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 small easy start chain saw for women
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hawaiideborah
Kamaaina

719 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  14:51:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now that we live in Puna with all the clearing of plant growth that is constantly needed I was wondering if anyone had suggestions of a good chain saw for smaller non-muscular women.
I don't have much upper body strength. I want to be able to start and run a small chain saw. I am hoping there are others in Puna who have found a small chain saw for women that has an easy pull. I don't have the muscle power or shoulder strength to pull the start cord more than once let alone over and over.
Any suggestions appreciated. THANKS again for your help.

Rob Tucker
Kama'aina

7075 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  14:56:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you are working close to the house consider an electric chain saw. They are cheaper, lighter and don't need a pull start, just an extension cord.
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oink
Punatic

USA
2453 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  15:01:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chain saws can be extremely dangerous and unforgiving and their use should really be learned in the company of someone experienced. If you must have one you might wish to consider an electric one. There is also another electric tool (name escapes me) that you hold with two hands and you clamp it around the branch as if using shears. It works well and has a guard for the chain. It should be much safer although I'm sure a person could still hurt themselves if they were determined.

I guess Rob and I had the same thought. Here is the other tool I was thinking of, the Alligator Lopper: http://www.blackanddecker.com/outdoor/LP1000.aspx
There might be a cordless version also.

Pua`a
S. FL
Big Islander to be.

Edited by - oink on 07/04/2011 15:08:47
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YurtGirl
Kamaaina

662 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  15:21:07  Show Profile  Visit YurtGirl's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You definitely want to be sure to learn basic safety, stance, handling, start up, brake use, etc. from a safety minded, experienced chainsaw handler. Always keep in mind the serious danger you're open to when using a power saw, it will keep you alert and keep your respect high and, hopefully, keep you safe.

That said, our Stihl MS280 is my favorite chainsaw to run. It's very light, very easy to start, has good power and manageability. It does bring your hands closer together when you're operating it, which can give a bit less control, so that's something to be aware of. But as women, we've got smaller hands and less upper body strength, so I find I've got more control with that than with a big, heavy saw. I've never had it cause an issue. But I also learned from an excellent teacher.
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Kelena
Punatic

USA
2893 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  15:38:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can't put my finger on it, but something made me "flash" on this (as we used to say): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QFu8SD4sqE
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pslamont
Punatic

USA
2966 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  16:42:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Another vote for Stihl. Garden Exchange downtown not only sells them but actually gets it set up and teaches you how to start and stop it, how to use the bar oil, mix the oil/gas and general safety stuff. I was impressed that they wanted to take the time to do this. This is not a cheap or "throw away" tool by any means but in the long run is totally worth the money.

I want to be the kind of woman that, when my feet
hit the floor each morning, the devil says

"Oh Crap, She's up!"
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Rob Tucker
Kama'aina

7075 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  17:39:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had a Stihl and it lasted me twenty years. Good value for a gas saw.
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lquade
Kamaaina

712 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  18:16:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
i also used a stihl for many many years, but now as a much older, less strong woman i switched to an electric chain saw and other than dragging the cord around it is wonderful and lite weight...
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allensylves
Da Kine

USA
461 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  18:41:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The Stihl/Garden Exchange website does not list the MS 280 but does list an MS 290, which may have replaced it. Also listed is the new MS 291 which is almost 1 pound lighter and particularly mentions anti-vibration, so it may be a better choice(accessed through www.Stihldealer.net, not directly at Garden Exchange???). The MS 280 is listed by a Baton Rouge dealer for about $120 more than the MS 290. The 280 powerhead is 0.4 pounds lighter than the 291 (which the Baton Rouge dealer's website does not list).

Allen
Baton Rouge, LA & HPP
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MarkP
Kamaaina

922 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  19:05:42  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the majority of what you are sawing is 4" or less you might find that a battery powered reciprocating saw with a long pruning blade works pretty well. Yes it takes longer than a chain saw but it is instant on/instant off, clean, simple, and very safe.
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Hotzcatz
Punatic

USA
1726 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  21:28:15  Show Profile  Visit Hotzcatz's Homepage  Reply with Quote
If the diameter of the brush you are clearing is 2" or less, then a pair of compound loppers might do better for you. Chain saws work best on solid things like trees, for waiwi, guava, brush, etc., a pair of loppers or a machete can handle it better, IMHO, than a chain saw. Also, you'll get more upper body strength after you've cleared brush for several days.


"I like yard sales," he said. "All true survivalists like yard sales."
Kurt Wilson
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DoryGray
Da Kine

USA
457 Posts

Posted - 07/04/2011 :  21:43:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Similar situation for me. Chain saws rightfully scare the H___ out of me, I found a small electric pole saw missing the pole for a song at Home Depot. It works fantastic for all the larger Guava that the lopper couldn't handle. 100' cord gets me as far as I need. I also hired a guy for $25 an hour to chainsaw the really large stuff. If he's just cutting it down & in pieces, it doesn't take long.
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hawaiideborah
Kamaaina

719 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2011 :  10:06:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DoryGray

Similar situation for me. Chain saws rightfully scare the H___ out of me, I found a small electric pole saw missing the pole for a song at Home Depot. It works fantastic for all the larger Guava that the lopper couldn't handle. 100' cord gets me as far as I need. I also hired a guy for $25 an hour to chainsaw the really large stuff. If he's just cutting it down & in pieces, it doesn't take long.



Would you mind giving the name or number of the guy who helped you with the chain sawing?
Thanks also for the tip on pole saw. I am on my way to town to check out the various options you all have suggested.
Thank you very much.
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hawaiideborah
Kamaaina

719 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2011 :  10:13:45  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.
This is why I love punaweb. You have helped me over and over in my transition to living and loving Puna.
I am on my way to town to check out the various options you all have suggested. I am going to check the electric chain saws and pole saw at Home Depot as well as going to Garden Exchange to ask about the various small Stihl gas chain saws.
ALSO I appreciate the links to the loppers and the chain saws. GREAT INFO and lots to chose from and options to consider.

Also really appreciate the warnings of how dangerous chain saws are for the un-trained (me). If I get it from Garden Exchange I will for sure get the teaching there and if not, I have several seasoned guys I can get some experienced teaching how to run a chainsaw.
Again, Thank you very much.
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Rob Tucker
Kama'aina

7075 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2011 :  10:16:52  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The primary rule of thumb when using any type of chain saw is to always grip it with two hands.
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KeaauRich
Kamaaina

812 Posts

Posted - 07/05/2011 :  10:44:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rob Tucker

The primary rule of thumb when using any type of chain saw is to always grip it with two hands.



And conversely, the rule of no thumb (no arm, no leg, etc...) is to use it one handed, quickly, or in any other manner in which you are not absolutely scared spitless / totally respectful of its power...
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