Who makes a good chainsaw or cutoff saw (i.e. K-12). We going to need both on or new truck company ( 1 truck co. for 8 engine co.'s, but that is a different story). Now before I am chastised by those who think chainsaws have no place in an extrication forum, may I humbly bring up the trees that people run into on occasion? Actually, we need the chainsaw for ventilation and the RIT team, but the debate is more, shall we say, spirited, here; and I have used both rotary cutoff saws and chainsaws at MVA's. Who makes the best saws for the fire service? Something you can use with those oh so thin firefighter's gloves, not the consumer grade toy we have now. What say you all? Capt. Dan
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02-24-2000, 09:17 PM #1fridayFirehouse.com Guest
02-24-2000, 10:07 PM #2Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
Stihl makes great stuff.. both chain and circular saws. Partner has the best circular saws in my opinion, but it would make sense to have one brand. I'd stay far, far away from Echo.
02-26-2000, 12:02 AM #3pokeyfd12Firehouse.com Guest
I agree with Halligan84 about a couple of points. My department purchased the Echo vent saw a couple of years ago and was nothing but trouble for us for the short period of time it was in service. I say short period of time because it was either in the repair shop or wouldn't start. Eventually, that saw "fell off the roof" and had to be replaced.
So far, we have been extremely impressed by Stihl's quality and performance. Not a day's trouble with our 18-inch commercial (off the shelf) Stihl chainsaw. That saw alone, with a Stihl bullet chain installed, got us through Hurricane Floyd this past summer and the Northeast ice storm last winter. We have since purchased a Stihl Demo saw which is fantastic on concrete. We also have a "Cutters Edge" ventilation chain saw. The kind that has the adjustable guard for cutting depth. That has also not given us a day of trouble but serves as a backup to the fulltime Stihl. If you have ever seen the lumberjack contests on ESPN, you know Stihl has quality and durable stuff if the lumberjacks use them. Of course, I don't suggest hooking up a motorcycle engine to it like they do. Hope this helped......
Rescue Lt. Kevin
02-26-2000, 09:55 AM #4AFFFFirehouse.com Guest
For those non Echo lovers out there I come from volunteer houses and it seems funny we do not have any problem other than operator error. I was grown up around Echo my Uncle used to sell Echo and my Father worked for him its in the blood. Sorry guys I'm biost.
Anyhow as far as I am concerned Stihl is the most rounded maunfacturer of saws for the money and for reliability and operator friendlyness. Stihl makes a good k-12 style saw but I have to agree that partner makes the best k-12 style, but staying with one name brand saw or ones that are more user friendly is to be better off.
what I mean about user friendly is. Is it easy to run, is there someone close to work on it, are the parts hard to get or take a while to get.
As far as the the Cutters Edge saws well if you are going to put your money into buying a "specialized" saw you put into the Echo and Partner k-12 you would be better off. As you can see not mush good to say about these. Besides if you want a chainsaw why pay the high price.
See ya'll later.
02-26-2000, 10:52 AM #5fridayFirehouse.com Guest
We have an Echo on the Rescue and it is the aforementioned toy. Thanks for the input- I was afraid someone was going to suggest Craftsman. Has anyone used Stanley's hydraulic powered tools? And how about blades- are diamond blades worth the investment? Are WartHog blades good? Thanks. Capt. Dan
02-26-2000, 10:30 PM #6Capt. ZadaFirehouse.com Guest
Diammond blades are very expensive. They are the best blade for cutting concrete, but need to be used with a wetting attachment. It would be hard for me to justify the expense.
We have a Stanley hydraulic jack hammer. It is a small one, about 60 lbs. The only problem is the pump & engine to power it. It won't do the work of a 95 lb pneumatic hammer.
02-28-2000, 12:34 PM #7fridayFirehouse.com Guest
How about specialty blades (for any saw) for fire service applications. On our rotary we have composite blades for metal and concrete, and a 14 tooth carbide blade for wood and comp roofs. The chainsaw has a carbide tipped chain, but it's just consumer grade and loses teeth easily. Hit a nail while you're using it to vent and you'd be better off with an axe- not to mention the sphincter tightening that happens when you think of the chain coming off the bar. Yes-Yes, we do strip off the shingles or tile first, at least on 2 corners with asphalt shingles. And we did buy some $100 a gallon bar lube to keep the asphalt build-up on the bar to a minimum. What we really need is a blade to cut built-up roofs on commercial occupancies. Anybody try that with a bullet type chain? Is there any other type? I would like to minimize the time spent on the roof cutting inspection holes and get the engine co. a vent ASAP. Capt. Dan
02-28-2000, 06:12 PM #8FEMADogFirehouse.com Guest
We have had very good luck with the Stihl 046 Magnum. Works well at our high altitudes and has a high chain speed to keep from ripping off carbide teeth. Our Partner K-12s and K-1200 have not worked so well over the years so we went to Stihl TS-400s for our demo saws. A few of our firefighters work in concrete and they had a lot of luck with them.
I do not recommend using Stihl's "Dura Chain" carbide chain. It hasn't held up very well. We are stil looking for a good chain, plenty to try. Training is the biggest issue. If your people let the chain slow down while cutting, no one's chain will hold up. I also do not recommend Husquevarna saws, at least above 6,000 feet. They won't run fast enough for carbide. JM2C
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