Chainsaw and bag for clearing trails?

Zimmerframe

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Jun 12, 2019
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Brittany, France
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.
My Makita one takes two 18v batterys, which gets it to 36v. Quite old now, but still going strong.

Works well, it's narrow Kerf so moving less wood than a larger petrol one. Gets through most things but if I'm cutting thicker than 30cm I'll generally go for the petrol as that size will eat the batterys too quickly if you're doing a lot of cuts. If I carry that or the chainsaw on my back strapped to a pack it generally sits at an angle, so not upside down ever.

Electric is nicer as it's quieter, doesn't smell and it's slightly more convenient to keep picking up/putting down/putting away as you don't have to keep stopping and starting the engine. It has a high blade speed and more torque than a lot of petrol ones so cuts things just as fast, sometimes faster. You just need to make sure you respect it the same, not less because it's quiet !

Remember, you can also buy battery adapters these days. Look on aliexpress or similar.

I think Lidl's do a twin battery one and a twin battery charger if you're only using it occasionally - you can buy it on the website.

Edit :

1703852184198.png
 

High Rock Ruti

Active member
May 13, 2019
398
317
Massachusetts
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! 👍

High Rock Ruti

I've spent hundreds of hours clearing trails and hundreds of dollars on the tool's.

I bought a Daiken chainsaw backpack $200 ish. I started out with a 12 inch dewalt 20v chainsaw, fantastic tool 9 pounds, lasted over two years, I'd guess maybe 100 to 200 hours.

Now I'm using a Husqvarna 16 inch, with 2 batteries and charger was $1,000 expensive but great tool.

Honorable mention 12 inch folding silkie saw, trimming only not for serious cutting.

Warm Regards Ruti
 
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jimslade

Member
Jun 14, 2019
78
56
south lake tahoe, ca
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).
That looks quite trick! How do you deal with bar oil seeping out?
 

Stihldog

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Jun 10, 2020
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Coquitlam, BC
That looks quite trick! How do you deal with bar oil seeping out?
I use the same Evoc trail builder pac as @Dax and carry the Milwaukee chainsaw. I’ve never noticed oil on the pac but it could be possible. I believe the oiling system for the chain is a gravity/suction combination. While positioned in the pac harness no oil leaks out. (Vertical position).

When the saw is at rest for longer periods I position the saw so oil leakage is less likely. Larger or more expensive chainsaws may use an “oiler” which works while the engine is on. They can still leak oil though.
 

Dax

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 25, 2018
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That looks quite trick! How do you deal with bar oil seeping out?

Mostly luck! The saws I carry in it don’t seem to leak much bar oil. I keep a rag in the pack to give the saw a light clean off after use.

Larger or more expensive chainsaws may use an “oiler” which works while the engine is on. They can still leak oil though.

Weirdly I find my larger and much more expensive saws leak way more bar oil than the cheap battery saws.
 

MountainBoy

Active member
Mar 4, 2022
221
193
Washington State, USA
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!

You can get a bigger battery for that, you know! That means it will last longer (at the expense of a heavier tool). Also, chain sharpening skills have always been important, with electric saws good sharpening skills pay big dividends. I'm always amazed at how many saw users will cut with dull chains on their gas saws (and I assume on electric saws as well). Their eyes get big when I walk up and make the same cuts in 1/4 the time.

Do you have the M12 or M18 Milwaukee Hatchet? I have the M12 for pruning small stuff and it's a game-changer for brushy jobs because it frees up one hand for stabilizing the work. However, this is about 10 times as dangerous as a standard gasoline saw, so you really have to know what you are doing and watch all your movements, all the time. The torque of an electric saw is higher than that of an equivalent gasoline saw which means it has a higher chance of tearing right through standard protective clothing before it gets jammed up. That's in theory, I don't want to have to ever test it out!
 
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MountainBoy

Active member
Mar 4, 2022
221
193
Washington State, USA
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.
I've been using chainsaws since I was 13 years old, I'm 60 now, and always respected them, never had a close call. Watch your movements, maintain a solid grip on the saw and secure footing when making a cut. Keeping the chain razor sharp makes the tool faster and easier to use.

A good Japanese hand saw is faster than a chainsaw with a dull chain. I keep a Silky handsaw in my truck so I am not stuck behind a recent storm fallen tree. Its blade is 25" long, in a pinch it could cut through a tree 3 feet in diameter. Here's what it looks like:

1704042799448.png


It's wicked sharp and a serious cutting tool, somewhere around 4 1/2 feet long when opened up. I carry it in my truck instead of a chainsaw for emergencies. It's lighter and doesn't need sharpening since the blade is induction hardened steel, designed to be replaced rather than sharpened. I don't have to mess with gas and oil, or even making sure a battery is charged up. They also make a similar saw with a blade over 3 feet long (saw is over 6 feet long when unfolded), but this smaller version does everything I need it to do.
 

Stihldog

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Jun 10, 2020
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Coquitlam, BC
You can get a bigger battery for that, you know! That means it will last longer (at the expense of a heavier tool). Also, chain sharpening skills have always been important, with electric saws good sharpening skills pay big dividends. I'm always amazed at how many saw users will cut with dull chains on their gas saws (and I assume on electric saws as well). Their eyes get big when I walk up and make the same cuts in 1/4 the time.

Do you have the M12 or M18 Milwaukee Hatchet? I have the M12 for pruning small stuff and it's a game-changer for brushy jobs because it frees up one hand for stabilizing the work. However, this is about 10 times as dangerous as a standard gasoline saw, so you really have to know what you are doing and watch all your movements, all the time. The torque of an electric saw is higher than that of an equivalent gasoline saw which means it has a higher chance of tearing right through standard protective clothing before it gets jammed up.
I agree. The 12amp Milwaukee battery is much better for the battery operated Chainsaw. It was made for this. But the 12amp battery cost more than the chainsaw. Therefore I use the 5amp batteries, which I have a few.

A sharp well oiled chain and correct raker depth is key for efficient cutting. A dull chain is even more dangerous.
 

p3eps

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
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Dec 14, 2019
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Scotland
I’ve ordered a 14.2” Silky 2000R saw to chuck in my backpack for a start. Shouldn’t take up too much space and will be much lighter than a chainsaw.

Will see how I get on with that before heading down the chainsaw route… but I have a feeling the storm damage will be more than the folding handsaw can cope with.

Back home on Thursday, so can check out my Bosch batteries then… and will likely have my first 2024 ride at the weekend to see what sort of damage has been done.
 

steveL

Member
Nov 11, 2022
35
39
Southeast BC
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.
I don't agree with you for even a second, Chainsaws are dangerous. I was a faller on a firefighting crew, organizations don't have rigorous months-long training programs because using a saw only requires common sense.

For the OP - either stick with your handsaw or try a small battery-powered chainsaw, or a recip saw. Don't underestimate the power of the small electric chainsaw to hurt you.
 

E Bob

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2021
356
352
torfaen
I don't agree with you for even a second, Chainsaws are dangerous. I was a faller on a firefighting crew, organizations don't have rigorous months-long training programs because using a saw only requires common sense.

For the OP - either stick with your handsaw or try a small battery-powered chainsaw, or a recip saw. Don't underestimate the power of the small electric chainsaw to hurt you.
If youd read all iv said you wouldent have needed to write this "not for even a second..." The first thing i said was to suggest my bosch battery chainsaw, iv not mentioned using a petrol one once. iv also said if not savvy with chainsaws then use a recip.
 

Arminius

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Jul 26, 2022
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Rhein-Ruhr Delta, Germany
I have a cable powered electric chainsaw for gardening and the power of the motor is tremendous compared to the fuel powered saws of a friend.
A ebike with Bosch CX has 85 Nm. Compared to this my 955cc Speed Triple moto has had 95 Nm „only“.
 

Jurassic

Active member
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Jul 22, 2022
219
234
Helensburgh, Scotland.
I use a Boreal Agawa Canyon 24" folding bow saw. Anything that I can't cut with that is left well alone. As others have said you need to watch out for trees that have fallen under tension (both for safety and to ensure your saw blade doesn't get pinched and stuck). I've thought about a chainsaw but come to the conclusion that they're not worth the hassle. I do regret getting the 24" version of my saw, the 21" would have been almost as effective and a lot more portable which is another reason I went for the folding bow saw rather than a power saw. I'm very intrigued by the big Silky saws, I've looked at the Katana Boy a few times but not actually pulled the trigger yet. Also recommended the Bahco Laplander pruning saw as a super portable option, they're surprisingly effective and small enough to carry in a waist pack. I always have mine with me when I'm riding (whereas I only take the Boreal out for specific tasks).
 

Stihldog

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Jun 10, 2020
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View attachment 131400
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!
IMO a deciduous (hardwood) tree, whether standing or down, can be very dangerous. Hidden and stressed limbs while down, or limb bound while standing, need more attention. A small 2” limb can store a lot of energy. I respected a small deciduous tree much more than a large coniferous tree. That’s been my experience anyway.

A deciduous tree was less predictable. No matter how much time I would spend looking at all the possible outcomes …I was usually wrong or surprised. Picking the wrong lean, an unsuspected broken limb flying towards me, barber chair, hidden rot, etc. I hated cutting these.

Since the value of a downed deciduous tree was almost $0.00, I would start cutting the small limbs, and keep cutting until it was completely safe.

Occasionally, in our riding area, a deciduous tree will block a trail. It’s usually a real mess and mostly impassable. But a folding saw, and time, can open up the trail again.
 

Streddaz

Active member
Jul 7, 2022
227
317
Tasmania
I have one of these Makita 36v saws for clearing trees as thick as your thigh. Anything bigger than that I use a petrol chainsaw.
1704146668609.png

I would recommend doing a chainsaw course if they are available where you are. They usually teach a bit of basic maintenance as well as safety.
You also might need to check if you are allowed to use power tools in that forest. Some land managers aren't too keen on that.
 

Jurassic

Active member
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Jul 22, 2022
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Helensburgh, Scotland.
I have one of these Makita 36v saws for clearing trees as thick as your thigh. Anything bigger than that I use a petrol chainsaw.
View attachment 131619
I would recommend doing a chainsaw course if they are available where you are. They usually teach a bit of basic maintenance as well as safety.
You also might need to check if you are allowed to use power tools in that forest. Some land managers aren't too keen on that.
This is a good point. Our local forest (which contains our trails) is commercially managed and while they tolerate our mountain bike trails the forest managers aren't happy with people doing DIY tree surgery in their forest. This is another reason that I've stuck to using a handsaw, it's much easier to carry covertly and is fairly quiet in operation. Although we're technically supposed to leave windblown trees alone we get away with discretely clearing ones that block the trails and forest tracks to allow walkers, runners and mountain bikers to continue using them.
 

Stihldog

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Jun 10, 2020
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Coquitlam, BC
If you want more to clear your paths... 😂
Those things are insane! I suppose any type of safety protection would be useless …they look a little heavy though.

A typical gas powered chainsaw can turn at 14K rpm. Not much forgiveness when things go sideways. And occasionally a chain brakes. If/when that happens your body position will likely determine the extent of the injury. It can be a nightmare situation.

I’ve only been cut by a chain once …and that was while sharpening. My left forearm had likely brushed one of the teeth. I was wearing a Stanfield sweater at the time and never noticed until I stood up and saw blood dripping from my middle finger.

The thin layer of epidermis on my forearm was perfectly sliced. Two small butterfly bandages solved the problem.

I’ve seen some nasty cuts and injuries from chainsaws. Those moments are impossible to undo. 😱
 

Dax

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
May 25, 2018
1,421
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Those things are insane! I suppose any type of safety protection would be useless …they look a little heavy though.

A typical gas powered chainsaw can turn at 14K rpm. Not much forgiveness when things go sideways. And occasionally a chain brakes. If/when that happens your body position will likely determine the extent of the injury. It can be a nightmare situation.

I’ve only been cut by a chain once …and that was while sharpening. My left forearm had likely brushed one of the teeth. I was wearing a Stanfield sweater at the time and never noticed until I stood up and saw blood dripping from my middle finger.

The thin layer of epidermis on my forearm was perfectly sliced. Two small butterfly bandages solved the problem.

I’ve seen some nasty cuts and injuries from chainsaws. Those moments are impossible to undo. 😱

Saw a photos of a nasty injury where a guy fell against a saw (which was off) while climbing. Clearly didn’t have enough common sense wrapped around himself because it caused an arterial bleed. Luckily his ground crew had some common sense (hemostatic gauze) to shove in the wound and he lived. I was amazed that you can do that much damage to yourself without the saw running.
 

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