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  1. #1
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    Default Best tool for the job?

    Hi guys

    I would love some advice on the best power tool for cutting "wingerd hout". I live in a farm area where I regularly have access to grape vine piles after they've been removed. The diameter of the wood is generally between 60 - 90mm. It's just a matter of transporting and cutting them into "braai-size" pieces.
    Initially I bought a cordless reciprocating saw as it allowed me to cut off what I dont need in the field already before loading it on my bakkie and continuing at home. But with the amount of cuts I realised that this is not the best tool.

    Now Im considering getting a chainsaw but was told that it wont work too well either as it will cut quite slow and be difficult to operate.

    So I would love some suggestions from those with experience the field!
    Last edited by KoosBraai; 2023/12/27 at 09:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    In my experience, the only time that a chain saw cuts slowly is when the chain isn't sharp.
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    I braai a lot... like really, really a lot. I also like making a friendly fire and stoking my wood fire place. No way I can keep buying braai wood, so I bought a small Stihl MS170 chainsaw to cut my own braai wood. It works like a dream ! With a sharp chain, you will be amazed how easily and quickly it slides through wood. It is anything but slow and tedious !
    I now own three different sized Stihl chainsaws, and use them very frequently for different size jobs. The small MS170 will serve you very well. I have had mine now for the last 8 years and it is still a workhorse. It is nice and small, light and manoeuvrable. I prefer it for small jobs or cutting anything up to 120mm diameter. Buy the correct sharpening tool to keep the blade in good condition and you will get sterling service from the little machine. Learn to use it correctly and service it once a year and you should be good as gold. Try to limit the amount of dry wood you cut with it since dry wood can be murder on the chain, heating it up and dulling it quickly. I have a small mountain of braai wood in my back yard drying out. Saves me a fortune.

    .
    Last edited by Derik Strydom; 2023/12/27 at 09:51 AM.

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derik Strydom View Post
    I braai a lot... like really, really a lot. I also like making a friendly fire and stoking my wood fire place. No way I can keep buying braai wood, so I bought a small Stihl MS170 chainsaw to cut my own braai wood. It works like a dream ! With a sharp chain, you will be amazed how easily and quickly it slides through wood. It is anything but slow and tedious !
    I now own three different sized Stihl chainsaws, and use them very frequently for different size jobs. The small MS170 will serve you very well. I have had mine now for the last 8 years and it is still a workhorse. It is nice and small, light and manoeuvrable. I prefer it for small jobs or cutting anything up to 120mm diameter. Buy the correct sharpening tool to keep the blade in good condition and you will get sterling service from the little machine. Learn to use it correctly and service it once a year and you should be good as gold. Try to limit the amount of dry wood you cut with it since dry wood can be murder on the chain, heating it up and dulling it quickly. I have a small mountain of braai wood in my back yard drying out. Saves me a fortune.

    .
    Now this is the kind of experience-infused suggestions I was hoping for!
    I looked into the MS170 and it seems perfect for what I need. Although I was trying to get away with a cheaper brand as I know that you pay for the quality that STIHL provides. And I know I won't be using it much once I have my initial mountain of wood. So is there any cheaper alternative that you may suggest? What's the feeling about Ryobi's chainsaws?

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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    I thought this was in the politics section and I was going to volunteer Herman Mashaba.

    But no, can't be a politician, none of them are sharp enough.
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    I live by a motto that served me very well before : Buy once, cry once !
    Don't buy cheap.
    If I am going to fork out a large amount of cash for something, I expect the very best quality, but you can only get that, if you pay the price that quality demands.
    No, I won't recommend Ryobi or Husky or Echo or any other cheaper brands. I wont settle for anything other than Stihl and Husqvarna. I have never had a Ryobi, but a friend had one. He now owns a Stihl.

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Chainsaw will work but cutting up loose pieces of wood is a pain. I use my Stihl MS250 chainsaw to cut large diameter logs and a ryobi mitre saw for small diameter branches. The mitre saw will work great for you. You can set a stopper on the one side so all your cuts are the same length.
    Then you just feed from the left and cut all the same.

    Cutting loose branches into small pieces is also MUCH safer with a mitre saw.
    Last edited by LandyLove; 2023/12/27 at 10:36 AM.

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derik Strydom View Post
    I live by a motto that served me very well before : Buy once, cry once !
    Don't buy cheap.
    If I am going to fork out a large amount of cash for something, I expect the very best quality, but you can only get that, if you pay the price that quality demands.
    No, I won't recommend Ryobi or Husky or Echo or any other cheaper brands. I wont settle for anything other than Stihl and Husqvarna. I have never had a Ryobi, but a friend had one. He now owns a Stihl.

    You do realise that Husky is the nickname for Husqvarna?

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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mapog View Post
    You do realise that Husky is the nickname for Husqvarna?

    Husky is also a brand of tools in USA, notwithstanding the nickname we use. its a completely different co.
    I also got caught with that one.
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Quote Originally Posted by LandyLove View Post
    Chainsaw will work but cutting up loose pieces of wood is a pain. I use my Stihl MS250 chainsaw to cut large diameter logs and a ryobi mitre saw for small diameter branches. The mitre saw will work great for you. You can set a stopper on the one side so all your cuts are the same length.
    Then you just feed from the left and cut all the same.

    Cutting loose branches into small pieces is also MUCH safer with a mitre saw.
    So this was exactly what led to my uncertainty. A conversation with a friend also led me to look into a mitre or circular saw for cutting the wood up. But I do feel that a mitre is quite specific in its use whereas a circular saw offers so many uses that it might be the best option for someone on a budget? Just not sure how easy the operation will be with a loose piece of wood

  18. #11
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mapog View Post
    You do realise that Husky is the nickname for Husqvarna?
    Husky came on the market exactly for that reason.
    People thought they got a top quality Husqvarna for a bargain price.
    Many got caught.

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  20. #12
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    I would be wary of a circular saw. A cheap chainsaw with a 40 mm blade from ryobi is about R1600. I don't know how they can make it so cheap. Ithink the stihl 170 is a very entry level saw for stihl. I was given a ryobi chainsaw the other day. It spent two years outside after beingg bought for a once off job. Cheaper than hiringg a chainsaw for three days.

    Its a simple machine and I stripped it and got it goingg for about the cost of a primer bulb. My Dad owned a farm in Broederstroom and we used lots of wood. A chainsaw for the biggger pieces and a dedicated bandsaw for the smaller loose pieces. Beauty of this is you had total control because you could use two hands . Small pieces with a chainsaw or circular saw is dangerous.

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  22. #13
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Please dont use a circular saw on loose logs,the blade can bite into the wood and then cause havoc. As said a mitre saw or chainsaw are better suited. One part, either the wood or machine should be very stable.
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Quote Originally Posted by KoosBraai View Post
    So this was exactly what led to my uncertainty. A conversation with a friend also led me to look into a mitre or circular saw for cutting the wood up. But I do feel that a mitre is quite specific in its use whereas a circular saw offers so many uses that it might be the best option for someone on a budget? Just not sure how easy the operation will be with a loose piece of wood
    Spare yourself the stressful roadtrip and do the cutting in the hospital reception. You can’t operate a circular saw with one hand, also a non clamped piece of wood. You will end up in the ER.

    I absolutely hate a circular saw. Must be the most dangerous power tool together with a grinder.

    I have a festool plunge cut saw that operates on a track. Still dangerous but manageable.
    Last edited by LandyLove; 2023/12/27 at 11:14 AM.

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  26. #15
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Quote Originally Posted by LandyLove View Post
    Spare yourself the stressful roadtrip and do the cutting in the hospital reception. You can’t operate a circular saw with one hand, also not a clamped piece of wood. You will end up in the ER.

    I absolutely hate a circular saw. Must be the most dangerous power tool together with a grinder.

    I have a festool plunge cut saw that operates on a track. Still dangerous but manageable.
    Proof of that are the saw marks on my Festo rails, the blade bites and jumps backwards. Sh1t happens very fast.
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    I also enjoy processing my own firewood, and use my MS170 quite often. Awesome tool. I have swopped out the 12" blade for a 16" blade, and use a Stihl sharpening tool to keep the bladr sharp as you go. The extra blade length helps to add reach if you are working below knee level, and saves your back !
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  30. #17
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Thanks a lot for everyone's responses.
    I definitely did not give enough consideration to the safety aspect of this.
    I think the best way forward is to acquire a mitre saw for the small cuttings and then I'll look at the MS170 for the field work.
    Thanks again. You guys have all been very helpful in keeping me out of the ER

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  32. #18
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Is it not easier to just fetch wood than cutting it yourself?
    Last edited by thabogrobler; 2023/12/27 at 11:57 AM.
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  34. #19
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    I dont think I would want to use a mitre saw for this.

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  36. #20
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    Default Re: Best tool for the job?

    Quote Originally Posted by thabogrobler View Post
    Is.it not easier to just fetch wood than cutting it yourself?
    Threads involving wood make me nervous.
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