High Quality Chainsaw Bars Husqvarna Toys

Dreaded cordless saws in a wild land conservation setting

ChuckPinTX

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I've been a long time lurker, and figured it was about time I contribute. I am a local conservation ranger in a wildland conservation division. One of our main programs is endangered species and habitat protection/restoration. We have somewhere over 50,000 acres of non-public access preserves spanning 3 counties in central Texas with over 300 miles of boundary fences. Roughly half of that acreage is endangered species habitat, and the other half is for water quality protection and grassland prairie restoration. The is also, at the moment, an unknown number and mileage of caves.

Right now we are heading into the last month of "bird season." This spans March 1 - September 1 for us. This is when the endangered and threatened birds have settled in and are doing their mating thing. During this time we do not use OPE with internal combustion engines in the endangered species habitat preserves unless it is a real emergency. This was a serious departure from the norm for me when I got here. Just a few years ago, management wouldn't even allow cordless electric saws, so it was axe and hand saw season for those of us who actually work.

In 2020 I picked up a Makita 18V top handle to keep in my personal truck while out wheeling and hunting. It's a handy little saw. I came across a YouTube video of a dude running a bunch of battery saws with a decibel meter, and took it to the brass. Incredibly, they decided to allow us to use battery saws during bird season. We didn't know what saws we really wanted, but with my experience with the little Makita, the division having a truck load of Makita batteries, and price; I grabbed enough 18V 10" Makita top handle saws to outfit all of the ranger trucks. Just the XCU06, a quart of B&C oil, extra bar, 2 extra chains, chain files, a charger, and 2 6ah batteries.

These little saws have been a life saver. They use 3/8LP .043 chain, and actually work. They certainly don't run like a proper top handle, but they sure can cut your truck out of a bind, clear large limbs off of roads and fences, and you don't have to worry about packing a can of mix everywhere. Since we are usually on foot once we get into the preserves, I strap mine to my pack. It's pretty light, considering, and I don't feel any more fatigue after a 10-15 mile foot patrol than I do without it. Still, I haven't tested it against the 2511T we have, but I'm pretty sure the 2511T would beat it. The Makita is definitely easier to stall, and easy to over heat once outside temps are close to or over 100F. Even with that, the Makita has replaced little 2 stroke top handles for me at work. I can use it all year, and I just need to make sure the batteries are charged. It oils the 10" bar well, and a full tank will last me through the spare battery I keep in the pack. Since I would have to make it back to the truck to swap out to more batteries anyway, that means I don't even have to pack B&C oil while on foot. 2 batteries would also be an awful lot of cutting for just one day on patrol.

I did do a bit of a torture test to see how durable this thing is, and what it could handle. I took the 10" bar and 3/8LP chain to a 16-18" mesquite, felled it, and processed it enough for haul out or to get put into the chipper. Long story short: it was too much tree for the saw, obviously, but it DID get it done. I went through a lot of battery charging and was shut down often because of overheating. It struggled real hard to complete the face cut and back cut with the bar buried, but that was expected. It did well on everything that was 8" diameter and smaller though. That was the first week we had them, and it still runs just fine. The 18V saws have been in service since the middle of 2020. That's pretty good service life for tools where we are. I am pretty paranoid with electronics and rain, so I do put a grocery bag over the power head, at least I did when it still rained.

The little saws are nifty and all, and they are certainly impressive for what they are in a pinch, but we needed something with more power to at least be able to down small trees during bird season. We had initially decided to get and test out a Husqvarna 540i xp. We had seen some videos showing it perform well, considering, compared to what echo and stihl have out. Due to the unfortunate actions of a couple of our biologists and warranty/coat issues with our dealer, the bean counters have stopped us from purchasing anything made by Husqvarna and Stihl, or from our OPE dealer during this audit. Still, we wanted at least something, because we have a lot of work to do.

Thankfully I have a handy dandy government credit card, and they don't care about little ole Makita and Amazon business. We know the Stihl and Husqvarna battery saws perform as well or better than the construction tool offerings, but Makita and DeWalt show decent in videos. Since we have more Makita batteries than DeWalt, we decided I should buy the 36V Makita with a 14" bar. I tried to get the one with traditional bar nuts and tensioner, but the only one available was the tooless one. They appear to be the same saw, just with a different "clutch" cover and stud setup.

The XCU03 definitely feels more like a "real" saw. Outfitted with 2 6ah batteries, 14" bar, 3/8LP chain, scabbard and full of oil it is topping the scale at 12.3lbs. that's still pretty dang light ready to cut. I've had this one in the field for a month now, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with it. It certainly isn't a 50cc saw, but it is very capable for a battery powered saw.

It oils the 14" bar fine. I believe the oiler is adjustable, but haven't had a need to even check. Outfitted with 2 6ah batteries, it runs for a surprising amount of time. With a full set of batteries I've taken down a 24" (at base) Ashe Juniper that was showing significant root heaving. These tree don't get super tall, so I think this one was right around 20ft ground to tip top of canopy. This saw handled it fine. It's definitely not as fast in the cut as anything 50cc or larger, but it really didn't feel like it was struggling. Felling, limbing, and chunking the juniper had the batteries pretty much done, but they still had a bit of life. Oil tank was getting close to needing to be filled as well.

I've been using it to clear branches and trees off of the boundary fences. It performed adequately while brushing, and hasn't failed in any of the wood we have here. Luckily I haven't had it in a bind yet, but like any smaller saw, you can stall it out if you don't let the little cutters do their thing.

The chains on both are the same 3/8LP .043, just different drive length count. They work acceptably if you're not worried about having lightening fast cut times. It is incredibly irritating not being able to borrow, when it would be wise to bore, so I'm looking for some non-safety chain for at least the "big" one. Not a single place around here sells it, so I'll have to find it online.

The bar on the little saw has held up fine, so I have no complaints with it. The 14" bar is the same bar, just longer. I'm not sure what I hit, but it was enough to split the end of the bar, and scrap a chain. It was most likely a nail or fence wire inside the juniper I was cutting since there was only air around the tree. I've had no problems with the second bar and chain so far. I would like to find a more robust bar for it, but I'm not sure what the mount is yet. If anybody knows a better bar and chain I'm all ears.

Are they serious pro quality in construction and cut speed? No, not really. Would I consider them over a 461 or 500i on a fire, or logging? Don't be ridiculous. Would I pick the 36V over a 260 or 501p? Not if I was able to use the gas saw, honestly. Still, they sure are handy, and I wouldn't hesitate to use one. They might not be incredible speed cutters, but they certainly work well. They're honestly pretty impressive, especially from a company known for construction tools. They sure make my life easier, and beat reefing on a hand saw. In our professional capacity, for what we need them to do, they're perfectly acceptable, especially for the price. Hopefully they last for awhile.

Hopefully the pictures attach and load up. Has anybody else been using any battery saw, without some ridiculous expectations about performance? What do you have and think?
 

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ChuckPinTX

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Some more pics.
 

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ChuckPinTX

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More pictures of some of this junk.
 

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Normzilla

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I've been a long time lurker, and figured it was about time I contribute. I am a local conservation ranger in a wildland conservation division. One of our main programs is endangered species and habitat protection/restoration. We have somewhere over 50,000 acres of non-public access preserves spanning 3 counties in central Texas with over 300 miles of boundary fences. Roughly half of that acreage is endangered species habitat, and the other half is for water quality protection and grassland prairie restoration. The is also, at the moment, an unknown number and mileage of caves.

Right now we are heading into the last month of "bird season." This spans March 1 - September 1 for us. This is when the endangered and threatened birds have settled in and are doing their mating thing. During this time we do not use OPE with internal combustion engines in the endangered species habitat preserves unless it is a real emergency. This was a serious departure from the norm for me when I got here. Just a few years ago, management wouldn't even allow cordless electric saws, so it was axe and hand saw season for those of us who actually work.

In 2020 I picked up a Makita 18V top handle to keep in my personal truck while out wheeling and hunting. It's a handy little saw. I came across a YouTube video of a dude running a bunch of battery saws with a decibel meter, and took it to the brass. Incredibly, they decided to allow us to use battery saws during bird season. We didn't know what saws we really wanted, but with my experience with the little Makita, the division having a truck load of Makita batteries, and price; I grabbed enough 18V 10" Makita top handle saws to outfit all of the ranger trucks. Just the XCU06, a quart of B&C oil, extra bar, 2 extra chains, chain files, a charger, and 2 6ah batteries.

These little saws have been a life saver. They use 3/8LP .043 chain, and actually work. They certainly don't run like a proper top handle, but they sure can cut your truck out of a bind, clear large limbs off of roads and fences, and you don't have to worry about packing a can of mix everywhere. Since we are usually on foot once we get into the preserves, I strap mine to my pack. It's pretty light, considering, and I don't feel any more fatigue after a 10-15 mile foot patrol than I do without it. Still, I haven't tested it against the 2511T we have, but I'm pretty sure the 2511T would beat it. The Makita is definitely easier to stall, and easy to over heat once outside temps are close to or over 100F. Even with that, the Makita has replaced little 2 stroke top handles for me at work. I can use it all year, and I just need to make sure the batteries are charged. It oils the 10" bar well, and a full tank will last me through the spare battery I keep in the pack. Since I would have to make it back to the truck to swap out to more batteries anyway, that means I don't even have to pack B&C oil while on foot. 2 batteries would also be an awful lot of cutting for just one day on patrol.

I did do a bit of a torture test to see how durable this thing is, and what it could handle. I took the 10" bar and 3/8LP chain to a 16-18" mesquite, felled it, and processed it enough for haul out or to get put into the chipper. Long story short: it was too much tree for the saw, obviously, but it DID get it done. I went through a lot of battery charging and was shut down often because of overheating. It struggled real hard to complete the face cut and back cut with the bar buried, but that was expected. It did well on everything that was 8" diameter and smaller though. That was the first week we had them, and it still runs just fine. The 18V saws have been in service since the middle of 2020. That's pretty good service life for tools where we are. I am pretty paranoid with electronics and rain, so I do put a grocery bag over the power head, at least I did when it still rained.

The little saws are nifty and all, and they are certainly impressive for what they are in a pinch, but we needed something with more power to at least be able to down small trees during bird season. We had initially decided to get and test out a Husqvarna 540i xp. We had seen some videos showing it perform well, considering, compared to what echo and stihl have out. Due to the unfortunate actions of a couple of our biologists and warranty/coat issues with our dealer, the bean counters have stopped us from purchasing anything made by Husqvarna and Stihl, or from our OPE dealer during this audit. Still, we wanted at least something, because we have a lot of work to do.

Thankfully I have a handy dandy government credit card, and they don't care about little ole Makita and Amazon business. We know the Stihl and Husqvarna battery saws perform as well or better than the construction tool offerings, but Makita and DeWalt show decent in videos. Since we have more Makita batteries than DeWalt, we decided I should buy the 36V Makita with a 14" bar. I tried to get the one with traditional bar nuts and tensioner, but the only one available was the tooless one. They appear to be the same saw, just with a different "clutch" cover and stud setup.

The XCU03 definitely feels more like a "real" saw. Outfitted with 2 6ah batteries, 14" bar, 3/8LP chain, scabbard and full of oil it is topping the scale at 12.3lbs. that's still pretty dang light ready to cut. I've had this one in the field for a month now, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with it. It certainly isn't a 50cc saw, but it is very capable for a battery powered saw.

It oils the 14" bar fine. I believe the oiler is adjustable, but haven't had a need to even check. Outfitted with 2 6ah batteries, it runs for a surprising amount of time. With a full set of batteries I've taken down a 24" (at base) Ashe Juniper that was showing significant root heaving. These tree don't get super tall, so I think this one was right around 20ft ground to tip top of canopy. This saw handled it fine. It's definitely not as fast in the cut as anything 50cc or larger, but it really didn't feel like it was struggling. Felling, limbing, and chunking the juniper had the batteries pretty much done, but they still had a bit of life. Oil tank was getting close to needing to be filled as well.

I've been using it to clear branches and trees off of the boundary fences. It performed adequately while brushing, and hasn't failed in any of the wood we have here. Luckily I haven't had it in a bind yet, but like any smaller saw, you can stall it out if you don't let the little cutters do their thing.

The chains on both are the same 3/8LP .043, just different drive length count. They work acceptably if you're not worried about having lightening fast cut times. It is incredibly irritating not being able to borrow, when it would be wise to bore, so I'm looking for some non-safety chain for at least the "big" one. Not a single place around here sells it, so I'll have to find it online.

The bar on the little saw has held up fine, so I have no complaints with it. The 14" bar is the same bar, just longer. I'm not sure what I hit, but it was enough to split the end of the bar, and scrap a chain. It was most likely a nail or fence wire inside the juniper I was cutting since there was only air around the tree. I've had no problems with the second bar and chain so far. I would like to find a more robust bar for it, but I'm not sure what the mount is yet. If anybody knows a better bar and chain I'm all ears.

Are they serious pro quality in construction and cut speed? No, not really. Would I consider them over a 461 or 500i on a fire, or logging? Don't be ridiculous. Would I pick the 36V over a 260 or 501p? Not if I was able to use the gas saw, honestly. Still, they sure are handy, and I wouldn't hesitate to use one. They might not be incredible speed cutters, but they certainly work well. They're honestly pretty impressive, especially from a company known for construction tools. They sure make my life easier, and beat reefing on a hand saw. In our professional capacity, for what we need them to do, they're perfectly acceptable, especially for the price. Hopefully they last for awhile.

Hopefully the pictures attach and load up. Has anybody else been using any battery saw, without some ridiculous expectations about performance? What do you have and think?
Yes they are handy. Local fire departments some use them here, for small downed trees. Still a gas chainsaw guy, always will be. But their are some good advancements in batteries of today, and some tool. We have a conservation Corp north bay I run through county roads. We clear and cut trees. Many of those crews use some battery stuff, but still have gas stuff. I think overall on the environmental well being side, the politicians especially here in CA, have gone way to far and way overboard, and know attacking small equipment. Nobody should follow this states example, for many things. The endangered species here just burn up in wildfires now, real sad. I'm all for the battery stuff too, as long as there is a choice. Welcome to the site. I was impressed on your detail and all the descriptions.
 

srcarr52

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Many arborists are switching over to the battery powered top handles for climbing or bucket work. It really makes sense as not having to shut off and restart them adds a bit of safety and increases productivity. Of course they are using Stihl or Husqvarna but for all of us that can't afford another dedicated battery setup Dewalt and Makita make decent stuff.

I have a few friends with large acreages and they have Dewalt top handle saws that even their wives are comfortable using. Everyone wins here!

So battery saws have their place as you've found, but they can't replace the power density of a gas saw. It seems they have a place in the sub 50cc work and top handles.

If you are good about keeping the chain out of the dirt Stihl makes a 50 gauge Picco (3/8 lopro) full chisel chain that can turn these battery saws into laser beams. Sithl PS is the best if you can find it, PS3 is more common but has an anti-kickback bumper link.
 

Mastermind

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I've been a long time lurker, and figured it was about time I contribute. I am a local conservation ranger in a wildland conservation division. One of our main programs is endangered species and habitat protection/restoration. We have somewhere over 50,000 acres of non-public access preserves spanning 3 counties in central Texas with over 300 miles of boundary fences. Roughly half of that acreage is endangered species habitat, and the other half is for water quality protection and grassland prairie restoration. The is also, at the moment, an unknown number and mileage of caves.

Right now we are heading into the last month of "bird season." This spans March 1 - September 1 for us. This is when the endangered and threatened birds have settled in and are doing their mating thing. During this time we do not use OPE with internal combustion engines in the endangered species habitat preserves unless it is a real emergency. This was a serious departure from the norm for me when I got here. Just a few years ago, management wouldn't even allow cordless electric saws, so it was axe and hand saw season for those of us who actually work.

In 2020 I picked up a Makita 18V top handle to keep in my personal truck while out wheeling and hunting. It's a handy little saw. I came across a YouTube video of a dude running a bunch of battery saws with a decibel meter, and took it to the brass. Incredibly, they decided to allow us to use battery saws during bird season. We didn't know what saws we really wanted, but with my experience with the little Makita, the division having a truck load of Makita batteries, and price; I grabbed enough 18V 10" Makita top handle saws to outfit all of the ranger trucks. Just the XCU06, a quart of B&C oil, extra bar, 2 extra chains, chain files, a charger, and 2 6ah batteries.

These little saws have been a life saver. They use 3/8LP .043 chain, and actually work. They certainly don't run like a proper top handle, but they sure can cut your truck out of a bind, clear large limbs off of roads and fences, and you don't have to worry about packing a can of mix everywhere. Since we are usually on foot once we get into the preserves, I strap mine to my pack. It's pretty light, considering, and I don't feel any more fatigue after a 10-15 mile foot patrol than I do without it. Still, I haven't tested it against the 2511T we have, but I'm pretty sure the 2511T would beat it. The Makita is definitely easier to stall, and easy to over heat once outside temps are close to or over 100F. Even with that, the Makita has replaced little 2 stroke top handles for me at work. I can use it all year, and I just need to make sure the batteries are charged. It oils the 10" bar well, and a full tank will last me through the spare battery I keep in the pack. Since I would have to make it back to the truck to swap out to more batteries anyway, that means I don't even have to pack B&C oil while on foot. 2 batteries would also be an awful lot of cutting for just one day on patrol.

I did do a bit of a torture test to see how durable this thing is, and what it could handle. I took the 10" bar and 3/8LP chain to a 16-18" mesquite, felled it, and processed it enough for haul out or to get put into the chipper. Long story short: it was too much tree for the saw, obviously, but it DID get it done. I went through a lot of battery charging and was shut down often because of overheating. It struggled real hard to complete the face cut and back cut with the bar buried, but that was expected. It did well on everything that was 8" diameter and smaller though. That was the first week we had them, and it still runs just fine. The 18V saws have been in service since the middle of 2020. That's pretty good service life for tools where we are. I am pretty paranoid with electronics and rain, so I do put a grocery bag over the power head, at least I did when it still rained.

The little saws are nifty and all, and they are certainly impressive for what they are in a pinch, but we needed something with more power to at least be able to down small trees during bird season. We had initially decided to get and test out a Husqvarna 540i xp. We had seen some videos showing it perform well, considering, compared to what echo and stihl have out. Due to the unfortunate actions of a couple of our biologists and warranty/coat issues with our dealer, the bean counters have stopped us from purchasing anything made by Husqvarna and Stihl, or from our OPE dealer during this audit. Still, we wanted at least something, because we have a lot of work to do.

Thankfully I have a handy dandy government credit card, and they don't care about little ole Makita and Amazon business. We know the Stihl and Husqvarna battery saws perform as well or better than the construction tool offerings, but Makita and DeWalt show decent in videos. Since we have more Makita batteries than DeWalt, we decided I should buy the 36V Makita with a 14" bar. I tried to get the one with traditional bar nuts and tensioner, but the only one available was the tooless one. They appear to be the same saw, just with a different "clutch" cover and stud setup.

The XCU03 definitely feels more like a "real" saw. Outfitted with 2 6ah batteries, 14" bar, 3/8LP chain, scabbard and full of oil it is topping the scale at 12.3lbs. that's still pretty dang light ready to cut. I've had this one in the field for a month now, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with it. It certainly isn't a 50cc saw, but it is very capable for a battery powered saw.

It oils the 14" bar fine. I believe the oiler is adjustable, but haven't had a need to even check. Outfitted with 2 6ah batteries, it runs for a surprising amount of time. With a full set of batteries I've taken down a 24" (at base) Ashe Juniper that was showing significant root heaving. These tree don't get super tall, so I think this one was right around 20ft ground to tip top of canopy. This saw handled it fine. It's definitely not as fast in the cut as anything 50cc or larger, but it really didn't feel like it was struggling. Felling, limbing, and chunking the juniper had the batteries pretty much done, but they still had a bit of life. Oil tank was getting close to needing to be filled as well.

I've been using it to clear branches and trees off of the boundary fences. It performed adequately while brushing, and hasn't failed in any of the wood we have here. Luckily I haven't had it in a bind yet, but like any smaller saw, you can stall it out if you don't let the little cutters do their thing.

The chains on both are the same 3/8LP .043, just different drive length count. They work acceptably if you're not worried about having lightening fast cut times. It is incredibly irritating not being able to borrow, when it would be wise to bore, so I'm looking for some non-safety chain for at least the "big" one. Not a single place around here sells it, so I'll have to find it online.

The bar on the little saw has held up fine, so I have no complaints with it. The 14" bar is the same bar, just longer. I'm not sure what I hit, but it was enough to split the end of the bar, and scrap a chain. It was most likely a nail or fence wire inside the juniper I was cutting since there was only air around the tree. I've had no problems with the second bar and chain so far. I would like to find a more robust bar for it, but I'm not sure what the mount is yet. If anybody knows a better bar and chain I'm all ears.

Are they serious pro quality in construction and cut speed? No, not really. Would I consider them over a 461 or 500i on a fire, or logging? Don't be ridiculous. Would I pick the 36V over a 260 or 501p? Not if I was able to use the gas saw, honestly. Still, they sure are handy, and I wouldn't hesitate to use one. They might not be incredible speed cutters, but they certainly work well. They're honestly pretty impressive, especially from a company known for construction tools. They sure make my life easier, and beat reefing on a hand saw. In our professional capacity, for what we need them to do, they're perfectly acceptable, especially for the price. Hopefully they last for awhile.

Hopefully the pictures attach and load up. Has anybody else been using any battery saw, without some ridiculous expectations about performance? What do you have and think?

Damn fine post sir. Thank you for sharing real experience with these saws.
 

ChuckPinTX

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Thank you for the warm welcome everyone. I'll definitely have to check out the Stihl chain once I find a good bar to run. The sprocket on these saws is pretty weird. I'm not sure why the went the way they did with rim sprockets being the norm.

They definitely take some getting used to. Chain speed and power isn't really much of an issue, but the power you have is the power you have. Since they aren't power cutters or close to the big saws, you have to step back and think more with blow down and tensioned wood. We can be correct, but pretty sloppy with 60+cc saws and still get the job done with ease. Not so much with the battery saws. You need a light touch instead of heavy handing it into wood. I don't want anyone to get me wrong here. I'm not saying they're great. They just work. A serviceable saw, if you will. I definitely had to set the ego aside a bit. I would much rather run the 590 Joe ported for me, my 044, or my old 461, but I can't deny that the battery saws do work. If it's what we have, it's best to figure out it's limitations and capabilities, and then figure out how to use it to accomplish the goal. Interesting times we live in.

I'm hoping to get one of the battery pole saws, but that might have to wait until all of this contract stuff is hashed out. It would be nice if somebody made a 4-5' extendable pole saw instead of the longer ones. The long ones are great in somebody's yard, but would be a royal pain to hump through the bush. It would definitely make clearing trees and branches off of 8' fences a lot easier as well.
 

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Mastermind

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Thank you for the warm welcome everyone. I'll definitely have to check out the Stihl chain once I find a good bar to run. The sprocket on these saws is pretty weird. I'm not sure why the went the way they did with rim sprockets being the norm.

They definitely take some getting used to. Chain speed and power isn't really much of an issue, but the power you have is the power you have. Since they aren't power cutters or close to the big saws, you have to step back and think more with blow down and tensioned wood. We can be correct, but pretty sloppy with 60+cc saws and still get the job done with ease. Not so much with the battery saws. You need a light touch instead of heavy handing it into wood. I don't want anyone to get me wrong here. I'm not saying they're great. They just work. A serviceable saw, if you will. I definitely had to set the ego aside a bit. I would much rather run the 590 Joe ported for me, my 044, or my old 461, but I can't deny that the battery saws do work. If it's what we have, it's best to figure out it's limitations and capabilities, and then figure out how to use it to accomplish the goal. Interesting times we live in.

I'm hoping to get one of the battery pole saws, but that might have to wait until all of this contract stuff is hashed out. It would be nice if somebody made a 4-5' extendable pole saw instead of the longer ones. The long ones are great in somebody's yard, but would be a royal pain to hump through the bush. It would definitely make clearing trees and branches off of 8' fences a lot easier as well.

That sprocket will run any 3/8 low pro chain.
 

Woodpecker

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Thank you for the warm welcome everyone. I'll definitely have to check out the Stihl chain once I find a good bar to run. The sprocket on these saws is pretty weird. I'm not sure why the went the way they did with rim sprockets being the norm.

They definitely take some getting used to. Chain speed and power isn't really much of an issue, but the power you have is the power you have. Since they aren't power cutters or close to the big saws, you have to step back and think more with blow down and tensioned wood. We can be correct, but pretty sloppy with 60+cc saws and still get the job done with ease. Not so much with the battery saws. You need a light touch instead of heavy handing it into wood. I don't want anyone to get me wrong here. I'm not saying they're great. They just work. A serviceable saw, if you will. I definitely had to set the ego aside a bit. I would much rather run the 590 Joe ported for me, my 044, or my old 461, but I can't deny that the battery saws do work. If it's what we have, it's best to figure out it's limitations and capabilities, and then figure out how to use it to accomplish the goal. Interesting times we live in.

I'm hoping to get one of the battery pole saws, but that might have to wait until all of this contract stuff is hashed out. It would be nice if somebody made a 4-5' extendable pole saw instead of the longer ones. The long ones are great in somebody's yard, but would be a royal pain to hump through the bush. It would definitely make clearing trees and branches off of 8' fences a lot easier as well.
Welcome aboard Chuck. I too have a couple Makita saws. On my top handle saw I used a 1/4” chain conversion and it’s been far superior to the 3/8lp. I purchased mine from August Hunicke here:

https://monkeybeaver.com/product/makita-panther-kits/

as far as battery pole saw since you already have Makita gear I can make a suggestion there too. You want the couple shaft power head, extension section, and 10” power pole saw attachment:

https://www.makitatools.com/ope/ope-shop/cordless-power-head

mine goes with me on every tree job and I haven’t legitimately needed my echo power pole saw in over a year.
 

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I would love to have a good electric saw for cutting along the road. Haven't tried one that impressed me yet...maybe that full chisel would do it.
 

ChuckPinTX

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@Mastermind It sure looks like it will take just about anything. Currently looking at .050 bars that I won't need to modify oil holes.

@Guido Salvage what all do you want to know? We do a lot of flow and dye trace testing. Practically all of central Texas is connected underground, so it's really like one giant cave. So far, we haven't tested a cave that doesn't flow, eventually, to the Edward's Aquifer. We study and care for a few endangered species in the caves as well. Karst invertebrates and blind salamanders. Back when all of this was ranch and farm land, many karst features were filled in to keep cattle and kids from getting killed, or simply used as dumps that eventually closed them up. This actually caused a lot of flooding problems all over these counties. We've been excavating them for years. Mapping and studying them and the above ground effects. We've actually reduced flooding problems for a bunch of neighborhoods doing this. It's a pretty neat operation.

@jakethesnake that depends on your definition of scary. I'm alone out on patrol 99.9% of the time with no backup and help at least an hour away depending on where I am. In some of the preserves that run through the city I've seen a lot of prostitution gone bad, homeless wars, people in the middle of ODing, dead bodies being scavenged, bad drug deals. We get a lot of poachers, and see a bunch of 4 legged predators, but they're generally harmless. Sometimes the preserves will play tricks on you. Like you'll be walking and it sounds like someone is walking or running up behind you, you turn around to possibly defend yourself, but nobody is there. That can be creepy for sure. I've taken incoming fire, but I don't think they were actually shooting AT me. From cover observing the area it's usually somebody on a neighboring property and it looks like they're just shooting targets. They don't even know you're there.

@Woodpecker I'll have to check out that 1/4" when it is back in stock. Are you using the 18V x2 power head or one of the others? I've been considering that one with several attachments for a personal purchase to use around the ranch.

@isaaccarlson I think the main reason I've been impressed with these is that I had zero expectations that they would be worth anything. Definitely a lot of limitations, but with care I can do an impressive amount of work with them. Just have to make good decisions and plan thoroughly. I have been told that the Husqvarna 540i XP is head and shoulders above what we have, so maybe that is something to look into.
 

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I'll have to check out that 1/4" when it is back in stock. Are you using the 18V x2 power head or one of the others? I've been considering that one with several attachments for a personal purchase to use around the ranch.

Mine is the xcu08 single battery unit. I mostly use it for busting wide unions down when a branch won’t fit through the chipper. I do also use it for light pruning while climbing. The makita saws use the same style bar mount as the top handle echo saws so with a little searching I’m sure you could make it happen. It’s worth it.


I was worried that the makita coupler shaft power head wouldn’t be robust enough to handle commercial use. It has exceeded my expectations. I use it as a power pole saw and also have the hedge trimmer attachment for it as well. It gets used, not abused, daily. I’ve had it for going on 2 years now. I used it the other day to make a several dozen carefully placed cuts to clean this storm damage up without causing any more damage to the home.9ECFF9EA-799B-4720-B178-E05F9579573D.jpeg

yes that was roughly 2000 pounds of tree balanced on that one pivot point on the eaves.

8AA58DC6-9514-4C74-AE4F-05415311D968.jpeg
 

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In my experience .043 gauge 3/8LP is faster than 1/4. Stihl's .043 1/4 is just too small and not aggressive enough, and .050 1/4 chains have too big of teeth to compete with the narrower .043 3/8 chains.

1/4" pitch is just best for smoother cutting.

I think there are 2 main reasons why these little saws don't bore cut well and really just don't have very good tip cutting performance.
1: .043 3/8 chain all comes with a low kickback safety bumper next to the depth gauge. This reduces the aggressiveness of the chain, but some are designed to stick out as high or higher than the depth gauge when the chain bends around the nose, which makes cutting near impossible at the nose. You may have noticed already that the bar sinks into a log until the nose meets the wood, then cutting slows down a lot. Stihl .043 chain does cut very well, but not with the tip.
2: The shape of the tip of the bar seems to reduce cutting performance. I have never known a wide tip bar to cut anywhere near as poorly as a small tip, but all the .043 come with a small tip, and even many .050 have a small tip.

Although they can be hard to sharpen by hand filing, Archer makes a .043 3/8 chain without the low kick bumpers. I don't think they advertise it as anything different, just double check in the picture before ordering. I have not run one of their .043 chains, but I got one for this reason.
 

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Welcome from a fellow wildlife biologist/lands management guy. We have started sourcing Stihl battery saws for the guys that only occasionally run saws to clear roads in a pinch, etc. We started with the DeWalts since most of us already had the batteries, but soon realized they wouldn’t hold up for us. Probably more user error/abuse issues than anything else. The Stihl battery saws impressed me, but not enough for me to carry one in the truck. I’ll stick with my 462, lol.
 

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Have figured out a way to port the battery saws yet? Ceramic bearings, new motors, bigger batteries, dual port battery compartments? Let’s hear what you got up your sleeve.

When I was a kid, my older brothers unwound some of the windings off of the motors in our slot cars to make them faster....
 
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