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    Default Ventilation Saws

    Looking for some opinions and information on some FD ventilation saws. My department has been using Tempest and Cutters Edge Ventilation saws with Bullet and Raptor chains for some time now. Recently however we have been having issues with the carbide fire service chains lasting only one incident. With the price of these chains we are now looking at other options such as using K saws, other brands of chain etc. Any help would be appreciated. For alittle background information we are a small department running about 5-6 working fires a year. We do alot of vertical ventilation and trench cuts with our first due area being comprised of almost entirely row homes. These roofs also tend to be layered with years of roofing materials added on top of one another. Thanks in advance.

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    This is very unusual for Cutters Edge saws, especially with bullet chains. Back in the 80's and early 90's, we had bought our first saw- a Stihl 038 Magnum, and put a 12" bar on it, and were using a carbide-tooth chain. We kept knocking off teeth left and right, same as you- chains only lasting one job.

    So I started doing a little research, talking to factory reps, etc. Seems that the problem at the time was a horsepower/velocity problem. The Stihl power head was not spinning the chain fast enough for optimum cutting efficiency, and as a result, whenever it hit nails or anything else hard enough or dense enough to knock teeth off, it would. The Stihl rep that I talked to was bluntly honest- there was no fix, and that (at that time) there was no Stihl power head to spin a carbide tooth chain fast enough for the fire service. So we just grinned and beared it and allowed a budget for chain replacement.

    Fast Forward to nowadays- We have two cutters edge saws, that were specifically designed for the fire service and engineered fast enough to do it's job properly. Never have any major problems. Are you using the cutters edge chains or a (pardon the pun) knock-off? Are your saws running properly- when was the last time they were tuned up, perhaps that may be a contributing factor?

    As for new saws and blades, I personally love the Partner K950A mated with the "WARTHOG" brand blade for roof work, especially big truck work like trench cuts and the like. The Cutters Edge saws are good units too, you just have to maintain them properly. Stihl chainsaws are good, but again not really designed for the fire service. And Stihl circular saws absolutely suck for firefighting- too heavy.

    Hope this helps.
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    We have THREE Big vent saws. One is the new K12 with the Husky powerhead and a Warthog.......AWESOME! We have a CE Bullet and a Big Stihl with a Diamond wheel,550 powerhead as I recall. Plus a couple conventional saws for utility work. T.C.

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    a partner "k-12" is a great saw for cutting built up / tar roofs. i have only used the warthog at fdic, but even the standard wood carbide blade is good.

    i suggest have a chainsaw and get a circular saw and many blades. diamond type, wood, and the steel cutting and concrete ones too.
    Originally Posted by madden01
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    As mentioned, K-950 with a Wharthog blade. We have had our for about 2 years now, use the heck out of it, and it just kicks *****.

    That said, if you do go the rotary saw route, make sure you get a Partner. All the other manufacturer's are now going the "Enviromentaly freindly route". Stihl's press 5 times, pull 10 times is not what I want to do when I need it now.
    A Fire Chief has ONLY 1 JOB and that's to take care of his fireman. EVERYTHING else falls under this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTFIRE80 View Post
    As mentioned, K-950 with a Wharthog blade. We have had our for about 2 years now, use the heck out of it, and it just kicks *****.

    That said, if you do go the rotary saw route, make sure you get a Partner. All the other manufacturer's are now going the "Enviromentaly freindly route". Stihl's press 5 times, pull 10 times is not what I want to do when I need it now.
    Yes, take their advice. Partner is the way to go, same with Cutters Edge (this is coming from a Stihl user)...

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    We're running 2 Partners, one with a warthog type blade made locally and one with a diamond blade and the chainsaws.. a Stihl 460 r magnum with a standard carbide tooth chain and our old Univents with the same chain. This setup is working really well for us.

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    Thanks for the information, it seems like the K saw is the perference of the people who have replied so far and that will be brought up at our meeting as the one saw broke at our most recent fire and must be replaced. We were running Tempest Raptor Chains on all our saws including the CE so it might be time to switch to the Bullet Chains and try our luck with them since we still want to keep at least two of our four vent saws chainsaws. As far as the K saws i seen one person recommended the K-950 any other recommendations on what particular type of K saws that works good. The only Partner saws we have now are two K-650s for forcible entry. Would they work just the same they are nice cause of the light weight or would the saw need more HP like the K-950 and K 1200 provide. Thanks for the help again.

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    k12fd

    i am not keen on the flashing red light thing, but the large handle is very nice to have when your gloves are on.

    contact your local fire distributors and have them get you loaner blades and run them through the paces and make informed decisions.

    use the blades on acquired structures, not just pallets and plywood in the back parking lot.
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffmedcbk1 View Post
    contact your local fire distributors and have them get you loaner blades and run them through the paces and make informed decisions.

    use the blades on acquired structures, not just pallets and plywood in the back parking lot.
    True Story: we were in the market for new blades, back when the Warthog first came out. I contacted a sales rep, and asked if he had any loaner Warthogs we could try out. He said "Sure! No problem, I'll ship one out tomorrow."

    A few days later we get a package from UPS. I open it up, lo and behold a brand spanking shiny new Warthog blade. I called the sales rep and said "Hey you sent us a new one, we want a loaner." He replied "Go ahead and use it. You wont send it back."

    He was correct!
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    Cool Vent Saws

    We have (2) Stihl 046 Chainsaws with Raptor Chains and a K12 Rotary Saw (our 2nd Rotary Saw is being loaned to the Medic Engine) for venting.

    Honestly, it doesn't really matter how awesome your equipment is unless you train, train, train..... Even the lower-end Saws can be very effective in well trained hands.
    "Be LOUD, Be PROUD..... It just might save your can someday when goin' through an intersection!!!!!"

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    Yes, take their advice.







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    Quote Originally Posted by happyvalleyff View Post
    Thanks for the information, it seems like the K saw is the perference of the people who have replied so far and that will be brought up at our meeting as the one saw broke at our most recent fire and must be replaced. We were running Tempest Raptor Chains on all our saws including the CE so it might be time to switch to the Bullet Chains and try our luck with them since we still want to keep at least two of our four vent saws chainsaws. As far as the K saws i seen one person recommended the K-950 any other recommendations on what particular type of K saws that works good. The only Partner saws we have now are two K-650s for forcible entry. Would they work just the same they are nice cause of the light weight or would the saw need more HP like the K-950 and K 1200 provide. Thanks for the help again.
    If you Plan on running a WARTHOG,get the BIG engine(at LEAST the 950). That blade is the cat's azz but you need to GET it spinning and KEEP it spinning. And that takes POWER. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyboy View Post
    We have (2) Stihl 046 Chainsaws with Raptor Chains and a K12 Rotary Saw (our 2nd Rotary Saw is being loaned to the Medic Engine) for venting.

    Honestly, it doesn't really matter how awesome your equipment is unless you train, train, train..... Even the lower-end Saws can be very effective in well trained hands.
    Read my first post. If your power head does not have the horsepower to drive the chain at effective velocity, it's going to spit teeth. Period. No matter how good the operator is. Training cannot overcome the laws of physics. (and by the way I agree- train train train.)
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    Thanks again for the information so far. Last questions that I can think of right now is what are your preferences, brand wise, for chain saw chains. We currently use Raptor chains which are giving us issues. Prior to that we had Bullet Chains which did work well and we might be going back to. Locally alot of people like standard chains and replace them after every fire we found however that these alot of times are shot before a larger cut is complete which does us no good when we need it the most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by happyvalleyff View Post
    Thanks again for the information so far. Last questions that I can think of right now is what are your preferences, brand wise, for chain saw chains. We currently use Raptor chains which are giving us issues. Prior to that we had Bullet Chains which did work well and we might be going back to. Locally alot of people like standard chains and replace them after every fire we found however that these alot of times are shot before a larger cut is complete which does us no good when we need it the most.
    I prefer Cutters Edge bullet chains (I think they are actuallu Oregon chains) on a Cutters Edge Powerhead.

    Circular saws: I prefer the K950A with a Warthog blade (or whichever blade you need depending on the material to be cut.) The K950A is a little smaller and lighter than the K1200 but has almost the same power. Anything smaller will not spin a Warthog blade fast enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I prefer Cutters Edge bullet chains (I think they are actuallu Oregon chains) on a Cutters Edge Powerhead.

    Circular saws: I prefer the K950A with a Warthog blade (or whichever blade you need depending on the material to be cut.) The K950A is a little smaller and lighter than the K1200 but has almost the same power. Anything smaller will not spin a Warthog blade fast enough.
    I checked,our Warthog is on the K960. I like the Bullet chains but if they get DULL,send them back to the FACTORY to be sharpened. AND keep the chain CLEAN after use. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101 View Post
    I checked,our Warthog is on the K960. I like the Bullet chains but if they get DULL,send them back to the FACTORY to be sharpened. AND keep the chain CLEAN after use. T.C.
    220...221.....whatever it takes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    220...221.....whatever it takes.
    HEY! It's got the FAT jug,hehe T.C.

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    We have 2 K-12's and 1 Cutters edge on the load. In my dept. bringing a chain saw to the roof is frowned upon . Old city,old houses with many many layers of roofing,wood and who knows what, just spells trouble for the chain saws.

    They are nice for cutting plywood off windows and doors on all the vacants though .

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    Quote Originally Posted by larry302 View Post
    We have 2 K-12's and 1 Cutters edge on the load. In my dept. bringing a chain saw to the roof is frowned upon . Old city,old houses with many many layers of roofing,wood and who knows what, just spells trouble for the chain saws.

    They are nice for cutting plywood off windows and doors on all the vacants though .
    I'm guessing NEITHER of those K12's has a Warthog? Because I think you'd have a DIFFERENT opinion if they did. Built up roofs aren't a problem for that blade. YES,you have to clean it afterwards. I've used BOTH on those types of roofs,CE gets a little gummy,but it will get the job done. MUCH faster than an axe. T.C.

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    Ok thats a little confusing..... We use K-12's to open roofs, the Cutters edge our dept. has are chain saws and have performed poorly on many roofs so we don't use chain saws on roofs any more . Our trucks and rescue only use them on plywood that covers the doors and windows on the few thousand vacants sprinkled across the city. Thats a nice fast way to open them up so the engine guys inside don't cry to much.


    Stay Low .
    Last edited by larry302; 04-16-2011 at 06:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by larry302 View Post
    Ok thats a little confusing..... We use K-12's to open roofs, the Cutters edge our dept. has are chain saws and have performed poorly on many roofs so we don't use chain saws on roofs any more . Our trucks and rescue only use them on plywood that covers the doors and windows on the few thousand vacants sprinkled across the city. Thats a nice fast way to open them up so the engine guys inside don't cry to much.


    Stay Low .
    Let me UN confuse it. I don't work in the 'hood but I work in a rural town that is over two centuries old and has all the constructions you mentioned and them some. Up 'til now the weapon of choice for built up roofs was the Cutters edge saw or the Stihl with a rotary wheel. When we got our new Platform we got a K12 960 with a Warthog on it. We use BOTH the CE(Bullet chain) and the Warthog VERY successfully on any composite/built up roof we have here. We do very little axe work,just about everything is opened up with a saw and a NY roof hook. Unless the smoke conditions are so bad the smoke is hogging up the saw, it is Waaaay quicker to open up with the saws. Which we have done successfully for over thirty years. The CE saw has gotten "Gummy" a few times but never to the point it didn't get the job done, But it IS a nasty beatch to clean afterward. The Warthog you just wipe off with thinner and you're ready to go again. A BETTER choice in MY opinion. T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 04-17-2011 at 03:50 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by larry302 View Post
    the Cutters edge our dept. has are chain saws and have performed poorly on many roofs so we don't use chain saws on roofs any more.
    If your Cutters Edge Saws are performing poorly, either you have the wrong chains on them, they are not running properly, or the operators are using them wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry302 View Post
    We have 2 K-12's and 1 Cutters edge on the load. In my dept. bringing a chain saw to the roof is frowned upon . Old city,old houses with many many layers of roofing,wood and who knows what, just spells trouble for the chain saws.

    They are nice for cutting plywood off windows and doors on all the vacants though .
    Not many "older" cities than Philly and we love our Cutters Edge with the bullet chain. Also cary the K950 with Warthog blade. Havent found a roof we couldnt vent. We have 2 of each on our Squad though one K950 is set up with a Diamond blade. A Cutters Edge and K950 will both make the roof and perform fine.

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