Chainsaw and bag for clearing trails?

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Subscriber
Dec 14, 2019
1,796
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Scotland
The UK is in the middle of storm Gerrit, and to be honest some of my local trails still haven’t recovered from Arwen over 2 years ago.

I often have to dismount and climb over fallen trees or get re-routed to avoid them.

Last summer, I ended up hacking some fallen trees up with a big wood saw and making the path passable. Whilst doing it, several walkers thanked me for taking the time to do that. It took ages and a LOT of sweat and effort!

When I’m back home after New Year,
I have a feeling the trails are going to be a mess again. I’m never going to manage to move some of the trees that have come down, but was considering getting a chainsaw to help clear up where I can.

Any recommendations for something that’s reasonably portable, and some sort of backpack for carrying it?

I’d prefer petrol for more range… but not sure how well a petrol tool travels in a backpack when getting thrown about?
I’m sure there’s plenty of trail clearing experts out there who can advise though?

Something decent, but it doesn’t need to be professional grade! 👍
 

E Bob

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2021
356
352
torfaen
The UK is in the middle of storm Gerrit, and to be honest some of my local trails still haven’t recovered from Arwen over 2 years ago.

I often have to dismount and climb over fallen trees or get re-routed to avoid them.

Last summer, I ended up hacking some fallen trees up with a big wood saw and making the path passable. Whilst doing it, several walkers thanked me for taking the time to do that. It took ages and a LOT of sweat and effort!

When I’m back home after New Year,
I have a feeling the trails are going to be a mess again. I’m never going to manage to move some of the trees that have come down, but was considering getting a chainsaw to help clear up where I can.

Any recommendations for something that’s reasonably portable, and some sort of backpack for carrying it?

I’d prefer petrol for more range… but not sure how well a petrol tool travels in a backpack when getting thrown about?
I’m sure there’s plenty of trail clearing experts out there who can advise though?

Something decent, but it doesn’t need to be professional grade! 👍
Iv got a 36v bosch, Nice and short, surprisingly capable, watch they all dribble oil though.
 

E Bob

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2021
356
352
torfaen
i'v never taking it out on the trails though, the risca riders keep all the cwmcarn trails tidy, mine is in the van for when i come accross felled trees, i'v a log burner..
 

steve_sordy

Wedding Crasher
Nov 5, 2018
8,242
8,448
Lincolnshire, UK
I have never even wanted to try a chainsaw; they look too bloody dangerous to me! The guy that built my house was an experienced chainsaw user, but he still managed to cut his leg off with one! Consider taking a lesson from someone that knows what's what; you know it makes sense! :cool:

Cutting fallen trees can be very dangerous too. I always approach fallen trees as though they are a mouse trap built for humans in mind. Many fallen trees have stored energy, just waiting to be released to break you up. Sometimes, the slightest touch is all it takes to set off the trap! Think carefully before cutting! :unsure:

I only cut trees with my folding saw so I'm limited to trees smaller than 8" diameter.
 

Tim22

Member
Jan 15, 2020
59
23
Boise, Id
The UK is in the middle of storm Gerrit, and to be honest some of my local trails still haven’t recovered from Arwen over 2 years ago.

I often have to dismount and climb over fallen trees or get re-routed to avoid them.

Last summer, I ended up hacking some fallen trees up with a big wood saw and making the path passable. Whilst doing it, several walkers thanked me for taking the time to do that. It took ages and a LOT of sweat and effort!

When I’m back home after New Year,
I have a feeling the trails are going to be a mess again. I’m never going to manage to move some of the trees that have come down, but was considering getting a chainsaw to help clear up where I can.

Any recommendations for something that’s reasonably portable, and some sort of backpack for carrying it?

I’d prefer petrol for more range… but not sure how well a petrol tool travels in a backpack when getting thrown about?
I’m sure there’s plenty of trail clearing experts out there who can advise though?

Something decent, but it doesn’t need to be professional grade! 👍
MTB Bike Chainsaw I use this with an electric chainsaw. Get an extra battery and I can cut 20 1' dia trees.
 

E Bob

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2021
356
352
torfaen
I have never even wanted to try a chainsaw; they look too bloody dangerous to me! The guy that built my house was an experienced chainsaw user, but he still managed to cut his leg off with one! Consider taking a lesson from someone that knows what's what; you know it makes sense! :cool:

Cutting fallen trees can be very dangerous too. I always approach fallen trees as though they are a mouse trap built for humans in mind. Many fallen trees have stored energy, just waiting to be released to break you up. Sometimes, the slightest touch is all it takes to set off the trap! Think carefully before cutting! :unsure:

I only cut trees with my folding saw so I'm limited to trees smaller than 8" diameter.
Honestly, Only the smallest amount of common sence is needed to operate a chainsaw. Cutting a "sizable" tree down needs thought, Buit once there down, there safe.
Was your builder called Bob ?
 

Zimmerframe

MUPPET
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Jun 12, 2019
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Brittany, France
There's a few trail tools threads .. I had the same question a few years ago ..

 

steve_sordy

Wedding Crasher
Nov 5, 2018
8,242
8,448
Lincolnshire, UK
Honestly, Only the smallest amount of common sence is needed to operate a chainsaw. Cutting a "sizable" tree down needs thought, Buit once there down, there safe.
Was your builder called Bob ?
I am an apprentice-trained mechanical engineer. I have no problems with powered hand tools and operating machinery of all kinds. It's just chainsaws I don't like!
There are so many people around where I live that have their own chainsaw that I don't need to buy one. As soon as I need one, then one of them will volunteer to come out and play with it. It's as though they love it! :)

The builder was called John. He was up a tree in his garden doing a bit of pruning. He has no idea what happened, but his wife heard him fall. She found him hanging in the tree by his safety rope. He was upside down. The chainsaw had stopped and was hanging from him by its rope. One of his legs was laid next to his head. His leg was hanging from him by threads of skin and muscle tissue, cut through the thigh. His thighbone was severed. His head was about three feet off the ground.
His wife still has no idea how she found the strength but she climbed up the ladder and lifted him down. She re-positioned his leg and applied a tourniquet to the stumps. Then she called for an ambulance. There is no doubt that she saved his life. John recovered, but he walks with a limp as his leg is a bit shorter than it was. I'll bet he has a really good scar too!
 

Mikerb

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 16, 2019
6,066
4,585
Weymouth
one alternative to a chainsaw is a reciprocating battery operated saw. Not as capable as a chainsaw but with the right blade can deal with c 6 inch diameter ( 150mm) and is fairly easy to carry in a backpack. Fairly cheap to buy as well..c £80 upwards.
On our last trip to our favourite local forest Forestry England were in the process of felling several trees and the vehicles used to recover all the timber were creating a real mess of a few trails. So I think we will have to be prepared to do some clearing next visit. I will probably just take a hand rip saw initially when we go to assess the damage.
 

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
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Dec 14, 2019
1,796
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Honestly, Only the smallest amount of common sence is needed to operate a chainsaw. Cutting a "sizable" tree down needs thought, Buit once there down, there safe.
Was your builder called Bob ?
The fallen one I cut with my wood saw was bent in a peculiar way, that it wanted to spring as I cut it. I had to cut through it 3 times so that it didn’t ‘pop’ when I cut it. I can see the logic behind the comment… there needs to be some common sense applied when cutting.
 

Bomble

Well-known member
Subscriber
Nov 11, 2018
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I have one of these, very impressive bit of kit.
 

Dax

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May 25, 2018
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I use a evoc trail builder bag, which is designed to carry a saw:
IMG_3975.jpeg


Do you have any cordless power tools already? Dewalt and makita make battery chainsaws that use the same batteries as their drills etc, one of these is probably the cheapest way to buy a decent saw if you already have batteries.

Bear in mind that chainsaws are very dangerous, proper ppe makes using them safer, but sticking a saw in your leg is an easy route to an arterial bleed.


Cutting a "sizable" tree down needs thought, but once they are down, they are safe.

This is not true for wind blown trees.

When a felled tree is on the ground, it’s reasonably safe, but can still roll or shift when you remove bits. Wind blown trees are a lot more dangerous - they are often under tension so can spring or pinch the saw, they usually still have a root ball attached, which can move when the trunk is cut (potentially standing back up in its hole), or are hung up on another tree. Additionally there’s a lot of diseased ash getting blown down, which is often very brittle and can break in dangerous ways (YouTube barber chair tree).
 

E Bob

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2021
356
352
torfaen
I use a evoc trail builder bag, which is designed to carry a saw:
View attachment 131390

Do you have any cordless power tools already? Dewalt and makita make battery chainsaws that use the same batteries as their drills etc, one of these is probably the cheapest way to buy a decent saw if you already have batteries.

Bear in mind that chainsaws are very dangerous, proper ppe makes using them safer, but sticking a saw in your leg is an easy route to an arterial bleed.




This is not true for wind blown trees.

When a felled tree is on the ground, it’s reasonably safe, but can still roll or shift when you remove bits. Wind blown trees are a lot more dangerous - they are often under tension so can spring or pinch the saw, they usually still have a root ball attached, which can move when the trunk is cut (potentially standing back up in its hole), or are hung up on another tree. Additionally there’s a lot of diseased ash getting blown down, which is often very brittle and can break in dangerous ways (YouTube barber chair tree).

I use a evoc trail builder bag, which is designed to carry a saw:
View attachment 131390

Do you have any cordless power tools already? Dewalt and makita make battery chainsaws that use the same batteries as their drills etc, one of these is probably the cheapest way to buy a decent saw if you already have batteries.

Bear in mind that chainsaws are very dangerous, proper ppe makes using them safer, but sticking a saw in your leg is an easy route to an arterial bleed.




This is not true for wind blown trees.

When a felled tree is on the ground, it’s reasonably safe, but can still roll or shift when you remove bits. Wind blown trees are a lot more dangerous - they are often under tension so can spring or pinch the saw, they usually still have a root ball attached, which can move when the trunk is cut (potentially standing back up in its hole), or are hung up on another tree. Additionally there’s a lot of diseased ash getting blown down, which is often very brittle and can break in dangerous ways (YouTube barber chair tree).
Like i said, it needs common sence, Not a lot, but some.. A tree resting on another is obvoiusly still under tension, and not actually down. But this applies to everything you cut thats not down or flat, grinders will pinch in uni strut, handsaw will even pinch in a piece of 2x1 if its not flat, or held up one end, I'd like to say Common sence will prevail, But thinking more on it, Some dudes just shouldn't go any where near a chainsaw, a recip possibly, these can also be carried with the blade out easily. dont need oil, and generally cheaper, if the tree on the trail is too big for a recip, And your not savvy enough to use a chainsaw, Ask someone else to cut it for you.
 

Stihldog

Handheld Power Tool
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Jun 10, 2020
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Coquitlam, BC
one alternative to a chainsaw is a reciprocating battery operated…
I use the Milwaukee battery sawzall with 12” pruning blades. (5 pac). Fits in most backpacks and the price is reasonable ($130 CDN). It’s the batteries that can be expensive. Sometimes cost more than the tool.

Besides a folding pruning saw, I also use the Milwaukee battery chainsaw. I need the Trail Builder Pac to carry this while riding to the site. Because the bar is 16”, I can easily cut through wood twice that diameter. Like @steve_sordy said; the limbs and trunk of a downed tree can store a lot of energy. A 2” loaded limb can seriously injure, or kill, when not cut properly.

In my opinion a 36” bar is safer than a 12” bar. However they can both do a lot of damage. The worst injuries I’ve seen have come from short bars.

In the forest I store the Rogue Hoe, small rake, shovel(UK spade 😉) and some garden snips. I cut the handles down to 32” so I can fit these in my pac while I’m riding. A cloth bag for dirt and some large green garbage bags to shove my tools into. I can store tools for many weeks this way.

I’ve learned to keep my iPhone separate from my energy bars while I’m working on a trail. Those bears can be sneaky but they can’t make long distance calls …yet! They can also destroy a backpack. Ask how I know.

On regular rides I usually carry the folding pruning saw. Oh, and some first aid supplies.
 

Stihldog

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Jun 10, 2020
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Coquitlam, BC
@Dax. “This is not true for wind blown trees”

I completely agree 👍🏻
By far, the most dangerous and risky job I was ever assigned. Imagine a giant game of ‘Pick-up-Sticks’ over a 50 acre area. I had to keep reminding myself that I’m only a “bag-of-water”. Simply touching the bark of a 5’ diameter tree woven between other trees could release unimaginable stored energy. Two spotters were required for this task …which lasted for months.
 

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
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I have one of these, very impressive bit of kit.
I have the Stihl equivalent of this. It cuts little branches away fine, but really struggles with anything meaty. The battery lasts <10mins, and barely puts a dent in a fallen trunk.
Works great in my garden though!
 

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
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Dec 14, 2019
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Scotland
I use a evoc trail builder bag, which is designed to carry a saw:
View attachment 131390

Do you have any cordless power tools already? Dewalt and makita make battery chainsaws that use the same batteries as their drills etc, one of these is probably the cheapest way to buy a decent saw if you already have batteries.

Bear in mind that chainsaws are very dangerous, proper ppe makes using them safer, but sticking a saw in your leg is an easy route to an arterial bleed.




This is not true for wind blown trees.

When a felled tree is on the ground, it’s reasonably safe, but can still roll or shift when you remove bits. Wind blown trees are a lot more dangerous - they are often under tension so can spring or pinch the saw, they usually still have a root ball attached, which can move when the trunk is cut (potentially standing back up in its hole), or are hung up on another tree. Additionally there’s a lot of diseased ash getting blown down, which is often very brittle and can break in dangerous ways (YouTube barber chair tree).

Most of my power tools are Bosch - strimmer, drill, Fontus pressure washer - they all share the same batteries.

I have a few other bits and bobs, but nothing by Dewalt (except work boots 😂) or Makita.
 

p3eps

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I'll just leave this here...

I’ll watch this one later when my daughter isn’t lying with her head on my chest 😂


watched it now - not as brutal as I was expecting, but shows how easy a mistake can happen.
 
Last edited:

aarfeldt

E*POWAH Master
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May 25, 2019
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Wind blown trees are a lot more dangerous - they are often under tension so can spring or pinch the saw, they usually still have a root ball attached, which can move when the trunk is cut (potentially standing back up in its hole), or are hung up on another tree.

Some years ago +1000 tree's fell during a storm, and we had to clean up our trails.
This was quite funny :)
 

Dax

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May 25, 2018
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Most of my power tools are Bosch - strimmer, drill, Fontus pressure washer - they all share the same batteries.

I have a few other bits and bobs, but nothing by Dewalt (except work boots 😂) or Makita.

Maybe see if there’s a Bosch battery chainsaw that fits your battery?

 

p3eps

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Dec 14, 2019
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IMG_4541.jpeg

Here’s the one I cut up with a wood saw. I had to chop it into various bits to be able to drag it off the path. It was well sprung - and was sitting at about 3ft in height across the path. I would slide my bike under it, and climb over it.
It must’ve taken me close to an hour in total, and was very hard work as the saw kept sticking as the tree unspringing itself.

There is another about 20m from it, but it had so many branches that it’d take a lot of time with a hand saw to get near it. People have now made a new path round it!
 
Last edited:

p3eps

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Maybe see if there’s a Bosch battery chainsaw that fits your battery?

Good idea - I was thinking more for getting a petrol one… but wasn’t sure about it being shaken about when riding. I know my petrol leaf blower doesn’t like being turned upside down - and thought a petrol chainsaw might be the same.

Everyone seems to be suggesting battery ones… is that the reason?
 

E Bob

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Feb 15, 2021
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Is any of your bosch kit 36V ? This really Does pack a punch for its size, Some have got a bit Excited.. carried away Talking about clearing whole fallen forrests away, But for Dealing with a few Small trees accross your trail this is ideal. I'v got bigger chainsaws, but nearly always grab this for medium jobs. But again it will dribble oil.. IMG_6843.jpeg
 

Dax

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I wouldn’t worry about a petrol saw being shaken about riding, they are two stroke so will run in any orientation as long as they have fuel - and you should give them a shake to mix the fuel and oil after they have been stood for a while.

For me it’s because I don’t like small petrol saws.
 

E Bob

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Feb 15, 2021
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I wouldn’t worry about a petrol saw being shaken about riding, they are two stroke so will run in any orientation as long as they have fuel - and you should give them a shake to mix the fuel and oil after they have been stood for a while.

For me it’s because I don’t like small petrol saws.
Anything with a carb can be a knob to start if its been upside down, Trust me iv got a beta 300rr 2T thats upside down regular.. All the TPI, and tbi ktm's are better, but a saw is basic too
 

p3eps

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Dec 14, 2019
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Is any of your bosch kit 36V ? This really Does pack a punch for its size, Some have got a bit Excited.. carried away Talking about clearing whole fallen forrests away, But for Dealing with a few Small trees accross your trail this is ideal. I'v got bigger chainsaws, but nearly always grab this for medium jobs. But again it will dribble oil.. View attachment 131401
I’m on holiday at the moment so can’t check… but I’m pretty sure all my Bosch stuff is 18V.
The Fontus is definitely 18V, and all the batteries I have work in that - so they must all be the same. Not sure of the Amp Hours on them though.

I’ve got 5 in total, so if I was going for a battery powered saw, an 18V one would make sense.
 

E Bob

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Feb 15, 2021
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I’m on holiday at the moment so can’t check… but I’m pretty sure all my Bosch stuff is 18V.
The Fontus is definitely 18V, and all the batteries I have work in that - so they must all be the same. Not sure of the Amp Hours on them though.

I’ve got 5 in total, so if I was going for a battery powered saw, an 18V one would make sense.
I'v just looked online, most seem to be 18v these days, Theres one on amazon for £120, Looks a bit smaller but mine has got to be 8, 10 years old now.
 

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