PRC Polaris Ranger Club banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,880 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This will probably turn out to be a long post so if you don't like reading....
We live in the mountains just below a ridge with a driveway about 1 1/4 miles long before the State road begins. Winter storms, the Hemlock Adelgid and nature in general cause trees to fall across out driveway a few times a year blocking our exit at the least opportune times like on the way to shop, an appointment or dinner engagement. Clearing of these trees to allow passage can require anything from cutting a few small limbs to a large tree trunk, bucking it so the pieces can be manhandled to the side of the road. In the past I have been reluctant to carry my Stihl MS362 along for fear of theft from my vehicle and the need to carry gasoline in the cab with the saw. I finally got the bright idea to investigate cordless chainsaws since cordless tools have improved to the point that they compete with corded tools in many circumstances.

Long ago I chose to go with one brand of cordless tools to eliminate the need for several batteries and chargers, and I learned long ago that buying the best you can afford pays in the long term, if if the pocket is a little painful at the time of purchase. I'm sure there are many opinions but I chose DeWalt to be the line I would purchase and I have a number of theri drills, impact drivers and a 1/2" drive impact wrench, all cordless and am very pleased with their performance.

During my cordless chainsaw research I was not happy with either of the two DeWalt cordless chainsaw offerings. They like several others I researched had plastic torque limiting bar tightening systems and there were complaints about the bar loosening, and chain throwing. This presented a dilemma becasue I was going to have to abandon my one brand concept. After considerable research I came to the conclusion that either the Milwaukee M18 Fuel2727-21HD or the Makita XCU07Z were the best options. Both require a scrench like conventional chainsaws to adjust the bar and chain, both have chain brakes like conventional chain saws and both manufacturers are recognized for producing good quality tools. If I had chosen Makita as my go to brand originally it would have been a no brainer since the Makita requires 2 18V batteries to run their 36 volt saw I could ahve bought the bare tool and been done, but since I have committed to DeWalt it would require that I buy 2 Makita batteries when those that come with the saw go bad. That left the Milwaukee saw and from the reviews I saw it cuts well, has steel spurs (so does Makita) and uses a 12AH battery for long run time and comes with a quick charger for decreased recharge times.

Yesterday I tried it out for the first time clearing blow downs on the property. It's performance was impressive and although it wasn't in continuous use, during the 5 hours I used it the battery still showed full. The power was comparable to a small gas chainsaw. It won't replace my Stihl for bucking firewood but for maintaining the property on steep slopes not needing to carry a gas can is great. I can keep it in the cab of my truck for those occasional road blocks and carry it in my Ranger for use in clearing trails. The battery and bar oil run out at about the same interval so when they are done, I'm done, at least for an hour or so while the battery charges. There's also no clutch to wear out or slip, not that it's a big problem with quality gas saws. Another plus is that there is no need for ear protection since it is quiet so I can hear what's going on around me and even talk to others while I work. There no idling of the saw between cuts, no odor, no restarting the saw between cut intervals and no warm up time if it's cold outside.

In the future I may buy a Milwaukee blower so I can use the same 12 AH battery on it just from blowing out eh garage, clearing the decks of leaves and small jobs. It will never replace my Husky blower which I use for hours at a time going through a couple tanks of gas during leaf season.

So, if anyone is considering a saw for similar use as I have you might consider my comments in this post. After I've used the saw more I'll follow up at some point with any new findings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Thanks for the informative post. I am going to be making a decision kinda similar to what you did. I have 10 forty year old ash trees. I have spent way to much money to save them from the ash bore. Now they have a new disease. I had a Stem cell transplant 5 year's ago and can't really afford to get them all done. I do have access to a boom truck from the Electric company I worked for, for forty years. It has a generator so I can use an electric saw. I can't be around the fumes of a gas saw due to lung issues from the transplant. My idea is to take down upper limbs and debris hauled away and pay for stump removal and the bottom trunks.
I take it you ended up with the Milwaukee. I think cordless has it's place in today's world with the current battery technology. Thanks for the review!!!

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I have a 12" dewalt 20v chainsaw. Haven't used it a ton but I bought it after using someone else's to cut down some 20"+ pine trees that had died. It uses lots of battery (for that scenario) but it's got some impressive torque.

I cut up some red oak at the lease last weekend with mine, using a 6ah battery I was able to cut up more than the ranger could fit dropping 1 bar. All of that without the noise of my 18" Husqvarna. I still can't convince myself to get rid of the full size saw though. Maybe in the future...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,880 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the informative post. I am going to be making a decision kinda similar to what you did. I have 10 forty year old ash trees. I have spent way to much money to save them from the ash bore. Now they have a new disease. I had a Stem cell transplant 5 year's ago and can't really afford to get them all done. I do have access to a boom truck from the Electric company I worked for, for forty years. It has a generator so I can use an electric saw. I can't be around the fumes of a gas saw due to lung issues from the transplant. My idea is to take down upper limbs and debris hauled away and pay for stump removal and the bottom trunks.
I take it you ended up with the Milwaukee. I think cordless has it's place in today's world with the current battery technology. Thanks for the review!!!

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
Glad you got something out of the review. Yes, I got the Milwaukee.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
I am in a very similar place. I have a nice Stihl saw as well as maybe 3 other beater saws...but wanted a cordless saw to keep in the Ranger to keep trails and drive clear. I researched much as you did and I am leaning towards the Makita saw for a couple reasons. I have the 18V times 2 cordless compound miter saw (which I love) which came with two 18volt lithium batteries and fast charger. I then bought another set of batteries to swap out during charge cycle. So 36 volt Makita is a no brainer for me...but you can’t go wrong with Milwaukee for sure! Happy cutting. I won’t trade of my Stihl either .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,072 Posts
Have a Stihl for heavy jobs and a worx cordless for the light ones. Scared of the auto tensioner per reviews, but I check it before every use. Limbing is the main reason I bought it but is great without the pole.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
After doing some research I decided to go with the "Ego" line. Each product, Chainsaw, blower, line trimmer, lawn mower, generator, snow blower, etc, all take the same battery/charger.
I own the 16" chain saw, line trimmer and leaf blower, all very impressive in power and battery life. Had to deal with customer service once on a problem with the head on my trimmer, they were great to deal with and sent out a whole new head immediately. Just a suggestion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,880 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
After doing some research I decided to go with the "Ego" line. Each product, Chainsaw, blower, line trimmer, lawn mower, generator, snow blower, etc, all take the same battery/charger.
I own the 16" chain saw, line trimmer and leaf blower, all very impressive in power and battery life. Had to deal with customer service once on a problem with the head on my trimmer, they were great to deal with and sent out a whole new head immediately. Just a suggestion.
EGO was one I also considered. The lack of name recognition (on my part at least) and the adjuster of the bar put me off. Everything I read about power was positive. I didn't like the lack of steel bucking spikes (felling dogs). One reason I stuck with a major tool manufacturing line is the ability to purchase a tool offering I may need in the future since my lawn/garden equipment needs are pretty well filled with what I already have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
I was thinking of checking out that new Stihl battery saw a while back, was waiting on some reviews on them, I have a lot Milwaukee in my collection will have to check that out,
I've always been a fan of rigid drills, my son bought a set Milwaukee cordless drills, I swear they will walk the dog around mine?, got to get me a set
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,880 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I was thinking of checking out that new Stihl battery saw a while back, was waiting on some reviews on them, I have a lot Milwaukee in my collection will have to check that out,
I've always been a fan of rigid drills, my son bought a set Milwaukee cordless drills, I swear they will walk the dog around mine?, got to get me a set
I''ve not used the Milwaukee cordless drills or any other Milwaukee tool previously, other than a corded Sawzall, so my experience is limited. I'm pleased with the power and battery life of my DeWalt tools. They make my Ryobi drill and impact look like weak sisters even though they did the job 99% of the time. If I hadn't already committed to DeWalt for several tools I'd probably be looking hard at Milwaukee since I like their chainsaw. However, IMHO, there are two caveats; one: Milwaukee isn't readily available everywhere like DeWalt and their prices tend to be higher with fewer sales specials, and two: The 12AH battery for the chainsaw won't fit all the other Milwaukee tools (certain tools Milwaukee will retrofit for free to allow it to fit) and most of the ones it does fit become clumsy with that big battery attached to them. What this means is that the battery that comes with the chainsaw isn't really useful for other Milwaukee tools, with a few exceptions, so you'll still need other batteries. The batteries you currently have for your Milwaukee tools will fit the chainsaw albeit with a shorter run time. It's also with noting that older batteries won't charge fast in the newer Milwaukee Fast Charger, they will charge in it but at a slower rate. The batteries with a lightning bolt on them will charge fast in the fast charger. On the other hand, if you want to go with several cordless lawn garden tools like string trimmers, blowers, mowers, etc. Milwaukee might be a great choice.

Do your homework on the Stihl cordless chainsaw. I watched a video of a pro arborist using a top handle version up in a tree and he wasn't impressed with the power. It seemed to stall easily. I considered looking at the Stihl offering but the same battery compatibility problem came up - what other Stihl cordless tools can I use? None, in my case. When going with construction tool manufacturing companies the choices of possible tools I may eventually use was broad. I'll reiterate here that if I believed the 18V DeWalt chainsaw measured up to the Milwaukee I would have purchased the DeWalt bare too chainsaw, saved money, and gone on with life. Perhaps in the future DeWalt will improve their saw to compete with the Milwaukee. I didn't want to wait and see. DeWalt also has a 40V chainsaw that is competative with the Milwaukee as far as power goes but it still has the plastic adjustment and weak bar attachment system I didn't like in the 18V version, and I'd be back to the problem of a big 40V battery that would physically fit and work in DeWalt 20 Volt tools( since they are Flex Volt) but would make the tools clumsy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I have the CHEAP black and decker I got online for like 89 dollars with a battery will it cut down a tree YES will it do it fast NO will it brush/clean trails OH hell yea love the thing club now has one in the groomer No fuss no mess IE Gas/oil battery on pull tigger and you are cutting
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,610 Posts
I know an old guy 72 who sells firewood. He has several saws and last year bought the Stihl cordless electric to cut up the limbs and tops when they get down to 6". He cut the entire tree. When you buy wood from him it the whole tree. Not just 8" split pieces.
But anyway I asked him about his saw and he loves it. Bought an extra battery he said and uses it all the time.
Its surprising to hear everyone loves Stihl but thinks the cordless would be inferior. After seeing what the old guy does with his I'd certainly try one but I have a tiny Husqvarna arborist top handle saw I take with me in the ranger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
I bought a Husqvarna 120i a couple of years ago to keep up with dead trees/ limbs on my trails and for cutting up wood for the smoker. Cordless chainsaws are a great for smaller projects,light weight, dependable and easy on the ears.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,192 Posts
I too, went with the Dewalt 20v max line of products. All have been great, including the chainsaw. I bought a half dozen 6 amp hour knockoff batteries on Amazon for less than 1/2 the cost of Dewalt batteries and can cut longer than I want to. The only thing I don't like about the system is the chintzy chargers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I have a lot of Milwaukee m18 and m12 tools, no chainsaw yet, and I have had great luck with them. My 16 year old V28 tools still work great too. They’re just heavier than the M18 and don’t have the power the M18 tools have. Always buy the Milwaukee “fuel” tools whenever possible as they are brushless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I have cut a lot of wood over the years, and have " a few" saws (2 Husky 246, a Stihl MS250 and a MS361) at this point; in addition to upkeeping 12+ miles of trails, 1+ mile of road, wood for the sugarhouse, I also volunteer keeping state hiking trails open. As light as my MS250 is I looked around for lighter saws, and ended up with a Husky cordless after doing a lot of research on the different brands. Mind you, I was going for the most power / battery run time and lowest weight - if you are considered only about dealing with old gas, 2 stroke smell for a few cuts now and again like the OP you can save quite a few dollars and get a different brand. I will say I've been impressed with the little saw - truly 90min of actual run time (in eco mode; still plenty of power, just restricts top end chain speed). Two things I've learned: 1). Critical to use a sharp chain (even more than a gas saw), 2). below freezing temps it works OK; really cold temps it won't run. I haven't seen a Milwaukee saw yet, but if they come out with one I'll get it - as far as cordless tools they do seem to walk circles around just about everything else (I went from DeWalt to Milwaukee last year).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,610 Posts
Groomer where do you sugar ?? How big is your evaporator ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,880 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
No cordless chain saws for me.
I will keep using my husqvarna.
I'm not giving up my Stihl MS362, but the cordless saw has a place, like any other tool. I don't use a 3/4" drive impact to remove or install lug nuts in my Ranger. I don't need my Stihl MS362 to cut a few branches out of the way on my driveway after a windstorm while I'm on the way to town. I can keep the cordless saw in the truck cab with no gas smell or hazard or a leak for use when I need it and keep it safe from being stolen from the back of my truck.
A cordless saw isn't for everyone or for every job. Every tool has a place if the need arises. Aside from keeping the saw in the truck I can carry it up the steep slopes around my home to cut huge grape vines out of trees, reduce blowdowns so they lie on the ground to rot and clear small brush without carrying extra gas. I worked with the new saw the other day doing just that for about 5 hours before the battery, and I, finally tired out.

I will say this, I have always leaned toward conventionally powered tools, air powered impact wrenches for mechanical work and gasoline powered outdoor equipment. However, battery technology has improved greatly and with it the quality of cordless tools. These days I seldom use my air powered impacts for mechanic work, my DeWalt 1/2" impact and smaller impact driver do the job and I never run the batteries down or run out of power (torque). My newest DeWalt 1/2" impact weighs about the same as my old CP 734 1/2" air impact but has more power. The same goes for my little impact driver when compared to my CP 3/8" impact, and no compressor running or air hose to drag around.
I also have a 20V DeWalt cordless blower that has surprising power and lasts about 30 - 40 minutes on one battery. It will never replace either my Stihl BR420C or Husky 570BTS backpack blowers. I blow leaves off a 1/2 mile of driveway, the runoff ditches beside them and from around two houses. But for clearing off the front or back decks and small light clean up jobs I grab it and go. No gas and I can keep it in the entry closet right next to the front deck.
I don't think for my use I'll ever get a cordless string trimmer. My trimming usually consists of a couple of 8 hour days every 5 weeks in summer. I doubt a cordless trimmer will ever keep up with that kind of use.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top