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gregmcateer

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Hi folks
Our stihl ms181 cbe has finally gone pop.
Great little chainsaw that's hard to fault.
Now do I consider e.g. a Makita battery chainsaw as I have loads of their kit and plenty of batteries?
Or will I be disappointed compared with a petrol saw?
Thoughts welcome.
Thanks in advance
Greg
 

AJB Temple

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I have a corded chainsaw (cheap), a battery one (40v) and a Stihl petrol one. For actual cutting performance the petrol Stihl wins hands down. Chain runs faster, saw cuts MUCH faster. I use the battery one for heavy duty hedge topping at height. I don't use the cabled one at all.

18v battery systems are not capable of the heavy duty work that a chainsaw requires IMO.
Adrian
 

AJB Temple

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Sorry. But yes. I think a good quality and powerful battery chainsaw is great for tree work, especially when noise is a consideration. I do have the Stihll battery system. But....petrol chainsaw, hedge cutters are much more efficient and effective than the battery versions. For long reach loppers etc I prefer the battery versions.
 

tomlt

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I own 11 saws so like to think I know a bit about them, including an MS180 and the 36v Makita 14". The makita is a very good saw, with two 6ah batteries you can prob get 20mins run time, enough to tackle a reasonable domestic tree (12" sort of size). Over 12" it does struggle and you can't really lean on it, the chain speed is slower as said above. So for the odd bit of pruning/trimming great, for firewooding or bigger gardens/trees etc its not quite there yet, I'd reach for the 2 stroke.

Saws: makita 36v, Echo 2511, mitox cs36, stihl ms180, stihl ms251, stihl ms261, husqvarna 560xp, stihl ms461, husqvarna 188, husqvarna 288, husqvarna 3120xp (on loan) and stihl ms880.
 

Ttrees

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Really impressed with a qualcast battery chainsaw which the oul lad has,
as in how powerful it is, can't say much for long term use, but it done a good bit of work for what you'd expect from a battery tool.
Defiantly comparable in relative performance to a corded saw of the cheaper type.
I can't say how battery life is or the durability of that particular model is, but I wasn't expecting it to be about half as quick through branches as a petrol one.
 

AJB Temple

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Saws: makita 36v, Echo 2511, mitox cs36, stihl ms180, stihl ms251, stihl ms261, husqvarna 560xp, stihl ms461, husqvarna 188, husqvarna 288, husqvarna 3120xp (on loan) and stihl ms880.
You are clearly tooled up and I bow to your superior fire power.

The thing I should perhaps have said, as an experienced but amateur (though trained) chainsaw user, I feel safer using the Stihl (18" blade) as it never bogs down and never needs forcing. I only bought the battery one because I had to reach 200 metres of Leylandii hedge down one side of our garden, from about 8 metres to 3 metres. I had to do this from a scaffold tower and I felt a lot safer with the battery saw than the petrol one at height. I do not like heights though. The original 40v battery saw was a Greenworks commercial one and is pretty good (batteries shared with some other tools). I also have a battery Still which I like more, but is a lot more expensive unless you are already invested in batteries.

Adrian
 

SteveW1000

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One of the American YouTubers showed how much timber a MSA220 would cut and it seems for most it would do what you want. However it is an expensive purchase. This is from someone who bought a MS661 over the winter.
 

Cabinetman

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I write this in the expectation that youwill laugh at me, I’m not a chainsaw person, especially not if my feet aren’t touching the floor. I came across one of these in America recently and they are available here, both corded and battery types will cut and I have, through 5 inches. The only reason I mention them is that to my inexperienced eye they are extremely safe, I think it would be impossible for it to kick back. Brilliant for general lopping and getting rid of branches etc. Black and Decker Alligator, have a look at one of the videos of it in action.
There I told you you would laugh at me ha ha Ian
 

tomlt

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One of the American YouTubers showed how much timber a MSA220 would cut and it seems for most it would do what you want. However it is an expensive purchase. This is from someone who bought a MS661 over the winter.
Id like to try an MSA220, its supposed to be a big step up from the MSA200. I've been tempted to try the stihl battery stuff, but the cost puts me off when all my other cordless gear is Makita. I highly rate the 36v hedgetrimmer for example so figured I'd try the chainsaw, the one nice advantage is the noise, on a Sunday morning you can trim things up without annoying the neighbours. I'm tempted to try a cordless strimmer for tidying up the edges of the lawn for the same reason.
 

Oddbod70

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I've not used the Makita, but I hear decent things about it. Ditto the Stihls, which I have tried, but don't own (Would definitely like to tho!)

I suspect that battery is OK for light pruning and perhaps some climbing, but not for dismantling, ground work or a decent session of firewood production. I'm not sure the saws are big (powerful) enough yet, and you don't really get long enough from the batteries for a session felling and bucking.

A decent 15" 2-stroke still seems like the default for most people for most things. There is not a lot you can't do with it if you have to. It's noisy for sure, but if you use an alkylate premix (eg Aspen) it's not smelly or difficult to fuel.

FWIW I have a Husqvarna mains saw for firewood which is great.I think the current equivalent model is the 420EL.

But if you've not tried it a Silky hand or pole saw will prune much more than you think, and saves getting the chainsaw out. (It's expensive, but definitely worth it)
 

gmgmgm

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Another vote for the Makita DUC353Z chainsaw. It's 36 volt, taking two batteries, so much more powerful than a little 18v one. I've had mine for nearly two years. I wouldn't use it for taking down a forest, but for normal "smallholding" work it's great. Reliable and so much quieter than petrol.

This question comes up on the Pistonheads forums frequently, and the answer is usually "buy the Makita cordless" from the many people on there with them. Especially since you already have the batteries! Prices do go up and down, so check the Camels/Amazon to get an idea.
 

topchippyles

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I would say that i use chainsaws more than most on the forum as mill my own timber around 20 hours a week. I use aspen (petrol) in my saws as its cleaner and saws run much better on it.I have a cordless 36v einhell which is a great little saw for the price and have 6 batteries with the range i have.
 

Oddbod70

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Just a quick note on Aspen (Aspen Alkylate Petrol | Alkylate Fuel | Aspen Fuel).

There are two types. A straight replacement for petrol (Aspen4 - blue 5l can) and a ready mix that already includes 2-stroke oil (Aspen2 - red 5l can). It has four big advantages....

It's high quality and ready to pour straight from the can into the equipment.
It's doesn't stink or burn your eyes nearly as much as a pump fuel mix
It lasts pretty much for ever in the can or in the machine. You don't need to drain down between use, and it won't gum up in the carb if you leave it for months.
It's a green fuel (which may or may not matter to you)

And a couple of disadvantages...

It's more expensive than mixing your own. Quite a bit more.
There are some suggestions that equipment may need to be tweaked and possibly serviced if you change from pump fuel to Aspen.

I find (like TopChippyLes) that the advantages massively outweigh the disadvantages. I don't use anything like as much as he does but It still costs me a good three figures extra a year. I don't begrudge it one bit.

For anyone using limited quantities of fuel Aspen seems like a total no-brainer to me.
 

topchippyles

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Just a quick note on Aspen (Aspen Alkylate Petrol | Alkylate Fuel | Aspen Fuel).

There are two types. A straight replacement for petrol (Aspen4 - blue 5l can) and a ready mix that already includes 2-stroke oil (Aspen2 - red 5l can). It has four big advantages....

It's high quality and ready to pour straight from the can into the equipment.
It's doesn't stink or burn your eyes nearly as much as a pump fuel mix
It lasts pretty much for ever in the can or in the machine. You don't need to drain down between use, and it won't gum up in the carb if you leave it for months.
It's a green fuel (which may or may not matter to you)

And a couple of disadvantages...

It's more expensive than mixing your own. Quite a bit more.
There are some suggestions that equipment may need to be tweaked and possibly serviced if you change from pump fuel to Aspen.

I find (like TopChippyLes) that the advantages massively outweigh the disadvantages. I don't use anything like as much as he does but It still costs me a good three figures extra a year. I don't begrudge it one bit.

For anyone using limited quantities of fuel Aspen seems like a total no-brainer to me.
I find that the saws run longer on a tank of aspen and works out like for like over the year.
 

akirk

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Having only owned a petrol chainsaw - and now having none, nor much need, I am probably not able to offer much expertise - a friend has the Makita electric chainsaw and is very pleased with it - though perhaps his use is more hobbyist than professional - however, most of the professional tree surgeons I know are moving over to electric wherever their business is in residential areas - they are keeping petrol for farms /estates / 'the countryside' type work, but many of them are now 100% electric in residential areas because the machinery is good enough if not equal to petrol, and without the same noise associations that can annoy neighbours... I think that we are probably at the tipping point in much machinery like this in moving from petrol to electric.
 

Oddbod70

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Having only owned a petrol chainsaw - and now having none, nor much need, I am probably not able to offer much expertise - a friend has the Makita electric chainsaw and is very pleased with it - though perhaps his use is more hobbyist than professional - however, most of the professional tree surgeons I know are moving over to electric wherever their business is in residential areas - they are keeping petrol for farms /estates / 'the countryside' type work, but many of them are now 100% electric in residential areas because the machinery is good enough if not equal to petrol, and without the same noise associations that can annoy neighbours... I think that we are probably at the tipping point in much machinery like this in moving from petrol to electric.
Yes(ish) but all those pro's will have several petrol saws too, and they'll see heavy use. The converse is not true. There are still plenty of guys who are petrol only.

It's still at the stage where battery only is not quite viable as a general purpose alternative for everyone.

But you are right that battery is an option for some householders in some circumstances. I'm not really sure it's as many as we think tho. A really good pruning saw (I mean good - a Silky costs more than the cheapest electric chainsaw) will deal with everything up to a decent size trunk or branch (say 5-6 inch) and a mains powered chainsaw is cheaper and more convenient for firewood.

A battery chainsaw is easy and a lot of fun tho :)
 

Beau

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I have a MS181 and the Makita amongst others. The Makita is very handy and the best chainsaw I have ever used for precise-ish cutting or rough joinery. The Makita also gets used when a job is just a few cuts but when it's a proper job needing multiple or larger cuts it stays on the shelf. You mention an 18" bar which is way to big for the Makita and surprised the MS181 can handle it either.
 

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