Now, I do wish to be clear that while working extra shifts at the hospital, we have had some time off. With physical distancing, we have been keeping ourselves busy with preparing the garden, and wrapping up some winter projects. For me that usually included the concept of “wood” somewhere.
There is the wood that I had some local farmers cut in February, which needed to be hauled up to our place and staged for stacking in the wood shed for 2020-21 winter heating season. And, the 2 holes that turned into 16 holes, for new trees that we ordered (4 cherries, 2 pawpaw, 2 crabapples, 2 dogwoods, 2 hawthorns, 2 redbuds, and… hmmm, I cannot recall the last 2 trees, but I did dig 16 holes). And, there is always some trees to trim up or cut out.
I have gone through about half a dozen chainsaws in the past 30 years. My last two, both Hasqvarna’s, were my favorite. But, years of running them, they get gummed up and beyond my mechanical knowledge to fix, so I gave them to the farmers that cut wood for me. They got them running fine. I was in the market for a new chainsaw.
My days of playing Paul Bunyon and felling 20 inch trees is past. I have less ambition, more common sense, and maybe more fear of what an 80 foot oak can do when it starts to teeter.
Smaller trees are fine. So, I wanted more of what I would call a limb-saw, around 16 inch bar. And, I only want to use it for up to an hour at a time. Otherwise, my arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms will be haunting me later in the day.
I decided to check out my favorite hobby-farm supply company, Country Home Products, with the DRPower line of tools. I had seen that a few years ago that they carry lithium-ion battery powered tools. Now, they have a 62 volt, 2.5 AH (amp hours, I figured out) battery which can be used on a variety of tools (chain saw, pole chain saw, lawn mower, leaf blower, weed eater, hedge trimmer… maybe even my electric toothbrush). I could buy the chainsaw-battery set for about $300, and add on other tools without having to buy more batteries to run them… hey, I can only use one tool at a time, and the battery takes about one hour to recharge… I take longer than that these days.
So, I took some of my weekend/night shift differential pay for working odd shifts at the hospital and bought the chainsaw-battery set. It arrived a couple of weeks later.
I charged it up while having a pot of coffee and breakfast. After feeding the animals, I set out to give it a try on some standing dead trees, which I wanted to cut for late heating season back-up wood.
An hour later, I had cut 16 logs from a 10 inch oak, and more than I recall from a 4 inch oak, and two 4 inch dogwoods. The four bars of power went to three bars, two bars, one bar, then off. A few wheel barrows later and a run of the log splitter, I had a nice stack of wood.
The saw had plenty of cut power for these size logs, lasted as long as I was interested in working (this might be different if I were in the lumber or fire wood business, but I am not), ran smoothly, and best of all is about as loud as a pencil sharpener. The Mrs. wondered where I wandered off to, as she could not hear the saw running, versus the usual two-stroke engine of my former saws going RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR down the road somewhere. And, no fumes, no gas exhaust headache. It does use chain oil, but this does not seem nearly as messy as my former experiences with gas powered chain saws (e.g. wood chips glued to my pant legs from chain oils spewed about when the saw runs).
Maybe I’ll get the battery operated pole saw for Christmas, and fruit-tree pruning seasons (yeah! end my rotator cuff strain from using the hand-held pole saw a dozen feet overhead). I better be nice for the rest of the year.