There. I, for one, feel much better. Since you’re only reading this if you’re in the specific situation above, we can get down to business. I’m no hero, but I’ve spent time behind gas-powered chainsaws trying to keep Southern California’s chaparral seasonal surge at bay. You feel like a wizard the first time you pull the trigger and clear the worst chokepoints on your favorite trail. And it’s relatively cheap to buy, especially compared to the saw I’m talking about here. Buying a battery and charger means you’ll spend less money on a decent quality gas chainsaw than on a lower powered electric chainsaw. I guess. A single Makita brand charger and he combined 18V 5.0AH battery can be purchased for $195.
But gas-powered chainsaws are a hassle. They’re noisy, smelly, and require a level of care and maintenance that non-motorized enthusiasts aren’t used to. So I bought some electric assist trail cutting tools. I’m here to outline the pros and cons of each.
I chose Makita because I had a Makita battery. There are a lot of tools he nuts on Youtube comparing cutting speed, battery life, longevity and durability of different brands. It’s not very interesting, and it’s not what I’m here for. Here are some basic differences between the two categories. chainsaw and reciprocating saw. I’m not a robot, so I’ll just call you Sausar. You can choose the brand that suits you. We recommend brands that you already have batteries for.
Depending on the situation, most of my work is about lowland overgrowth and small trees, so I chose a relatively compact tool. I want to be in and out on the same day and I don’t need a big trekking pack to do that. And I want to enjoy running from now on. Anyway, on my trails, clearing out full-sized fallen trees is relatively rare compared to constantly encroaching bushes.
Makita 18V LXT Cordless Top Handle 10″ Chainsaw: $239.99
From my experience gas Chainsaw, chainsaw is where I started. This 10-inch bar 18-volt offering from Makita (model number XCU06Z) weighs 6.6 pounds with a 5-amp-hour battery and fits in a 20-liter Camelbak Hawg pack without dismantling, but I’d prefer his 70 Choose to run %. -Fill the hydration bladder and keep it away from your back, instead nestling it in the crevice above the powerhead just outside the guide bar. can This configuration keeps things snug and compact, even though you’ll just wear a larger pack. One side of the saw is relatively flat, so the layers of padding built into the pack won’t make you feel cramped, but be prepared to get creative with your needs.
Chain installation, adjustment, and lubrication work the same as gas saws, and battery-powered saws use the same chain as gas saws of similar size, making replacements easy to find. I carry one with me along with a small bottle of bar oil just in case, but I usually run this saw’s reservoir in the same amount of time it takes to go through two 5Ah batteries. It was a cut and clearing. Long enough to call it a day since I’ve been working remotely lately.
With an electric chainsaw, I always had to be conscious of taking things seriously. Probably quieter than my Magic Bullet blender, no idle noise. That also means it’s a pleasure to use. In the case of Makita, the safety switch is pressed the moment you grab the steering wheel, so the power is right there. There is a stabilizing bar to grab on to, but I mostly used the chainsaw one-handed. A lot of the time, the roots of what I mow are buried out of reach in dense overgrowth, so it was a treat.In the end, this little guy is the ash of his Evil Dead 2 Like, it’s become a part of my body.
Of course, it has its limits. Makita claims this 18-volt saw can match the power of a 22cc gas saw. Most saws you might use for trail cutting are at least 32cc. Cutting anything over 4 inches thick with this little electric saw is a bit of a chore, and it gets even more difficult in dry conditions. Over time, it passes through thick, soft green wood relatively smoothly, but not through dry or dense wood.
That annoyance is doubled by Makita’s Star Protection system, which shuts off the saw if it senses overheating or overdischarging. is required. Powering the batteries most of us use in our home drills requires some protection. Protection against this $240 saw from cooking his one of its $100 batteries and vice versa. You can toggle the power button to get it back to running in 5 or 10 seconds, but the more you do it, the less time it will run. I eventually got into the habit of carrying a small folding handsaw in my pocket and it usually takes 60 seconds to feel refreshed and ready to go.
Another thing I had to take care of was keeping the cutting teeth on the chain away from dirt and rocks. And I was often left with small stumps even after clearing a section. If I had a sharp pickaxe, I would have had no choice but to chop up the leftover pongistics.
Makita 18V LXT Cordless Subcompact Reciprocating Saw: $159.99
That’s when I was prompted to try a sawzall. should be cut at or possibly below. All of the Thorzal’s sensitive moving parts are internal, so you don’t have to baby the blade. It seemed like a no-brainer for my application.
A true comparison to the $200 18-volt 10-inch Makita chainsaw (or at least $1 a dollar) is the $200 XRJ05Z 18-volt brushless reciprocating saw. I rented it and spent enough time to find out that it might be suitable for my trails, but I’d rather hold it in the bush for hours and climb It’s 8.2 pounds with battery, and most of that weight is cantilevered far in front of the grip, making it very difficult to use with one hand. In a large pack, it fits nicely next to a standard 100oz hydration bladder and is overall easy to carry, but not as easy to use.
So I opted for the $150 subcompact version with model number XRJ07B. Functionally, the main difference is stroke length. The sacrifice varies by brand, but for Makita, his XRJ05Z full-size has a 1&1/4-inch stroke, while the subcompact goes to 13/16-inch. In practice, it will take about 10 percent more time to traverse the same branch. How that affects battery life is much more difficult to quantify, but likely not positive. At 5.7 pounds with battery, the subcompact saw weighs much closer to the handle, making it as easy to use with one hand as a chainsaw. It fits perfectly in the top compartment of my 19 liter Camelbak Mule LR.
Optimizing the use of another tool like this required some tweaking.I learned that my goal when clearing the brush is to cut as close to the ground as possible and eventually I can under Ground. Once I knew the size and shape of what I was going to cut, I stuck the blade into the soil and pushed it to the left until it penetrated.
The danger with such indiscriminate slicing is that you don’t know what you’re up against. Most lumberjack blades are easy to bend, but difficult to straighten. The demolition blade is tall and stiff, and the small teeth don’t dull quickly, but they don’t work as fast either. I now have a small canvas pouch with some blades, the durability of the 6 inch demolition blades being ideal for sticking into the dirt. The 6 inch lumberjack blade is great for thick branches and small trees. 9 inch and 12 inch pruning blades can decapitate large yucca trees. The blade is long enough to span.
I could really drive the sawzall hard.It never ran out of power like a chainsaw. Whether it was going from stump to stump or driving something thick and heavy, it stayed that way until the job was done. But there is one nasty flaw that often forces you to use Soall in one particular way. A chainsaw always pulls in one direction. If it hits the base of the blade, it will cut through it. Sausal, on the other hand, moves forward and backward. Whatever you’re cutting, if you can move it back and forth, you’re just shaking the branch.
Even if you think something is going on, a bud right behind it could be blocking the blade from progressing. It is important to cut only hard, immovable objects. This problem gets worse as the blade dulls. This tends to happen quickly with the way I use this thing. I’m buying some new blades. Thankfully, the ones I use the most are about $5 each, and even cheaper if you buy them in bulk.
Your results may vary. Pacific Northwest and East Coast riders dealing with giant fallen trees and broken branches are in a completely different world than desert folk. Chainsaws for specific strike missions to deal with specific treefalls I’m happy to have one, but when I try to give myself and my fellow riders a little more leeway, I bring Sozal.