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Thread: Chainsaws as canoeing equipment....

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Chainsaws as canoeing equipment....

    For the past few years, I've used an axe to blaze a way up my favorite log-jammed river. Now, older and smarter, I'm thinking of adding a small, light chainsaw to my kit to make that task quicker and more efficient.

    Do any of you old hands do the same? What size and bar? How do you haul it so that it is protected?

    I'm thinking of a small arborist saw. Experience, opinions and advice appreciated.

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    Default Saw

    16 inch works for me

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    This last year I started hauling a Ryobi 18 volt chainsaw on river trips. I already had two batteries for other equipment, so adding the chainsaw only cost me about $40. I have yet to completly run even one of the batteries down on a trip, and I'm quite surprised how well it works on small to medium (for Alaska) timber. It only has a 12 inch bar but I find that to be enough. I like the quiet, and the lack of fuel needs. It can ride upside down all day long, and never have an issue with starting.

    Depending on how many, and how large the logs are, it can work well.

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    Smile great idea

    WOW !!!I like that battery powered Idea..
    I have a battery powered light weight sawzall that I can put a wood blade in.... but the battery powered chain saw is on my list of need to have items now...
    That is one of the best ideas I have ever heard..
    For years I have carried a little 12inch gas chainsaw in my sno-go tote that fits behind my seat, I remove the bar and chain so it takes up very little room. If I need to bushwack, It takes about 2 minutes to set it up and I can get to cutting my self out of the jam I got myself in,, or to clear the trail.. I carry only on qt extra of gas, and have never needed anymore than that. the bar oil will last about two tanks, so I just fill it before I leave and I will run out of fuel before bar oil is out.
    But I can see my life has now changed forever with this new idea..
    The Battery chainsaw will be in my sno-go box this winter also..
    thanks so much for that great Idea.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Default battery chainsaw....

    mark me down as a skeptic on a battery powered chainsaw. Perhaps I'm planning on heavier duty work.

    I am a carpenter with a whole kit of 18volts power tools....some of the types of tools work better than others....!/2" driver/drills for instance...indespensible. I have a 6 1/2 blade 18v circular saw...good saw, but for only a few applications. It doesn't have enough torque to cut thru thicker material, and quickly drains the battery....I've tried a Milwaukee circular saw with 27.5v lithium-ion battery, and it was almost as good as a quality, corded sidewinder circ. saw. Almost. The batteries are the trick. Very long life with a flat discharge curve, unlike ni-cads which have a declining discharge curve. If Milwaukee or one of the other tool makers using lith-ion batteries make a battery powered chainsaw I'd be more enthusiastic and less skeptical. Of course, such a batt-chainsaw would be very expensive ...and the Ryobi isn't. In my example river, we had to cut thru some 12+" log impediments...up until now, with an axe. Maybe I'm wrong....I'd like to hear other experiences and opinions.

    As for winter use, ni-cad batteries have to be kept warm to function well.

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    Rick, NiCad and NiMH batteries are known for their very flat discharge curve. Nearly full power until just about depleted. And they actually put out about the same amperage as LiIon per volume of battery. The LiIon will last longer though, and weighs far less. But you are certainly right about the cold weather issue. LiIon is far better in the cold, but even they are not exempt from pretty drastic cold discharge. LiIon really is not that expensive to make, and after the latest craze goes by they should drop in price dramatically. Still I think battery powered anything is a bad idea for snow machining.

    That said, the Ryobi chain saw works better than I expected for what it is -- a very small battery powered saw. But I wouldn't want to depend on it for cutting 12' logs. I used it for cutting camp firewood, removing small downed trees, etc. It works great for this, but it is certainly not going to work for every purpose.

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    Default batteries....

    Jim....

    I just wrote a long essay about batteries and somehow got a database error that lost it....

    Suffice it to say if you have a link or graphs of the comparative discharge curves I'd like to see them.

    I've made or modified and sold headlamps for dog mushers for 3 decades. I've used alkaline, nicad, nimh, and lithium batteries extensively. Nicads and nimh were primarily better for being rechargable, though they were somewhat better than alkaline, but nothing!!! like lithium. Lithium batteries have a constant light output until they are dead - suddenly. Of course, they are also terribly expensive in C and D cell sizes. The small AA/AAA are more available and cheaper, but they are slow discharge and not useful for high intensity headlamps of the type I'm talking about. Seeing 100m in front of 80' of dogs is kind of a specialized use. And the continuing development of L.E.D. bulb technology with eventually change everthing.

    Anyway, I'll look at the Ryobi - which does look like it could be good for light duty use. My trail blazing thru a maze on a log/brush jammed river probably require gasoline power. I'm looking at a small, industrial grade Shindawa arborist saw. I can get a rebuilt one at a fair price from a dealer I know.

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    Although I didn't find any discharge curves in it, one of the best sources for battery information on the net is at: http://www.batteryuniversity.com/index.htm

    Most of my experince is with camera flash units. I use NiMH AA's for photography flash. Surprising to some, this is a very high drain application, and I use them for a wedding photography. NiMH outperforms alkaline substantially. After less than 50 pops the alkalines slow from 6 second recycles to 15 seconds, and from there they just get intollerable. But NiMH continues at less than 5 seconds for a couple hundred pops or more (or until the flash bulb explodes from the heat).

    Lithium Ion batteries do indeed have a very flat discharge curve, but so do NiMH, and NiMH will actually put out as much power as LiIon, but for a shorter time. The disposable lithiums AA's that are available have more energy density than NiMH (and way more than alkalines), but because of higher internal resitance they put out less power and recycle the flash units slower. There are some types of rechargable LiIon batteries that put out a higher current nearly equal to the NiMH's, but they don't work for my application. Most cobalt based rechargable LiIon batteries of the type used today in small devices can not put out the current required for power tools or larger flash units. They need the newer Manganese based LiIon for those.

    On another note, I bought a 3 watt LED head lamp last year and am quite amazed by it. I took in on a Grand Canyon float trip last fall, and it handily outshined anything anybody else brought along. It would light up distant canyon walls with just a flick of the head. It also was downright miserly with batteries. I put 4 AA disposable lithiums in it, and never had to replace them after 2 weeks of nightly use, although I didn't use the 3 watt setting all that much. Still, compared to alkalines and halogen or tungsten bulbs. this is clearly the future.

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    Default batteries....

    Jim....
    My lithium battery experience is with, primarily, SAFT or Eternacell...d-cell size. I haven't bought any for 7 years, but they then cost me $1100/100....
    I've experimented with the PrincetonTec Apex, which uses the best current LED bulb for headlamps...Luxon's 3watt...and it a nice bulb, still it doesn't come close to some of the less power efficient, but vastly brighter bulb systems available. In my use, the 3watt bulb was fine for seeing detail on the dogs in the team and perhaps 30 feet beyond the leaders, but not nearly far enough or focused enough to route find far enough in front to make decisions well in advance of the team getting there at 10 to 18mph...and a dog team doesn't back up. If you must backtrack, you have to turn the team around...not something you want to do - time consuming and not without possible risk of injury to dogs, gear or musher. It's a specialized requirement. Now, I use 2 headlamps...a PrincetonTec Apex and one of my own high intensity headlamps for route finding, both rigged so they can be worn at the same time. My bright light uses 5 Panasonic nicads in a pack and I carry several packs on a long run. I abandoned nimh due to the expense, and they didn't have as long a unit life span as long as the nicads and weren't, for me, worth the increased cost.

    On trips or races, lithiums are my choice....

    Headlamps on water and snow project much further. On a wet night in the woods, the dark ground seems to absorb light and render any light less effective. Anyway thanks for the link.

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