lightweight chainsaw

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by januaries, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. januaries

    januaries Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I would like to get a lightweight chainsaw to use for gathering firewood. I'm a bit of a lightweight myself (105#) and it's important that I be able to handle it safely without exhausting myself in five minutes. My main source of heat is a small wood stove (Jotul 602) which takes very small sticks of wood, and at this point I have no way of cutting firewood myself. Naturally, I wouldn't expect to fell great trees--I'm thinking more along the lines of 4-6" in diameter. At this point, I don't want to cut anything that would need to be split. I have strapping cousins and uncles whom I can hire to cut and split big logs, but I'd really like to be able to gather smaller pieces myself. I don't think I want an electric chainsaw, but I may be wrong. Any suggestions, cautions, or tips? Am I imagining the impossible, or do they make chainsaws like that?
  2. edcopp

    edcopp Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2004
    We keep an electric chain saw around the house at all times, along with 100' of cord. I didn't think that I wanted one either, and now I would not be without one. They are especially good for smaller pieces of wood like you mention. The one that I have now is a 16" remington electric, under $60 if I remember correctly. Starts every time unless it is not plugged in, and available at wally world even on a sunday morning at 1:00 A.M. in my neck of the woods.

    If I was not too sure what I needed for out in the woods I would look around a couple of saw shops for something used, small, and easy to start. A lot of smaller pretty good saws get traded in from time to time. Shop around it is a good time of year for that.

  3. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2003
    Ark. Ozark Mtns. (Marion County)
    I've got an electric chainsaw ... and a couple gas ones. As long as I'm cutting small stuff and it's within the reach of power, I'll take the electric (14" Homelite) every time. It's quieter and less physically abusive than the gas ones.

    I've seen cordless chainsaws, but I don't think they'd be much good due to the small size/charge time of the battery pack.
  4. tooltime

    tooltime Border Ruffian

    Nov 16, 2003
    Not to belabor the obvious, but if you go with an electric, then you're tied to hauling all your wood home at length and then cutting it up, unless you take a portable genny in the woods.

    Size wood you're talking about, you can probably find a lot of down limbs in woods. The lightest, smallest gas saw I know of was the Homelite XL2 -- 26cc engine and weighted a shade over 7 lbs. dry. Believe the chain they use is 1/4" pitch, but there are still some guys dealing in Homelite chains and bars. I've seen these saws sell from $9-$90 on ebay. They're popular as a limbing saw. I've cleaned out a lot of fence lines and trimmed a lot of limbs with this.

    Lots of chainsaw manufacturers also make electrics. (Husqvarna, Stihl). Don't know what prices for these are new.
  5. Vera

    Vera Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2003
    Mine is small, lightweight and electric. I have it connected to the sawhorse in a way that I only have to pull up on the handle to saw the wood - it's kind of hinged to the sawhorse, if that makes sense. Undo two nuts, and it's portable. One very good feature is that the oil plug is on top, so I can top off the oil while the saw is attached to the sawhorse. Somebody told me that not all saws have the oil thingy on top.
    I've cut everything from 1" saplings to 6" cedar posts to 2x6 boards on the sawhorse, and 18" downed branches on the ground down by my neighbor's.

    With a 100' cord, you can reach a lot of places around your place (and your neighbor's). I haul all my firewood home and cut it when the weather is good and I feel well enough to do the work. I have to say that the saw and the setup in the sawhorse is a godsent :)
    Btw, my stove is small also, too small for commercially cut firewood, so I'm doing a lot of cutting.
  6. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Stihl makes a very lightweight arborist model chainsaw. I think it is a 200T model. I was amazed how light it was. Under 8 pounds I think they said. I'm buying one next summer or fall. My back just won't let be run a big saw anymore. Really bugs me too since I LOVED to run a chainsaw and cut wood. Never got bored doing it and I loved to look back at the end of the day and look at my accoplishments. Loved the smell of the wood and oil. The thwack of my ax as it dug into the log and the chips flew. I miss it.
  7. Nette

    Nette Well-Known Member Supporter

    Aug 17, 2003
    For years I had a fit to get a chainsaw, but DH kept insisting I didn't need a chainsaw because he was scared I'd hurt myself. (And believe me, my DH is NOT the overprotective type.) Finally he conceded that there was indeed a saw I could handle: a pole saw. It's like a chainsaw for ladies. It's like a chainsaw-on-a-stick. It's wonderful. I try to refrain from actually using it to prune limbs over my head, but rather just use it to cut trees/limbs within my height range. With the saw part being on the end of the pole, you're a safer distance away. Mine is a Stihl--can't remember the model number. I didn't get the one with the extension pole, as it was heavier and I had no intention of using it to prune high-up limbs anyway. Don't get me started on Stihl.
    I love Stihl stuff. I'll stop right there...

    What I was using before I got my pole saw was just a $7 bow saw. With a new blade you can easily cut up stuff the size you're talking about.