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Discussion Starter #1
Some of us use chain saws quite frequently for a variety of chores while others may own a chain saw for emergencies, like when fallen trees block streets and driveways, or entrances to homes or garages.

Assuming one knows how to safely operate a chainsaw, in an emergency situation just owning a chain saw, a can of 2 cycle gas, some bar oil and safety gear (eyes, ears, gloves etc...) is courting frustration.

Chain saws get dull with use and it is a good idea to know how to sharpen the chain, or at least have a spare chain and the knowledge to replace it when it's dull. In an urban environment there are many things out there that can dull a chain rather quickly and that's not going to help when you're trying to clear a post incident evacuation route.

Files with guides aren't expensive and are easy to use.
 

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I like to keep at least one new chain, keep the one one the saw sharp but have a new spare just in case. Oh and a spare saw also. I got an old Husky and a new Stihl.
 

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I bought a Stihl MSA200 electric setup last year with two batteries. The blade is only 14 inches but I've been using the heck out of it for firewood at camp. Two large batteries will fell, limb, and buck three 9-inch lodgepole. Plenty enough juice for my needs.

The .25 inch chains are only about $20.00, so I keep two new chains in the saw bag. I'll monkey around with sharpening them at home.
 

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Chain saws require quite a bit of maintenance.

That is if you really are interested in safely producing large amounts of sawn wood. Spare chains, as in you can not have too many of them. You just have to have them. I cut multiple large trees into firewood on an annual basis. You will go through sharp chains almost on a daily basis depending on what you are cutting as well as how much of it you are cutting.

Green hardwood will eat up a good chain pretty quick, dead hardwood not so much. For me anything less than about eight inches in diameter is not even worth fooling with. I feed two wood stoves all winter long and I use quite a bit of wood. I started out with a Stihl 310 saw. Basically a Harry homeowner saw just right for someone that cuts a couple of trees a year for whatever reason.

But when I retired and began cutting a lot more wood. I quickly realized that I needed to upgrade. It became clear to me that I was doing more work than the saw. I bought a professional grade saw, a Stihl 362 to be exact and have never looked back. It is a professional grade saw in all respects. High compression, roller bearings, the whole works. I would not however recommend this saw to anyone as their first saw. A very high degree of respect for what this saw will do is required for any operator. It will cut your leg off before you even know it.

With that said I love my Stihl 362 and may even go to a Stihl 400 series saw if I ever feel the need to buy another one.

A couple of further points to be made. I got away from using Ethanol adulterated fuels years ago. They will just eat up these small engines in very short order. Ethanol free gas has been widely available in VA for a long time, and it has served me well. However I got some of the synthetic Tru fuel a couple of years ago to try and help out an especially recalcitrant weed whacker. And it was like a tune up in a bottle. I have been very pleased with this stuff despite its high cost. I have been using it more and more. Just sayin.
 

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I have spent enough time around really good sawyers to know that it requires the proper safety gear and maintenance to be both safe and effective.

Chaps, gloves, helmets with face shields, hearing protection, are all essential.

Keeping chains sharp is essential.

Having a good spotter is essential.

Knowing what you are doing, and your limitations is essential.

As a result, I leave those duties to folks much more skilled than I.
 

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Truer words were never spoken!

Knowing what you are doing, and your limitations is essential.

As a result, I leave those duties to folks much more skilled than I.
A lot of talk has gone on here of late concerning the red flag laws. Well as funny as it may sound. I actually had to take away my fathers McCullough Chipmunk chainsaw from him some years ago. I was visiting him and my mother some years ago and a small tree in their yard went down. Well after he determined that Paul Bunyan had nothing on him, he decided to attack that tree with that less than optimal chainsaw even for hobby grade. Probably a good thing. It was not pretty watching this octogenarian working as hard as he could to injure himself. Fortunately he was frustrated in his efforts. That saw went away shortly afterwards.

You need the right tool for the job. And you need to know how to operate it safely. Nuff said!
 

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Those bow saws cut really good plus there quiet not to draw attention.
 

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1) As stated above, ethanol-free gas, most definitely. For all your stuff at home. Mowers, weed eaters, chain saws.

2) Chain saws don't have blades. They have bars and chains. (And before anyone takes me to task for the correction, everything has a proper term. Learn it and use it if you want to sound like you know what you're talking about. :) )
 

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Those bow saws cut really good plus there quiet not to draw attention.
The sound of labored breathing is louder than you think. ;)
 

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If you are really determined to cut a lot of wood.

By way of using Norwegian steam. You have to get yourself one of these. They will outperform any bow saw out there. If you know how to use them.


Can not seem to find the picture of two of mine that I was looking for but they are the kind of saws that are sold by this outfit.

https://crosscutsaw.com/
 

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My thoughts, if you own a chainsaw you should have the knowledge and tools available to resharpen a chain. I have and use the Dremel type electric sharpener and the correct hand files. I have been known to file a chain during a fuel break.
USMM - I’m running a Stihl 361 since Katrina and pretty happy with it
 

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Discussion Starter #15
For most urban dwellers, chainsaws are of primary importance for clearing windfall blocking streets, drives, or threatening homes/property.
With my bad back I've found a Stihl MS-250, for me, the best power to weight ratio for occasional work felling and limbing and certainly up to snuff for windfall and storm damage. Our local government banned fires so I don't cut wood any more unless it camping.
Good fuel, maintenence, and sharp chain(s)make it what I consider to be an important piece of kit.
 

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Sorry All, I just realized that this was a "Disaster Preparedness" forum. My electric chainsaw post wasn't really relevant.

That being said, it might be easier to recharge an electric saw via solar array in a disaster situation versus hoarding gasoline. Interesting thought.
 
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