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Battery chainsaw trial thread (save on fossil fuels), huge tree loss

Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
Well this 60 year old lady with disabilities has been given the opportunity to test drive the Oregon PowerNow cordless chainsaw (40 V). It arrived yesterday afternoon and I have gone over it and read the instructions and spoken with the dealer, so as soon as the frost melts I'll be going out and starting the trial.

This is going to be a LOT easier for me than using a gas chainsaw, and it has the powersharp chain sharpener built right in and I have 2 40 V battery packs to keep me going. I have used a smaller battery chainsaw, but it wasn't big enough to take down larger trees, this one should be much more efficient. As many of you are aware, we are having a HUGE tree loss here this year because of several factors. We have the Emerald Ash borer infecting hundreds of ash trees here. We had to have a HUGE ash taken down by a crane last week, here are some photos of that.

http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/

they were supposed to cut all the wood up into 24 " firewood lengths..supposed to is the operative word here, a lot did NOT get done so it is left up to me. We also have had a lot of branches come down and trees get topped out by the snowstorm on Feb 29 and the two wind storms we had this last week, so there is a lot of down trees to cut up. There are also a few downed trees that fell over my trails in the woods that HAVE to be removed. We have a bunch of logs that need to be cut into firewood lengths also, but they MAY have to wait for the gas saw, but I'll give it a try with the Oregon. I also have a LOT of smaller trees that will have to come down before they fall down. The bark is already peeling off many of the trees, they are THAT dead. Two are close to the house so they are a danger if they are not taken down, but much smaller than the one in the photo.

I will have the battery operated saw on TRIAL for a couple of weeks so I'll be updating on this thread how it works for me, and on my blog. Those interested in finding out more about the saw can contact the dealer at Oregon: lukeweintz@powernowtoools.com at Blount International

I will be following up soon..very excited to use this saw ! Can't wait to update you..


Brenda

Bloom where you are planted.
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
OK here are some photos of what I've done so far today, and now I gotta go out and get busy again, the battery has recharged..
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/2012/04/chainsaw-trial-and-emerald-ash-borer.html
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
If I'm reading right, each battery lasted about one hour and you had three? 3 hrs of chainsawing in one day is impressive!


Idle dreamer

Hanley Kale-Grinder


Joined: Sep 30, 2011
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
    
    1
Nice sawing Brenda!
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
yeah I was cutting larger stuff than the battery figures were given on, so they did run out a little faster than if the material was smaller, but I was impressed. After all that I had to use the built in powersharp ..you pull a lever and then run the saw 3 to 5 seconds with the power sharp engaged and it automatically sharpens the chain (there is a stone built inside)..works like a charm..however..RON wanted to do it so I actually didn't do it myself..RON is very impressed with this saw !!

I'm not really too tired but am having some "palm of the hand" cramps from the extended use..so a break was in the cards for tonight..batteries all charged up and ready for tomorrow. I feel good about all that I got done already, the bent over spruce got cut about 6' up and it "popped" back up a bit so Ron and I decided to see if it might regrow a new leader..it is up enough to walk under it now. I cut up some more of the "ash" tree that the crew had taken down, and went over to the pile of poles and cut up a couple of those before I quit for the night.
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6597
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
135
I've read a couple of reviews on that saw. They all indicate that it does what it is suppose to do quite easily.
Not as quick as a gas saw, but a hell of a lot quieter!
One guy says he gets 3 wheel barrows full of firewood per battery charge.

Please keep us up to date on your testing.

Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
I agree with that persons story on using the saw. I am partially disabled, and have very bad grip in my hands due to polyperpherial neuropathy and arthritis, and IF I CAN USE IT, pretty much anyone can. I am however fairly strong for a 60 year old woman, so someone who is really weak and slight may need to strengthen their arms. I had a 98 pound lady ask me, I'd say if she can carry around a toddler she can use the saw.

Definately designed well for a woman, no offense to women, but women don't really like to mess with things that aren't necessary like GAS MIXING, LOUD NOISES, and all the MESSINESS of a gas saw.

You do have to wait for the batteries to charge if you move fast and cut larger stuff, like me. If you are cutting a lot of smaller stuff you might have the battery ready before you are ready for it, but I'm one of those people that don't stand around, hurry hurry hurry, can't stand to wait for anyone and have very little patience.....so I was ready for batteries to be charged before they were ready for me..Probably also a good thing as I tend to OVERDO and the rest was probably healthy for my body.

Day 2 I'm not hurting much, feel it in my right forearm a bit and my hands were cramping a little last night. A different type of grip than most of the work I do.

Some things I really like about the saw: the power sharp, can't beat having a sharp chain in 3 to 5 seconds by pulling a lever..that is my 2nd favorite feature, first being that it is batttery operated 40 v.

Speaking of the batteries they are a lot easier to install and remove than the ryobi ones, the chainsaw has a release lever on it that clicks the battery out, and it "slides" onto the charger so no fighting with the push in side releases like the ryobi have..and it cuts larger material than the ryobi one does (but I still like the ryobi which is sitting unused right now as it needs to be sharpened..duh)

The chain cover has a dial type release easy to grip,it comes with the screwdriver for the tension, nice one too..and the oil is auto fed and has a see thru window view for checking oil level.

I'm going to be going back out in a little while (when temps get above 30's)..and cut some more, only have a couple weeks on this trial and gotta make the most of it.

Sure looks different around here and I'm making the birdies really mad !! angry birds anyone?
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
just noticed that admn put this in woodland care also, great idea. I had put it in permaculture cause it was environmentally friendly ...but never thought about woodland care forum..
duane hennon
volunteer

Joined: Sep 23, 2010
Posts: 393
Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
    
  11


I like that built-in "take a brake" feature
I'll have to check this out as I need to upgrade from "manual" but don't need "industrial"
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
Yesterday on day two I was cutting up some pole logs that we had around, the saw went thru them like butter, very nice. Love that autosharp feature.

Then I went back into the woods to cut up a very large full size tree that had fallen down across the trail, did have a bit of a problem with that as the tree was big and did bind up the bar/chain a couple of times. This compacted some material in the nose of the bar which made the chain not work right, so I had to walk all the way up to the house and clean up the saw and get it running right again..took a bit to figure out that there was debris in the nose of the bar and get that cleaned out, but once it was done, saw was back to perfect again.

Ended up getting that tree all cut up and cleaned out of my trail, then cut down 4 more trees and cut up a couple of them, the others had to wait for today as it was starting to get dark out by then, and COLD.

I'm a LITTLE sorer today and slept a LONG time last night. I did take a break yesterday and planted a tree and some perennials as well, so I felt good about what I got done. I also cleaned up some of the previous trees cut up and stacked some of the wood and brush. Starting to look a little better around here. Still COLD so far this morning so I might not get outside until around noon today...supposed to warm up by then.

Still highly recommending the Oregon PowerNow 40 V saw.

Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
day two blog update, no photos today but they will follow later.

http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/2012/04/day-2-of-chainsaw-trial-oregon-powernow.html

also a note, on another forum someone mentioned the powersharp attachment that you can BUY for your own chainsaw, it comes with a bar and chain and sharpener..this is totally different set up than the powersharp that is built into the powernow 40 v saw.

the nose on the attachment bar is compromised with the powersharp attachment for chainsaws..where with the power now, the powersharp is NOT on the nose of the bar/chain part but it is built into the body of the saw where the sprocket is..so you pull a lever and the stone moves against the saw chain on the sprocket and sharpens the saw in the body of the saw not out on the bar..much nicer..takes about 3 to 5 seconds ..no muss..no fuss..

Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
OK now for you woodcutting experts advice on how or even whether to try to take down some problem trees, photos in the link to follow:

http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/2012/04/photos-after-day-2-of-chainsaw-trial.html
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
Day 3, OK I'm tired now....

http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/2012/04/chainsaw-trial-day-3-short-post.html
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Can you throw a rope around the hung-up tree and pull it down? We had a big oak branch hung up right by the house that we had to carefully cut apart and pull down using ladder, rope, and chainsaw. If you can possibly get someone to help you (son?) it would be safer...
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
I wonder if Joel could get back there with the tractor, close enough to do that?? maybe not as it is in the woods and trails aren't very wide..but i could also maybe ask our neighbor who is coming up this weekend if he might..we have those heavy tow ropes with the big hooks on the end. even if we could get that one hung up end that is still on the stump, off and on the ground that would be a lot safer than how it is now..maybe could pull it with the mower and a tow rope? don't think I have enough physical strength to pull it off myself..

also the branch that the top of the tree is resting on is dead, rotten and partially broken, so if the bottom falls, maybe that will make the top fall too.

it really bugs me having it hanging up there..thanks for the idea.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
day 4,
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/2012/04/day-4-of-chainsaw-trial.html

no photos but at least I had some fun today
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/2012/05/day-5-chainsaw-trial-totally-exhausted.html

this 2 week chainsaw trial could kill me yet !!
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6597
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
135
I'll bet you wear out the chain before the 2 weeks are up.

I would imagine that the "self-sharpening" feature puts the chains in the disposable category. Since the saw is made by the world's largest saw chain company, they probably want you to go through chains quickly. Like a Bic lighter...buy a new one each season.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
Likely you are right John, but they sent me a spare chain. They really want me to beat this saw hard. It is a trial to see how it works under the conditions I would be using it under so they realize I'm going to be using it hard.

I think you are right that the chain will wear out but it is one vicious chain !!! (did cut myself slightly working on the chain)..I love the feature and I tell you the time that the built in sharpener saves is well worth the money for a new chain..in my opinon..

I actually let a saw sit and didn't use it cause I didn't have the time to mess with sharpening the chain..time is money and when you are short on time, it is a real money saver to have the chain self sharpening.

Right now I've been cutting up a stack of about 12 to 14 cord of pole logs, unfortunately some of them are larger than the 14 " bar..and the larger logs like that go through batteries super fast..so the larger than 14" logs will be set aside to be cut with the gas saw that has a 20" bar, hubby also has another gas saw with a longer bar as well..but the 20" one has the powersharp end of bar feature on it.

I'm a sucker for convenience myself..so I'll use the power sharp feature FIRST over one I have to take time to sharpen.

As for day 6..right now we are getting storms here and rain so hard that it was too dark to see to walk in the house and we lost our satellite reception..so no using battery operated stuff outside in the rain. They do say wwe might have a break from the rain later this afternoon, if so, I'll try to cut through some more logs..for firewood..but if not, I have other stuff that has to be done..(should get off the computer and do them too)
John Polk
steward

Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Posts: 6597
Location: Moving to: NE Washington USDA zone 5 Western steppes to the Rockies
    
135
I certainly agree with the convenience factor about sharpening. I used to do commercial tree trimming, and even starting the day with several extra chains, it was amazing how much of the work day I lost due to having to stop and resharpen all of my chains.

The self-sharpening feature truly helps keep this tool in the 'portable' category. You don't need to carry sets of chain tools for each size tool you carry into the woods.
Devon Olsen


Joined: Nov 28, 2011
Posts: 1002
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
    
    6
i wonder if there are any electric saws with bars longer than 20" that include that self sharpen feature, sounds like a great feature to have
my logs that i have to cut up here soon are very large and would take quite a bit of work with a 20" or smaller saw...


Current Cheyenne, WY project
"Do you Hugel?" T-shirts and other products
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
you might check on the oregon website and see if they have any bar/chains with the powersharp that are longer..I'm sure they have a variety by now we got ours more than a year ago.

Heard from the rep at Oregon today by email ..he said that they are removing the warning to not use the saw in the rain, testing says it seems to be safe to use in the rain. Myself I have a lot of disabilities so I don't intend to use it in the rain ..i'm not too steady on my feet as I have polyperepherial neuropathy and arthritis really bad in my feet and hands..(can't feel the ground, numbness) so I tend to fall easily.

I tend to be a bit overcautious myself, but when working with power tools it is best to be overcautious.

http://www.powersharp.com/default_flash.asp

a link to info on the powersharp attachment ..you get a powersharp bar to fit your saw and when you want to sharpen you add the attachment on the nose and it sharpens, then you take it back off so the bar/chain is just like any other bar/chain.

the battery saw has it built into the saw, you just pull a lever..not sure if longer bars are available for it but you could contact this dealer and find out..

Luke Weintz luke.weintz@powernowtools.com
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
Made real progress with the pole log pile, Joel knocked some more logs down for me (it is hard for me to pull them down) and I got them cut up..seems I'm more than half way through the pile, however, there is one problem, a lot of the logs that are left are way too large for the battery saw, so they'll have to wait for the gas saw. I should get the pile finished as much as I CAN, with the battery saw this week (depending on the rain) .

I was also waiting for the wandering trampoline to move out of our yard so I could finish cutting down the last of the trees that HAVE to come down, so I hope to do that tomorrow as the trampoline was returned to it's home this weekend (it blew here in a wind storm from a neighbors, it is now tethered to a tree).

Found out that our new wood furnace will be getting installed starting May 15 (hope the flooding in our yard is gone by then as no way a truck can drive into our yard with standing water and clay !)

Truely love this battery operated chainsaw..wish it was mine rather than just a trial for a couple of weeks..but sure am glad that they allowed me to test it out. Photos later.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
photo update
http://restfultrailsfoodforestgarden.blogspot.com/2012/05/photo-progress-of-woodpile-after-1-week.html
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
well I'm running low on time left on my chainsaw trial..so today I went through 6 battery charges..and I'm totally exhasted..that was a lot of wood cutting. Have someone coming tomorrow to dig Jerusalem Artichokes so that will keep me busy for a while..but I hope to get through at least 4 charges tomorrow..I still have so much left to do.
Brenda Groth
volunteer

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
    
    8
well I have come to the place to where most of the pole logs left are too large for the battery saw..nephew cut some up with the gas saw with the power sharp bar/chain on it today for me. I'm going to cut a few of the smaller dying ash trees down tomorrow and cut them up and then get the saw cleaned up and ready for it's trip back to Oregon. I'm very very pleased with the saw and HIGHLY recommend it and am so very thankful that they allowed me to test it for them..thanks Luke..
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