I'm with BFD1071---- Nothing beats the reliability of an axe. Never have to worry about it not starting when you get on the roof. And you can get through the roof pretty quick with enough practice.
The statements above are my own opinions
FF Greg Grudzinski
Oaklyn Fire Dept.
My favorite tool is a high powered chainsaw with a 24" bar equipped with a vent chain like Cutters Edge Bullet Chain. The saw my trucks carry are the Sthil 046 Magnum. This saw has more power than the Cutters Edge unit, at a fraction of the price. Count me in on a race with the axe crowd. My truckmen can set the brake, and be back on the ground with a 4X4 hole in five minutes.......ready to find another job on the fire.
You alosh have to think of reliability guys. If you pick up a chain saw or a sawsall or a circular saw, you are playing a numbers game. Granted, normally they won't fail. What if you get up there, you are al set, you have guys doing an intereior attack in a room that is about five minutes away from a flashover, and the unit breaks? I am all for power tools, but always have someone bring an axe and/or sledge up the ladder behind you. And know how to use them properly.
"I hate it when someone says something is impossible, because then I have to go and find a way to do it."
Stay safe, boys and girls. It's for keeps out there.
Like Boston, everyone on our trucks ALWAYS carries a pick head axe with them on the fire ground at all times. Yeah the gas saws are faster and do have their place, but the axe is the bread and butter tool. It has nothing to do with tradition. An axe will never fail, and with practice and training will do the same quality work, but a bit slower as I have said. If your department does not use, or rarely uses a pick head axe then get them and practice. Become proficient. You will be surprised what they can do in the right hands. It is the best all around truck tool.
As far as chains saws are concerned, the best I have used is the Cutters Edge. It is worth the money. Do not waste your money on any other product.
We actually carry a variety of tools. We have the old school pickheaded ax and the Dever tool. We also carry two K-12's(one gas and one electric). K-12's are pretty heavy and have an incredible amount of torque when the blades get going. We have a Stihl vent saw which I prefer myself. Don't waste your money on those $100-$200 titanium and diamond chains like Jolly Roger stated. They are not worth it. Stay with the shelf $10-$15 chains and buy extra. They do the same job at a 10th of the price.
If you have the upper body strength and good balance you can vent as quickly as a saw. If you are trench cutting you obviously will need saws.
New Jersey, USA
Career or volunteer we are all brothers. Just feel good for the good you do for others.
Personally, I prefer the Partner K-650. Lightweight and powerful. Does a helluva job. However, I'm not one to be embarassed on the roof and carry my axe just in case...
Definitely a K-12 or any of the other K-series saws along with an axe. Hopefully you will have a partner with you who has a hook to so that you can knock out the ceiling below the roof level once you have cut the hole also.
We carry the Cutters Edge chain saw, but I feel that a simple sledge hammer works best on your typical residential structure...
I recommend from personal usage, the Cutter Edge bullet saw. Easy start even in adverse roof conditions and it's cuts beautifully. It incorporates safety measures into it's operation. Give it a good look.