gas or electric?

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  #1  
Old 05-01-05, 02:49 PM
JasonS
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gas or electric?

I bought a house last fall, and have slowly been accumulating the tools I need to fix up the yard. The only couple power tools I've bought so far (leaf blower and weed-eater) have been electric, mostly for price reasons.

Now I'm thinking about getting a chainsaw. Even the least expensive gas saw is too much for me to pay right now, but the electric ones would fit my budget. The trees I need to cut are not that big, so I don't need a saw with a really long bar. I just don't want to get an electric saw and find out it's not up to the job.

Other than having to deal with a power cord, is there a huge benefit to having a gas saw instead of electric? How would a 3.5hp electric compare to a 33cc gas engine as far as power?

Thanks.
 
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Old 05-01-05, 04:21 PM
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JasonS,

I have an electric chain saw that sits on a shelf.
The lack of power and the nusance of having to drag a cord around makes this tool a royal pain.

I have two gas powered saws but if I want something quick to lop of an occasional branch a cordless reciprocating saw is better that the electric chain saw.
 
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Old 05-01-05, 04:25 PM
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Most home centers as well as Sears will have small new gas chainsaws for about $100. They are typically Poulan. One of these should serve your purposes well. They typically come with a 14" or 16" bar, which is not very long.

Here are some of the downsides of an electric chainsaw:
- Voltage drop due to the length of the cord. Unless there is a power outlet within 50' of the tree (doubtful) some loss of power will occur.
- Unless you already have 50' or more of 12-gauge extension cord, that expense offsets the difference in price.

If this tree/stump removal is a one-time thing (since you don't live on a tree farm) you might consider hiring out the job, removing the need for a chainsaw at all.
 
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Old 05-02-05, 01:17 AM
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Why not buy a sawzall. I bought a blade with a tooth pattern similar to the old loggers crosscut saw and it works great for small stuff, as it is about 8 " long.
I can't decide which is handier for all around use, a sawzall or cordless drill.
My $.02 worth,
Mike
 
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Old 05-02-05, 02:29 AM
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With what you have you have the power cords now so Id stay with electric chainsaw. I droped a 12" pine with mine. Did all kind up clean up with it after the hurricane's.
Like said make sure you have a good power cord 14 or a12 if you can find it.


ED
 
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Old 05-02-05, 07:11 AM
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I don't know much about the power of electric chainsaws. But, I can tell you some disadvantages to gas. The most frequent problem is the gasoline getting old. If you don't use the chainsaw much, a gallon of premixed gas will go bad before you use it up. What is worse is if you leave the gas in the chainsaw and it goes bad. Gasoline chainsaws require more maintenance and have more that can go wrong. Mine is much harder to start after it has been sitting a long time.

I have been following this thread with interest because I have been contemplating the purchase of an electric chainsaw. Since I moved to the city, my gas chainsaw (Stihl 036) is more than I need and a lot of work to use for occasional pruining. I've been using my sawzal or a hand pruning saw for the little stuff. I am thinking about electric because it is plug and play. Plug it in pull the trigger and go; The bar and chain is all that needs to be maintained. But what I am reading hear sounds like an electric chainsaw isn't much better than my sawzal. Thanks
 
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Old 05-02-05, 07:40 AM
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I too am interested in this topic to hear what others say about this tool.

I have albeit under powered, a near new one on my shelf.
If I had a specific need for an electric chain saw I would purchase a top brand one. I know if I was to work the one I have hard it would not last.
I have seen our local fire department has a quality one they use off a generator but I didn't catch the brand.

I'm seriously thinking about mounting mine on a really long pole for trimming some of the large trees I have here.
 
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Old 05-02-05, 09:47 AM
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For trimming purposes, a Sawzall with the 9" wood blade is quite acceptable.
I have a neighbor who uses a generator to prune his trees with it. If you already have a generator that is sufficiently portable, an electric chainsaw should work fine. The original poster is starting out and unlikely to have a generator around.

My gas chain saw and gas weed eater use the same fuel, so the fuel deterioration is not an issue in the 1-gallon size. The weed eater ensures that the fuel is reasonably fresh and gas is emptied from each tank after each use.
 
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Old 05-02-05, 10:09 AM
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GregH
As I said I have had gas chain saws And I like them. But like said if you dont need it all the time get and electric one for sure. I have a 2.5 Remington and I have droped a large 12" pine with it. For what I do with it I dont need a gas one anymore for sure.
Now on the other hand I Got one of the pole electric chainsaw DONT DO IT. Even with that small electric saw and it sure does cut ITS he** to try and hold up there when you have the pole out. Now I tried a gas pole saw. Have to say with the motor back on the one end and the saw on the other It sure is better it like balances the whole thing for you. But its heavy to.
I have had the 2.5 for years now have put 2 new bars and chain on it so far is all.
My .02 cents

ED
 

Last edited by Ed Imeduc; 05-02-05 at 12:03 PM.
  #10  
Old 05-02-05, 11:55 AM
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gas are far more annoying when you crank them up at 7 on sunday morning ..

so is it payback time for any neighbors ??

 
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Old 05-02-05, 06:49 PM
JasonS
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Thanks for all the responses.

I didn't know the gas mixture could get old and cause problems. That and the complexity of the motor are negatives against a gas saw, because my knowledge of motors is very basic. My neighbors don't have to worry about me starting up early on Sunday mornings, since I'm no early riser... but it's hard to beat the sound of a gas chainsaw in the morning

I'm still concerned about the cutting power of an electric with the 16 gauge/13 amp cords that I have. Would those provide enough juice for an electric? (I admit it, my electrical knowledge is as limited as my mechanical)

A sawzall would be really nice to have, but it won't do the job for what I have to cut now. I'll definitely consider one for smaller pruning jobs in the future though.

Thanks again for all the info.
 
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Old 05-03-05, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JasonS
I'm still concerned about the cutting power of an electric with the 16 gauge/13 amp cords that I have. Would those provide enough juice for an electric? (I admit it, my electrical knowledge is as limited as my mechanical)
The longer the cord, the more voltage drop, the heavier gauge you need to carry the required amps. I think the requirement is you should move to the next gauge size every 25 feet (correct me if I'm wrong). So, if you plan on doing some work 100 feet away from the closest outlet, figure on getting 100 feet of 10 gauge cord.
 
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Old 05-03-05, 10:32 AM
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i must add



The convinience of a gas saw is unbeatable, especially when you are knee deep in tangled up branches. And the speed is unmatched. An electric saw usually feels like a severely de-tuned gas one to me. But I live in the woods If you only have only one tree on your property and it's 20 feet away from the house, a sawzall will do.
 
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