100% confident. From the web it is about 100 quid for a weekend.

If you are using it a lot then I guess it is worthwhile buying. The sawhorse I would definitely get because it makes the sawing up a lot easier with the chainsaw, plus you can use normal saws on it as well.

Disclaimer : I have never used a chainsaw, but spent some time shouting instructions at someone else who was.

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I think that is the thing with hiring, you get quality gear, the armor and a bloke to show you how to use it, which is good if you are not 100% confident. From the web it is about 100 quid for a weekend.

Yes sometime renting the proper tool is a real timesaver! I had to make a hole for the washing machine outlet! I hired a "right proper" giant drill to make the 40 cm hole. Cost £25, and the job was done in ten minutes!

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I think that is the thing with hiring, you get quality gear, the armor and a bloke to show you how to use it, which is good if you are not 100% confident. From the web it is about 100 quid for a weekend.

If you are using it a lot then I guess it is worthwhile buying. The sawhorse I would definitely get because it makes the sawing up a lot easier with the chainsaw, plus you can use normal saws on it as well.

Disclaimer : I have never used a chainsaw, but spent some time shouting instructions at someone else who was.

Agreed.

fwiw I, and the chap who'll be using it most, are not exactly unfamiliar with these things. I just don't like them very much regardless. He's also a dab hand at knocking up impromptu saw horses, along these sort of lines...

15dvryv.jpg

Fingers crossed, SNACR may still drift randomly by and mention that there's a job lot of ludicrously-underpriced German made chainsaws doing the rounds that no-one can get shot of

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Agreed.

fwiw I, and the chap who'll be using it most, are not exactly unfamiliar with these things. I just don't like them very much regardless. He's also a dab hand at knocking up impromptu saw horses, along these sort of lines...

15dvryv.jpg

Fingers crossed, SNACR may still drift randomly by and mention that there's a job lot of ludicrously-underpriced German made chainsaws doing the rounds that no-one can get shot of

Was that the first attempt at using a piece of gym equipment to escape from a POW camp?

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Stihl is the best bet if you are ok at doing maintenance because there will be a parts supply for the foreseeable future, and they will last forever if properly looked after in a home use situation. If powertools are viewed as disposable items, go with the chinese stuff because it's cheaper.

The large majority of quality home user two stroke engined power tools stop working when old fuel turns to jelly with time, gumming up the fuel pump arrangement in the carb.

If unfamiliar with using a chainsaw, youtube: tension and compression when cutting, kickback, what the chainbrake is for and how to sharpen chains.

Good work getting safety kit. I'm afraid chainsaw trousers will be very hot and chainsaw wellies v. uncomfortable, but the helmets with visor and ear defenders are handy. I would advise buying around 3 chains, so they can be swapped when blunt and sharpening can wait until back in the shed with a bench vice and decent lighting.

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Stihl is the best bet if you are ok at doing maintenance because there will be a parts supply for the foreseeable future, and they will last forever if properly looked after in a home use situation. If powertools are viewed as disposable items, go with the chinese stuff because it's cheaper.

The large majority of quality home user two stroke engined power tools stop working when old fuel turns to jelly with time, gumming up the fuel pump arrangement in the carb.

If unfamiliar with using a chainsaw, youtube: tension and compression when cutting, kickback, what the chainbrake is for and how to sharpen chains.

Good work getting safety kit. I'm afraid chainsaw trousers will be very hot and chainsaw wellies v. uncomfortable, but the helmets with visor and ear defenders are handy. I would advise buying around 3 chains, so they can be swapped when blunt and sharpening can wait until back in the shed with a bench vice and decent lighting.

i think this is a situation where this particular power tool will be a disposable item and if it lasts for the two year warranty period (which the importer appears to be honouring), considering the price, job done. Thinking about the waste of this paradigm makes me grind my teeth though.

Good idea with the extra chain. I'll probably pick up an extra Stihl/ Oregon chain as an additional spare.

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Was that the first attempt at using a piece of gym equipment to escape from a POW camp?

Actually I think it's a manger for PaulOkes, for when he returns to build Heaven on Earth.

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Excellent. At last, another topic where I have some content to offer!

How much firewood and what sort of size? If you are planning on using a log stove heavily, you will need several tonnes a year - which is quite a bit. It all depends on where you are getting the wood from. If you are getting a load of small trees, then a small saw is fine. If you are getting hold of big trees and "rounds" then you will need a bigger saw, and an axe.

Stihl vs Husqvarna - I'm a Stihl man, but Husqvarna are good.

The key thing about these two is that the spares position is brilliant. My favourite firewood saw is a Stihl 070, which dates from the early 70s - this is for cutting big stuff up. I can get spares within a day or two, direct from Stihl or eBay.

Echo are OK. Old Alpina stuff in Italy is OK, but heavy.

Chinese stuff - is cack. You might strike it lucky and get a good one, but you probably won't. When it breaks, forget getting spares. One thing to bear in mind - you are handling a piece of kit that can take your leg off in the blink of an eye. You really want it to have been built by a company that knows what it is doing - speed of chain brake and chain catchers are two safety items that you will only know exist when they save you.

I'd get a s/h Stihl rather than a new Chinese thing.

Assuming you are dealing small stuff, you can get an S/H Stihl MS260 for about £300, probably less ( that was the first one I saw on ebay). With a 15" bar, it is an ideal small firewood saw. If you are dealing with big stuff (>12"), then you need to step up to some pretty serious kit - MS360/1 or an MS440.

Key point to remember - the bar of the saw must be several inches longer than the width of the wood you are cutting. Most people get whacked by saws when the tip of the bar is buried in the wood. In the wrong hands the saw kicks back and says hello to your face. This is bad.

Other stuff:

- decent 2 stroke oil Don't use cheap cack, it will ruin the saw. Stihl HP.

- ear defenders. Ideally a helmet/ear combo, keeps the chips out of your eyes.

- decent gloves, preferably with a kevlar back.

- kevlar trousers or chaps. For hot weather, get chaps. They look a bit YMCA, but you can wear them with shorts which is tolerable.

- several spare chains

- a file kit for your size of chain and a spare pack of files

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Excellent. At last, another topic where I have some content to offer!

/ snip

The anxiety returns... (I thought I had made a decision)

All good stuff, thanks (especially the safety features).

Re. the amounts and sizes involved. The (small) house is only occupied for a month or two in the colder months. The available diameters all the way up to large, limited only by me telling the oldsters involved to get real and leave the really big stuff alone.

If I was buying for myself or I had regular access to the saw, I'd buy a 2nd hand Stihl and make sure it's looked after.

The thing is it's going to be used infrequently by an old Italian fella who knows his stuff, in his way, but maintains a certain devil may care attitude to tool maintenance that's traditional in his part of the world. He'll make sure it's drained when he's not using it but that's about as far as it goes.

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The anxiety returns...

All good stuff, thanks (especially the safety features).

Re. the amounts and sizes involved. The (small) house is only occupied for a month or two in the colder months. The available diameters all the way up to large, limited only by me telling the oldsters involved to get real and leave the really big stuff alone.

If I was buying for myself or I had regular access to the saw, I'd buy a 2nd hand Stihl and make sure it's looked after.

The thing is it's going to be used infrequently by an old Italian fella who knows his stuff, in his way, but maintains a certain devil may care attitude to tool maintenance that's traditional in his part of the world. He'll make sure it's drained when he's not using it but that's about as far as it goes.

Wow. I am sure you are careful with these things, but Sicilian "gentlemen" of a certain vintage will be chopping each other apart, and burying the bits! :blink:

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Don't buy a second hand saw, it won't work or if it does it will be stolen!

Get a new Stihl ms171 - We sell loads of then and they are great for occasional use. :- https://www.google.co.uk/search?safe=off&tbm=shop&q=stihl+ms171&ei=oB4LVc-_EYXR7QaxyYCwAw

I actually do warranty work for stihl, and the spares/backup is first rate.

Tempting (though I've been asked to get something a little bigger)

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I'm the same. OK with axes, mauls, froes and bow saws. Much less OK with chainsaws. Appropriate armour is in the shopping basket. I did baulk at the cost of the special trousers though.

Trousers are the most important part ,if a chainsaw kicks the chances are the nearest appendage to the blade will be the legs would not be cutting down standing trees of any size without them

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I think that is the thing with hiring, you get quality gear, the armor and a bloke to show you how to use it, which is good if you are not 100% confident. From the web it is about 100 quid for a weekend.

If you are using it a lot then I guess it is worthwhile buying. The sawhorse I would definitely get because it makes the sawing up a lot easier with the chainsaw, plus you can use normal saws on it as well.

Disclaimer : I have never used a chainsaw, but spent some time shouting instructions at someone else who was.

Don`t you need a certificate of competence/licence to hire a chainsaw now ,i know it`s required to use one in the work place sure i heard it`s the same for hiring now

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