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Thread: Best sized chainsaw to take hunting?

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Best sized chainsaw to take hunting?

    I already have a large chainsaw for cutting down trees and making large stacks of firewood around the house.

    Now, I'd like to get a small chainsaw for taking out into the bush. I want something light and handy for clearing the occasional: sweeper while rafting, deadfall that's blocking an ATV trail, or for cutting poles around camp.

    Portability is the key, so that it can fit into the: boat, vehicle, aircraft. I'm not looking for anyone's brand loyalty, just the size of the powerhead and bar length of the chainsaw that you currently use around camp, or would buy instead, if you had to purchase again.

    Examples: Don't get anything under XX cc's/hp because it won't even cut matchsticks.
    BLANK makes a great mount/case that fits on any ATV, but, it won't take a bar over XX inches long.

    Thanx and Happy New Year!
    Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    Dave, I won't try to answer many of your questions, but I do have a bit of experience in the arborist world. From there you can read into the fact that I own and used a lot of chainsaws and have seen many get hurt with same. Naturally I have my opinion on what's best out there, but you stated you don't want that. However, I will give you one bit of advice...don't buy one of those single top handled arborist saws that are specifically designed for in tree work. These saws have only a single top handle and are designed for in-tree work only and should not be used otherwise. Yes they are light, and yes you can use them one handed, e.g., reaching out to cut a limb. However chainsaws have a nasty habit of kicking back and kicking back hard if you get the bar in the wrong position while cutting. The only way to safely handle a saw is with two hands one in front of the built in chain break just in front of the top handle and the other on the back handle. If you have a firm grip on the top handle and a second hold on the back handle you're in a much better position safety wise. That's all I'll say about this. If you want statistics on accidents with single top handle saws you can find them, just look at Treebuzz.com or other arborist sites.

    Be safe...

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekberger View Post
    Dave, I won't try to answer many of your questions, but I do have a bit of experience in the arborist world. From there you can read into the fact that I own and used a lot of chainsaws and have seen many get hurt with same. Naturally I have my opinion on what's best out there, but you stated you don't want that. However, I will give you one bit of advice...don't buy one of those single top handled arborist saws that are specifically designed for in tree work. These saws have only a single top handle and are designed for in-tree work only and should not be used otherwise. Yes they are light, and yes you can use them one handed, e.g., reaching out to cut a limb. However chainsaws have a nasty habit of kicking back and kicking back hard if you get the bar in the wrong position while cutting. The only way to safely handle a saw is with two hands one in front of the built in chain break just in front of the top handle and the other on the back handle. If you have a firm grip on the top handle and a second hold on the back handle you're in a much better position safety wise. That's all I'll say about this. If you want statistics on accidents with single top handle saws you can find them, just look at Treebuzz.com or other arborist sites.

    Be safe...
    You're not the guy I met in Colorado 30 years ago with the jagged scar running diagonally all the way across his face, are you?
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    Member ekberger's Avatar
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    No, but I've seen similar injuries. On TreeBuzz under the thread Awakenings http://www.treebuzz.com/forum/postli...=0&Board=UBB10 are a whole host of chain saw and other tree work related injuries. I can point to other sites as well. I have a very healthy respect for what a chain saw can do to a person in no time at all. I won't use one without my personal protective equipment (PPE). Have I ever done without, yes I won't lie about that, but as I've gotten older and hopefully wiser I think twice more times than not.

    More than you wanted to know but here's a link that will take anybody interested to a primer on working with top handed chain saws that I posted for TreeStuff.com http://www.treestuff.com/knowledge.asp?knowledge_id=13 These are great little saws but are designed for a specific use. To be safe, use two hands on a saw, top and back. There are lots of small saws with 12 or 14" bars that would work for what I think the poster is looking for. I have brand preferences because I know what works in the long run, but that's not whats being ask for.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ekberger View Post
    No, but I've seen similar injuries.
    Me too. Didn't think so; just adding an exclamation point to your excellent warning. This guy's scar was impressive, and acquired due to unsafe practice and improper grip.

    Sorry for the hijack, Dav.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    A good lookin' kid in high school that the girls were all gaga over had a bar kick back on him and he wasn't as good lookin' anymore.

    I suffered a cut to the knee myself in my 20s. The chain on a big Homelight caught my levis and that was all it took....even though it wasn't under power at the time....was idling down. Wasn't too bad but the Doc said another 1/4 inch and I would have been limping the rest of my life.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    I like a Stihl 211 with a 16" bar for camp duties. Easy to start even after long periods of non-use. Feels like a toy if you are used to toting around a bigger saw used for firewood. It'll make quick work of firewood, trail clearing, etc, and with a sharp chain, can really cut some good sized timber should you have one come across the trail/road you need to cut.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Ekb,

    Thanx for the excellent reply! I have seen those top-handled-only saws and wondered about their utility? They are all very short & light, but I agree, regular 2-handed models are best for my planned usage. Among the smallest saws offered, are those having about a 30cc/2hp powerhead and running a 12" bar. Are these big enough for light/infrequest chores out on the trail/river, or are they just toys capable of only pruning rose bushes?

    Thanx again, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Member tzieli22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluNosDav View Post
    Ekb,

    Thanx for the excellent reply! I have seen those top-handled-only saws and wondered about their utility? They are all very short & light, but I agree, regular 2-handed models are best for my planned usage. Among the smallest saws offered, are those having about a 30cc/2hp powerhead and running a 12" bar. Are these big enough for light/infrequest chores out on the trail/river, or are they just toys capable of only pruning rose bushes?

    Thanx again, Dave.
    I carry a 14" Stihl ms201. Plenty of power and small. I usually take it with me always.
    Tony

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    I have a little Echo 310, it's like 30cc or so and 14", it's is the perfect size on a snow machine, does great up to about 12" trees, bigger ones are doable if you know what your doing. Definitely not a bulk wood cutting saw, but perfect for what you describe.


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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    If I needed something small, only needed to cut 10" or less, occasional use and not for cutting large amounts, I might choose a Sawsall with an extra battery. Should be handy for cutting up moose too.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I had a Stihl 09 that was perfect doing that.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Husqvarna 137.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Depends on where you are doesn't it? I have heard 2 stories from friends who went hunting and got caught in some wind storms that knocked down hundreds of acres around them. In Southeast you need to have at least one saw capable of powering a 36" bar. UP north maybe a 16" bar. carry at least 2.5 gallons of fuel and bar oil (they make that jug that carries both). And tools to keep you chain sharp. And chaps and facemask/helmet/earmuffs.

    Working in blow downs really sucks.

    Sobie2

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    I run a 340 husquavarna... It has a primer AND choke.... It is 42 cc and stays on a snow go, Argo, or 4 wheeler. It starts at -40 easy when you give it 5 minutes on top of the outlet side of the fan cooled....:

    So long as you don't cut wood with it (well, maybe let the wife limb with it) I would not hesitate to pack a cheap small poulan from wall mart with me.... I think they are about 100 bucks A lot of old timers carry one that is new or nearly new... They seem happy enough with it. Plenty of saw for camp and trail chores. It is also an added benefit to have a cheap saw when a neighbor needs to borrow one...

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    Member Spookum's Avatar
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    Here is the chain saw mount on the snowmobile. 2x4 with a chainsaw cut through it and two 2 1/2" exhaust clamps..... And a bunjie cord....


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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookum View Post

    So long as you don't cut wood with it (well, maybe let the wife limb with it) I would not hesitate to pack a cheap small poulan from wall mart with me.... I think they are about 100 bucks A lot of old timers carry one that is new or nearly new... They seem happy enough with it. Plenty of saw for camp and trail chores. It is also an added benefit to have a cheap saw when a neighbor needs to borrow one...

    I have one of these in the Craftsman livery made nineties. WhenI got in, in a trade, it came with a 20" bar. Is there any advantage, power wise, to going to a smaller, say 14", bar? Thinking of a buying a generic 14" bar and new chain for it and tossing it under a seat in the canoe. No spikes on it though.

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    I have a 40cc 16 in bar that is always on my ATV. Has done everything I have asked of it

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    I was in Tru Value on Jewel Lake today andn oticed they have 14 and 16 inch poulans (33cc) for like $140. I spent $65 fixing my Craftsman (which is a Poulan) and it ran like 20 minutes before breaking again. I was going to take the Crapman down to Anchorage Small Engine repair, but if they charge me another $65, that will be the cost of a new Poulan.

    What do you guys think? Are those newer models worth a darn for this purpose? They sure seem bulkier, have no spikes, and are a LOT of plastic.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    for $200, you could've had a 36-38 cc husqvarna from AIH. Sometimes I wonder bout you FL, you like to take the hard way, and or punish yourself.

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