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Old 09-21-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
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Chainsaws; which way to go

I'm looking at buying a chainsaw.
Something that's kind of catching my eye is Stihl's recent MS 160 C-BQ. It's a cordless electric saw. The reviews I've read seem positive with the caveat that you shouldn't expect anywhere near the torque from even the smallest of the gas saws.

Most places I go, there's firewood already cut, so whatever saw I buy will be used only a couple of times a year if that. In my experience, most gas chainsaws don't like to sit unused for extended periods of time.
The other thing is storage. I'm in an apartment, so my options for storing the gas can, oil and saw are either the closet, my Jeep or in the RV. None of those seem very palatable.

The new Stihls are very pricey -the saw, one battery and charger will run me close to $700 (the battery alone is $250) and with their 12" bar, they're rated for around a maximum of 8" logs (guess I could always finish off something bigger with my bow saw).

Does anyone have any experience with these saws ?
Or even know someone who has one ?
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:20 AM   #2
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Just a though but IMO if you only use a saw that little, why not just rent one when you need it. Far cheaper, the chain will be sharp and you can get the saw you need for that day vs trying to figure out how to deal with a junk of wood twice the size your saw can handle. For $700.00 you can reant saws for a very long time.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
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The last time I looked you could buy a Black and Decker 18v or a Craftsman 19.2v for around $100 and I think they claim a 8" log also. We bought a Craftsman for my father-in-law. I have never seen it in use but I don't think it cuts very fast or many logs. Might be ok for some occassional campfires.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:42 AM   #4
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Fair point about renting one. In fact, the idea of doing that never even occurred to me. Only problem is on longer trips like my summer shut down (at work) where I'm gone for a month and have no idea where I'll be stopping.

Actually, the local Stihl dealer is United Rentals. I'll have to ask them about that.

The Stihl is 36 volt -which probably has a lot to do with the price difference over the B&D and Craftsman tools. I suspect this is a good example of "you get what you pay for".


(and yes, I am trying to talk myself into buying one and am hoping more sensible heads will give me good reasons not to )
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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Have you looked at corded electric chain saws. I've had one for years and it is great. I also have a gas one for bigger stuff, but I never take it camping. I know they don't cost $700, maybe $100 for a good one. As little as I use it, pulling out an extension cord is no big deal and I don't worry about the battery going bed.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:57 AM   #6
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I've used corded electric chainsaws in the past and they certainly do have their uses but I don't carry a generator and the only place I would need the saw is when I'm far away from the nearest electrical outlet.
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Old 09-21-2012, 12:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I've used corded electric chainsaws in the past and they certainly do have their uses but I don't carry a generator and the only place I would need the saw is when I'm far away from the nearest electrical outlet.
Sorry, I have never dry camped with a TT, so I didn't think about that angle.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:47 PM   #8
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Why not go OLD SCHOOL if you don't saw too much and are thinking a small elect saw will work. Get an aol fashioned MANUAL saw i.e. a nice bow saw.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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If is just for limited use I would look at a battery sawzall with a aggressive wood blade. You may fine it very useful for other projects as well. You would be surprised at what they will cut.
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Old 09-21-2012, 11:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
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If is just for limited use I would look at a battery sawzall with a aggressive wood blade. You may fine it very useful for other projects as well. You would be surprised at what they will cut.
Wally
There ya go! I bought a corded sawzall for home use rather than buying a chainsaw. It does everything a chainsaw will, has no smell, is quiet and simply turns off and on.
Did you know that you can buy a 12 volt chainsaw?
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindy View Post
Why not go OLD SCHOOL if you don't saw too much and are thinking a small elect saw will work. Get an aol fashioned MANUAL saw i.e. a nice bow saw.
X2 on the bow saw. They really work quite well if you don't mind a little manual work and only cost a fraction of what you are talking.
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Old 09-22-2012, 06:45 AM   #12
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We have a Ryobi battery chainsaw and use it camping all the time. Dh uses his drill that takes the same battery for the jacks on the camper so we bring alongbthe charger anyway. Its a very nice thing to have and does the job well.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:39 AM   #13
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Bow saws I have. Just getting old and spoiled I guess...

Sawzall ? There's a thought. I always thought they'd be very useful during moose season.

Twisty -by 12 volt, are you referring to something that would work off my Jeep battery ?
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:40 PM   #14
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I already have several Craftsman 19.2 tools including a sawzall I use with their lithium ion batteries. So when I saw their chainsaw I got one of them as well. It does okay for what it is.

I put it in the RV on our maiden voyage, but thankfully didn't need it when we returned home after Isaac passed through. It's 3/10ths of a mile from the blacktop on our drive to the barn we live in, and an occasional tree will block the way.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:20 PM   #15
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A cordless recip saw will do about 90% of the work of an electric chain saw with less maintenance
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:04 PM   #16
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I'm with lindy and Malco on this... bow saw...sharpened well... Quiet and quick. Have one at home, would rather use it than gas chain saw I have, given smaller wood. Electric saw I have not used, so no opinon there.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:07 PM   #17
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But then I'm talking firewood, not a tree across the road...
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:54 AM   #18
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I've held off on buying anything new for now.
When I went out two weeks ago I took a cordless reciprocating saw I had, plus my bow saw -which I always have along anyways.

As it happened, I didn't need either.

My next and probably final trip this year is at the end of the month and will definitely be boondocking as all the parks up here are now closed for the season.
We'll see how the sawzall works then, no doubt.

A friend of mine -a real bushman who considers a wall tent a luxury- always laughs at me cutting logs to "stove" length. He just drags downed trees over to the fire and lets the fire cut them into pieces.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:20 AM   #19
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I am 2-stroke motor challenged - I have no issue fixing a V8 truck motor, but I had to replace the weed wacker with an electric trimmer b/c I am sick of trying to figure out why it would not put out full power when it would start.

That said, I have a nice Stihl 24" gas saw - last Halloween it was used for four days straight clearing my drive way and yard without an issue and since we did not get electricity for five days it was a good thing to have.

One concern in the electric vs gas - if you do a lot of cutting, like for a woodstove, wear chaps. If you are wearing chaps, you want gas powered. Electric does not bind when it hits chaps and will keep going - with obvious results.
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